Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 23 of 368
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twenty-five miles towards Fort Arbuckle, we struck the trail of the
wagons, and following it two miles, overtook them. They had been
detained several days by heavy rains, which had rendered the ground
very soft, and in many places almost impassable. In consequence of
this, some of the wagons had been broken, and the repairs caused a still
further detention. Early on the following morning, after packing the
horses with provisions, we returned to where we had left the command,
and on our arrival found that the water in the river had fallen sufficiently
to admit of fording. Accordingly, on the morning of the 12th,
during a violent rain, we commenced the crossing, which was anything
but good, as the quicksand in the bed of the river was such as to make
it necessary to keep the wagons in constant motion. The moment
they stopped, the wheels would sink to the axles, requiring much force
to extricate them. By placing a number of men upon each side of
the mules and wagons to assist them when necessary, we, however, succeeded
in reaching the opposite bank without any serious accident. The
latitude at the point where we crossed is 34 29'. The river is here two
hundr d yards wide and four feet deep, with a current of three miles per
hour; the banks upon each side low and sandy, but not subject to overflow.
Passing out through the timbered land on the bottoms, we ascended
the high bluff bordering the valley by a gradual slope of about a mile,
which brought us upon a very, elevated prairie, with the valley of Cache
creek in view directly before us. We arrived there on the evening of the
13th, but found that the train had not yet come up. During our march
to-day we passed a small stream flowing into Red liver, and directly at
the point of crossing, in a gulley washed out by the rains, we found
many pieces of copper ore, of a very rich quality, lying upon the
surface.* Our time, however, was too limited to admit of a thorough
examination of the locality.
Cache creek is a stream of very considerable magnitude, one hundred
and fifty feet wide and three feet deep, with a current of four miles per
hour, flowing over a hard clay and gravel bed between high abrupt
banks, through a valley one mile in width, of rich.black alluvion, and
bordered by the best timber I have yet met with west of the Cross
* An analysis of this ore by Professor Shephard gives the following results:
Copper (with traces of iron) .....
. .... ...-.... ..-..
Silica .-........... .. . -.. -
.. ..... ............. 3 . 60
Oxygen and water ----... . .---.. -... ....---
........ 34. 10
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/23/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .