Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 41 of 368
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cession of barren sand-hills, producing no other herbage than the artemisia,
and a dense growth of dwarf oak bushes, about eighteen inches
high, which seem to have attained their full maturity, and bear an
abundance of small acorns. The same bush is frequently met with
upon the Canadian river, near this longitude, and is always found upon
a very sandy soil. Our camp is in the river valley near a large spring
of sulphurous water, in the midst of a grove of cotton-wood trees.
Upon a creek we passed to-day on the opposite bank of the river we
noticed pecan, elm, hackberry, and cotton-wood trees. The grass still
continues good, and the water of the main river, although not good,
can be used. The bed of the river is here one hundred yards wide,
with but little water passing over the surface, being mostly absorbed by
the quicksands. Our Indians brought in three deer this evening, and
the greyhounds have caught a full-grown doe in a fair chase upon the
open prairie. We occasionally see a few turkeys, but they are not as
abundant as we found them below here. There are several varieties of
birds around our camp-among which we saw the white owl, meadowlark,
mocking-bird, king-bird, swallow, swallow-tailed fly catcher, and
June 6.-Starting at 3 o'clock this morning, we crossed the river
near our last camp, and passed over a very elevated and undulating
prairie for ten miles, when we reached a large creek flowing into Red
river, which, in compliment to my friend, Mr. J. R. Suydam, of New
York city, who accompanied the expedition, I have called "Suydam
creek." It is thirty feet wide; the water clear, but slightly brackish,
and flows rapidly over a sandy bed between abrupt clay banks, which
are fringed with cotton-wood trees. As the water in the main river
near our camp is very bitter, we were obliged to make use of that in
Above our present encampment there appears to be a range of sandhills,
about three miles wide, upon each side of the river, which are
covered with the same herbage as those we passed below here.
We have seen the trail of a large party of Comanches, which our
guide says passed here two days since, going south. I regret that we
did not encounter them, as I was anxious to make inquiries concerning
our onward route. These Indians were travelling with their families.
Upon a war expedition they leave their families behind, and never carry
lodges, encumbering themselves with as little baggage as possible. On
the other hand, when they travel with their families, they always carry
all their worldly effects, including their portable lodges, wherever they
go; and as they seldom find an encampment upon the prairies where
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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/m1/41/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .