By Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman
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Extra info for Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration)
The captains’ prolonged absences did not help the camp’s disciplinary problems. The men may have resented the fact that their officers were getting to spend the winter enjoying the comforts of St. Louis, while they were stuck out in the woods, in freezing temperatures, with nothing to look forward to beyond their evening ration of whiskey. At times it seemed as if mutiny threatened the success of the expedition. Reuben Field refused to take his turn at guard duty, and other soldiers loudly and belligerently took his side.
Clark was angry, and Lewis sympathized completely. The two officers agreed they would make no mention of Preparing the Way the difference in rank to their men, and throughout the expedition Lewis referred to Clark as “Captain Clark,” as most historians have done ever since. There was more last-minute packing to do. Clark took the loaded keelboat out onto the Mississippi on a test cruise. The men were issued ammunition for their weapons: 100 rounds each for the men carrying rifles, two pounds of buckshot for the men carrying Q 37 muskets.
He tended to be terse and matter-of-fact at first, providing few details beyond the orders he gave the men and the weather. Thus the entry for December 13 read, in its entirety: W EST Had France not lost its war with Britain and the American colonies, St. Louis could have cemented French power on the Mississippi and the Missouri. But the little village community with its prime strategic location passed under the control of the Spanish authorities, who neglected its potential. Instead it was left to the Americans, along with some well-established French traders like René Auguste Chouteau and his half-brother Jean-Pierre Chouteau, to fully realize St.
Across America: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (Discovery and Exploration) by Maurice Isserman, John S. Bowman