My dear sister Emily,
We were relieved to hear that you had made it safely to Scott’s Bluff. Brother George has sent word, that the chief of the Apaches, Geronimo, has signed a peace agreement. Unfortunately, there are still renegades who need to be rounded up. George is confident that the territory will be safe, within a few months.
Please harden your heart for what you’re about to hear. I can not but hope, that you were in a safe area, when the worse blizzard in our history came over us, last week. It was horrible. In the morning the sun was up, and it was a brilliant day. The laundry was hung out, for the gentle breeze was warm and comforting. Mrs. Anderson had a luncheon party. Most of us had worn a light shawl. As we were enjoying ourselves, we heard what sounded like a train coming down the street. We were terrified when we realized that it was a horrid wind. The transformation was unearthly. I struggled to get home in the blinding blizzard. The shapes of the buildings that were normally my guide, were lost in a sea of white. As the blistering snow pellets stung my face and eyes, the wind tore at my light clothing. I was terrified when I realized I had lost my way. The force of the wind knocked me to my knees. Crawling through the drifts, I bumped into a piece of wood plank. Following the wood I could tell that it was part of the walk in front of the church. How my heart rejoiced, as I had made my way to the general store, next door. I pounded in a rhythmic pattern, so that Martha and Ebenezer, if they could hear me, would know it was not the wind knocking the shutters. I stayed with them for two days, while the storm continued. How blessed I felt that I had friends, but how I fretted for the others that may have been less fortunate. The temperatures plummeted almost 60 degrees in a few hours. Such a storm does not descend without enormous devastation.
The horrendous blizzard shocked our simple life with a torrent of disasters. Sister Suzanne has written, from the Kansas territory, that her grief is inconsolable. On the morning of the storm, the children were happy as they set off to school, with every expectation they would return to do chores in the evening. Those dear, brave hearts set out in the storm, holding hands to make their way home. They tried to navigate through the blinding storm, but were lost. It is with heavy heart, that I must tell you our two nephews, Mattie and Jacob, have perished. Their frozen bodies were found a mile from the house, where they had lost their way.
Please write immediately that you and your family are safe. With all my heart I wish you safety. Your loving sister, Margret