Historic Sites and Buildings
While reconnoitering the Marias River area on the return from the Pacific in 1806, at this site the Lewis party killed two Blackfeet Indians, the only Indian fatalities inflicted by the expedition. Indeed, the fight with the Blackfeet and the acrimonious clash with the Teton Sioux were the only major examples of bad relations with the natives on the entire journey.
On July 26, 1806, Lewis and his three companions were moving southward from Camp Disappointment, Mont., heading back to the Missouri to rendezvous with the rest of their party. Along Two Medicine River, eight Blackfeet were encountered. Although wary of hostilities, the explorers camped overnight with them along the south side of the river. At dawn, the Indians jumped the white men and tried to steal their horses. In the clash, during which Lewis narrowly missed being shot, two of the Blackfeet died and the rest fled with part of the white men's horses, but left some of theirs behind. The prospect of meeting a large band of Blackfeet, known to be in the area, spurred the four men to make a forced ride to the Missouri, where they reunited with the main body of their group on July 28.
The site, a small bottom surmounted by 250-foot-high bluffs, is still almost untouched by man. It is in private ownership within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Last Updated: 22-Feb-2004