Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Butt Shot" On Western Wednesday...!

One thing most hunters are very aware of is that safety is all important when hunting, whether alone or with a partner.

You would think that this would have been second nature to folks that had to hunt to survive, but apparently even the most seasoned of hunters have a bad day!

Aug 11, 1806:
Meriwether Lewis is shot in the leg

While hunting for elk along the Missouri River, Meriwether Lewis is shot in the hip, probably by one of his own men.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had embarked on their epic journey to the Pacific two years earlier. The 33 members of the Corps of Discovery had experienced many adventures and narrowly escaped disaster on several occasions, but they had lost only one man (Sergeant Floyd, a probable victim of appendicitis) and suffered relatively few serious injuries. Now, at last, they were returning home; St. Louis was scarcely a month away.

A few weeks earlier, Lewis and Clark had divided the party in order to explore additional new territory. The two groups were supposed to reunite at the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. Lewis, traveling with nine men, hurried down the Missouri, eager to be reunited with Clark and the main body of the expedition. However, he periodically had to take time to stop and hunt for game to feed the hardworking men.

On the morning of this day in 1806, Lewis spotted some elk on a bar in the river thickly overgrown with willows. He put to shore and set out to hunt accompanied by Private Cruzatte. Spotting an elk, Lewis was just about to fire his rifle when he was hit in the buttocks by a bullet. The blow spun him around and slashed a three-inch gash in his hip. Knowing that Cruzatte was blind in one eye and nearsighted in the other, Lewis immediately assumed the private had mistaken him for an elk. "Damn you," Lewis cried. "You have shot me."

When Cruzatte did not respond, Lewis feared Indians might have attacked him. Rushing back to the boat, he rallied the men and sent them off to save Cruzatte. Twenty minutes later, the men returned with Cruzatte. They had seen no Indians, and Cruzatte denied having shot Lewis and claimed he had not heard his shouts.

For the rest of his days, Cruzatte insisted he had not shot his captain. Lewis, however, had the offending bullet: A .54 caliber slug from a modern U.S. Army rifle. Lewis was shot by a gun identical to the one carried by Cruzatte, and one unlikely to be in the hands of any Indian. The near-sighted Cruzatte probably mistook the leather-clad Lewis for an elk, though it is unlikely the private's guilt will ever be proven with absolute certainty.

His wound was not serious, but Lewis spent the next several days lying faced down in the bottom of a canoe as the party proceeded down river. The following day, they caught up with Clark. By the time they reached St. Louis on September 23, Lewis' wound had healed and the excitement of homecoming overshadowed the event.

Now, the first question I have is why anyone in their right mind would go hunting with someone who was blind in one eye and nearsighted in the other! Not a wise move, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.OK?

7 comments:

Chickenmom said...

I bet that smarted! Breezy and cool here at 58. I'll bring warm corn muffins!

linda m said...

I love this story; made me laugh. Very cool morning here again. Chickenmom, I would love a nice warm corn muffin.

JO said...

I wonder why I never read about this misfortune. But it did make me laugh also I would even get in a car with someone who can't see well, never have them behind me with a loaded gun.

See you all on the patio

edifice rex said...

I was just going to say, who in their right mind would take someone hunting that was blind in one eye and can't see well out the other! lol! And let him stand behind you?! I am no seasoned hunter but I think I would have known better than that!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I know what getting shot in the butt feels like. But, it ain't as bad as the doc digging them out. Like the old time movies, he rolled up a towel and told me to bite down hard on it while he dug around.

Mamahen said...

Funny stuff and definitely not his smartest move, hunting with a nearly bind man behind his behind....I'm on my way :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Had to hurt more than a little, I reckon!

Corn muffins sounds good.

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda M...
Had to have been one of the more memorable tales to be told about their trip. I wonder if he took a lot of ribbing about his injury?

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Jo...
It is kinda funny now, but had to be uncomfortable to Lewis. Better him than me!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!



Hey Anne...
That would NOT be me on that hunting trip, for sure!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!



Hey Dizzy...
Now that makes me feel the pain for certain!

You'll have to tell us the story sometimes!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Mamahen...
Shows a certain lack of good judgement, that's for sure!

Thanks for coming over this morning!