September 1849

September 1. Before breakfast this morning two of our company had a few words and took a fist fight.  Each got a black eye and quit.  About eleven o'clock, Mr. McSwain from Captain Berry's train, which was about two miles back, rode up for our physician.  He informed us that two men of his train, Gadson and Wiggenton, had quarreled.  Gadson got his gun and came up to Wiggenton to shoot him.  He took his gun away from him and knocked him down with it.  He got up and went away and Wiggenton passed on and was talking to Gadson's brother when Gadson came up behind him and stabbed him in the back of the neck with a Bowie knife with a dirk handle. The wound no doubt will prove fatal as the knife went through the short ribs cutting one almost asunder and entering the lungs.  This day about twelve o'clock, we come to that point on the River del Norte where the road leaves the river.  Here we camp.  Good Grass.  Bad water.  Miles 10.            

September 2, Sunday.  This morning we leave the River Rio Grande.  We cheerfully bid it adieu.  We are tired of its muddy waters and stagnant ponds. The weather is very hot. The sun pours down her scorching rays upon the sand.  It is oppressively hot both to oxen and to men.  We stop to noon after traveling about eight miles.  At the foot of a hill up which a train is driving slowly, this train is commanded by Gully -- the mule train being ahead of us, we overtake them about three o'clock at some holes of water where Captain Gully's train is encamped.  We unyoke and water and graze and eat supper.  At sunset we start again and travel until eleven p.m.  Arrive at some holes of water where Tisdale's train is encamped.  We camp.  Good grass.  We left the river at a point twenty five miles below Jornada Mountain.[1] 

September 3 Monday.  Coming into camp at eleven last night, our cattle were turned loose with a guard around them while they grazed until they laid down.  But very early before daylight they got up and thirty of them strayed off and we did not get them and get ready to start this morning before ten o'clock.  The day has been very hot.  We being now in latitude 32 1/2.

The cattle suffered for water.  At about four o'clock we came to a deep mud hole and commenced watering our stock with buckets after digging a place to dip in and we had much difficulty in keeping them out of the mud and some of them got in and one got mired and others came very near it.  Tho afterwards, a little distance from the mud hole we found good water where our cattle satisfied their thirst and we camp here.  Grass today tolerably good.  A good many of the oxen train are complaining that we travel too fast and make too long journeys and say they cannot keep up with the mules.  They wish to rest half their time.  But we, some of us, are for traveling fast as it is possible, that is, fast as our cattle can stand to travel.  Bread brown and bad.  Drinking water very poor.  17 miles.             

September 4. One of our ox teams this morning was about to stay behind, the owner, Mr. Wheeler, wishing to lie by and rest a day or two and others were complaining but we travel on.  In about eight miles we come to good water and good grass.  We stay to noon.  The sun shines very hot and the oxen have to be driven slow.  A heavy rain fell a few miles southwest of us.  At two o'clock, it clouded up and a cool breeze sprang up which made it very pleasant traveling.  We arrived in camp about two hours after dark at Copper Mine Creek or Los Mimbres Creek as it is sometimes called.  The mule teams which arrived a few hours before us crossed the creek but it had risen too high for us to ford before we arrived.  We camp on the northeast side.  It is a rapid, clear stream of water.  It runs in three different channels.  Willows and cottonwoods grow on its banks.  Excellent grass grows all along this valley.  It presents the most picturesque scenery I ever saw, mountains peering their lofty tops over mountains on all sides of the wide extended plain which itself looks like a beautiful meadow decked with flowers of various hues and fragrance.  The gama grass grows here in rich profusion affording the best of food for our stock.  This, that which was represented to us as being a desert destitute of vegetation, is a very fertile country as far as we have traveled, but, in 1846, when Cooke passed through this country there had been no rain for a long time, consequently there was no grass nor water but at a very few places.  We pass his camping grounds and often see old wagons or parts of them that he abandoned and some remains of his dead steers, old clothes, rags, shoes, etc.  Camp at Los Mimbres Creek.  22 miles.

Wednesday September 5. This morning before breakfast there was a contradiction between me and another about going back and about grass.  It ended peaceably.                

At noon the cattle are drove in and Mr. Hubbard's mess and Mr. Roberts' mess yoke up to drive across the creek giving an opportunity to the other mess to stop and leave the train as they appeared dissatisfied.  We did not apprise them of our intentions but they, when they saw us go, soon followed and we all corralled together on the opposite bank of the River.               

September 6 Thursday.  This day we make an early start.  Fine, cool morning.  Our stock well rested and fed.  We travel through a beautiful plain of gama grass with water at Bull Creek, about twelve miles.  At about four o'clock we arrive at Cow Spring or Copper Mine Spring as it is sometimes called. We find here good grass and water midling to drink but with difficulty we get enough for our stock. There is a swamp around the spring. The mud is black and the water in the swamp has a bad smell. There are signs that Indians have recently encamped here. We learn that the man who was wounded on Saturday in Captain Berry's train is dead and that Gadson who killed him is tied and guarded to be taken to the Pima Villages to be hanged, but the excitement against him is subsiding and no doubt he will get clear.  Camp at Copper Mine Spring.  20 miles.                   

September 7, Friday.  We leave this place this morning at seven o'clock.  We move on ten miles where we stop to noon.  Here we find a letter written by Captain Bunch and directions to immigrants informing us that they had passed along this road on the twenty second of August, fifteen days ago, that they had camped at the spring we left this morning and the Indians had attacked them and killed one man and wounded two.  That they had killed and wounded eight Indians, taken from them two mules and two ponies.  They caution us to keep a good lookout for Apaches.  They informed us that we could find water three-fourths of a mile from this place, describing the place, and that we could not get any more for twenty-five miles.  We found the water, but in consequence of another train coming close behind us, we did not stop to water our stock lest they should get before us.  Traveling behind a train is a great disadvantage.                                                      

We advance and the face of the country changes every mile until five o'clock when we stop to rest and graze our cattle.  We boil our coffee and make our supper of some cold coarse Mexican bread and cold fat side bacon.  About sunset we yoke up our cattle.  Poor things they are tired and very thirsty but we have no water for them.            

It is a dark night.  We are traveling in the heart of the Apache country who are bitter enemies of the white man and who are very warlike and numerous.  Our cattle walk brisk a few miles but become more jaded as they advance.  At a little before twelve we reach the foot of a mountain where the mule part of our train which had out-traveled us had encamped.  They had seen  an Indian with their spy glass, come off the mountain and run on the road looking, as they thought, for immigrant wagons and when he saw them he ran back.  When they came there, they saw his moccasin tracks in the road, so at the foot of the mountain they concluded to stop for us, especially as they saw the smoke of an Indian fire on a point of a mountain not far off. 

And so, here we are at midnight in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.  And the flowery fields, the fertile plain and the gurgling streams at which we and our stock slaked our thirst yesterday are exchanged for a waste howling wilderness and a dry and arid plain.  The chequered scenes of a journey to California are something like the vicissitudes of man's earthly pilgrimage.            

We turn out our stock grazing on a few bunches of grass that are here. But they are too tired and thirsty to eat.  Some of the men lie down with their clothes on and their arms ready for an attack.  Others stand guard around the cattle and the corral.  We get very little rest.             

September 8. At peep of day, we yoke up and start.  We know not how far we may have to go before we get water but we suppose twenty five miles.  We go off without any breakfast having no fuel to burn and very little disposition to delay time.  At eight o'clock we reach a small mountain pass where we find a small hole of muddy water. Some few buckets full were obtained but none to give our stock save one or two head.  There are two ladies in our company.  They seem to endure like good soldiers.  Mrs. Arrington walks up the mountains and over the rugged roads though her countenance looks a little sad.  Kind Providence has favored us with a pleasant breeze and cloudy skies yesterday and today.  At eleven o'clock we come in sight of something which appears like a wide sand bar about ten miles before which is what is called by Cooke "The Dry Lake" and by others "The Ojas" or "the Waters" being a huge level surface like a brick yard floor, with here and there a shallow pond of muddy water almost as thick as common paint, tho in the distance it looks like beautiful ponds or small lakes of clear water.  Our cattle smell the water and rise their heads and sniff toward it and quicken their jaded pace as well as they can.  Some four or five have given out and had to be taken out of the yokes.  At one o'clock, we come to the water.  The cattle do not like it but drink it freely after some considerable pauses over it.  One of my team, after drinking it, walked out and fell down and we could not get him up again.  We leave him and go to the corral.  After our cattle are turned out and our dinner cooked, we sat down to a dinner of good bread, bacon, and coffee.  After dinner, Captain Roberts, Mr. Reed, Foster, Settles, Munson, Wickersham and myself went to dig a well to water our stock from.  After being unsuccessful at two places, we opened a hole about four feet long and two feet wide and dug about two feet.  When I was digging in the soft clay which cut out like hard soap, and pulling my spade in deep, the bottom of the hole burst up and roared or boiled out like a large stream quickly almost filling the hole and scaring me not a little, for, before I could jump out the lava or soft mud had got over my shoe tops and so we abandoned the idea of digging a well.             

At four o'clock it looks like rain and soon the thunder roared in awful peals and the rain poured down in torrents filling every little hole, and covering almost the whole face of the valley, rendering wells unnecessary.  The stock herders are dripping wet but the cattle must be herded.  Every tent floor is covered with water, every fire is quenched.  Many of us are wet through.  Dark is coming on. our cattle must be tied up to lie down in the water.  We lie down ourselves wherever we can find the best place, without supper but being fatigued we rest.  Camp Dry Lake.    Fifty miles from Cow Spring.             

September 9. Sunday.  A fine morning.  The water has left the surface and our encampment is not very muddy.  This ground soon absorbs the water, being sandy or gravelly.  We stay at this encampment today to rest the cattle and graze them.  This has very little appearance of a Sabbath.  All are busy and some inquire in the evening what day of the week this is, not knowing it is Sunday.  A heavy rain fell in the evening some distance from us.

September 10 Monday.  This morning we leave camp at nine o'clock.  As we advance the face of the country improves much.  There is plenty of gama grass in places.  We pass water (a little) in the afternoon.  We did not arrive at Johnson's or Real Creek until an hour after dark.  After crossing it we drove a mile up stream and encamped.  There had been a very heavy rain this evening and it was very dark and it was with difficulty we could boil or coffee. Camp Johnson or Real Creek.   20 miles.

Tuesday, 11th.  We remain in camp until after dinner.  This morning a party of us ascend one of the Cordello Mountains and we had a commanding view of the surrounding Mountains and the vast plain that stretches out before us.  We could see more than a hundred miles.  We rolled some huge stones down from the mountain top which for more than a half mile went rolling, bounding, leaping and rolled along the ground.  At five o'clock we came to a creek, Stevens Creek.  Fine grass and water.  Camp.  ten miles.            

September 12. Wednesday.  We start early this morning and had this creek to cross, on account of its meandering, several times. At one of these crossings the hounds of Captain Bowlin's wagon broke and here we stop to repair them.  At noon we take up our march again and passing still along Stevens Creek, a rich and fertile valley of a species of red clover and gama grass, we reach a spring or a place where the creek runs after sinking into the sand.  Here we encamp.  Good grass and water.  15 miles             

September 13. Thursday.  After continuing along the valley about ten miles we arrive at the pass in the mountains called the Guadaloupe Pass on the dividing ridge of the Sonoras.  This pass presents the most wild and fantastic scenery imaginable.  Lofty mountain peaks of solid rock rearing their stately heads in all directions of the most diversified shapes and dimensions.  Some of the stones from the mountains had fallen and sticking up in the ground end-wise presented the appearance of a grave yard with its ancient tombstones, and monuments of gigantial size.  Here we had to descend a steep rock which seamed almost impossible.  We reached this point unexpectedly.  We had ascended no perceivable hill to bring us upon the top of such a mountain.  And the men who were before with their wagons having turned around.  A point on a small ridge came abruptly upon the scenery before them and they raised a hallo! and a loud laugh of astonishment crying out Stop! Boys stop!  We must go back.  We have come to the jumping off place!  Cook's route is giving out! And well it might be, for before them appeared nothing but mountain peaks, huge stones, precipices and gullies.  We have been going up the whole way from the Rio Grande.  We are on the top of the Cordellos of old Mexico. Our road has been a gradual ascent.  But now we have to descend the mountains.  The first descent above alluded to is very steep.  We lowered our wagons down with ropes and descending several places and ascending others we reached a camping ground with good water and grass in the mountains, having traveled about four miles of this difficult pass.  Guadalupe Pass.  14 mi.            

14 September, Friday.  This morning we take our march and go through this difficult pass.  Our cattles' feet are getting very sore on account of the stony and gravelly road.  In about a mile from camp we come to a fine creek of running water.  The road being very bad and sometimes running down the creek in the water, and at other times crossing it kept our cattles' feet soft and tender and the poor creatures flinched almost at every step.  We crossed this creek today seventy times.  We passed some beautiful mountains of solid rock standing sometimes with perpendicular sides and crowned on the top with a huge head piece as an ornament to cap the climax.  The hand of Omnipotence has scattered here some of the most fantastic and sublime scenery ever beheld.  There are caverns, precipices, deep ravines, flowing fountains issuing from the solid rock two hundred feet high, and gurgling streams with fragrant flowers and shrubbery all combined to make it appear almost enchanted ground.  At five o'clock we arrive at the Packet Encampment (so named by Major Atkinson) at the end of the Pass.  Good grass and water.  Packet camp.  8 miles             

15 September Saturday.  Our cattles' feet are very sore this morning.  We wind round a stony hill and soon strike the plain.  Travel about ten miles and arrive at the ruins of an old town called San Bernardo's Ranch.  The walls of the houses are many of them still standing.  Their former inhabitants are moldering in the dust.  It is said that the Indians drove them away many years ago.  There are a great many wild cattle in this part of the country which came from the stock that ran wild and once belonged to the inhabitants of this Ranch.  One man of Tisdale's train shot a bull last night and wounded it but it got away.  One of my team laid down on the road yesterday and it could travel no more so we had to leave it.  Another, which was an odd one, turned out, stayed behind and we lost him.  Camp San Bernardos Ranch. 12 miles.            

September 16, Sunday.  Last night as I stood on guard I heard the wild cattle low and the wolves howl dismally.  In the night, one of Captain Roberts' best oxen which had shown no symptoms of sickness and was tied up to the wagon at dark with the others, fell down and died this morning.  He is flawed and his hide taken to make moccasins for the rest.  We have beautiful clear water running from a spring but it is warm and not as good as it looks.  Bad grass.            

At noon we yoke up and travel ten miles, camp at the foot of a mountain.  Good grass and water.  Bentley's mess stayed behind today.  Ten miles.            

17 September Monday.  At daybreak we yoked up.  Some of the wagons had moved out some two hundred yards from the corral.  The rest waiting for their turn, when a large grizzly bear ran right among the cattle and wagons coming from a ravine which was close by the camp.  He came among us unaware to himself and seemed quite confounded to be among cattle and men.  He did not know which way to run but after one or two turns he took straight forward passing all the wagons and scaring the oxen and women and children.  One lady said he came and looked right into her wagon where she sat.  The men with their rifles were afraid to shoot because of the stock until he passed them (however one or two shots were sent at him but did not harm him).  After he had passed, crack! went the rifles and one wounded him in the foreleg but he traveled on, several following him for a half mile but he finally escaped out of their way and all seemed a little chagrined that they had let him slip.  We only moved today for more convenient water.  4 mi.             

September 18.  Tuesday.  Our oxens feet are got hard and they travel much better.  Today we find holes of indifferent water (called by Laureare, black water) and good grass in about ten miles but we only noon here as we expect to find more in a few miles at the foot of some mountains a few miles distant.  We travel until dark and fear we are caught in a stretch of twenty miles without water to Ash Spring but soon after dark we find some holes of water and we encamp for the night and turn our cattle loose to graze.  Mr. Willis and Mr. Bird from the train, went this afternoon to shoot wild cattle.  They shot one and wounded it.  It fell, but before they could secure it, it got up and ran off.  They followed it until after dark.  Mr. Willis had borrowed from Henry Stevens a mule to ride.  It was a little skittish and we fear something has happened to the hunters as they have not returned to camp.  Supposing them to be lost, we kindle large fires and fire guns but the first watch is ended.  The men are gone to bed and the hunters have not returned.  15 miles.          

September 19, Wednesday.  Early this morning, the two hunters, Willis and Bird came into camp looking rather sorrowful.  They had killed the wild bull and Bird had cut what he wanted from it and packed it on his mule and standing beside it, he was, with the butt of his rifle on the ground and the barrel leaning on his arm, he was handing Willis a knife to cut some beef to pack his mule, when his mule reared up and jerked the rifle so that the muzzle came the top of the back part of his fore leg and went off.  The ball ranged in a direction up the neck where it lodged.  The mule is very lame and it is doubtful whether it will be able to travel.  If it could be rested no doubt it would get well, but there is no chance for resting and when our stock cannot travel they are worthless here.           

At eight o'clock we travel, expecting to reach Ash Spring by night but at noon we reach it unexpectedly.  Here is a fine spring of water and a creek of good stock water and the first gama grass which is perhaps better than turning them into a corn field.  The stock ruminate here this afternoon and we have plenty of good wild beef.  One bull stood near the camp of Captain Tisdale's train all last night being captivated by a fine cow belonging to one of the immigrants but in the morning he paid dearly for his visit, for they shot him and found him excellent fat beef.  Ash Springs Camp.  10 miles.             

20 September, Thursday.  This morning I gathered a parcel of gama grass seed.  It grows here in the stoniest ground and on the sand.  It is a very nutritious grass.  Grows two, three or even four feet high and apparently would make good meadow grass in the States.             

At twelve o'clock we move from camp and travel ten miles, camp at some pools of rain water.  We find pools of rain water unexpectedly as this is an unusual wet season.  We had to travel after night to reach this water.  Captain Jackson being in advance with some mule teams, had found this water and we drove after night to reach him and the water.  14 miles.             

 September 21.  Friday. The country as we advance today toward the San Pedro River improves.  Our only guide through this uninhabited wilderness is Cooke's report and a paper from Mr. Leaurex who was one of his guides informing us where we could find water; from Ash Spring to San Pedro, forty miles, he gives no water, nor was there any when he was here but in consequence of this being a very wet season we find plenty of rain water pools, but the ground here absorbs the water so quickly that we can never know with certainty where we shall find water only at permanent watering places given by Leaurex.            

Night is coming on already.  The sun has sunk behind the western mountains, black clouds charged with water appear in the south and from the north they rise until all sides round the heavens are black.  A mountain torrent is pouring down on our left.  The wind fiercely howls through our caravan, the thunder loudly roars above our heads and only by the lightning flash can we discern the road or even the teams.  We drive for three hours.  We continue on our wearied way still hoping to reach San Pedro and at every flash of lightning straining our eyes to make discovery of it.  We reach a swampy bottom over which we travel some two or three miles on a bad road till we come to a ditch or           rather a brook over which we thought it dangerous to venture with our wagons but to stop here was not safe as it is such low ground and the rains here fall in such torrents as to cover the whole face of these bottoms and probably we may find ourselves in a lake before morning.             

But after consulting what was best and seeing it was hazardous to go forward and unsafe to stay, we thought it best to remain.  We drove up our wagons in a corral and unyoking the oxen turned them loose to graze, took a little sea bread and some cold water from our canteens and hoping that the darkness of the night would save us from Indian attack, we laid down to rest.             22 miles.             

September 22 Saturday. Mr. Lockwood[2] riding a mule with several colored boys driving loose stock last night in advance of us lost the road leaving it to bring back a horse that had turned out.  They could not find the road again it being very dark and they were out of hearing of the train and wandered about until ten o'clock when they saw the fires of Colonel Jackson's mule train that had camped five miles in advance of us.  Mr. Lockwood's mule in the dark went down a precipice and threw him over his head and bruised him on the face, one arm considerably hurt.  

This morning Mr. Peter Atkinson came into camp and informed us that Col. Jackson and the mule team are ahead and that several of our men stayed there last night expecting that our wagons would come up.  We move this morning to the balance of our train, stay here all day to rest and graze our stock.  A Mexican officer of the dragoons came into camp today and told us that they had a few miles from our camp one hundred soldiers to fight the Apaches.  They are very annoying to the Mexicans coming in large parties down upon their ranches and killing their men, women and children and stealing their stock and everything they have and burning up their towns.            

Sometimes they take their women and make concubines or slaves of them and they are treated very bad by the Indian women who beat them and make them labor very hard.  There are two large towns about ninety miles apart, Saint Bernando and San Pedro, whose walls are still standing in well watered valleys whose inhabitants were all massacred twenty years ago by the Apaches.            

The officer told us that they invariably killed all the prisoners.  They took the women and children and they killed them as soon as taken to save the trouble of driving them.  The men, when it was practicable they took to headquarters and burned some and shot the others.  They burn the chiefs and leading characters.  These Apaches have sworn eternal war with the Spaniards for taking their country and if they make a treaty of peace with them it is only in deception to embrace the  first opportunity to steal from and murder them.            

We leave Cook's route here for a better road which is thirty miles further and goes by way of Santa Cruz[3] intersecting his road again at Tucson, about one hundred forty miles distant.  Camp on the fork of the San Pedro.  5 miles.            

  September 23 Sunday.  We start early this morning.  The weather is fine and not oppressively hot.  The road is very bad through the swamp and over stony hills.  The mountains on our right and our left were near the road and presented a beautiful appearance of various shapes most of them composed of solid rock entirely bare of earth.  Two rocks about seventy feet high, we named the Siamese Twins being united in the same manner as they are, and in the distance presenting a peculiar and something like a rough outline of the same.  At three o'clock this evening we find ourselves in the wrong road.  From camp yesterday, we were fifteen miles in a straight line over a rugged mountain pass to Santa Cruz but were informed by the Mexican officer that the way was almost impassable and he directed us to bear to the north and we should find a trail that would take us around the mountain by a good road in twenty five miles to Santa Cruz.  We camp at good water and good grass.  10 miles.             

24 September Monday.  Last evening Captain Roberts and Mr. Reed went to examine the difficult pass and found it very stony for the oxens' feet.  This morning Mr. Arrington and Captain Roberts explore for another route.  Part of the ox train and the mules conclude to try the pass it being about five miles and perhaps the distance round may be thirty or forty miles.  Col. Jackson separates from us this morning going over the pass, and we found that at eight o'clock Roberts and Arrington return and state that they had found an old trail which they thought would take us to Santa Cruz.             

Mr. Howard, who with his amiable wife and daughter is traveling with us pronounced it to be Major Graham's road which he traveled last fall when he brought eighty wagons loaded with government stores and tried to go through the Pass, but after being three days in the mountains, and losing fifteen mules from exhaustion, and breaking eight wagons, he was obliged to turn back and go this route.             

We travel through a beautiful rich valley today and are nooning beside a beautiful running stream of clear water and the grass is luxuriant of best quality.             

At five o'clock we come to a grove of ash trees beside a crystal stream and abundant grass.  Our stock soon satisfy their appetites and lie down.  Mr. Atkinson and myself are on guard until twelve o'clock.  It is a beautiful moonlight night and being in no danger here, we spend time together pleasantly talking of families and home.  16 mi.             

September 25 Tuesday.  We move this morning early in hopes to reach the town today.  We are on an untraveled road and we are not certain that this trail will lead us to Santa Cruz, as it is but conjecture.  We anxiously look at every turn for the town of Santa Cruz but see no indications of a town and as the Mexicans here have no wagons or carts there are no roads leading from town to town as in the States.  Although we are in a beautiful valley with the best of grass and water, yet we are traveling where the Indians commit so many depredations on the whites whenever they have an opportunity and not knowing whether we are going right or whether we may come to some unsurmountable obstruction in the way and at last after wearing out our teams have to turn back, makes it not a very pleasant way of passing one's time.  We noon at a place where the grass grows most luxuriantly. I never saw such an abundant crop in any meadow and the quality of the grass is the best.  After passing some places which were rough and stony and coming over the point of a stony hill, we, at about four o'clock came in sight of the, as we thought, great town of Santa Cruz.  The boys pulled off their hats and gave three cheers for Santa Cruz.  We camped about two miles east of it before we came to it.  One Mexican came to camp and stayed all night.  15 miles.           

26 September Wednesday.  After traveling two miles we came to the town about eight o'clock in the morning.  It is a dilapidated looking place, many of the adobe houses falling down and a Catholic Church almost in ruins.  The men came out to meet us and were very friendly.  I sold them some flasks of powder of one pound at one dollar and percussion caps at twenty five cents per box.            

Every man when he leaves his house if but a little distance must take his lance as it is his weapon of war fare.  It is a spear placed at the end of an ash pole about ten feet long.  The Apaches came into their town a few nights ago and drove off their cattle and horses and stole them.  Poor creatures, I have no doubt but in a very few years the Indians will kill them all and destroy their town.  They appear to be an indolent people.  They will paddle a horse and tie two ropes to the saddle, one on each side and fasten a bundle of brush wood to the ropes then get on the saddle and ride two or three miles.  This is the way they haul their wood.  Col.  Jackson, with the mule part of the train crossed the difficult pass without accident and is in advance of us some miles.  We buy peaches ten cents per dozen here and a few apples, but they are scarce.  We camp on the Santa Cruz River, a small tributary of the San Pedro.  8 miles.

September 27 Thursday.  We stopped yesterday at four o'clock P.M. on account of a heavy shower of rain which has continued with little interruption all night.  Our wagon covers let in the wet some, and we were wet attending to our cattle and guarding.  We lie down wet and get up the same.  This morning after eating our breakfast in the rain, we yoked up our cattle.  It cleared off and we move on until eleven o'clock  when we are obliged to stop as a mountain torrent is just ahead of us.  We barely have time to loose our cattle from the wagons until it pours down in torrents upon us.  We wait an hour or two.  It ceases and we get a cold luncheon, hitch up and drive on.  Soon the rain pours down again and we make for a point of timber on the Santa Cruz River where we corral for the night.  We camp.  Traveling with a caravan in wet weather is very disagreeable.  This month is the rainy season of this country and it rains every day, but when we are a few miles distant from the mountains it does not often fall on us.  We can see the rain every day in the mountains and generally somewhere in the plains.  We are traveling down the Santa Cruz valley.  It is a rich bottom and affords abundance of good grass.  We expect to be in this valley and in the San Pedro into which it leads, until we get to Tucson, one hundred miles, and we are informed that we shall have the rainy season all the way to the gold diggings as we shall about travel fast enough to keep in it.            

This evening a Mexican with his musket and pack came into camp and said he was from Tucson and that the grass and water were good and plentiful.  To that point, we gave him some bread and meat and he went on as he wished to go to Santa Cruz tonight, fifteen miles.  This is a mountain country from Raton to the Pacific Coast -- the whole country being mountains with here and there a fertile valley between.  The mules have camped six miles in advance of us.  Mr. Reed and Mr. Munson have gone ahead and we wait till morning.  7 miles.            

September 28 Friday.  This morning is clear and a heavy dew is on the grass.  Our cattle are improving fast and our prospects of completing our journey are very favorable.  Yesterday morning we passed another ruined ranch destroyed by Indians.  We got a few peaches and some quinces.  The grass is coarse and very indifferent.  We camp on a River.  8 miles.           

29 September Saturday.  We travel down the River on a good road but the grass continues very bad.  This is a rich bottom.  The valley is from one to four miles wide with plenty of timber on it though it is generally of a scrubby growth.  There are some very large cottonwood trees and an abundance of ash, mesquite, acacia trees, which are excellent and lasting firewood.           

At eleven o'clock we pass the mule train which had stopped to make a new axletree for Judge Bowlin's wagon as he had broken one in crossing a deep chuck in the road.  We camp at a point on the river where there is much mesquite.  This mesquite grows in small bushes and is fine for the cattle to browse in some seasons of the year but now it is shedding its foliage and it affords no food for our stock.  We passed another ruined ranch today. Vail ran off this morning.  15 miles.                                                  

September 30 Sunday. After traveling a few miles we come to another ruined ranch.  Here the church appears in the distance to be a very fine building much the best we have seen since we left the States and in visiting it we found it to be a building professing much architectural beauty, a fine cupola and four bells hanging -- one down.  They were eighteen inches in diameter.  Our boys rang them and they could be heard a great distance.  The church was built of burnt bricks.  There are a great many good adobe houses, good for Mexican dwellings --sufficient for more than two hundred inhabitants.  The houses seem not long to have been deserted.  In the church there are candlesticks and chairs and considerable carved and turned work.  A great deal of fence has been made and much land has been irrigated and cultivated.  We got plenty of peaches from the orchards.  Not a soul was in town.  The Apache Indians are cruel enemies to the Mexicans and destroy their towns and steal their stock.            

About three miles down the River we come to another ranch as large as the other but the houses were not so good.  It, like the other, was entirely deserted.  We met eleven Mexicans traveling to Santa Cruz today, most of them on horseback.  Two of them had their wives behind them.            

The Mexicans are a very kind, polite and hospitable people but seem very indigent.  Two will ride on one horse rather than walk, sometimes three.  We have traveled today to obtain better grass but we have not found very good but we have dry gama grass which is better than the coarse kind of grass we find here on the bottoms that are salt which is the case with what we have had for two days.  12 miles.             

horizontal rule

[1]May have left the Rio Grande at a point a few miles south of Truth or consequences.                                           

[2]Mr. Lockwood.  Named in Story of Hannibal Gold Rush Story and in 1844 census as E.A. Lockwood.  In 1850 census as Edward Lockwood, age 27, born Vermont, wife Ruth and children, Laura and William.                                               

[3]Santa Cruz, old Mexico.                                             

Cover    Preface
   May    June    July    August
     October    November
Final Note    Appendix