The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974 Page: 394
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
enterprise of getting cattle across the plains from that state which has al-
ready been twice successfully accomplished by Mr. Patterson, is the begin-
ning only, it is hoped, of a great and profitable trade.
Respectfully, Your obedient servant,
James H. Carleton
Brig. General, Com'd'g.
This letter, it must be emphasized, is dated a full nine months before
Goodnight's departure. It seems likely, therefore, that Goodnight and Loving
may have met Patterson on one of his excursions to Texas or, at the very
least, had learned of the Fort Sumner market from accounts of his activities.
It will be recalled that they did drive straight to that fort and sell their
stock to him and Roberts. Thus, their drive could hardly be the epic event
described by Haley and accepted by recent scholars.
Should the name of the "Goodnight" trail be changed? Each historian
writing on the subject must decide for himself. The appellation "Pecos"
might be more accurate, but the term "Goodnight" does have the sanction
of long and widespread use. On this point it might be well to close with the
words of one of the most prominent Texas ranchers: "I do not look at a
trail as being an honor or a dishonor to anyone, but I see no reason why
they should be named for people who did not make them."'1 The author
of this statement was Charles Goodnight.
12J. Marvin Hunter (ed.), The Trail Drivers of Texas (Nashville, I925), 950.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974, periodical, 1973/1974; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/m1/444/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.