An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859

By Horace Greeley | Go to book overview
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XXIV.
THE ARMY IN UTAH.

CAMP FLOYD, Utah, July 21, 1859.

CAMP FLOYD, forty miles south of Salt Lake City, is located on the west side of a dry valley, perhaps ten miles wide by thirty miles long, separated by high hills from Lake Utah, some fifteen to twenty miles distant on the north-east. This valley would be fertile were it not doomed to sterility by drouth. A small stream takes its rise in copious springs at the foot of the western hills just north of the camp, but is soon drank up by the thirsty plain. Water in this stream, and wood (low cedar) on the adjacent hills, probably dictated the selection of this site for a camp; though I believe a desire, if not a secret compact, to locate the troops as far as possible from the Mormon settlements, had an influence in the premises. No Mormons live in this valley nor within sight of it; though all the roads leading from Salt Lake City, as well as from Provo and the other settlements around Lake Utah, are within a day's march and may be said to be commanded by the camp. The soil is easily pulverized when dry, and keeps the entire area enveloped, during summer, in a dense cloud of dust, visible for miles in every direction. I saw it when eight miles away, as I came down from Salt Lake City yesterday. We passed few houses on the way; but a distillery and a brewery were among them. We crossed

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