By Patrick Dearen
Along a lot of its Texas stretch at the present time, the Pecos is just a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and ignored. the trendy motorist crossing it via bridge is likely to greet it with a yawn than with visceral emotion. yet have been he to learn the historical past buried deep in its banks, he might locate the sweat and blood of cowhands who knew this ghost because the so much bold and treacherous river within the West.
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Extra info for A cowboy of the Pecos
See Whiting's journal in Bieber, Exploring Southwestern Trails, 243350. 8. This study of the Lower Road-California Trail route is based on: report of Captain S. G. , Senate Executive Document No. 64 (Washington: 1850), 52; report of Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Johnston, including "List of encamping places on the southern route from San Antonio to El Paso, with distances," Reports of the Secretary of War, 27, 29; journal of Captain Edward S. Meyer in Escal F. , "A Description of the Route from San Antonio to El Paso by Captain Edward S.
Bill Oden, "Cowboy Standards of 50 Years Ago," manuscript, Haley Library, Midland. Oden cowboyed on the Pecos in the 1880s. 22. Taylor, Coming Empire, 300. 23. Millard, Cowpuncher, 36. 24. Ibid. 25. Charles Goodnight, interview with Haley, Clarendon, 12 September 1928, Haley Library, Midland. 26. John Russell Bartlett, Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora and Chihuahua, 18501853, Vol. , 1965, originally published in 1854), 93. 27. Davenport, journal of scout, pursuant to special order dated 16 March 1874, journal of marches, scouts, and expeditions, Fort Stockton.
27 As rimrocked mesas, 431 feet high, squeezed in on either side, the crazed cattle smelled dampness and stampeded. Giving chase through the dark, Goodnight rode down the leaders and saved the herd. They held the animals in the gap the rest of the night, and at daybreak Goodnight loped his horse across the sandy flats to scout the Pecos. 28 Returning to the herd, he enlisted the aid of four of his best hands and brought the stronger cattleabout two-thirds of the herdon to the river. Wild for water, the beeves bypassed the pond and stampeded into Horsehead and on across without drinking.
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