Into the Unknown: The Logistics Preparation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Captain Meriwether Lewis task was to equip and man a party to traverse the unmapped middle third of the United States. Most studies of the expedition begin with the partys departure from Camp Dubois in the spring of 1804. This starting point ignores the important logistics planning, preparation and training that commenced with Lewiss appointment as personal secretary to President Thomas Jefferson in the spring of 1801. Under President Jeffersons watchful eye Lewis conducted extensive preparations at Washington D.C., Harpers Ferry, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Expedition journals, personal correspondence and equipment receipts are used to provide insight into the effectiveness of the endeavors logistics support plan. The study concludes by identifying four themes evident in the expeditions planning and execution that are useful to modern logisticians the value of innovation, the significance of support received from indigenous peoples, the employment of civilian contractors and the seemingly obligatory discovery that transportation capabilities rarely meet requirements.
- Humanities and History
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies