Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 40 of 368
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June 4.-We made an early start this morning, and tra velled in the
direction of a chain of bluffs which appeared to us to be upon the
branch of the river we were ascending; but on reaching them we found
ourselves upon a creek running towards the Salt Fork, the bluffs of
which we could see from the top of an eminence near the creek, about
eight miles distant.
To regain our route we were obliged to turn directly north, and
march about six miles in this direction, when we again came in sight of
the main North Fork. In our route we have passed near several hills
of similar formation to that of the gypsum bluffs before described. Sulphate
of lime is found in large quantities throughout this section, and
occurs in various degrees of purity, from the common plaster of Paris
to the most beautifully transparent selenite I have ever seen. I observed
several specimens, from one to two inches in thickness, that were
as absolutely colorless and limpid as pure water.
We are encamped upon the elevated prairie near a clump of trees,
where we find water standing in pools. We have found the grass
abundant, and the water and wood sufficiently so for our purposes at
all our camps since we left our visitors the Witchitas.
As I was riding to-day with one of our Delawares, about three miles
in advance of the train, we suddenly (as we rose upon an eminence in
the prairie) came in sight of four buffalo cows with calves, very quietly
grazing in a valley below us. We at once put spurs to our horses, and,
with our rifles in readiness, set out at a brisk gallop in pursuit; but, unfortunately,
they had "the wind" of us, and were instantly bounding
off over the hills at full speed. We followed them about three miles,
but as they were much in advance at the outset we could not overtake
them without giving our horses more labor than we cared about, and so
abandoned the chase. Our greyhounds caught two young deer upon
the open prairie to-day, and they have had several chases in pursuit of
the antelope, but have not as yet been able to come up with them. The
latitude of our present position is 35 15' 43f.
June 5.-After marching nearly a mile from our last camp, we
crossed a running brook of clear water, which had a slightly sulphurous
taste and odor. It rises in the hills to the southwest and runs rapidly,
like a mountain stream, into the main river. The appearance of this
stream reminded me so forcibly of some I have seen in the mountains
of Pennsylvania, that I searched it faithfully, expecting to see the
spotted trout, but only tound a few sun-fish and minnows.
From this brook to our present position, the country we traversed
was exceedingly monotonous and uninteresting, being a continuous suc
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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/m1/40/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .