Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 59 of 368
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west beyond the ninety-ninth degree of longitude, there has been but
very little dew during the same period. The water in most of the
streams was, at the same time, absorbed by the parched and porous soil
over which it passed, and vegetation suffered much from the drought.
On the contrary, we have this season been favored with frequent and
copious rains, and heavy dews. The streams have everywhere furnished
a plentiful supply of good water, and the whole face of the prairies has
been cheered with a rich and verdant vegetation. Near the place where
we have pitched our tents this evening is an old Indian encampment,
where John Bushman, our Delaware interpreter, has discovered that a
battle has been fought within the past two months. The evidences of
this are apparent from the fact that the remains of a large fire were
found, upon which the victorious party had piled up and burned the
lodges and effects of the vanquished. Pieces of the lodge-poles, and a
quantity of fused glass beads, with small pieces of iron and other
articles pertaining to their domestic economy, which had partially
escaped the conflagration, were found scattered about the ensampment.
The number of lodge-fires indicated that the vanquished party was
The trail of a large party of Kioways, travelling to the north just
before the last rain, has been seen to-day; and we are continually
meeting with evidences of their having frequently resorted to this
branch of the river. Their old camping-places and their trails are seen
almost every day. They are probably at this time north of the Canadian,
with the buffaloes; but are attracted to the waters of Red river
in the autumn and winter, where the exuberant and rich grama grasses
which everywhere abound in the river bottoms afford the finest pasturage
to their numerous animals.
We have been gradually and regularly ascending in our progress
westward, until now our approximate elevation above the sea, as indicated
by the barometer, is two thousand seven hundred and two feet.
Our route to-day along the river valley has been populous with prairie
dogs, their towns occupying almost the entire valley of the river. I
was anxious to obtain a good specimen, and killed several of the largest
I could find; but my rifle-ball mutilated them so much, that we did not
think them worth preserving.
Our hunters brought in two deer and a turkey this evening, and their
auxiliaries, the greyhounds, have added another deer to the list.
June 23.-This morning being dark, cloudy, and threatening rain,
we did not leave camp until a late hour, when we continued our march
down the left bank of the river for some four or five miles, directly at
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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/m1/59/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .