July 28, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

The morning proved fair, I slept sound but fortunately awoke as day appeared, I awaked the men and directed the horses to be saddled, I was so soar from my ride yesterday that I could scarcely stand, and the men complained of being in a similar situation however I encouraged them by telling them that our own lives as well as those of our friends and fellow travellers depended on our exertions at this moment; they were allert soon   prepared the horses and we again resumed our march; the men proposed to pass the missouri as the grog spring [Located a few miles northeast of Fort Benton in the vicinity of the Teton and Missouri Rivers; See June 12, 1805.]  where rose river approaches it so nearly and pass down on the S.W.side, to this I objected as it would delay us almost all day to reach the point [EC: mouth of Marias] by this circuetous rout and would give the enemy time to surprise and cut off the party at the point if they had arrived there [Lewis was concerned the party coming down the Missouri River from the Great Falls would be cut off by the Blackfoot. He wished to reach the mouth of the Marias, their intended rendevous,  in order to warn them.], I told that we owed much to the safety of our friends and that we must wrisk our lives on this occasion, that I should proceed immediately to the point and if the party had not arrived that I would raft the missouri a small distance above, hide our baggage and march on foot up the river through the timber untill I met the canoes or joined them at the falls; I now told them that it was my determination that if we were attacked in the plains on our way to the point that the bridles of the horses should be tied together and we would stand and defend them, or sell our lives as dear as we could.  we had proceeded about 12 miles on an East course when we found ourselves near the missouri; we heared a report which we took to be that of a gun but were not certain; still continuing down the N.E. bank of the missouri about 8 miles further, being then within five miles of the grog spring we heared the report of several rifles very distinctly on the river to our right, we quickly repared to this joyfull sound and on arriving at the bank of the river had the unspeakable satisfaction to see our canoes coming down. [This was the party consisting of Sergeant Gass, Werner, Frazier, Thompson, McNeal, and Goodrich whom Lewis had left at the great falls on July 16, 1806. They were to recover their cached goods and portage around the falls. On July 19 Sergeant Ordway had joined them at the White Bear Island camp, having decended down with canoes from the Three Forks where he had separated from Clark on July 13. Ordway's party was made up of Collins, Colter, Cruzatte, Howard, LePage, Potts, Weiser, Whitehouse, and Willard.]  we hurried down from the bluff on which we were and joined them striped our horses and gave them a final discharge imbarking without loss of time with our baggage.  I now learned that they had brought all things safe having sustaned no loss nor met with any accident of importance.  Wiser had cut his leg badly with a knife and was unable in consequence to work. [According to Ordway, this took place on July 23 during their portage around the falls.]  we decended the river opposite to our principal cash [This cache between the Marias and the Missouri, was about one mile upriver from their camp of June 3-12, 1805. See Clark's entry of June 10, 1805.] which we proceeded to open after reconnoitering the adjacent country. we found that the cash had caved in and most of the articles burried therin were injured; I sustained the loss of two very large bear skins which I much regret; most of the fur and baggage belonging to the men were injured. the gunpowder corn flour poark and salt had sustained but little injury the parched meal was spoiled or nearly so. having no time to air these things which they much wanted we droped down to the point to take in the several articles which had been buried at that place in several small cashes;  [Located at the camp of June 3-12, 1805, at the mouth of the Marias.] these we found in good order, and recovered every article except 3 traps belonging to Drewyer which could not be found. here as good fortune would have it Sergt. Gass and Willard who brought the horses from the falls joined us at 1 P.M.  I had ordered them to bring down the horses to this place in order to assist them in collecting meat which I had directed them to kill and dry here for our voyage, presuming that they would have arrived with the perogue and canoes at this place several days before my return. having now nothing to detain us we passed over immediately to the island in the entrance of Maria's river to launch the red perogue, but found her so much decayed that it was impossible with the means we had to repare her and therefore mearly took the nails and other ironworks about her which might be of service to us and left her. we now reimbarked on board the white perog[u]e and five small canoes and decended the river about 15 ms. and encamped on the S.W. side near a few cottonwood trees [On the south bank of the Missouri below the mouth of Crow Coulee.], one of them being of the narrow leafed speceis and was the first of that kind which we had remarked on our passage up the river.   we encamped late but having little meat I sent out a couple of hunters who soon returned with a sufficient quantity of the flesh of a fat cow.  there are immence quantities of buffaloe and Elk about the junction of the Missour and Maria's river.--   during the time we halted at the entrance of Maria's river we experienced a very heavy shower of rain and hail attended with violent thunder and lightning.

July 28, 1806
John Ordway

two hunters went on eairly a head. Howard killed two deer.   we proceeded on as usal   about 9 A. M. we discovred on a high bank a head Capt Lewis & the three men who went with him on horse back comming towards us on N. Side we came too Shore and fired the Swivell to Salute him & party   we Saluted them also with Small arms and were rejoiced to See them &C. Capt Lewis took us all by the hand, and informed us that they had good Sucksess in going to their journeys end and Crossd. a number of branches & forks of Marriahs River and followd. up a North fork [Cut Bank Creek, Lewis's acount of these days is found in his entries from July 17 to this day]   to Latitude [blank]   got his observations for the Lat. but the cloudy weather prevented him from gitting the Longitude &c.   but found it was not much difference from the Mouth of Morriah   they then Set off on their return the day before yesterday and met with eight of the Grousevauntaus [In this instance the reference is in regard to the Piegan Blackfeet and not to Hidatsa or Atsina Indians as is usually the case.] Indians with bows & arrows and 2 guns.    they at first appeared afraid but after a little wrode up and Shook hands with Capt. Lewis & party and appeared friendly   they desired Capt. Lewis to go with them to their Nation which they said was under the blanket mountn. Some distance about 2 days march. but Capt. Lewis told them that he Could not wait but desired them to come down to the Mouth of Morriah promiseing them the horse if they would comply but they were afraid of being killed by us.   they had upwards of 20 horses but they were ordinary ones or the most of them.   they Camped with Capt. Lewis & men as they expected they were friends, though Capt. Lewis had a watch up all night, and at day break yesterday morning the eight Savages Seased all our mens guns and Capt. Lewises also.    they Instantly Sprung up out of their Sleep and Ruben Fields chased an Indian who Capt Lewis had made a chief gave him a meddle last evening & he was running of[f] with R. Fields and his brothers Jo Fields Guns. Reuben overhalled him [and] caught hold of the 2 guns had his knife drawn & as he Snatched away the guns perced his knife in to the Indians heart   he drew but one breath   the wind of his breath followed the knife & he fell dead    they all Seased their arms from the Indians and took one of the Indn. guns and all their bows and arrows and their Shields which they were on their backs at war.   they then went at running after our horses   Capt. Lewis wounded one more badly but the Indn. partly raised and fired back at him but missed him.   they cleared out with Some of our horses and Some of theirs, though Capt. Lewis took as many as he wanted of theirs and left the rest & made all haste towards us and had rode 100 and 20 miles Since yesterday morning, and much fatigued and turned out the horses in the plain & threw the Saddles in the River & came on board the canoes. [Lewis tells his story of this event in his journal of July 27.] then we proced on with as much Speed as possable. Soon overtook the 2 hunters who had killed Several Elk a buffaloe & one beaver.   we now keep to gether and are concerned about Sergt Gass & willard who went down by land.   about 1 P. M. we arived at the forks of Marriah    opened the carshes [One cache was between the Marias and Missouri rivers about a mile upriver from the camp of June 3-12, 1805; See Clark's entry of June 10, 1805. Another was at the camp of June 3-12, 1805, at the mouth of the Marias River.]    found all except 4 Steel traps which were put in a carsh by themselves & we could not find the place. Some beaver skin and Robes &c. Spoiled.   the other articles all Safe and dry &C. Sergt. Gass and willard joined us with the horses.    we left the horses here   crossed to the N. Side   found the red perogue Safe but too Rotten to take down. So we took Some of the nailes out of hir and Set out. Sergt Gass & willard had killed Several buffaloe and 7 antelopes as they came down from the falls by land.   we Soon had a hard Shower of rain & large hail. Some larger than a musket Ball Thunder and high winds a head but we procd. on untill eveing and Camped [A little below the mouth of Crow Coulee.] on South Side and kept a Strict guard. Collins killed a buffaloe.   we got the best of the meat of it.   lat in the evening we had a Shower of rain which lasted about a hour.--

July 28, 1806
Patrick Gass

The morning was fine and pleasant, and at an early hour we proceeded down the river. In our way we killed six goats or antelopes and seven buffaloe, and about one o'clock came to the point at the mouth of Maria's river [At the mouth of Marias River on the Missouri, the site of the expeditions camp of June 3-12, 1805.], where we met with the party who had come down from the falls by water, and who had just arrived; and also unexpectedly with Captain Lewis and the three men who had gone with him. They had joined the party descending the river this forenoon, after riding one hundred and twenty miles since yesterday morning, when they had a skirmish with a party of the Prairie Grossventres, or Bigbellied Indians who inhabit the plains up Maria's river [Piegan Blackfeet], of which they gave the following account. [See Lewis's entries of July 26-27, 1806.]  On the evening of the 26th Captain Lewis and his party met with eight of those Indians, who seemed very friendly and gave them two robes. In return Captain Lewis gave one of them, who was a chief, a medal; and they all continued together during the night; but after break of day the next morning, the Indians snatched up three of our men's guns and ran off with them. One Indian had the guns of two men, who pursued and caught him, and one of them killed him with his knife; and they got back the guns. Another had Captain Lewis's gun, but immediately gave it up. The Party then went to catch their horses, and found the Indians driving them off; when Captain Lewis shot one of them, and gave him a mortal wound; who notwithstanding returned the fire, but without hurting the Captain. so our men got all their own horses, but one, and a number of those belonging to the Indians, as they ran off in confusion and left everything they had. Our men then saddled their horses, and make towards the Missouri as fast as possible; after Captain Lewis had satisfied himself with respect to the geography of the country up Maria's river.

We this day took the articles out of the place of deposit, and examined the large red periogue we left here [They cached the red pirogue on an island in what was then the mouth of Marias River on June 10, 1805.], and found it too rotten to take down the river. We therefore took what nails out of it we could, left our horses on the plains and proceeded down the river. About the time we started, a heavy gust of rain and hail accompanied with thunder and lightning came on and lasted about an hour, after which we had a cloudy wet afternoon, and in the evening we encamped [On the south bank of the Missouri below the mouth of Crow Coulee.] about twenty five miles below the forks.

July 28, 1806
William Clark

N. 65o W   1/2 mile to a Lard Bend.
S. E.   1 <2> 1/2 Miles to a St. Stard. Side at a Sluce through the Island
East   1 1/2 miles to the Lower point of the large Island.   passed the <enteranc of a large dry Creek on the Lard Side>
N. 80o E   1 mile to Lard Bend  passd the upper point of an Island
N. 40o W.   2 1/2 miles to <Stard.> Lard. Side.  passed the enterance of a river 80 yds wide <little wate> on the Lard Side.
S. 35o E   2 miles to a Stard Bend   passed Isld.
N. 52o E   1 1/2 miles to a Lard Side
S. 64o E.   1 mile to the Stard Side
N. 40o E   1 1/4 miles to the Lard Side   passed a Crek on the Stards. Side  30 yds wide with wate
East   1 mile to Stard Side
North   3/4 of a mile to the Lard Side
N. 35o E.   2 1/2 miles to a Stard. Bend opsd. an Isld.
N. 20o W   1/2 a Mile to a yellow bluff on Lard Sid
N. 60o E   2 miles to Lard Bend of a low Prarie    no wood
South   3 miles to a high Bluff below a brook    low naked bottom on Lard Side--
S. 45o E   2 1/2 miles to a Stard. point below a Bluff yellow Stone opsd. an Island   opsd. some remakable tables in the Lard. plains
S. 70o E.   3 1/2 miles to upr. pt. Isd. in the Stard Bend    high Bluff on the Stard. Side.
N. E.   2 miles to the enteranc of Table Creek 30 yds wide on the Lard Side  nearly dry
East   7 miles to a Stard Bluff <passed> high   passed 3 Island and a river of 70 yd wide on the Lard. Side but little wate in it.   buttle little timber.
East   2 mils to the enteranc of little horn R.   from the S S. E 100 yds wide and Contain a great portion of water.  but little wood  a Small Island opposite
N. 55o E.   4 1/2 Miles to the Center of a Lard Bend  passd a Brook on Stard. Side   at 3 miles psd. I
N. E   5 1/2 miles to the Center of a Lard.
S. 45o E   1 1/2 miles to the lower part of a Bluff in which there is 2 Stratias of Stone cole in Strates of from 4 to 8 feet thick about 30 feet above the water. Horozontially.  pd. an Island a large Creek on Lard at 1 mile
East   8 Miles to a high Coal Bluff on the Stard Side.   passed a large Creek at 6 miles on the Stard. Side  Passed 2 Islands.
N. 60o E.   4 1/2 Miles to a Cluster of large trees in the Stard Bend in an open Plain  passed 5 Islands and Sevral bars
N. 10o W.   1 1/2 mils to a Lard. Bluff   a vain of Coal in this Bluff about 30 feet aabove the water  Stard. bottoms an enteranc.  a brook on Lard--
N. 73o E   6 <4?> miles to a [coal?] Point of the Lard. Bluff in which thre is 5 Stratas of Coal  psd. an island Close to the Lard Side river having made a deep ben Std.
S. 75o E.   2  miles to the Enterance of a Brook in the Stard. Bend passed the head of an Island close to Lard Shore  Encamped on Stard Side--
71

July 28, 1806
William Clark

Set out this morning at day light and proceeded on glideing down this Smooth Stream passing maney Isld. and Several Creeks and brooks   at 6 miles passed a Creek or brook of 80 yards wide [NB: called by Indns--or Little Wolf river] [Not to be confused with the "Little wolf or Winsors Creek" of July 27, 1806, which is present Muggins Creek. This stream is Big Porcupine Creek reaching the Yellowstone River a few miles west of Forsyth, MT. Clark's original route map for July 28 - August 1, 1806, is missing, but the map prepared for Prince Maximilian in 1833 shows "Little Wolf River" clearly.]   on the N W. Side Containing but little water.  6 miles lower passed a small Creek 20 yds wide on the Stard Side [Armells Creek meets the Yellowstone a few miles below the mouth of Big Porcupine Creek on the opposite side.]   18 Miles lower passed a large dry creek on the Lard Side [Little Porcupine Creek, several miles downstream from Forsyth. Clark referred to it as "Table Brook" in his courses and distances and "Table Creek on his map.]   5 Miles lower passed a river 70 yards wide Containing but little water on the Lard Side which I call Table Creek [Horse Creek not far below the mouth of Little Porcupine Creek.] from the tops of Several mounds in the Plains to the N W. resembling a table. [These formations extend two to four miles northeast of Forsyth on the north side of the Yellowstone River. They are not noted on Clark's map.]   four miles Still lower I arived at the enterance of a river 100 yards wide back of a Small island on the South Side.  it contains Some cotton wood timber and has a bold Current, it's water like those of all other Streams which I have passed in the Canoes are muddy.  I take this river to be the one the Indians Call the Little Big Horn river. [Not the present Little Bighorn river, a tributary of the Bighorn River; See July 26, 1806. This stream is Rosebud Creek, meeting the Yellowstone a mile or so above Rosebud, MT. On Clark's map it is a large, nameless stream on the south side of the Yellowstone River.]  The Clifts on the South Side of the Rochejhone are Generally Compd. of a yellowish Gritty Soft rock, whilest those of the N. is light Coloured and much harder   in the evening I passd. Straters of Coal in the banks on either Side   those on the Stard. Bluffs was about 30 feet above the water and in 2 vanes from 4 to 8 feet thick, in a horozontal position.  the Coal Contined in the Lard Bluffs is in Several vaines of different hights and thickness.  this Coal or Carbonated wood is like that of the Missouri of an inferior quallity.  passed a large Creek [Sweeney Creek, not named on Clark's map nor are the "Coal Bluffs".] on the Stard. Side between the 1st and 2nd Coal Bluffs   passed Several Brooks the chanel of them were wide and contained but little running water, and encamped on the upper point of a Small island opposit the enterance of a Creek 25 Yards wide [NB: Inds Call Ma Shas-kap riv.] on the Stard. Side with water. [Graveyard Creek meeting the Yellowstone a short distance below Hathaway, MT. "Mar shas kap River" on Clark's map. The Indian name would have been obtained from the Mandans or Hidatsas, but Clark may have misidentified it, since the actual Mar-shas-kap appears to have been Rosebud Creek. See July 19, 1806.]

Courses distance and Remarks July 28th 1806

N. 65o W. 1/2 to a Stard. ["Lard." in the draft version.] Bend   1/2
S. 45o E. to the island at the enterance of a Small Sluice   1 1/2
East to the lower point of the island   1 1/2
N. 80o E. to the Lard. Bend   passed the upper point of an island   1
N. 40o W. to the Lard. side  passed the enterance of river partyly dry 80 yards wide on the Lard Side little wolf River   2 1/2
S. 35o E. to a Stard. Bend   passed an island   2
N. 52o E. to the Larboard Side   1 1/2
S. 64o E. to the Starboard Side   1
N. 40o E. to the Lard Side   passed a Creek 30 yards wide on the Starboard Side   but little water in it   1 1/4
East to the Stard. Side   1
North to the Lard Side   3/4
N. 35o E. to a Stard Bend opposit to an island   2 1/2
N. 20o W. to a yellow bluff on the Lard. Side [The Hell Creek Formation northwest of Forsyth, near the crossing of U.S. Highway 12 and the Yellowstone River.]   1/2
N. 60o E. to a low prarie in a Lard. Bend   2
South to a high bluff below a Brook. [Either Slaughterhouse or Smith creeks joining the Yellowstone on either side of Forsyth. It is the second nameless stream below and on the opposite side of  "Little Wolf River" on Clark's map.]  low open botton on Std.   3
S. 45o E. to a Stard. point below a Clift of yellowish Stone opsd. to an island. Some remarkable mounds in the plains on Lard Side   2 1/2
S. 70o E. to the uper point of an island in the Stard. Bend high Bluffs on the Stard. Side   3 1/2
S. 45o E. to the enterance of Table Brook   30 Yds wide on the lard Side   nearly dry   2
East to a Stard. Bluff   passed 3 islands and Table river on the Lard. Side   70 yards wide   Some water   7
S. 86o E to the enterance of Little Horn river [EC: Mashaskup of Clark's map] [Gary E. Moulton: Apparently this is Coues's notation; if so, the reference must be to Clark's published map of 1814, but the "Mar shar kop" of that map cannot be either the "Little Horn" (clearly shown on the map), or "Table River" of the previous course, which was on the opposite side of the Yellowstone. The stream shown on the 1814 map seems to be in the right location for Graveyard Creek, which Clark identifies by the name "Mar shas Kap' in the journal.]    from the S.S.E. 100 yards wide with a Considerable portion of running water. Scattering timber on its borders a Small Island opposit its enterance.  water Muddy   2
N. 55o E to the Centr. of a Std. Bend   passd. a brook on Std. [Probably Butte Creek entering the Yellowstone below present Rosebud, MT.] at 3 miles   4 1/2
N. 45o E. to the Center of a Lard. Bend   5 1/2
S 45o E. to the lower part of a Bluff in which there is 2 Stratias of Stone Coal on Std. Side.  passed a Creek on Lard. [Sand Creek from the north above Thurlow Siding.]   1 1/2
East to a high Coal Bluff on the Lard Side    passed a large Creek at 6 miles on the Stard. Side & 2 Islds   8
N. 60o E. to a cluster of large trees in the Lard. Bend. passed 5 islands and Several bars   4 1/2
N. 10o W. to a Lard Bluff   a vein of Coal in this bluff about 30 feet above the water.  bottoms low on the the Stard.   1 1/2
N. 73o E. to a Coal point of the Lard Bluff in which there is 5 Stratias of Coal at different hights all Horozontal. an island Close to the Lard Side    the river haveing made a deep bend to Stard. Side   6
S. 75o E. to the enterance of a Brook in the Stard bend behind an island.  passed an island Close the Lard Shore.  encamped on the Small Isld.   2 

Miles  

  73

The Elk on the banks of the river were So abundant that we have not been out of Sight of them to day. J Shields killed 2 deer & Labeech killed an Antilope to day.  the antilopes and deer are not Abundant. Beaver plenty