The 4th of February 1864 I baptized Mary Kirstine Anderson, that time dairy maid on Kirholt by Frederickshaven, who soon after was discharged because she became a Mormon and she borrowed enough money of Berglund to get her emigration ticket to Wyoming [Nebraska] that year. Before the emigration got ready in the latter part of March, I baptized a good many in and around Fraderickshaven, and as German armies drove the Danish army further and further down into Jutland there was danger of the harbors being closed, so the emigrants were ordered to leave Vendsijsel two weeks before time, but as the steamer was delayed at Alborg I went back to Frederickshaven and got the Berglund family ready and got them to Alborg just in time to get on the steamer to Copenhagen where we arrived the first part of April. We there were laid up a week. While there we could hear the booming of cannons in the bombardment on Alsan island. A great many young men stole away secretly who came to us in England and New York. We was a large company and we had some trouble with the police who was much for deserters but, after some time we got loaded on a steamer for Hull. The ship was loaded with rig and as we had a very heavy storm for 48 hours we suffered in that time more than all the rest of the journey as nearly all was seasick and had to lie on top of each other under the deck and on top of the rig, and I pity those who had to eat the bread made from the rye. After three days journey we arrived in Hull and then went to Grimsby where we remained a week and the sick got well. Then we took a train for Liverpool there the church had a large sailing ship engaged and upon it we were loaded about 1,000 emigrants. The church had got our provision, hardtack, pork, peas, and a little white flour, sugar, coffee, and a few other things. The ship to furnish us water which was only a small portion to each person daily but our cooking was the worst for us as the kitchen was not one tenth large enough. We had fairly good weather, a good deal of calm. Hence it took us 35 days to reach New York.
Measles broke out among the children and we buried 50 in the sea and one old Scotsmen. Otherwise, everything went well though I must mention we had a most cruel and wicked set of sailors that I have ever seen in my life and they caused us some trouble, but soon after that ship went to the bottom of the Atlantic and I suppose they deserved it. We arrived in New York on Castle Garden, was inspected, and then sailed up to Albany took the train for Buffalo, crossed the port of Canada, and ferried across the St. Clair to Detroit. From Detroit our journey was tedious, much stopping and delaying for lack of cows as the government used all their cows in the war. [p.4]
One morning a little after sunrise we stopped in a village and as some was anxious to get milk I got a can and went to buy some but I could not get any before I got to the furthest of houses and while I was paying for the milk off went the train. I did run and got within twenty yards of it but there I stumbled, fell, and was left and the people all over the town hooped and yelled, "There was one Mormon lost." I walked out along the track and got in company with a wounded soldier. He showed me a big whole in his breast which was healing. He took me to the next station about 5 miles out. I could speak a little English, enough to make him understand my condition. He told the agent that I was lost and to get me on the next train for Chicago. I stopped there six or seven hours and then I was put on the express and arrived in Chicago an hour before the emigrants. We did not stop there long in Chicago but in Quincy, Illinois we stopped several days and then had to take cattle cars for St. Joseph through Missouri. We had some trouble in getting through the wars. Here was the ruins of whole towns as had been laid waste by the terrible struggle.
St. Joseph was the end of the railroad journey. Here the emigrants went on a river steamer for [-] but while at St. Joseph, Joseph Sharp from Salt Lake City came up from Kansas and hired 52 young men to drive teams with merchandise across the plains. He got 22 Danes and 30 Scotsmen. Took us 16 miles down the river to Atchison, Kansas where they was filling out buying their goods, oxen, and wagons. Here we laid a month in a place called Mormon Grove and herded cattle and helped to fit out. We were to have 20 dollars a month and board and we thought we had a snap of it but before we got to Salt Lake City we found that snap was in the wrong place. Here was between 400 and 500 wild fat 4 or 5 year old steers brought up...but only a few had ever had a yoke on and still were very few of the boys had ever seen an ox. Some was tailors, some sailors, and every kind of tradesmen, mostly colliers. While we fitted out we had stampedes galore. I should wish very much if I could show the young generation now living some of the scenes of that trip. Think of a condition here one morning in July after a tremendous struggle in getting those wild animals yoked up and hitched to the wagon, three to six yoke to each wagon, loaded with goods from 3500 to 8000 pounds on each wagon. Then think of the teamsters just as wild and ignorant about their business as the oxen. And then most of them could not understand a word of English so the captain hollering and commanding only caused confusion. . . .
. . . I arrived in Salt Lake City the 26th of September 1864, two weeks before the oxen came in. The first night [p.5] in Salt Lake City I slept under my watch and felt as happy as if I had slept in a palace. . . . [p.6]
BIB: Nielson, Andrew Christian. Autobiography (Ms 2735 282), pp. 4-6. (CHL)