- Red River (Mississippi watershed)
:"For other uses, see
The Red River is one of several rivers with that name. It rises in two branches (forks) in the
Texas Panhandleand flows east forming the border between Texasand Oklahoma, and briefly between Texas and Arkansas. At Fulton, Arkansas, the riverturns south into Louisianato empty into the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers. The total length of this journey is 1,360 miles (2,190 km). The river gains its name from the red- clayfarmland of its watershed. Since 1943 the Red River has been dammed by Denison Damto form Lake Texoma, a large reservoir of 89,000 acres (360 km²), some 70 miles (110 km) north of Dallas. Other reservoirs serve as flood controlon the river's tributaries. The Red has a mean flow of over 7,000 ft³/s.
Much of the river's length in
Louisianawas unnavigable in the early 19th century because of a collection of fallen trees that formed a " Great Raft" over 160 miles (260 km) long. Captain Henry Miller Shrevecleared the logjamin 1839. The river was thereafter navigable only for small craftnorth of Natchitoches.
interest groupknown as the Red River Valley Association was formed to lobby the United States Congressto make the river fully navigable between Alexandria and Shreveport, Louisiana. Leading supporters of the longstanding project were Louisiana Democratic senators Allen J. Ellender, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. and Russell B. Long, Louisiana's former Fourth District Congressman Joseph David "Joe D." Waggonner, Jr., and the late Shreveport Mayor Littleberry Calhoun Allen, Jr. This project has been completed, and a lock system now allows navigation of bargetraffic as far north as Shreveport.
Because of a cartographic error, the land between the north and south forks was claimed by both the state of Texas and the federal government. Originally called
Greer County, Texas, the U.S. Supreme Courtruled that it belonged to the federal government, which at the time oversaw the Oklahoma Territory. That territory was later incorporated into the state of Oklahoma, whose southern border now follows the south fork.
That southern fork, which is about 120 miles (190 km), is generally called the Prairie Dog Town Fork. It is formed in
Randall County, Texasnear the county seatof Canyon, by the confluence of intermittent Palo Duro Creekand Tierra Blanca Creek. (The names mean "Hard Wood" and "White Land", respectively, in Spanish.) It flows east-southeast, through Palo Duro Canyonin Palo Duro Canyon State Park, then past Newlin, Texas, to meet the Oklahoma state line. From there eastward, it is usually referred to as the Red River, even before meeting the north fork.
List of Arkansas rivers
List of Louisiana rivers
List of Oklahoma rivers
List of Texas rivers
Red River Shootout, the annual college football game between the University of TexasLonghorns and the University of OklahomaSooners.
*Tyson, Carl N. "The Red River in Southwestern History". Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8061-1659-5
* [http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-6105 Exploration of the Red River] , by Randolph Marcy, 1852, hosted by the Portal to Texas History
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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