|Lewis and Clark|
Tomahawks, knives, muskets
Early 19th Century
Tied with Paul Revere.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, better known collectively as Lewis and Clark, were early US pioneers who led an expedition into the unexplored Western territories. The expedition was not one of conquest; the goals of Lewis and Clark's group were both scientific and commerical. The thirty-three travelers (Lewis and Clark included) studied the plants and animals of the area and sent reports to the American government of how the region could be used for economic benefit. They brought many weapons with them for hunting purposes - every member of the expedition had their own musket and knife. The Lewis and Clark expedition is famed for being one of peace and simply bringing benefit to the fledgling nation. However, conflict with the Natives was inevitable (several close encounters with the Sioux ended only in an uneasy peace), and in 1804 the group came into conflict with Blackfeet tribesmen over a simple misunderstanding. At the end of their journey, Lewis and Clark had traveled through French-controlled Louisiana (which was much larger than the present-day state) and the unclaimed Native lands to the northwest, ending their travels at Fort Clatsop in what would become the state of Washington.
Battle vs. Paul Revere (by El Alamein)Edit
The leaves rustle and a quiet stream trickles by as Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and three of their explorers carefully make their way over fallen branches and small twigs. They are stalking their prey - an elk, whick has stopped by the stream to drink. Lewis gives a small grin, lowers his rifle, and fires. The musket ball smashes into the elk's neck, killing the animal instantly. Two of the explorers rush forward to check the animal and one of them takes out a hunting knife and starts the process of skinning the elk.
"Good shot," Clark smiles. Looking over at his explorers, he shouts, "Are you boys okay over there?"
An affirmative response allows Lewis and Clark to walk back through the wooded forest back to their camp. "The Blackfeet tribe are very close to our location," Clark says, worried. "I'm not sure of their intentions, but they're making passage very difficult."
"If it wasn't for that native woman we have with us, I'm not sure we'd have gotten even this far," Lewis confesses. He reaches up and takes off his coonskin cap, rubbing his head anxiously.
"Well, we can relax for now," Clark says, clapping his friend on the shoulder. "We've got dinner and we've got guns. We don't need a lot else."
"Get the cannon into position up the hill."
Paul Revere and four colonial minutemen struggle with the heavy six-pound cannon. The small hill will provide decent overwatch in the event of a British advance, and it will serve as a temporary resting place until the rest of Revere's regiment catches up - he and his men are scouting ahead for enemy movement.
Dusk is falling, and the woods are dark and thick, obscuring much of the outlying area in shadow. The colonial militamen get a fire started and huddle around the weak flame to escape the cold. Revere stands watch, proud of his position of command. Squinting over into the distance, he sees a large column of smoke and a distant glow of orange. "Suppose those are the British?" Revere asks one of his soldiers. Before the man can answer, Revere has made up his mind. "You three, mind the cannon and the camp. You, come with me." He steals down the hill into the darkness before his men can compose themselves.
The minuteman that Revere ordered to follow him hurried after his commander, Brown Bess in hand. The smoke column was still visible in the darkening sky, but it vanished from view as they entered the woods and the canopy of leaves blocked the sky from sight. Revere pushed forward in a straight direction though, compass in hand, and stopped as the forest gave way to a clearing where a bright fire showed a sizable camp, animated with activity and laughter.
"They're speaking English," Revere muttered.
His minuteman summed up Revere's thoughts: "Loyalists. Probably with some redcoat escorts."
"Shooting now is a suicide mission, though," Revere cautioned. "Hold your fire."
Lewis bit into his piece of meat sloppily, ripping off a hunk with his teeth. Swallowing hard, he looked off into the distance past his camp's fire and spotted two figures crouched in the darkness. Believing the figures to be members of his own expedition returning from watch, he stood up with his rifle and approached them.
"Already?" he shouted, smiling. "It's been but a half an hour! Get back to post!"
A gunshot greeted him in response.
Lewis ducked instinctively and shouted, "To arms!" He lowered the rifle and fired square into the back of one of the retreating figures, dropping the aggressor in his tracks. He held back and started to reload, waiting for Clark and their men to ready up.
Revere left his soldier lying facedown in the forest, fleeing as the fury of the Lewis and Clark expedition crashed down on him. He hadn't fired - his minuteman had shot in a panicky haste as Lewis shouted at them. Pushing blindly through the forest, he tore out of the woods and back into the clearing under his hill. The fire had grown weaker and he could barely make out his camp, but he made breakneck speed up the grassy slope, yelling, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" His troops stood up from a mild daze and ran to the cannon.
"Stamp out the fire!" Revere ordered. "We need the element of surprise. Get the cannon in position."
The explorers had checked the dead body, confiscated the fallen Brown Bess, and pushed forward through the clearing. Spreading out, the fully darkened night sky concealed the movements of Revere's men up the hill. "Where did that little bugger go?" muttered Clark.
A massive boom greeted him in response, as a cannonball sped down the hill and tore up the earth, throwing one of the explorers aside like a ragdoll. Crying out in shock, the backwoodsman hit his head hard on the landing and didn't get up. "Up the hill!" one of the explorers shouted. He fired his musket and began to reload as the other three explorers made a brave advance.
Up on the hill, Revere abandoned the cannon. "Muskets men! Muskets!" he shouted. He grabbed his Pennsylvania Long Rifle and took cover behind his supply wagon. Peering out, he made out the shadowy figure of one of the advancing explorers and shot him in the chest. He ducked back to reload, sweating profusely.
Lewis and Clark reached the top of the hill and leveled their muskets at one of Revere's minutemen. Two high-caliber musket balls slammed into his gut and threw him to the ground. Their final remaining explorer met them at the top of the hill and whipped out his tomahawk, rounding the side of the supply wagon to find Revere in the process of reloading. Looking up in shock, Revere had time only to raise his rifle to block the first stike before he slammed the butt of the musket into the stomach of his attacker. Winded, the backwoodsman fell back as Revere drew his Colichemarde. His first wild swing missed and the backwoodsman rolled forward under the second strike, hacking into Revere's ankle. Frustrated, Paul Revere thrust his sword downward but it only penetrated the grass. Pulling it up, he turned to face the explorer rushing head-on and ran him through the chest. The explorer dropped his tomahawk and went limp, sliding off of the blade.
Clark had come to square off with one of the minutemen and drew his hunting knife. The minuteman wielded a cavalry saber quite ferociously, and tried to use vicious swings to keep Clark at bay. Clark made a feigned forward thrust and the minuteman leaned backward, pulling his sword-arm back for a thrust. Before he could bring the sword forward, Clark had closed the distance and stabbed the minuteman under the armpit of his sword-arm. The saber dropped from the minuteman's hand as he yelled in pain, doubling over and clutching his wound. He never recovered, as Clark plunged the knife into the exposed back of the minuteman's neck. Looking up, he spotted Lewis finishing off his opponent in a similar fashion, Lewis' tomahawk buried in his opponent's forehead. Grinning at each other, they let go of their dead foes simultaneously, letting the bodies fall to the ground in a heap.
Revere stepped out with his musket. "Stop right there, Loyalists!" he spat.
"Wait - wait!" Clark shouted. He put down his knife. "Loyalists?"
Revere lowered his gun in spite of himself. "You don't talk like one..." he said cautiously.
"Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark!" Lewis said hastily, stepping forward. "Spearheading the 1803 Expedition funded by the U.S. government."
Confused, Revere dropped his weapon. "1803?" Puzzled, he continued, "My men are coming up the stream, they should be here in a few days... perhaps you and your party would benefit from an exchange of supplies from my troops."
Lewis stepped forward and offered Revere his hand. The American patriot stepped forward and shook the explorer's hand. Clark extended his arm and another handshake was made. "No hard feelings, I hope?" Clark said, grinning.
"I suppose not..." Revere said, smiling in spite of himself. "The dead men aren't going to mind, are they?"
Lewis and Clark's backwoods style of fighting was alien to Revere's well-drilled men, but because the minutemen were better supplied, better trained, and had more fighting experience, they were able to counter any surprises the explorers could bring to the battle. Revere's experience as an artillery officer was mutually negated by Lewis and Clark's superior combat leadership. This battle is a happy draw.