Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 55 of 368
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tree is blazed on the north and east sides, and marked upon the north
side with a pencil as follows: "Exploring Expedition, June 16, 1852."
An incident happened this evening, which for a short time gave us
much uneasiness and alarm. It was caused by one of the gentlemen of
the party walking out from camp alone without our knowledge, and
remaining away about two hours before we discovered his absence. It
was after dark when I first learned that he was not in camp; and as
there were many fresh signs of Indians around, I was fearful he had
fallen into their hands. I immediately started out the Delawares in
search of him, and ordered our six-pounder to be discharged, with
muskets at short intervals, and at the same time made preparations for
starting out myself; but no sooner had the cannon been fired than he
made his appearance, in a state of much excitement, and had evidently
been greatly confused and alarmed, as is always the case with persons
who are lost. He states that he had gone out for the purpose of taking
a short walk, and in returning over a hill, had lost sight of the camp;
that in endeavoring to make his way back he had become so much
confused, that after night he took ours for a Comanche camp, and dared
not approach until he heard the signal-gun.
June 17 to 19.--On the 17th, accompanied by three gentlemen of
the party, with five soldiers and three Indians, I started in a northerly
direction to go in search of the Canadian river. Our route led us immediately
out upon the elevated plateau of the Staked Plain, where the
eye rests upon no object of relief within the scope of vision.
Pursuing our way over this monotonous and apparently boundless
plain for fifteen miles, our eyes were suddenly gladdened by the appearance
of a valley and bluffs before us, which I at once recognised to be
upon the Canadian; and after travelling ten miles further, we found
ourselves upon that stream, making the entire distance from the head
of Red river to the Canadian twenty-five miles. This was a matter of
much gratification and interest to us, as it developed and confirmed the
accuracy of our calculations regarding the geographical position of the
sources of Red river. The point where we struck the Canadian is at
the mouth of a small stream called Sandy creek upon the map of the
road from Fort Smith to Santa Fe. This being near longitude 101
45', and latitude 35 58', makes the calculations for the two positions
approximate very closely. The formation upon the Canadian at this
point is very similar to that upon the Red river, being composed of
light-colored friable arenaceous limestone, resting upon a stratum of red
sand, with a sub-stratum of blue clay; the whole overlaid by a drift
of quartz, felspar, and agate. The soil upon the creek is a dark-brown
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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/m1/55/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .