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Remnant of Sgt. Floyd's Casket

Date: 1857


Description: This small chunk of wood is one of the few surviving remnants of the casket that once held the remains of Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only casualty of the Corps of Discovery expedition headed by Lewis and Clark. Sergeant Floyd was a non-commissioned navy officer from Kentucky, and one of the first people to volunteer for the mission to explore the lands of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. In August 1804 he took ill and died at the end of that month. The expedition buried him on a bluff about half a mile from a small river, which they named in his honor, the Floyd River.


Today the legacy of Sergeant Floyd remains a strong influence in the Siouxland area. The river still bears his name, with Floyd Boulevard nearby. Early settlements in this area were named after the sergeant and Sergeant Bluff, a town just south of Sioux City today, hung onto his name like the Floyd River. His remains have been moved on different occasions as the course of the Missouri River shifted, and now the Floyd Monument on a bluff in Sioux City marks their current location. The writing on the note of this casket reads: “This is part of the coffin in which Sgt. Charles Floyd was reburied as found August 20, 1895 when grave fully reopened. C. R. Marks, Secty [Secretary] Floyd Memorial Assn.”

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On display

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