Charles A. Scott's Diary and Letters Written by Elizabeth Cumming
Cottam, Naomi M.
Chronicles of Courage
March 28, 1857 to December 25, 1858. Scott arrives in New York City, following an expedition to Nicaragua. He pulls a good-humored scam, pretending to be a wealthy miner from California. He moves to New Jersey, getting lodging and meals where he can, as he can't find work. Enlisting in the U.S. Army, Scott travels from New York to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas where he joins with Johnston's Army and crosses the plains. His entries crossing the plains are brief, giving the place camped, distance traveled each day, and the quality of the land. Scott details an accident at Ash Hallows, estimating the damage to be $25,000. Much attention is given to the difficulty of the trip due to the cold weather and Mormon harassment. Scott goes in to unusual detail describing the suffering of Johnston's Army during the winter of 1857/58, particularly the plight of the horses. He records the arrival of Thomas Kane, and the wild rumors that surrounded Kane. He notes with disappointment the peace announcement between the government and the Mormons. Scott provides the orders the soldiers received prior to entering the Salt Lake Valley. He also provides a detailed description of the city, noting the Beehive and Lion Houses, as well as his thoughts upon entering the city. He also records rumors circulating at the time about the deserted city, and the poverty of those who choose to return to the city after the army has passed through. Scott writes of the establishment of Camp Floyd, as well as the Christmas celebrations there.