The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The smoke of said buffalo chips would have been enough to drive
musquitoes and all other insects away, but it was even too dry
and arid a country for them to live in.
Having had many of our horses as previously mentioned, stam-
peded, we had only enough to furnish our ioo men advance guard
with horses; after that I think there were not 15 horses left to our
command.
Therefore most of our men had to foot it carrying their muskets
and ammunition on their shoulders, and stand guard after night
which was generally every other night, for it took many men to guard
camps and our beef cattle and work oxen.
We had only two meals a day, consisting of poor beef slaughtered,
or a work ox too poor to draw even the light load of our wagons,
for every thing which could be dispensed with, even tents, were
abandoned and burnt up long ago, to save freight and surplus
wagons were abandoned.
Now imagine a poor work ox, so broke down that he had to be
slaughtered, for he was too weak to travel any more; there was not
a pound of tallow in the whole animal when killed; but on such
and nearly equally as poor beef cattle we had to subsist.
After they were slaughtered, next morning nothing was left but
horns, hoofs and the larger bones, our men even ate the hide broiled
on coals or boiled all night. We had not even salt or pepper to
season with.
I remember well, that I tried beef hide thrown on coals to roast
it, as well as to get clear of the hair; when done it was as tough as
sole leather, and I from youth up, not having very sound teeth, the
longer I chewed on it the tougher it got; it began to swell and in-
crease in size, but I could not bite morsels of it, it would not crack
or break like a hard crust of bread.
I tried beef hide boiled all night previously having the hair singed
off, next morning it was like soft glue, and having no seasoning to
it, hungry though I was, that dish was too unpalatable for me to eat.
Suppose it had rained while we passed the Plain, we would have
been compelled to eat our poor beef raw. But on our whole trip we
had only one heavy rain, that was some days before we reached camp
Resolution. From thence though our whole trip through Mexico,
our blankets never were wet only one night in New Mexico, we had
a slight snow on us. Of course it must rain there sometimes, and
then perhaps in torrents, for few and far between as the rivers and
creeks are in Mexico, yet they would dry up if it did not rain at
certain periods.
All farms in Mexico are only tillable by irrigation, and with all
their primitive agricultural implements, it is really a wonder what
crops they can produce in these irrigated valleys; off from them, the
country is sterile.

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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 March 29, 2015.