In Lewis and Clarks Transcontinental exploration, written by Roy Appleman in 1975, the author states: The men celebrated by drunkenness and some fighting. Once the camp was established Clark went to work on getting the tasks done to face the trip across country. These included selecting, training, and disciplining the personnel. Clark ended up with 31 total men including himself and Lewis. But Clark had only about half that number when he reached Camp Wood. "Once the final personnel count was selected, it needed to be forged into a closely knit and well-motivated team." The principal requirement was the establishment of discipline-imperative for a small group undertaking such a dangerous mission. If there was no discipline then the lives of all the members of the expedition would be in jeopardy. Most of the members transferred from the Regular Army-young and hardy and no doubt anxious to enjoy one last fling before entering the wilderness. They showed a dislike for military control, but enjoyed drinking whiskey and brawling whenever they could get the chance. They would inevitably test their new leaders to see what they could get away with. .
At one time or another practically all of the men in camp participated in some wrongdoing. Yet some of the most rowdy and undisciplined at this time such as Colter and Reuben Field ended up being some of the most reliable in the end. The whiskey almost always led to fighting amongst the men and other problems like insubordination, general disorder, absence with out leave, refusal to mount guard duty or obey orders, and theft of government property. Much of these occurred when Clark was absent. These problems were not new for an experienced officer like Clark and he did not tolerate any such offenses. He dealt harshly with any infraction of the rules. The guilty were restricted to camp, reprimanded, or if necessary court-martialed. By the end of this winter, he tightened up the discipline and the main job was done except for a few later problems that arose on the ay up the Missouri.