Tuesday, December 23 – Maricopa, AZ

Originally, during this week I’d hope to hold cooperative events with the Akamel O’odohom Tribe but apparently things changed over at the tribal government, so the opportunity will have to wait for another time. Their Huhugam Heritage Center north of Maricopa is beautiful and inspiring. Check it out. Personally, I’m excited to get back over there and do some research.

The Battalion journalists are very complimentary about these tribes – the “River People” as they refer to themselves. Lieutenant Emory – with General Kearny – comments that in some locations, their irrigation efforts had completely emptied the Gila River of water. Considering their lack of “modern” implements like plows and shovels, this represents lots of work by individuals. Their industry must have been impressive to watch. Their cotton was hybridized later to become Pima cotton, one of the worlds’ best long-fibered cotton varieties.

We make final preparations to go to the back country, shopping for food, shifting items from the yellow “Hensky” truck over to the RV and rearrange what’s left in the cube truck and on the flatbed trailer. This unpacking, repacking, consolidating of equipment and supplies occurred with the original Battalion as well, but in our case we don’t have as much of it to do all the time.

Consider this: A fully loaded Army supply wagon could carry about one ton - 2,000 pounds – of cargo.

Question – If the flour ration was one pound per man per day and if the full Battalion – 500 men - were actually eating that amount, how many days would it take to empty a wagon carrying only flour?

Answer – 4 days. That means the Colonel could have gotten rid of a wagon every four days had he been so inclined. He wasn’t. You spread around the weight to even the loads. It requires constant packing, repacking and consolidating supplies. At some points, there were more wagons than what could be supported, so Cooke occasionally pulled a wagon out of the line and that freed up more mules to help shoulder the loads. Of course, some of the mules are dying, so there’s another reason Cooke had to reduce the number of wagons. It was a logistical nightmare for him.

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