Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 86 of 368
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to the interior of their country, and have, upon several occasions,
driven off parties who have attempted to examine the country about
the Witchita mountains.
We are encamped this evening upon a swift-running brook, near a
very cold spring of pure water, which affords a delightful contrast to
the water we have met with upon the Ke-che-a-qui-ho-no. Following
up the large brook into which the spring empties, I found its source in
a most lovely valley, about two miles above our encampment.
This valley, which is enclosed on three sides by lofty and rugged
mountains, is mostly covered with a heavy growth of timber of a very
supeiior quality. The trees, which are oak, are large, straight, and tall,
and are the best suited to the carpenter's purposes of any I have ever
seen west of the " Cross-Timbers." The soil here possesses great fertility,
and the whole valley teems with an exuberance of verdure.
July 18.-We changed our course this morning to the north, and
passing up the valley of the creek, found a gap or pass in the first chain
of mountains, through which, after much difficulty, we succeeded in
forcing our wagons. This gap, although not very elevated, was broken
up into deep and narrow gorges, filled with the angular debris of the
adjoining heights, over which it required great care and patience to pass
our train in safety. We, however, finally succeeded in reaching the
open prairie upon the north, and found ourselves on the banks of a
large stream, upon which we made our encampment. Our position is
directly at the base of the most elevated mountain in the Witchita
chain, which I have taken the liberty, in honor of our distinguished
commanding general, to call "Mount Scott." This peak, towering as it
does above all surrounding eminences, presents a very imposing feature
in the landscape, and is a conspicuous landmark for many miles around.
The altitude above the base, as determined by triangulation with the
sextant, is eleven hundred and thirty-five feet.
To the north of Mount Scott lies one of the most beautiful and
romantic valleys that I have ever seen. It is about three miles wide,
enclosed between two ranges of the mountains, and through its centre
winds a lovely stream of pure water, fifty yards wide and two feet deep,
the lively current of which rushes wildly down over an almost continuous
succession of rapids and rocky defiles. It is fringed upon each
side with gigantic pecan, overcup, (Quercus macrocarpa,) white-ash,
(Fraxinus Americana,) river-elm, (Ulmus memoralis,) and hackberry
trees, (Celtis.) About the base of the mountains we find an abundance
of post-oak, (Quercus obtusiloba,) and towards the summits, the red
cedar (Juniperus Virginiana) grows.
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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/m1/86/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .