The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 67
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Nolan's "Lost Nigger" Expedition of 1877
without a drop of water-from the statements of the
Guide I had fully expected to have found water during
the early part of the day. I did not again see the 8 men
who I sent after the Guide until my arrival at the sup-
ply camp on August 6th. At this point I remained in
camp over night. Also previous to going into this camp
about a mile on the back trail I left two sick men, de-
tailing Sergeant William L. Umbles to remain with
them, and with instructions that as soon as they were
able, to bring them into camp. This sergeant instead
of doing as directed during the early part of the eve-
ning with the 2 sick men, came up and passed on by
the camp within easy hailing distance without halting,
although challenged by myself, and one of the com-
mand who had been sent back to show them into
Camp, thereby cowardly and disgracefully deserting
the command. This Sergeant Umbles is one of the party
who afterwards went into Fort Concho and circulated
the false reports of myself and command being lost on
the staked plains-and that the command had all aban-
July 28th 1877.
At daylight the Guide and the 8 men not returning I im-
mediately saddled up.--I now had great difficulty in
getting the mules packed. Sergeant Umbles the eve-
ning previous having ordered to accompany him the
only man with the Company competent to pack. Thus
I had to do most of the packing myself, when ready to
start I saw all the citizens scattered over the plains,
their ponies gone. One of the Citizens Mr Benson, came
up to me, and advised that a North Easterly direction
be taken, this being the course the Guide had taken
when last seen. I then left camp on this Course and
marched about 15 miles when I came to the conclu-
sion that as no trace of the Guide could be found, and
that as the Casa Maria was a small water hole and
the distance to it unknown and having been informed
that a large command might easily pass within a
short distance of it without its being discovered,
decided to return to Double Lake this decision was
based upon the fact that I was now between my trail
of the previous day, which lay to the west, and that
of Colonel Shafter of 1875, which was to the east,
and consequently could not possibly miss the Lakes.
This is the Course the ponies of the Citizens had taken,
after stampeding and were afterwards found on this
trail and at the Lakes.-I now became convinced that
the evening previous the Guide was completely lost and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/75/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.