Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 80 of 368
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The Witchita mountains have been in sight to the left all day, and
our present position is very nearly opposite the western extremity of
the chain. The variation of the magnetic needle at this point is 10
45' 30" east.
July 11.-Striking our tents at an early hour thisr-orning, we continued
down the valley of the creek for ten miles, when we turned to the
north, and followed for several miles a ridge dividing this from another
stream, upon which we are encamped.
The face of the country over which we are now journeying is totally
without interest, being arid, sterile, and flat, and presenting no object
upon which the eye can rest with pleasure.
The stream at this place is thirty yards wide, two feet deep, with a
swift current, and the water brackish. Since we left the head of the
Ke-che-a-qui-ho-no, we have found but three places upon the route
where the water has been entirely free from salts, and at these places,
with one exception, it has been insipid, stagnant, and muddy; yet our
animals drink it and appear fond of it. As yet, we have lost none of our
stock by death or straying. Our oxen, although they have performed
more labor than the mules, are in much better condition; indeed, they
have been constantly improving, while the others have become somewhat
poor and jaded. This goes to confirm me in an opinion I had previously
formed as to the comparative powers of endurance of the two different
kinds of cattle for long journeys upon the plains. I have now no hesitation
in expressing a decided opinion in favor of the oxen.
July 12.-As we anticipated a long march, reveille was sounded at
1 o'clock this morning, and we were en route at 2. Taking a course
north of east towards a mountain which we recognised as being upon
Beaver creek, we reached the confluence of this stream with Red river
at 9 o'clock, and crossing a short distance above the junction, encamped
in a bend of the creek, where, to the supreme satisfaction of every one
in the command, we once more found good running water, and after
being for so long a time deprived of it we enjoyed it exceedingly.
When drinking the bad water upon the plains it has often occurred to
me that we do not sufficiently appreciate the luxury of good water in
those more favored parts of our country, where it everywhere abounds
in the greatest profusion. The suffering produced by the absence of
good water in a journey on the plains during the heat of the summer
months is known only to those who have experienced it. As we have
now passed the gypsum range of country, we do not anticipate any
more difficulty in finding good water.
We shall remain at this place to-morrow, and on the day following
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/80/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .