sixty-two years of age. He had been commissioned by Governor Grimes two years before to act upon his own judgment in any trouble with the Indians. News of the outrages perpetrated along the Little Sioux some time before had reached Fort Dodge and the people were not wholly unprepared for tidings of further depredations. Howe, Parmenter and Wheelock joined the expedition at Fort Dodge; J. M. Thatcher, at the Irish colony, Morris Markham, John Bradshaw and Jareb Palmer turned back with it, after conducting the Springfield refugees to safety. A hard crust on the snow rendered the march slow and difficult, as it was not sufficiently hard to bear the weight of a man. At the close of the second day the party camped at Dakota, in Humboldt County, but eighteen miles from Fort Dodge. From this place onward the obstructions, hardships and sufferings increased. In many places the ravines they had to cross were filled with snow in depth of from ten to twenty feet, in which the teams were helpless. Long ropes had to be fastened to the floundering horses and they were pulled through by the men one at a time. The loaded wagons were drawn through in a similar manner. Sometimes it required the entire brigade to haul one loaded wagon through the immense drifts. Often the men were compelled to wade two abreast in long lines, up to their waists in snow, to break a road for the teams and wagons.
On the third night the expedition was obliged to camp on the unsheltered prairie in the deep snow, without fuel, with a bleak northwest wind sweeping down upon the exhausted men. They made a supper of crackers and raw pork, chained the oxen to the wagons, which were arranged close together to break the wind, while the men crowded together on their beds of snow, to keep from freezing. The next day was a renewal of the hardships until night, when they were able to reach the shelter of McKnight’s Grove, where they found plenty of fuel to cook their food and cabins in which to sleep.