... saw the messengers who were Gideon H Gibe & Horace Newel. They went out to meet the Hand Cart companies. When they met the Hand Cart Company there had been some 25 death. 20 were men. They were Caught in a snow storm & the people became Chilled would draw all day & die at night. Those who would dig a grave for ther brethren would die the same day. There were 5 deaths the day before we met them. Ther were 4 deaths the day after we arived the 21st october 2 deaths the 2d day & 15 burials the 3 day & 4 on sunday morning the day the expres left. They had not heard from the 2d Company of Hand Carts but Joseph Young & Wheelock went ahead with the news that help was coming. G. D. Grant followed with 10 of the best teams.
There had been about 55 deaths in the first Company in consequence of the Cold. The Captain of the Company dealt out all the provisions to the people the night before any help Came & they did not know that any help was Coming. They dealt out 11 oz to men 9 to women & 6 to Children. There was but little snow on the road till you got to rocky ridge 30 miles east of the pass but vary Cold. Several of the brethren froze their feet. ...
When President Young Came in & herd the news He said there had so many gone to glory & would not Come Here to apostitize. But we are learning a lesson by this but our agents will not learn. They will shove people out onto the plains in sept & think all Utah will go out to meet them with open arms.
[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]