About William Rees, Jr.
"...Wednesday 3rd[.] <snow storm> last night W[illia]m Jones returned with the shoes &c[.] he got in Camp about 11 oclock and said he had lost the way having gone several miles ahead of the Camp to Hoopes Train. On getting there he was told our whereabouts & came back leaving Jenkin Williams there to wait for the train this morning to come up to him. He also said that a short time after leaving [Isaac] Allreds Train W[illia]m Reese wanted to go back again to [Isaac] Allreds train to get water So they seperated and the last they saw of him was sitting down some distance from the road as they supposed waiting for Allreds train to come up. <another slight snow storm> Bro Harper is very angry at his being back this morning as he is the cause of detaining the whole Camp several hours. Bro Harper has sent Bro [Samuel] Burt on the mule to bring W[illia]m Reese up—So in the meanwhile we moved on 5 miles—Bro [Samuel] Burt having returned reports that the Allred's Co[mpany] is to far back. he having gone some 6 or 8 miles & could not see them. The parents of W[illia]m Reese by this time was much alarmed for his saftey. So the father & his son David determined to go back and see if he was in the other Co[mpany]. They went there & returned by night with sorrowful news "That he was not there nor had not been there since doing his errand.["] So as a matter of course his family are almost frantic. his mothers & his poor wife with a child a few days old[.] Thier shrieks & lamentations were truly heart rendering to hear all through the long night.
Thursday 4th Bro Harper & William Jones have gone back with the mule to the place where "The lost one" was seen last. Bro [John] Allen repo[r]ts having seen while out gunning some footprints with nails &c. The father went & seen them and declares them to be those of his son. They are on an old road a mile or two from Camp going West So there are some hopes that he may have roamed on ahead of the train. So we moved the train on again 15 miles to the river[.] Here we found Hoopes Merchant train and here we heard the happy news that W[illia]m Rees was in thier train having come there about 10 oclock more dead than alive. He has no food since Tuesday morning & having had no matches with "no fire["]. exposed to the bitter cold for 2 night[s] & near 3 days with out a coat or any covering but a mantle of Snow which fell on him[.] Wednesday night. he states that when Jones & William left him he was taken sick & became exhausted & somewhat deranged in his mind & while so he roamed off from the road for some time and when he came to his senses & on getting to the road again after his trouble. he then thought he was going back to the Devils Gate. thinking that it would be impossible to catch the train again[.] but instead of that he landed safely in Hoopers Camp[.] The Joy & Happy feeling of his Family and in fact the whole camp on his recovery. Should certainly have been seen for it is impossible to describe. He was compelled to throw away his gun. The wieght being to heavy for him to be burthened [burdened] with. Bros Harper & Jones returned late at night having traced his footsteps almost up to the Camp. They went all the <way> back to wher he was seen last. They have had a long days ride with no feed left
Friday 5th This day we rolled 6 or 8 miles and camped on Sweet Water [Sweetwater] between Hoopers & Allreds train. We fill up our spare time now by shoeing the oxen. As many of them are going lame
Saturday 6th We came 18 miles & passed over the Devils Back Bone. it was a very dangerous road for the wagons. The road being covered at one point with with large pieces of rock projecting from the earth[.] We crossed willow Creek and camped on Sweet Water. Some of the Company found here a gold Washing machine & implements used for that purpose[.] Some gold being found here
Sunday 7th I forgot to mention in my account of W[illia]m Reese of [a] vision which he had on Wednesday & Thursday mornings[.] I shall endeavor to relate it as near as possible in his own words. he states that on Wednesday morn he awoke finding himself very cold. he then thought he would get up. but just at that time. His father & Bro [Charles] Harper came to him and spoke a short time with him and after they went off I came and laid my hands on his head. but did not speak to him. D I then went away and he arose. he says his eyes was open & that he was wide awake. Then returned another vision on Thursday morning of myself & Bro Harper appearing unto him. he says he was awaken in the Morning by the snow falling & the cold and that he arose & rested on his elbow to move himself further under the sagebrush by which he was lying for protection. When Bro Harper & myself appeared to him standing off 2 yards. Then I went close to him & placed my hands on his head and said "Brother All's Well Keep your Heart[.] you will soon be in Camp:" and in a few hours after we found him in Hoopers Camp. having been 62 hours without Food[.] Such was his story. And Truly it was a most miraculus escape from death. Considering the time he was without any food and being exposed to such severe weather he said that he believed he would have died were it not for the Comfort & Support he received from his visions..."
SOURCE: Jeremy, Thomas Evans, Journal, in Jeremy, Thomas Evans, Collection [ca. 1827-1966], reel 1, box 1, fd. 3, vol. 3, 160-212. Retrieved from: http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/source/1,18016,4976-5293,00.html