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While George Gibson might not be one of the more memorable names among the Corps of Discovery, his "shot" was certainly unforgettable!

One of the 12 lesser-known members of the Corps of Discovery, Pvt. Gibson was born in Pennsylvania. His date of birth is not recorded, but he died in St. Louis in 1809 of unknown causes.

He was enlisted in the Corps by Capt. Clark on Oct. 26, 1803, at Clarksville, Indiana Territory. He was a hunter, a woodsman, and the other fiddle player on the journey besides Pierre Cruzatte. According to Clark, he was one of seven of "the best young woodsmen & Hunters in this part of the Countrey" chosen to join the Corps. In fact, his marksmanship earned a note in Clark's journals:

"Several men Come from the Countrey to See us & Shoot with the men…I put up a Dollar to be Shot for, the two best Shots to . win…Gibson Best."

In addition to his hunting expertise, Gibson was one of the original five men assigned to the project of making salt at Fort Clatsop. Gibson was also able to use and understand sign language, certainly a helpful skill with all the new Indian cultures the expedition encountered.

On June 10, 1805, Gibson was among four men chosen by Capt. Lewis to accompany him as he forged ahead of the rest of the Corps in order to locate the Great Falls of Missouri.

On July 18, 1806, Gibson suffered a serious injury while on the Yellowstone River when he was thrown from his horse. Clark decided that Gibson needed to remain stationary and heal, so Clark left two men to stay with Gibson for fear that Indians near the area might attack. By the end of July, Gibson was able to walk, and Clark even reported that on the very same day Gibson had killed a bison.

No surprise from this sure shot.


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