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July 30, 1864: Keough Hot Springs

July 30, 2014

Camp 185

[Today] we kept on our way up the valley. It was not so hot—100° to 104°, most of the time 101°. We had the same features—deserts most of the way, grassy meadows where streams came down from the Sierra and spread on the plain, the barren Sierra on the west, the more barren Inyo Mountains on the east. The eastern slope of the Sierra is here almost destitute of trees, save in the canyons and along the streams.

We camped by a creek, where also a stream of warm water comes from some copious hot springs about a mile distant. We took a luxurious bath. Although the stream of cold water was abundant, it dried up in the intense heat before night and ceased to run, but flowed again the next morning. We have seen Indians along up the valley, but they shunned us, afraid of the soldiers. One only came into camp. There was a sweat house and other Indian “fixens” near camp, but the Indians all kept away.

We wanted some fresh meat, so two of the boys went out and shot a fine heifer and brought in the beef. They assumed that she belonged to a Secessionist and confiscated her. It is very common here for men traveling to supply themselves with beef from the large herds, but this is the first time that we have ever done it—in fact, it was the soldiers who did it, but we helped eat the beef, and it answered us a very good turn indeed.

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