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Members of the Expedition
Non-Commissioned Officers

Along the Frontier

The United States Army, 1783-1812

[Extracted From The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps , Eds. David W. Hogan, Jr., Robert K. Wright, Jr., and Arnold G. Fisch, Jr. (Rev. ed. 2003) pp. 59-69]


Sergeant John Ordway sat down at the end of a long day to write in his journal. As the senior sergeant, Ordway acted as the expedition's first sergeant. He issued the daily provisions after camp was set up in the evening. Rations were cooked and a portion kept for consumption the next day. He also appointed guard and other details. In the absence of the two captains, Sergeant Ordway commanded the expedition.

Under candlelight, Sergeant Ordway described the daily routine of the “Corps of Discovery.” The expedition usually “set off early” in the morning after breaking camp and loading its equipment aboard the boats. Corporal Richard Warfington commanded the detachment that rode in the white pirogue, while the civilian boatmen rode in the red pirogue. On the keelboat, the three sergeants rotated duties. One always manned the helm, another supervised the crew at amidships, and the third kept lookout at the bow.

Hard physical labor characterized each day, as the men navigated their “ungainly craft” up the powerful Missouri River. If the river was deep enough, the men rowed. If the current was too swift for rowing, the men fashioned a 40-foot cable to the mast of the keelboat, came ashore, and pulled the boat upriver. If the wind failed and the river was shallow enough, the men pushed their iron-pointed setting poles into the river's bottom and started pushing the keelboat upriver. In every case, a total physical commitment from the men was needed to make every mile.

At the end of the day, while others were dancing to the fiddle of Private Pierre Cruzatte, Sergeant Ordway would faithfully describe the events of the day. He noted that as the expedition traveled north, the men conquered every navigational hazard the Missouri River offered. The men also overcame a variety of physical ills: boils, blisters, bunions, sunstroke, dysentery, fatigue, injuries, colds, fevers, snakebites, ticks, gnats, toothaches, headaches, sore throats, and mosquitoes. At the same time the Corps of Discovery became the first Euro-Americans to see some remarkable species of animal life: the mule deer, prairie dog, and antelope. As Ordway told his parents in a letter from Camp River Dubois, “I am So [ sic ] happy as to be one of them pick'd [ sic ] Men [ sic ] from the armey [ sic ].” 1


The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 20, 1783, formally ended the War of Independence and brought peace with Great Britain. With the end of hostilities, most Americans believed the United States had no immediate need for a standing army; indeed, most thought that the Continental Army had been created only to fight the war. Even George Washington acknowledged that the new nation did not need nor could it afford a large standing army in time of peace. On the other hand, Washington noted that a few regular troops were “not only safe, but indispensably necessary” to support the rule of federal law.2 From the end of the American Revolution to the beginning of the War of 1812, the United States struggled to find the kind of army it needed “to provide for the common defense.”

As most soldiers returned home from the Revolution, the Continental Congress considered the type of army the Confederation of States required. In his “Sentiments on a Peace Establishment” (1783), Washington recommended a small regular army to garrison West Point and posts along the frontier. These soldiers would be “Continental Troops” who looked to Congress, not to the states, “for their Orders, their pay, and supplies of every kind.” Washington envisioned four regiments of infantry and one of artillery, along with “artificers” that totaled 2,631 officers, noncommissioned officers, and men. Each regiment of infantry would contain twenty-six noncommissioned officers, while the regiment of artillery would have 264 noncommissioned officers, which included bombardiers and gunners. To supplement the regular army, Washington called for a well organized, well trained, and disciplined militia in which all male citizens from eighteen to fifty were required to serve. 3

Congress took no action on Washington's plan. Fearing that a standing army was “inconsistent” with representative government and “dangerous to the liberties of a free people,” lawmakers on June 2, 1784, ordered Henry Knox (now commanding the army since Washington's return to civilian life) to discharge all remaining soldiers, except for twenty-five men at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) and fifty-five at West Point. No officers above the rank of captain were to remain in the army, nor were there to be any noncommissioned officers.4 On October 18, 1784, Congress officially disbanded the Continental Army.

Meanwhile, events along the western frontier convinced the Continental Congress that the Confederation of States required a military presence to protect its borders. Great Britain continued to garrison several forts in the Northwest in defiance of the Treaty of Paris. The British were also encouraging the Indians to resist the movement of Americans into the territory Great Britain had ceded to the Confederation. The problem of defending the nation's borders prompted Congress to authorize a peacetime regular army – the First American Regiment. On June 3, 1784, Congress asked Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to furnish 700 officers, noncommissioned officers, and men from their militias for this new regiment.5 The First American Regiment was divided into eight infantry companies and two artillery batteries. Only Pennsylvania met its recruitment goal, and thus she chose the regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar. By the spring of 1785, Harmar's small force was soon dispersed among the tiny outposts along the Ohio River Valley. Its mission was to keep the peace between Americans and Indians.

Under the direction of Secretary of War Henry Knox, the First American Regiment tried to restrain whites from settling Indian land. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, the Indians were feeling the press of white civilization as nearly 50,000 squatters entered their country.6 Although Harmar's men had taken steps to stop the encroachment of whites on Indian land, against so many lawless settlers the First American Regiment could do little to maintain the peace. Irritated by the intrusion of whites into their land, and encouraged by the British, the Indians became increasing hostile. By the fall of 1789, a crisis in the Northwest rapidly approached. On April 30, 1790, Congress voted to increase the number of enlisted men in the army to 1,216. The infantry regiment was subsequently reorganized into three battalions of four companies each. Each company would contain four sergeants and four corporals.7

Seeking to settle the Indian problem, Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, directed Harmar to launch a punitive attack against the Miami Indian towns near what is now Cincinnati. But Harmar's 1,453 troops were largely untrained recruits and militia, with a small core of only 320 veterans.8 Nevertheless, on September 30, 1790, Harmar moved his ill-trained force into the wilderness. By mid-October the Americans had destroyed the deserted Indian towns along the Maumee River and were heading back to Fort Washington. But on October 19 and 21, Harmar's force suffered two successive defeats. During both actions, most of the militia panicked and fled, leaving the regulars unsupported. After a month of campaigning, Harmar returned to Fort Washington having lost a third of his pack train killed or stolen, nearly all of the militia (largely through desertion), and a quarter of his regulars. The first major military operation of the United States Army ended in disaster.9

Harmar's defeat was immediately evident along the frontier. Angered by the attack and encouraged by their success, the Indians stepped up their raids. Determined to end these attacks, Congress authorized Governor St. Clair, old and in failing health, to raise and command a volunteer force of about 2,200 men. His mission was “to establish a just and liberal peace” with the Indians.10 After assembling his men and supplies at Fort Washington, St. Clair led his untrained and bickering force against the Indians on August 7, 1791. After three months of marching and constructing two forts, the Americans were encamped amid snow, ice, and rain near the eastern bank of the upper Wabash, about fifty miles from what is now Fort Wayne, Indiana. Although patrols had informed the command that Indians were nearby in great strength, and were approaching the camp, security was surprisingly nonexistent. A half an hour before sunrise on November 4, 1791, approximately 1,000 Indians rushed from the forest and attacked the ill-prepared camp. The militia received the first impact of the attack and fled in panic, leaving the regulars and civilian accompanying the expedition to be slaughtered by the triumphant Indians.11 After three hours of fighting, St. Clair decided to abandon his camp rather than risk annihilation. Fortunately for the Americans, the Indians did not conduct a vigorous pursuit. Instead, they celebrated “the most one-sided, overwhelming victory” Indians have ever won from an American or European army.12 According to contemporary accounts, nearly 650 soldiers and up to 200 civilians, including women and children, were left on the battlefield.13

President George Washington was furious. What more proof did the Congress need in order to act on his “Sentiments on a Peace Establishment,” written nearly ten years earlier and outlining the kind of army America needed. Now the President took steps to get Congress to act. He initiated, and Congress passed, laws to strengthen the militia and institute a legionary system for the regular army. The Militia Act of May 8, 1792, established in law the principle of universal military obligation, while the Congress on December 27, 1972, agreed to reorganize the regular army as a legion. Drawing parallels from the Roman Republic, the Legion of the United States was built around four miniature armies called sub-legions of 1,280 men each, a unit roughly analogous to a modern battalion task force. These were tactically flexible, self-sufficient combined arms forces of infantry, light infantry, dragoons, and artillery.14 Regiments disappeared, as did the rank of colonel. Majors commanded the sub-legions. To train and lead the Legion, Washington called upon Georgia representative Anthony Wayne, one of his ablest commanders during the Revolution. Wayne accepted Washington's call on April 13, 1972.

Washington knew Wayne possessed “a dominating desire to meet and annihilate the enemy.” He was also “able, smart, and organized.”15 For nearly two years, General Wayne recruited, trained, and disciplined the Legion, using the 1779 Drill Manual (known as the Blue Book ) of General Friedrich Steuben. Wayne placed a copy of the Blue Book in the hands of every company commander and saw that they used it. Noncommissioned officers drilled the men daily, teaching them how to maneuver together in formation, to work as a team, and to react instinctively on the battlefield. Sergeants taught their men how to handle their muskets and to use their bayonets. Legionnaires also learned how to shoot straight by actually firing their weapons. Discipline was unrelenting and swift. Wayne's goal was to forge the Legion of the United States “into a strong, well disciplined striking force with one objective – to fight Indians in the wilderness and win.”16 In 1794, the confrontation came.

At Fallen Timbers (near present day Toledo, Ohio) on August 20, 1794, the Legion of the United States broke the power of the Indians in the eastern region of the Northwest, convinced the British to evacuate their garrisons below the Great Lakes, and gave the infant United States Army its first model of excellence. That Anthony Wayne had greater success against the Indians than did Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair can be attributed to a number of factors. The Legion was twice as large as the forces Harmar and St. Clair marched against the Indians. Wayne's troops were also bettered paid and equipped. Most important is the fact that the Legion had nearly two years to ready itself, due primarily to the fact that the government wished to exhaust all efforts for peace before giving Wayne permission to take military action.

When negotiations with the Indians broke down in the late summer of 1793, most observers believed that it was too late to mount a major campaign that season. General Wayne thought otherwise. After making extensive preparations, the Legion marched north in early October, following the roadway St. Clair had cut three years earlier. On Christmas Day, 1793, the Legion arrived at the site of the St. Clair massacre on the Wabash. It was gruesome and eerie, as the troops found skulls and bones strewn everywhere. “Wayne and his Legionnaires slept uncomfortably on the ghostly field that night.”17 The next day, while some gathered the remains and buried them in a mass grave, others began erecting a fortified position on the ground. Named Fort Recovery, this post made a powerful statement to the Indians and the British. It signaled the resurgence of American strength and resolve of the United States to persevere in the long war.

Fallen Timbers was a mass of tangled thickets amid fallen and uprooted trees left by a tornado that had swept over the Maumee River Valley years earlier. Marching in battle formation, the Legion drove straight into the Indian lines. The Indians, expecting to launch their own assault against disoriented troops, suddenly found themselves receiving a thundering volley of “close and well directed fire” from the American infantrymen, then a fierce bayonet charge, and finally, hard-riding Kentucky mounted riflemen slashing from the flanks. This was more than the Indian force could stand. In forty-five minutes the battle was over.18 The United States again had a victorious army. A year later, on August 3, 1975, the Indians agreed to cede most of Ohio and part of Indiana to the United States in the Treaty of Greenville.

Shortly after the Army's victory at Fallen Timbers, Secretary of War Henry Knox retired to private life in December 1794. Upon leaving office, Knox gave President Washington a remarkable plan for the defense of the frontier. Knox sought to protect the Indians from avaricious frontier whites. He reasoned that any war with the Indians to justify the encroachment by whites was morally reprehensible and could lead to serious diplomatic repercussions. He therefore proposed a line of military posts garrisoned by regular army troops “under the direction of the President of the United States” along the frontier on Indian land. These outposts were to restrain the whites, awe the Indians, and protect the two races from each other. These forts would be “out of the jurisdiction of any State,” while their expense would be no more than federal support of state militia. Knox recommended that both white and Indian violators be subject to martial law.19

Both Timothy Pickering, who followed Knox as Secretary of War, and his successor James McHenry, tried to implement Knox's wise plan. But Congress would not provide adequate regular troops to keep the peace. Instead, on May 30, 1796, Congress abolished the Legion of the United States and reduced the army to a corps of artillerists and engineers, two companies of light dragoons, and four regiments of infantry of eight companies each. The act was to go into effect on October 31, 1796, and the President was authorized to reassign the troops from the old legionary organization to the new establishment.20 America's conventionally organized and reduced army now began stretching to garrison not only the forts along the northern border that Great Britain finally relinquished in accordance with Jay's Treaty (signed in London on November 19, 1794), but also those outposts in the south that the Spanish surrendered according to the terms of the Treaty of San Lorenzo, signed with Spain on October 27, 1795.

With the election of Thomas Jefferson to the presidency in 1800, the Army received close attention. Contrary to popular opinion, Jefferson increased the size of the army, reformed its leadership, established the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York (1802), and paid particular attention to military affairs along the frontier.21 Jefferson was both determined to maintain peace with the Indians and fascinated with western exploration. The Army would play a pivotal role in Jefferson's plans. On April 30, 1803, the United States concluded the greatest real estate transaction in history with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France. The acquisition of Louisiana changed the whole complexion of frontier life. Virtually all obstacles to western commerce and expansion that had long irritated American frontiersmen were suddenly removed.

One of the great achievements of the Army during the Jefferson administration was the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. Its dynamism and sweep carried American explorers across the breadth of a vast continent for the first time. Its scientific agenda brought back invaluable information about flora, fauna, hydrology, and geography. Its benign intent established fruitful trade relations and encouraged peaceable commerce with Indians encountered en route. The Expedition was, all things considered, a magnificent example of America's potential for progress and creative good.22

From beginning to end, the Lewis and Clark Expedition was an Army endeavor, officially characterized as the “Corps of Volunteers for North Western Discovery.” It is no accident that the new nation and its president turned to the Army for this most important mission. Soldiers possessed the toughness, teamwork, discipline, and training appropriate to the rigors they would face. The Army also had a nationwide organization even in 1803 and thus the potential to provide requisite operational and logistical support. Perhaps most important, the Army was already in the habit of developing leaders of character and vision: soldiers such as Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and the outstanding noncommissioned officers – John Ordway, Charles Floyd, Nathaniel Pryor, Patrick Gass, and Richard Warfington – who served with them.

Relative quiet reined along the frontier throughout much of the Jefferson administration. But tranquility along the northwest frontier did not last long, as advancing white settlers broke the Treaty of Greenville and had awakened the quieted antagonisms of the Indians. Indian retaliation soon followed. With British encouragement and support, the celebrated Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, and his brother, the Prophet, now attempted to form an Indian confederation that would block American encroachment. They won many supporters among the northwest Indians, and in the spring of 1808 built Prophetstown on the upper Wabash at the mouth of Tippecanoe Creek. William Henry Harrison, Governor of Indiana Territory was alarmed by this concentration of warriors so close to his capital at Vincennes. Rumors of impeding Indian attacks convinced Harrison that serious trouble was brewing. When peaceful negotiations failed, Harrison struck. Advancing toward Prophetstown, Harrison reached the site of present-day Terre Haute on October 1, 1809, and began erecting a fort, which he named Fort Harrison. When the blockhouse was completed at the end of October, Harrison moved toward Tippecanoe seeking a parley with the Indians. On the morning of November 7, 1811, the Indians attacked Harrison's encampment. Although the Prophet's braves penetrated Harrison's defense with “uncommon ferocity,” the Americans repulsed all three Indian assaults with “real and determined valor.” Then Harrison counterattacked and the Indians fled into the marsh.23 The battle of Tippecanoe settled nothing. While the Prophet's town was burned and his followers scattered, Indian enmity against the whites only increased and another step had been taken toward total war to see who would control the Northwest.

NCOs in Action

Over the past two hundred years, the Lewis and Clark Expedition has become famous as an epic of human achievement, covering nearly eight thousand miles in two years, four months, and ten days. Although the Corps of Discovery did not locate an uninterrupted, direct route to the Pacific Ocean as Jefferson had hoped, the expedition strengthened the nation's claim to the Pacific Northwest and paved the way for future Army expeditions, which helped to open the American West to commerce and settlement. The two captains and some of their men kept detailed journals and brought back invaluable geographic and scientific data, including 178 new plants and 122 previously unknown species and subspecies of animals. They also made friends with several Indian tribes and gave the nation a foothold in the region's fur trade.

Noncommissioned officers made a singular contribution to the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Throughout the winter of 1803-04, Sergeant John Ordway, an experience soldier from the First Infantry Regiment, assisted Captain William Clark in establishing Camp River Dubois. During the five months of the encampment, Clark and Ordway received, selected, trained, and disciplined personnel for the expedition. On several occasions Ordway commanded the camp in the absence of the two captains.24 He was the “top sergeant” of the expedition, expected to maintain order and discipline and to see that daily operations ran smoothly.

Both captains dealt firmly with any form of insubordination or misbehavior, especially when it was directed against a noncommissioned officer.25 On two occasions, Captain Clark appointed Sergeants Ordway and Nathaniel Pryor as presiding officers of court-martial boards convened to try infractions of military law.26 These measures proved effective, as the Corps of Discovery recorded only five infractions during its two-and-a-half-year trek, a record unmatched by any other Army unit of the time.

Throughout the expedition, Captains Lewis and Clark relied implicitly on the leadership of their noncommissioned officers – Sergeants Ordway, Charles Floyd, Pryor, and Patrick Gass, and Corporal Richard Warfington. Nowhere is this more evident that on the return trip, when the officers split their command into four groups and called upon their noncommissioned officers to leave separate detachments.27 According to the plan developed at Fort Clatsop during the winter of 1805-06, once the expedition crossed back over the Rockies, Lewis, Gass, George Drouillard, and seven privates (Joseph and Reubin Field, Robert Frazer, Silas Goodrich, Hugh McNeal, John Thompson, and William Werner) would head northeast to explore the Marias River and hopefully meet with the Blackfeet to establish good relations with them. At the portage camp near the Great Falls, Lewis would leave Gass and two men (Frazer and Werner) to recover the cache left there. Clark would take the remainder of the expedition southeast across the Continental Divide to the Three Forks of the Missouri. There he would send Ordway, nine privates (John Collins, John Colter, Pierre Cruzatte, Thomas Howard, Baptiste Lepage, John Potts, Peter Weiser, Joseph Whitehouse, and Alexander Willard), and the cache recovered from Camp Fortunate down the Missouri River to link up with Lewis and Gass at the mouth of the Marias River. Clark, five privates (William Bratton, George Gibson, Thomas Howard, Francois Labiche, and John Shields), the Charbonneau family, and York would then descend the Yellowstone River to its juncture with the Missouri River. Meanwhile, Pryor and three privates would take the horses overland to the Mandan villages and deliver a confidential message from Lewis to Agent Hugh Heney of the British North West Company. Lewis hoped to entice the North West Company into an American trading system Lewis sought to establish. Lewis and Clark would unite at the juncture of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers in August 1806.

The willingness of Lewis and Clark to divide their command in such rugged, uncertain, and potentially dangerous country shows the high degree of confidence they had in themselves, their noncommissioned officers, and their troops. In addition to the physical challenges the expedition would certainly meet, war parties of Crow, Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and other tribes regularly roamed the countryside and threatened to destroy the expedition piecemeal. By dividing their command in the face of uncertainty, Lewis and Clark took a bold but acceptable risk to accomplish their mission.

Separated for forty days, the Corps of Discovery proceeded to accomplish nearly all its objectives. As Lewis and his party made their way from the site where they had encountered the Blackfeet, Ordway's group had recovered the cache at Camp Fortunate, proceeded down the Missouri River, and linked up with Gass without incident. Gass' team had already recovered the cache at the portage camp at the Great Falls and was awaiting Lewis and Ordway. Meanwhile, on the morning of 24 July 1806, while Clark and his party set off in canoes down the Yellowstone River, Pryor and Privates George Shannon, Hugh Hall, and Richard Windsor took the horses overland to the Mandan villages. On the second night out, a Crow raiding party stole all the horses. Demonstrating their ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and mastery of life in the wilderness, Pryor and his men kept their cool, walked to Pompey's Pillar (named in honor of Sacagawea's infant son, whom Clark nicknamed “Pomp”), killed a buffalo for food and its hide, made two circular Mandan-type bullboats (all four rode in one, while the second was a reserve in cast the first sank), and floated downriver to link up with Clark on the morning of August 8. Four days later, Lewis and his group found Clark and his group along the banks of the Missouri River.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was one of the most daring and dramatic episodes in American history. The Army furnished the organization and much of the manpower, equipment, and supplies. Military discipline and training proved crucial, both to winning over potentially hostile tribes and to overcoming the huge natural obstacles to crossing the continent. Noncommissioned officer leadership was pivotal to the success of the expedition. Indeed, the journey of the Corps of Discovery demonstrated, as today's noncommissioned officer continues to, that the noncommissioned officer has many roles and helps the Army in many ways.

1See John Ordway's letter of April 8, 1814, to his parents, in Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Edited with Introduction and Afterword by James P. Ronda (Helena, MT: Montana Historical Society Press, 1998), pp. 75-76; the quoted passage is from p. 75.

2See “Sentiments on a Peace Establishment” (May 2, 1783), in The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick. 39 Vols. (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1931-44), Vol. 26 (1938):374-98; the quoted passage is from p. 375.

3Ibid., the quoted passages are from p. 377.

4See Journals of the Continental Congress, 1784-1789 (Washington, DC), 27:524; cited in James Ripley Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, 1783-1812 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947), p. 14.

5See Journals of the Continental Congress, 1784-1789 (Washington, DC), 27:530-31; cited in Ibid., p. 16.

6Reginald Horsman, “American Indian Policy in the Old Northwest, 1783-1812,” William and Mary Quarterly , 18 (1961):35-53.

7Russell F. Weigley, History of the United States Army (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1984), p. 90.

8Francis Paul Prucha, The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1969), p. 20.

9General William W. Hartzog, American Military Heritage (Fort Monroe, VA, and Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1998), p. 21.

10See “Instructions to Major General Arthur St. Clair,” March 21, 1791, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs (Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832), 1:171-74; the quoted passage is from p. 171.

11For a vivid account of the action, see Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, pp. 105-10.

12Dave R. Palmer, 1794: America, Its Army, and the Birth of the Nation (Novato,CA: Presidio Press, 1994), p. 201.

13See St. Clair's report to Knox, November 9, 1791, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, 1:137-38. Also see Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, pp. 114-15.

14See Hartzog, American Military Heritage, p. 21.

15The first quote is taken from Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, p. 127; the latter from Hartzog, American Military Heritage, p. 21.

16Hartzog, American Military Heritage, p. 21.

17Palmer, 1794 , p. 231.

18See Wayne's report to Knox, August 28, 1794, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, 1:491-92; the quoted passage is from p. 491.

19See the letter of Knox to Washington, December 29, 1794, in Ibid.; the quoted passages are from p. 544.

20Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, p. 192.

21See Theodore J. Crackel's perceptive analysis of President Jefferson's actions as commander-in-chief of the military in Mr. Jefferson's Army: Political and Social Reform of the Military Establishment, 1801-1809 (New York: New York University Press, 1987).

22See David W. Hogan, Jr. and Charles E. White, The U.S. Army and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Washington, DC: CMH Pub 70-75-1, 2002).

23See Harrison's report of November 18, 1811, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, 1:776-79; the quoted passages are from p. 778.

24For example, s ee the Detachment Orders of February 20, 1804, and March 3, 1804, in The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Edited by Gary E. Moulton, 13 Vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988-98), 2:174-75 and 178-79.

25See the comments of Lewis, March 3, 1804, upon learning of several recruits who had disobeyed Sergeant Ordway's orders and had threatened his life, in Ibid., pp. 178-79.

26Sergeant Ordway presided over a court-martial board convened on May 17, 1804, that tried two recruits for being absent without leave and a third for being absent without leave, disorderly conduct, and speaking in language disrespectful to Captain Lewis. Sergeant Pryor presided over a court-martial board convened on June 29, 1804, that tried two privates – one for being drunk at his post and allowing another to get drunk from the whiskey he was supposed to guard. For the former, see Ibid., pp. 235-37; the latter, see Ibid., pp. 329-30.

27Earlier, in the spring of 1805, Corporal Warfington led the keelboat and its crew of six privates, three civilians, and an Indian chief back to St. Louis.


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