CHAPTER XVI. SURVEYS FOR RAILROADS AND OTHER PURPOSES.
Thomas H. Benton—Survey by Boundary Commissioner Bartlett — Reconnaissances by Captain L. Sitgreaves—Appropriations by Congress for Surveys — Survey by Lieutenant A. W. Whipple—Reconnaissance by Lieutenant J. G. Parke—Exploration and Survey by Lieutenant J. G. Parke for a Railroad—Exploration for Location of Mines—Fight with Apaches, Description by Captain J. C. Cremony—James Kendrick Killed—John Wollaston, John H. Marble and Theodore Houston Wounded.
As early as 1850, Thomas H. Benton, Missouri's great Senator, began an agitation in Congress for a Pacific railroad. It was due to him, probably, that Bartlett, in his survey of the Boundary line under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was instructed to make notes of the country over which he passed with a view of the possibilities of building a railroad over that route. By the 24th of December, 1851, this survey had been completed to within sixty miles of the Colorado, when it was suspended for want of supplies, and the explorers found their way to San Diego in January, 1852. Here they met Bartlett again, who, in the following May, with Lieut. Whipple and party, started for the Gila to complete the survey. An escort to the Pima
In 1851 an expedition under Captain L. Sitgreaves, United States Topographical Engineers, made a reconnaissance down the Zuni and Colorado rivers to Yuma. He was assisted by Lieut. J. G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, Mr. R. H. Kern, as topographer, and Dr. S. W. Woodhouse, surgeon and naturalist. The expedition consisted of about twenty persons, including packers and servants, pack mules being used for transportation of provisions, supplies, etc. The expedition was organized at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the party accompanied an expedition against the Navajos as far as the Zuni, which point they reached by the usual road from Albuquerque, on the 1st of September, 1852.‘‘From this point, with an escort of thirty men from the Second Artillery, the exploring party travelled down the Zuni river to within ten miles of its mouth, when they left the river, and crossing a basaltic ridge, struck the Colorado Chiquito, down which they travelled until they were opposite the northern end of the San Francisco mountains. Here they left the river and travelled southwest, around the base of the
The report of this forms Senate Executive Document No. 59, second session of Thirty-second Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the routes pursued, on a scale of ten miles to an inch. The reconnaissance was made with a compass and estimated distances, and checked by astronomical observations made with a sextant.
In 1853, Congress appropriated $150,000 for six surveys for a railroad across the continent, and in the following year, it made an appropriation of $190,000 additional for this purpose. The most of these surveys were made to the north of Arizona, and do not concern us at this time. One, over the 35th parallel, practically the same route now followed by the Santa Fe Railway, demands our present attention.
Lieutenant A. W. Whipple made a survey over this route to the Pacific, the final report of which forms Volumes III and IV of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, Senate Executive Document No. 78; House Executive Document No. 91, second session of the Thirty-third Congress. It is accompanied by a topographical
From Albuquerque, the expedition travelled southwest to the crossing of the Rio Puerco, thence up the San Jose or Santa Rita Valley to Covero. Soon after leaving Covero, a small party under Mr. Campbell explored a route up the North Fork of the Santa Rita to its head, thence through Campbell's Pass, in the Sierra Madre, to Fort Defiance and back to the main party at Zuni. The main party kept up the South Fork to its head, at the Agua Fria, thence crossing the Sierra Madre by a rugged pass, descended the slopes of that range to the Pueblo of Zuni.
From this point the exploration was continued westward to the Rio Puerco of the west, crossing it near Navajo Springs, and thence southward to the Colorado Chiquito, near the Junction of the Puerco with the former stream. After following the valley of the Colorado Chiquito for about forty miles, they struck west towards the San Francisco mountain, passing south of it. Continuing the westward course, which carried them north of Mount Bill Williams, and across the sources of some northern branches of the Gila river, they reached the source of Bill Williams' Fork, and travelled down the valley of this stream to its junction with the Colorado. They now travelled up the Colorado, through the Mohave Valley, and crossed the river in about latitude 34° 50' north. Leaving the Colorado, they took a northwesterly course to Soda Lake. They then passed up the valley of the Mohave river, and through the Cajon Pass, to the rancho of Coco Mungo, and thence along the foot slopes of the Coast range to Los Angeles, where the survey terminated about the 25th of March, 1854.
In 1854 Lieutenant J. G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, made a reconnaissance for a railroad route between the Pima Villages and El Paso, the report of which forms a part of Volume II, quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, and is printed in House Executive Document No. 129, First session, Thirty-third Congress, which is accompanied by a map on a scale of five miles to an inch, and profile on the same horizontal scale, the vertical being one thousand feet to an inch.
Lieutenant Parke was assisted by Mr. H. Custer, Topographer, and Dr. A. L. Heerman, physician and naturalist, and provided with barometers, odometers, and compass. On the 24th of January, 1854, the party left San Diego. It consisted of twenty-three men, exclusive of an escort under Lieutenant Stoneman (afterwards General Stoneman) of twenty-eight dragoons.
In 1854–55 Lieutenant J. G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, assisted by Albert H. Campbell, civil engineer; Dr. Thomas Antisell, geologist; and Messrs. Custer and N. H. Hutton, topographers, made an exploration and survey for a railroad route from Benicia, California, to Fort Fillmore, New Mexico. The report of this exploration forms a part of Volume VIII of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, and is accompanied by two topographical maps.
On the 20th of November, 1854, they left Benicia with a party of about thirty persons, crossed the Straits of Carquinez to Martinez, and proceeded up the Arroyo de las Nueces to the head of the San Ramon valley. Turning south, they crossed the Coast range near the San
A thorough examination was then made of all the mountain region between Point Conception and Fort Tejon in the Cañada de las Uvas; upon the termination of which the expedition proceeded to Los Angeles.
Lieutenant Parke's instructions requiring him to examine the sink of the Mohave and Soda Lakes, he proceeded to a favorable point near the Cajon Pass, where he formed a depot camp, whence, with pack mules, he made the examinations required, and then proceeded with all his party to San Diego, reaching it in April, 1854.
The party followed the emigrant road, via Warner's ranch and pass, and across the Colorado desert, to Fort Yuma; thence they travelled up the left bank of the Gila river to the Pima and Maricopa villages. Leaving this point, on the 16th of February, they turned southeast to the then Mexican towns of Tucson and San Xavier. Continuing southeastward, they passed through the Cienega de las Pimas to the Rio San Pedro, and travelled up that stream thirty or forty miles, thence striking over the hills, on the right bank, they entered the Chiricahui Mountains, at the Puerto del Dado, south of Dos Cabezas peaks; thence they travelled east, crossing the mountains on the eastern side of the Valle de Sauz, near the Gavilan Peak. Turning now to the northeast, they crossed the
During the year 1852, the Boundary Commission having completed their labors and gone to San Diego, Captain Cremony, who had been attached to it as interpreter, was employed by a party of ten men, who had organized for the purpose of exploring a portion of Arizona, their object being to locate and exploit gold and silver mines. Captain Cremony was engaged by this expedition as interpreter and guide, at a salary of $500 per month. After a tedious journey to the Colorado where, at that time, Major Heintzelman was conducting his campaign against the Yumas, the party was crossed by the guard in charge of the launch, and cautioned about the Yumas, who were supposed to be in force on the Gila about thirty miles from its junction with the Colorado, in consequence of which warning, they proceeded by night instead of by day, until they had passed the field occupied by the savages. The rumbling of their two wagons, and the alertness of the party, impressed the savages with the belief that they were an armed party stealing a march upon them, and they passed unmolested in the dark, arriving at Antelope Peak in their march from Fort Yuma.
The last charge of my second pistol had been exhausted; my large knife lost in the thick dust on the road, and the only weapon left me was a small double-edged, but sharp and keen, dagger, with a black whalebone hilt, and about four inches long on the blade. I was just reloading a six-shooter, when a robust and athletic Apache, much heavier than myself, stood before me, not more than three feet off. He was naked, with the single exception of a breech cloth, and his person was oiled from head to foot. I was clothed in a green hunting frock, edged with black, a pair of green pants, trimmed with black welts, and a green broad-brimmed felt hat. The instant we met, he advanced upon me with a long and keen knife, with which he made a plunge at my breast. This attack was met by stopping his right wrist with my left hand, and at the same time I lunged my small dagger full at his abdomen. He caught my right wrist in his left hand, and for a couple of seconds—a long time under such circumstances—we stood regarding each other, my left hand holding his right above my head, and his left retaining my right on a level with his body. Feeling that he was greased, and that I had no certain hold, I tripped him with a sudden and violent pass of the right foot, which brought him to the ground, but in falling he seized and carried me down with him. In a moment the desperate savage gained the ascendant and planted himself firmly on my person, with his right knee on my left arm, confining it closely, and his left arm pinioning my right to the ground, while his right arm
To express the sensations I underwent at that moment is not within the province of language. My erratic and useless life passed in review before me in less than an instant of time. I lived more in that minute or two of our deadly struggle than I had ever done in years, and, as I was wholly powerless, I gave myself up for lost—another victim to Apache ferocity. His bloodshot eyes gleamed upon me with intense delight, and he seemed to delay the death stroke for the purpose of gladdening his heart upon my fears and inexpressible torture. All this transpired in less than half a minute, but to me it seemed hours. Suddenly he raised his right arm for the final stroke. I saw the descending blow of the deadly weapon, and knew the force with which it was driven.
The Indians were defeated, losing ten killed and a number wounded, how many wounded was never ascertained. The whites lost one man, James Kendrick, and three were wounded, towit: John Wollaston, John H. Marble, and Theodore Houston. Houston and Marble died of their wounds soon after reaching Tucson, which resulted in breaking up the party.