NAVIGATION ON THE GILA RIVER: George Stoneman
 excerpt  "In Old Arizona' Marshall Trimble

At the Gila River, near Gila Bend on New Year's Day, 1847, Cooke decided to test the navigability of the river by floating the supplies downstream. At places it was 150 yards wide but it was only three or four feet deep and ribboned with sandbars, many of them submerged. Two wagon boxes were lashed on top of cottonwood logs. Under the direction of Lieutenant George Stoneman they cast off loaded with 2,500 pounds of food and supplies. Stoneman believed they could pole the crafts down the river the shallow river to the Yuma Crossing, some 70 miles away. They were supposed to be moored on the bank at each evening's camp. But they were swept away in the swift current then hung up on sand bars and could only be dragged off after unloading the supplies on the nearest dry bar. The men went without their supplies for more than a week before the empty boats caught up. Pack mules were sent back to salvage what they could from the abandoned supplies.

On the ninth day of January they finally reached the Colorado River. The men were exhausted and half-starved, the wagons in need of repair and the mule's half-dead. To make matters worse there was nothing left for trading with the Yuma Indians and without anything reasonable to exchange they wouldn't furnish supplies to the men.

Their Arizona adventure was over now it was Ho for California.