Sgt. Charles Floyd

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Charles Floyd

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Virginia (Present Kentucky), United States
Death: Died in Near present Sioux City, (Present Woodbury County), Louisiana Purchase (Present Iowa), United States
Cause of death: Probably burst appendix - only death in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Place of Burial: Floyd's Bluff, Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Major Robert Clark Floyd; Robert Clark Floyd; Lillian Floyd and Ms. Floyd
Brother of Mary Lee Walton; Elizabeth R. Winn and Judge Davis Floyd

Occupation: Quartermaster of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Managed by: Ben M. Angel
Last Updated:

About Sgt. Charles Floyd

From his English Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Floyd_(explorer)

Charles Floyd (1782 – August 20, 1804) was a United States explorer, a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, and quartermaster in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A native of Kentucky, he was a son of Robert Clark Floyd, a nephew of James John Floyd, a cousin of Virginia governor John Floyd, and possibly a relative of William Clark. He was one of the first men to join the expedition, and the only person to die on the expedition.

While exploring the Louisiana Purchase with Lewis and Clark, he took ill at the end of July 1804. On July 31, Floyd wrote in his diary, "I am very sick and have been for sometime but have recovered my health again." However, this apparent recovery was soon followed by a severe turn for the worse. William Clark described Floyd's death as one "with a great deal of composure" and that before Floyd died he said to Clark, "I am going away. I want you to write me a letter."

A funeral was held and Floyd was buried on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. The expedition named the location Floyd's Bluff in his honor. They camped that night at the mouth of Floyd River, "about 30 yards wide, a beautiful evening.--"

Clark diagnosed the condition which led to Floyd's demise as bilious colic, though modern doctors and historians believe Floyd's death was more likely to have been caused by a ruptured appendix. The brief "recovery" Floyd described may have represented the temporary relief afforded by the bursting of the organ, which would have been followed by a fatal peritonitis. If that were the case, because there was no known cure for appendicitis at that time, he would have been no better off had he been with the best physicians of the day.

Legacy

Floyd's Bluff is currently within the city limits of Sioux City, Iowa. The Sergeant Floyd Monument was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1960. This monument is now located in a 23-acre (93,000 m2) park that offers visitors a view of the Missouri River valley. Floyd's final resting place is located on old U.S. Highway 75, in the southern part of Sioux City, Iowa, in the United States. After Floyd's expedition journal was published in 1894, new interest was taken in him and his grave-marker was stolen by thieves. He was re-buried once more on August 20, 1895, with a monument. A marble cornerstone three feet wide and seven feet long was placed in 1900. When the obelisk of white sandstone standing 100 feet (30 m) high was completed on May 30, 1901, Floyd's grave was moved for the fourth time to rest nearby. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 30, 1960.[1][2]

The Interstate 129 bridge between Sioux City and South Sioux City, Nebraska is named the Sergeant Floyd Memorial Bridge in his honor.

References

  • 1. ^ "Sergeant Floyd Monument". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  • 2. .^ Stephen Lissandrello (July 2, 1975). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Sergeant Floyd Monument (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. Accompanying 2 photos, from 1937 and 1964. PDF (352 KB)

George H. Yater and Caroline Denton, “Nine Young Men from Kentucky,” We Proceeded On Publication No. 11, May 1992 (Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation) pp. 4-6.

James J. Holmberg, Curator of Special Collections of the Filson Historical Society, Annual Sally Keith Lecture, Beargrass—St. Mathews Historical Society, October 19, 2003.

The Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark: John Speedway and Charles Floyd ISBN 0-8032-8021-1

---

From Descendants of John Floyd:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/e/Pat-M-Stevens-iv/GENE6-0010.html

Children of ROBERT FLOYD and LILLIAN PARKER are:

  • 3. iii. SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD [154],[155],
    • b. 1780, KY [156];
    • d. 20 August 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition on the bank of the Missouri River near Sioux City, IA.
      • More About SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD: Burial: 20 August 1804, Sergt. Floyd's Bluff on the Missouri River near Sioux City, IA

--

Notes for SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD:

"Born in Kentucky, son of Robert Clark Floyd, and a grandson of William and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd. He was one of the first to enlist in the party, which he did on August 1) 1803, in Kentucky, and is therefore listed as one of the "Nine young men from Kentucky." He was a cousin of Nathaniel Pryor, also one of the party. Captain Clark called him "A man of much merit." He kept a journal which is published in Thwaites' edition of the Lewis and Clark journals. He died on August 20, 1804, of what has since been diagnosed as a ruptured appendix - the only man to die on the expedition. He is buried at Floyd's Bluff, on the Missouri near Sioux City, Iowa. He was posthumously awarded a land grant, which was deeded to his brother, Davis, and two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Lee Floyd. " Charles G. Clarke, " The Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Biographical Roster of the Fifty-One Members and a Composite Diary of their Activities from all Known Sources (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark, 1970), 37-61."

There has been considerable debate about who the parents of Sergeant Charles Floyd of the expedition were; I now believe there is little question that Robert is his father. Sergeant Floyd is the child of Robert Clark Floyd, not Charles, as N.J. Floyd asserted. Discussions in these notes reflect my gradually turning view over time, but I have also removed some incorrect speculations that I had adopted.

--

Later in November, 2002, about two years after the above notes, courtesy of Alex Luken of Kentucky, I have a copy of Mary Lee Floyd's letter to Lyman C. Draper, Oct. 5th, 1872, which is contained in Clifton Davis' letter of 1946 cited in the footnotes:

"...I remember nothing of General Clark's expedition to the Rocky Mountains as I was a child, except that I had a brother who went with him, and who died during the expedition. His name was 'Charles Floyd.' Col. John Floyd was my uncle. My father's name was 'Robert.' Col. Geo. R. C. Floyd was my first cousin; he lived in Ky and left one son John G. Floyd. I know nothing of him but refer you to the daughter of Gov. John Floyd of Va., Mrs. Holmes of University of Va.... Mrs. Mary Lee Walton"

All of these people are recorded in these notes.

In his celebrated work, "Undaunted Courage," 1996, Stephen Ambrose says of the forming of the Lewis and Clark expedition: "Seven of the men the captains picked had previously been conditionally approved by Clark, two by Lewis. They made Charles Floyd and Nathaniel Pryor sergeants. Floyd was the son of Captain Charles Floyd, who had soldiered with George Rogers Clark. When these nine men were sworn into the army, in solemn ceremony, in the presence of General Clark, the Corps of Discovery was born." p. 118, my edition is the first, printed in 1996. He footnotes Appleman, "Lewis and Clark," p. 57.

--

N.J. Floyd, op. cit., 1912, notes: "This young man seems to have been quite a favorite in the large family of which he was a member. He was less sedate than his eldest brother and was more responsive to the call of the forests and streams contiguous to the settlement, than to the silent suggestion of the crude log schoolhouse belonging to the neighborhood. He eagerly mastered the secrets of the former, but the dogeared elementary books of the latter contained mysteries that were too irksome for a youth with red blood in his veins; and though he picked up a moderately fair "backwoods education," it can be safely surmised, on the authority of a journal kept by him, which came to light ninety years after his death--and which the Floyd Memorial Association, of Sioux City, Iowa, has had lithographed in full--that the log schoolhouse probably never awarded him a premium for spelling or writing. But the same has been said "of many far wiser than he"; for instance, of his father's friend, General George Rogers Clark.... When Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, commissioned by President Jefferson, 1803, were carefully selecting men to form the small party which was to explore the vast 'Louisiana Purchase,' almost as large as the entire territory of the United States as it then was, it was but natural that Charles Floyd, Jr., should have been chosen as the first in command under themselves. The father of one and the elder brother of the other had acted in concert with his father and uncles in many trying situations, and personal association among the young men themselves also dictated the appointment."

--

Sergeant Charles Floyd accompanied Lewis and Clark on the trip into the West, 1803-1806. He died on the Missouri River in 1804, the first American soldier to die west of the Mississippi. He kept a journal of the trip, and it complements the Lewis journal. He was buried near present day Sioux City, Iowa, on a bluff the explorers named after him-- Floyd's Bluff. A large monument is there today, placed there under an Act of Congress by the Army Corps of Engineers, Hiram Chittenden, a Corps officer, directing the work, about 1904. The Floyds and the Lewises and the the Clarks were all known to one another. Interestingly, young Meriwether Lewis was partially raised in Oglethorpe Co., Ga., where the Stewarts and Floyds from Va. and Ky. lived, after his father died and his mother remarried and accompanied her husband there. Meriwether later returned to his family lands near Charlottesville, and became Thomas Jefferson's secretary for a time before the expedition was formed. Young Floyd's death on the expedition was tragic; his was the only death of the company in the harrowing journey across the continent. (cf Stephen Ambrose, Undaunted Courage).

--

From the Merriwether Lewis Journal:

"20th August Monday 1804...I am Dull & heavy been up the greater Part of last night with Serjt. Floyd, who is as bad as he can be to live...We set out under a jental Breeze from the S.E....We came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hoping it would brace him a little, before we get him into his bath he expired, with a great deel of composure..haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter...We buried him to the top of a high round hill overlooking the river & Countrey for a great distance situated just below a small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergt. Floyds Bluff...we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title and Day of the month & year...we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd wide & camped a beautiful evening."

Sergeant Charles Floyd is dead, probably from a burst appendix, and is buried near present-day Sioux City, Iowa.

--

Steve Everley at <severley@sound.net> who will reenact Charles Floyd on the US Park Service- sanctioned official reenactment of the trip west, sent me this note about Charles' Journal, August 2001:

"Dear Mr. Steve Everley: The Wisconsin Historical Society Archives does indeed hold the Charles Floyd diary. It is part of the Draper Manuscripts, specifically volume 6 of Draper series M, "The William Clark Papers." The original is available for use here at the Society headquarters. In addition the entire collection of Draper Manuscripts is on microfilm and available at many libraries throughout the nation.

  • Sincerely, Harold L. Miller Reference Archivist Wisconsin Historical Society
  • 816 State Street
  • Madison WI 53706-1482"

--

From the wonderful Lewis and Clark pages of the Public Broadcasting System site at: http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/inside/idx_corp.html

"Sergeant Charles Floyd was born in Kentucky, and was among the first to volunteer for service in the Corps, joining on August l, 1803. Among those included as one of the “Nine young men from Kentucky,” Floyd was a cousin of the expedition’s Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor. Considered a “man of much merit” by Captain Clark, he kept an uninterrupted daily record from May 14, 1804, until August 18, two days prior to his untimely death on August 20. Floyd’s death was the only fatality among expedition members during the two years, four months and nine days of their transcontinental odyssey.

"Floyd’s published journal reproduces verbatim his inspired spelling and fractured grammar, characteristics found also in the journals of the two captains and the four enlisted men who kept journals. Floyd’s journal has been published jointly with that of Corps member, Sergeant John Ordway, as Volume 9, The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Gary E. Moulton, Editor, 11 volumes to date (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1995).

"Floyd’s entries are laconic but factual. In the spirit of President Jefferson’s instructions and perhaps drawing from an agrarian background, Floyd judged land quality, including soil conditions, enroute up the Missouri. Contributing his personal assessments of what he observed, Floyd, on May 25, 1804, wrote, “[T]he land is Good & handsom the Soil Rich;” June 4, “[A] Butifull a peas of Land as ever I saw.” On June 7, he recorded his own interpretations of Indian pictographs as “pictures of the Devil and other things.” Floyd’s August 7 entry is the only detailed description of Private Moses Reed's “Desarte [desertion] from us with out aney Jest Case [just cause].”

"Unfortunately, Floyd’s contributions to the journey, together with his journal, ended with his premature death. As “Diagnosed” by the captains, Floyd’s illness was considered to be a “bilious cholic.” They could not be faulted for preventing his death, which medical historians have concluded was from a ruptured appendix.

"Captain Clark's journal entry for August 20, reads: “Sergeant Floyd much weaker and no better...Floyd as bad as he can be no pulse & nothing will stay a moment on his Stomach or bowels. Floyd Died with a great deal of Composure, before his death he Said to me, ‘I am going away I want you to write me a letter.’ We buried him on the top of the bluff. 1/2 Mile below [is] a Small river to which we Gave his name, He was buried with the Honors of War much lamented, a Seeder post with the Name Sergt. C. Floyd died here 20th of august 1804 was fixed at the head of his grave. This Man at all times gave us proofs of his firmness and Determined resolution to doe Service to his Countrey and honor to himself. after paying all the honor to our Decesed brother we camped in the Mouth of Floyds River about 30 yards wide, a butiful evening” Today, Floyd enjoys the honor of having had erected at his gravesite in present Sioux City, Iowa, the most prestigious memorial of the explorers. A 100 foot high sandstone masonry obelisk, second in size only to that of the Washington Monument, was dedicated in fitting ceremonies on Memorial Day 1901. Dedication speaker for the occasion was Dr. Elliott Coues, editor of the 1893 annotated reprint of the 1814 Biddle Allen edition of the journals. Coues spoke eloquently of the exploring enterprise:

" 'I must confess that I am what my friends call me – ‘a Lewis and Clark enthusiast.’ But I do not think that anyone can read that ‘national epic of exploration’ without sharing my enthusiasm. It is one of the grandest episodes in the history of our country. Every American can be proud of it. Every person in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South and North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – for the expedition passed through all these states – has an interest in the immortal achievements of these dauntless pioneers. For every Iowan this interest focuses about the saddest incident of the whole journey – the death of Charles Floyd. ' "

--

Anna Cartlidge in her 1966 unpublished work says Charles Floyd is the son of Robert Clark Floyd. She also has a Charles Stewart Floyd, b. 1788, as the son of Charles and Mary. I note both N.J. Floyd, 1912, and William Floyd Tuley, 1906, say he is the son of Charles, Senior. Additionally all the data passed down through the two first children of Col. John Floyd, Mourning and John Burford Floyd, support Charles as the father. However, researchers should note the comments I have under Mary Lee Floyd, presumably Robert Floyd's daughter and Sergeant Floyd's sister.

N.J. Floyd notes the effort to determine Charles' parents during the planning of the memorial at his place of death: "As soon as the memorial association was formed it commenced an effort to ascertain if anything could be learned concerning the ancestry of the young man whose memory they wished to honor, and though they doubtless heard traditions hoary with age, they were not fully satisfied till in 1906, they received from a relative in Kentucky a letter, falling to pieces with age, written in 1804 by a boy brother of Sergeant Floyd. It said: 'Dear Nancy: Our dear Charles died on the Voyage of Colick. He was well cared for as Clark was there. My heart is too full to say more (some indistinct words follow) I will see you soon. Your brother Nat.'

The writer was Dr. Nathaniel Wilson Floyd who in early manhood made his home near Lynchburg, Virginia. He was eleven years old when his brother Charles died; and "Dear Nancy" was their sister who had recently married George Rogers, a first cousin of General George Rogers Clark and his brother William Clark of the Expedition. The letter was over a century old when it was resurrected by Mrs. Susan Floyd Gunter, of 1627 Brook Street, Louisville, Kentucky, Her mother was a favorite and "chummy" first cousin of "Dear Nancy" and Sergeant Charles, and had treasured the little note as a sad memento."

--

Kirk LeCompte <kirk.lecompte@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG> who is a Floyd descendant also, sent the following concerning Charles on 4 Apr 2001: " Pat, I received one of the source material books about Charles Floyd. It makes interesting reading, but of particular note is a direct rebuttal of Charles Floyd of the Lewis & Clark expedition as son of Charles Floyd, Sr. I have transcribed that portion below. Yater makes a strong case, but we still need to chase his sources.

--

From "Nine Young Men From Kentucky" by George H. Yater and Carolyn S. Denton, May 1992, WPO Publication No. 11, WPO is for We Proceeded On, the official publication of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc. from page 5... 'Some researchers have concluded that Sergeant Floyd was the son of Charles Floyd, the near-neighbor of the Field family on Pond Creek. This confusion is understandable, since Charles Floyd also had a son named Charles, the first cousin of Sergeant Floyd. A scrap of a letter may also have contributed to the confusion. This letter, apparently now missing, was once in the possession of the Floyd Memorial Association in Sioux City. It is from Nathaniel Floyd, son of the elder Charles, to his sister Nancy. He had apparently just read the letter that Sergeant Floyd had dictated to Clark. Nathaniel wrote that: "Our dear Charles died on the voyage of the colic. He was well cared for, as Clark was there, my heart is too full to say any more... I will see you soon, your brother Nat." Nat was speaking of his cousin, but it would be easy to conclude that he was speaking of his brother.

'That Robert Clark Floyd was the sergeant's father is obvious from the heirs who actually came into possession of the land warrant. Also, on November 26, 1807, in the same letter that recommended to the War Department a lieutenancy for Reubin Field, Clark also recommended a captaincy for an R.C. Floyd. Only one Floyd had those initials - Robert Clark Floyd. It was probably Clark's way of compensating in some measure for Robert Clark's loss of a son. Robert Floyd served as an officer in the Kentucky militia and in 1796 had been promoted to major. Finally, Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton, Sergeant Floyd's youngest sister, noted in a letter to Lyman C. Draper, that remarkable collector of manuscripts and recollections of the early West, that her father's name was Robert.'

FYI - the letter dictated to Clark is documented but lost. It would make a great find. No one knows what it said. I would like to see more definitive documentation as to who the children of R.C. Clark were, as well as definitive documentation that shows the existence of a Charles, Jr., son of Charles Sr, after the death of the Charles of the L&C Expedition. However, it is clear that at least two very good scholars are convinced of the R.C. version. He cites as his sources (a) Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis & Clark Expedition (Urbana: Univerity of Illinois Press, 1962) pages 370-371, (b) Anna Margaret Cartlidge, Children and Grandchildren of William & Abidiah (Davis) Floyd, (Baltimore: the author, 1966), unpaged, and (c) Letter of Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton of Vicksburg, Miss. to Lyman C. Draper, October 5, 1872, Draper Manuscripts 13VV120. Regards, Kirk LeCompte <kirk.lecompte@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG>"

--

Later, he adds in a note to Alex Luken: "I can't help wondering why his (N.J. Floyd's) accounts are so contradictory to Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton's, given that Mary Lee and Nicholas Jackson were contemporaries. Apparently, they didn't know each other, which is unfortunate.... But what I find particularly odd, is that Anna Cartlidge assigns a Charles Stewart Floyd to Charles Floyd I. By her account, N.J. Floyd and this Charles would have been uncle and nephew and certainly known each other, as N.J. would have been 28 years old by the time this Charles died. So how could there be confusion in N.J.'s mind as to which Charles went on the L&C Corps of Discovery? Do you know of anyone who is tracing the lineage of Judge Davis Floyd, who was purportedly Mary Lee's brother? N.J. assigns Davis Floyd to Charles I. Davis Floyd's record is well established and I am wondering whether anyone has done the research to find out whether he left a trail about his parentage and brotherhood with Charles II. Perhaps the Filson Club has some of his papers too? I assume the marriage records of the time do not mention parentage, but if they do, Anna Cartlidge references marriage records for Davis and others. Certainly, if N.J. got Davis's parents wrong, then it is even more likely he got the others wrong too. Ironically, N.J. Floyd, who is a child of Nathaniel Wilson Floyd, has no living descendants (at least as far as I know). The only great-grandchild that I am aware of, John Talburtt Berry, Jr., died in 1993 unmarried. I am trying to find out what happened to his research. As of now, I don't know what became of it, but I am still looking. Regards, Kirk LeCompte"

--

Finally, in this regard, we have another who wrote me in April 2001, Larry Reno <LRRDEN@earthlink.net> " Pat: (ed.: he writes in reply to my query)... The proof involves reams. My cousin's paper is 31 pages, plus several letters; Anna Cartlidge's two unpublished papers (both filed with the DAR) are another 52 pages; Thad Kinnaman's are another 10 (excerpts). That's not even including stuff from the Draper Manuscripts - he's the man who found Sgt. Floyd's Diary; etc.... Robert Clark Floyd... the father of Sgt. Floyd, (is) somehow... omitted from NJ's book, and also the father of Davis Floyd, a very famous (infamous?) man in Indiana, for whom Floyd Co. IN is named. (ed.: Then, referring to N.J. Floyd's possible misreporting the parentage of Sergeant Floyd because of southern sympathies) ... Re: the Northern comment. Isn't it obvious. Pictures (ed.: in NJ Floyd's 1912 book) of all the Floyd CSA officers. Charles Stewart Floyd went north from KY to IL. 6 of his sons fought for the Union, 4 were killed. NJ says Mary Stewart Floyd died at the home of a daughter in Bond Co, IL, without naming anyone. She died at the home of her son, Charles Stewart Floyd, my 2Great-Grandfather. NJ's "picture" of Charles Floyd of KY is bogus, as you may now. It's actually Charles Floyd of GA.... NJ was justifiably proud of his service under Cadmus Wilcox.... My cousin's paper is entitled The Paternity of Sgt. Charles Floyd of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Children of Robert Clark Floyd (1752-1807) and Charles Floyd (1760-1828). It has 194 footnotes... Larry" (Larry Reno has since sent me this paper by James C. Mordy, "The Paternity of Sgt. Charles Floyd....", March, 2000, and it is truly excellent.)

Of interest also in all the debate over the famous Dear Nancy letter, now missing(?), is that there was a Nat on the expedition-- Sergeant Nathaniel Hale Pryor, shown elsewhere in these notes. He was a first cousin of Charles Floyd, his mother Nancy Floyd, the sister of Robert. His letter could have been written home and carried back on the first return shipment-- and he had a sister Nancy!

The weight of evidence has shifted completely and finally away from N. J. Floyd's assertions of 1912, and from those who have adopted them, as I had until 2001.

These interesting records from Alex Luken show this Charles as the first constable in Clarksville, Clark County, Indiana (and Larry Reno, op, cit., notes that "Quite a few references say that he was the first Constable at Clarkville. He lived on that side of the river with his father, who ran a ferry...."):

--

4/7/1801 First court session called by William Henry HARRISON

  • Called "Court of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace"
  • Justices:
    • Marston Green CLARK,
    • Abraham HUFF,
    • James Noble WOOD,
    • Thomas DOWNS,
    • William GOODWIN,
    • John GIBSON,
    • Charles TULEY,
    • William HARWOOD

Clark County divided into three townships with three constables appointed:

  • Clarksville Charles FLOYD,
  • Springville William F. TULEY,
  • Spring Hill Robert WARDEL

Officers of the Court appointed:

  • Protho-notary Samuel GWATHMEY;
  • Probate Judge Jesse ROWLAND;
  • Recorder Davis FLOYD;
  • Treasurer Thomas DOWNS;
  • Sheriff Samuel HAY;
  • County Surveyor Marston Green CLARK

-------------------- Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Floyd_(explorer)

Charles Floyd (1782 – August 20, 1804) was a United States explorer, a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, and quartermaster in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A native of Kentucky, he was a relative of William Clark, an Uncle to the politician John Floyd, and a brother to James John Floyd. He was one of the first men to join the expedition, and the only person to die on the expedition.

While exploring the Louisiana Purchase with Lewis and Clark, he took ill at the end of July 1804. On July 31st, Floyd wrote in his diary, "I am very sick and have been for sometime but have recovered my health again." However, this apparent recovery was soon followed by a severe turn for the worse. William Clark described Floyd's death as one "with a great deal of composure" and that before Floyd died he said to Clark: "I am going away. I want you to write me a letter."

A funeral was held and Floyd was buried on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. The expedition named the location Floyd's Bluff in his honor. They camped that night at the mouth of Floyd River, "about 30 yards wide, a beautiful evening.--"

Clark diagnosed the condition which led to Floyd's demise as bilious colic, though modern doctors and historians agree Floyd's death was more likely to have been caused by a ruptured appendix. The brief "recovery" Floyd described may have represented the temporary relief afforded by the bursting of the organ, which would have been followed by a fatal peritonitis. If that were the case, because there was no known cure for appendicitis at that time, he would have been no better off had he been with the best physicians of the day.

[edit]Legacy

Floyd's Bluff is currently within the city limits of Sioux City, Iowa. The Sergeant Floyd Monument was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1960. This monument is now located in a 23-acre (93,000 m2) park that offers visitors a view of the Missouri River valley. Floyd's final resting place is located on old U.S. Highway 75, in the southern part of Sioux City, Iowa, in the United States.

After Floyd's expedition journal was published in 1894, new interest was taken in him and his grave-marker was stolen by thieves. He was re-buried once more on August 20, 1895, with a monument. A marble cornerstone three feet wide and seven feet long was placed in 1900. When the obelisk of white sandstone standing 100 feet (30 m) high was completed on May 30, 1901, Floyd's grave was moved for the fourth time to rest nearby, where it U.S. Department of Interior as the first National Historic Landmark. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 30, 1960.[1][2]

The Interstate 129 bridge between Sioux City and South Sioux City, Nebraska is named the Sergeant Floyd Memorial Bridge in his honor.

[edit]References

^ "Sergeant Floyd Monument". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-23.

^ Stephen Lissandrello (July 2, 1975) (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Sergeant Floyd Monument. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. Accompanying 2 photos, from 1937 and 1964.PDF (352 KB)

The Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark: John Speedway and Charles Floyd ISBN 0-8032-8021-1

[edit]External links

Lewis and Clark Trail: Sioux City

Sgt. Floyd Monument NPS

George Catlin's 1832 painting of "Floyd's Bluff"

Floyd Biography

Sgt Charles Floyd at Find a Grave

Source:

http://www.lewis-clark.org/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=716

harles Floyd, born in Kentucky in 1782, was a cousin of another expedition member, Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor, and possibly was also related to William Clark. On August 11, 1803, he enlisted in the Corps of Discovery directly from civilian life. During the winter of 1803-04, Clark systematically groomed him as a soldier. On 20 February Lewis placed him in charge of the officer's quarters during their absences in St. Louis, and added: "the commanding Officer hopes that this proof of his confidence will be justifyed by the rigid performance of the orders given him on that subject." He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on 1 April 1804.

Floyd began his journal on May 14, 1804, the day of the Corps' departure from Camp Dubois, and faithfully entered his brief, often fragmentary, but pointed memoranda. His phonetic spelling sometimes rivalled Clark's in originality, colored as it was by his own rural dialect: "Thursday august 16th Capt Lewis and 12 of his men went to the Creek a fishen Caut 709 fish Differnt Coindes."

Plaster cast of the skull of Sergeant Charles Floyd1

On July 30 Clark noted that Sergeant Floyd was "verry unwell a bad Cold & c," and the next day Floyd himself admitted, "I am verry Sick and Has ben for Somtime but have Recoverd my helth again." Meanwhile, the captains were preoccupied with the pursuit and punishment of Private Moses Reed, and diplomatic relations with the Oto Indians. On August 18th Floyd wrote his last entry, noting that "the Grand Chief of the ottoes" had arrived in camp. That same day, Clark reported that Floyd was "dangerously ill," and that "every man is attentive to him," principally York. Shortly after noon on the 20th, Floyd asked Clark to write a letter for him, but within moments died "with a great deal of composure."

Today it is generally conceded that the reported symptoms indicate he suffered a ruptured appendix, with resultant peritonitis. The captains did everything they were capable of, but even the best medical care of that day would have been futile.

"We carried him to the top of a bluff," Clark wrote, "below a small river to which we gave his name and he was buried with the honors of war, much lamented." Lewis read the funeral service, and the men placed over the grave a cedar post bearing the sergeant's name and the date of his death.

On August 22 the men elected Patrick Gass, originally a private in Floyd's squad, to assume Floyd's rank and responsibilities.

On the expedition's return from the mouth of the Columbia River in early September of 1806, the men paused to visit Floyd's grave and found it had been partly uncovered. They refilled it and replaced the fallen cedar marker. Clark later told editor Nicholas Biddle that a Sioux chief had placed the body of his own dead son beside Floyd's, "for the purpose of accompanying him to the other world believing the white man's future state was happier than that of the Savages."

In his January 7, 1807, report to Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, Lewis stated that Floyd was

a young man of much merit. His father, who now resides in Kentucky, is a man much rispected, tho' possessed of but modernate wealth. As the son has lost his life while on this service, I consider hes father entitled to some gratuity, in consideration of his loss, and also, that the deceased being noticed in this way, will be a tribute but justly due to his merit.

Charles was entitled to $86,33-1/3 cents for one year's service (August 1803-August 1804); his sister sold his land warrant for $640.

1. Olin D. Wheeler, The Trail of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1904 (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904), 84.

2. Ibid., 87. The original photo is in the collection of the Filson Club Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky.

The Artist's Description

I hope this view of the scene as it might have happened 200 years ago captures some of the pageantry and emotion as these men honored one of their own and left him in a lonely grave on the vast prairie. As Clark wrote that evening in his journal; "We buried him with all the honors of War."1

The men are drawn up in formation facing toward the South in double ranks. To the extreme left of the viewer are Sgt. Ordway and his squad, which included three 1st. Infantrymen, three 2nd. Infantrymen, two recruited privates and one artilleryman. The infantrymen are

distinguished by their round hats, fully dressed with bearskin crests and deers'-tail plumes. The artillerymen are in similar uniforms, the most noticeable difference being the distinctive chapeau de bras on their heads. Both the infantry and artillery men were probably dressed in white linen overalls with black gaiters. The recruited privates are distinguished by their coatees of drab wool which Lewis had had specially made in Philadelphia, and the dark blue overalls that he procured from Government stores at the Sckuylkill Arsenal there. Corporal Wharfington aligns his men to their left. His squad includes three 1st . Infantrymen and four artillerymen. In rank to their rear are Sgt. Floyd's men (soon to be commanded by Sgt. Gass) and Sgt Pryor's squad. I've been able to determine the actual men in each squad thanks to the excellent work of Bob Moore, the National Park Service historian at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis.

The men are standing at "Mort" or "Reverse Arms," with the muzzles of their muskets or rifles resting on their left feet and their foreheads resting on their hands, which are folded together over the butts of their guns. Lewis is reading a passage from the Bible2 as Clark stands at attention. York, who tended diligently to Sgt. Floyd during his final illness, stands behind and a little apart holding the cedar post which served as the grave marker. This post was hewn and branded with the date and Floyd's name, and became an important historical landmark on the river for years to come.

Scattered in small groups are the French engagés who were hired at St. Charles to work as rivermen for the Corps. They were Catholics and most likely would have been very sympathetic, though unofficial, observers of the ceremony. It is unlikely they would have brought along anything other than work clothes, so they are represented accordingly in various styles of work jackets, capotes and shirts, plus breechcloths and leggings--the standard work attire of the voyageur. Several of them might have worn rough linen pants which were common among the inhabitants of Upper Louisiana. Their leader, or patron, is on the far right of the grave, holding his Cross of Lorraine and rosary beads. The French of the Colonial period were noted for their predilection for blue cloth of all shades, and general love of color and distinctive personal adornments.

Leaning on his rifle at the brink of the bluff above the Missouri River is George Drouillard, the Corps' principal hunter and interpreter, and two other civilians.

The Lewis and Clark journals put Sgt. Floyd's death at sometime between noon and 2:00 p.m., so, factoring in the time needed to complete the arrangements for the funeral, I've set the scene for late afternoon. I've tried to creat a mood of somberness and a sense of drama by the natural elements of light, sun and wind. the sky symbolizes the transition between life and death, and this theme of transition is also carried forward by the shadows in the foreground, particularly the shadow falling half on the grave and casket. The wind sweeps patterns in the grasses on the hill. I also intend for the wind to give some feeling of motion to the scene and to emphasize the wilderness the expedition was moving forward into.

--Michael Haynes

1. The only known description of a military funeral during the era of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is in a letter at the Missouri Historical Society describing a ceremony conducted in St. Louis in 1808.

2. There is no evidence in the journals or any related documents that the expedition carried either a Bible or a prayer book. Nevertheless it is likely that Lewis or Clark anticipated the need to conduct one or more burial ceremonies en route, and carried a Bible or prayer book for that purpose.

It has been said that they would have needed a Bible for the swearing-in of witnesses in a courts martial (of which they impaneled several). However, the Articles of War passed by Congress in 1786, and still in effect during the years of the Expedition, did not require the "oath or affirmation" to be made over the Bible, but merely to be concluded, "So help you God."

or the next several decades, Floyd's grave remained a landmark on the Missouri River. The American artist George Catlin painted Floyd's Bluff, with the cedar marker still in place. The following year Prince Maximilian von Wied, the Prussian explorer and man of science, noted that someone had renewed the cedar post after prairie fires damaged it.

Marble slab placed on Floyd's Bluff August 20, 18952

When the Floyd monument was begun five years later, the sergeant's bones were disinterred for reburial a fourth and final time. The disposition of the stone slab is unknown.

In 1848 a man named William Thompson built a cabin on the bluff near Floyd's grave, and the following year a French Canadian trader for the American Fur Company settled at the mouth of the Big Sioux River. In 1854 a surveyor for the U.S. government laid out a town between the Big Sioux and Floyd's River, a logical place for a settlement, inasmuch as it had long been a favored fording place, campsite and gathering point of the Yankton Sioux and other Indian tribes. In only four more years the new town gained official identity with a post office, and saw the first steamboat arrive from St. Louis.

Floodwaters undermined the bluff early in the spring of 1857, and part of the grave slid toward the river. Local citizens who were aware of the significance of the site, quickly recovered all but a few bones, and on May 28, 1857, those remains were buried for the third time, with appropriate military and religious ceremonies, 200 yards east of the original site. New wooden markers were erected, but over the next four decades they were steadily whittled away by souvenir hunters, and grazing cattle obliterated all other evidence of the gravesite.

In 1893 Floyd's long-lost journal came to light, and the publication of it served to revive public interest in the site.2 On August 20, 1895, the sergeant's remains were interred for the third time, beneath a three-by-seven-foot marble slab, and plans were begun to erect a permanent monument to his memory.

Dedication ceremony, Memorial Day, 19013 Courtesy Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.The bones recovered from the 1857 grave and buried beneath the marble slab, consisting of the skull, mandible, tibia, fibula, clavicle, and some ribs and vertebrae, were encased in concrete beneath the base of the 100-foot-tall obelisk.

On August 20, 1900, Floyd's bones were reburied for the fourth and last time. On May 30 of the next year the present hundred-foot-high sandstone obelisk was dedicated, and Floyd's place in American history was commemorated with due ceremony. In October of 1966 the monument became the first site to be listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

On October 27, 1997, the plaza surrounding the monument was dedicated to the memory of Dr. V. Strode Hinds(1927-1997), of Sioux City, Iowa, "a man who brought Lewis and Clark history to life through his programs, conversations and work with people of all ages." Dr. Hinds was a president of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation in 1981-82.

Before Floyd's remains were sealed in the concrete core of the obelisk's base, someone made two plaster casts of the skull and jaw, and took photographs, and also took photographs of them. One of the casts has long since been lost. The other, in the Sioux City museum, served as the basis for a reconstruction of Floyd's face by a forensic artist in 1997, and placed on a specially designed and suitably uniformed mannequin, which is housed in the Sioux City Welcome Center museum.5

1. Olin D. Wheeler, The Trail of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1904 (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904), 90.

2. Reuben Gold Thwaites rediscovered Floyd's journal at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1893. It was first published in 1894 in the American Antiquarian Society Proceedings by James D. Butler. Paul Russell Cutright, A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976), 128.

3. Wheeler, 167.

4. Ibid., 170.

5. V. Strode Hinds, "Reconstructing Charles Floyd," We Proceeded On, Vol. 27, No. 1 (February 2001), 16-19. See also James J. Holmberg, "Monument to a 'Young Man of Much Merit'," We Proceeded On, Vol. 22, No. 3 (August 1996), 4-13.

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Sgt. Charles Floyd's Timeline

1780
1780
Virginia (Present Kentucky), United States
1804
August 20, 1804
Age 24
Near present Sioux City, (Present Woodbury County), Louisiana Purchase (Present Iowa), United States
????
Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, United States