Family tradition had it that anyone with red hair would distinguish himself. He and his brother, eighteen years older, would compete for that honor. His travels would be lengthy, his fame great, and he would become widely known for that red hair. He was one of ten children and had five brothers, all of whom fought in the Revolution. By the 1790s, William Clark commanded a crack rifle company in the early battles with Indians. There he met an ensign named Meriwether Lewis.