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Engineer Historical Studies Explorer on the Northern Plains : Lieutenant Gouverneur K. Warren’s Preliminary Report of Explorations in Nebraska and Dakota, in the Years 1855 – ’55 -’57

FOREWORD: This is the second publication in the new series of Corps of Engineers Historical Studies. Like the first, it features the report of an Engineer explorer. Unlike its predecessor, it reproduces a once published narrative, one that frontiersmen heading into the Dakota country to pan for gold used as a guidebook.

Warren’s report presents the northern plains from a variety of perspectives. On his first exploration, he accompanied a military expedition against the Sioux. The second time, he reconnoitered major streams from the decks of river boats. On his last trip, he rode into the heart of the Black Hills homeland of the Sioux. From data acquired on these journeys, he wrote his narrative with its details about the land, its fauna and flora, and its people. Warren’s report captures for all time the northern plains at an early stage of settlement. It also illuminates the role of the Corps of Engineers in westward expansion.

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