Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 53 of 368
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REACH THE SOURCE OF THE NORTH BRANCH OF RED RIVER-BOTTLE BURIED-ARRIVED
UPON THE CANADIAN--DEPARTURE FOR MIDDLE FORK--INDIAN BTTLE
GROUND--PRAIRIE-DO TOWNS--SOURCE OF THE MIDDLE FORK-SOUTH FORK-PRAIRIE-DOSS.
June 15.-On account of the morning being dark and the clouds
threatening rain, we did not leave camp until daylight this morning.
We, however, made a good day's march over a very heavy sandy
country, and after crossing the main river, encamped upon the south
During the day we crossed several small branches, in which we found
good water; and in several places where there was timber upon them,
we saw old Indian camps. At one place I noticed a large grove of
cotton-wood which had been entirely enclosed with a brush fence by
the Indians; this was probably made for the purpose of keeping their
animals from straying away.
On reaching the river we found that it had very much diminished in
magnitude since we had last seen it. It was now only fifteen yards
wide, the water clear, and to the taste entirely free from salts.
The herbage for the last twenty miles of our march has suffered much
from drought, and the grass in many places upon the elevated lands is
entirely burnt up. We, however, continue to find excellent grass in the
valleys near the borders of the small streams, and upon the river itself.
The only varieties of timber that we find upon this part of Red river are
cotton-wood and hackberry, the former greatly predominating and of
large dimensions. Indeed, I have never seen so much timber at any
other place upon the plains, in this longitude, as we find here.
We have had the line of high bluffs in sight before us all day, and
we are now within a few miles of them. The geological formation
through the country over which we are passing is a light-colored calcareous
sandstone, covered with a drift of quartz and scoria.
Near our present position, upon the -opposite side of the river, there
has been a very large band of Kioways encamped, about two weeks since,
and their animals have cropped much of the grass for several miles
around us. From the multitude of tracks that we see in every direction,
there must have been an immense number of animals. On leaving here
their course was south.
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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/m1/53/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .