Slike strani
PDF
ePub

with 46 men in that direction while with the remaining 24 men I started on my return to Pinal Creek. Mr. McCannon rejoined me at Ft. Goodwin 19 days from his departure, and made a report to me, a copy of which accompanies this paper. On the 24th day of July, with 24 men, I left our camp at the forks of the Black River and followed the western branch up to its head, distant about eight miles. I then turned in a southwesterly direction. We were obliged to camp the first night without water, but about nine o'clock the next morning we found water in tanks at the foot of a high, round mountain, the end of a range lying to the northwest and covered with pine timber. Soon after stopping Mr. J. W. Beauchamp left camp to go to the top of this mountain and take a view of the surrounding country and the bearings of different points towards which we expected to travel. Upon arriving near the top of the mountain he was waylaid by six Indians, shot through the chest with a rifle, lanced, stripped and left for dead. He lived for some fifteen or twenty minutes, however, after we reached him, but died before we could get him to camp. We buried him at the foot of the mountain, which we named Beauchamp Peak in memory of the unfortunate victim of Indian cruelty and cowardice. A deep and precipitous canyon heads upon the northeast side of this mountain or peak, and running around its northern side, falls off to the southwest for several miles, then turning northwest, passes around a range of high mountains and running thence southward is, in fact, the main branch of the San Carlos River. We travelled along it some thirty miles over a level country shaded with cedar trees, covered with grass, forming a most excellent stock range. Among these cedars we found an abundance of 'bear sign,' and one evening just before camping, we had some excellent sport in killing a bear, our second, as we had killed one on the Gila about fifteen miles above Ft. Goodwin. Both of them were of the species known as the cinnamon bear. About twenty miles from Beauchamp Peak, in a southwesterly direction, we reached the foot of the mountains last spoken of and the road over them for about eight miles was very rough and rocky, the descent upon the western side being particularly difficult. Upon reaching the foot of the mountain on the western side we found a small stream of good water and a rancheria of Indians who fled at our approach, some of them on horseback. We stopped here for some three hours for noon and upon leaving the Indians hallooed at us from the hills as long as we were within hearing, taking good care, however, to keep out of our range. We now travelled over a level mesa for about twenty miles in a southwesterly direction, until we reached the eastern branch of the San Carlos. We found no water in this branch, but the next was the one before spoken of as heading at Beauchamp Peak, and in it was found running water in abundance. Still continuing our southwest course, we crossed a level mesa for about twelve miles, varied only by crossing the deep canyon of the San Carlos. We succeeded in crossing five of these, but the sixth compelled us to follow it up to the dividing ridge between the waters of Salt River and San Carlos before we could pass it. We saw some Indians on this dividing ridge who hallooed at us from a cliff. On arriving at within about ten miles of Pinal Creek, we were visited in camp by about nine Indians, who came in without hesitation and told us of the soldiers being at our old camp at Pinal Creek. The Indians promised they would come over to the old camp and have a talk as they said the soldiers were eating up all their corn. We did not reach the old camp that night, and the next morning we heard the discharge of musketry as though a battle were in progress, and saw the cavalry charging over the hill. I immediately ordered the train to close up and move cautiously down to the water while I galloped over the point to see what was going on. I found that the soldiers were chasing three or four Indians that had appeared in sight. Of course the Indians I expected did not come in, neither did any Indians afterward visit the camp, and no more were seen except a few that Maj. Blakeney had seized as hostages for a boy that had delivered himself up to him and had afterward been kidnaped by the Indians. Two of these were afterward hanged by order of Maj. Blakeney, the boy not being returned. Maj. Blakeney and myself immediately commenced preparing to make the raid upon the Indians at Sigual Mountain, as had been agreed upon at Ft. Goodwin, and would have been ready to start in one day, when an order came from Maj. Smith to break up camp and return to Ft. Goodwin. I had gone to Camp Rigg to hurry up supplies when the order reached Maj. Blakeney, and when he marched back to Camp Rigg, I found my men with him. I immediately started for Ft. Goodwin to endeavor to get Col. Rigg to still send an expedition to Signal Mountain. The Colonel made an order for two companies to proceed to that place and operate against the Indians in conjunction with my command, and two days after left for Las Cruces, turning over the command of the Apache expedition to Maj. Joseph Smith, who found it impossible to fit out the expedition, owing to the excessive rains and consequent failure of some provision trains to arrive at the Fort. The streams were also swollen so that he feared it would be impossible to cross.

The expedition was, therefore, abandoned, to my great mortification and chagrin. I remained six days at the Fort and during that time Mr. McCannon returned from his expedition to the eastward in the search of another Black River. A portion of my men concluded to return to Ft. Goodwin and obtain employment; two enlisted, and two remained in the hospital and with the balance, numbering when I reached Camp Rigg 54 men, I started for home. The River Gila was swollen by the rains and difficult to cross, and we did not reach Camp Rigg until the third day after leaving Ft. Goodwin, a distance of 40 miles. Leaving Camp Rigg the next day, we reached the old camp at Pinal Creek in a day and a half, and then followed our trail back by Grapevine Springs to Salt River and up Tonto Creek to near its head. Crossing the dividing ridge a distance of about ten miles, we struck the east fork of the San Francisco about ten miles below our former camp on that stream, then followed down the Rio Verde or San Francisco. While passing down the east fork we shot at an Indian, but did not succeed in stopping him. About two hours after as we were passing along a rough and difficult trail on the side of a hill, and overlooked by a high cliff of rocks, some Indians attempted to annoy us by rolling rocks down the hill, and also shot a few arrows at us. None reached us, however, nor did any of the rocks reach the pack train as they intended. A few shots from some of our long range guns soon scattered the rascals and we passed without injury. We camped on the San Francisco and the next morning commenced the ascent of the mountain on this side of that river, following an old Indian trail, which proved a good one although pretty steep. in some places. On reaching the top, we struck across the smooth mesa to the Agua Fria ranch, which we reached on the third day from the San Francisco river, the 13th from Ft. Goodwin, and the 87th day from the day of starting upon the expedition.

“The whole country through which we have passed is covered with excellent grass. Water is plentiful for all ordinary purposes. In many places beautiful little valleys invite the farmer and ranchero to follow the occupation of their choice. We never found gold in paying quantities, and yet I cannot help thinking that there

« PrejšnjaNaprej »