Diary of William Polke

Wednesday, 3 Oct. 1838

“Left Exeter encampment at a little before eight o’clock, and without any occurrence of note reached the Illinois River at about 11 – nine miles distant from last night’s camp. Preparations were made for ferrying the river, and we embarked in keel and flat boats directly after our arrival.”

“The day was spent in crossing and re-crossing the stream, and by nine p.m. we succeeded in landing the last of the baggage wagons. We are now encamped on the opposite shore from Naples, where we shall perhaps remain to-morrow, to recruit the fatigues of the last few days. A child died directly after our arrival at the river.”