Southwestern Historical Quarterly
After we reached the Cross timbers, then our main troubles com-
menced, in fact we were lost, great difficulties presented themselves
for advance by a rough broken country, and great scarcity of water
and provisions. We had to abandon some wagons and nearly all
tents to facilitate our progress, slow and tedious as it grew from our
exhausted work oxen, who had to subsist over night on grass and also
do without water for 24 or 3o hours. There at the Cross timbers
in the latter part of July, Mr. Falconer12 and Lieutenant Hall [sic]'5
(an English navy officer) by use of the quadrant found out that we
were still about 500 miles distant from Santa Fe, somewhat north of
west of us, a very unpleasant contemplation when we had nothing to
live on but poor oxen, little game and great risk of life to hunt that,
on account of hostile Indians.
We had a Mexican servant4 with us who I believe honestly
thought he knew the section of country we were in, for he formerly
lived in New Mexico and was often on the plains buffalo hunting;
and as we had many days ago passed a plain old wagon trail that
proved to be a train that had started a few years ago from St. Louis
Mo., on a nearer route to Chihuahua, rather than go over the plains
to Santa Fe down to Chihuahua, but they missed it and were eight
months in going from St. Louis to Chihuahua. What they suffered
I can imagine, but as we have no report of it no one can tell.
As I was going to state, we were lost, and depended too much on
our Mexican who we thought knew the country.
We came up to the Wichita river, and its large branches, which
we thought was the Red River well known to head towards New
Mexico, but it proved that Red River was at least more than 75
miles north of us; and here while lost we met great ravines that we
had to avoid and hunt out places that we could pass and also a
great scarcity of water. In fact here commenced our great troubles
We came in that Wichita section, in a very rugged rough country,
our advance guard could with difficulty find a way out for our
wagons, and water was very scarce.
Once after we had done for more than twenty-four hours without
water, we struck a high, long ridge; down it ran a small stream, to
get to which we had to descend a steep ravine some 30oo feet deep,
and we could only go down it with our horses single file, so narrow
was the passage, precipices on all sides. While most of our men and
12Thomas Falconer, a thirty-six year old Englishman, was a guest on the expedi-
tion and later wrote a number of letters and accounts of the journey.
18George R. Hull, the son of British Major General Trevor Hull, had been a
captain in the British Navy before coming to Lamar, Texas, as a settler.
1"Juan Carlos? a native of Taos, New Mexico, was a member of Company B.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed February 13, 2016.