Mile 1835: Dry Creek

“Twenty miles farther led to the west end of the Sheawit Valley, where we found the station on a grassy bench at the foot of low rolling hills. It was a mere shell, with a substantial stone corral behind, and the inmates were speculating upon the possibility of roofing themselves in before the winter. Water is found in tolerable quantities below the station, but the place deserved its name, ‘Dry Creek.’ . . .

“Dry-Creek Station is on the eastern frontier of the western agency; as at Roberts’ Creek, supplies and literature from Great Salt City east and Carson City west are usually exhausted before they reach these final points. After a frugal feed, we inspected a grave for two, which bore the names of Loscier and Applegate, and the date 21st of May. These men, employes of the station, were attacked by Indians Panaks or Shoshonees, or possibly both: the former was killed by the first fire; the latter, when shot in the groin, and unable to proceed, borrowed, under pretext of defense, a revolver, bade good-by to his companions, and put a bullet through his own head: the remainder then escaped. Both these poor fellows remain unavenged. The Anglo-American, who is admirably protected by the officials of his government in Europe, Asia, and Africa, is systematically neglected—teste [witness, for example] Mexico—in America. The double grave, piled up with stones, showed gaps where the wolves had attempted to tunnel, and blue-bottle flies were buzzing over it in expectation. Colonel Totten, at our instance, promised that it should be looked to. . . .

“Shortly after 8 A.M. we were afield, hastening to finish the long divide that separates Roberts’ Creek Valley from its western neighbor, which, as yet unchristened, is known to the b’hoys as Smoky Valley. The road wound in the shape of the letter U round the impassable part of the ridge [i.e., via the Cape Horn route south of Simpson Mountains rather than over Eagle Butte, which is the Pony Express rote]. Crossing the north end of Smoky Valley, we came upon rolling ground, with water-willows and cedars ‘blazed’—barked with a gash—for sign-posts.”