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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For July 13:
Captain Clark (current)
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Set out at sunrise, and proceeded on under a gentle breeze. At two miles, passed the mouth of a small river on the S.S. called by the Indians Tarkio. A channel running out of the river three miles above (which is now filled up with sand) runs into this creek, and formed an island, called St. Josephs. Several sand bars parallel to each other above. In the first bend to the left is situated a beautiful and extensive plain, covered with grass resembling timothy, except the seed which resembles flaxseed. This plain also abounds in grapes of different kinds, some nearly ripe. I killed two goslings nearly grown. Several others killed and caught on shore, also one old goose with pinfeathers. She could not fly. At about 12 miles, passed an island situated in a bend on the S.S. - above this island is a large sand bar covered with willows. The wind from the south. Camped on a large sand bar making out from the L side, opposite a high, handsome prairie, the hills about 4 or 5 miles on starboard side.
The commanding officers, Captains M. Lewis and W. Clark, constituted themselves a court-martial for the trial of such prisoners as are guilty of capital crimes, and under the rules and articles of war punishable by death.
Alexander Willard was brought forward, charged with "lying down and sleeping on his post while a sentinel, on the night of the 11th instant." (By John Ordway, sergeant of the guard.)
To this charge the prisoner pleads guilty of lying down, and not guilty of going to sleep.
The court, after duly considering the evidence adduced, are of the opinion that the prisoner Alexander Willard is guilty of every part of the charge exhibited against him. It being a breach of the rules and articles of war (as well as tending to the probable destruction of the party) do sentence him to receive one hundred lashes on his bare back, at four different times in equal proportion; and order that the punishment commence this evening at sunset, and continue to be inflicted, by the guard, every evening until completed.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.