Am Good as Common: Thomas E. Seerley's Journey to the Montana Goldfields in 1864 - Scanned Version

Seerley journal front cover

This Web page provides both a scanned version and a line-by-line, word-by-word, letter-by-letter transcription of each page of the journal kept by Thomas E. Seerley on his trip to the Montana goldfields in 1864.  I attempted to render Seerley's handwriting as literally as possible into a print format.  I used his spelling, grammar, and punctuation without emendation.  I broke lines where he broke lines.  I repeated words where he repeated words ("for for"). 

I included all decipherable handwriting, no matter where it appears on a page.  In all cases, I noted the location of the handwriting on the page:  for example, on ruled lines, above ruled lines, vertical lines on right of ruled lines, upside down on bottom of page. 

Seerley's handwriting is consistently clear and legible, but there were occasions on which I had to make judgments, seldom affecting meaning, on how to render the transcription.  For example, when Seerley wrote the letters "s" and "c", the differences between the upper and the lower cases of those letters are slight.  In those instances, I transcribed what I believed that I saw, even if it meant that a common noun was capitalized in the middle of a sentence.

Seerley's punctuation is inconsistent, probably because he was writing quickly and with a limited amount of space on his pages.  Between complete thoughts, clauses, or notes he might use a comma, a period, or a dash.  Or he might use no punctuation at all.  I transcribed what I saw in the handwriting, though sometimes the difference between a comma and a period was slight.  He occasionally inserted a word or two above a line on the ruled text.  When he did that, I set off those words with a caret:  ^caret^.  When he crossed out a word, and when it was still legible, I used the crossout feature of this editing program:  crossout.

Readers may also wish to look at this slightly fuller discussion of the journal's provenance, physical condition, and intent.


Transcription of the Daily Entries
In nearly all cases, the daily journal entries on the ruled pages are well-organized:  the reader simply reads across the horizontal line.  However, notes on the tops of many of those pages require the reader to judge how Seerley meant the notes, often jotted down at different times, to be organized.  For example, on the top of a page, Seerley might have written the month, the distance travelled that day, a note about the arrival of a friend, and comments about the availability of wood, water, and grass.  Taken literally across an imaginary line, without regard to Seerley's possible intentions, a transcription could read: 

  • 16 No wood May Good water Jewel came up and grass

In my transcription, I attempted to organize the notes above the text into coherent segments. 

  • No wood  Good water and grass
  • Jewel came up
  • 16
  • May

In places where the handwriting was indecipherable, I used bold face type to mark the spot:  for example, unclear.

Readers who wish to see a slightly edited, and perhaps more readable version of the transcription may click on this link for an edited transcription.

----Gerald L. Peterson


Seerley journal, outside front cover

Seerley diary, outside front cover



 Seerley journal, inside front cover

Seerley diary, inside front cover

Transcription, inside front cover
Mostly illegible; includes arithmetic calculations; the name Thomas written several times; and possibly a list of supplies written upside down near the binding margin


  Seerley journal, front endpaper, recto

Seerley diary, page 1

Transcription, front endpaper, recto
Reo $5.00 per Thomas
paid 63.00
11¢ Apples  5.62
4 Coffee  65  2.60
soda - - - 40
salt 1.50
matches 20
Pepper 25

Arithmetic calculations

Upside down at bottom of page
Paid Mr unclear
South river unclear
at unclear
for gunnite


  Seerley journal, front endpaper, verso

Seerley journal, page 2

Transcription, front endpaper, verso
Axes  4 to 5.00
Flour  23 to 27
tin cups  25 to 30 --
Good lined pants  325 . 450
Boots same in gold
Gum Boots  9 to 18.00
Coffee  65 - 75
Sugar    "       "
Apples  40 - 50
Peachs  .65 - 75
Cheese  85
Butter  85  1.00
Beans.  22  25
Potatoes  20
onions  30
turnips  20  30
bacon  17  55
lard 17
Ham  17
tea  2.25
Syrup  600  700

Seerley journal, page 1

Seerley journal, page 1

Transcription, page 1
Ruled text
Candles  50  75 star
salerale  40  50
Nails  50
Kerosen  7.00
glass 8 X 10-  18.00
cracker  40 cts
crout  30
Eggs-  80
salt-  20
Meal  20
Virginia price current
Aug 29th 1864

Vertical text
at mines
1 fawn W tail
1 B antelope
1 W T. Doe P Stone
1 B T. on Rock
1 sheep on same day
1 W. T on south M
1 W. T pm Ridge
1 B. T on dry Creek
1 B antelope on unclear
1 B. T on black M
1 W. T south point
1 B T. encamped
1 B T big buck
1 B T. Doe young


Seerley journal, page 2

Seerley journal, page 2

Transcription, page 2
Above ruled text
unclear 35
Pen good

Ruled text
Ax - Saw - hatchet - auger - pen
Nails - 2 plates - knife 4 forks spoons
unclear 2 cups - coffee - sugar unclear
tea - salt pepper - soda - bacon
Flour - Bacon - Coffee - Tea - Apples
Soda - Nails - Scriber - Broom - oven
pick - onions - glass - Boots - soles
awls- pegs

Vertical text
184.40 grub
166.00 unclear
2.10 cattle
82.65 to Flory
212.36 divided
50.00 Nov 27
49.00 Dec 4

1 Buck on Platte
3 antelope unclear
1       "        unclear Paul
1 Black Tail unclear & unclear
1 antelope unclear
1 Black tail unclear
1 antelope unclear
1       "         unclear


 Seerley journal, page 3, May 2, 1864

Seerley journal, page 3

Transcription, page 3
Above ruled text
69 29 for team to
at 20 -

Ruled text
May 2nd Started about 11 1/2
oclock went as far as Alex
Reeds ate a good turkey dinner
then went to Webster returned
and tarried over night
had good time, done my first
driving -- think I will like
to drive.  one cow got
over chain & I had to
heave her off of it -- this
evening the Cows turned
the yoke 3 diff. times.  came near
breaking the neck of one --
changed mates. think
they will do better now


 Seerley journal, page 4, May 3, 1864

Seerley journal, page 4

Transcription, page 4
Above ruled text
May 3
Who had long term Wright
or Turkie - did they draw cuts

Ruled text
3rd Started in good Season
had a fine day - forded
North Skunk & encamped on
the west bank.  I rode my
near ox - drove down and my
lead yoke were ugly & got
over a large log.  but
I finally made them
back off and then drove
out & felt better over it
today I have been quite
unwell - ate little at noon
done better at supper - here
we caught up to Jewel - Tom
Legg & others --


 Seerley journal, page 5, May 4, 1864

Seerley journal, page 5

Transcription, page 5
Above ruled text
Oskaloosa 40 miles from

Ruled text
4th heaved anker in good
time nothing of note occurring
and fed at noon on West side
South Skunk.  Started lead
got 200# good timothy hay 80 cents
per cwt.  Saw Jim Hinesly at
Oskaloosa, bought pair boots $5.50
here Jewel Legg. Briner & Kemery
took Knoxville road we took
road to Pella encamped 2 1/2
miles from Oskaloosa.  Wm
Rodman went & persuaded the
boys to turn back & go along.
am well and like the company -
have a pretty camp ground


Seerley journal, page 6, May 5, 1864

Seerley journal, page 6

Transcription, page 6
Above ruled text
Is there Brass mines

Ruled text
5th camped 4 miles east
of Pella.  today we had
10 wagons in the train. plenty
of come along for sale.  good
farming country.  Bill placed
his cows in the lead
& they went well.  nothing
of any great consequence
occured only rained
considerable.  made it
rather unpleasant for
a city of muslin.  from
the ridge our town looks
rather handsome.  tents
& wagons & plenty of stoves
doing duty.  am well as
common.  drove 12 miles


Seerley journal, page 7, May 6, 1864

Seerley journal, page 7

Transcription, page 7
Above ruled text
Pella 18 May

Ruled text
6th somewhat muddy yet
we started in good season
followed on rejoicing.  stopped
Some time in Pella.  Small Pox
here.  fine country.  plenty of dutch.
roads good now.  went 5 miles
further then left Desmoines road
went by Red Rock.  ferried the
river & camped near red
rock cliff.  near the lake or
Slough.  paid $1.40 for ferriage
45 for corn, no hay. at
night I caught a few cat-
fish.  here is one of the finest
cliffs I ever saw.  am still
well and not discouraged


 Seerley journal, page 8, May 7, 1864

Seerley journal, page 8

Transcription, page 8
Above ruled text
Where is school at
Whitneyvile or Greenfield

Ruled text
7th moved westward one
mile & encamped in a
cottonwood grove close to
a muddy bayou.  no water
fit for cooking or drinking
went 1 1/4 miles for corn &
water.  in the afternoon dug out
a spring - rained all day.  at
4 o'clock shot 2 squirrels
& 1 yellowhammer.  at even
started for Desmoines to
fish could not find river
for Bayous.  Esting fell in up
to his chin.  got back after
dark in a glorious rain
4 teams passed for West.

 Seerley journal, page 9, May 8, 1864

Seerley journal, page 9

Transcription, page 9
Above ruled text
Pleasantville  22m  19

Ruled text
Sunday 8th tried to remember
that it is Sabbath day -
as it was raining we started
and ^ passed Pleasantville & ^ drove to coal creek
in the east side of Warren
Co.  had plenty of water & wood
Some grass for cattle had
to pay 50 cents for corn -
Some of the boys shot squirrels
so had sunday meat.  I
washed my socks & read several
chapters in the Testament.  rained
some all night.  am well
Thanks to the Giver of health
Saw emigrant from Keokuk


 Seerley journal, page 10, May 9, 1864

Seerley journal, page 10

Transcription, page 10
Above ruled text
place name but unclear 7 May

Ruled text
9th Started 7 1/2 o'clock Geo.
Briner's cattle not up.  Went
and assisted in the search -
found them. started and went
as far as South river for
dinner - very muddy - horse
team stalled near the river
took Tom & Dick & pulled
out. rained like rip --
encamped 3 miles east of
Indianola. corn 75 to 80 -
to day saw 45 teams for
West. done some target shooting
I am 2nd best 100 yards
bought corn of Hayworth 80 cts
Passed Blair farm


Seerley journal, page 11, May 10, 1864

Seerley journal, page 11

Transcription, page 11
Above ruled text
Indianola 12
St. Charles 16

Ruled text
May 10th Shifted our camp
in good season - the road lined
with emigrants - passed through
Indianola.  a smart town in
Warren Co. fed at noon 1 mile
East of the John Smith farm
then drove to Clanton Creek &
encamped for the night. 43 teams
are here. lively crowd good
horses & mules. we passed over
good prairie. St Charles 16
miles west of Indianola is
a poor place all stores shut
but one. grass on the
increase hope soon to be
plenty, (--yours fraternally)


 Seerley journal, page 12, May 11, 1864

Seerley journal, page 12

Transcription, page 12
Above ruled text
Winterset 12
drove 4 point

Ruled text
May 11th this morning we had
a long hunt for horses &
cattle after I found them
I took Frisky and rode
to see William. we were
East of Winterset 10 miles
I arrived at Williams by
noon - were all well I left
about 1 1/2 o'clock again
and met the train at
Winterset again, windy
day, at evening a dark
cloud rising. we are encamped
in the open prairie 4 miles
West of Winterset. Jewel
left behind.


 Seerley journal, page 13, May 12, 1864

Seerley journal, page 13

Transcription, page 13
Above ruled text
May 14 miles unclear board 100

Ruled text
12th Cool and partly clear 21
wagons at our encampment
started and went into the
illimitable prairie on the
road to Fontanelle. stopped
on Middle river and dined
paid $1.00 for corn no grass
for cattle. left without feeding
and drove west 3 miles &
encamped on a small creek
the prairie has been fine
and large. plenty of sheep
kept here. Every body
going to Oregon.  today
Noffsinger came up at
noon.  well thus far.

Right of ruled text
P. O. Arbor Hill 
8 from Winterset


 Seerley journal, page 14, May 13, 1864

Seerley journal, page 14

Transcription, page 14
Above ruled text
May  20

Ruled text
13 Started 7 o'clock passed Grand
River and fed 1 1/2 miles East of
Greenfield, then passed East
Nodaway river and passed
1/2 mile North of Fontanelle a
town of 20 houses including
court house & church &c and
two houses in the country
then in 4 miles came to  ^ Branch of middle ^ lower
Nodaway & camped having
made about 20 miles - today
we passed over fine prairie
but no timber scarcely -
Briner mad because we do
not go to Plattsmouth. I do
not care. am in good spirits


 Seerley journal, page 15, May 14, 1864

Seerley journal, page 15

Transcription, page 15
Above ruled text
Is Shaffs in Iowa County
Dave says not I say it is

Ruled text
14th continued at same place
in order to wash up. plenty
of teams passed today and
as grass is becoming better
aim to make longer drives
one family came in who on
yesterday buried one of
their children - they are
from McDonough Co. Ills.
today I shot 6 squirrels
two of them I had to chop
out of their holes in a tall
old linn - we are all in
good health. today Estingham
carried of my wood and that
I did not like. Jewel returned it


 Seerley journal, page 16, May 15, 1864

Seerley journal, page 16

Transcription, page 16
Above ruled text
(Is college at Whitneyville) I say it is Kay no
Dead horse in slough

Ruled text
15th Sunday left branch of
middle Nodaway and
drove within 1 mile of Whitny
ville for dinner. then drove
to West Nodaway here most
of the teams stopped but we
went 3 miles west to big slough
no houses all heavy rolling
prairie. this morning some
of the Washington boys horses
took a Stampede - do not
know whether they found
them - we drove about
20 miles today - and
within 12 miles of Lewis -
am well and contented


 Seerley journal, page 17, May 16, 1864

Seerley journal, page 17

Transcription, page 17
Above ruled text

Ruled text
16th started in good season
had the best grass yet seen
by us. after going about 3 miles
I was sent ahead to get flour
but there not being any at
Lewis we fed at noon on
the Nishinabotany. fine water
then went about 4 miles &
encamped in the middle
Nishinabotany nice camp
ground. fine time Swimming
cattle. today 30 teams in
train. prairie heavy rolling
and little timber. I do
not like the country.  today
saw brother of Rex Mills


 Seerley journal, page 18, May 17, 1864

Seerley journal, page 18

Transcription, page 18
Above ruled text
18 miles
Showman fell
Jewel here

Ruled text
17th left camp in advance of
our crowd. 40 teams in train
on the way passed an Illinois
train about 20 teams of us
they had lock chains & so had
to stop & lock. there being 2
roads side by side we drove
past in 1 mile drivings
Estingham still gruff
will have his own time to
get pleased - Weather hot &
dry.  cattle became heated
are now encamped at a small
branch. today saw an underground
house. woman dirty. all dirty.
prairie endless. am well


 Seerley journal, page 19, May 18, 1864

Seerley journal, page 19

Transcription, page 19
Above ruled text
18 mi

Ruled text
18th Journeyed in good season
Weather very dry we passed OK  All
roads very good too cracked to get
muddy.  today crossed several
small streams all deep & difficult
to get the cattle to water. the bottoms
are becoming wide & face of the country
heavy rolling. we now cross the rolls
instead of following divide. corn
1.25 pr bushel. Scarcely any have it
are now encamped 15 miles east
of Council Bluffs on a small
river nice water every little settle
ment have their school house to
contentment reigns 30 teams in
train today - in good health

Right of ruled text
camped unclear creek


Seerley journal, page 20, May 19, 1864

Seerley journal, page 20

Transcription, page 20
Above ruled text
Good place for whipstocks
on creek at noon

Ruled text
19th Started off in good Season
and drove to within 4 miles
of Council Bluffs for dinner
then drove below the Bluffs
& turned out and found
that the crossing was bad
on account of so many teams
in waiting. Sent David to see
but could make arrangement
and so am gloomy about
getting out of Iowa
Reports rife that crossing
will be stopped by troops.
I hope not. I expect to
Swim if such is the
case. Dave heard from home

 Seerley journal, page 21, May 20, 1864

Seerley journal, page 21

Transcription, page 21
Above ruled text
4 + 5 = 9

Ruled text
20th Started last night
and drove to the river
about 1 o'clock A. M. and
took our position in line
my number was 96 we had
some trouble with persons
who wished to cross before
their turn. We crossed about
3 o'clock P. M. and went to
Omaha. bacon 17¢, flour $3.00
they do considerable business
in Omaha. 2 negroes to 1 white
plenty of Soldiers - looks
like a military Post. Saw
Omaha Indians today
are camped 3 mile west of Omaha


 Seerley journal, page 22, May 21, 1864

Seerley journal, page 22

Transcription, page 22
Above ruled text
no wood
125 wood
1.00 for corn
hay 2.00 p hund

Ruled text
21st left camp 7 1/2 o'clock crossed
Several little streams no troubles & at
most streams a ranch - dined on
one of the Pappillions drove on to
Elkhorn river 20 miles & encamped
close to bridge west side. some
Pawnees came in begging - have
no word from Jewel & co. Lawler
left this morning & we did not
find him till after night.
Saw lots of teams for Idaho
road crooked but good. have
been badly cut up. some timber
on Elkhorn. from a small whisky
concern this morning Billy and James Thomas
had a quarrel. all settled again

Right of ruled text
Thomas left pail


 Seerley journal, page 23, May 22, 1864

Seerley journal, page 23

Transcription, page 23
Above ruled text

Ruled text
22nd Sunday but no Sunday
here. Mrs. Thomas is a sort of boss
and she has no particular love
for Sunday so we are not
likely to find things different all
though we drove 1 1/2 miles and
encamped for bal of day in
good grass and near bank of
Elkhorn wrote to McAfferty &
Dr. Miller. J. Lawler fell off
mule - muddy day - about 100 teams
in bottoms. Saw grave of old man
84 years old - felt solemn
tried to feel that this is the
Lord's day. feel calm and
comfortable. still well.


Seerley journal, page 24, May 23, 1864

Seerley journal, page 24

Transcription, page 24
Above ruled text
good wood & Platte water
for cooking

Ruled text
23rd left camp but Jewel
& co not yet come up. We now
are in sight of Platte and in
5 or 6 miles expect to strike
it - this day noon fed within
80 rods of it. I went down and
took a first look at this singular
river. washed & felt that I
had seen the strange river -
at noon passed Fremont - they
are doing a good business
in goods line to emigrants
encamped 1/2 mile from Platte
went down. it is muddy &
rising. yet still low. passed
Dale house. weather cold. dusty

Right of ruled text
tried to fish at evening


Seerley journal, page 25, May 24, 1864

Seerley journal, page 25

Transcription, page 25
Above ruled text
No wood

Ruled text
24th underway again in good
Season. See strange teams consistent
ly. none that we know  lots Pawnees
no clothing but clouts all beggars -
today traveled up Platt. Some good
Settlements. crossed Shell creek
and now see the beautiful
Platte valley. as nice a camping
place as the world affords. at 65
mile house Small lake 1/4 mile
S. W of house. Best water at house I
saw since Omaha. would love to
live here. Bill Rodman came
near being shot by ramrod
from strangers gun. travelled
almost 20 miles. dry & dusty & cold


 Seerley journal, page 26, May 25, 1864

Seerley journal, page 26

Transcription, page 26
Above ruled text
Some wood
Woman built fire
under stone

Ruled text
25th today was very dusty
& warm. Indians plenty. took
a good look at dirt house. no
use counting teams. road full
from many states. form new
organizations daily. lose
old ones by out driving
them - crossed Loup fork
in the afternoon & are camped
on Platte 1 1/2 miles from Loup
Ferry. Some Galena folks
here. are now said to be
on the outside of unclear state
but still see plenty of Iowans
am yet well and still am
in good Spirits & think of home

 Seerley journal, page 27, May 26, 1864

Seerley journal, page 27

Transcription, page 27
Above ruled text
little wood
Cummins point
unclear west

Ruled text
26th left camp in hurry -
today saw few teams as
compared with yesterday. Saw
5 Pawnees chasing elk or game
of some kind distantd 4 miles.
nice sight. 3 squaws came in
at noon & got bread. Saw a  Masonic symbol
from St. Johns, Mich. road
sandy & very dusty. drove about
20 miles & are now encamped
upon the bank of the Platte. very
wide. no Island here looks
knee deep & rising. is quite
muddy. valley about 20 miles
wide. few farms & no fences -
am well, & quite comfortable


Seerley journal, page 28, May 27, 1864

Seerley journal, page 28

Transcription, page 28
Above ruled text
Got wood on Island

Ruled text
May 27th continued westward on our
route. considerable of the time was
back from river. at noon drove
down and grazed. dug well & had
tollerably good water. We are now
encamped on a bayou at Mc
Curley's - here I saw a Mr. Scharft
from Jackson, Tp. he knew me
saw me in Joe. Casey's office - expect
to lie over & wash up - we are
18 miles east of Wood's river.
Saw no Indians today. Saw a
man from Allen Co. Indiana who
knew Diffendorfer - had to drag
a log out of river for wood
Saw large gar fish in bayou.


 Seerley journal, page 29, May 28, 1864

Seerley journal, page 29

Transcription, page 29
Above ruled text

Ruled text
did not move today done up
the washing &c - today 137 teams
passed here. 60 of them horses
& mules. bal. ox teams and
about 25 stopped east of us.
I walked down at night to
see whether Jewel & co were in
the number but did not find
him nor hear anything certain
of him. I here found a bro.
Masonic symbol and had a friendly chat with
him he is from McHenry Co
Illinois & Hunter's Grove
am not very well. eat but
little. hope it may wear off
calculate to drive tomorrow


 Seerley journal, page 30, May 29, 1864

Seerley journal, page 30

Transcription, page 30
Above ruled text
Plenty wood on bottom
had to keep cattle off
a strip of oats 160 rods

Ruled text
29th Sunday, moved today
about 20 miles and are encamped
1 mile west of Jesse Shoe-
Maker's Point; had dusty road
today bought a bottle of Hostetter
bitters $1.50. mailed 1 letter
to wife 1 to Father 1 to Martins
mailed at Brewer ranch
corn worth $2.50 pr bush.
weather clear & nights
cold & generally windy
cannot hear of Jewel
& co -- past and repast many
that we saw in Iowa
feel pretty well


 Seerley journal, page 31, May 30, 1864

Seerley journal, page 31

Transcription, page 31
Above ruled text
no wood
18 miles to day

Ruled text
30th today drove over prairie
as before no bluff or ridge
visible on the right.  today
we came to Wood's river
and this evening are on
the very high bluff above the
Sawmill of Jesse Shoemaker
at the place where the road
crosses the river & 35 miles
East of Fort Kearney. no
grass worth naming. Will
have to leave and first
grass we find will stop
and graze. Yesterday bought
1 bot. Hostetter bitters $1.50
Jim Lawler lost keg & found it


  Seerley journal, page 32, May 31, 1864

Seerley journal, page 32

Transcription, page 32
Above ruled text
Some wood, poor water
good grass

Ruled text
31 this has been a windy
day especially afternoon
can scarcely keep the tent
up - are encamped on
Woods River so drove
about 17 miles. houses quite
plenty. all generally covered
with dirt and Sod & farmed
South side of Wood river -
nothing of note transpired
only a sore foot - cannot
walk & drive so must sit
in wagon - understand that
it is impossible to cross
to Kearney - feel sorry &
am not satisfied

Right of ruled text
found no good grass
in morning


Seerley journal, page 33, June 1, 1864

Seerley journal, page 33

Transcription, page 33
Above ruled text
plenty wood good spring water
good grass (on west of slope

Ruled text
June 1st drove one mile &
got tire set on small wag-
-on paid $6.00 in the afternoon
took wagon & 8 of us went
out on the bluffs & had a buffalo
hunt went out I should
think 10 or 12 miles. saw 4
antelope but did not get
a shot - went through a
city of Prairie dogs - I shot
at one just shot over it.
killed one chicken went home
in the night - got lost but in
course here we are tired
and call buffalo meat
poor stuff -


 Seerley journal, page 34, June 2, 1864

Seerley journal, page 34

Transcription, page 34
Above ruled text
grass north of River good &
plenty of good dry wood

Ruled text
2nd continued at same
place waiting for Jewel &co
as we expected them up. done
up our washing. I wrote 3 letters
one to A. Fluckey or Geo. Mysner
1 to wife 1 to Joe Smith
this evening Jewel & Ill. boys
all came in - in all 46 teams
here. 5 wagons had to get
the tire set cost $6.00 per
wagon. in this place has been
the best grass - best range
good Spring and Wood river
for cattle water being nice
and clear. the boys killed several
Prairie dogs. all is well -


Seerley journal, page 35, June 3, 1864

Seerley journal, page 35

Transcription, page 35
Above ruled text
no wood & rather poor grass

Ruled text
3rd this morning Jewel & all
started in company and mailed
3 letters at Nebraska Centre -
Saw the flag at Ft. Kearney. It
looked fine & large. it made
me feel good to see our banner
the flag of my country once again
we are now encamped on the
bank of Platte & are joined in a
corraille with Illinois boys
& may perhaps go along with them
at the last house they were
making coffin for a Wisconsin
emigrant who died today - they
are intending to take him back
John C. went around Kearney


 Seerley journal, page 36, June 4, 1864

Seerley journal, page 36

Transcription, page 36
Above ruled text
did not need wood

Ruled text
Saturday 4th continued at the
same place today. we are corailled
with the Illinois Fulton Co. boys.
and so shall have to do guard
guard duty soon - today saw
many teams pass. saw &
became acquainted with a
number of the good & true Masonic symbol
took a good wash in
Platte - we now understand
that Laman is close up
& Billy has gone to see -
I am told that myer's Co.
was at Columbus to arrest
a man for hurrahing for Jeff.
Davis. (military here)


Seerley journal, page 37, June 5, 1864

Seerley journal, page 37

Transcription, page 37
Above ruled text
no wood
never stop here
22 mi
here Billy left

Ruled text
Sunday 5th left camp in order
going with an Illinois train.
crossing deep ravine. Dry creek
& fed at noon south of road
at a small marshy slough
afternoon passed Elm
Creek. very little water. went
on about 4 miles and stopped
North of road poor grass &
wretched water, I was detailed
on guard duty morning watch
today saw plenty of Buffalo heads
and also one Buffalo in the
distance. Boys went to shoot it
but did not get a shot -
(am dissatisfied)


Seerley journal, page 38, June 6, 1864

Seerley journal, page 38

Transcription, page 38
Above ruled text
men had red writing on wagon
no wood & poor good water & poor grass
20 mi

Ruled text
Monday 6th this morning Bill Rod-
man and Jas Thomas dissolved
partnership. Bill took out his
things and cow - so I took his
first leaders for my team - Jim
Lawler stayed back also. So
we left some time after train
Started. drove 8 miles west of
Buffalo creek - very poor water
had none for dinner -- drove
till near Sundown - about
10 miles & are encamped on the
Platte bottom. plenty of small
well water tollerably good. lots
encamped around us; very
dry and dusty (am well)


Seerley journal, page 39, June 7, 1864

Seerley journal, page 39

Transcription, page 39
Above ruled text
at noon Ill. boys near by
no wood
good grass
16 mi
old man fault my spring

Ruled text
Tuesday 7th this morning had some
trouble to know one of our oxen.
cattle kept close around. started
in good season - halted on a
small slough - no water but good
grass & finally encamped on Platte
with first rate grass and abundance
of it. here dug a well. plenty water.
saw man with yoke cows alone on
the planes. came to camp
reported lots indians 1 mile above -
saw none yet. can see many teams
on the other side river. are camped
opposite to us. have plenty of
company around us. today no
wind, still dry. (am well)


Seerley journal, page 40, June 8, 1864

Seerley journal, page 40

Transcription, page 40
Above ruled text
good grass & water no wood
at noon near Whitcomb
16 mi

Ruled text
Wed. 8th last night we drove our
oxen close to wagon  found them near in
the morning. Started on our Journey
in a crowd of teams. drove over
very sandy roads. crossed a point
of the bluff. then down into the
marshy bottom and dine'd at
noon on a rough bottom of
Platte. road rather heavy & sandy
all day - are encamped west
side a small swift Branch
near the bluff - musketos very
troublesome - heavy bank on the
west - looks like a storm
grass tollerably good, no wood
today. very hot at noon. (feel well)

Right of ruled text
Skunk Creek  Smoke with Buff chips


Seerley journal, page 41, June 9, 1864

Seerley journal, page 41

Transcription, page 41
Above ruled text
no wood dug well somewhat
Manning 8 16

Ruled text
Thurs. 9th left our encampment
as usual, drove 7 miles to
Pawnee Springs - fine spring
at the head of Pawnee Swamp.
filled our keg. drove around
to the river beyond the Sand
Ridge and stopped for
noon 1/3 mile from road - 1 mile
brought us to a small ^carrion^ creek
where the dead body of a man
from Missouri. killed by Indians
in May - was buried. we felt
hostile - are encamped in the
open Platte bottom close by
an Iowa train from Wintersett
(We are all well,)


Seerley journal, page 42, June 10, 1864

Seerley journal, page 42

Transcription, page 42
Above ruled text
good grass & water
no wood

Ruled text
Friday 10th continued in same
place today. I and 4 others went hunting
on the bluff shot at an antelope. killed a
large rattlesnake. saw a wolf. saw no
Indians kept a good lookout for them
came home at 1 o'clock. Jewel & co.
passed 1 mile above, - last night
a woman was confined - child died
buried today. saw two brethren
find friends every day. this
evening had a dispute with an Iowa
Baptist Preacher - am satisfied that
we did not make a fortune at it
he is very positive, expect to stay
until Monday. very windy looks
like a storm was coming


Seerley journal, page 43, June 11, 1864

Seerley journal, page 43

Transcription, page 43
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sat 11 still encamped here
Jewel & company still above us.
went hunting again today. Saw
one antelope. lots of crane & one man
Saw an Elk on the bluff. no Indians
yet show themselves. Saw John
today he appeared glad to see me.
the weather is drizzly & cold. bad
uncomfortable weather. we are
now joined in the Madison train
& shall have preaching Sundays
tonight Mr. Whitcomb will
preach at Jewel's camp. I am
detailed on guard duty for
morning watch, don't feel well,
will go to meetings


Seerley journal, page 44, June 12, 1864

Seerley journal, page 44

Transcription, page 44
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sunday 12th Still at same place
this day have not been well. went
last night & heard the Preacher, he
preached John 3rd the15 verse rather
controversial for me - this forenoon
had school - at 2 P. M. preaching -
from 10 Lepers. labored hard to
prove that to fall was impossible -
did not prove it to my satisfaction
Several Hurrahed for Jef Davis when
they heard that Grant was defeated
Saw two Masonic symbol today. expect to start
in morning. am tired being cold
damp drizzly weather - we are
now in the heart of Indian country
yet see none. are above Cotton wood


 Seerley journal, page 45, June 13, 1864

Seerley journal, page 45

Transcription, page 45
Above ruled text
Mc. team run off
no wood

Ruled text
Mond 13th started in company of
Winterset train. woman rather
weakly. passed wide deep creek
& several other muddy creeks &
stopped at 10 o'clock and took
dinner - woman worse - saw grave of
a Mr. Foster of Ohio aged 64 years one
of Josephine Jonson & one not named
buried lately - one mile west of our
last encampment at 12 small
Islands close after each other &
close to shore. are encamped in
good grass. I dug well - good one
do for 100 teams. am not very
well yet. intend to corraille the
cattle tonight. drove about 15 mi.


 Seerley journal, page 46, June 14, 1864

Seerley journal, page 46

Transcription, page 46
Above ruled text

Ruled text
14 Tues. laid still today. woman
not well enough. last night it
rained very hard and again today
rainy & gloomy - looks like settled
rain. most of emigrants have no
wood so are in a bad fix - 45 miles
above I understand there is some
Cedar 2 miles out in bluffs -
will have to hunt it up - willow
brush makes a poor fire in rain &
buf chips worse yet. river high
& backing out into the slough &
creeks. am afraid won't get to
Idaho this season. wish to
hurry up, but cannot as
long as it rains. took pills last night


Seerley journal, page 47, June 15, 1864

Seerley journal, page 47

Transcription, page 47
Above ruled text
No 1 grasses at
1/4 mile below

Ruled text
Wed. 15 rained most of last night
most of horses got loose about
1 o'clock & all hands got out &
secured them again - did not
herd them last night for the rain. old
man Whitcomb keeps harping
around on Baptist peculiarities
left camp late - on east bank
of E. Bluff creek saw 12 tents
& lots Sioux Indians and 3 mile
further 30 tents - lots young one & squaws
great beggars - drove over sand bluff
hard drive 4 miles sand in 4 cliff
ridges. Whitcomb & sons stopped
before coming into camp. are
dissatisfied with Captain -

Right of ruled text
Rained at noon


Seerley journal, page 48, June 16, 1864

Seerley journal, page 48

Transcription, page 48
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Thurs. 16 waited until bal. of
co. came up all out of fix - left
in a train crossed sand hills &
stopped at noon in poor grass
C. Whitcomb went back for rope
we left about 3 o'clock and
crossed small creek and all
encamped together near bluff
rather poor grass. crossed many
branches - ground marshy. road
bad - no Indians today. lots good
willow. 40 mules here that
stampeded when man was shot
found them below prairie creek -
Am tollerably well, like many
of our company, woman better.


 Seerley journal, page 49, June 17, 1864

Seerley journal, page 49

Transcription, page 49
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Frid. 17. left camp scattering
Whitcombs behind. had bad
& swampy road all along the
river where the cedar grows -
the bluffs now become rocky -
grazed at noon in poor place
had many bad sloughs to
cross. Woody stalled in a
creek this afternoon & I lost
the whip lash. Charley went
ahead and got good grass
are encamped on Platte
bottom (don't know where)
am in good hopes of some
day seeing Ft. Laramie -
crossed unclear


 Seerley journal, page 50, June 18, 1864

Seerley journal, page 50

Transcription, page 50
Above ruled text
graves of 4 children

Ruled text
Sat 18th today had very sandy
road for a couple miles
then came to the bluff at
mouth of Wolfs creek.
this is about 3/4 mile across
and very steep. hard to cross
we did not double teams.
camped at noon 1 mile ahead
of it then drove some miles
and crossed Watch creek &
are encamped in vicinity
of river on low damp
ground. about 1 1/2 mile
west of creek. bottom narrow
& rough. road now passable
very hot at noon. am well


Seerley journal, page 51, June 19, 1864

Seerley journal, page 51

Transcription, page 51
Above ruled text
we are above
Pawpaw train
our cattle went up to
a bull 2 mils off

Ruled text
Sund 19 traveled today. Jones
ahead. had good road. passed
ash hollow. here was a train
on South side. passed Castle
creek (fine creek) also Castle
rock on south side. Past night
I went to bluffs north, saw
pretty cliffs, thought I saw
two Indians go in ravine
went in after but none there.
at dusk started back off
2 miles. saw several graves
today. Weather warm & after-
noon no water. grass rather
poor (drove about 20 miles)
prospect of more rain.


Seerley journal, page 52, June 20, 1864

Seerley journal, page 52

Transcription, page 52
Above ruled text
here we thought Whitcomb had gone
by as our road was to river but
they came near out

Ruled text
Mond 20 Traveled near 10
miles & fed at noon on short
grass near Crab creek a beautiful
small stream about 6 feet wide
road generally good. came
near having a row with a train
for passing in before us.
we drove them off. are now
encamped on Platte 1 mile
East of where we cross the
bluff called Cobble Hills
grass closely grazed off.
Buffalo gnats & musketoes
are very troublesome
Lots encamped on bottom
am well & hope you same


 Seerley journal, page 53, June 21, 1864

Seerley journal, page 53

Transcription, page 53
Above ruled text
7 mi

Ruled text
21st crossed Hills &
stopped in the plain
above and went 3 miles north
after cedar wood. found it in
abundance good & dry. here
we pass what is called ancient
Bluff ruins resembling castles
hundreds of names are here.
it makes a man giddy to
look down on plain below -
grand sight indeed. grass
very poor. are washing up
some of the mules are gone
may have to stop longer
Saw A. P. Flory's name on bluffs
one day ahead of us


 Seerley journal, page 54, June 22, 1864

Seerley journal, page 54

Transcription, page 54
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Wed. finishing drying clothing &
ironing. went on bluffs. had a fine
time looking about. at 2 O'clock
left & drove about 8 miles and
encamped close to river. the water
in our wells not good - grass
short yet enough for our teams.
Weather warm and dry. sand
plenty and rather heavy going.
Our boys in the train are singing
Secession songs. Thomas don't
feel at home among them yet
he likes to be along for they are
clever to us - we are now in
sight of Chimney rock about
20 miles off - (feel well)


Seerley journal, page 55, June 23, 1864

Seerley journal, page 55

Transcription, page 55
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Thurs. 23rd moved today about
20 miles - passed Court house
rock in distance on south side
and are encamped about 5
miles east of Chimney rock -
rather poor grass all day -
our cattle are on an island
and so are doing tollerably
well. dug a deep hole but
little water - this day has
been cool and good for
driving. poney express
started in advance. see
telegraph across river
quite a number of teams
also. not in a good humor.


 Seerley journal, page 56, June 24, 1864

Seerley journal, page 56

Transcription, page 56
Above ruled text
20 m

Ruled text
Frid. 24th this morning John
Rairdan joined us having
quit Whitcomb. they and McConky
dropped behind - We passed
Chimney rock are now in good
grass splendid water by digging
and are perhaps 5 miles east of
Scotts bluffs. they are 20 miles from
Chimney rock. appear 4 or 5 -
the road has been good. weather
comfortable, but gnats & musketos
are awful - bottom 10 mile wide.
beautiful evening - all pleasant
& in good spirits. beautiful sight
or view on south side can see 40
miles. see Laramie peak 50 miles off


 Seerley journal, page 57, June 25, 1864

Seerley journal, page 57

Transcription, page 57
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sat 25th started in good season
drove about 19 miles passed
Scott's bluffs and encamped
for noon on spring creek a
beautiful creek which runs
with the road on south side
for nearly one mile but does
not cross. this is the trout
creek. - are within 1/2 day drive of
Jewel - passed small lake or
slough full of snakes. dug
bully well - plenty of cold
good water - musketoes bad
no good - hot afternoon,
cool night. am well as
unclear. good grass &c


Seerley journal, page 58, June 26, 1864

Seerley journal, page 58

Transcription, page 58
Above ruled text
Catherine unclear
2 unclear 20 m

Ruled text
Sund 26 traveled today.
started at 6 1/2 oclock drove
to Indian encampment
by noon went over to the
Lodges 55 of them - plenty of
Indians large portly fellows
Jones lost his keg by shooting
I tried to get mockasins
but could not tonight are
encamped south of road in
good grass. good well water.
Jewel 1/2 day ahead got a
Cotton wood letter from him
today - intend to get near
Laramie tomorrow. am well
& hope to hear from Louisa soon


 Seerley journal, page 59, June 27, 1864

Seerley journal, page 59

Transcription, page 59
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Mond 27 started for Laramie
had rather sandy road &
at noon no grass - drove
past Ferry & tied up no
grass being there - had
out double guard plenty of
of White Indians to steal
blank line
here the river again
divides one Laramie fork
& North fork or Platte
the Ft. lies in a low place
does not look grand
I do not fancy country -
must leave early


  Seerley journal, page 60, June 28, 1864

Seerley journal, page 60

Transcription, page 60
Above ruled text
8 m

Ruled text
Tues. 28  teams started
early to find feed I and
Davenport crossed over to
Ft. I mailed letter to Homer
Louisa - Martin - Betsy -
William  Father Smith &
Bert McWilliams recd
4 one from Louisa. 2 from
Homer one from Peter Blue
lost one after I read it
paid 50 cents ferry
left at 10 oclock went
8 miles & overtook train
laid up ballance of day
country rough & barren
am well -


 Seerley journal, page 61, June 29, 1864

Seerley journal, page 61

Transcription, page 61
Above ruled text
24 m

Ruled text
Wed 29 - started early & passed
soldier camp then cold spring
enough water for 3 children
next struck the river after
passing the roughest road I ever
drove over in the Black Hills
no grass here - so drove to Alder
clump arrived after night found
little water and so tied up all
night. not having had any feed
that was good for 3 days.
Here we found Jewel & co
& many other trains that we
have been passing & repassing
kept no guard out too
many here for Indians


 Seerley journal, page 62, June 30, 1864 

Seerley journal, page 62

Transcription, page 62
Above ruled text
18 m

Ruled text
Thurs 30 this morning early loosed
cattle drove them to bluff to graze
tollerably good bunch grass. left
camp at 11 o'clock intending to go
9 miles but soon found that it
was 18 miles to river - so had to
hurry up our teams. we were alone
and reported bad country for
Emigrants to pass in small trains
so we hurried up to 3 other trains
for protection. after dark got to
river. big bend. turned cattle
loose - guarded head of bank
lots here. no grass. plenty across
river. are north of Laramie peak
cold & windy. dusty & Parched.


 Seerley journal, page 63, July 1, 1864 

Seerley journal, page 63

Transcription, page 63
Above ruled text
July 1st

Ruled text
Friday. this morning drove
our horses cattle across Platte then
took horses across & herded all
day - caught some fine fish -
fried some on stones for dinner
saw men swim cattle one man
came near drowning had pair
boots across his arm. called
out that he could wade - did so.
Isaac Miller came near being
drowned - went down Several
times - four men got him out -
very sick - I took horse down
and got him on took him to camp
about 150 teams here grass good
across but deep crossing


Seerley journal, page 64, July 2, 1864 

Seerley journal, page 64

Transcription, page 64
Above ruled text
good bunch grass
on bluffs
8 m

Ruled text
Sat July 2nd had a hard time
to get cattle over river - rode
4 into it and after about 3
hours got them across. then
yoked up started one train ahead
of us - drove 8 miles till noon
halted under a grove of large
Cottonwood trees - nice place
near river. here one cow went
across with a herd of cattle.
I got a glass and looked
over saw her - hired a man to go
after her - by this time too late
to move so halted for ballance
of day. plenty encamped here -
tied up the teams tonight


Seerley journal, page 65, July 3, 1864

Seerley journal, page 65

Transcription, page 65
Above ruled text
16 m

Ruled text
Sund 3rd drove today passed
place where Indians stole horses
Rodman & others saw stampede. passed
over burnt rocky mountainous country
rough roads - and encamped at night
on bank of river below burnt ridges
drove our cattle around bend of river
below tollerably good grass. about 200
teams encamped today Jewel & co
fell in train & expect to travel to
gether through this Indian country
here the Indians are now dangerous
we keep a good watch out - some killed
and stock missing daily - Intend
to make arrangements to go to
Idaho - am well


 Seerley journal, page 66, July 4, 1864

Seerley journal, page 66

Transcription, page 66
Above ruled text
18 m

Ruled text
Mon 4th this morning a salute
was fired by Eureka and Hurlburt
train. went after cattle. started
over rolling country. My team got
frightened ran furiously for a time
got them stopped no harm done -
passed a black sulpher spring good
water. train over 2 miles long.
very dusty much sand - some hard
traveling. are encamped near
river down ravine. poor grass
have made arrangement with Mr.
Cooley to go to Idaho. are encamped
with Jewel & co. rather cool
fine for travelling. am well
& expect to leave Thomas tomorrow


Seerley journal, page 67, July 5, 1864

Seerley journal, page 67

Transcription, page 67
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Tues. 5th moved from camp. passed
very gravelly road today had
heavy hills & sand good part of
the way. passed man at soldier
station who lost 17 horses by Indians
at noon no grass, drove hard  &
encamped opposite by mountain
intend to cross cattle over
river for grass. saw coach pass
this evening. are above Platt
ford. nothing took place
worthy of mentioning. Yet
well and still in good


Seerley journal, page 68, July 6, 1864

Seerley journal, page 68

Transcription, page 68
Above ruled text
5 miles

Ruled text
Wed 6th started this morning. left in
lead. Jewel & co halted for one ox. last
night I swam river on horseback & stood
guard 7 in company. grass plenty
across. had trouble to get mules over
when I came across the cattle teams
were under way. we drove a few
miles & stopped for ballance of day
having found good grass. today
Bill Rodman was uneasy because
some in train said that they would
like to shoot a Tally shooter. Just
below our encampment is a good
coal bank. here is plenty of good
dry cottonwood & Platte water first
rate camp ground. saw no Indians


 Seerley journal, page 69, July 7, 1864Seerley journal, page 69

Transcription, page 69
Above ruled text
8 miles

Ruled text
Thurs.7th left camp and
drove over heavy sandy road
came to lower bridge about 11
oclock A. M. here is the Bozman
cut off so there being a train under
way of organization for Big horn
I left Jim Thomas & went with Mr.
Cooley. we are encamped back of
Ranch toward mountain. some
55 teams here now & others reported
coming. Dan Noffsinger & Kemery
being along game is reported
plenty along mountain, some are
gone out now, will stay all night
Am not certain that we are going
best route - am well


Seerley journal, page 70, July 8-9, 1864 

Seerley journal, page 70

Transcription, page 70
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Frid 8th are still encamped same place
more teams coming in. A committee of
2 was appointed to go to upper bridge
and find out all about the Bridger
cut off the com. I now think we will
take the Bridger route - tonight we
take a vote - am not very well
Sat 9th continued same place next
to mountain to hunt saw some
beautiful sights fine scenery
found splendid water. Noffsinger
& I killed a fine Buck. divided with
13 teams, all well pleased. am now
making arrangements to go Bridger
cut off. considerable spouting on the
subject. Am getting better again


 Seerley journal, page 71, July 10-11, 1864 

Seerley journal, page 71

Transcription, page 71
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sund 10th continued at same
place nothing transpired today
worthy of note  Expect to start
for Bridger pass tomorrow
Mond 11th started today for upper
bridge a long train, mailed letter to
J. L. White. bought pencil and tacks at store
Saw Whitcombs & McConkey. went over
the worst road yet driven over that is down
hill - some sand are now encamped
on river - cattle across at Red-
Bank or Buttes. We are said to be
4 miles below Bridger cutoff. & at
last point on Platte the next being
Sweet Water branch of Platte. am
not well, diarrhea troublesome


 Seerley journal, page 72, July 12, 1864

Seerley journal, page 72

Transcription, page 72
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Tues 12th continued at same place
near mineral springs tarried for
other trains to come up today caught
fine fish. some rogue carried off my
rifle & powder horn, cannot find it
this evening a train of 30 teams
arrived for Bridger cut off.
intend to move tomorrow.
today saw a Mr. Terrill of
Liberty township on his way to
California - know not what has
become of A. P. Flory his man did
move for Bozman


Seerley journal, page 73, July 13, 1864

Seerley journal, page 73

Transcription, page 73
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Wed 13 I stayed all night
with the cattle on South side
of river - this morning moved
for Bridger cut off - 42 teams
in train. now 30 more coming up
from last bend of Platte at
Mineral Springs drove 5 miles to
cut off - then 9 miles some water
no grass then 3 miles further
water, good grass & Sage wood
today had good road some
curious rocks around bluffs
game becoming plenty
think I will like the Bridger
road. we are in good hopes
of good times -


Seerley journal, page 74, July 14, 1864

Seerley journal, page 74

Transcription, page 74
Above ruled text
do Senators & Rep get $3000
per annum & milage

Ruled text
Thurs 14th continued same place
waiting for a train to come
up. good grass. water plenty
but too sweet. today 4 deer
brought into camp - divided
out - antelope plenty why 6
teams of promised train
only came in - 24 taking other
road - organized by electing
Mr. Stafford captain -
expect to start in morning
all tie up at night so have
little guard to do. I found
that a man in train found
pistol but did nto return
it paid $5.00 for rifle


 Seerley journal, page 75, July 15, 1864

Seerley journal, page 75

Transcription, page 75
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Fri. 15 started 6 1/2 oclock
over good road generally
no water nor grass for 25
miles drove into corraille at
dark plenty water for stock
grass in narrow ravines
Sage for wood, water N. W.
road & at head of Slough
a good large spring of good
water Loftes & Belden quarrl
I shot Antelope but lost it
7 brought into camp. saw
about 30. country barren
& no feed except in spots
I like Capt Stafford
train 71 teams


Seerley journal, page 76, July 16, 1864

Seerley journal, page 76

Transcription, page 76
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sat 16 left camp 8 1/2 oclock
passed some water in wells
in slough in 10 miles. I went
hunting. shot 3 times. no hit -
went again killed a doe Ant.
went in evening killed 2
Ant. Bucks - went after them
got in at 12 at night
encamped in large wash no
grass & all water in holes
dug for it. road good
but dusty - drove about
20 miles. tied up cattle
without feed. did not
stop at noon. am
tired & sleepy.


Seerley journal, page 77, July 17, 1864

Seerley journal, page 77

Transcription, page 77
Above ruled text
did not find grass

Ruled text
Sund. 17th drove some 5 miles
came to a little grass, dug
holes & watered cattle - drank
freely - stopped here till 5
o'clock P. M. Started, drove
near 10 miles encamped
near branch with Willow
trees on it - no grass, tied
up - Several cattle died today
Some gave out & may yet die
intend to find grass out
3 miles from here - a card
points that way for grass
- things look billious -
road good. Bridger is
some with the boys


Seerley journal, page 78, July 18-19, 1864

Seerley journal, page 78

Transcription, page 78
Above ruled text
fed lots pork along here
got Black gooseberries

Ruled text
Mond 18th continued same
place. cattle tired needing rest
Two died yesterday & 2 today
Suppose water & dust cause
- grass short yet cattle look
pretty well filled -
Tues. 19th drove about 7 miles
found good mild rye & water
Stafford train lost 3 more cattle
Some more sick. had some bad
rough road. one bad hill descent
game scarcer. Some rain today
quite muddy - nasty getting
around. small running stream
good water. no alkali intend
to drive tomorrow again


Seerley journal, page 79, July 20, 1864

Seerley journal, page 79

Transcription, page 79
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Wed. 20th drove about 7 miles
good grass lots of water
& good water. I & Pauley
went hunting. P. killed one
antelope in afternoon & and
Dave killed black tail deer
Plenty of Elk & Buffalo
signs - saw none. more
cattle died some yet
sick. think it a Kind
of dry murrain. we think
of continuing over today
if so may go hunting
am well and only
wish to go ahead to
get to work


Seerley journal, page 80, July 21-22, 1864

Seerley journal, page 80

Transcription, page 80
Above ruled text
on 22 Frazier upset

Ruled text
Thurs. 21 continued same
place. some more cattle sick
Some died today - all scared
about it - one opened seemed
dry murrain - went hunting
and brought in one antelope
killed by Swain. Emigrants
well generally Lots of goose berries
22 drove 9 miles today
and stopped for day. helped
kill an antelope. saw many -
Some Indian signs. no Indians.
have good grass. good spring
water - country improving - are
near the summit. will cross
tomorrow. Am in good health


 Seerley journal, page 81, July 23, 1864

Seerley journal, page 81

Transcription, page 81
Above ruled text
here saw a foot
of grizzly bear
2 mile down
ravine is a small
spring good water

Ruled text
23 Sat. today crossed summit
some steep road - rather dan
gerous - one of Staffords wagons
broke down - drove 8 miles
& stopped between bluffs at
a small creek - herded the
cattle 2 miles up ravine. was
on guard afternoon, rained
some, poor water & indifferent
grass - sage hens plenty.
rattlesnakes at home here
Country hilly or bluffy -
no game seen today - am
tired at delays - expect no
water for 15 miles ahead
am well -

Right of ruled text
muddy creek


Seerley journal, page 82, July 24, 1864

Seerley journal, page 82

Transcription, page 82
Above ruled text
22 m

Ruled text
Sund 24th Started early. our
train ahead - Stafford not well
pleased. don't care - they drive
too slow - drove about 22
miles & encamped on Wind
river - a fine wide river
good water - good grass &
plenty No 1 wood - passed
barren country today
mostly followed small dry
creeks. road somewhat
hilly yet good - no break
downs today, some of Stafford
train got in late perhaps 11
o clock - no guard on duty all
mad & I am not pleased


 Seerley journal, page 83, July 25, 1864

Seerley journal, page 83

Transcription, page 83
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Mond 25th river large & rapid
tried to find ford. accidentally
found ferry boat floating past
stopped it - fixed it up and at
5 oclock P. M. commenced crossing
teams - one at a time - we got
over at dark - kept on all night.
in the evening some tried fording
but came near drowning horse
cattle & men - ran down to help -
they cut rope and drifted out -
find men show their true
Character on this trip. Real shirks
Some never help, but first
to cross when ferry ready
& then not help others --


 Seerley journal, page 84, July 26, 1864

Seerley journal, page 84

Transcription, page 84
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Tues 26. finished ferrying by
9 Oclock A. M. started at
12 N. drove about 8 miles
over dusty & rather rough road
to place where road comes
to the river - good grass &
Wood but water red & muddy
dug holes for drinking water.
Several cattle sick. some died
two men sick some fine
gold found in bed of river -
quite bluffy & picturesque -
game scarce - Kemry's ox
better today - he is in a fix
& stew - all in commotion.
am well as common


Seerley journal, page 85, July 27-28, 1864

Seerley journal, page 85

Transcription, page 85
Above ruled text
Kemry sold out
Shanley got into river

Ruled text
Wed 27. continued same place
Gordon too sick to travel
2 steers died today Burns
got in reported tracks 30
miles back. look for a
train to come up -
am well & satisfied
Thur 28 traveled about 15
miles had some very rough
roads full of gullies. Some
cattle died today. are encam
ped near Wind river 1 mile below
Dry creek - grass good on island
wood plenty. road very dusty
have to stand cattle guard
with Ricketts - 3 men sick

Right of ruled text
at noon were separate
Dave & I went swimming


 Seerley journal, page 86, July 29, 1864

Seerley journal, page 86

Transcription, page 86
Above ruled text
16 m

Ruled text
Fri 29th Started 6 1/2 Oclock
all mixed up - drove about 8
miles & nooned in a fine shade
on river bank - afternoon start
ed in advance of Stafford
division. will split up
and go alone. encamped
1/4 mile from river had
some grass abundance of
dry wood & river water
to day some of train went
on a raft & had hard
time. I went hunting
but no game - are all
corrailled together - no
cattle died today (am well


Seerley journal, page 87, July 30, 1864

Seerley journal, page 87

Transcription, page 87
Above ruled text
12 miles

Ruled text
Sat 30th Started 6 1/4 Oclock
in advance of Stafford train
today roads were good but
still dusty - no cattle died
today - drove today about 12
miles and are encamped
near where road leaves the
river for Grey bull creek
all the sick are improving
& soon will be fit for duty
Kemry & Dave are still
with Mr. Borah - are
corrailled together again
are now in good spirits
& hope soon to hear of
Yellow stone diggins

Right of ruled text
some fine cat fish caught
crossed cattle over river


Seerley journal, page 88, July 31, 1864

Seerley journal, page 88

Transcription, page 88
Above ruled text
14 m

Ruled text
Sund. 31st today drove about
14 miles no water or grass on the
way and are encamped on Grey
Bull river a fine stream of good
water - wood plenty - grass rather poor
the road has been good but very
dusty as usual - this afternoon
met two men the first on the
Cutoff - at encampment 2 men came
in on return said to be with
Bridger on return - gave bad report
of Yellow stone - say no gold - no
work - all seem gloomy & despond
ing - I am bound to see this
bauble burst or find gold
the folks generally well


Seerley journal, page 89, August 1, 1864

Seerley journal, page 89

Transcription, page 89
Above ruled text
15 m
August 1864

Ruled text
1st  Tally day. one year ago had a
fuss. today Stafford laid up
we drove out & drove about 15
miles to where road leaves G. Bull
grass short water None - & wood
in abundance. this morning met
Bridger & train returning. they
gave hard report. some of our
boys are discouraged. Kemry
has gone back with Bridger
I wrote a letter to Louisa &
Sent by Kemry - I expect to
try Idaho a while & if I fail
then time to back out. we
expect two hard drives ahead
35 & 25 miles am well


 Seerley journal, page 90, August 2-3, 1864

Seerley journal, page 90

Transcription, page 90
Above ruled text
Say good grass ten miles above
watering place

Ruled text
Aug Tues 2nd Started 3 O'clock
P M. and drove until about
9 1/2 P. M. Stopped - tied up
teams and fed them. the
grass we carried along -
passed over some very rough
country. camped separately. tired
Wed 3rd Started at daylight &
drove until near 10 A. M. came
to stinking river - watered &
drove about 10 miles & found
grass turned out for day
This was 35 miles & no grass
this is a fine stream - good
wood but rather poor grass
am tired but well --


Seerley journal, page 91, August 4-5, 1864

Seerley journal, page 91

Transcription, page 91
Above ruled text
drove 15 miles
Sage creek (with arrow pointing toward Thurs. 4th in ruled text below)

Ruled text
Thurs.4th Humbug! no move
Friday 5th Started 9 O'clock
in confusion - crossed river
drove about 6 miles in heavy
Sand to small dry creek
dug holes found some water -
then I went hunting Seen
some game got none - found
good water & holes & good grass
tall rye - here encamped for
night. Boreh & Pauley & McKinney
gone ahead - now no Captain
nor order all in confusion
no one willing to wait for
another - wish I was through


Seerley journal, page 92, August 6, 1864

Seerley journal, page 92

Transcription, page 92
Above ruled text
August 6

Ruled text
Sat 6th drove about 6 miles by
10 Oclock stopped at good
water & grass saw plenty of
Antelope shot none. Saw a
Buffalo shot twice hit
once - 3 others shots made
then passed camp - one man
took horse & pursued & killed
it. now some mad & want to go
on & others want meat. All now
agree to stop for it & a party
gone to bring it in - came
in with a wagon load left 400#s
supposed rest 1400#s - very large
I find it No 1 meat - I broke
its right shoulder badly, (well


 Seerley journal, page 93, August 7, 1864

Seerley journal, page 93

Transcription, page 93
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Sund 7th started in good season
stopped at noon at fine branch
no grass - droves of antelope on
left hand - high mountains
all around at distance. drove
to Clark's fork at dark. tied
up no grass - made 24 miles.
passed summit between stinking
and Clarks, very high bluffs. fine
Scenery - good road for such
country - all in good order
reorganized again. Lebo capt.
Saw men returning. bad report
of Idaho - feel sorry about
it yet will go ahead
Cook in a scold (I am angry)


 Seerley journal, page 94, August 8, 1864

Seerley journal, page 94

Transcription, page 94
Above ruled text
Mr. Shidler died
Aug. 2, 1864

Ruled text
Mond 8th started early &
crossed Clark's fork & stopped
until 9 1/2 O'clock. then drove
about 6 miles & encamped
on bank of river - one wagon
out of fix had to be repaired.
went fishing for trout. some
fine trout & catfish were caught
- passed Shields train - met
Express boy - gave favorable
account of mines. boys in good
spirits. this is a fine swift
river full of fine fish:
very stony in bottom - some
very fine cottonwood timber
on it - Indian signs plenty


 Seerley journal, page 95, August 9, 1864

Seerley journal, page 95

Transcription, page 95
Above ruled text
15 m

Ruled text
Tues. 9th drove in cattle in
good season - one of James
Mortice's steers missing. had
to wait about 2 hours - Shields
train passed - 9 teams of
our train turned off too
& left - we soon overtook
them drove to 2nd crossing
of Rocky river for dinner
drove over the river at 3rd
ford & encamped close
to Wright & co - this river
is clear very swift &
tremendously stony -
seen grizzly today -
some fine trout caught


Seerley journal, page 96, August 10, 1864

Seerley journal, page 96

Transcription, page 96
Above ruled text
made 22 miles

Ruled text
Wed 10th Started 5 1/2 o'clock
ahead of Wright & co. drove
about 10 miles till noon
crossed small creek - good
water some springs - good rolling
country. and halted for night
on E. bank of ^East^ Rose bud the
finest stream yet seen. Snow
visible on the left on big horn.
here a large train is prospecting
now & report waited for. If report
is good will lie over & pitch in -
this evening saw Dave he is
1 1/2 mile ahead - expect to come
up today - saw 3 Crow Indians
today - they seem friendly


 Seerley journal, page 97, August 11-12, 1864

Seerley journal, page 97

Transcription, page 97
Above ruled text
100 yards above ford at W. Bud is
a fine spring
15 mi

Ruled text
Thurs. 11th laid over - no gold
caught some fine trout
Frid 12 started 8 o'clock
crossed Rosebud river. middle
branch & West Rosebud before
noon. all clear cold swift
streams - axletree deep - plenty
of trout. some 18 inches long -
best water yet seen. rolling
country all grassy & looks fine
passed down bad descent.
1 mile west of West Rosebud
is a fine spring - drove about
15 miles & encamped on high
prairie. little water plenty wood
Small pox boys along close

Seerley journal, page 98, August 13, 1864

Seerley journal, page 98

Transcription, page 98
Above ruled text
Homer 16 years old
saw skull of Indian

Ruled text
Sat 13th. Started early. road
divides. we took left hand
passed over heavy rolling land
covered with good grass. but
little water along our route
as we are heading most streams
at 12 1/2 O'clock came to a
Small stream in sight of
Yellowstone - halted - found
good grass - today saw a
large spring 5 ft deep. drove
up Yellowstone & encamped -
river muddy & seems rising -
I caught some fine trout - river
rapid and looks large as
upper Platte, am well

Seerley journal, page 99, August 14, 1864

Seerley journal, page 99

Transcription, page 99
Above ruled text
15 mi

Ruled text
Sund 14 this morning Cooley
hauled off. Eureka intending
to lay by. So we left & soon
caught up with Pauley & co &
at 4 O'clock with Noffsinger
& co & tarried ballance of the
day. had some of the worst
stony road yet driven over -
Yellowstone is a fine river
Some of the nicest bottom
land - good soil & fine grass.
the boys are catching fine
trout - are rather uneasy
about Virginia being a bad
place for us. will soon
find out


Seerley journal, page 100, August 15, 1864

Seerley journal, page 100

Transcription, page 100
Above ruled text
18 m.

Ruled text
Mond 15th cool weather. started
in good season - I and Dave
went hunting - Saw plenty of
Antelope - gun snapped no
shot - went to river - ford
found train had passed
over - so I had to wade 1/3 mile
not over knee deep but stony
hurt my feet like rip - we are
now encamped on the Yellowst.
river about 2 miles above where
we first came to bottom. made
18 miles today, are close to the
Y. stone mountains. look
blue & Snow visible. am well
& am anxious to get through


Seerley journal, page 101, August 16, 1864

Seerley journal, page 101

Transcription, page 101
Above ruled text
18 miles

Ruled text
Tues 16 - started in Co. with
Wright & others - left Yellow
stone for the last time.
passed heavy long hill - all
heavy rolling land. plenty
of creeks for water & grass
& are encamped at crossing of
a fine stream. (will call deer
creek) - killed one fine antelope
David went along & helped bring
hide & forequarters in. I kept
1 hind quarter Jerked it for
my own use - ballance to
Cooley - plenty of trains in
Company. travelled 18 miles
are 80 from Virginia City


Seerley journal, page 102, August 17, 1864Seerley journal, page 102

Transcription, page 102
Above ruled text
at noon went into mountain after
15 m

Ruled text
Wed. 17 - Started in good time
Dekker, Borah & Wright had
cattle out - waited for them &
then followed the creek all day
very rough road - quite mountain
Some very fine pine ridges. had
bad sidling road. some of
the steepest cliffs. are
encamped on a brushy creek
where Indians used to live
lots of Lodge poles for wood -
at evening went to mountain
killed a fine Blacktail doe
Dave is jerking ham of it -
grass rather dry but yet
good feed - water first rate


 Seerley journal, page 103, August 18, 1864

 Seerley journal, page 103

Transcription, page 103
Above ruled text
17 miles

Ruled text
Thurs 18th cold morning. coll all
night. Dave & I laid by large fire
& I dried my venison. started
in good time. had very sidling
road. hard on wagons. passed
very high Peaks. drove about 9
miles & stopped for noon - we
followed small creek to head
then passed summit & are
passing west down another
going in the direction of the
Galatin fork - passed a steep
cañon - grand view. camped
at west end. no accidents
see beautiful Balsam Fir
groves - fine valley &c


 Seerley journal, page 104, August 19, 1864

Seerley journal, page 104

Transcription, page 104
Above ruled text
20 mile

Ruled text
Frid 19th went hunting this mor
ning saw 2 deer no shot
this forenoon drove into Galatin
bottom. bottom 15 miles wide. nice
several houses are here built by
Ranchers. have fine potatoes
&other vegetables. all Irrigate
drove to the east bank of west
branch of Galatin & encamped
- poor grass - fine wood - game
still plenty off of the road -
today my team Stampeded
ran furiously - passed several
wagons. Mrs Cooley Jumped out
sprained ankle &c the result
are 60 miles from Virginia City


 Seerley journal, page 105, August 20, 1864

Seerley journal, page 105

Transcription, page 105
Above ruled text
20 m

Ruled text
Sat 20th Started early. drove
14 miles to a small creek &
halted for dinner. then drove
to West bank of Madison
fork - a good looking river about
200 yards wide. generally even
depth about knee deep - here is not
much wood. none on bottom cedar
on bluff sides. water clear & cool
country bluffy. some fine vallies -
met several persons today. are
rather hopeful of procuring
work. some stir about Yellowstone
drove about 20 miles today
had a Masonic symbol meeting last night.
am still well - Dave not so


Seerley journal, page 106, August 21-24, 1864

Seerley journal, page 106

Transcription, page 106
Above ruled text
14 m

Ruled text
Sund 21st started in good
season. drove up some ravines
and passed Several fine ranches
grass good - halted for noon
at a fine ranch - drove about
5 miles further & encamped
at foot of Bluffs near a ranch
26 miles from Va. City
Mond 22 went and prospected
Norwegian gulch - took no claims
Tues 23 prospected Hot spring
gulch but did not get down
Wed 24 made windlass & sunk
shaft deeper but caved in & so
abandoned it for good. are
now satisfied for these gulches


Seerley journal, page 107, August 25, 1864

Seerley journal, page 107

Transcription, page 107
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Thurs 25th started for Va. City
drove about 15 miles & encamped
on a branch of Madison river -
today fine ranches on meadows
creek - large hay ricks -all
things looked prosperous -
constantly meeting teams
& horsemen. fine valley good
water quite a number of
streams coming in from all
directions. hear some good
news from City. Some give
bad report. expect soon to
see for myself. am rather
fearful that laborers are
too plenty - am well


Seerley journal, page 108, August 26, 1864

Seerley journal, page 108

Transcription, page 108
Above ruled text
 522 to Va.
 522  "  Ft. L
 156  to R. Bute
 250  Omaha

Ruled text
Frid. 26th
this morning had to go
across river to cut grass to
take along - river rapid - some fell
down crossing - started for
for city went through by 4 o'clock
has some very rocky hilly road -
City in a gulch. crooked &
mostly low dirt covered tenements
- fast place, many idle & all
abominably wicked - work scarce
board high - am afraid that
i cannot get regular
employment - if not I do
not feel like staying here
too expensive  Finis


 Seerley journal, page 109, September 2-December 15 1864

Seerley journal, page 109

Transcription, page 109
Above ruled text

Ruled text
Started for Pipe Stone Sept
2nd 1864 & arrived Sept 4
1st week dry out 50.50
by Sep 27 (inserted note at upward angle from ruled line) spent Sep 30 64 grub 182.68) 143.10
made by Oct 15 206.00
Oct 22nd unclear at city one week 89.00
Sept 29th
Oct 20 squared up.  I got $51.18
Dec 15    "          "    $27.25


 Seerley journal, page 110, November 27, 1864-June 19, 1865

Seerley journal, page 110

Transcription, page 110
Above ruled text
one week up to Nov 27 1864
on hand 2 25

Ruled text
We took out $50.25
Dec 4th one week 5d $49.50
  "     11th  unclear
  "     18 . . . . too cold 00.00
  "     25 . . . .      "        00.00
Jan 1st at Virginia 00
  "  8th no work - 00
  " 15th no work 00
  " 22nd no work 00
  " 29th paid for Powder &c 2 10
Feb 5th 2# salt 40  80
  "   12th
  "   19th 4 stamps for Alum gold .20
  "   26th Also paid out in g. dust .12
March 5th Rec'd in dust 1.50
   "       12th
   "       19th
   "        26th
April 2nd
    "   9th
    "  16th
    "  23rd
    "  30th
May 1st
  "     8th
  "    15th
  "    22nd
  "    29th
June 5th
   "    12th
   "    19th

Vertical text in middle of page
Arithmetic calculation


  Seerley journal, page 111, September 2, 1864-September 18, 1865

Seerley journal, page 111

Transcription, page 111
Above ruled text, vertical
   . 50

Ruled text
D. Noffsinger D to T Seerly
as follows--
Seerly paid unclear to Sep 2, 1864
for flour &c 76.00
Oct 2nd unclear 75
Noffsinger paid up to
this time 5.00
Seerly paid more by 71.75
out of this 1/2 of wagon & oxen
is to be taken then 1/2 ballance
is due from Noffsinger
June 26th
July 3rd
   "  10th
   "  17th
   "  24th
   "  31st
Aug 7th
  "   14th
  "   21st
  "   28th
Sep 4th
  "   11th
  "   18th

Vertical text, bottom right
Noffsinger De to
T. Seerly for use of D.
Kemry $71.75 in
greenback or $35.875 in
gold coins this the
29th day of July 1865
upon unclear
T. Seerly

 Seerley journal, page 112, November 20, 1864

Seerley journal, page 112

Transcription, page 112
Above ruled text
A list of articles bought
fr Flory & co

Ruled text
3 # nails 50-Flory 1.50
6 # Sugar 70 F  4 20
rope Noffsinger  50
2 cwt flour 23 Seerley  46.00
1 ax Seerley  2.00
1 lot plates Seerley  .50
1 yoke oxen & wagon Flory 80.00
1 gold pan Flory  .85
37 # bacon 50 Seerley  18.50
coffee - Apple &c Seerley  9.00
coffee . Apple & Noffsinger 1.50
Spoons & knife Flory  .40
1 pail Flory  .75
1 Hatchet Noffsinger  .75
2 picks & handle Flory 160 180  3.40
2 Shovels Flory 100 115  2.15

Vertical text partially written over ruled text on right of page
Settled up to Nov 20 1864
& all squared off
& team undivided

 Seerley journal, page 113, November 25, 1864

Seerley journal, page 113

Transcription, page 113
Unclear Flory  1.60
Tea & syrup Noffsinger  2.25
A. Flory unclear 40.00
D. Noffsinger for beef  38
for breakfast &c Flory  2 10
Flory  Seerley  Noffsinger
Arithmetic calculations concerning expenditures of Flory, Seerley, and Noffsinger

Vertical text across middle of page
Settled up with D. Noffsinger Nov. 25th
& squared off in full

Vertical text across right edge of page
Labor & driving team & hauling unclear
how much paid for unclear sales
38.00 earned before unclear


 Seerley journal, page 114

Seerley journal, page 114

Transcription, page 114
Above ruled text
Arithmetic calculations

Ruled text
3 # Nails  F  1.50
6 # Sugar 70 F  4.20
rope D Noff  50
Ruled text above crossed out with X
Sep 30 Bot In
6 cwt flour 23  138.00
1 # Tea - - - - 2.50
1 # nails - - - - 1.00
1 # soda - - - - 1.20
40 # Bacon 50  20.00
58 # Beef 12  6.60
coffee & Apples  5.00
Potatoes onions &  4.00
Scraps & Pegs  .55
Picks & bolt  1.50
Bread & beef  2.10

Upside down at bottom of page
Sep 28 had 193.50

  Seerley journal, page 115, bottom of page torn off

Seerley journal, page 115

Transcription, page 115
Above ruled text

Ruled text
X 2cwt flour  46.00
X ax S  2.00
X 1 lot plates  .50
X 1 wagon unclear  12.00
X 1 yoke oxen & wagon  80.00
X 1 pan   F  85
X 37 # bacon 50¢ unclear  18.50
X coffee &c 9 + 1.50  10.50

  Seerley journal, page 116, bottom of page torn off

Seerley journal, page 116

Transcription, page 116
Above ruled text
Arithmetic calculations

Ruled text
X Spoons & knives  40 F.
X Pail 75 F
Hatchet X 75 N
1 Pick & Handle X 1.60 F
1 shovel X 1.15 F
1 pick X 1.80 F
1 shovel X 1.00 F


  Seerley journal, back endpaper, recto

Seerley journal, back endpaper, recto

Transcription, back endpaper, recto
paid 3600
1 gal alcohol
4 dr oil Sassafras
4 dr oil Monarda
4 dr oil origanum
4 oz gum camphor
1 oz cayenne pepper
Arithmetic calculations


  Seerley journal, back endpaper, verso

Seerley journal, back endpaper, verso

Transcription, back endpaper, verso
paid D. Flory Oct 21st unclear
for unclear
arithmetic calculations

Upside down
1 Pocket Knife
1 unclear Patch
1 pr Boots
1 awl & Thread & needle
1 p Pants
Skunk Creek
Thread - spool - fixet rack


  Seerley journal, inside back cover

Seerley journal, inside back cover

Transcription, inside back cover
Seerley  7600
Flory 93.25
Noffsinger 2.80


Upside down in darker hand down middle of page
Picks sharpened
2 # nails
2 plank
Powder & lead caps
unclear salt

Upside down in lighter hand in background


   Seerley journal, outside back cover 

Seerley journal, outside back cover


Essay and transcription by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson; scanning by Library Assistant David Glime, May-July 2011; Web coding advice by Library Administrative Assistant Susan Basye; last updated February 19, 2012 (GP).