Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 84 of 368
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which would serve as building-material, and near the bank of the creek
we observed black-walnut.
Within a distance of six miles around our camp, I should estimate the
amount of woodland at eight thousand acres. The grass is of the very
best quality, and the soil cannot be surpassed for fertility.
We are, at this place, directly at the base of one of the most lofty
and rugged mountains of the range. Its bare and naked sides are
almost destitute of anything in the shape of a tree or plant, and it is
only here and there that a small patch of green can be discerned. Huge
masses of flesh-colored granite, standing out in jagged crags upon the
lofty acclivities, everywhere present themselves to the eye, and the
scenery is most picturesque, grand, and imposing.
We have for a few days past been much annoyed with a species of
large, black horse-fly, which attacks the animals most savagely, and
leaves his red mark wherever he touches them. These, with a species of
small black gnat, are the only insects that we have been troubled with.
The two men who for several weeks have been suffering from the
scurvy are no better, and I am fearful, if we do not find the wild onion
soon, that they will be in a bad state.
I have caused all the men of the command to use freely what few
anti-scorbutics we were enabled to procure from the subsistence department,
as also all the wild vegetables that could be obtained upon the
march; but these do not seem sufficient to fend off the disease, when
men have for a long time been confined exclusively to animal diet, and
constantly subjected to other causes that predispose the system to-the
The soldiers are by no means anxious to make use of the anti-scorbutics
from the commissary department, as they are obliged to pay for them
by submitting to a deduction in the amount of their ration, which, at
most, is a very small allowance for men who are marching or laboring
hard. This fact is so well established, that when citizen teamsters are
employed in the quartermaster's department, it is either necessary to
give them an allowance of fifty per cent. more in the amount of provisions
than the soldier gets, or an addition to his pay to enable him to
purchase an equivalent. Dr. Shumard has made use of all the
remedies in his possession in the cases of scurvy that have been under
his treatment, but he is of opinion that they avail but little in the
absence of vegetable diet. Our men have discovered some green grapes
to-day, which I hope may relieve the sick men. Several gentlemen of
the party ascended the mountain near our camp this evening, and
obtained a fine view of the adjoining country. They discovered that
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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/m1/84/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .