The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 13
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Some Deiails of lhe, Soulthern Overland Mail
a stretch of the trip east of Fort Belknap.34 The heat was severe
in summer, and bitter cold was sometimes experienced in winter
in spite of the southern location of the greater portion of the route.
One passenger had his feet frozen while walking twelve miles
through the snow in Apache Canyon, after the stage had been
forced to stop because of the snow drifts.3
The mules used in the desert country were generally wild and
intractable and were frequently exhausted before they were sub-
dued by the severe choking with a lariat and the kicks and blows
administered by the stock tenders. It seems that the company
was unable to secure gentle mules and horses, and frequently be-
fore those purchased had been tamed, the Indians stole them, thus
forcing the company to bring on others to take their places.
High water frequently caused delays. The company could not
bridge the streams, and most of them were too shallow to ferry.
But high water was not so great a problem as the scarcity of
water. During early trips over the route no water was available
for the stock for stretches as long as eighty miles."3 Later water
was provided at closer intervals, but it seems that it had to be
hauled to many stations during dry seasons. Because of a scarcity
of water the route from the Pecos to El Paso was changed and
instead of running up the Pecos to Pope's Camp and thence to
El Paso, the stages crossed that stream at Horse Head Crossing
and went in a southwestward direction to the San Antonio-El Paso
road, striking it at Camp Stockton (now Fort Stockton), Texas.37
Along parts of the arid region, especially in Arizona, the company
dug wells and got an abundance of water, but we are unable to
find any evidence that they overcame the desert stretch from the
Concho to the Pecos by this means.35
"tReport of Mr. Beardsley, cited above.
"'Statement of "Dr. Jones."
"New York Herald, November 11, 1858; account of a reporter.
"'The Newo York Herald reporter stated that the company might be
forced to make the change. Ibid.
The change was made prior to September 20, 1859. Correspondent from
El Paso to the Missouri Republican, October 4, 1859. Also, Ibid., Octo-
ber 19, 1859, according to a letter from Camp Stockton of date, October
3"Water had been discovered by Captain John Pope, who directed the
efforts of the War Department to secure water on the plains by drilling,
in 1855. A well was drilled at Pope's Camp near where the 32nd parallel
crosses the Pecos, back a few miles from the river. The drill was ex-
tended 1140 feet in the hope of striking artesian water. A good water
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/21/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.