August 12, 1862: Sacramento Delta
Busy, although weak and out of sorts, I got ready and at 4 P.M. [today], left San Francisco by steamer for Sacramento. It was a most lovely afternoon—the beautiful bay was crossed, the sun set, gilding in the most golden colors the bare hills, now either brown or a rich straw color. Mount Diablo stood up, a most majestic object, until shut out by the shades of evening. We were in the “sloughs,” as the many mouths of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are called, when the moon rose from the plain as from the sea. The illusion was heightened by its blood-red color and distorted shape as it rose from the low horizon.