Monday, 25 January 2016

Marching Up The Gila River

Union Sergeant George Hand recalls his time of his Military Service in the Southwest, 1861-1864. 
The diary reveals the vast amount of wildlife that was available to Hand and his comrades. Each day it would seem as if food is constantly on his and his fellow men's thoughts. They would hunt their food each day but not identified with what equipment. Hand mentions on many occasions that he wished he had a shotgun. The amount of wildlife he encounters is excessive but without a gun makes life more difficult for him. They do actually have a shotgun but with no ammunition. Each day they are awake in the early hours to continue their trek to camp.  
They all seem to be quite friendly towards each other and seem to get on well. They hunt, swim, fish together and seemingly have a good time together. He refers to the men as the 'boys'  which suggests the sergeants attitude is good towards the other men. He also describes himself sitting on blankets discussing the little incidents along the way with Lieutenants, Crandall, Smith, Bradley and Ferg. 
Hand describes the Gila River as splendid to bathe in and very good to drink. However now the Gila River is no longer a perennial stream. Most of the streams in the Southwest were degraded by Livestock but mostly all did use to support huge quantities of wildlife.

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