The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 28, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 27, 1806
July 29, 1806

July 28, 1806

July 28th 1806 Monday. The morning proved fair, I slept sound but fortunately awoke as day appeared, I awaked the men and directed the horses to be saddled, I was so soar from my ride yesterday that I could scarcely stand, and the men complained of being in a similar situation however I encourged them by telling them that our own lives as well as those of our friends and fellow travellers depended on our exertions at this moment; they were allert soon prepared the horses and we again resumed our march; the men proposed to pass the missouri at the grog spring where rose river approaches it so nearly and pass down on the S. W. side, to this I objected as it would delay us almost all day to reach the point by this circuetous rout and would give the enemy time to surprise and cut off the party at the point if they had arrived there, I told them that we owed much to the safety of our friends and that we must wrisk our lives on this occasion, that I should proceed immediately to the point and if the party had not arrived that I would raft the missouri a small distance above, hide our baggage and march on foot up the river through the timber untill I met the canoes or joined them at the falls; I now told them that it was my determination that if we were attacked in the plains on our way to the point that the bridles of the horses should be tied together and we would stand and defend them, or sell our lives as dear as we could. we had proceeded about 12 miles on an East course when we found ourselves near the missouri; we heared a report which we took to be that of a gun but were not certain; still continuing down the N. E. bank of the missouri about 8 miles further, being then within five miles of the grog spring we heared the report of several rifles very distinctly on the river to our right, we quickly repared to this joyfull sound and on arriving at the bank of the river had the unspeakable satisfaction to see our canoes coming down. we hurried down from the bluff on which we were and joined them striped our horses and gave them a final discharge imbrarking without loss of time with our baggage. I now learned that they had brought all things safe having sustaned no loss nor met with any accident of importance. Wiser had cut his leg badly with a knife and was unable in consequence to work. we decended the river opposite to our principal cash which we proceeded to open after reconnoitering the adjacent country. we found that the cash had caved in and most of the articles burried therin were injured; I sustained the loss of two very large bear skins which I much regret; most of the fur and baggage belonging to the men were injured. the gunpowder corn flour poark and salt had sustained but little injury the parched meal was spoiled or nearly so. having no time to air these things which they much wanted we droped down to the point to take in the several articles which had been buried at that place in several small cashes; these we found in good order, and recovered every article except 3 traps belonging to Drewyer which could not be found. here as good fortune would have it Sergt. Gass and Willard who brought the horses from the falls joined us at 1 P.M. I had ordered them to bring down the horses to this place in order to assist them in collecting meat which I had directed them to kill and dry here for our voyage, presuming that they would have arrived with the perogue and canoes at this place several days before my return. having now nothing to detain us we passed over immediately to the island in the entrance of Maria's river to launch the red perogue, but found her so much decayed that it was impossible with the means we had to repare her and therefore mearly took the nails and other ironwork's about her which might be of service to us and left her. we now reimbarked on board the white peroge and five small canoes and decended the river about 15 ms. and encamped on the S. W. side near a few cottonwood trees, one of them being of the narrow leafed speceis and was the first of that kind which we had remarked on our passage up the river. we encamped late but having little meat I sent out a couple of hunters who soon returned with a sufficient quantity of the flesh of a fat cow. there are immence quantities of buffaloe and Elk about the junction of the Missouri and Maria's rivers.- during the time we halted at the er.crance of Maria's river we experienced a very heavy shower of rain and hail attended with violent thunder and lightning.

Monday 28th July 1806. Set out this morning at day light and proceeded on glideing down this Smooth Stream passing maney Isld. and Several Creeks and brooks at 6 miles passed a Creek or brook of 80 yards wide on the N W. Side Containing but little water. 6 miles lower passed a small Creek 20 yds wide on the Stard Side 18 Miles lower passed a large dry creek on the Lard Side 5 Miles lower passed a river 70 yards wide Containing but little water on the Lard Side which I call Table Creek from the tops of Several mounds in the Plains to the N W. resembling a table. four miles Still lower I arived at the enterance of a river 100 yards wide back of a Small island on the South Side. it contains Some Cotton wood timber and has a bold Current, it's water like those of all other Streams which I have passed in the Canoes are muddy. I take this river to be the one the Indians Call the Little Big Horn river. The Clifts on the South Side of the Rochejhone are Generally compd. of a yellowish Gritty Soft rock, whilest those of the N. is light Coloured and much harder in the evening I passd. Straters of Coal in the banks on either Side those on the Stard. Bluffs was about 30 feet above the water and in 2 vanes from 4 to 8 feet thick, in a horozontal position. the Coal Contained in the Lard Bluffs is in Several vaines of different hights and thickness. this Coal or Carbonated wood is like that of the Missouri of an inferior quallity. passed a large Creek on the Stard. Side between the 1st and 2nd Coal Bluffs passed Several Brooks the chanel of them were wide and contained but little running water, and encamped on the upper point of a Small island opposit the enterance of a Creek 25 Yards wide on the Stard. Side with water.

The Elk on the banks of the river were So abundant that we have not been out of Sight of them to day. J Shields killed 2 deer & Labeech killed an Antilope to day. the antilopes and deer are not Abundant. Beaver plenty