Description of Lodgepole Creek ·The Deserted
Wagons · No Clue to Ownership · The Election ·
The Political Situation · Trip to Ash Hollow · Ad-
venture of Lieutenant Williams · Cannon's Puz-
zle · The Stables Finished · The Indian Scare
OUR camp at Pole Creek the night of November 4, 1864, was very bleak and dreary. Pole Creek was a vast trough in the plateau. It had a bed wide enough for the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Through this bed the arroyo of the stream ran, a bed of beautiful tawny sand about a hundred yards wide, and cut down from ten to fifteen feet. Sometimes the arroyo was wider, and sometimes narrower, but from Julesburg to the crossing, thirty-five miles, there was nothing, as before stated, in the shape of a tree or bush. It was absolutely devoid of any vegetation except the grass. And above the arroyo the "flood plain" of the stream, if it could be so called, was as level as a floor for distances out of sight. Occasionally in the arroyo there were little clumps of drift roots and brush, sometimes a small, dead, drifted pine. Lodgepole Creek was said to have a well-defined bed for two hundred miles, and to head at the Cheyenne Pass, in the Rocky Mountains.
Above the crossing, which, as stated, was thirty-five miles up from Julesburg, there was no traveled roadway up Lodgepole. The only road from the crossing turned north across Jules Stretch; but, for a hundred miles up-stream from the crossing, the smooth bed of Lodgepole was said to furnish a most excellent route west to the mountains. The stream seemed to have no tributary of any consequence. A few miles above the crossing there was another