The following timeline draws from Franklin’s, Back’s, and Richardson’s journals to detail the death march from Obstruction Rapids to Fort Enterprise in October of 1821 that saw eleven party members perish.

Combined

1821
September 27

Junius Lost

Having veered off course by a degree of longitude and having lost their canoes, the expedition party spends a week attempting to cross the Coppermine at Obstruction Rapids. During this time, Junius leaves on a hunting sortie and never returns. Well equipped with ammunition and blankets, Augustus believes Junius would have attempted to proceed towards the west side of Point Lake and seek out other Inuit.
October 4

Fording Obstruction Rapids

The party spends the better part of the day traversing the Obstruction Rapids on St. Germain’s makeshift raft. Once the party is safely deposited on the west side of the Coppermine, Franklin dispatches Back, St. Germain, Solomon Bélanger, and Beauparlant to Fort Enterprise post haste.

October 4

Advance Party

Back’s advance party travels 4 miles before camping for the night.

October 5

Party Proceeds

The expedition travels 6 miles, following the tracks made by Back’s advance party. Hood’s health continues to deteriorate while Crédit is exhausted from carrying the men’s tent.

October 6

Vaillant, Crédit Fall

The expedition spends the morning traversing a series of black hills through deep snow and strong winds. At noon, both Vaillant and Crédit have fallen behind by 1 1/2 miles and 2 miles respectively. Richardson finds Vaillant immobile, while Crédit has disappeared, presumably having returned to the morning’s encampment. The party is too weak and mutinous to rescue them. Richardson, Hepburn, and Hood elect to encamp at the next possible opportune site to relieve the party of further encumbrance.

October 7

Hood, Richardson, and Hepburn Camp

By noon, the expedition comes upon a thicket of willows that would provide fuel for the Richardson/Hepburn/Hood camp. Supplies are deposited, allowing the rest of the party to proceed faster to Fort Enterprise. None besides Michel Terohaute express interest in remaining behind. The expedition proceeds another 6 3/4 miles, trudging through deep snow before stopping for the night.

October 8

Party Falls Apart

After a bitterly cold night without shelter, Terohaute and Jean Baptiste Bélanger plead to return to Hood’s camp. They also pledge to look for Vaillant and Crédit if they had the strength. A quarter of mile later, Perrault also breaks down and is permitted to turn back. After crossing a medium sized lake, Fontano likewise stops and elects to return to Hood’s camp which lies 2 miles to the rear. During this time, Augustus forges ahead of the party, only to reach Fort Enterprise a little after the rest of the party. The remaining men trudge onwards for 4 1/2 miles, stopping for the night near small willows and the shelter of rocks.

October 8

Reading Together

Richardson, Hepburn, and Hood begin reading religious books for succour, and find that their conversations bring them good cheer.

October 9

Arrival of Terohaute

Michel Terohaute arrives alone with a note from Franklin. He produces a hare and patridge he had killed that morning, and the British express their gratitude. There is no sign of Jean Baptiste Bélanger who had also turned back.

October 9

Winter River

The party walks with renewed vigour 5 miles to the edge of Little Marten Lake. They retire for the night at the first rapid in Winter River.