(South Side of Platte
Distance: 469 miles from Nauvoo
Established in June 1848 near Grand Island, Fort Kearny was the
second fort named after Stephen Watts Kearny, the U.S. general of
Mexican War fame. The first Fort Kearny, established in May 1846,
was located on the Missouri River, some 50 miles south of Council
Bluffs. It was abandoned in May 1848. The second Fort Kearny, sometimes
called New Fort Kearny, was built on a site purchased from the Pawnee
Indians for $2,000 in goods. Sometimes the second Fort Kearny was
also referred to as Fort Childs, in honor of Major Thomas Childs
of the U.S. artillery. It was abandoned in May 1871.
13 July 1850
took us several hours to gather our cattle. We started about 10
o'clock and traveled 12 miles and camped with both divisions in
one corral for the Sabbath, on the banks of the Platte 10 miles
east of Fort Kearney."
15 July 1850
"I visited the fort. During the evening we were visited with a
terrible thunder storm. The lightning struck all around us and while
the teams were crossing a slough the lightning burst into their
midst andshocked many persons and beast[s] and killed three oxen
and one man dead. It was Bro. Ridge from Lane[s] End, Staffordshire,
England, that was killed and his team. He was buried in the evening.
He belonged to Elder Whipple's 50" (Wilford Woodruff's Journals,
18331898, typescript, ed. Scott G. Kenney, 9 vols. ,
3:561; spelling and punctuation modernized).
Eliza R. Snow
The Mormon Pioneer Trail, Summer 1847
we journeyed, mothers gave birth to offspring under almost every
variety of circumstances; except those to which they had been accustomedin
tents and wagonsin rainstorms and in snow storms.
"Let it be remembered that the mothers referred to, were not savages,
accustomed to roam the forest and brave the storm and tempestthose
who had never known the comforts and delicacies of civilization
and refinement. They were not those who, in the wilds of nature,
nursed their offspring amid reeds and rushes, or in the obscure
recesses of rocky caverns. Most of them were born and educated in
the Eastern States[had these] embraced the Gospel as taught
by Jesus and His Apostles, and for its sake had gathered with the
Saints; and under trying circumstances, assisted by their faith,
energies and patience, [in making] Nauvoo what its name indicates,
'The beautiful.' There they had lovely homesdecorated
with flowers, and enriched with choice fruit trees, just beginning
to yield plentifully. To these homes, without lease or sale, they
had bid a final adieu, and, with what little of their substance
could be packed into one, two, and perhaps in a few instances, three
wagons, had started out desert-ward, for where? To this question,
the only response at that time was, God knows" (The Personal
Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, ed. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher
, 18, 19).
courtesy of Infobases, Inc.