Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 94 of 368
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REPORTED LOSS OF OUR PARTY.
borders of that State than any other Indians. They have no regard for
truth, will steal, and are wholly unworthy of the least confidence, and
their vicious propensities are only kept in check now from fear.
Living, as they do, between the white settlements and the prairie
tribes, they are at the mercy of both; they seem to be conscious of this
fact, and express a desire to be on terms of friendship with all their
neighbors. At my urgent request they presented us with several
bushels of green corn this evening, which was very acceptable, as we
had seen no vegetables for several months.
The Wacos live about a mile above the Witchitas, in a village constructed
precisely like the other. There are twenty lodges in this village,
and about two hundred souls. Their habits and customs are similar
to the Witchitas, with whom they frequently intermarry, and are upon
the best and most friendly terms.
Both of these tribes subsist for a great portion of the year upon buffalo
and deer, and wear the buffalo robes like the Comanches. They
also use the bow and arrow for killing game; some of them, however,
are provided with rifles, and are good shots. They have a large stock
of horses and mules, many of which are the small Spanish breed with
the Mexican brand upon them, and have probably been obtained from
the prairie tribes; while others are large, well-formed animals, and have
undoubtedly been stolen from the border white settlers.
We learned from the Witchitas, much to our surprise, that a report
had been made to the commanding officer at Fort Arbuckle, by a Keechi
Indian, to the effect that our whole party had been overpowered and
massacred by the Comanches near the head of Red river. This information
must have originated with the Comanches or Kioways, as they
are the only tribes inhabiting the country about the sources of the
river; neither the Keechies nor the Witchitas ever venture as far oujt
into the plains as we have been.
The account given by the Indian was so circumstantial and minut
in every particular, showing a perfect knowledge of all our movements*
with our numbers and equipment, that the information was evidently
communicated by persons who were near us at the time, and observing
our movements. This accounts for the fact of their avoiding us upon all
occasions, although we saw them several times, as has been observed,
and frequently passed their camps that had been abandoned but a short
time, yet they never came to us or communicated with us. They
probably regarded us as out upon a hostile expedition, going into theil
country to chastise them for their depredations, and may have supposed
that the report of our having been massacred would deter other parties
from following us.
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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/m1/94/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .