todeskun (todeskun) wrote in little_details,
todeskun
todeskun
little_details

Traveling on horseback while injured; looking for major travel routes in the Old West

Two semi-related questions.

1. How far can a man travel, on horseback, in a day, when he's been injured. First injury is a graze across the chest from a bullet; second injury is a shot to the upper thigh several days later (with subsequent bullet extraction). The first leg of his journey -- bullet graze to nearest town -- is approximately 100 miles and his only anesthetic is alcohol; his second leg of the journey -- shot in the leg to nearest doctor -- may be another 100 miles (depending on whether or not I can find information regarding towns in existence in the early 1870s), and he has both alcohol and laudanum available (also morphine tablets); his third leg of the journey -- doctor to home -- is approximately 300 miles, and he again has alcohol, laudanum, and possibly morphine available as painkillers.

I've already got all the medical stuff figured out, as well as whether or not he can logically mount a horse with a wounded leg, but I'm not sure if my travel times work out. He needs to travel approximately 500 miles, from the Texas panhandle down to SE New Mexico. He's got 3 available horses: his own -- a 10 yr old Mustang/Morgan cross gelding -- and two Comanche bred mustang mares. All horses are in excellent condition and are used to long periods of travel, as is MC, and he is traveling light. The horses have access to grazing to begin with, may have access to grain at intermittent periods later on. I've already seen that the general consensus is that a man can travel between 20-30 miles/day by horse. I'm assuming that he would only average 10-15 miles a day for the first leg of his trip because of his initial injury and his lack of decent pain medication. I'm also assuming that he'll be able to travel faster -- say 20-25 miles per day -- on the 2nd & 3rd legs of his journey because he'll be doped to the gills. He would be traveling at either a walk or a canter/gallop, but not a jog. Given the excellent condition of his horses, as well as the fact that he's used to traveling long distances in the saddle, is 20-30 miles a day still a reasonable assumption? Or would he be able to go farther even at a walk than the given average of 3-4 mph?

I've searched the "horse" and "travel" tags of the community as well as "average travel by horseback" and received the general answer of "around 20-30 miles per day" as well as some outlying figures.

2. Does anybody have/know of any maps (whether on the internet or in books) showing the major non-railroad traveling routes for the Old West/Southwest in the late 1800s? I'm specifically looking for roads used by horses/wagons -- and even more specifically for information about what towns existed back then.

Searched using: "1800s travel routes", "1800s old west travel", "1800s major routes" and have received bupkus.
Tags: 1800s (no decades given), usa: history: old west, ~animals: horses, ~medicine: injuries (misc), ~travel: pre-modern overland
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