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scent met a company of cavalry returning from Fort Union. They gave us gold news which furnished material for castle-building during the remainder of the journey. Passed through the 'Devil's Gate' at twelve o'clock. Camped at five p. m. at ‘Truax's Rancho' on the Red River.
“Friday, Nov. 6th, pleasant. Proceeded on our march at eight a. m. Saw a large number of Mexican sheep which graze in the fertile valleys west of the mountains, and are guarded by herdsmen. Drove twenty-five miles through a broken country—high bluffs on either side, passing through what is called the 'canion.'
“Saturday. At twelve m. passed Maxwell's Rancho, said to be the finest building in New Mexico. Maxwell, an American, came out here when a boy, and on coming of age married the daughter of a wealthy herdsman. He and his father-in-law now own forty square miles of land, having 100,000 sheep and 1,000 horses, and, upon the question being put to him: 'How many cattle have you?' says he:
"You see them grazing yonder,' and so you may, scattered through a district of forty miles. He has a fine house, two stories, a flouring mill, and numerous outbuildings, corrals, etc. There are about a hundred of his herdsmen living in small mud huts close by. They are Mexicans and get from five to six dollars a month. At five p. m. camped at Rijo, a Mexican town built and owned by Maxwell, population two hundred, houses built mostly of 'dobies,' chunks of mud about the size of a brick. “Sunday, 8th. Drove twenty-five miles, and
. camped at ‘Ocate'; roads rough and hilly.
“Monday, Nov. 9th. Broke camp at seven and proceeded. Arrived at two p. m. at Fort Union, all in usual health, stock looking rather slim. Fort Union is the largest military post in New Mexico. General Carleton was present to receive us, and had all the arrangements made for our immediate advance. Leaving Fort Union, we averaged twenty-five miles travel every day, camping nights in or near some Mexican town. On the 12th camped at ‘San Jose, found all the inhabitants drunk. A party of Navajo Indians had visited them the day before, and driven off six thousand of their sheep. A few of the Mexicans had pursued the Indians and the remainder had got on a 'spree.' On Friday visited the ruins of ‘Montezuma,' an old church in which a fire was kept up for upwards of two hundred years, with the hope that the tribe of Indians should thereby regain their chief, Montezuma, but who failed to return, having been killed by Cortez for his gold. This church is located on the road thirty miles east of this place (Santa Fe).
“Saturday, 14th. Arrived here, found the place about as we expected, built up of mud houses, mostly of one story. It is situated in a valley, but, strange to say, is watered by a stream of water not more than two feet in width. Wood is scarce, being brought from the mountains. Population not known, supposed to be in the neighborhood of six thousand.
“We leave here on Tuesday for the mines. Please direct as stated in the one accompanying. Have not time or convenience for writing the kind of a letter I wish, but trust for the future. Much love to all.
“Pinos Ranch, New Mexico,
Nov. 26th, 1863. “Dear Father:
“We left Santa Fe at noon to-day, and travelled fifteen miles, camping about sunset. On Tuesday, Captain McFarren (Quartermaster) of Santa Fe, learning that the Judge was from Michigan, called on him, having an interest in the state, i. e., twenty acres of land about half a mile from the city limits on Bridge Street, Grand Rapids, (east side). The Judge was unable to post him, and referred him to me. Mr. McFarren invited me to the office where he produced a map of the land. He said that it was an investment (through Major Backus, who was a very intimate friend and brother officer), in fifty-five. He has it in the hands of Ball & McKee. He wished to know of the parties, situation and probable value of the land. I told him, excepting value, not being posted very well on that score. He informed me that he paid one thousand dollars and hoped it would bring that. Now, provided he had a good title, which can be learned by calling on Ball & McKee (or writing McFarren), and you wish to invest, I think a thousand dollars would purchase. Look at it. Captain McFarren I found to be a very fine gentleman. He belongs, as did Major Backus, to the (regulars) Ŭ.' S. A., an served with him several years in Mexico. He asked of Mrs. Gunnison, with whose husband, when living, he was well acquainted.
“In our conversation we brought up the mineral wealth of the Territories; the different mining companies, etc. He informed me that Major Backus and several others were interested in a
tract of land supposed to be rich with silver, (he was president of the company), but it did not amount to much, their capital being small and machinery high. The mines were probably the ones the Major, while living, was so anxious you should invest in.
“We leave here in the morning. Our mail is to be forwarded us from Santa Fe. Much love to all.
“JONATHAN." “On our arrival in the mines, things looking well, I will write giving directions how to come should Uncle Fred and Abel, and Mr. Briggs think best. Things look bad at present. Most of Santa Fe moves towards the mines in the spring. Several miners from Pike's Peak joined us travelling for protection under our escort to the mines. Write, send papers.”
“Fort Wingate, New Mexico,
“Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 1863. “Dear Parents:
“We arrived here on Sunday, and have been waiting for the remainder of the train which we left on the 'Rio Grande' and which arrived today.
We left Santa Fe on the 25th November, and on the 28th camped at Albuquerque on the Rio Grande, stopping eight days.
“Albuquerque is located in the rich, fertile valley of the Rio Grande which is irrigated at all seasons of the year. Wood is not to be found nearer than thirty miles, and when brought into market, brings from two to two and a half dollars a donkey load.
“The population of Albuquerque is about three thousand, mostly Mexicans, or, as termed in this country, ‘greasers.' The males are a very degraded, lazy, ignorant set. An officer of a company stationed there told me he had seen men go to the market in the morning with one or two eggs, and lay there in the sun all day, and in the evening return home without a sale. Their price for a single egg is five cents.
“The women are industrious, doing all of the work about the house, in and out, bringing the wood and water, the latter they carry in large jars which they carry on their heads.
“While in the city we attended a fandango (as in Santa Fe) every night.
“We left Albuquerque on December 8th, crossing the Rio Grande three miles below without accident. Drove four miles down the east bank and camped at a Mexican town. Attended a 'baile' (fandango) in the evening, and on the following morning broke camp, leaving the Rio Grande, drove twenty-five miles, and camped. Found neither wood nor water. In the morning broke camp at two o'clock in order to get water by noon. Drove over a very heavy sandy road, the escort going ahead burning the grass and grease plants by the roadside in order that we could see to drive. At noon arrived at 'Sheep' spring, where we stopped to feed and water for one hour. Our drive at four p. m. brought us to a Mexican town, where we camped and, as has been our custom in all Mexican towns, attended a fandango. Two more drives of twenty-five miles brought us here.
“On Saturday noon we passed through the 'pueblo' village 'Laguna' (an Indian village of