June 6, 1864: Visalia
[Today] we came on to Visalia, twenty-four miles. In a few miles we passed the belt of oaks that skirts the river for a couple of miles on each side; then across the barren, treeless plain, still perfectly level—in places entirely bare, in others with some alkali grass. The surface of the soil was so alkaline that it was crisp under the horses’ feet, as if covered with a thin sheet of frozen ground.
Before reaching Visalia we again struck timber. The region about Visalia is irrigated from the Kaweah River, and is covered with a growth of scattered oaks—fine, noble, old trees. The town is a small place on the plain, but very prettily situated among the fine trees. That night was intensely hot, and we roasted in the hot beds of the hotel where we stopped.