Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 36 of 368
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these faces will be found the following inscriptions: upon the north
side, " Texas, 100 longitude;" upon the south side, " Choctaw Nation,
100 longitude;" upon the east side, "Meridian of 100 , May 29, 1852 ;"
and upon the west side Captain McClellan marked my name, with the
date. At the base of the sand-hill will be found four cotton-wood trees,
upon one of which is marked " Texas," and upon another will be found
inscribed "20 miles from Otter creek."
Red river at this place is a broad, shallow stream, six hundred and
fifty yards wide, running over a bed of sand. Its course is nearly due
west to the forks, and thence the course of the south branch is WNW.
for eight miles, when it turns to nearly NW. The two branches are
apparently of about equal magnitude, and between them, at the confluence,
is a very high bluff, which can be seen for a long distance around.
We are encamped to-night near two mountains, about three miles from
the river, and one mile west of the head of the west branch of Otter creek,
near a spring of pure cold water, which rises in the mountains and runs
down past our camp. Our road leads along near the creek valley, which
is from one to two miles wide, with a very productive soil, covered with
a dense coating of grass, and skirted with a variety of hard timber.
Afay 31.-Our course to-day was northwest until we encountered a
bold running stream of good water, forty feet wide and three feet deep,
flowing between very high and almost vertical red clay banks, through
a broad, flat valley about two miles wide, of a dark alluvial soil, the
fertility of which is obvious from the dense vegetation which it supports.
There is a narrow fringe of pecan, elm, hackberry, black walnut, and
cotton-wood, along the banks of the creek; but the timber is not so
abundant, or of as good a quality, as that upon Otter creek. The
abrupt banks made it necessary for us to let our wagons down with
ropes. We, however, crossed in a short time, and marched about three
miles further, encamping near a small spring of good water, where the
wood and grass were abundant.
From the circumstance of having seen elk tracks upon the stream we
passed in our march to day, I have called it " Elk creek." I am informed
by our guide that five years since elk were frequently seen in
the Witchita mountains; but now they are seldom met with in this part
of the country.
The deer and antelopes still continue plenty, but turkeys are scarce.
One that our greyhounds caught to-day is the first we have seen for
several days. The pinnated grouse, quail, lark, mocking-bird, and
swallow-tailed fly-catcher, are also frequently seen.
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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/m1/36/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .