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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

In the late afternoon, the swivel gun is fired. Corporal Warfington commands the keelboat down the river towards St. Louis and the Expedition, in six canoes and two large pirogues, heads up the Missouri River.

From the journals...

Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large perogues. This little fleet altho' not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation.

Meriwether Lewis

Leaving Fort Mandan

Painting of a pirogue with Sacagawea

Painting previously located in Southern Hills Mall, Sioux City, Iowa and created by by Split Rock Studios.

Having on this day at 4 P.M. completed every arrangement necessary for our departure, we dismissed the barge and crew with orders to return without loss of time to S. Louis

Meriwether Lewis

Leaving Fort Mandan

Officer raising the flag on the keelboat

This photo is provided as a service by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.