August 23, 1804
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 23, 1804


23rd August 〈Satturday〉 Thursday 1804    Set out this morning verry early, the two men R. Fields & Shannon did not Come up last night, I went out and Killed a fine Buck, J. Fields Killed a Buffalow, 2 Elk Swam by the boat whilst I was out and was not Killed, many guns fired at it    R. Fields Came up with the horses & brought two Deer, Collins Killed a Small doe, Several Prarie wolves Seen    Course West 4 Mls. to the mouth of a Small run between two Bluffs of yellow Clay    North 3¼ miles to the upper Pt. of Some timber in the bend to S. S. near where R. fields Killed the Buffalow [1]    passed the pt. of High Land on S. S at ¼ of a mile, Capt. Lewis went out with 8 men & brought the buffalow to the river at this bend, C. Lewis Killed a Goose, wind blew hard 〈I am obliged to make the next Corses Short on ackount〉 of the flying Sands which rasies like a Cloud of Smoke from the Bars when the wind 〈rise〉 Blows, the Sand    being fine and containing a breat [great] perpotion of earth and when it lights it Sticks to every thing it touches    at this time the grass is white    S 48°    3 miles to a point of willows on the S. S. haveing passed the Sand Island L. S    Camped on the L S above the Island [2]    Saw an elk Standing on a Sand bar. Shields Shot it thro' the neck    10¼ [Ed: the day's mileage accumulation]


Set out this morning verry early    the two men with the horses did not Come up last night    I walked on Shore & Killed a fat Buck—    J: Fields Sent out to hunt    Came to the Boat and informed that he had Killed a Buffalow in the plain a head    Cap Lewis took 12 men and had the buffalow brought to the boat in the next bend to the S S.    2 Elk Swam the river, and was fired at from the boat    R. Fields came up with the Horses and brought two Deer    one Deer Killed from the Boat. Several Prarie Wolves Seen to day    Saw Elk Standing on the Sand bar

The Wind blew hard West and raised the Sands off the bar in Such Clouds that we Could Scercely See    this Sand being fine and verry light Stuck to every thing it touched, and in the Plain for a half a mile the distance I was out every Spire of Grass was covered with the Sand or Dust    We Camped on the L. S. above a Sand Island    one Beaver Cought

Course Distance & refrs. Augt. 23rd
West   4 mes: to a Small run between two Blufts of yellow & Blue
North   3 ¼ mes. to Some timber in a bend to the S. S.    passed a willow
Island, a Sand Isd. opsd.    psd. a pt. of High Land S S. at
¼ of Me.
S. 48° W.   3 mes. to a pt. of willows on the S. S.    haveing passd. the
Sand bar on the L. point.
  10 ¼  

Thursday 23rd    we Set off eairly.    2 men went out hunting, the wind favourable from the South. G. Drewyer and Jo. Fields went out hunting on N. S.    passt. on round a bend    Capt. Clark walked on Shore a Short time & killed a fine Buck, we halted to Breakfast, 2 Elk Swam the River close by the Boat    both of them we wounded.    at the same time Jo. Fields came to the Boat informed us that he had killed a Bull Buffelow, Capt. Lewis & myself & 10 more of the party went out Bucherd & Brought it to the Boat, Collins killed a faun Deer.    the 2 hunters on the South Side came to the Boat with 2 Deer which they had killed,    we then proceeded on past a Butiful bottom prarie N. S. which is verry large & wide    I walked about 1 mile & ½ in it when I went for the abo. ment. Buffelow, I Saw the beds & Signs of a great many more Buffelow But this was the first I ever Saw & as great a curiousity to me.    we halted in a bend opposite a Sand Isd. 〈in Sd prarie〉    the wind blew So hard that it detained us the most of the afternoon, So we pickled down our Buffelow meat, & jerked the venison, the Sand blew So thick from the Sand Island that we could not see across the River for a long time, towards evening the wind abated & we proceeded on to the head of sd. Sand Isd. & camped on S. S. [3]    one of the party wounded an Elk after we landed.—


Thursday 23rd.    We proceeded early this morning with a fair wind. The river here becomes more straight than we had found it for a great distance below. Captain Clarke and one of the men killed a deer and a buffaloe, and some of the men were sent to dress and bring the buffaloe to the boat. [4] We stopped at a prairie on the north side, the largest and handsomest, which I had seen. Captain Clarke called it Buffaloe prairie. The men having returned, we again went on; but the wind changed and we were obliged to halt for the present. While we were detained here we salted two barrels of buffaloe meat. At five in the evening we proceeded some distance and encamped on the south side.


Thursday 23rd    we Set off eairly    2 men went on Shore hunting.    passed round a bend    Capt. Clark walked on Shore a Short time and killed a fat Buck.    we halted to take Breakfast.    2 Elk Swam across the River close abv. the Boat    we wounded boath of them    Jo. Fields came to the Boat had killed a Bull Buffelow.    Capt. Lewis & 10 men of the party went out & Brought it to the Boat.    John Collins killed a faun.    the 2 men on the S. S. who had been with the horses came to the Boat with 2 Deer—    we halted in a bend to dine    the wind verry hard so we jurked our meat &c.    the wind fell towards evening    we proceeded on till dark & camped on the S. S.—

Thursday August 23rd    We set off very early this morning, having previous to our departure sent 2 Men out a hunting; and Captain Clark walked along the Banks of the River, we proceeded on rowing, and passed round a bend of the River, a short time after passing this bend Captain Clark shot a buck Deer which was very fat, we halted with the boat & took Captain Clark on board, likewise the Buck; we proceeded on a small distance, and landed to take breakfast, whilst we were breakfasting 2 Elk swam across the River close above the Boat, 〈one〉 Some of our hands shot at them, & wounded them both, & we got them, One of hands that we had sent out this morning returned, he having shot a Buffalo Bull.

Captain Clark and Ten Men went out in order to bring the Buffalo to the boat, which they did, One of our Men killed a fawn, which he brought likewise to us, The Men who were on the South side of the River with the horses came to us, having 2 deer which they had shot, We proceeded on and halted in a bend of the River to dine, The wind blowing hard we Jerked our Meat & overhauled several articles on board the boat.    towards evening the wind died away, We Proceeded on 'till dark, when we encamped on the South side of the River,—

1. The Field Notes state "J. Field" at one point and "R. Field" at another, whereas the Codex B entry indicates that Joseph, not Reubin, Field killed the buffalo; Whitehouse confirms that it was Joseph. This was the first buffalo, or bison, killed by a member of the party. Burroughs, 147. (back)
2. In either Dixon County, Nebraska, or Clay County, South Dakota. The Missouri River has shifted considerably in this vicinity since 1804, and the mouth of the Vermillion River (Clark's "White Stone River," August 24, 1804), above the camp in 1804, now reaches the Missouri below the campsite. The site would be a mile or so to the southeast of present Vermillion, South Dakota. Atlas map 17; Nicollet (MMR), 398–99; Warren map 10; MRC map 28; MRR map 80. (back)
3. In either Dixon County, Nebraska, or Clay County, South Dakota, a mile or so southeast of Vermillion, Clay County. The shifting of the Missouri River over time makes the campsite difficult to determine. (back)
4. Lewis led the party and Ordway was one of them. The first buffalo, Bison bison, taken by the expedition; see Clark's entry for the confusion about which one of the Field brothers killed it. (back)