May 26, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 26, 1804


May 26th 1804.    Set out at 7 oClock after a hard rain & Wind, & proceed on verry well under Sale.    Wind from the E N E

S 50° W. 3 ½ ms. to a point opposit the mouth of Beef Island & River [2]
on the Lbd Side,
N 80° W 2 ½ miles to point on the Lbd, Side, passed Beef Isd. on Lbd
Side    Beef Creek on the Back of the Isd.
N 88 W. 3 ½ Ms. to pt. to St. Side above the upper point of Beef Island
N. 82° W 1 ½ miles to Pt. St. Side,
N 37° W 5 ½ miles to a Point on the Lbd. Side an Island on the Starbd.
Side, passed a willow Island and a Creek called Sheppards
, on the Lbd Side about, passed 2 willow Islands on the
Lbd. Side in a Bend
N 60 W. 2 M to a point on the St. Side    passed an Isd. on the St. Sd.
〈N 71° W. 3 m: to a pt. on Ld Side Passed a〉 of the Said Isd

The wind favourable to day    we made 18 miles    a Cloud rais & wind & rain Closed the Day


Set out at 7 oClock after a heavy Shour of rain    (George Drewyer & John Shields, Sent by Land with the two horses with directions to proceed on one day & hunt the next)    The wind favourable from the E N E passed [NB: a large island called Buffaloe Island 〈Creek back of Beef Isd〉 separated from the land by a small channel into which Buffaloe creek empties itself] 〈Beef island and river〉 on Lbd Side at 3 ½ Ms    Passed a Creek on the Lbd. Side Called Shepperds Creek, [3] passed Several Islands to day    great Deal of Deer Sign on the Bank    one man out hunting, w[e] Camped on an Island on the Starboard Side near the Southern extrem of Luter Island [NB: (Qu L'outre)] [4]

Course & Distance to day
S 50° W.   3 ½ ms. to a pt. St. Side opsd. pt. Beef Isd.
N 80° W   2 ½ Ms. to pt. Lbd. Sd.
N 88° W   3 ½ Ms to Pt. Std Sd. abov Beef Isd.
N 82° W   1 ½ Ms. to pt St. Side
N 37° W.   5 ms. to pt. Lbd Sd.    passed 2 Is & Shepds R.
N 60° W.   2 ms. to pt. on St. Sd. pd. a Isd. L. S

The Commanding Officers direct, that the three Squads under the command of Sergts. Floyd Ordway and Pryor heretofore forming two messes each, shall untill further orders constitute three messes only, the same being altered and organized as follows (viz)—

  1 Sergt. Charles Floyd. (1) [6]
  2 Hugh McNeal
  3 Patric Gass
  4 Reubin Fields (2)
  5 John B Thompson
+ 6 John Newman [7]
  7 Richard Winsor
  + Francis Rivet & [NB: French]
  8 Joseph Fields (3)
  9 Sergt. John Ordway.
  10 William Bratton (4)
  11 John Colter (5)
x 12 Moses B. Reed [NB: + Soldier]
  13 Alexander Willard
  14 William Warner
  15 Silas Goodrich
  16 John Potts &
  17 Hugh Hall
  18 Sergt. Nathaniel Pryor. (6)
  19 George Gibson (7)
  20 George Shannon (8)
  21 John Shields (9)
  22 John Collins
  23 Joseph Whitehouse
  24 Peter Wiser
F 25 Peter Crusat & [8]
F 26 Francis Labuche

The commanding officers further direct that the remainder of the detatchmen shall form two messes; and that the same be constituded as follows.    (viz)—

The Commanding officers further direct that the messes of Sergts. Floyd, Ordway and Pryor shall untill further orders form the crew of the Batteaux; the Mess of the Patroon La Jeunesse will form the permanent crew of the red Perogue; Corpl. Warvington's mess forming that of the white perogue.—

Whenever by any casualty it becomes necessary to furnish additional men to assist in navigating the Perogues, the same shall be furnished by daily detale from the Privates who form the crew of Batteaux, exempting only from such detale, Thomas P. Howard [9] and the men who are assigned to the two bow and the two stern oars.—    For the present one man will be furnished daily to assist the crew of the white perogue; this man must be an expert boatman.—

The posts and duties of the Sergts. shall be as follows (viz)—    when the Batteaux is under way, one Sergt. shall be stationed at the helm, one in the center on the rear of the Starboard locker, and one at the bow. The Sergt. at the helm, shall steer the boat, and see that the baggage on the quarterdeck is properly arranged and stowed away in the most advantageous manner; to see that no cooking utensels or loos lumber of any kind is left on the deck to obstruct the passage between the burths—    he will also attend to the compas when necessary.—

The Sergt at the center will command the guard, manage the sails, see that the men at the oars do their duty; that they come on board at a proper season in the morning, and that the boat gets under way in due time; he will keep a good lookout for the mouths of all rivers, creeks, Islands and other remarkable places and shall immediately report the same to the commanding officers; he will attend to the issues of sperituous liquors; he shall regulate the halting of the batteaux through the day to give the men refreshment, and will also regulate the time of her departure taking care that not more time than is necessary shall be expended at each halt—    it shall be his duty also to post a centinel on the bank, near the boat whenever we come too and halt in the course of the day, at the same time he will (acompanied by two his guard) reconnoiter the forrest arround the place of landing to the distance of at least one hundred paces.    when we come too for the purpose of encamping at night, the Sergt. of the guard shall post two centinels immediately on our landing; one of whom shal be posted near the boat, and the other at a convenient distance in rear of the encampment; at night the Sergt. must be always present with his guard, and he is positively forbidden to suffer any man of his guard to absent himself on any pretext whatever; he will at each relief through the night, accompanyed by the two men last off their posts, reconnoiter in every direction around the camp to the distance of at least one hundred and fifty paces, and also examine the situation of the boat and perogues, and see that they ly safe and free from the bank—

It shall be the duty of the sergt. at the bow, to keep a good look out for all danger which may approach, either of the enimy, or obstructions which may present themselves to 〈the〉 passage of the boat; of the first he will notify the Sergt. at the center, who will communicate the information to the commanding officers, and of the second or obstructions to the boat he will notify the Sergt. at the helm; he will also report to the commanding officers through the Sergt. at the center all perogues boats canoes or other craft which he may discover in the river, and all hunting camps or parties of Indians in view of which we may pass.    he will at all times be provided with a seting pole and assist the bowsman in poling and managing the bow of the boat.    it will be his duty also to give and answer all signals, which may hereafter be established for the government of the perogues and parties on shore.

The Sergts. will on each morning before our departure relieve each other in the following manner—(viz)    The Sergt. at the helm will parade the new guard, relieve the Sergt. and the old guard, and occupy the middle station in the boat; the Sergt. of the old guard will occupy the station at the bow, and the Sergt. who had been stationed the preceeding day at the bow will place himself at the helm.—    The sergts. in addition to those duties are directed each to keep a seperate journal from day today of all passing occurences, and such other observations on the country &c. as shall appear to them worthy of notice—

The Sergts. are relieved and excempt from all labour of making fires, pitching tents or cooking, and will direct and make the men of their several messes perform an equal proportion of those duties.—

The guard shall hereafter consist of one sergeant and six privates & engages.—

Patroon, Dechamp, Copl. Warvington, and George Drewyer, are exempt from guad duty; the two former will attend particularly to their perogues at all times, and see that their lading is in good order, and that the same is kept perfectly free from rain or other moisture; the latter will perform certain duties on shore which will be assigned him from time to time: all other soldiers and engaged men of whatever discription must perform their regular tour of guad duty.—

All detales for guard or other duty will be made in the evening when we encamp, and the duty to be performed will be entered on, by the individuals so warned, the next morning.—    provision for one day will be issued to the party on each evening after we have encamped; the same will be cooked on that evening by the several messes, and a proportion of it reserved for the next day as no cooking will be allowed in the day while on the mach—

Sergt. John Ordway will continue to issue the provisions and make the detales for guard or other duty.—    The day after tomorrow lyed corn and grece will be issued to the party, the next day Poark and flour, and the day following indian meal and poark; and in conformity to that ratiene provisions will continue to be issued to the party untill further orders.—    should any of the messes prefer indian meal to flour they may recieve it accordingly—    no poark is to be issued when we have fresh meat on hand.—

Labuche and Crusat will man the larboard bow oar alternately, and the one not engaged at the oar will attend as the Bows-man, and when the attention of both these persons is necessary at the bow, their oar is to be maned by any idle hand on board.—

Meriwether Lewis Capt.
Wm. Clark Cpt.


Saturday May the 26th 1804.    we Set out at 7 oC. A. M.    hard thunder & rain this morning    passed a Creek called otter creek, [10] encamped on N. Side


Saturday may 26th 1804    we Set out at 7 oclock A m    2 of our men [11] was Sent with the Horses by Land to meat us that night    hard thunder and Rain this morning    passed a creek Called otter Creek    encamped on the N. Side


Saturday 26th.    This morning two of our people set out by land with a couple of horses. At seven we embarked and had loud thunder and heavy rain; passed Otter creek on the north side, and encamped near its mouth.


Saturday 26th May 1804. [12]    a fair morning.    we Set out eairly Some Thunder and rain, towards evening we passd. a creek called otter Creek on the N.Side.—

Saturday May 26th    We set out early this morning, the weather being fine and clear, towards evening we had some Rain and Thunder.    We passed a Creek laying on the North side of the River, called Otter Creek.    The current still running rapid.—

1. This entry and that of May 27 are written crossways to the previous entry on one side of document 15 of the Field Notes. (back)
2. River au Boeuf (Rivière aux Boeufs, or Buffalo River) in Franklin County, Missouri. The island is Boeuf, Buffalo, or Shelton, Island. MRC map 4. (back)
3. Rivière à Berger, later Big Berger Creek, in Franklin County; an island nearby was Isle à Berger. "Shepherd" is the literal translation of berger in French, but the river and island seems to have been named for Joseph Berger, a Canadian fur trader operating from St. Louis in the latter 1700s, or possibly for Pierre Berje, an early settler of St. Charles. McDermott (WCS), 147; MRC map 4. (back)
4. Biddle's interlined "Qu" probably stands for "question." His "L'outre" (more correctly la loutre, "otter" in French) Island was in present Montgomery and Warren counties, Missouri, opposite the town of Hermann. The island on which they camped might be the later Bates Island, situated near the Gasconade-Franklin county line. MRC map 5. (back)
5. From the Orderly Book in Lewis's hand, except for Clark's own signature. (back)
6. Numbers and other additions beside the names (except "&") are apparently by Biddle. (back)
7. The symbol by Newman's name may refer to his having been expelled from the permanent party later, especially since there is also an x by the name of Moses Reed, the other man expelled. (back)
8. The F's probably stand for "French." (back)
9. Note that Howard is not mentioned in the above lists. The reason for his exemption is not clear; he may have been temporarily incapacitated or assigned to special duty. (back)
10. Loutre River, Montgomery County, Missouri, across from Hermann, which Clark says they passed the next day. All the enlisted men's journals disagree with Clark on this point. (back)
12. Whitehouse may have written "4" over "6" for the year. See the next entry. (back)