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August 2, 1861: Watsonville

August 2, 2011

Camp 43

[Today] we intended starting early. We were up and had our breakfast at five o’clock, but Averill did not arrive. We packed up and waited all the day, or at least until 1 P.M., then started on without him. We came on about eighteen miles, first over the hills, then across the most lovely Pajaro Valley, a little bottom five or six miles wide and eight or ten long—a perfect level—an old lake filled in as is shown by its position and by the terraces around its sides. On the river is Watsonville, a neat, thriving, bustling, American-looking little town. The country around is in the very highest cultivation, divided into farms, covered with the heaviest of grain, or a still heavier crop of weeds. Several threshing machines were seen at work in the fields, and the hum of industry in the little town sounded American-like.

I ought to mention a little item. The squirrels were very thick around our San Juan camp—they came out of their holes to eat the barley near our mules. Guirado killed seven at one shot with the shotgun, and Peter, one morning, shot twenty-one in four shots. The morning we left, while we were waiting for Averill, as I sat making some calculations, I kept my revolver by my side to shoot at the squirrels when they came out. I killed five in thirteen shots, so you see I am getting to be quite expert with the “instrument.”

We camped about three miles from Watsonville….

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