The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, August 12, 1806

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Clark, August 12, 1806

Thursday 12th August 1806

I set out early this morning and had not proceeded on far before Shannon discovered he had lost his Tomahk. I derected him to land his Skin Canoe and go back to our Camp of last night in Serch of it, and proceeded on my self with the two wood and one Skin Canoe to a large hottom on the N. E Side above the head of Jins island and landed to take brackfast as well as to delay untill Shannon & Gibson Should arive. Sent out Shields & Labiech to hunt deer in the bottom, at 2 P m. Shannon and gibson arived having found the tomahawk at our camp they killed 3 Elk &c. one of the Canoes of Buffalow Skin by accident got a hole peirced in her of about 6 inches diamuter. I derected two of the men to patch the Canoe with a piece of Elk skin over the hole, which they did and it proved all Sufficient, after which the Canoe did not leak one drop. The two hunters returned without haveing killed any thing. at meridian Capt Lewis hove in Sight with the party which went by way of the Missouri as well as that which accompanied him from Travellers rest on Clarks river; I was alarmed on the landing of the Canoes to be informed that Capt. Lewis was wounded by an accident-. I found him lying in the Perogue, he informed me that his wound was slight and would be well in 20 or 30 days this information relieved me very much. I examined the wound and found it a very bad flesh wound the ball had passed through the fleshey part of his left thy below the hip bone and cut the cheek of the right buttock for 3 inches in length and the debth of the ball. Capt L. informed me the accident happened the day before by one of the men Peter Crusat misstakeig him in the thick bushes to be an Elk. Capt Lewis with this Crusat and Several other men were out in the bottom Shooting of Elk, and had Scattered in a thick part of the woods in pursute of the Elk. Crusat Seeing Capt L. passing through the bushes and takeing him to be an Elk from the Colour of his Cloathes which were of leather and very nearly that of the Elk fired and unfortunately the ball passed through the thy as aforesaid. Capt Lewis thinking it indians who had Shot him hobbled to the canoes as fast as possible and was followered by Crusat, the mistake was then discovered. This Crusat is near Sighted and has the use of but one eye, he is an attentive industerous man and one whome we both have placed the greatest Confidence in dureing the whole rout.- After Capt. Lewis and my Self parted at Travellers rest, he with the Indians proceeded down the West Side of Clarks river Seven miles and crossed on rafts 2 miles below the East fork 120 yards wide, after Crossing the river he proceeded up the North Side of the east fork and encampd. here the Indians left him and proceeded down Clarks river in Serch of the Tushepaws. an Indian man Came up with Cap L. from the W. of the mountains and proceeded on with those who had accompanied us. Capt. L. proceeded up the E. fork of Clarks river 17 ms. to the enterance of Cokahlarishkit river or the river to buffalow, he proceeded up on the North Side of this river which is 60 yards wide crossing Several Small Streams and the N. fork, and passing over part of the dividing mountain onto the waters of Deabourns river in the plains and in a Derection to the N. extremity of Easte range of rocky mountains which pass the Missouri at the pine Island Rapid. from thence he bore his Course to the N E untill he Struck Meadcin river near where that river Enters the rocky Mts. and proceeded down Medicine river to the Missouri at the white bear Islands at the upper part of the portage. this rout is a very good one tho not the most derect rout, the most derect rout would be to proceed up the Missouri above Dearborns river and take a right hand road & fall on a South branch of the Cokatlarishkit R. and proceed down that river to the main road but the best rout would be from the falls of the Missouri by fort mountain and passing the N. extremity of that range of the Rocky Mountains which pass the Missouri at the pine Island rapid Course nearly S. W. and to the gap through which the great road passeds the dividing mountain the distance from the falls to this gap about 45 miles through a tolerable leavel plain on an old indian road. and the distance from thence to Clarks river is 105 miles. The total distance from the falls of the Missouri to Clarks river is only 150 miles of a tolerable road- Capt L. arived at the white Bear Islands and encampd. on the West Side of the Missouri and in the morning he discovered that the Indians had taken of Seven of his best horses, drewyer prosued the indians two day's on the rout towards Clarks river. he Saw their camp on Dearborns river near the road on which Capt. Lewis & party Come on a by place where they had left only one or two day at this encampment he Saw great appearanc of horses- on the return of Drewyer Capt L. took Drewyer & the 2 fieldses & proceeded on his intended rout up Marias river leaving Sergt. Gass, Thompson, Frazier, Werner, McNeal & Goodrich at the portage to prepare Geer and repar the wheels & Carrage against the arival of the Canoes and he also left 4 horses for the purpose of hauling the Canoes across. The Canoes arrived on the 16th, and on the 26th they had all except one across, the Plains becom So muddy from the emence rains which had fallen, that they Could not get her over the portage. on the 28th they joined Capt Lewis at the Grog Spring a fiew miles above the enterance of Marias river From the Falls of Missouri Capt. L. proceeded on with Drewyer & the 2 fieldses Courss

On the 26th of July Capt Lewis Set out on his return to the enterance of Marias river to meet with the party with, the Canoes from the falls. his course was through the plains

S. E. 5 Miles- passing a Small Creek from the mts

S. 70° E. 9 Miles to a principal branch of Marias River 65 yards wide not very deep at 7 mile. this last branch is Shallow and rapid about the Size of the former from the S W. both of those Streams Contain a great preportion of timber- here we find the 3 Specis of Cotton before mentioned

N 80° E. 4 miles down Marias river and met with 8 Indians of the Blackfoot nation with about 30 horses, those Indians professed friendship and Set out with him and encamped together the night of the 26th of July, thy informed him that there was two large bands of their nation in that quarter one of which would be at the enterance of Marias river in a fiew days. they also informed that a french Trader was with one of those bands, that they traded with the white people on the Suskashwen River at 6 easy days march or about 150 miles distant from whome they precured Guns Powder Lead blankets &c. in exchange for wolf and beaver Skins. Capt Lewis gave them a Flag Meadel & Handkerchief Capt. L. informed those Indians where he was from & where he had been and his objects & friendly views &c. of which they appeared to be well Satisfied.

"on the morning of the 27th at day light the indians got up and crouded around the fire, Jo. Field who was on post had carelessly laid his gun down behind him near where his brother was Sleeping. one of the Indians Slipd. behind him and took his gun and that of his brother unperceived by him, at the Same instant two others advanced and Seized the guns of Drewyer and Capt Lewis who were yet asleep. Jo. Fields Seeing this turned about to take his gun and Saw the fellow running off with his and his brothers, he called to his brother who instantly jumped up and prosued the indian with him whome they overtook at the distance of 50 or 60 paces Siezed their guns and rested them from him and R. Field as he Seized his gun Stabed the indian to the heart with his knif who fell dead; (this Cap L. did not know untill Some time after.) drewyer who awoke at the first alarm jumped up and Seized & rested his gun from the indian &c. Capt L. awoke and asked what was the matter Seeing Drewyer in a Scuffle for his gun he turned to get his gun and found her gorn, he drew a pistol from his holsters and prosued the Indian whom he Saw in possession of his gun making off he presented the pistol and the indian lay down the gun. the two Fields Came up and drew up to Shoot the Indian which Capt L. forbid the indians then attempted to drive off all the horses. Capt L. derected the men to fire on them if they attempted to drive off the horses, and prosued two fellows who Continued to drive of his horses he Shot the indian who had taken his gun and then in possession of his horse through the belly, he fell and raised on his elbow and fired at Capt L. the other made his escape into a nitch out of Sight with his bow and arrows and as Capt L. guns was empty and he without his Shot pouch he returnd. to the Camp where the 2 fields and Drewyer joind him having prosued the indians across the river the were now in possession of the most of their own as well as the indian horses and a gun Several bows & arrows and all the indians baggage the gun & Some feathers and flag they took and burnt all the other articles. and Saddled up a many of the best horses as they wished with Some Spear horses, and Set out for to intersept the party at Marias river and proceded on a little to the S. of East 112 Miles to the Missouri at the Grog Spring. here they met with Canoes and party decending joined them leaving their horses on the river bank, and proceeded on to the enterance of Marias river opened the deposits, found Several articles damaged. 3 Beaver traps could not be found, the red perogue unfit for Service, from thenc they proceeded without delay to the River Rochejhone See cources of Capt Lewis rout in next book."

at 2 P.M. Shannon & Gibson arived in the Skin Canoe with the Skins and the greater part of the flesh of 3 Elk which they had killed a fiew miles above. the two men Dixon & Handcock the two men we had met above came down intending to proceed on down with us to the Manclans. at 3 P M we proceded on all together having left the 2 leather Canoes on the bank. a little below the enterance of (Jos) Shabonos Creek we Came too on a large Sand point from the S. E. Side and Encamped. the wind blew very hard from the S W. and Some rain. I washed Capt L. wound which has become Sore and Somewhat painfull to him.