March 3, 1804
16.58% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

March 3, 1804


The Commanding officer feels himself mortifyed and disappointed at the disorderly conduct of Reubin Fields, in refusing to mount guard when in the due roteen of duty he was regularly warned; nor is he less suprised at the want of discretion in those who urged his oposition to the faithfull discharge of his duty, particularly Shields, whose sense of propryety he had every reason to beleive would have induced him reather to have promoted good order, than to have excited disorder and faction among the party, particularly in the absence of Capt. Clark and himself: The Commanding officer is also sorry to find any man, who has been engaged by himself and Capt. Clark for the expedition on which they have entered, so destitute of understanding, as not to be able to draw the distinction between being placed under the command of another officer, whose will in such case would be their law, and that of obeying the orders of Capt. Clark and himself communicated to them through Sergt. Ordway, who, as one of the party, has during their necessary absence been charged with the execution of their orders; acting from those orders expressly, and not from his own capriece, and who, is in all respects accountable to us for the faithfull observance of the same.

A moments reflection must convince every man of our party, that were we to neglect the more important and necessry arrangements in relation to the voyage we are now entering in, for the purpose merely of remaing at camp in order to communicate our orders in person to the individuals of the party on mear points of poliece, they would have too much reason to complain; nay, even to fear the ultimate success of the enterprise in which we are all embarked. The abuse of some of the party with respect to the prevelege heretofore granted them of going into the country, is not less displeasing; to such as have made hunting or other business a pretext to cover their design of visiting a neighbouring whiskey shop, he cannot for the present extend this prevelige; and dose therefore most positively direct, that Colter, Bolye, Wiser, and Robinson do not recieve permission to leave camp under any pretext whatever for ten days, after this order is read on the parade, unless otherwise directed hereafter by Capt. Clark or himself. The Commanding officers highly approve of the conduct of Sergt. Ordway.—

The Carpenters Blacksmiths, and in short the whole party (except Floid who has been specially directed to perform other duties) are to obey implicitly the orders of Sergt. Ordway, who has recieved our instructions on these subjects, and is held accountable to us for their due execution.—

Meriwether Lewis
Capt. 1st U S. Regt. Infty comdg Detatchment

Sergt. Ordway will read the within order to the men on the parade the morning after the reciept of the same.— [1]

M. Lewis Capt.

1. Endorsed: "1804 Merrywethe Lewis" in an unknown hand. (back)