Court martial at Kaw Point Park

Kansas City skyline from river bank
The Corps rested at Kaw Point Park for about three days in 1804 -- just long enough for two of the men to get into trouble.

During the early morning hours of June 29 (just after midnight), Private John Collins was on guard duty. Being the only man awake, he helped himself to one of the whiskey barrels. One sip led to another and soon, Collins was drunk. When Private Hugh Hall came to relieve him, Collins offered a drink and Hall accepted. Soon they were drunk together.

At dawn, the sergeant-of-the-guard put them under arrest, and shortly thereafter Captain Clark drew up court-martial papers to be presented to a court composed of the men of the Corps. Collins was sentenced to 100 lashes on his bare back; Hall received 50. This was the first instance of a court proceeding during the Expedition. It didn’t keep Collins and Hall from their duty – the next day they left Kaw Point hard at work aboard the keelboat.

Last updated: June 1, 2018