EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES 319
time the wind changed suddenly and it began to grow colder. . . .
The lake was apparently between us and the course we ought to take and
we followed close around the shore. Off to the west side lay a large
marsh covered with tall grass. Those in advance passed between marsh
and lake and succeeded in getting around, when we discovered that Captain
Johnson, Burkholder, Addington, George Smith and one other (Jonas
Murray) , five in all, had dropped off in our rear and were going around
the marsh. We expected they would return to us when they got around,
but as it was growing dark and we could still see them on high ground
beyond, we thought best to try to go to them, as Major Williams' parting
advice was, 'stick together boys,' but they soon passed out of our sight
into the darkness. We then retraced our steps, passed the south end of
the lake, and traveled directly east. . . . We traveled until about nine
o'clock, when we halted, finding that we were making but little headway,
having to meander ponds and wade streams that were fast freezing, and
decided to go no farther until morning. Soon the most of us were tumbled
down in a promiscuous heap, lying close together to keep one another
warm, on the naked, burned prairie. Our pants were a sheet of ice.
Some had blankets, but many only their wet clothes.
"Lieutenant Maxwell and myself did not lie down during that terrible
night, but kept tramping around and occasionally arousing the sleepers
and making them stir around to keep from freezing. I expected that we
all would be frozen before morning. I had taken my socks off the day
before and wrung them out and carried them in my pocket and as soon as
we halted I pulled off my boots, replaced my socks and put on my boots
again. I thus saved my feet and I got through without freezing any part.
The following morning the sun was clear and we were in sight of timber
directly east, eight or ten miles away. I was among the last to leave our
camping ground. I remember picking up one empty provision sack and
following on. I soon overtook Mr. Carse, the oldest and best clad man in
our party, having double mackinaw blankets and a fur overcoat. He was
on the sunny side of a gopher hill trying to put on his boots which he
had pulled off at night. I passed him without a thought that they were
frozen so that he could not get them on. The ponds and also the streams
where there was not much current were frozen, so they bore our weight.
Most of the men made a bee line, wading streams, running slush
ice, but I was more fortunate, being long and light; by seeking
places that were iced over and crawling at full length I got over without
getting wet. Elias Kellogg and myself were the first getting to the timber.
I immediately went about starting a fire. I had no matches and neither
had the others. My gun was empty and my powder dry, so I put a
charge of powder in my gun and loaded it with some cotton from out of
my vest lining. I discharged it into some rotten wood, which caught
320 EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES
and by pouring on more powder and with vigorous blowing I succeeded
in starting a fire.
"Lieutenant Maxwell was among the first to get to the timber, and
by the time we got our fire to going well most of the boys had straggled
in. Mr. Carse came in last, led by Henry Dalley, a mere boy poorly clad,
whom Mr. Carse had befriended by taking him under his double blankets
that night. . Carse had his boots in his hands and was ill and delirious.
The soles of his feet were worn out walking on the frozen ground. Kellogg
was the next object of attention. He had seated himself by a tree
and was almost helpless and unconscious of his misery. We had to arouse
him and cut his frozen overalls away. Has he been left alone he probably
would never have arisen from his condition. With a good fire we
were soon warmed. . . . The river had to be crossed. It was high
and full of floating ice, but we got some long poles and with this help
crossed from one cake of ice to another and reached the other side. No
sooner was the advance party over than the others all followed, and when
we gained the open ground upon the other side we could see the colony
as conjectured, and footsore and weary as we were, we soon made the distance.
We found Major Williams and a part of the men there waiting
for us with much anxiety. Major Williams had made preparations for us.
Fresh beef from the poor settlers' poorer oxen was cooked and ready. . . .
The next morning Smith, Addington and Murray came. They had been
to another cabin farther on, and finding some provisions, had stayed all
night. They stated that they had separated from Captain Johnson and
Burkholder early the previous morning; that they had taken their boots
off at night and they were frozen so they could not get them on, and while
they were cutting up their blankets and getting them on their feet they
had disagreed as to the course to be taken. Pulling off their boots was a
fatal mistake. To reach the place where their bones were found eleven
years afterwards, they must have traveled all that day and part of the
next night, and have laid down together in the sleep that knows no
It will be understood from the foregoing articles that the original party
separated as follows: first, the separation at the lakes; second, Spencer
and McCormick left at Mud Creek in Lloyd Township; third, when Johnson,
Burkholder, Smith, Addington and Murray left and went to the westward;
fourth, when Burkholder and Johnson left the other three.