July 12, 1864: Visalia
A severe toothache…set in two days [ago]—I spent sleepless nights…I had ridden along with the party, but was in intense agony all the time. It ulcerated badly, and [today] I started for Visalia, sixty miles distant, to have it out. King [is] going down in order to take another trail and reach the high peaks and the region which had been inaccessible to us.
We started early in the morning and rode twenty-five miles before noon. The trail went down, down, down all the time—we sank five thousand feet in that twenty-five miles. Most of the way the trail led through magnificent forests. The giant sequoias, or Big Trees, were abundant; they occurred for several miles along the trail—hundreds of them from fifteen to twenty-five feet in diameter.
At twenty-five miles we struck a pleasant ranch, in a little valley, where we stopped all the afternoon. It was a nice place, and we got two very nice meals—the first square meals for some time and we did them ample justice. It was hot, we dared not ride farther by day, but just at sundown we were off again.
It was moonlight until midnight, but we rode all night and got into Visalia just after sunrise. Once we missed the way, and for two hours plodded over the plain.