May 10, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 10, 1804


Thursday 10th    Some rain last night    Cloudy morning verry hot, in the after part of the day, I continued to fix Tents Covering, adjuust the Load &c. order every man to have 100 Balls for ther Rifles [1] & 2 lb. of Buck Shot for those with mussquest &. F [2]

1. The Corps of Discovery had at least fifteen of the new Model 1803 rifles, the first ones issued; this weapon, the first rifle specifically designed for the U.S. Army, was about .54 caliber with a thirty-three-inch barrel, but the expedition version may have been a predecessor or prototype differing in some respects from the standard issue. The captains sometimes referred to them as short rifles, because they were considerably shorter than the civilian Kentucky long rifles of the period. The captains apparently had their own Kentucky long rifles, and some of the enlisted men who were already in the army may have brought with them long rifles of the Kentucky type issued to them in their original units. Other enlisted men apparently carried Model 1795 muskets, .69-caliber weapons based on an earlier French design, which were the standard infantry arms. The muskets, which were smoothbores, could be used as shotguns by substituting shot for the single ball. All of these guns were flintlocks. Olson identifies what may possibly be a surviving Model 1803. Russell (GEF), 151–57, 176–82; Russell (FTT), 34–43; Olson; Hult; Lewis's List [June 30, 1803], Jackson (LLC), 1:70. (back)
2. This letter may be simply a doodle or it may stand for "fusil," the French term for muskets. (back)