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Mission Creep During the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Charles E. White

“Mission Creep” is not a recent phenomenon in the United States Army. Two hundred years ago, when President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress to appropriate funds for what became know as the “Lewis and Clark Expedition,” he envisioned a party of 10-12 select men led by an “intelligent officer.”1 But as the scope of the expedition came into sharper focus, its size increased five-fold, and demonstrated that “mission creep” is a fundamental element of every military operation across the span of centuries.

Originating in Somalia in 1993, the modern term “mission creep” became part of official U.S. Army vocabulary a decade later. Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations and Support Operations (February 2003) acknowledges two types of mission creep. The first occurs when “the unit receives shifting guidance or a change in mission for which the unit is not properly configured or resourced.” The second occurs “when a unit attempts to do more than is allowed in the current mandate and mission.”2 From the available evidence, it first appears than none of these definitions exactly fits the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Lewis clearly understood Jefferson ’s intent and his instructions. And at no time during the mission did Lewis or Clark attempt to do more than their mandate. Yet, the original estimate of 10-12 men rose to 50, as the expedition began its journey up the Missouri River in the spring of 1804. The answer lies deeper within FM 3-07.

Upon further reading of Stability Operations and Support Operations, mission creep “may develop from inadequate or false assumptions, misinterpreted intent, or unrealistic development of implied tasks in planning.”3 This was clearly the case with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Although Jefferson and Lewis conducted as complete a mission analysis as was possible with the information available to them, they simply could not foresee the enormity of the mission and other factors of METT-T that would probably influence the size of their expedition.

Finding the “ Northwest Passage ” was a passion of Thomas Jefferson for over half a century. In the decade following the American Revolution, he tried three times to mount an American exploration of the West. All three ended before they ever really began because of inadequate planning. Interestingly, in 1783, when then Congressman Jefferson asked Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark for his recommendation on the size of such an expedition, Clark had cautioned Jefferson against “large parties” that might “alarm the Indian Nations they pass through.”4 Clark suggested an alternative concept calling for a select group of three or four men. This was the size of the party that Secretary of War Henry Knox sent on a secret reconnaissance of the Missouri River in 1790. But by the time this endeavor reached the Mississippi River enroute to its objective, its commander, Lieutenant John Armstrong, admitted, “It is a business much easier planned than executed.”5

Elected President in 1800, Jefferson was more than ever determined to realize his dream of finding the “ Northwest Passage .” He chose his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead the expedition. Months before Jefferson sent his confidential letter to Congress on 18 January 1803 , he and Lewis began studying Alexander MacKenzie’s account of the 1793 Canadian expedition to the Pacific coast. Jefferson also instructed Lewis on botany, mineralogy, astronomy, ethnology, and other subjects that the captain might need to know about on his journey. The president even had a special map made for Lewis that detailed North America from the Pacific coast to the Mississippi River valley, with emphasis on the Missouri River basin . While Jefferson drafted his instructions for the expedition, Lewis continued to refine his planning and logistical preparations. Over meals and in the evenings, they discussed the emerging concept of the operation.

From their preliminary discussions, Jefferson and Lewis concluded that a party of 10-12 men, chosen for their frontier skills, would suffice to accomplish the mission. This is what the president briefed Congress in January 1803. And when Lewis traveled to Harpers Ferry and Philadelphia in the spring of 1803, he acquired enough supplies for a party of 15 people. Lewis planned to recruit soldiers from the Army fort at South West Point (near present-day Kingston, Tennessee), march them overland to Nashville, where the expedition would pick up a previously ordered keelboat and canoe, and then travel down the Cumberland River to its junction with the Ohio. From there, Lewis and his men would continue to the Mississippi , then up the Missouri River to the Pacific coast and back.6

As a former Army paymaster, Lewis had previously traveled extensively between the various army posts along the frontier. He knew the commanding officers well, and by mid-June 1803, toward the end of his stay in Philadelphia , Lewis had also learned that there were too few good men at South West Point , and that no boat would be waiting in Nashville . So from Philadelphia he sent specifications to a boat builder in Pittsburgh for another custom-made keelboat. He also asked the Army to send some men to Pittsburgh to help him get the boat down the Ohio River later that summer.7

This is the first indication that Lewis was now thinking of dividing his men into two categories – a “permanent” party of soldiers who would go with him all the way to the Pacific and back, and a temporary group for specific tasks. For example, the eight men the Army sent from Carlisle Barracks to Pittsburgh were new recruits awaiting transfer to Fort Adams in Mississippi Territory . After taking Lewis’s boat to the mouth of the Ohio , they would go on to their new post.

Lewis returned to Washington on 17 June and began final discussions with Jefferson and Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. News soon reached Jefferson that Napoleon was willing to sell Louisiana to the United States . If this materialized, it would mean that the expedition would be exploring American territory. Foreign misgivings about an American expedition up the Missouri could now be discounted, and the party could grow in size if necessary. Dearborn issued orders to the Army post at Kaskaskia (in Illinois ) to pick out “one Sergeant & Eight good Men who understand rowing a boat.”8 These men were to accompany Lewis with “the best boat at the Post,” and plan on returning to Kaskaskia before winter ice rendered the Missouri impassable to watercraft.

The distinct possibility of an Indian attack also influenced the size of the expedition. In his final instructions to Lewis on 20 June 1803 , Jefferson was very specific: if faced by a superior force determined to stop the expedition, Lewis was to “decline it’s [sic] further pursuit, and return. In the loss of yourselves, we should lose also the information you will have acquired.”9 In fact, Jefferson was so concerned Lewis might “encounter considerable dangers from the Indian inhabitants,” that he provided him with a letter of credit, and suggested that if the expedition escaped danger and reached the Pacific coast, it might be wise “to seek a passage round by sea in such vessels as you may find on the Western coast.”10

Jefferson was also concerned about the chain of command. He told Lewis that, “on the accident of your death,” he was authorized “to name the person . . . who shall succeed to the command.”11 With Jefferson ’s consent, Lewis wrote to his friend and former comrade, William Clark, offering him the assignment as co-commander of the expedition. Clark accepted the invitation on 17 July 1803 .

In addition to approving the choice of William Clark, Jefferson ordered the War Department to give Lewis unlimited purchasing power for the expedition.12 The president also authorized the captain to recruit noncommissioned officers and men from any of the western army posts. Two days early, Secretary Dearborn had informed the commanders of the western forts of the president’s intent.13 News of the Louisiana Purchase also arrived on 4 July 1803 . This resolved any international problems affecting the expedition. The next day, Lewis set off for Pittsburgh .

Upon arriving in Pittsburgh , Lewis discovered that his boat was not finished. In fact, the builder had not even begun construction. But there was little Lewis could do. After waiting nearly two months for the keelboat to be built, Lewis finally left Pittsburgh on 31 August, with a crew of seven soldiers from the Army barracks in Carlisle, “three young men on trial,” a river pilot Lewis had hired in Pittsburgh, and one or two additional hands. One of the trio of prospective recruits was most likely George Shannon, who became the youngest member of the expedition.14 At Maysville , Kentucky , John Colter joined the boat crew as it made its way to Louisville . He later became a member of the permanent party.15 Once in Louisville , Lewis set off to meet his co-captain William Clark, who was waiting with seven skilled frontiersmen he had picked for the expedition. These included Charles Floyd, Nathaniel Pryor, Joseph and Reuben Field, John Shields, William Bratton, and George Gibson. Together with Shannon and Colter, these men became known as “The Nine Young Men from Kentucky , “ and formed the military core of the expedition. Clark also informed Lewis that he would be taking his servant – York. The expedition now had 12 men.

Over the next two weeks, Lewis and Clark refined their plans. Dearborn had instruction Lewis on 2 July to limit the total strength of the expedition to 15 men: Lewis, another officer, 12 enlisted men, and an interpreter.16 To Lewis this meant he was limited to 12 soldiers, but could hire as many civilians as necessary. This is what he told Clark on 19 June, when he had offered him co-captaincy of the expedition.17 In fact, he recommended that Clark begin searching around Louisville for “some good hunters, stout, healthy, unmarried men, accustomed to the woods, and capable of bearing bodily fatigue in a pretty considerable degree.”18 Clearly, Lewis had a pretty good idea that he could not accomplish his mission with just 15 men. And from his experience with the keelboat on the Ohio , Lewis quickly realized that would take more than 12 men to propel that vessel upstream on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers . He and Clark decided to add more men if necessary. Moreover, they also determined that a mixed party of soldiers and civilians would be unmanageable. All of the men were to be subject to military law. On 20 October 1803 , Lewis and Clark enlisted the first nine volunteers, naming Floyd and Pryor sergeants. Six days later the keelboat and two smaller, flat-bottom boats (called by their French name, pirogue) departed Clarksville .

On their way to their winter camp, Lewis and Clark continued to add personnel to the expedition. Two weeks after they had left Louisville , the expedition arrived at Fort Massac (in southern Illinois Territory ), where Lewis hired the respected Shawnee-French hunter, guide, and interpreter George Drouillard, and accepted from the garrison two more privates: John Newman and Joseph Whitehouse. The seven soldiers from Carlisle Barracks temporarily assigned to bring the keelboat down the Ohio River remained behind at Fort Massac . Lewis was supposed to have received replacements for these men from South West Point , but they did not appear, prompting Lewis to send Drouillard to find them.19 Meanwhile, the party left Fort Massac on 13 November and reached the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers the next evening. The men camped there for a week, while Lewis and Clark measured both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers , and Lewis taught Clark how to make celestial observations. The expedition then set out for St. Louis .

Upon encountering the powerful currents of the Mississippi River , Lewis and Clark realized they needed still more men. All three boats were badly undermanned, and the expedition seldom progressed more than a mile an hour moving upstream. On 28 November the men reached Fort Kaskaskia , some fifty miles south of St. Louis . From Kaskaskia Lewis wrote to Jefferson that he had “made a selection of a sufficient number of men from the troops of that place to complete my party.”20 He did not tell the president how many men, but the records reveal that Lewis had recruited Sergeant John Ordway and nine other soldiers (John Boley, John Collins, John Dame, Patrick Gass, Ebenezer Tuttle, Peter Weiser, Isaac White, Alexander Willard, and Richard Windsor), plus a small number of contract boatmen. When the expedition left Kaskaskia, Lewis remained behind to confer on personnel matters and to requisition supplies, while Clark took the boats to Cahokia , a few miles below St. Louis . Lewis left Fort Kaskaskia on 5 December and arrived at Cahokia the next day. Following two days of talks with Spanish authorities, the party left Cahokia and reached St. Louis early on the morning of 11 December. According to the Spanish commandant in St. Louis , a “committee” of 25 men accompanied Lewis.21

Upon arriving at St. Louis, Lewis went to Cahokia to handle logistical arrangements and to gather intelligence on Upper Louisiana. Clark took the expedition upstream about eighteen miles to the mouth of the Wood River, a small stream that flowed into the Mississippi River directly across from the mouth of the Missouri River. Here, Clark and the men constructed Camp River Dubois, which was finished by Christmas Eve 1803.

Once the camp was established, Lewis and Clark set about preparing for the arduous journey ahead. Throughout the winter months they selected and trained personnel, modified and armed the keelboat and pirogues, and assembled and packed supplies. They also toyed with various contingencies. Clark estimated that the manpower needs of the expedition would be either 25, 30, 40, or 50 men, depending on “the probability of an oppisition [sic] from roving Parties of Bad Indians.”22 The captains settled on a party of 50 men: 27 soldiers in the permanent party; 9 soldiers in the party stated to return at the halfway point in the trek; 12 contract boatmen; York and Drouillard. 23

On 31 March 1804 , Lewis and Clark held a ceremony to enlist the men they had selected as members of “the Detachment destined for the Expedition through the interior of the Continent of North America .” In addition to the 21 men previously selected, Lewis and Clark chose: Corporal Richard Warfington and Privates Robert Frazer, Silas Goodrich, Hugh Hall, Thomas Howard, Hugh McNeal, John Potts, Moses Reed, John Robertson, John Thompson, and William Werner. In their Detachment Order of 1 April 1804 , Captains Lewis and Clark divided their unit into three squads led by Sergeants Pryor, Floyd, and Ordway. Corporal Warfington would lead the return party scheduled to depart St. Louis In the spring of 1805, with communiqués and specimens collected thus far.

On the afternoon of Monday, 14 May 1804 , Clark and his party left Camp River Dubois, crossed the Mississippi River , and headed up the Missouri . The Expedition proceeded slowly toward St. Charles , because Clark wanted to insure the boats were loaded properly for the journey. Two days later they reached St. Charles , made adjustments to the loading plan, and awaited Lewis. At St. Charles Clark also enlisted as privates two additional boatmen: Pierre Cruzatte and Francois Labiche. Both knew the tribes of the Missouri River Valley and would serve as interpreters. On 20 May, Lewis arrived from St. Louis with a group of prominent St. Louis citizens who wanted to see the expedition launched. The next afternoon, a crowd lining the riverbank bade farewell to Captains Lewis and Clark and their party.

Of the 50 men who traveled up the Missouri River to the Mandan villages in 1804, 36 were soldiers and 12 were contract boatmen. The two other men were York and Drouillard.24 As the men traveled north, they encountered more than a dozen parties of traders, sometimes accompanied by Indians, coming downriver on rafts or in canoes loaded with pelts. On 12 June, the return party lost its first man – mostly liked John Robinson, who had been a corporal in Captain Amos Stoddard’s company of artillerists. According to Joseph Whitehouse, someone from Stoddard’s company was “sent back” with the fur traders on 12 June.25 While at Camp River Dubois, Clark had reduced Robinson to private because he refused to break up a fight. Clark then promoted Warfington to corporal and assigned him to lead the return party. Significantly, Robinson’s name no longer appears on the official roster after 1 April 1804 .

Tragedy struck on 20 August, when Sergeant Charles Floyd died of what modern medical authorities believe was peritonitis from a perforated or ruptured appendix. Floyd had been ill for some weeks, but nothing Lewis or Clark did seemed to help. The men buried Floyd with full military honors, on the highest hill overlooking the river near present-day Sioux City , Iowa . Sergeant Floyd was the only member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to lose his life. Two days later, the captains ordered the men to choose Floyd’s replacement. Private Patrick Gass received 19 votes, while Privates William Barton and George Gibson each received five. On 26 August, Lewis and Clark appointed Patrick Gass sergeant in “the corps of volunteers for North Western Discovery.” This was the first time the captains use the term “Corps of Discovery” to describe the expedition.

In late September, Jefferson ’s worse fears also came to fruition, as the expedition narrowly escaped a deadly confrontation with the Teton Sioux. From the time they had left St. Charles , Lewis and Clark knew they would eventually have to face the aggressive Teton Sioux. Careful diplomacy would be required. On one hand, the Teton Sioux had a reputation for harassing and intimidating traders and demanding toll. On the other hand, of all the tribes known to Jefferson , it was the powerful Teton Sioux whom he had singled out in his instructions to Lewis. Jefferson had urged Lewis “to make a friendly impression” upon the Sioux.

This is exactly what Lewis tried to do when the Corps of Discovery met the Teton Sioux on 25 September 1804 . When the expedition prepared to move on after three days of ceremonies and festivities, the Sioux chiefs made their now-familiar demand that the expedition remain with them. Both Lewis and Clark were weary of the constant demand for gifts and sensed trouble from the well-armed Sioux warriors lining the banks of the Missouri River . After an angry exchange of words, the Sioux realized they could not keep the expedition from leaving, and backed down.

News of the expedition’s confrontation with the Teton Sioux spread rapidly up and down the Missouri River . Although Captains Lewis and Clark had demonstrated bold determination, it may actually have been the size of the Corps of Discovery that proved decisive. Given the hot tempers on both sides, the Teton Sioux would have easily overwhelmed and destroyed a small party of explorers. But with nearly 50 well-armed soldiers and boatmen, a cannon on the keelboat, and Lewis’s repeating air rifle, the expedition presented a much more formidable force. Additionally, Chief Black Buffalo sought to avoid any bloodshed, and was able to persuade the other chiefs that it was prudent to let the Corps of Discovery pass without incident.

During the journey up the Missouri , Lewis and Clark also faced two severe disciplinary problems. In August, Private Moses Reed deserted. The captains sent a party of four men, led by Drouillard, to find Reed and bring him back. If he refused to surrender, they had orders “to put him to Death.” After ten days, Reed was back in camp. He was then court-martialed, expelled from the permanent party, and assigned hard labor details until he could return with Warfington in 1805.

Over the next two months Reed tried to poison the morale of other members of the Corps of Discovery with his malcontent. In Private John Newman, Reed found a ready ally. On 13 October, Private Newman was court-martialed and “discarded” from the expedition for “repeated expressions of a highly criminal and mutinous nature.”26 Significantly, during its two-and-a-half-year trek, the Lewis and Clark Expedition recorded only five major infractions – all during the first year. This is a record unmatched by any other Army unit of the time.

The Corps of Discovery reached the Mandan villages on 26 October 1804 , without further incident. Described as “the central marketplace of the Northern Plains,” the five Mandan and Hidatsa villages attracted many Europeans and Indians alike. With a population of nearly 4,000, this was the largest concentration of Indians on the Missouri River . This is also where the Corps of Discovery decided to spend the winter. On 2 November, Clark selected a site directly opposite the lowest of the five Indian villages and two miles away. The men set to work building a triangular-shaped structure they completed on Christmas Day 1804, naming it Fort Mandan in honor of their neighbors.

During the winter months, the Corps of Discovery took part in Indian hunting parties and social events. Lewis and Clark also took time to speak with British and French-Canadian traders passing through in order to gain valuable intelligence. Based on this new information, the captains hired Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trader, as an interpreter. They agreed that he could bring along his wife Sacagawea (and their newborn son, Jean Baptiste), since Lewis and Clark thought she would be useful as an interpreter when the expedition reached her tribe near the Rocky Mountains . The expedition also enlisted French-Canadian fur trader Jean Baptiste Lepage into the permanent party to replace Newman.

On 6 April 1805 , Lewis and Clark sent the keelboat back to St. Louis . With Corporal Warfington were six privates (including Reed and Newman), Gravelines the pilot and interpreter, two French-Canadian fur traders, and an Arikara chief returning to his village. The next day the permanent party left the Mandan villages in two pirogues and six dugout canoes heading northwest. Of the 33 individuals who made the trip from Fort Mandan to the Pacific coast and back, 28 were soldiers. The other five were York, Drouillard, and the Charbonneau family. Six months later the Corps of Discovery arrived at the Pacific coast, albeit without locating an uninterrupted, direct route to the Pacific Northwest .

On an inlet from the Pacific near the mouth of the Columbia River , the men constructed Fort Clatsop , in honor of their Indian neighbors. At Fort Clatsop Lewis spent much of the time writing in his journal on botanical, ethnological, meteorological, and zoological topics, while Clark completed the first map ever made of the land between North Dakota and the Pacific coast. Together, they discussed what they had seen and learned from their journey. Meanwhile, the men hunted, fished, and made salt. After three months of cold, dreary rain, dietary problems, and constant boredom, the Corps of Discovery left the Pacific coast early in the spring of 1806. Over the next six months the men retraced their path (and charted new ones) on their way home. On the morning of 23 September 1806 , the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived safely back in St. Louis to the cheers of crowds lining the riverfront.

Mission creep became an inherent element of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from its inception in Jefferson’s mind to its departure from St. Louis in the spring of 1804. While the size of the Lewis and Clark Expedition increased dramatically from the 10-12 men Jefferson had told Congress, and from the limit of 15 set by Dearborn, neither Lewis nor Clark intentionally violated their orders. Instead, both captains were responding as they saw fit to the increasing requirements of their mission.

From the start, no one had a clear notion of how many men it would actually take to traverse the continent. Based on his early discussions with George Rogers Clark and others, Jefferson assumed a small party of 10-12 men would be sufficient. Dearborn and Lewis initially agreed. But on the Ohio River, Lewis sensed that he had underestimated the number of men needed to navigate the keelboat. At St. Louis, intelligence about the Missouri River tribes became clearer, and Lewis and Clark realized that it would be too risky for just 15 men to brazen their way past the Sioux or other potentially hostile tribes.

As the expedition traveled up the Missouri , the heavily laden keelboat kept hitting its bottom on sandbars and slowing the entire fleet. On 16 September, the captains transferred cargo to the pirogues, which meant that the escort soldiers would have to stay with the Expedition all winter.27 Then came the dangerous encounter with the Teton Sioux twelve days later. As it turned out, Lewis and Clark needed every man they had recruited for the expedition. From Fort Mandan to the Pacific coast and back, the Corps of Discovery encountered incredible natural obstacles and potentially hostile tribes. There seemed to be a growing conviction among the soldiers that every man was necessary. On more than one occasion Clark expressed apprehension about the small size of the force. Once, while taking a party to hunt and fish, he was worried that he had not left enough men with Lewis to secure the camp. Another time, Clark wrote: “nothing [sic] but the Strength of our party has prevented our being robed [sic] before this time.”28

In the end, President Jefferson and the Congress agreed with the final size of the expedition. Congress honored its obligations and paid the men according to the recommendations of Lewis and Clark. Both captains received substantial promotions as well. Lewis became the Governor of the Louisiana Territory , while Clark became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Louisiana Territory , with the rank of brigadier general of militia. Over the past two hundred years the Lewis and Clark Expedition has become famous as an epic of human achievement. It was, all things considered, a magnificent example of our young army’s potential for creative good.

Mission creep is a phenomenon that should be fully recognized within the planning process for any operation. The lack, or presence, of sufficient resources has always been a prerequisite of failure or success in any military operation. Without benefit of a formal military education, Captain Meriwether Lewis recognized this fact and acted accordingly. As a result of his commendable initiative, and within the latitude of Jefferson ’s intent, the expedition accomplished more than it ever set out to do.


1. See Jefferson’s confidential letter to Congress, 18 January 1803; in Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, ed., Reuben Thwaites, 8 vols. (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1904), 7 (Appendix 2):206-09; the quoted passage is on p. 208.

2. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Field Manual 3-07 (FM 100-20), Stability Operations and Support Operations (February 2003), p. 1-17.

3. Ibid.

4. See Jefferson’s letter to George Rogers Clark, 4 December 1783, and Clark’s response of 8 February 1784; in Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with Related Documents, 1783-1854, ed. Donald Jackson, 2 vols. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978), 2:654-56; the quoted passages and Clark’s recommendation are on p. 656.

5. For a good overview of the origins of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, see the Appendix – “Proposed Western Expeditions Before Lewis and Clark;” in Ibid., 2:654-72; the quoted passage is from the first page of the letter of John Armstrong to Josiah Harmar, 2 June 1790, p. 665-66.

6. Lewis to Jefferson, 29 May 1803; in Ibid., 1:51-53. Also see the excellent article by Arlen J. Large, “Additions to the Party: How an Expedition Grew and Grew,” We Proceeded On, 16 (February 1990):4-11.

7. Lewis to William Linnard, 10 June 1803; in Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1:53-54. Linnard was the military agent for the Middle Department, which included the territory Lewis would pass through.

8. Henry Dearborn to Russell Bissell and Amos Stoddard, 2 July 1803; in Ibid., 1:103-04; the quoted passage is from p. 103.

9. See Jefferson’s Instructions to Lewis, 20 June 1803; in Ibid., 1:61-66; the quoted passage is from p. 64.

10. Jefferson’s Letter of Credit to Lewis, 4 July 1803; in Ibid., 1:105-06.; the quoted passage is on p. 105.

11. Jefferson’s Instructions to Lewis; in Ibid., 1:61-66; the quoted passage is from p. 66.

12. Jefferson’s Letter of Credit to Lewis, 4 July 1803; in Ibid., 1:105-06.

13. Henry Dearborn to Russell Bissell, Amos Stoddard, and Daniel Bissell, 2 July 1803; in Ibid., 1:103.

14. See Roy E. Appleman, Lewis and Clark: Historic Places Associated with Their Transcontinental Expedition (Washington: National Park Service, 1975), p. 49; and Richard Dillon, Meriwether Lewis: A Biography (New York: Coward-McCann, 1965), p. 58.

15. Appleman, Lewis and Clark, p. 51.

16. Dearborn to Lewis, 2 July 1803; in Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1:102-03. It appears that this is why Lewis purchased 15 sets of military equipment at Harpers Ferry. Most likely, he and Dearborn had agreed on this number before Lewis had left for the arsenal in March.

17. See Lewis’s Letter of 19 June 1803 to William Clark; in Ibid., 1:57-60. Lewis’s interpretation is on pp. 57-58.

18. Ibid. The quoted passage is from p. 58.

19. Drouillard located the eight men and brought them to Cahokia, where Lewis inspected them and found “not a hunter among them.” See Lewis’s letter of 17 December 1803 to Clark; in Ibid., 1:144.

20. Ibid., 1:145-47; the quoted passage is from p. 145.

21. See the Letter of Carlos Dehault Delassus to Juan Manuel de Salcedo and the Marqu és de Casa Calvo, 9 December 1803; in Ibid., 1:142-43; the quoted passage is from p. 143.

22. See Clarke’s options in Document 7 of The Field Notes of Captain William Clark, ed. Ernest Osgood (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964), pp. 19-23 (the original is on pp. 203-04); the quoted passage is on p. 21. For some reason Clark later crossed out this remark. But it is clear that Lewis and Clark were getting some significant intelligence of the power of the Sioux on the Missouri River.

23. See John Ordway’s letter of 8 April 1804 to his parents; in Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1:176-77.

24. See Charles G. Clarke, The Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Biographical Roster of the Fifty-One Members and a Composite Diary of Their Activities from all Known Sources (Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2001). Also see Gary E. Moulton, Editor, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 13 vols. (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1986-98), 2 (Appendix A: Members of the Expedition):509-29.

25. See Moulton, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 11: The Journals of Joseph Whitehouse, May 14, 1804April 2, 1806, p. 22.

26. For the court-martial of John Newman, 13 October 1804; see Moulton, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 3:170-71.

27. See Clark’s journal entry of 16 September 1804; in Ibid., 2:77-79.

28. See Clark’s journal entry of 11 April 1806; in Ibid., 7:108-110; the quoted passage is from p. 109. For a similar passage, see his entry of 2 April 1806; in Ibid., 7:55-60, especially p. 57.

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