others had cut holes in them to let the water out. Many had their boots frozen before they could put them on and were compelled to walk on through the snow and freezing water in their stockings, which were soon worn out.
As night came on the piercing winds nearly chilled them to death. They dare not lie down in the snow for it was only by violent exercise that they were able to keep warmth and life in their stiffening limbs and bodies. They separated into two companies, one led by Captain Johnson, the other by Lieutenant Maxwell. They dare not go on in the blinding storm and darkness, fearing to lose their way, so all that long fearful night, they tramped back and forth in a desperate effort to save themselves from freezing. Often the weaker ones would fall down benumbed in the drifting snow and the stronger comrades would lift them up and force them to keep moving.
In the morning, says Lieutenant Maxwell:
“I saw Johnson and Burkholder some distance from us, going in a southerly direction, while we were traveling east. They were following the directions of an old trapper, and we soon lost sight of them. Henry Carse became unconscious during the day, and sank in the snow, blood running from his mouth. We carried him to the river, where a fire was started by saturating a damp wad with powder and shooting it into the weeds. Carse was now helpless, and when we cut the rags from his feet, the frozen skin and flesh came off with them.”
As soon as the fire was well started, Maxwell and Laughlin, who were the strongest of the party, determined to cross the river and go to the Irish colony for help. They reached the settlement and sent assistance to their comrades, who were brought in badly frozen but alive. Major Williams gives the following account of the sad fate of Captain J. C. Johnson and Wm. E. Burkholder:
“G. P. Smith was the last one who saw them. He fell in with them after they separated from their comrades and traveled with them for some time. They were very much exhausted from wading ponds and sloughs; their clothes frozen and covered with ice. Their feet were badly frozen,