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October 12, 1861: Corral Hollow

October 12, 2011

Corral Hollow 01

Corral Hollow; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 61

[This] morning we started for our present camp. We were told that it was seventeen miles. First out on the plain, hot, sultry, tedious, four weary leagues were made, when we struck up the canyon of Corral Hollow. Here we followed up the dry bed of the creek; sand and gravel deep, often dusty, the air close, no wind, hot and sultry. It was but 85° in the shade, but it seemed much hotter. We were heavily loaded, for we had, besides our regular baggage, barely for our mules, for nothing can be got here for them to eat. Our seventeen miles proved over twenty, which took us seven hours to accomplish, with no water on the way save that in our canteens, which was a little salt and alkaline and got warm, say 80°, and was insipid and nauseous enough.

We arrived at the mines, and an hour was spent looking for water before we came to camp. Water to drink had to be carried by hand from a canyon a mile distant. Our mules could drink the water that ran from the mine, a little stream where the teamsters watered their horses. It was half a mile from camp, and it was awful, contained alkali and sulphur, and the poor animals refused it until driven by keen thirst. There was a deep well at a house, but it was insufficient in quantity to supply the people and too alkaline to drink. The woman told us: “It is good water, we can cook some things with it and make coffee, but it spiles tea.”

Under these disadvantages we camped and got our dinner at sunset after the day’s fast.

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