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[photo] The Sergeant Floyd Monument, a 100-foot obelisk, marks the final resting-place of Sergeant Charles Floyd, Jr.
Photo by G.R. Lindblade, Courtesy of the Sioux City Public Museum

The Sergeant Floyd Monument commemorates Sergeant Charles Floyd, Jr., the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die on the journey. Writing in his diary on July 31st, Floyd noted, "I am verry sick and has ben for Sometime but have Recovered my helth again." However, this quick recovery was followed by a turn for the worse. The night before his death, Clark remarked, "Serjeant Floyd is taken verry bad all at once with a Biliose Chorlick we attempt to relieve him without success as yet, hr gets worst and we are much allarmed at his Situation, all attention to him" (DeVoto 1997, 21). On August 20, 1804, Floyd passed away, most likely from peritonitis, caused by the inflammation or rupture of his appendix. He died from an illness that even the best doctors of the day could not have cured. Clark wrote:

. . . Serj. 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 mile below a small river to which we gave his name. He was buried with the Honors of War much lamented. A seeder post with the (I) Name Sergt. C. Floyd died here 20th of August 1804 was fixed at 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 . . . (Jones 2000, 9)

[photo]
Historic image of the capping of the Sergeant Floyd Monument
Courtesy of the Sioux City Public Museum

Today, part of a 23-acre park, a 100-foot obelisk of heavy Kettle River sandstone marks the final resting place of Sergeant Charles Floyd, Jr.

The Sergeant Floyd Monument, a National Historic Landmark, in Sioux City, Iowa, is located along US Hwy. 75, one mile north of 1-29 Exit 143. It is open daily, year-round. The Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center is located nearby at 1000 Larsen Park Rd. Please call 712-279-0198, or visit the Iowa Beautiful website for further information.

 

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