Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 99 of 368
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PROMINENT FEATURES OF RED RIVER.
PROMINENT FEATURES OF RED RIVER-FLOODS-CHAIN OF LAKES-CROSS-TIMBERS-ARABLE
LANDS-ESTABLISHMENT OF A MILITARY POST UPON RED RIVER
RECOMMENDED-ROUTE OF COMANCHES AND KIOWAYS IN PASSING TO MEICO-WAGON-ROUTE
FROM FORT BELKNAP TO SANTA FE-NAVIGATION OF RED RIVERERRONEOUS
OPINIONS IN REGARD TO RED RIVER-EXTENSIVE GYPSUM RANGE--EL
In a comprehensive review of the physical characteristics of the
particular section of Red river which is comprised within the limits of
the district assigned to the attention of the expedition, it will not
perhaps be considered irrelevant to make a few general observations
upon the more prominent features of the country bordering upon this
stream, from its confluence with the Mississippi to its sources. It will
be observed, by reference to a map of the country embracing the basin
of this river, that in ascending from the mouth, its general direction
as high as Fulton, Arkansas, is nearly north and south i that here it
suddenly changes its course and maintains a direction almost due east
and west to its sources. One of the first peculiarities which strikes the
mind on a survey of the topography of this extensive district of country,
is the general uniformity of its surface: with the exception of the
Witchita range no extensive chains of lofty mountains diversify the perspective,
and but few elevated hills rise up to relieve the monotony of
the prospect. Another distinguishing feature of this river is, that the
country on its upper waters differs in every respect from that in the
vicinity of its mouth. The valley is found to comprise two great geographical
sections, each having physical characteristics entirely distinct
from the other. The main branch of the river from the point where
it debouches out of the Staked Plain, flows through an arid prairie
country almost entirely destitute of trees, over a broad bed of light
and shifting sands, for a distance, measured upon its sinuosities, of some
five hundred miles. This country for the most part is subject to periodical
seasons of drought, which preclude the possibility of cultivation
except by means of artificial irrigation. It then enters a country covered
with forest-trees of gigantic dimensions, growing upon an alluvial soil
of the most pre-eminent fertility, which sustains a very diversified sylva,
and affords to the planter the most bountiful returns of all the products
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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/m1/99/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .