Station, 22 miles: good no water or grass. To the Tanks, 7 miles; same as Desert Station. The Maricopa Wells, 11 miles; plenty of brackish water; some salt grass; and from thence to the Pima Villages, 11 miles, with some sloughs.
The march from Fort Yuma to the Pima Villages was fatiguing in the extreme. The intense heat and alkali dust was almost unbearable; both men and animals suffered very much. As fast as possible the troops were pushed forward. On the 14th of May Lieutenant-Colonel West was sent forward by way of Fort Breckinridge with four companies of infantry. This fort was reoccupied, and the Stars and Stripes again floated to the breeze. From Fort Breckinridge Colonel West proceeded to Tucson by way of Canada del Ora. A description of the route is taken from the notes of Colonel West:
May 14, left Fort Barrett Pima, at 7 a. m.; road tends towards the river on the left hand; detached and irregular mountains, from 5 to 9 miles, to the right; soil becomes sandy and the country desert. Greasewood and mesquite wood abounded, but no thickets. The river is gradually approached and touched at Sacaton Station; there plenty of sacaton grass; a poor article for pasturage; good camp on the river; road fine for marching and transportation. Course, east-northeast.
15th, left Sacaton Station at 5.40 a. m. Road parts from the river and leaves it from 1 to 2 miles to the left; mountain spare trend off southeast; a lone peak about 1 1\2 miles long is detached from the main range. The Butterfield road to Tucson passed between the peak and main mountain. A picket there can effectually watch both roads. A small lagoon of water is found at the north base. The Picacho is plainly visible throughout the day's march. Dense mesquite thickets; road fine for marching and transportation. Camp on the river in a cottonwood grove, one-fourth mile below White's; good grazing and fine. Course, east by south.
May 16, left White's at 5. 50 a. m. Road leaves the river and takes the mesa; the ascent is gradual and road good for 20 miles. Thickets of cactus and palo verde. At 20 to 31 miles a steep descent leads to Dry Camp, a basin in the hills of some 30 acres in area; a trail makes out of this due north to Ojo Verde Springs, 4 miles; the Gila River is 3 miles farther in the same direction. Ojo Verde can be used; the water is inferior and not abundant; the quality and perhaps the quantity could be improved.
The spring is 4 miles off the road, and the return must be made by the same track. Left Dry Camp at 6. 40 p. m.; road turns off southeast up an arroyo; very heavy sand for about 6 miles; then gradual ascent of 5 miles; then more abrupt and up high hills.
At 15 miles from Dry Camp a finger-post, marked " Water," points to the right.
Cottonwood Spring is distant half a mile, in a ravine. The grazing is fine and water abundant for such a body of troops as this. A lone cottonwood tree prominently marks the springs. Course, east by south-southeast.
May 17, laid by.
May 18, left Cottonwood Spring at 5 a. m.; road over rolling hills 5 miles; good grass, then pass the summit, and the descent commences towards San Pedro River.
Sandy arroyo for 8 miles and heavy traveling; the road becomes a canon. A walnut tree, 3 miles west of Fort Breckinridge, marked "Water," stands in the middle of the road. At this point the road to Tucson turns off square to the right; thence to the San Pedro and Fort Breckinridge. Colonel Carleton changed the name of this fort, and called it Fort Stanford, in honor of Leland Stanford, Governor of California.
The fort is 3 miles to the right, up a canon; rocks from 100 to 300 feet high; pass from 20 to 70 yards wide; road extremely heavy. At this fort fine stream, good grazing, and abundance of wood. Course, east by south.
19, left Fort Breckinridge at 5. 45 a. m. Returned by the canon to the walnut tree; thence turned abruptly to the left and south up similar canon, which gradually expands to open country; road for 12 miles excessively heavy and sandy; thence gently rolling hills until the foot of a mountain is reached on the left, about 17 miles of 1 mile leads to Canada del Oro. Camp on a fine mountain stream; grazing very fine and wood abundant. This is a very difficult day's march. Course, northwest and south.
20th, left Canada del Oro at 2 p. m.; road follows a ravine between the mesa on the right and a mountain range on the left; a good deal of sand, but mainly a fair road; fine grass along the road.
At 11. 55 the road forks, the left-hand leading 1 mile to the Rincon, a small, running stream; fine camp; grass immediately under the mountain. Course, southwest.
May 21, left Rincon at 5. 30 a. m. Road turns round the point of the mountain on the left; traveling rather heavy. Sandy arroyo, and then the ground becomes roll-