It was the nation’s 28th birthday, and Lewis and Clark were intent on celebrating the occasion without losing a day’s travel. They pushed onward until the evening hours caused the officers to order the boats toward shore and the tents set up at the mouth of a creek near present day Atchison, Kansas. Naming the tributary 'Independence Creek,' the captains had a small keg of whiskey taken off the boat. After an inspection of the men and the firing of the swivel gun (a small cannon on the bow of the keelboat), an extra gill of whiskey (a quarter pint) was given to each man to toast the occasion. The territory through which they were passing was changing from an eastern woodland to a prairie ecosystem. William Clark noted: 'The Plains of this countrey are covered with a Leek Green Grass, well calculated for the sweetest and most norushing hay, interspersed with Cops of trees, Spreding ther lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs covered with the most delicious froot are to be seen in every direction, and nature appears to have exerted herself to butify the Senery by the variety of flors Delicately and highly flavered, raised above the Grass, which Strikes & profumes the Sensation, and amuses the mind – throws it into Conjecterng the cause of So magnificent a Senerey . . . '. Here the men of the expedition are giving a cheer while lined up for inspection on the evening of July 4. To mark the significance of the day they may have paraded that evening in full dress uniform. The swivel gun on the keelboat fired off a round of celebration in both the morning and the evening. Both officers are carrying espontoons, one of the marks of distinction that indicated they were officers. A corner of the oiled brown linen that was most likely used as tentage is visible, and one of the journals rests on a portable writing desk.