By Richard E. Lingenfelter
Strains the historical past of dying Valley, tells the tales of its explorers, prospectors, and con males, and discusses the geography and improvement of the valley.
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Additional info for Death Valley and the Amargosa: A Land of Illusion
7 Smith and the packers struggled west for a couple of weeks, covering only about 90 miles to Coyote Spring, at the foot of the Sheep Range north of Las Vegas, before most of them also decided to turn back. They initially called the place Dead Horse Spring because they started killing horses there to eat when their provisions ran out, but after splitting up they renamed it Division Spring. The first to turn back was a party of Mormons led by Charles C. Rich, who headed south, striking the Spanish Trail at the Muddy River just as Hunt arrived.
But these overeager pursuers rode into an ambush some 50 miles out into the Mojave Desert. Two of Palomares's men were killed and one was wounded. In parting insult, some of the Chaguanosos went after the retreating posse and ran off all their horses, leaving them to struggle on afoot in the desert. In the meantime Juan Leandre, a Los Angeles justice of the peace, joined the pursuit with a small party of reinforcements. When he learned of Palomares's fate he halted at Cajon Pass to await the main posse, under Los Angeles alcalde Jose Antonio Carrillo.
20 The main settlement of the Southern Paiute on the Amargosa was at Yaga, now Tecopa Hot Springs. With about seventy inhabitants, this was the largest Indian village in the Death Valley-Amargosa country. 21 Unlike the Shoshone, the Southern Paiute relied more heavily on cultivated crops such as beans, corn, melons, squash, sunflowers, and grapes, although they still gathered pinyon and other wild foods. Horsemeat also became a regular part of their diet once the New Mexican caravans began their annual trek to California, returning each spring with thousands of horses.
Death Valley and the Amargosa: A Land of Illusion by Richard E. Lingenfelter