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Journal of Jedediah Smith: Second Expedition to California

I Directed Two Good Marksmen to Fire

Seeing a few indians who ventured out from their covering within long shot I directed two good marksmen to fire they did so and two indians fell and another was wounded.  Uppon this the indians ran off like frightened sheep and we were released from the apprehension of immediate death.

The indians did not press on us again, and just before dark we commenced our journey and traveled all night and the next morning got to the first spring. As we had no way of carrying water and the weather was verry warm I remained at the spring during the heat of the day and in the evening moved on, traveling all night. In a low plain and in the night when I could not see the distant and detached hills I had no guide by which to travel and therefore lost my way. In the morning I ascended a hill, but could not ascertain on which side the trail Lay.

Observing a high hill nearly in the direction in which I wished to travel I told the men which way to travel in case we did not come back soon, and taking a man with me who was a good walker, I pushed on in search of water and fortunately found some. I sent the man back to the other men and in the mean [time] laid down to take a little sleep, which from my incessant anxiety and fatigue had become quite necessary.

When the party arrived I left them at the little spring and mounting the highest hill I could see I was enabled to determine that we were about five miles on the right of the trail and nearly opposite a place where I had found water when I passed before. We remained at the spring until nearly night, and then bearing the spring on the trail to the left, I struck directly for the next spring on the old route, traveling and resting by intervals during the night and the following morning until ten O Clock, when we got to the spring.

We there remained during the remainder of the day and the following night, and in the morning early we started, but instead of following the old trail I turned to the left and struck directly for the Salt Plain. My guides had told me of that route when I was there before, but it was considered too stoney for horses.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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