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.
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
Wednesday September 5.
This morning before breakfast there was a contradiction between me and another
about going back and about grass. It
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
September 22 Saturday.
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
intersecting his road again at Tucson, about one hundred forty miles distant.
Camp on the fork of the San Pedro. 5
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
have left the Rio Grande at a point a few miles south of Truth or
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.
Cruz, old Mexico.
April May June July August
September October November
Final Note Appendix