The other division of the party did not come in to-night, but camped in the upper meadow, and arrived the next morning. They had not succeeded in getting the howitzer beyond the place mentioned, and where it had been left by Mr. Preuss, in obedience to my orders; and, in anticipation of the snow-banks and snow-fields ahead, foreseeing the inevitable detention to which it would subject us, I reluctantly determined to leave it there for a time. It was of the kind invented by the French for the mountain part of their war in Algiers; and the distance it had come with us proved how well it was adapted to its purpose. We left it, to the great sorrow of the whole party, who were grieved to part with a companion which had made the whole distance from St. Louis, and commanded respect for us on some critical occasions, and which might be needed for the same purpose again.
[It is the impression of those of the old settlers on Walker River, of whom we have inquired regarding the subject, that the cannon was found early in the 60’s near the head of Lost Canyon. This canyon comes into Little Antelope Valley—a branch of Antelope Valley—from the south. This impression evidently was accepted by the government geological surveyors, for they twisted the name of the creek coming down this canyon to “Lost Cannon Creek”, and called a peak, which looks down into this canyon, Lost Cannon Peak. The origin of the name of this canyon lies in the fact that an emigrant party, on its way to the Sonora Pass, and in an endeavor probably to avoid the rough river canyon down which Fremont came, essayed this pass instead of the meadows above. It is a canyon which, at first, promises an easy pass but finally becomes almost impassable. The party in question found it necessary to abandon several of their wagons before they could get over. They, or another party, buried one of their men there, also some blacksmith tools. My endeavors to ascertain what party this was have thus far not been successful. Mr. Timothy B. Smith, who went to Walker River in 1859, says that the wagons were there at that time. The cannon is supposed to have been found with or near these wagons. Mr. Richard Watkins, of Coleville, who went into that section in 1861, or soon after, informs me that wagons were also found in one of the canyons leading to the Sonora Pass from Pickle Meadow. The cannon, according to Mr. Watkins, was found with these wagons. At any rate, it seems likely that the cannon was not found at the place where Fremont left it, but had been picked up by some emigrant party, who, in turn, were compelled to abandon it with several of their wagons.]
For several years the cannon remained where its emigrant finders removed it, then at the breaking out of the Civil War, “Dan de Quille,” William Wright, the author of The Big Bonanza, the fellow reporter of Mark Twain on one of the Virginia City newspapers,