Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lewis and Clark's Sergeant Floyd Honored

The only member of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition to perish while on the historic trek of the Louisiana Purchase was Sergeant Charles Floyd, Jr. on August 20, 1804. It is thought that he died of a ruptured appendix and was buried some 200 yards close to the Missouri River, just south of present day Sioux City, Iowa. The Lewis and Clark expedition visited Floyd's grave upon their return from the Pacific the next year and discovered his remains were largely intact. Years later his grave was moved a bit further east due to the changing course of the river. Sgt. Floyd's current grave site, located on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, was modified in 1900 to honor the sergeant's memory with a 100-foot obelisk (see my oblique view of the obelisk above.)

Today the
site is managed by the National Park Service. Iowa's only trace of the historic expedition through the Hawkeye state is that of the Sgt. Floyd site. Come visit NW Iowa, spend a few minutes at the site and gaze over the river below for a sense of what the expedition was all about. As a geographic location the site is positioned on a favorite latitude: 42° 27' 45.47" N 96° 22' 39.85" W. Know that.

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