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t General Johnston found his efforts to concentrate opposed by a foe more potent than the Mormons.
Winter fell suddenly upon his unprepared men and animals.
On the night of the 17th there was a snowstorm, and the thermometer fell to 16°. Colonel Smith lost eleven mules by cold, and as many more in the next few days, and the trains suffered severely.
General Johnston had passed about 200 wagons, belonging to contractors and merchant-trains, near the Three Crossings of the Sweetwater, on the 13th.
It was nine days before the rear of these trains came up with Lieutenant Smith's command, so much were the draught-animals reduced by want of grass.
These trains were necessary to the march of the troops, as they contained the winter clothing and Sibley tents, besides subsistence, ordnance, and medical stores, to a large amount, indispensable to the comfort and efficiency of the men. Without them no advance could be made, except with great suffering, and perhaps loss of life.
Still, go fo