On July 26, 1806, Lewis, Drouillard and the Field brothers departed Camp Disappointment and traveled down the Marias River. That evening, they encountered eight Piegan Blackfeet and the two parties agreed to camp together at Two Medicine Creek. Eager to facilitate an exchange of information, Lewis wrote, “I found them extreemly fond of smoking and plyed them with the pipe untill late at night.” Early the next morning, Lewis and his men awoke as the Blackfeet were attempting to steal their firearms. The Blackfeet were unsuccessful, and one was killed by Rueben Fields. Retreating, the Blackfeet next “indeavored to drive off all the horses.” Lewis shot and (most likely) killed a second Blackfoot, while the remainder escaped with a few of the expedition’s horses. Fearing pursuit and reprisal from a larger band of Blackfeet in the area, Lewis and his men pushed their horses “as hard as they would bear” toward the mouth of the Marias. They arrived the following day, July 28, and reunited with the rest of Lewis’ expeditionary contingent.
The Two Medicine Fight Site represents the first encounter between the Blackfeet Nation and the United States, the first military conflict between the United States and a Plains Tribe, and the only violent encounter between the expedition and American Indians of the entire journey. The site is located on private property within the eastern boundary of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Permission is required for access.
Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums
Visitor Centers and Museums along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail