I never knew about this tragedy. If you don't know about it, you can read about it here.
One of the survivors of that horrible winter was an 8 year old girl. She had a doll that survived with her. Somehow that made it just a bit more real - unthinkable. And while this particular wagon train became famous for awful reasons, there were so very many we don't know the names of. Yet many of the early pioneers came to various parts of our country without any idea of whether they'd live or die - with only the hope and determination that if they did their best, they would have a chance of a better life than they had at where they were before. Sobering.