Henry Atkinson, 1782-1842 [RG3072.AM]


RG3072.AM:  Henry Atkinson, 1782-1842

Journal of the Advance Corps of the Military Branch of the Yellowstone Expedition:  August 30, 1818 – July 10, 1820

Size:  77 pgs. with transcript, letters and maps on 1 reel of microfilm


“In 1818, Colonel Atkinson was put in command of the military branch of an expedition to explore the Upper Missouri to the mouth of the Yellowstone, and to establish military posts to protect the growing American fur trade and to control the Indians. On August 30, 1818, the 1st Battalion of the Rifle Regiment, under the command of Colonel Talbot Chambers, left its encampment at Belle Fontaine, proceeded up the river and reached Isle des Vaches, October 18, where the winter was spent…”*. This place, Cantonment Martin, was left in August 1819, and the command joined Major Long’s party at Council Bluffs farther up river. Part of the military detachment, joined by Colonel Atkinson, built Cantonment Missouri, where they spent the winter.

*Worthington, A Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Collection of Western Americana, Yale University, 1952, Page 7.


This journal, maintained mainly by Lt. Thomas Kavanaugh, describes the journey, contacts with Indians and fur traders, and life in the cantonments. Also included are a set of 11 letters from Dr. John Gale, surgeon with the party, describing the unhealthy conditions at Cantonment Missouri and a scurvy epidemic.


Reel 1

Journal of the Advance Corps of the Military Branch of the Yellowstone Expedition:  August 30, 1818 – July 10, 1820, 77 pgs. with transcript, letters and maps



Atkinson, Henry, 1782-1842

Cantonment Martin

Cantonment Missouri


Lisa, Manuel

Yellowstone Expedition


DAB/HEK/ab   07-14-1967

01-27-2010   Revised TMM

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