Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 52 of 368
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This creek appears to be a place of winter resort for large numbers
of the prairie Indians. We found many old camps along the stream,
and the ground for several miles was thickly strewn with cotton-wood
sticks, the bark of which had been eaten off by their animals. The
prairie tribes are in the habit of feeding their favorite horses with the
cotton-wood bark in the winter; and it is probably the abundance of
this wood that has attracted them here. WVe found the stumps of the
trees they had cut from year to year in various stages of decay-some
entirely rotten, and others that had been cut during the past winter.
The fine mezquite and grama grass furnishes pasturage for their animals
during a great part of the winter; and the cotton-wood is a never-failing
resort when the grass is gone.
As we are now nearly opposite the country on the Canadian river
occupied by the Kioway Indians, it is quite probable that some of that
nation winter at this place; and I have no doubt but that they could
be found here at any time during that season. I have called the creek
Game is abundant in this vicinity; and our hunters keep the entire
command constantly supplied with fresh meat, so that we have not yet
had occasion to kill one of our beef-cattle. Seven deer and one antelope
were killed to-day. For months previous to leaving Fort Belknap, with
the exception of a few wild onions, my men had eaten no vegetables.
Some of them had been attacked with scurvy, and all were more or less
predisposed to it. I have, therefore, been exceedingly anxious to take all
possible precautions for warding off this most dreaded disease. As I
had no anti-scorbutic, with the exception of a very few dried apples and
a little citric acid, I was obliged to make use of everything the country
afforded as a substitute for vegetables. I caused the men to eat greens
whenever they could be obtained, with the green grapes occasionally;
and to-day we were so fortunate as to discover a fine bed of wild onions
(a most excellent anti-scorbutic) upon some sand-hills over which we
passed. A quantity were collected by the men and made use of freely.
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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/m1/52/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .