The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri - Bluffton, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 42.319 W 091° 37.862
15S E 619033 N 4284965
Swiss artist Karl Bodmer painted a partially finished watercolor near the mouth of the Gasconade River in April 1833.
Waymark Code: WMKVQ3
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 06/01/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 2

County of marker: Montgomery County
Location of marker: Katy Trail State Park, about 1 mile West of Bluffton
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission & Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service

Marker text:
   "This morning being fair I went out hunting with several of our Men, for the day; and on my route I discover'd
   a Cave on the south side or fork of a small River, about 100 Yards from said fork. I entered the Cave and
   proceeded about 100 Yards under the ground, and found from light which came from the Mouth of the Cave
   a small spring in it. I think it one of the most remarkable Caves I ever saw in my travels."
   Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse, May 28, 1804

The members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition got separated on May 29, 1804, as would happen from time to time. The main party camped at a spot across the Missouri River from here, near today's Bailey's Creek. They covered only four miles that day due to a late departure from the Gasconade River. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had been delayed at an island opposite the river's mouth making repeated attempts to measure latitude and longitude under cloudy skies.

The previous day had been a rest day at the Gasconade for the Corps of Discovery, the first since St. Charles. In his journal, Sgt. Patrick Gass wrote "This is a very handsome place - a rich soil and pleasant country." On May 28, the captains inspected the arms and equipment of the enlisted men. At the last inspection on May 23, members of the white pirogue had not kept their firearms in good order. This time, the French engagés (hired French boatmen) manning the red pirogue had allowed several articles, including a supply of tobacco, to get wet. The captains considered these important inspections, as the expedition was on military alert, and were not pleased with the carelessness of the engagés. Lewis and Clark also measured the width of the Gasconade and its compass headings. One of the hunters said he'd hunted with six Indians, but unfortunately the expedition journals say nothing more about this intriguing encounter.

On May 29, after Lewis finally finished sextant readings on the sun, one hunter did not return to camp in time for departure. The keelboat and white pirogue proceeded upriver, and the red pirgogue waited for the hunter, Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse. Whitehouse finally showed up six hours late, not lost as supposed, but having found (as he wrote in his journal) "one of the most remarkable Caves I ever saw in my travels." This cave is not listed in any modern cave inventories, but probably still exists in the Loutre of Tavern Creek watershed. The red pirogue, with Whitehouse finally aboard, made only a couple of miles before making camp. Four days would pass before they rejoined the main party at the mouth of the Osage River.

Each day, the Corps of Discovery sent two or more hunters ashore to bring in fresh game since the boats carried only staples: corn meal, flour, lard, biscuits, salt, pork, coffee, beans, peas, dried apples, sugar, grease and soup mix. Because of hunting pressure from settlers and market hunters, Lewis and Clark's hunters found relatively few animals until they passed the last settlement of La Charrette. According to the journals, they killed only 13 deer below the Osage River, but 62 between the Osage and Kansas Rivers. While traveling through Missouri, expedition hunters took about 115 deer, 14 black bears, as well as three turkeys, a Canada goose, rabbit and woodchuck. Captains Lewis and Clark assigned a variety of men to hunt, probably to boost morale and break up the monotonous and grinding labor of moving the boats upriver. George Drouillard proved the best hunter and Reubin Fields was also skilled at bringing in fresh game.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Please see above

Additional point: Not Listed

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