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 () on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 16:00:55



name: Ray Nelson


comments: I just read the Dig the grave deeper story and am reminded of how oral history can distort actual history.  My cousin told this same story many decades ago in church and at that time we accepted it as truth, taking pride in how our ancestors had suffered in making the journey to Utah.


However, upon looking at Henrys diary I discovered that this old story is a dramatization of what really happened and wildly exaggerated actual events.  If you look at Henrys diary you will see that young Henry James died and was buried the 29th of May, the same day Hannah was buried and a month before the Ballentine wagon train even started the trip across the plains.  The epic trip back to Hannahs grave to bury Henry James never took place.


I appreciate the real story of how Henry and his family sacrificed during the journey, but think the exaggerated dramatization should be accompanied with a statement making it clear that it does not represent an accurate account.


>From Henrys diary:

May 28      Monday ___ My dear wife died at 1/2 past 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

May 29      Tuesday ___ My wife burried at Atchison at 11 o'clock in the saints grave yard next to Auelia Morcer on the north side. Forward. In the afternoon my lovely son Henry James Clegg died at 6 o'clock. I burried him that same night next to his dear mother. Went forward to the camp, 5 miles, very wet night. I was very tired and ready to die with fatigue.