Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 88 of 368
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OLD INDIAN VILLAGES.
OLD INDIAN VILLAGES--BEAUTIFUL SCENERY-TRAP FORMATION-LOST MULEBEAVER
CREEK--PRAIRIE GUIDES-RUSH CREEK-WITCHITA AND WACO VILLAGES-MEXICAN
PRISONERS--TALK WITH THE INDIANS-CROSS TIMBERS-KICKAPOOS-STRIKE
WAGON TRACK--ARRIVAL AT FORT ARBUCKLE.
July 19.-At daylight this morning we crossed the creek after having
excavated a passage for the wagons in the high banks, and travelled
down the valley along the outer border of the timber in the bottom.
The country over which we marched was of a similar character to that
described about our last camp, and equally beautiful. We passed two
old Indian vilages, which John Bull, one of the hunters, says were
formerly occupied by the Witchitas and Keechies; several of the lodges
were still standing, with their old corn-fields near by.
Our camp is upon the creek about a mile above the village last occupied
by the Witchitas before they left the mountains. Here they lived
and planted corn for several years, and they have exhibited much taste
and judgment in the selection of the site for their town. It is situated
at the eastern extremity of the mountains, upon a plateau directly
along the south bank of the creek, and elevated about a hundred feet
above it, commanding an extended view of the country towards the
north, south, and east. From its commanding position it is well secured
against surprise, and is by nature altogether one of the most defensible
places I have seen.
The landscape which is here presented to the eye has a most charming
diversity of scenery, consisting of mountains, woodlands, glades,
water-courses, and prairies, all laid out and arranged in such peculiar
order as to produce a witching effect upon the senses.
This must have been a favorite spot for the Indians; and why they
have abandoned it I cannot imagine, unless it was through fear of the
Comanches. It is only two years since they removed from here, and
their lodge-frames are still standing, with the scaffolds upon which they
dried their corn.
The soil, in point of fertility, surpasses anything we have before seen,
and the vegetation in the old corn-fields is so dense, that it was with
great difficulty I could force my horse through it. It consisted of rank
weeds, growing to the height of twelve feet. Soil of this character must
have produced an enormous yield of corn. The timber is sufficiently
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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/m1/88/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .