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Fort Berthold Reservation in 1
Fort Berthold Reservation in 1
 

Journal, August 12, 1806

At meridian Capt. Lewis hove in Sight with the party which went by way of the Missouri as well as that which accompanied him from Travellers rest on Clarks river. I was alarmed on the landing of the Canoes to be informed that Capt. Lewis was wounded by an accident.

I found him lying in the Perogue. He informed me that his wound was slight and would be well in 20 or 30 days. This information relieved me very much. I examined thw ound and found it a very bad flesh wound. The ball had passed through the fleshey part of his left thy below the hip bone and cut the cheek of the right buttock for 3 inches in length and the debth of the ball.

Capt. L. informed me the accident happened the day before by one of the men, Peter Crusat, misstakeing him in the thick bushes to be an Elk. Capt. Lewis with this Crusat and Several other men were out in the bottom Shooting of Elk, and had Scattered in a thick part of the woods in pursute of the Elk. Crusat Seeing Capt. L. passing through the bushes and takeing him to be an Elk from the Colour of his Cloathes which were of leather and very nearly that of the Elk, fired, and unfortunately the ball passed through the thy as aforesaid.

Capt. Lewis, thinking it indians who had Shot him hobbled to the canoes as fast as possible and was followered by Crusat. The mistake was then discovered. This Crusat is near Sighted and has the use of but one eye.1 He is an attentive, industerous man, and one whome we both have placed the greatest Confidence in dureing the whole rout.

William Clark

1. One suspects that there was a misunderstanding on Clark's part here. If Cruzatte was truly nearsighted, how could any confidence have been place in him as a riverman? That job would have required him to read the intricate, continuously-changing surface of the river at a distance.

Fort Berthold Reservation in 1
Fort Berthold Reservation in 1


 
From Discovering Lewis & Clark ®, http://www.lewis-clark.org © 1998-2014
by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Washburn, North Dakota.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton
13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001)