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Members of the Expedition
Non-Commissioned Officers

Sergeant Charles Floyd (1782-1804)

One of the "Nine Young Men from Kentucky," Floyd was made a sergeant before the expedition began. Lewis regarded him as "a young man of much merit." Floyd is remembered principally as the only member of the Corps of Discovery lost on the journey. He died on August 20, 1804, near present-day Sioux City, Iowa, probably from what modern medical experts believed was a ruptured appendix. Floyd kept a journal until a few days before his death.


Sergeant Patrick Gass (1771-1870)
First Infantry

Recruited at Fort Kaskaskia from Captain Russell Bissell's company of the First Infantry, Gass had joined the Army in 1799 after serving in a volunteer Ranger unit. His skill as a carpenter was of great value to the expedition. Gass was promoted to sergeant In August 1804, following the death of Floyd. In 1807, Gass was the first to publish his journal. He stayed in the Army and served in the War of 1812, but was discharged after losing an eye in an accident. Gass is the last known survivor of the expedition.


Sergeant John Ordway (1775-1817)
New Hampshire
First Infantry

The only sergeant in the Army before the expedition, Ordway was recruited at Fort Kaskaskia from Captain Russell Bissell's company of the First Infantry. He was well educated and became the senior sergeant of the expedition. He took care of the daily administration and, in the absence of the two captains, was in charge of the expedition. Ordway was the only member of the Corps of Discovery to keep his journal faithfully throughout the expedition. His accounts of Indian life are invaluable.


Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor (1772-1831)
Virginia / Kentucky

Pryor was a widower and cousin of Charles Floyd. Pryor was one of the "Nine Young Men from Kentucky." Lewis and Clark considered him to be "a man of character and ability," and after the expedition helped him secure an officer's commission in the Army. Pryor rose to the rank of captain and participated in the Battle of New Orleans in 1814. He later served as a government agent for the Osage Indians in 1830-31.


Corporal Richard Warfington (1777 - ?)
North Carolina
Second Infantry

Transferred from Captain John Campbell's company of the Second Infantry Regiment as a corporal, Warfington was both reliable and efficient. When his enlistment expired during the expedition, Lewis and Clark asked him not to take his official discharge, but to retain his rank and authority and command the return party to St. Louis in 1805. The captains believed Warfington was the only trustworthy member of the return party, and wanted to ensure the safety of their dispatches, journals, and specimens sent to President Jefferson. Warfington accepted command of the return party and completed his mission so successfully that he even managed to keep alive a prairie dog and four magpies Lewis had sent to Jefferson. Lewis later recommended Warfington receive a bonus beyond his regular pay.

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