The Prairie Traveler by Randolph Barnes Marcy, Captain, U.S.A.


III.--Camping-places upon a road discovered and marked out from
Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Dona Ana and El Paso, New Mexico, in 1849.
By Captain R. B. MARCY, U. S. A.


          Fort Smith to
 65.      South Fork of the Canadian.- The road from Fort Smith
            to the South Fork of the Canadian follows the same
            track as the road to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and by
            reference to the tables of distances for that road
            the intermediate camps will be found.

 15.      Prior's Store. - Grass, wood, and water near.

 17 1/2.  Little Boggy. - Good camp. Wherever there are not the
            requisites of wood, water, and grass for encamping,
            it will be specially noted; when they are not
            mentioned they will always be found.

 13.      Little Boggy.- Good camp.

 15 1/2.  Boggy Depot. - Store and blacksmith's shop.

 12 3/5.  Blue River. - The road passes over a flat section,
            which is muddy after rains.

  8 1/2.  Fort Washita.-Good camp half a mile before reaching the
            fort. The road forks at the Indian village on the
            Boggy, the left being the most direct. There are
            settlers along the road, who will give all necessary
            information to strangers. Corn plenty.

 22.      Preston Texas, on Red River.-The road from Fort
            Washita runs through the Indian settlements, passing
            many places where good camps may be found, and
            crosses the Red River at Preston. There is a ferry
            here; also stores and a blacksmith's shop.

 20.      M'Carty's.-Road runs through a heavy-timbered country,
            crossing several streams where there are good camps.

 14 2/5.  Elm Fork of the Trinity, at Gainesville.--Road passes
            over a section diversified by prairies and groves of

 12.      Elm Fork of Trinity.-Good camp.

 11.      Elm Fork of Trinity.-Excellent camps. Road passes over
            a beautiful country rapidly settling up with farmers,
            who cultivate and sell grain at low rates.

  9.      Turkey Creek.-Tributary of Red River. Road emerges from
            the upper "Cross Timbers" two miles from camp.

 26 3/4.  Buffalo Springs.-Springs of good water, but of limited
            amount, in a ravine.

 12.      On a Ravine.--Pools of good water and a small running
            stream, not reliable.

 13 1/2.  On a Ravine.-Pools of water.

 17 1/4.  On a Ravine.-Pools of water.

 17 1/4.  Running branch of Cottonwood Spring.--Branch about two
           feet wide, good water; wood about half a mile distant.

 14.      Fort Belknap.--Good road through post-oak timber.
            County seat and town at Fort Belknap. Good camp on
            the west side of the Brazos, which is always fordable
            except in very high water.

 14.      Small Branch.-Water in holes.

 18.      Water-holes.--Pools of water. Road passes over prairie
            and timbered lands, is very smooth and level.

  7 1/2.  Stem's Farm, on Clear Fork of the Brazos River.- Good
            road; excellent camp, with abundance of wood, water,
            and grass.  Indian reservation here.

 13.      Elm Creek, or Qua-qua-ho-no.--Good road over rolling
            prairie and mesquite lands.

 17.      Ravine.-Pools of standing water. Good road.

 18.      Ravine.-Pools of standing water. Good road.

 27.      Small Creek.--Tributary of the Brazos. Good road.

  6.      Pools of Water-Good camp.

  8 1/2.  Small Branch.-Good water.

 20 1/2.  Tributary of the Colorado.-Brackish water.

  3 1/4.  Rio Colorado.--Brackish water. Road very excellent.

 12 1/10. Spring on the Road.--Good water.

 22 9/10. Big spring to the left of the road, affording a great
            amount of water, which runs off in a small stream.

 23.      Laguna Colorado.--Water somewhat sulphurous; fuel
            mesquite roots; grass abundant.

 35.      Mustang Pond.--This pond is north of the road about two
            miles, and was found in 1849, but emigrants and
            others have not been able to find it since. For this
            reason I would advise travelers to fill their
            water-kegs at the Laguna Colorado, as in a very dry
            season they might not be able to get any water until
            they reach the Sand Hills. The road is excellent over
            the "Llano Estacado," or Staked Plain.

 34 1/2.  Sand Hills.-Water in holes. The water is good here, and
            can always be relied on as permanent. The road
            through the Sand Hills is very heavy, and I would
            advise travelers with loaded wagons to make half

 31 1/2.  Laguna near the Pecos River.--Road passes through the
            hills, and descends the high prairie to the valley of
            the Pecos.  Laguna on the left.

 15 5/8.  Crossing of Pecos.--Water deep and not fordable; river
            42 yards wide. A road leads up the eastern bank of
            the Pecos to a ford with rock bottom. Good camps can
            be had at almost any point on the Pecos. The water is
            brackish, but can be used without harm.

 54 1/2.  Pecos River.-Point of the river where the road turns
            off toward Delaware Creek.

  9 1/8.  Delaware Creek.--Good road after leaving the Pecos
            River. The road on the Pecos is good in the bottom in
            very dry weather, but after heavy rains it is
            submerged and very muddy. Travelers should then turn
            off to the bluffs. The water in Delaware Creek is

 11 7/8.  Ojo de San Martin.--Fine spring of fresh water, also
            mineral spring. Good road up Delaware Creek.

 15 3/10. Independence Spring.--Large spring of excellent water.
            Look out for Indians.

  5 1/10. Ojo del Camins.-Good spring in the pine timber at the
            base of the mountain.

  4 1/2.  Peak of the Guadalupe.-Spring at the foot of the
            mountain. Road descends the mountain, and is very

 23 7/8.  Ojo del Cuerbo.-Road descends through a very rough and
            sinuous ravine, and crosses a long prairie to camp at
            a pond of standing water. No wood.

 26.      Cornudas (Wells).-Well in the rocks; plenty of water
            for small parties. Road good.

  8 3/4.  Sierra del Alamo.--Road good; water limited in
            quantity. There is a small spring upon the side of
            the mountain. No wood except a few mesquite roots.

 22 1/4.  Waco Tanks.-Good water in a large reservoir in the
            rocks. The road here branches, the left leading to El
            Paso and the right to Dona Ana.

 28.      El Paso, on the Rio del Norte.-Road good, with some
            sand; no water upon it.

          The distance from the "Waco Tanks" to Dona Ana is 63
          miles, but 40 miles of the road is over heavy sand, and
          no water until reaching the mountain, 25 miles from
          Dona Ana. I would recommend travelers to take the El
          Paso road in preference.

Total distance from Fort Smith to El Paso, 860 miles.

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