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Disaster At The Colorado Charles Baley

Disaster At The Colorado

Charles Baley

Published June 1st 2002
ISBN : 9780874214376
Paperback
228 pages
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 About the Book 

Across north-central New Mexico and Arizona, along the line of Route66, now Interstate 40, there first ran a little-known wagon trail calledBeales Wagon Road, after Edward F. Beale, who surveyed it for the WarDepartment in 1857. This survey becameMoreAcross north-central New Mexico and Arizona, along the line of Route66, now Interstate 40, there first ran a little-known wagon trail calledBeales Wagon Road, after Edward F. Beale, who surveyed it for the WarDepartment in 1857. This survey became famous for employing camels. Notso well known is the fate of the first emigrants who the next yearattempted to follow its tracks. The government considered the 1857exploration a success and the road it opened a promising alternativeroute to California but expected such things as military posts anddeveloped water supplies to be needed before it was ready for regulartravel. Army representatives in New Mexico were more enthusiastic. In 1858 there was a need for an alternative. Emigrants avoided themain California Trail because of a U.S. Army expedition to subdueMormons in Utah. The Southern Route ran through Apache territory, wasdifficult for the army to guard, and was long. When a party of Missouriand Iowa emigrants known as the Rose-Baley wagon train arrived inAlbuquerque, they were encouraged to be the first to try the new Bealeroad. Their journey became a rolling disaster. Beales trail was moredifficult to follow than expected- water sources and feed for livestockharder to find. Indians along the way had been described as peaceful, but the Hualapais persistently harassed the emigrants and shot theirstock, and when the wagon train finally reached the Colorado River, alarge party of Mojaves attacked them. Several of the emigrants werekilled, and the remainder began a difficult retreat to Albuquerque.Their flight, with wounded companions and reduced supplies, became evermore arduous. Along the way they met other emigrant parties andconvinced them to join the increasingly disorderly and distressed return journey. Charles Baley tells this dramatic story and discusses its aftermath, for the emigrants, for Beales Wagon Road, and for the Mojaves, againstwhom some of the emigrants pressed legal claims with the federalgovernment