The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 14
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But of all difficulties the greatest was the theft of horses by the
Indians. The savages rarely ever attacked the stages, and pas-
sengers were comparatively safe from their depredation. But the
Comanches in Texas, and later the Apaches in Arizona stole hun-
dreds of horses and mules. The Apaches on the western end of
the line were kept friendly for a while by a judicious distribution
of presents; but this did not entirely prevent trouble from that
source.9 According to definite and confirmed reports of passen-
gers who got their information from the agents along the line,
the Comanches in Texas stole not less than two hundred and
twenty-three head of horses and mules from the company during
the winter of 1858-'59.40 Not far from Fort Belknap, a military
post on the Brazos in Texas, they stole eighty head out of a herd
of two hundred which the company had purchased and was driving
out to restock stations already depleted by the forays of these
savage thieves.4' In order to avoid the heart of the Comanche
country the company had diverted its route between Fort Belknap
and El Paso more than a hundred miles south of the Marcy trail.
It had been planned to follow the Marcy route from Fort Belknap
to El Paso, but as actually laid out, the trail of the stages went
by Fort Chadbourne, near the Colorado. But this seems to have
been of little benefit in the matter of Indian protection. Most of
the military organizations on the Texas frontier at that time were
infantry, as helpless in chasing the Comanche horsemen as a
present-day foot patrolman would be in running down a speed-
supply was struck at 244 feet, which stood for a while within 175 feet of
the surface. But the well caved so badly that it had to be abandoned,
after more than one hundred thousand dollars had been spent on it. An
account of Pope's operation may be found in the Report of the Secretary
of War for 1855, page 96, 34th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. No. 1. The New
York Hcrald reporter gave considerable detail about the final outcome of
this project, New York Herald, November 11, 1858.
It would seem that the success attained would have encouraged the
Butterfield people to drill wells back on the plains between the head of
the Concho and the Pecos. This they may have done; but we hear of
their hauling water to these stations during the winter of 1859. Missouri
Republican, January 7, 1859.
The company drilled wells in Arizona. See below, note 50.
"Account of R. Wilsey, a passenger, Missouri Republican, January 21,
"Ibid., November 10, 1858; January 3, 5, 7, 12, February 1, 7, March
7, 10, 14, 1859.
"lbid., March 14, 1859.
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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/m1/22/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.