Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the last night of their 7,500 mile jouney at Fort Belle Fontaine. Located on the south bank of the Missouri River near Coldwater Creek, it had been built in 1805 while they were crossing the continent to the Pacific.
Captain William Clark wrote that they were "Kindly received by the Gentlemen of this place." The returning explorers were welcomed by Colonel Thomas Hunt, and the artillery company assigned to the fort fired a salute of seventeen rounds.
Sergeant John Ordway, writing one of the final entries in the journal he had kept throughout the 28-month trip, described the fort as a "handsome place". He then added that "a number of these soldiers are acquaintances of ours."
Before departing the next morning, Captain Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis visited the post's store. Here they bought articles of clothing for Chief Sheheke, a Mandan Indian, who had been invited to join the homeward-bound explorers weeks earlier and was being outfitted for their arrival at St. Louis later that day.