Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 30 of 368
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of us. We continued on for four miles further, when we reached a fine,
bold, running creek of good water, which we were all rejoiced to see, as
we had found no drinkable water during the day. We encamped about
four miles above its confluence with Red river.
This stream, which I have called Otter creek, (as those animals are
abundant here,) rises in the Witchita mountains, and runs a course
south 25 west. There are several varieties of wood upon its banks,
such as pecan, black-walnut, white ash, elm, hackberry, cotton-wood,
wild china, willow, and mezquite; and among these I noticed good
building timber. The soil in the valley is a dark loam, and produces a
heavy vegetation. The sub-soil is argillaceous. Otter creek is fifty
feet wide, and one foot deep at a low stage of water.* The country
over which we have passed to-day has been an elevated plateau, totally
devoid of timber or water, and the soil very thin and sandy. We have
not yet come in sight of any buffaloes, but have seen numerous fresh
tracks. Antelopes and deer are very abundant, and we occasionally
see turkeys and grouse. Captain McClellan was so unfortunate as to
break his mountain barometer last night, which is much to be regretted;
as we had brought it so far in sifety, we supposed all danger
was passed, but by some unforeseen accident it was turned over in his
tent and the mercurial tube broken. Fortuinately, we have an excellent
aneroid barometer, which we have found to correspond very accurately
with the other up to this time, and we shall now be obliged to
make use of it exclusively.
On ascending Otter creek this morning as high as the point where it
debouches from the mountains, I found the timber skirting its banks
the entire distance, and increasing in quantity as it nears the mountains.
The mountains at the head of the creek have abrupt rugged
sides of coarse, soft, flesh-colored granite, mixed with other granulated
igneous rocks. Greenstone, quartz, porphyry,' and agate are seen in
veins running through the rocks, and in some pieces of quartz, which
were found by Doctor Shumard in the bed of the creek, there were
minute particles of gold. As the continued rains have made the ground
too soft to admit of travelling at present, we are improving the time
by laying in a supply of coal, timber.
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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/m1/30/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .