The Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri Re-Enactor Guide For Volunteers Of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri by Peter Geery Mission Statement Where History and Education Come Alive

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Discovery Expedition re-enactor guide page of

The Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition
of St. Charles, Missouri

Re-Enactor Guide

For Volunteers Of the

Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri

by Peter Geery

Mission Statement

Where History and Education Come Alive
The goal of the Discovery Expedition is to provide a rich and genuine living history experience, while promoting education and the study of our rich National history and heritage. The story of Lewis & Clark is their foundation and they seek to educate our youth on the challenges Lewis & Clark overcame, through teamwork, and determination. This goal will be accomplished by visiting community schools within the area of their various river stops. The complete journey will encompass 4,300 miles. Each year Discovery Expedition will authentically re-enact the different portions of the original journey. It is their intention to recreate the waterway portions of the 1803-1806 expedition during the bicentennial commemoration in 2003-2006
Fellow Volunteers,
The following is a basic guidebook to assist you in your endeavor to reenact/recreate the historical journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. On the following pages you will find among other things, our organizations rules of participation and safety, kit and outfit lists, tips to help you along the way, and a source list for your reenacting and research.

This guidebook will help individuals to more fully understand where are organization is coming from as well as what we are doing.

However, before we begin to transform ourselves from 21st Century civilians into 19th Century soldiers there are some points I wish to share to help you with your transition. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the ReEnactor Handbook from the South Dakota Lewis and Clark reenactors. This group has been recreating the Lewis and Clark story for about twelve years. I have been involved with historical living history for about twenty-six years. In all that time what I want to share with you is the best commentary on what we are going to do. It was written by Mr. Todd M. Wells, of the South Dakota Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. Your have joined an organization which intends to recreate a part of our Nations History. It is a most important part of this country’s epic. The Lewis and Clark Expedition is really America’s Odyssey. Mr. Wells captures the spirit of what we are going to do. I thank Mr. Wells, for allowing me to use his thoughts on Living Lewis and Clark.

Participant Conduct

When you consider the mission of our organization, it is not hard to think of a multitude of things that need to be done at any given event. We are charged with the proper re-creation of an historic event in our nation’s history. I think it deserves the best we can give it. I have put together a few things that I think will enable us to present ourselves in a manner consistent with our goals and still allow us to enjoy what we are doing. Being “correct” does not have to be any harder than being lazy. Once you get used to it, correctness is very rewarding. When you get done with the day and you are sitting about a camp that you help create, that you helped mold, that you helped introduce to the public as they came through full of questions, and can justly say you did your best for yourself and your fellow re-enactors, trust me, It is very rewarding. We need to do our homework. The event co-ordinator is charged with helping you do just that. That person will provide a script of sorts that will help guide you through some of the perhaps lesser known things that allow you to tie things together with facts that you may have gathered already and make it easier for you to deliver to the public. This is by no means the final word. We can develop our presentation as we go and as we learn. We need to work together. We are, in a sense, a team. A team that needs to put a game plan together, practice it, and put it into play so the viewing public can truly understand and enjoy what they see.

Above all, think. Think about what you are doing as you go about camp. Think about things to do that would make sense. Find something you are good at and develop that into an art. Whether it is as simple as grinding corn or demonstrating proper drill procedures, it is all important to the whole picture. Do it the best you can.

Leave the modern world behind. If somebody slips, remind them. No cigarettes and no cigars when the public is allowed. Chewing tobacco, snuff or pipes only. Remember your language, your word usage. We may not be able to talk as they did, but avoid words, phrases, gestures, or oddities that stray from 1804. Communicate with each other as members of the expedition would have. They did not go about their day in silence. They were building friendships while going about the daily duties. They were working hard together and that builds bonds amongst men. Try to bring that into your routine. Never stop working on your personal gear. There are so many things, so many little things that make up a whole. The better the little things, the better the whole presentation goes. While the public is in camp, we are on parade.

Everything we do is being watched. I doubt anyone wants to be caught doing something he can’t explain to some wandering pilgrim! Take a look in the mirror. What do you see? Is there something that does not belong? Do you know? ASK! We are in this together, remember? We are only as good as the weakest link. So work together and when we open the gate, LETS GIVE THEM A SHOW TO REMEMBER!

In order to maintain a consistent “look” I think it is important to consider the following. We are a group of dedicated re-enactors. We work together to make our presentation the best we can. We have spent a great deal of time and money on putting together our equipment. It may be that, by allowing someone that is not a member to “play along” is not only unfair to us, it is unfair to them. To us because they get to “step-in” and enjoy the benefits of our hard work. Now, I like to believe that I am not selfish in this thinking but sensible instead. I feel that it could undermine our hard work that we have invested to become that team I talked about. Which leads into why it is not fair to them. They cannot appreciate what we have done to become who we are. They do not set up camp with us, eat with us, sleep with us, or just simply “hang-out” with us. It is these things that help to pull us together. It is the environment. I recall someone calling in regard to the ‘96 High Plains. They wanted to stay in a motel in town and drive out each day. I told them they would be missing most of the event as it is the whole experience that makes something memorable not little "snippets". Now I don’t recall any terrible trouble with “recruits”, but by the same token I don’t want any. We are professionals. At some of these events, we are being paid well to put on a quality event and I think we need to remember that ideal. We have to be practical with ourselves and responsible to our hosts. However, if someone should stroll onto camp and he is dressed properly by our standards and wants to join us and share in the work and play, then it needs to be addressed at that time.

All company tents should be open to the public with the interior as proper as can be. This means if it couldn’t have been there, it shouldn’t be in sight. Questionable items could be placed in the supply tent, which is the exception to the open tent rule.


Original Crew Members


General Orders

Discovery Expedition

1st Regiment Standing Orders – Detroit 1801


(When worn-When not worn)


Full Dress – Regulars

Full Dress – Recruits

Long Hunter Dress

Engagee’s Clothing

Grooming Standards


(What to carry – How to carry)






Drill & Ceremonies

Commands of Movement

Without Arms

Under Arms

Flag Raisings-Parades-Inspections



Firearms Safety

Care and cleaning

Manual of Arms

Loading & Firing

Bayonet Drill

Encampments and Duty Assignments

Establishment and Security

Overall Responsibilities


Boat Handling Procedures

Making Way – Rowing – Sailing – Landing



Instruments, Songs



Crew from Mandan to Pacific

Captain Meriwether Lewis, 1st US Infantry

Captain (Lieutenant) William Clark, US Artillery

York, Clark’s black servant

Sgt. Patrick Gass, 1st US Infantry

Sgt. John Ordway, 1st US Infantry

Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor, Expedition Recruit- Kentucky

Pvt. William Bratton, 1st US Infantry

Pvt. John Collins, 1st US Infantry

Pvt. John Colter, Expedition Recruit - Cincinnati, OH

Pvt. Peter Cruzatte, Expedition Recruit - St. Charles, MO

Pvt. Joseph Field, Expedition Recruit - Kentucky

Pvt. Ruben Field, Expedition Recruit - Kentucky

Pvt. Robert Frazer, believed Artillery – Ft. Kaskaskia

Pvt. George Gibson, Expedition Recruit -Kentucky

Pvt. Silas Goodrich, Regiment Unknown

Pvt. Hugh Hall, 2nd US Infantry

Pvt. Thomas Proctor Howard, 2nd US Infantry

Pvt. Francois Labiche, Recruit, - St. Charles, MO

Pvt. Jean Baptiste LePage

Pvt. Hugh NcNeal, Expedition Recruit - Cincinatti,OH

Pvt. John Potts, 2nd US Infantry

Pvt. George Shannon, Expedition Recruit- Pittsburg, OH

Pvt. John Shields, Expedition Recruit - Kentucky

Pvt. John B. Thompson

Pvt. Peter M. Weiser, 1st US Infantry

Pvt. William Werner, Regiment Unknown

Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse, 1st US Infantry

Pvt. Alexander Hamilton Willard, Regiment of Artillery

Pvt. Richard Windsor, 1st US Infantry

Hunter, Interpreter George Drouillard

Interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau

Sacagawea & son, Jean Baptiste Charbnneau

The following joined on the Missouri

Pierre Dorion Sr.

Joseph Gravelines

Phillipe Degie

Pvt. Jean Baptiste LePage

Pvt. Peter Cruzatte

The following joined at Fort Mandan


Toussaint Charbonneau

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau

Men who served on the first leg of the trip to Mandan

Sgt. Charles Floyd (died August 20, 1804) Recruit - Kentucky

Cpl. John Boley, 1st US Infantry

Cpl. John Dame, Regiment of Artillery

Cpl. John Newman (court-martialed) 1st US Infantry

Cpl. John G. Robertson, Regiment of Artillery

Cpl Ebenezer Tuttle, Regiment of Artillery

Cpl. Richard Warfington, 2nd US Infantry

Cpl. Isaac White, Regiment of Artillery

Pvt. Moses B. Reed (expelled)

Engage’ “Patroon” Jean Baptiste De Champs

Engage’ Alexander Carson

Engage’ Pierre Roi

Engage’ Charles Caugee

Engage’ Roky

Engage’ Paul Primeau

Engage’ Francois Rivet

Engage’ Joseph Collin

Engage’ Jean Baptiste LaJeunnesse

Engage’ Etienne Malboeuf

Engage’ Peter Pinaut

Engage’ Charles Hebert

Engagee’ Joseph Barter ‘LaLiberte’ (deserter)

The Detachment Order dated April 1, 1804 spelled out the permanent party, and assigned the men to their squads.

1st Squad

Serg. Nathaniel Pryor

George Gibson

Thomas Howard

George Shannon

JJohn Shields

John Collins
Joseph Whitehouse

Peter Wiser

Hugh Hall

2nd Squad

Serg. Charles Floyd

Hugh McNeel

Patrick Gass

Reubin Field

Joseph Field

John Thompson

Richard Windsor

Richard Worthngton

Robert Frasure

3rd Squad

Serg. John Ordway

William Bratton

John Colter

Alexander Willard

William Werner

Silas Goodrich

John Potts

John Robertson

John Boley


General Orders
The General Orders of the Discovery Expedition will be founded upon good sense and the practicable experience of the volunteer members of the Discovery Expedition Inc., and the General Orders of the 1st United States Infantry Regiment - Detroit 1801, where and when applicable for Period Impression, period understanding or humor. When used, the 1801 General Orders will appear in script, verbatim, and using the same grammatical errors as the original documents.

  1. Enlistments into the Discovery Expedition are for a period of one year. The enlistment period extends from May of one year to April of the following year.

  1. It will be the responsibility of each enlistee to become well versed on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-1806). When a recruit joins the Regiment, the officer Commanding the Company to which he belongs, will give him an old Soldier for a Comrade, who is qualified to instruct him in the duties of a Soldier; teach him to clean himself, arms & accoutrements, he is not to be put on duty untill he has learned his exercise, and he is to be treated with a great deal of lenity, and his duty patiently explained to him, and never to Insult or give him harsh language, he is not to be struck, but when at the drill or Exercise and then only to rouse his Attention. When he is Smartened up and completed as before directed he will be put on duty.

  1. Each enlistee will be encouraged to portray one of the original members of the expedition. If you choose a first person portrayal, you will, while a member of the crew of the Discovery Expedition, be the individual you choose. Research and become familiar with that original expedition member; where he was born, when and where did he join the expedition, etc. If you choose not to portray an original member of the expedition, then become familiar with several members in order to share your knowledge with the public.

  1. Members of the Discovery Expedition will be encouraged and aided to show proper dress for the period of the expedition, be it regular army, expedition recruit, or longhunter (No more than three longhunters at any one time.

  1. Individuals caught stealing will be expelled from Discovery Expedition Inc.

  1. Crewmembers must be vigilant regarding usage of Profanity. Our mission requires the corps to be before the public and most often amongst school age children. Profanity will not be tolerated before the public eye.

  1. Alcohol consumption will be limited to after hours at campfire. Companies are to be divided into squads,….. A non-commissioned will be appointed to each squad, whose duty it will be to be very attentive in Instructing the men how to dress themselves and Clean their arms & accoutrements, they are to be accountable for the good appearance of the men in every Respect, they are also to be responsible for their regular Behavior when in the rooms. And never to Suffer any Gambling, Card playing, cursing, Swearing, or improper treatment one from another, those that are discovered in disobeying this order are to be Confined and to be tried.

  1. Crewmembers will be required to sleep in a period type tent, and eat food cooked over an open fire.

  1. Crewmembers will be living outdoors for extended periods of time. You will keep yourself clean and healthy. If you have a weapon, it will be clean and ready for inspection at any time.

  1. Our work duties are few, and not overly hard. However you will be expected to do your assigned tasks as given by your sergeant, corporal, or boat commander.

  1. Your word must be your bond. When you tell us you will be with us at a particular time and place, you will be so scheduled. We expect you will be there.

  1. No idle woman or prostitute is to be Suffered inside the Guard rooms, barracks rooms, or into Camp. Non-Commissioned officers or Soldiers found disobeying this Order shall be Immediately tried, and if an Officer he will be Charged with disobedience of Order. Should any Sentinel belonging to the first Regiment so far forget himself and his duty, as to take money or Suffer himself to be bribed to disobey the Orders he received when Posted, he shall be punished in a most Exemplary Manner.

  1. Soldiers to Salute their Officers: As the non-commissioned officers and men are subject to take off their hats frequently, to the injury of the hat, the practice is forbidden; and for future whenever a non-commissioned officer or soldier, passes an officer of the navy, orarmy.speaks to him out of Door, he is to raise his right hand Briskly to his Hat, with the Elbow square with the Shoulder, and look the Officer full in the face. A non-commissioned officer or a soldier with arms, coming up to speak to an officer is to march up boldy, Recover his arms and deliver his Message without fear or Diffidence.



Military Dress for the Discovery Expedition

This picture shows almost all of the clothing variations and hats used on the expedition, (l to r.) Charlie Clark, full dress with Round Hat; ?(send me his name somebody) full dress with cocked hat; Peter Geery full dress with Round Hat and bearskin crest; Darold Jackson engage outfit; Scott Mandrell full dress with Chapeau Bras & espontoon; Jim Rascher eastern longhunter animal skin clothing.


Military Dress for the Discovery Expedition

The military of the Corps of Discovery was divided into two groups. The Regular Army and the Civilian Men recruited for the duration of the Expedition (i.e. Nine Kentucky recruits). Those members of the Discovery Expedition (DE) who will impersonate the US Army will wear the “1803 Military Coat” (Infantry or Artillery), when on parade. Source: “We Proceed On” November 1998, page 7. Those members of the DE who will impersonate the Expedition Recruits will wear the “Lewis Coat” when on parade. The cut of this coat as designed by Captain Lewis has been researched. We know the coat was made from “S” (super) fine Milled Drab clothe (Camel colored) costing $7.00 per yard in 1803. (One and a half yards of cloth were used to make each coat. Sourse: “Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”, edited by Donald Jackson 1962. An artist’s rendition of this is available through Michael Haynes. (see references)

*(When a crewmember is representing an expedition recruit who is detailed to hunt, his dress is most likely to be that of the period “longhunter”.)

Note: Items of clothing that are not period correct, must at least have the look and feel of period clothing
The clothing similarities between the US Army and that of the Expedition Recruits was made by comparing Lewis’ clothing purchases, (“Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”, edited by Donald Jackson 1962), against the clothing profile of Sgt. John Ordway as developed by Mr. Robert Moore of the US National Parks Service; Jefferson Gateway Memorial, St. Louis Missouri. The commonality of uniforms was in the everyday working dress of the expedition’s party. The following uniforms are appropriate from August 2003 through June 2005 with some animal hide additions from spring 2005. Animal hide clothing is appropriate from mid 2005 through the end of the voyage.
Fatigue Clothing

The everyday military fatigue/work uniform of the Discovery Expeditions’ Military personnel for boats and camp will be:

18th Century White Workshirt (Linen or flannel with linen collar or cuffs)

18th Century White Fall Front Trousers (Cotton Canvas)

18th Century White Fringed Hunting Shirt (Cotton Canvas)

18th Century White Fringed Rifle Frock

White, off white, or gray socks or stockings

18th Century Black leather, brass buckled, laced shoes, or black boots

Moccasins (On the boats)

Watchcoat, (capote) Plain white, striped or dyed wool, with hood and belt

Hats: See Clothing Profile Sgt. Ordway or Black felt wool hat with wide brim (White trim)

Gaiter’s black 7” high


Shirt: 18th Century Workshirt or Riverman’s Shirt made of two or three color material

Trousers: Fall Front Trousers (any 18th Century colour)

Hat Voyagers cap or any 18th Century hat fitting the period

Shoes 18th century Shoes Black w/Buckle, moccasins, or boots (black)

Engagee’s should wear Sashes for the waist and Garters for the Calf’s

NOTE: The wearing of animal hide clothing would be appropriate for Voyagers

US Army Full Dress Uniforms

The Clothing for the US Army Full Dress Impressions will be in Accordance with the attached Clothing Profile of Sgt. John Ordway. Clothing Profile for Sgt. John Ordway as compiled by Bob Moore, Historian Jefferson Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri. According to Mr. Moore, the “Expedition Members of the Corps of Discovery were issued the following items (per man):”


1 tall felt hat called a “round hat”, 5 and5/16 tall having a 3 inch brim bound with white tape. Over the top of the hat a black bearskin crest, a black leather cockade, with a tin eagle and deer’s tail plume (white for Infantry) on the left side. The artillery had a black cocked hat, with leather cockade and tin eagle, red deerskin plume, edges bound with yellow tape. Civilian recruits probably arrived with their own hats.

1 Regimental Coat: Blue wool with red facings, collar and cuff. 1st or 2nd Infantry, pewter buttons, lined with white wool. Artillery faced red with brass or brass-dipped buttons. *Regimental Buttons 16 Large (20mm) pewter buttons (20mm) pewter button with “flying eagle and 1 or 2 Rt” within an oval, held by the eagles talons. Smaller buttons of the same type on cuffs and back of coat.

2 Shirts strong linen, or wool flannel with linen collars and cuffs.

1 Woolen White Waistcoat: Army: Single breasted, with tall standing collar, pocket with welt, no lapels, waistcoats should be cut straight across the bottom. Recruits might have a variety of waistcoats made of linen or wool, but the white waistcoat is recommended.

1 Neck Stock: black leather with brass clip for enlisted men. Recruits would have black cloth Neckband or leather stock. During this period Black stocks would be used during the day, white stocks in the evening or formally.

1pr Wool Navy Blue Overalls for winter: edged with white along the outer seams for infantry, edged in red for Artillery. Recruits were issued only one pair of blue overalls, or pantaloons.

1pr Wool White Overalls for summer: Edged in blue for Infantry, red for Artillery

1pr. White linen (cotton canvas) trousers for summer wear. Edged in blue for Infantry; Artillery Red

1 to 4 pairs of black leather low quarter shoes, either tied or buckled

1pr tarred linen half-gaiters.

2 prs. of white socks and 2prs of white half stockings

1 fringed rifle frock or shirt white linen

1 Watchcoat (capote) with hood and belt, plain white, with black stripe,
The Clothing for the Expedition Recruit Full Dress Impression will be in Accordance with the lists of Supplies drawn by Captain M. Lewis, as well as other common military items known to be worn. Recruits were issued the drab coatees designed by Meriwether Lewis with plain pewter buttons.

1 Coatee: Drab (Camel colored) cut just below the buttocks, faced lapels with 18 large (20mm) plain pewter buttons. No cuffs or buttons at end of sleeve.

1 Watchcloak (capote) with hood and belt, plain white, stripped or dyed wool.

1 White cotton canvas Fall Front Trousers for summer wear

1 pr Blue Woolen Overalls (w/Infantry white narrow stripe)

2 prs. Stockings (White)

1 Rifle Frock fringed (cotton canvas or linen)

1 Hunting Shirt (White cotton canvas) Fringed

2 Linen Shirts (White for Parade)

1 Neck Stock (Black Linen or Leather)

1 pr Shoes Black leather, 18th Century Style with Brass Buckle

1 pr Black gaiters, 7” high to be worn over the linen trousers

1 Hat Black, felt wool, civilian type “round hat”



(Worn by the Nine Kentucky recruits when hunting)

18th Century Hunting Shirt

18th Century Fall Front Trousers

Leather leggins

Rifle Coat

Boots Black Shoes or Moccasins

18th Century two color Shirt 18th Century hat any type.

Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” 1783-1854, edited by Donald Jackson

Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons” Bicentennial Edition, Alphaeus H. Albert, 1976

We Proceed On” Journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, November 1998, Uniform Coats of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Bob Moore, Historian Jefferson Expansion Memorial

Extracts from US Army General Orders”, copied at the National Archives by Mr. Bob Moore, Historian from the Jefferson Memorial Expansion, St. Louis, Missouri, and furnished to the Discovery Expedition on 31 August 1999

Full Dress Uniforms of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” (Artist Prints) by Michael Haynes of Wildwood, Missouri in cooperation with Robert Moore of the National Parks Service, Historian Jefferson Memorial Expansion Museum, St. Louis, Missouri.

Grooming Standards

Grooming Standards for US Army personnel and expedition recruits, are taken from extracts of the US Army Regulations set down from General Orders Headquarters

“Pittsburgh, 30th April 1801.

For the accommodation, comfort and health of the troops the hair is to be croped without exception, and the General will give the Example – James Wilkinson.”

“General Orders, Wilkinsonville Headquarters July 29th, 1801.

Whiskers and Short Hair illy accord. They will not therefore be permitted to extend lower than the bottom of the ear. The less hair about a Soldier’s head, the neater and cleaner will he be-…

Troops are to be obliged to bathe frequently, before Five in the morning, or after Seven in the Evening, but are not to go into the Water at any other period of the Day-“
Gentlemen, in order to present as close an accurate impression of the military in the early 1800’s; please accept the regulations of this period in a spirit of authenticity and cooperation. The above directive is intended for those members of the Discovery Expedition who impersonate members of the 1st or 2nd Infantry Regiments, the Regiment of Artillery, or the Expedition recruit. Students of the Lewis and Clark expedition, members of the Heritage Trail foundation, believe that these regulations were in effect until the corps left the Mandan Village in 1805. After which grooming standards were relaxed and Native American dress became more appropriate, as their European clothing began to wear out.
Arms & Accoutrements

Arms & Accoutrements of the Regular Army

The arms and accoutrements of the Regular Army soldier of the 1st or 2nd Infantry Regiment, or the Regiment of Artillery are as follows:

  • 1 Rifle or musket: Springfield 1795 .69cal Smooth Bore Musket. The Charleville 1763/77 ,69 caliber smooth bore musket, w/bayonet, or a period flintlock musket or Rifle.

  • 1 gun sling – White

  • 1 Black cartridge box w/white leather cross strap

  • 1 Bayonet frog/tomahawk carrier (NCO Frog)

  • Black frog w white cross strap

  • 1 black leather belt 21/4” wide

  • 1 brush and pick

  • 1 ball screw

  • Flints

  • 1 pipe tomahawk

  • 1 scalping knife and belt

  • 1 Haversack, White canvas or oil skin

  • 1 bullet mold

  • 1 iron spoon

  • 1 pint tin cup w/o handles

  • 1 steel for fire starting

  • 1 flint for do.

  • 1 Canteen, wood painted red, with white letters “U.S.”

  • 1 Painted Knapsack – Painted Red with white letters “U.S.

  • 1 3pt. Blanket 6’x 4 ½’ 3 1/2 lbs. In weight

  • 1 Tent 5’x14’ half of brown linen tent

Arms & Accoutrements of the Expedition Recruit

  • Period Flintlock: Kentucky, Pennsylvanian, or Virginia Musket/Rifle (1803 Harper’s Ferry is no longer acceptable)

  • Powder Horn

  • Scalping or Large Knife

  • Belt

  • Gun Sling white

  • Cartridge Box or shot pouch

  • Painted Haversack (tarred)

  • Pipe Tomahawk

  • Fork and spoon

  • Wooden or tin plate and cup

  • 18th Century rain gear

  • Canteen Wooden painted red with “US” in white

  • Knapsack Newly Invented painted red with white US on outer cover

  • Sleeping gear

Arms and Accouterments of the Eastern Longhunter

  • Period Flintlock

  • Powder Horns

  • Period knife and sheath

  • Tomahawk

  • Fork and Spoon

  • Wooden or tin Plate and cup

  • Possibles bag or Haversack

  • Canteen

  • Rain Gear 18th Century

  • Sleeping Gear as above

Arms and Accouterments of the Engagee’

  • Trade guns, Fusil/fowler, or short barrelled muskets

  • Knife and Sheath fitting the 18th Century period

  • Fork and Spoon

  • Wooden or tin plate

  • Wooden or tin cup

  • Tomahawk (optional)

  • Canteen

  • Rain gear (Oil skin ponchos or Rifle Frocks would be good)

  • Sleeping Gear (Can be modern but need a cover fitting the 18th Century Period)

  • Possibles bag or Haversack


Drill and Ceremonies

Commands of Movement

Without Arms

The Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Detail will give all commands of movement from the position of attention. Movement commands are to be given in two parts. The Preparatory Command which tells the detail WHAT the commander wants them to do, and the Command of Execution which tells the detail WHEN to do it.

For example: Preparatory “To the right!”

Execution “FACE!”
At the call to “FALL IN!” the men of the Corps of Discovery will assemble on Line to the left of the squad commander, and at the position of attention.

Squads will be formed with one sergeant, one corporal, and eight men. Soldiers will form in front; engagees will form to the rear. The unit formation will be based upon the number of personnel available.

e.g. xxxxxxxx (keelboat) Permanent Party

xxxxxxxx (keelboat) Permanent Party

xxxxxxxx (White Perogue) Cpl Warfington’s Party

xxxxxxxx (Red Perogue) Engagee Party

The position of attention calls for soldiers to stand erect, head and eyes to the front. Hands opened, at their sides, and thumbs pointing down along the seams of their trousers, knees not locked and feet slightly apart to balance the body comfortably. No further movement or talking is permitted.
Before a detail or other body of troops is called to attention, a preparatory command “Corps!” is given to alert the troops that something is about to happen. The troops should at this command come to the position of parade rest, and be alert for the command of execution “Atten—tion!”
The commander now is in control of the detail, and will turn and/or move the detail as he needs. The following are commands of movement or marching;
Facing Right: At the command of “To the Right – Face!’ The soldier(s) will turn to the right by turning on their right heel on the count of one, and then bring the left foot alongside the right on the count of two.
Facing Left: At the command of “To the Left – Face!” The soldier(s) will turn to the left by turning on their left heel on the count of one, and then bring the right foot alongside the left on the count of two.
Facing About: At the command of “About”, the soldier will immediately place his right hand on his cartridge box to keep it from swinging At the command “Face!” The soldier(s) will spin to the right, completely around one the count of one. One the count of two they will bring their left foot alongside their right foot.
Rest: At the command of “Rest.” The individual will move his left foot away from his right, to a distance of approximately six to ten inches to balance his body. The body will then be in a relaxed position. Movement is allowed except for the right foot. Talking is at the discretion of the troop commander. At the preparatory command of “Corps!” the troops will straighten their bodies and stop all movement while waiting the command of execution; “Atten-tion!”
Forward Marching: At the command of “To the Front… Quick—March!” the unit individual, will as a group or individually immediately step off to the front, with the left foot and continue marching to the immediate front until otherwise told to halt, or change the direction of the march. When marching troops will align themselves by casting the eyes to the individual on their immediate right, and be directly behind the man in front. The heads of the troops should always be straight to the front.
Turning About: To turn the unit about the command is used “To the Right About—March!”. At this time the unit will as a whole turn about by stopping their forward movement, and turn is six steps to the right, and step off to the front on the seventh step. The right hand will be kept at the right side and not swing freely about.

Flanking Movements

Flanking is turning a marching unit to right or left without stopping the movement of the unit. At the preparatory command of “By the Right Flank!” which is given on the left foot, troops should prepare to turn as a unit to the

right. At the command of execution “March!” which is given on the right foot, the unit will take one more step forward and turn to the right, continuing on the new line of march.

At the preparatory command of “By the Left Flank!” which is given on the left foot, troops should prepare to turn as a unit to the left. At the command of execution “March!” which is given on the left foot, the unit will take one more step forward and turn to the left, continuing on the new line of march.

Column Movements

A column movement is undertaken when the unit is marching to the front in two, three, or four ranks. As the column is marching forward and the preparatory command of “Column Right!” is given troops will prepare to turn themselves to the right in rows. The preparatory command is given on the left foot, and the command of execution “March!” is given on the right foot. The first man on the right will take one more step and turn to the right and immediately take one long stride half step in one movement then begin to half step. The man to his immediate left will take two half turns to the right, staying on line with the man to his right and half step. The third man on the left will take three half turns to the right, staying on line with the man to his right, half step and so on. As the first row turns and moves out with the long stride, the next row will move up to where the first row turned and begin its column movement. This maneuver is the same for the command of “Column Left--March!” except the execution command is given on the left foot.

Wheeling Movements

Wheeling movements are exactly the same as column movements except that the wheel is executed on a company front. That is, an eight-man front turning left or right as one body. The preparatory commands are “Wheeling to the right (or Left)”—“Wheel!”



The weapons to be used for the Discovery Expedition’s 1803 period representation will be the type of flintlock weapons generally in use during this period. Percussion Cap weapons are not appropriate to the 1803 time period. Since the “Corps of Discovery” was made up of a cross-section of citizens of the time, it makes sense that the weapons of the period were a cross section also. A recent article in “WE PROCEED ON” suggests the following;

“Reenactors of the US Infantry and Artillery units should carry the 1795 Springfield 69cal smooth bore musket.” In our case Charleville’s, Brown Bess’s, and the 1803 Harper’s Ferry’s already purchased are accepted.
Reenactors of the Expedition Recruits (i.e. the Kentucky Frontiersmen) can carry any period musket of the Virginia, Pennsylvania or Kentucky variety.
It is thought that the odd Engagee may have carried Fusil Fowlers, or shorter barreled muskets. So trade muskets can be used; however not to any great extent.
We would recommend that you research the most probable weapon of your portrayal and purchase that type of weapon, if you do not have a musket already.
Weapons owned by the Discovery Expedition will be secured in the gun lockers located on the keelboat. They will be drawn by corps members each morning, and before be returned to the gun locker each night, they will be cleaned.

Weapons cleaning will be held immediately after lowering of the colors.

Firearms Safety

Before the start of all Discovery Events entailing any public contact a firearm safety check will be performed.
This check will be the sole responsibility of the squad leaders or squad sergeants
All members under arms will submit their muskets for this safety check or they will not be allowed to carry or use said arm in any display.
The Safety Inspection will consist of:

  1. Barrel is clear and unloaded

  2. A frizzen cover is installed

  3. A flash guard is installed

  4. The half cock test will be administered. (The bounce test)

After all drill entailing firing or salutes at flag raising/lowering a check will be held to ensure all firelocks are unloaded and safe.
At no time will loaded firelocks be kept in the camp/display area.
Any person violating this rule will be liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the event or the organization

Care and Cleaning

Whether the weapon has been fired or not, every man will clean his assigned weapon prior to securing it for the night. Attention will be paid to the cleaning of the barrel, the touchhole, and locking device. All flints will be checked to be sure that they are properly seated and not loose. A light coat of gun oil will cover the barrel and locking device before being put away.

Manual of Arms
The following movement commands will be used when handling firelocks.
Shoulder your – Firelock!” At this time the soldier is at the position of attention or “Order Arms”, with his right hand is grasping his weapon. Upon receiving the command of execution “Firelock!” the soldier will, at the count of one, lift his weapon up and across his body with the right hand, catching the butt of the weapon with the left hand and place the weapon on his left shoulder. At the count of two, he will bring his right hand back to his right side.
Poise your –Firelock!” At the count of one, the left hand will twist the weapon butt to the right and the right hand will be brought up to grasp the weapon at the pistol grip behind the trigger assembly. At the count of two, the right hand will bring the weapon straight up in front of the face of the soldier, at the same time the left hand will grasp the weapon above the lock assembly fingers straight palm facing towards the face. The feet are still at the attention position.

Present your – Firelock!” At this command, at the count of one, the soldier will spin the weapon outwards so the trigger assembly is facing to the front. At the count of two, he will step back with the right foot, while placing the weapon in front of the left knee. The right foot should be at a slight right angle behind the left foot.
To return the weapon to the left shoulder or to the Order the command will be reversed going first back to the “Poise”, then to either the shoulder or the Order Arms.

The drill movements described above are normally executed at the standing position, however all of the weapon movements can be accomplished while troops are on the march. Additionally there are some other maneuvers that can be executed while marching in order to rest the left shoulder.

Trail your – Firelocks!” At the count of one, the right hand will come up and across the body grasping the weapons above the lock assembly and at the count of two, will bring the weapon down across the body to the right side.

“Secure your – Firelock!” On the count of one, the right hand will come up and across the body grasping the weapon just under the trigger assembly, the left hand will grasp the weapon high up the barrel, bringing the barrel down and with the left hand tuck the butt of the weapon up under the left armpit. On the count of two, carry the right hand back to the right side.

From the trail and secure, the weapon can only be brought to the “Shoulder” position. This is accomplished by simply reversing the sequence of movements of the previous commands of Trail or Secure your-- Firelock.

Loading and Firing

The commands for loading and firing are as follows;

Prepare to Load”! Bring your weapon down to your right side. The left hand should be just in front of the trigger assembly at the center of balance for the weapon. With your right hand take your cartridge from the cartridge box.
Load!” With your teeth tear the paper from the top of the cartridge, prime the pan, and close the frizen Come to the cast about position and pour the charge down the barrel. Pull the rammer up about two inches.
DRAW YOUR--RAMMER”! Pull rammer completely from the weapon and ram down the cartridge, withdraw the rammer and reseat it to about six inches from the barrel.
RETURN YOUR--RAMMER”! With the little finger of the right hand fully reseat the rammer home and come to the position of “POISE”.
MAKE READY”! Twist the lock towards your body, and pull the hammer to full cocking.
TAKE AIM”! Point the weapon in the direction of fire, while stepping back with the right foot. When firing on the march, point the weapon up and to the left.
FIRE”! Discharge the weapon; immediately bringing your weapon to the “Prepare to load” position. At the same time, return your right foot alongside your left.


Encampments and Duty Assignments

Establishment and Security
When on the River, camps will be established within the limits of the terrain being utilized. However if at all possible camp will be established as on display.
When on display, for example, the Lewis and Clark Heritage Days, in St. Charles, The Command Tents (10’x17’) will be set first to establish the base of the camp. Personal (5’x7’ wedges) and Stores tents (3’x5 wedges) will be set next and down the sides of the Command Tent leading towards the river and the boats. Dining flys will be placed on the ends of the line.



PT cook fire PT




boat boat boat

Discovery Expedition owns three large wedge tents with bell backs. Each of these three tents have their own tent bag, a bag containing ten (10) ropes, and another bag containing twenty-five iron tent stakes. This equipment will always be associated with the same tent. The tent, tent bag, rope, and stake bags are identified as to color. (Red tent, white tent and Barge Tent) The red tent goes in the red pirogue, and the white tent goes in the white pirogue, and the Keelboat (Barge) tent goes in the Barge.
After the tents are erected, the associated bags will be placed in the front left-hand corner of the corresponding tent.
Erecting the Tents
Each of us has his own knowledge of putting up a tent. The same is true for the Discovery Expedition. Our tents will be erected in the following manner. They will be erected in the same manner every time the tent is put up. Squad sergeants are responsible for overseeing the putting up of the tents. (That is not to mean the sergeant does not assist.)

  1. Tents will be removed from the bag. Spread out with door facing away from the direction of the wind. The front door will be tied at the bottom, and then the front stakes will be positioned by stretching the front of the tent.

  2. The rear of the tent will be positioned in the same manner.

  3. The center ridge will be put into position as will the front and rear poles

  4. The tent will then be raised. Once the poles are straight and in proper position, the bell will be positioned and staked.

  5. The remaining tent loops will be staked.

  6. The dining fly will then be put up. (optional)

Note: In order to maintain an authentic camp setting, care must be taken to hide any and all “Non period camping items, such as modern sleeping bags, duffel bags, coolers etc”.

Guard Posts: Guard posts will be established, and sentries will be posted. When on the river, two sentries for the camp, and one sentry for each boat will be assigned.
Guard postings will be for two-hour intervals, with at least four hours off with the exception of boat posts. Sentries assigned to the boats will be able to sleep on board. Their presence will be to attend to any disturbance on the vessel or to recover the vessel in the event of mooring slippage.

Duty Assignments

According to Roy Applebaum “Lewis and Clark’s Transcontinal Journey duty assignments were as follows; Permanent party rode in the keelboat, Warfington’s detachment in the white priogue and the French boatman in the red pirogue. Lewis and Clark commanded through the three sergeants, who rotated in performing key assignments on the keelboat. Ordway in effect the First Sergeant issued provisions and appointed guard details. All of the sergeants maintained duty rosters for the assignment of chores to their squads. The cooks

And a few others with special assignments were exempted from guard duty, pitching tents, collecting firewood, and making fires.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the Discovery Expedition will not necessarily mirror that of the original Corps of Discovery in reality. Our assignments will depend upon the amount of responsibility a man is willing to assume, and the ability that man has.

Boat Handling Procedures
Every member of Discovery Expedition planning to be on the bicentennial voyage will be trained in boathandling and emergency response procedures. Safety briefings will be reviewed upon each boarding.
Boat handling is the core of the Discovery Expedition. It will be the most important aspect of the company. The safety and welfare of the crew is our utmost concern.
Prior to any boat being put into the water, care will be taken to ensure that the bilge plugs are properly secured. Bilge plugs are located under the deck boards in the mast hold. All oars must be correctly stowed. Sails are to be properly lashed to the yard.
Ensure that fuel, food, water and a first aid kit is aboard and properly stowed. That there is one legal life jacket for each crewman and passenger available and in ready reach. There should be ten (10) life jackets in each pirogue, and 25 life jackets in the Keelboat. Ensure all crew and passengers know the location of life jackets.
Check to see that there are two fire extinguishers in the boat, one at the bow and one at the stern. Be sure the marine radio is working. Verify from the Blue Book what radio channels are to be monitored.
The following diagrams are here to assist the crewman in learning the various commands and positions when handling the oars.




Orders for getting underway;

Cast off bow and stern lines!

Break out oars!

Rowing Orders: All hands stand ready to row!

Up Oars!

Boat Oars!

Prepare to Row!




When landing the boats, the commands will be;

Boat oars!

Up oars!

Stow oars!

Other commands when rowing at the discretion of the boat commander;

Boat Starboard oars.

Row to Port!

Boat Port oars.

Row to Starboard!

All hands back oars! (row backwards)

In order to use the sail the commands will be;

Prepare to make sail.

Make sail.

Prepare to come about.

Come about.

Prepare to secure sail.

Secure sail.



Discovery Expedition encourages the use of musical instruments. The instruments however, should have been in use appropriate to our time period. Musicians are extremely important to the well being of the crew around the evening campfire, as well as while working on the river. Discovery Expedition encourages the learning of seventeenth and eighteenth century river and sailing songs, and in particular the tune “Chester” which was our nations unofficial National Anthem. Singing while rowing aids in the timing of the setting and pulling of the oars. “Chester” will be sung at all flag raising and lowering ceremonies.

All Musicians, Drummers, and Fifers, are to be in their Barracks Immediately after Tattoo unless Permitted to the Contrary & should any of them break their Instruments through carelessness or Inattention, they will be put under Stoppage of pay for them.


To be sung at all flag raising and flag lowering ceremonies

Let tyrants raise their iron rods

And slavery clank her galling chains

We fear them not

We trust in God

New Columbia’s God forever reigns”.
Note the melody for this anthem is the first tune on the Ken Burn’s CD Lewis and Clark

“The Sounds of Discovery”.

Theme Song

The signature song of the Discovery Expedition is “Shenandoah” For your edification the lyrics to “Shenandoah” follow;

  1. Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you

Wey hey, you rolling river.

Shenandoah, I long to hear you

Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri

  1. Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter

Wey hey, you rolling river.

Oh Shenndoah, I lover your daughter

Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri

  1. Missouri she’s a mighty river

Wey hey, you rolling river

When she dolls down, her topsails shiver

Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri

  1. Seven year, I courted Sally

Wey hey, you rolling river.

Seven more, I longed to have her

Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri

  1. Farewell, my dear, I’m bound to leave you

Wey hey, you rolling river.

Oh, Shenandoah, I’ll not deceive you

Away, we’re bound away, ‘cross the wide Missouri

Rowing Songs

Oh the Kentuck women ain’t got no combs

Haul away, haul away

They comb their hair with catfish bones.

And we’re bound away to Louisana.


So, heave her up my bully, bully boys

Haul away, haul away.

Heave her up and don’t you make a noise for we’re

Bound away to Louisana

Oh the Kentuck kids don’t have no sleds

Haul away, haul away

They slide down the hill on catfish heards

And we’re bound away to Louisana

Oh the Kentuck cats ain’t got no tails

Haul, away, haul away

They lost them all in a Northeast gale

And we’re bound away to Louisana

Oh the Kentuck women ain’t got no frills.

Haul away, haul away,

The’re plain and skinny as a catfish gill

And we’re bound away to Louisana



Tune: “Old Rocking Chair” Words: Al Puknat 12-30-00
Oh she rocks to the weather, and she rolls to the lee

As so gently we glide up the wide Missouri

Je avant et le Bourgeois, are as happy can be

For it two thousand miles, to the mountains you see.


So row, miliex row; and steer, governail, steer

I want to make rendezvous early this year

And greet all my friends, round the camp fires bright

And dance and drink whisky in the mountain moonlight.
Oh the beaver fur’s thick, and the otter fur’s sleek

Where the sycamores grow, on the banks of the creek

And it’s there that I’m going to trap and be free

Time to hurry on up the old wide Missouri

We leave Saint Charles behind us, as we go on our way

And we row and we pole or cordelle all the day

We Pass the Charrette, Loutre, and Gasconade

Then we camp for the night in the cottonwood shade

Oh the Osage, Objibwi, the Sioux, and Pawnee

Are my family you see on the wide Missouri

And along with them I trade, maybe take me a wife

Along the wide Missouri, it’s a very good life.

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