Moulton discusses the enlisted men's journals

UNL Communications Author
11/03/2016 Added
463 Plays


We have journals from four other enlisted men: Charles Floyd, who was a sergeant on the expedition; his journal is very short. He died. He was the only member of the party to die on the expedition; his journal starts like everyone else's, on May 14, 1804, when they set out on the Missouri River, it only lasts until mid-August when he became ill and died; he was buried near Sioux city, Iowa; two sergeants John Ordway and Patrick Gass; Ordway is the most complete. He wrote an entry for each of the 863 days they were out, so he is the most faithful journal-keeper. Patrick Gass isn't altogether satisfying because we don't have the original journal, all we have is a copy that was published and has been reprinted over the years. The original has been lost over the years, so we have to deal with a heavily-reprinted copy from 1807. Joseph Whitehouse is the only private whose journal has come down to us, and it isn't complete so we only have incomplete versions of it. The enlisted men's journals, although they vary in completeness, are still an important link to the writing as a whole because they provide not necessarily additional information but different kinds of information. There may have been other people keeping journals. Lewis and Clark are ambiguous about how many people were keeping journals, so people are always looking for the "lost journals" of Lewis and Clark.

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