War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0027 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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but short intervals excepted, can be settled by ranchers, and grain, hay, and other resources will be forthcoming in abundance when the occasion calls for them. The people and authorities along the route are alive to the advantages they can reap should this route be established.

Don Miguel Zepeda, judge of the first instance of the district of Altar, who accompanied me to Libertad, and who has and interest in the advancement, is compromised to obtain a supply of water by either a well or repress at La Angostura, thirty-five miles from La Libertad. Angostura is admirably adapted for a stock ranch, and with water enough much land could be cultivated there and good hay cut. In the way of timber there is nothing near Libertad and none nearer on the route than Busan Rancho, where there is considerable oak, ash, walnut, and cottonwood. The whole of the district of Altar is barren of good timber with the exception of Busani, I am informed. Howeve, I must except the mesquite which in some parts grows to quite a respectable size, and nearly all the lumber used in the district is of mesquite. Limestone of a very quality is found near La Libertad and at all the settlements and pueblos on the Altar River. The sierras are said to be rich in minerals near the port. Of this I can say nothing of my own knowledge. There can be no agriculture nearer La Libertad than the Picu Valley and the pass of the Angostura, twenty-four and thirty-five miles distant, respectively, and there only to a limited extent, except in very rainy seasons, or after abundance of water is obtained from wells or artificial lakes. The whole country from Pitiquito to Picu in the valleys is good for grazing, and in the Bajio de Aquitini large crops can be raised without irrigation, the rains sufficing. I transmit a copy of Ehrenberg's map* with the routes to Libertad and Lobos and back via the Altar River traced thereon in red ink. A glance at the map will show that in a geographical point of view La Libertad or Lobos Bay are the nearest ports to the northern district of Sonora, all of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas, and Chihuahua, and time will show that the routes are not only favorable in regard to distances, but in respect to superiority of roads, economy of time and means. From La Libertad to El Paso the distance via Tuscon, the longest route, is but 505 miles. From Indianola, in Texas, to El Paso, the distance is 789 1\2 miles. From Tuscon to La Libertad I can say with confidence that I never saw a better natural road or one more favorable for a railroad, so far as the topographical features of the country are concerned, considering its length. Government surveys have shown the practicability from this point to La Mesilla, &c. From Los Paredones via Pozo Verde and Fresnal it is said a more level route exists than hence via Arivaca. It is worth examination, for lately many discoveries of silver have been made at Fresnal, and the whole of the Baboquivari range is said to be rich in argentiferous galena ore. The country is covered with excellent grass, and at Fresnal and Pozo Verde water is found in great plenty. There is now a population of 500 Mexicans at Fresnal mining, for silver. There is great danger of these people ruining valuable leads by their grasping and unprofessional mode of opening and working veins of metal. They yield no revenue to the Government and are under no legal restraints; as foreign miners, it is but just they should aalifornia. From the Pima Villages to Altar via Los Paredones there is a good, hard, level road.


* Omitted.