Yellowstone Genealogy Forum


Early Survey – Reconnaissance Lists in or Near to Montana

[Under Construction]

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


This file of short excerpts from various government files identifies the surveys and reconnaissance of the areas in or nearby the Yellowstone River. Where map sketches are available they are shown in highlighted Blue Titles. The map sketches [8-1/2 x 11] are available [email the Webmaster at [email protected]]. Primarily, persons interested in the fur trade conducted the early reconnaissances. After the Federal Government took an interest in the land they had acquired, survey expeditions of various sorts were created within each military commanders jurisdiction, and they started to examine the area frequented by the trappers and occupied by the Indian Tribes. Thus the system of exploration was established to be under the command of a member of the Corps of Engineers, and supported by the Military Commands for protection. To support the Corps, the leader would occasionally take along qualified civilians as part of their retinue. The Expedition Commander submitted detailed reports about the trip, along with maps and attached sub-corps commander reports. These are located in various government files. Civilians, specifically assigned to assist the Corps, accompanied many of the survey activities. Many of these surveys carry the name of the leading civilian as part of the exploration title, although the full report is contained under the Corps Commanders name, and provide an accurate accounting of what transpired, more so than the civilian accounts, which were generally published for profit. Most of the surveys contained the appropriate instrumentation, highly skilled topographers, botanists, geologists and guides. Many of the survey coordinates were located by distances traveled, direction of travel and the attendant location latitude. Barometers or the temperature of boiling water were used to establish elevations. Some of the stream names, people and their spellings have not been verified. Captain Ludlow started in 1873, by orders from the War Department to the Engineering Department, to make a compilation of the western explorations up to that time.  Accompanying most of the surveys was extensive and detailed reports about the various Indian tribes encountered, their life styles, customs and thoughts about the “whiteman” & their Great White Chief, and what they said, as relayed through interpreters. An itinerary of every reconnaissance was to be posted onto a master map in Washington. [The location of this map or its actual creation is not known.]

Note: T. E. = Topographical Engineer; C. E. = Corps of Engineers


G. K. WARREN[1], First Lieutenant, Topographical Engineer, Corps of Engineers tabulated explorations that are pertinent to the trails of Montana and the local Yellowstone Valley


Province of Louisiana Ceded by France in 1803

1804 -'5-'6. Captains Lewis and Clark, U. S. A.

Patrick Gass, a sergeant on the exploration, later published an account of the expedition in 1808. It contains some particulars not noticed in the official narrative. An abridged edition, prepared by Archibald M. Vickar, was published in two volumes in Harper's Family Library Series, in shortly after 1808. The map entitled “U. S. GEOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS WEST OF 100TH MERIDIAN” accompanying this edition has a glaring error, placing a high range of mountains ranging east and west between the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.

The exploration team was not permitted to proceed into the territory until Spain, France and America had signed the actual transfer document. The team was forced to wait for several months.

They spent the winter of 1804 - 1805 at Fort Mandan, opposite an existing Rees village, (Fort Clark). The next season, they ascended the Missouri to the Three Forks junction, and named the branches: Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin, and believing Jefferson to be the main stream, they followed it to its source.  The original map represents the different ridges of the Rocky Mountains with a general northwest trend from the Black Hills westward, and it is neither responsible for the error of representing those north of the Platte with a northeast trend nor for the false indication of a range of mountains running east and west between the Yellowstone and Missouri. Deceived by the size of the Walla Walla at its mouth, these explorers supposed it to be a stream of great length, and represented it on their map as heading to the southwest in the vicinity of what is now known to be the Great Salt Lake. The names they gave to the rivers have been generally adopted, although some confusion exists about the smaller ones. Captain Lewis' melancholy death occurred before the completion of his narrative, thus devolving the whole labor of the report upon his able associate, Captain Clark. Several editions of the work have appeared, differing somewhat from each other; and has created misunderstanding concerning the names of places. [Clark is sometimes erroneously spelled Clarke.]

1805 - Larocque Expedition Into the Yellowstone Valley

Francois Antoine Larocque, a Canadian fur trader, persuaded Crow Indians trading at the Mandan village to take him, and two companions, to the Crow homeland along the Yellowstone River. Between 2 June and 17 October 1805, he traveled cross-country crossing the Little Missouri, Powder, Tongue, and Little Bighorn Rivers to reach the Bighorn River and Mountains. His return trip was down the Yellowstone River, crossing a divide to the Little Missouri River and then on to the Missouri River. The purpose of the trip was to access the value of the region for fur trade. Larocque included natural history notes relating to bison and other wildlife, vegetation, and stream conditions in his journals. The approximate route taken was indicated by the BLM[2].

Refer to the following for more details[3]:


Brown, M.H.  1969.  The plainsmen of the Yellowstone: A history of the 
     Yellowstone Basin.  Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
Burpee, L.J., ed.  1910.  The journal of Larocque from the Assiniboine to 
     the Yellowstone, 1805.  Publications of the Canadian Archives, 
     Ottawa: No. 3, 17.
Hazlitt, R., ed.  1934.  The journal of Francois Antoine Larocque from the 
     Assiniboine River to the Yellowstone River - 1805.  Univ. of Montana
     Historical reprint no. 20, Missoula. 26 pp.
Thompson, L.S.  1985.  Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists. 
     1805-1864.  The Montana Magazine, Helena.


Major Pike, U. S. A., 1805-'6[4] [Red River & Cass Lake – Pike’s Peak] Colorado, Arkansas and New Mexico

Major Pike was a lieutenant while making both of the explorations into the new territory, and was promoted after his return from Red River, the discovery of whose sources was one of the main objects of Major Pike's expedition, was examined in 1806 by a party under Captain Sparks from the mouth as far up as the Spanish border. Here he was met by a Spanish force very much superior to his in numbers, and prevented from going further. At this time the boundary between Louisiana and New Spain was not definitely agreed upon, and the Americans and Spaniards each maintained troops near the border to prevent the incursions of the opposite party. Burr's schemes were also agitating the public mind, and probably increased the suspicions of the governments of both nations. Accompanying his report is a map of the Mississippi River from the mouth of the Missouri River to Leech Lake, on a scale of about 25 miles to one inch; a map, in two sheets, on a scale of about 40 miles to one inch, showing the supposed positions of the Platte, Arkansas, and Red Rivers, from their mouths to their sources; and a map of New Spain, in two sheets, on a scale of about 75 miles to an inch. In 1805 and 1806 Lieutenant Pike* in his expedition to the sources of the Mississippi, ascended the stream from the mouth of the Missouri to what is called Upper Red Cedar Lake (renamed Cass Lake), and examined Turtle River, an affluent of this to its sources. He also examined Leech Lake and Leech River to its junction with the Mississippi.

“Under orders from General James Wilkinson he lead a reconnaissance northward to locate the source of the Mississippi River and to collect geographic information about the region. In many ways, the expedition could not have been more poorly planned. Bereft of any semblance of appropriate training for conducting a scientific expedition, Pike set off without even an interpreter or surgeon in his party and with only a limited idea of what he was to accomplish. On August 9, 1805, Pike led 20 soldiers from St. Louis, ascending the Mississippi as far as Little Falls in present day Minnesota, where they set in for the winter. Taking a small contingent with him, Pike then headed overland by sled to present day Lake Leech, which he decided (in error) was the source of the Mississippi River. After negotiating with the Dakota Indians to purchase 155,000 acres for a military reservation and drawing up a minor treaty with them, he returned to St. Louis, arriving at the end of April 1806. Not surprisingly, the expedition returned little useful information.”[5] [Route not plotted.]


“Wilkinson immediately convinced Pike to lead a second, more ambitious expedition, to scout the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers[6] and enter Spanish territory as far west as present day New Mexico. Wilkinson operated without President Jefferson's approval on motives that remain unclear. Whether Wilkinson intended, as some believed, a conspiracy to separate the western territories from the union or, as others insist, to investigate Spanish territory for the good of the nation, Pike followed orders without question, though he was probably aware that his mission was tantamount to spying. In July 1806,three months after returning from his first assignment, Pike crossed Missouri and Kansas, and by late November reached (but not ascending) the mountain peak that was later named after him in the front range of the Colorado Rockies [Pike’s Peak]. His party surveyed the headwaters of the Arkansas River and headed southward, deeper into Spanish territory. Having crossed the “Sangre de Cristo” Mountains, his party dwindling in number from the hardships of the voyage, a disheveled Pike was taken prisoner by Spanish forces in February 1807. He was released in early summer and after returning to the east, successfully cleared himself of suspicion for his involvement with General Wilkinson. Resuming his military career, Pike enjoyed a succession of promotions culminating in his appointment to Brigadier General during the early stages of the War of 1812. He was killed in action leading his troops in the capture of York, Ontario in 1813.

Humboldt's New Spain (Mexico) - 1811

This work is entitled "Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, containing researches relative to the geography of Mexico; the extent of its surface, and its political division into intendancies; the physical aspect of the country; the population; the state of agriculture and manufacturing and commercial industry; the canals projected between the South Sea and Atlantic Ocean; the Crown revenues; the quantity of the precious metals which have flowed from Mexico into Europe and Asia since the discovery of the New Continent; and the military defense of New Spain. Written by Alexander de Humboldt, with physical sections and maps, founded on astronomical observations and trigonometrically and barometrical measurements. Translated from the original French by John Black. Second edition. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, and H. Colburn. In 1814." It is accompanied by an original map, on a scale of 120 miles to an inch, of New Spain, between the 16º to 38º-north latitude, between the 94th and 114th meridian. Reduced from the large map drawn from astronomical observations at Mexico, in the year 1804, by Alexander de Humboldt; and comprehends the whole of the information contained in the original map, except the heights of the mountains." This work, completed by the Baron Humboldt for the Spanish Government in 1808, is almost a total summary of all the explorations made by the Spaniards down to the date of its preparation. It shows that Father Escalante, in 1777, visited or gained information about Lake Timpanogos (doubtless Utah Lake, which has an affluent now called by that name, and which is fresh, like the one described by him), and also Lake Salado (probably Sevier Lake), which, he says, receives the waters of the Rio de San Buena Ventura, its western limits being unknown. Baron Humboldt did not entertain the idea that any large river flowed into the Pacific Ocean from the region which now composes the Territory of Utah, as was generally represented on all of the English maps for that time period. His work does not, however, give any positive information about the topography and hydrographs of any portion of the present territory that the explorations of the Government have not replaced by more accurate results. It has formed the basis of many classifications of the great mountain system and abounds in valuable enunciations of the true principles of hydrography and topography; no one should neglect to consult it whose scientific investigations extend to the country west of the Mississippi.

Missouri Fur Company Trip up the Missouri River, by Lisa & Brackenridge – 1811[7]

The group departed from St. Charles, on 2 April 1811 and the river water was still high. Their barge was manned by twenty stout oars-men. Mr. Lisa had been a sea captain, and took pride in rigging his boat with a good mast, and main and topsail; these being great help in the navigation of this river. Several of the young men had made a voyage to the upper Missouri, of which they are exceedingly proud, and on that account claim a kind of precedence over the rest of the crew. The full group was 25 men, well armed, and completely prepared for defense. A swivel gun was mounted on the bow of the boat and they had two brass blunderbusses in the cabin. It had been reported that some Sioux had committed several murders and robberies on the whites attempting to pass through their country. They carried shrouding, blankets, lead, tobacco, knifes, guns, beads, etc, which were concealed in a false cabin. Also on board were a Frenchman named Charbonet, his wife an Indian woman of the Snake Nation, both of whom had accompanied Lewis and Clark to the Pacific. They reached the Mandan and Arikara Tribes in the Dakotas. They were absent about four months. Refer to the diary written by Henry Brackenridge for details about the journey from which this was extracted, and discussions about the various tribes encountered. No map was created.

Luttig’s Journal of the Missouri River Trek – 1812 to 1813[8]

John C. Luttig ascended the Missouri River in 1812 when he was a clerk for the Missouri Fur Company. Manuel Lisa led the group. Luttig departed St. Louis on May 8, 1812, with Lisa joining him on the 9th. On July 7th they arrived at Big Sioux River, and by October 26th were at the Ree’s Indian village.  They continued north to their fort. The journal is an excellent accounting of the Indian Tribes and how they existed. Some of the persons on the trek or encountered along the way to Fort Lisa were:  Michael Immel, Chouteau, Richardson, LaChapel, Capt. Climson, George C. Sibley, Joseph Robidoux, La Jeuness, Louis Bijou, Greenwood, Laurison, Baptiste Latouipe, Chief Black Bird, Sgt. Charles Floyd, Chief Blue Eyes, Lorimier, Louis Papin, Chief The Sleeper, Chiefs Black Sky & Black Buffaloe, "Shongotongo" Oto Chief, Chief Crooked Hand, Bapteise Alar, Black slave Charles, Chief Goshe, John Dougherty, Chief Nez Corbain, Chief Gray Eyes, Chief Big White, Chaboneau, Lecomte, Bapiste Provost, Cadet Chevalier, Antoine Citoleux, Lt. Zeboulin Pike, Archambeau. Additionally there are numerous references to specific locations along the route that help identify where they visited or stopped. No map was created.

Rector, C. E., and Roberdeau, T. E., Map of North America - 1818

This map is titled, "Sketch of the western part of the continent of North America, between latitude 35º and 52º N." from the 87th meridian to the Pacific Ocean, on a scale of about 47 miles to an inch. This map, including more than 20º of latitude and 50º of longitude, was originally drawn under the inspection of William Rector[9], esquire, surveyor of the United States for the Territories of Missouri and Illinois, and was by him presented to the General Land Office January 21, 1818. It was probably the most correct map of the country at that time. (Signed, Josiah Meigs, General Land Office, January 21, 1818; Roberdeau, U. S. T. Engineers, del) From the year 1807 to 1819 the country was mainly involved in foreign affairs, and little effort was made to explore the new western possessions. This map of Rector and Roberdeau, residing in the GLO, was not published.

Yellowstone Expedition – Keelboats to Traverse Missouri River - 1819

The 6th Infantry Regiment commanded by Col. Atkinson left Plattsburg, Pa for St. Louis, Mo., on March 19, 1819, and reached Pittsburgh early in May, where orders were issued at their camp near Pittsburgh, May 8, for the embarkation of the regiment on transport boats for St. Louis. The boats were numbered from 1 to 10, and followed each other in that order. Oars and sails propelled them, and there was a regular system of signals provided in the orders for their management. This fleet of boats with the Sixth Infantry on board departed Cincinnati on May 15, 1819. The regiment passed down the Ohio River under the shadow of the Kentucky hills where Fort Thomas was situated. On June 8, it left the transports and camped at Belle Fontaine, Missouri. Here the regiment awaited supplies and transportation until July 4, when it embarked for Council Bluffs, reaching Camp Missouri [near Council Bluffs] in September. According to a letter Col. Atkinson wrote, “Here from the vicinity of several powerful tribes of Indians it became necessary to establish a post. The troops were landed and put to work to cover themselves for the winter and erect the necessary defenses, all of which were completed in season, and we remained contented with the prospect of sending one of the regiments to the mouth of the Yellowstone early in the spring. The rifle regiment, which was stationed at a point four hundred and fifty miles up the Missouri, was joined to my command."

This was known as the Yellowstone Expedition of 1819; but as Congress the following winter declared against the expediency of its further progress, the expedition terminated at Council Bluffs. On May 13, 1820, Colonel Atkinson was promoted to the grade of brigadier general.

The Yellowstone Expedition – Steamboats to Traverse the Missouri River - 1819

The government[10] determined that it was advisable to send army personnel and scientists up the Missouri River and on to the Yellowstone River. The show of force was “meant to impress the Indians and offset the influence of the meddling British bin that quarter.” James Johnson obtained the construction contract [without any competition] to build five steamers. This attempt failed, as the boats were sub-standard in design and construction, and no match for the river’s force. These boats were: Thomas Jefferson, Expedition, R.M. Johnson, J.C. Calhoun and Exchange, all side-wheelers. The first boat left Louisville on April 9th, others followed later. All were supposed to travel together, but they couldn’t manage the faulty boilers, sand bars and currents, or keep up with the military that were on foot. Col. Atkinson then instructed each boat to proceed alone. They only reached a short distance up the Missouri. Most boats were destroyed by fire or engine damage.

To assist in supplying the military needs, the Western Engineer was hired and it stayed well ahead of the other boats. This was a stern-wheeler, and well built. It reached Fort Osage on August 1st, passing the future site of Fort Leavenworth on the 18th, where the boat waited for a week. Proceeding upstream it arrived at Fort List [five miles below Council Bluffs] on September 17th. Since the other boats were about 470 miles behind, it was decided to establish winter quarters here and wait. The next year the Expedition [remaining boat] finally arrived in the summer, but money was short and Congress canceled the plan. The only benefit obtained from the plan was that better designs were required if riverboats were to ever reach the Yellowstone. This took eleven years of design improvement to achieve.

Major Stephen H. Long, T. E., first expedition to the Red River, 1819-'20 (Third attempt to discover the river’s source.)

Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819 and 1820, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long, from the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party: compiled by Edwin James, botanist and geologist for the expedition. Printed in two volumes with an atlas. Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea, Chestnut Street. —1823. This book also contains Major Long's official report. Accompanying the publication is a map, in two sheets, on a scale of 75 miles to an inch, embracing the country from the meridian of Washington to the Rocky Mountains, between the 33d and 47th parallels. The original map in the Topographical Bureau is on one sheet, prepared on a scale of 36 miles to an inch. The same work was republished "in three volumes in London: printed by Longman, Hurst, Bees, Orme, & Brown, Paternoster Row, 1823."

This expedition started from Pittsburgh, Pa., early in April 1819, on board the small steamboat Western Engineer, under command of Major Long. Major Biddle, Lieutenant Graham, and Lieutenant Swift, assisted him. J. D. Graham, U. S. A, Cadet W. H. Swift, Dr. Baldwin, Dr. Thomas Say, Mr. Jessup, Mr. T. R. Peale, and Mr. Samuel Seymour. They were provided with chronometers, sextants, a telescope for observing occultation and eclipses, and with compasses. They descended the Ohio River to its mouth, ascended the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri, and up this river to Old Council Bluff, which was the end of their travels the 1819 season, the main body wintering there at Engineer Cantonment.

Major Long returned to the seat of General Government during the winter, and was accompanied the next spring by Capt. John R. Bell, U. S. A., who took the place of Major Biddle, and by Dr. E. James, as botanist and geologist, in the place of Dr. Baldwin and Mr. Jessup, the former having died while ascending the Missouri River. Lieutenant Graham returned from Engineer Cantonment with the steamboat.

This was the third attempt by exploring parties, under the United States Government, to discover the sources of Red River. The explorations of Major Long's expedition, made in Arkansas and Missouri on their return, have been replaced by the surveys of the United States Land Office. The only portions of the route of this exploration that have not been reexamined are the trails from the Arkansas to the Canadian, and from the Great Bend of 'the Arkansas to Fort Gibson. The astronomical observations by Major Long, Lieutenant Graham, and Lieutenant Swift consisted of altitudes and lunar distances by the sextant and eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, observed with a four-foot telescope. Their barometers were all broken before they reached the forks of the Platte. The map made by Major Long shows the Black Hills of Nebraska represented as a north and south range, differing from Lewis and Clarke's map, which gave them a northwest trend. This is the first original map, which represents this range as running north

Major Long, T. E., Second Expedition (Locates the Source of St. Peter’s River) - 1823.

The work is entitled “Travels in the Interior of North America, with the particulars of an Expedition to the Lakes, and the source of the St. Peter's river.” By Messrs. Long, Keating, and Colhoun; printed in two volumes. London: Printed for G. B. Whittaker, Ave Maria lane -1828. It is accompanied by a map, on a scale of 35 miles to an inch, showing the route of the expedition. It includes the area limited on the northeast by a line drawn from Lake Winnipeg to the east end of Lake Ontario; on the southeast by a line from Lake Ontario to Pittsburgh; on the southwest by one from Cincinnati to Rock Island, in the Mississippi; and on the northwest by one from the Mandan villages to Lake Winnipeg.

This expedition was commanded by Maj. S. H. Long, topographical engineer, who was assisted by Thomas Say, zoologist, antiquarian, and botanist; William H. Keating, mineralogist and geologist; and James C. Colhoun, astronomer, who was supplied with a sextant and pocket chronometer. Distances were estimated and courses taken by compasses. Mr. Say and Mr. Keating, by the latter of whom the published narrative was written, acted as joint literary journalists.

They started from Philadelphia in April 1823; traveled to Wheeling; then to Columbus; and on to Fort Wayne on the Miami River, where they obtained a few soldiers to accompany them. Then continued to the southern extremity of Lake Michigan.

The journey between these last two places was through a wilderness, and on reaching Chicago they found it to consist “of a few miserable huts, inhabited by a miserable race of men,” though it was, "perhaps, one of the oldest settled places in the Indian country'." From this point they proceeded through the unknown wilderness to Fort Crawford, (Prairie du Chien), at the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. From this point one part of the group proceeded rapidly by land up the right bank of the Mississippi to Fort Snelling, the other part arrived there soon after by water. Major Long had visited this place in 1817, and its site was recommended for a permanent military post, (later established in 1819). The astronomer, Mr. Colhoun, made numerous observations by sextant.

Other explorers from the mouth of the St. Peter’s River to the 49th parallel have improved knowledge of the route, but from that point to the mouth of Dog River this map was the only known authority along the route explored. The Shayenne River, which Major Long thought to be only 50 miles long, has since been shown to be about 300 miles in length.

J. C. Brown, C. E., Road Survey from Fort Osage to San Fernando de Taos, 1825-'26-'27.

In the Topographical Bureau there is one map, in two sheets, of this survey, on a scale of 4 miles to an inch; another on a scale of 12 miles to an inch, and a third on a scale of 4 miles to an inch, in thirty-one sections, "of the road surveyed and marked out from the western frontier of Missouri, near Fort Osage, to San Fernando de Taos, near Santa Fe, in New Mexico, by order of the Government of the United States, in the years 1825, 1826, and 1827, with accurate and minute notes and directions for the use of travelers," which begins: "The following pages contain a map of the road, as surveyed and marked out from the frontier of Missouri to Taos, the first settlement in the direction to Santa Fe, under the direction of Benjamin Reeves, George C. Sibley, and Thomas Mather, commissioners appointed by the President of the United States for that purpose."

This survey was made with a chain and compass, corrected by observations for latitude with a good sextant. The longitudes were referred to the meridian of Fort Osage, which was taken at 93º 51' 03". This road is that of the Santa Fe Trail, along the divide between the Kansas and Arkansas Rivers. These maps, though not displaying great skill in topographical representation, were constructed from a survey more elaborate than any subsequent one over the same route.

They were of great value at that time. This party created many of the names in use along the trail. The original map and notes have not been published.

R. Richardson, C. E., Survey for Road between Fort Smith and Fort Gibson* – 1826

*By Act of Congress March 3, 1815 military regiments were consolidated to form the First and Seventh Infantries, their station being assigned to Fort Gibson, Arkansas, where it remained for many years.[11]

The map of this road, retained in the Topographical Bureau, is constructed on a scale of four miles to an inch. The survey was probably made with a chain and compass, and shows the relative longitudes of Fort Smith and Fort Gibson. It does not appear to have been used on later map compilations.

Finley's map of North America - 1826

This was one of the maps used by Lt. Warren in his research about the western portions of North America. Copies can be found in the David Rumsey Collection. The map depicts the entire Continent.

Northwestern Boundary Commission - 1828

Commissioners were appointed under the Treaty of Ghent for ascertaining and establishing the north and northwestern boundary between the United States and Great Britain. The commission made a decision (June 18, 1822) at Utica, N. Y., which was published by a resolution of the United States House of Representatives six years later in 1828. This publication defines the boundary no further west than the outlet to Lake Superior. The information and maps do not relate to the actual region that was under consideration.

The surveys were later extended as far west as the Lake of the Woods, and accordingly the second article of the Ashburton Treaty fixed the boundary line. In the State Department there is a map, in five sheets, on a scale of an inch to two miles, a reduction of which was published on Nicollet's map of the hydrographical basin of the Upper Mississippi. The original maps have the following title: "Map of a part of certain surveys along the water communications northward of Lake Superior, commencing at the mouth of the Pigeon River and extending westward to Lake Namekan; made by order of the honorable the commissioners under the sixth and seventh articles of the treaty of Ghent. Signed: PETER B. PORTER, Commissioners. "ANTH. BARCLAY "I. FERGUSON, Surveyor. "GEORGE W. WHISTLER, Artillery, "Draughtsman and Assistant Surveyor." This chart, published from reconnaissance made by Lieut. H. W. Bayfield, R. N., were at that time, the best one showing the northern shore of Lake Superior.

British Admiralty Chart of Lake Superior – 1828

This chart, published from reconnaissances made by Lieut. H. W. Bayfield, R. Nm, depicts the northern shore of Lake Superior. It was the best chart of its time.

Lieutenant Hardy, R. N., exploration of Gulf of California: 1825-'26-'27 & '28

Lieutenant Hardy visited the whole coast of the Gulf from Mazatlan around by the mouth of the Colorado to Laredo, in search of pearl fisheries. He did not determine any positions by astronomical observations. He did prepare a map, but apparently other survey parties never used it.

Ross Cox's adventures on the Columbia - 1832

This is a book entitled "Adventures on the Columbia River”, including a Narrative of six years on the Western side of the Rocky Mountains among various tribes of Indians hitherto unknown, together with a Journey across the American Continent: By Ross Cox. Published by J. J. Harper, New York. -1832." The journey across the continent was made up the Columbia River to one of its northern sources, crossing the Rocky Mountains at the head of the Athabasca River, near Mount Hooker, at about latitude 52º 10' north. The book is instructive with regard to the early operations of the fur companies.

Maximilian-Bodmer Missouri River Expedition – 1832 to 1834

Prince Maximilian Alexander Philip of Wied (naturalist) and Karl Bodmer (artist) explored portions of the Louisiana Purchase and captured much of the cultural transformation as it occurred. The team departed from Rotterdam on May 17, 1832, and arrived at Boston on July 4th. On March 24, 1833 they arrived at St. Louis and made arrangements with the American Fur Company to travel up river on the steamer Yellowstone to Fort Pierre. There they switched to steamer Assiniboin until reaching Fort Union.  They arrived at Fort Union on 24 June 1833, after a journey of seventy-five days up the Missouri River from St Louis. Like most fur company posts on the Missouri at that time, the fort was situated on a low open prairie sufficiently large to accommodate the large encampments of numerous Indians during the height of the trading season. [See Donald Heald’s rare books picture narrative.] The remainder of the journey was on the fur company’s keelboats. Between June 24th and October 29th they traveled between Fort Union and Fort McKenzie. Bodmer vividly captured their record of the journey. Unfortunately, when they were essentially completed with the trip the natural history specimens obtained by Maximilian, were loaded on board the steamer Assiniboin[12], which caught fire south of Bismarck and sank, losing everything. The findings of the trip were however published in a book “Travels in the Interior of North America, 1832-1834.” Bodmer’s portraits and prints (81 hand colored) were published later between 1839 and 1843. The publication costs were so high, that few could afford the item, and the venture was considered a failure. These pictures define western life probably better than any other in existence. Many pictures were of the Piekann, Assinboin, Mandan, Hidatsa and Minatarre Indian Tribal lifestyles. ‘Prince Maximilian referred to Mehkskéhme-Sukáhs [`Iron Shirt'] as the most distinguished of the several chiefs who gathered to welcome the arrival of the keelboat Flora at Fort McKenzie on 9 August 1833. At the time he was wearing a lace-trimmed scarlet uniform obtained from the British traders as a gift. On September 18, 1833, Prince Maximilian recorded in his journal that “large herds of bison were sighted in the Mauvaises Terres. Buffalo were moving today...along Dauphin's road on both banks...We saw whitish-gray bighorns standing on the mountains, and a herd of twelve elk with a powerful stag trotting before us through the river."[13] [Note: copies of some of these pictures from the original plates are in the Josyln Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska.]

Lieutenant Allen, U. S. A., Reconnaissance of Source of the Mississippi - 1832

The report of Lieutenant Allen, with map, on a scale of 5.75 miles to an inch, shows the Mississippi River from Lake Pepin to its source, together with the country adjacent to his route. It is printed in Ex. Doc. No. 323, 1st session Twenty-third Congress. He was not furnished with, nor could he procure at Fort Brady, any instruments by which to fix, from astronomical observations, the true geographical positions of points necessary to be known for the construction of an accurate map; as a result he had to trace the whole route between a few points fixed and given by the observations of former travelers. A compass was all he had. As his canoe proceeded down river he recorded his observations from the compass to a field-book at every bend or change of direction, thus delineating in his field-book all the bends of the river precisely as they occurred; and by establishing a scale of proportions in the lengths of the reaches he was also enabled to lay down and preserve the general curve of a river with surprising accuracy, as was tested afterwards in constructing his map the routes of rivers between known points. The distances were estimated with great pains and care, and from the combined judgment of all the gentlemen of the party. Lieutenant Allen created the first topographical and hydrographical delineation of the source of the Mississippi; and was later somewhat improved by Mr. Nicollet, was the authority for the Mississippi above the mouth of Swan River. Lieutenant Allen was a companion of Mr. H. R. Schoolcraft.

Schoolcraft's Expedition to Itasca Lake - 1832

The title of this work is: "Narrative of an Expedition through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake”, the actual source of the Mississippi River, embracing an exploration through the St. Croix and Burntwood (or Brule) rivers in 1832 under the direction of Henry R. Schoolcraft, New York: Published by Harper & Brother, No. 82 Cliff street —1834." This book is embellished by "A sketch of the sources of the Mississippi River, drawn from Lieutenant Allen's observations in 1832, to illustrate Schoolcraft's inland journey to Itasca Lake, in two sheets, on a scale of about 11 miles to an inch." Mr. Schoolcraft's object on the expedition in 1832 was to attempt a reconciliation of the difficulties between the Chippewa and Sioux Indians. The routes he pursued were nearly identical to those mapped by Lieutenant Allen. In the same book is a brief account of Mr. Schoolcraft's examinations made earlier in 1831 (in connection with his duties relative to Indian affairs) of the country between Lake Superior and the Mississippi. His route was up the Mauvaise (or Bad River) to its source, and then down the Chippeway to its mouth. Mr. Schoolcraft had also accompanied Gen. Lewis Cass in his expedition to the sources of the Mississippi in 1820, at which time the highest point reached was the lake called Red Cedar by Pike, but since generally known as Cass Lake. Mr. Schoolcraft published a description of this expedition, called, " Narrative Journal of Travels from Detroit, northwest through the great chain of American Lakes, to the sources of the Mississippi river, in the year 1820. By Henry R. Schoolcraft. Albany: Published by E. & E. Ilosford.1821." A map accompanies it on a scale of 65 miles to an inch, exhibiting the region bounded by the 1st and 21st meridians west from Washington and the 41st and 51st parallels. The Mississippi River, whose extreme sources Messrs. Allen and Schoolcraft have the honor of first exploring, was discovered by Hernando de Soto, who reached its banks probably near Memphis in 1541. Father Marquette and Sieur Joilet first saw it in 1673. Father Hennepin visited it in 1680, and named the St. Peter's River and the Falls of St. Anthony. The mouth was discovered in 1683 by the Sieur La Salle, who sailed down the Illinois River to the Mississippi, and navigated it to the Gulf of Mexico. M. Le Sueur visited it probably as early as 1695, at which time he discovered the blue earth on the St. Peter's. In 1702 he floated two thousand pounds of this material to the mouth of the Mississippi. These statements in regard to the discovery of the Mississippi I have taken principally from Mr. Keating's narrative of Major Long's expedition to the sources of the St. Peter's River. We are indebted to Capt. Jonathan Carver, who visited the Upper Mississippi in 1766-'68, for much of our early knowledge of the Upper Mississippi valley, although some of his statements must be received with caution. He claims to have first conceived the idea of passing from the sources of the Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. An expedition to this effect was actually fitted out by the aid of Mr. Whitworth, when the growing troubles of the colonies with the mother country led to its abandonment.

Captain Bonneville, U. S. A., Expedition to the Rocky Mountains – 1832 to 1836

The narrative is entitled "The Rocky Mountains; or, Scenes, Incidents, and Adventures in the Far West”; digested from the Journal of Captain B. L. E. Bonneville, of the Army of the United States, and illustrated from various other sources. Published by Washington Irving, [in two volumes.] Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard —1837." It is accompanied by two maps; one on a scale of 23 miles to an inch, showing the sources of the Missouri, Yellowstone, Platte, Green, Bear, Snake, and Salmon Rivers, and a portion of Lake Bonneville (Great Salt Lake); the other, on a scale of 50 miles to an inch, giving the country from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, between the parallels of 38º and 49º north latitude. Captain Bonneville's explorations were made in pursuit of the fur trade, which was his principal object, and very great accuracy in the map is not achieved. His letter of instructions, from Major General Macomb, dated Washington, August 3, 1831, contains the following directions: "The leave of absence which you have asked, for the purpose of enabling you to carry into execution your design of exploring the country to the Rocky Mountains and beyond, has been duly considered and submitted to the War Department for approval, and has been sanctioned. You are therefore authorized to be absent from the Army till October 1833. It is understood that the Government is to be at no expense in reference to your proposed expedition, it having originated with yourself.  You will naturally, in preparing yourself for the expedition, provide suitable instruments."

Having made his arrangements for the year he visited the Great Salt Lake and saw its northern portions. "To have this lake properly explored and all its secrets revealed was the grand scheme of the captain for the present year.  This momentous undertaking he confided to Mr. Walker, in whose experience and ability he had great confidence." "He instructed him to keep along the shores of the lake, and trap in all the streams on his route. He was also to keep a journal and minutely to record the events of his journey and everything curious or interesting, and make maps or charts of his route and of the surrounding country."

No pains or expense were spared in fitting out this party, which was composed of forty men. They had complete supplies for a year, and were to meet Captain Bonneville in the ensuing summer in the valley of Bear River, the largest tributary of Salt Lake. This party endeavored to proceed south over the great barren salt plain lying to the west of the lake, but their sufferings became so great, and the danger of perishing so imminent, that they abandoned the proposed route and struck to the northwest for some snowy mountains in the distance. Arriving at Ogden's (Humboldt) River, they followed it down to the "sinks," or place where it loses itself in the sand. Continuing on they crossed the Sierra Nevada, in which they were entangled for twenty-three days, suffering very much from hunger, and finally reached the waters of the Sacramento; turning south they stopped at the Mission of Monterey. After a considerable sojourns the party started to return. Instead of retracing their steps through the Sierra Nevada they passed round its southern extremity, and crossing a range of low hills, found themselves in the sandy plains south of Ogden's River, where they again suffered grievously from want of water. On this journey they encountered some Mexicans, two of whom accompanied them to the rendezvous appointed by Captain Bonneville.

The return route of this party probably was nearly identical to that taken by Captain Fremont in 1842, and became known as the Santa Fe Trail to California. They traveled around the Great Basin system.

While this expedition was in progress Captain Bonneville made an excursion to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. Leaving Green River he moved east to the sources of the Sweetwater, so as to turn the Wind River Mountains at their southeast extremity; then striking the head of the Popo Agie, he passed down it to Wind River, which he followed through the gap of the Little Horn Mountains, and through the Big Horn range. Below these mountains the river becomes navigable for canoes, and takes the name of the Big Horn River From this point he returned to Wind River and attempted to cross the Wind River Mountains direct to his caches on Green River. In this he was foiled by the chasms and precipices and compelled to take his former route around their southeastern extremity. From the depot he went up to the sources of Green River, crossed the mountains between its source and that of Wind River, and again returned to Green River by the Sweetwater. He then passed over the mountains to the Bear River Valley, and thence to the Port Neuf River, where he established his winter quarters. During the winter he started to visit the Columbia, passing down the Snake River Valley, through the Grand Ronde and over the Blue Mountains to Walla-Walla. He returned to Bear River in the succeeding June. On the 3d of July 1834, he made a second visit to the Columbia, and returned to spend the winter on Bear River. In 1835 he returned home by way of the Platte River. Captain Bonneville's maps, which accompany the edition of Irving's work, published by Carey, Lea & Blanchard in 1837 (the later editions generally do not give the original maps), are the first to correctly represent the hydrograph of this region west of the Rocky Mountains. Although the geographical positions are not accurate, yet the existence of the great interior Captain Bonneville's long-continued absence after the expiration of his leave, during which time no news was received from him at the War Department, led to his name being dropped from the Army Register, He was, however, restored, and now holds the commission of colonel of the Third infantry. These salt basins (no outlets to the ocean) of Great Salt Lake, of Mary's or Ogden's River (named afterwards Humboldt by Captain Fremont), of the Mud Lakes, and of Sevier River and Lake, was determined by Captain Bonneville's maps, and they proved the non-existence of the Rio Buenaventura and of other hypothetical rivers. They reduced the Wallamuth or Multonomah (Willarnette) River to its proper length, and fixed approximately its source, and determined the general extent and direction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Colonel Benton, in his "Thirty Years' View," page 580, says of Fremont's second expedition: "He was at Fort Vancouver, guest of the hospitable Dr. McLaughlin, governor of the British Hudson Bay Fur Company, and obtained from him all possible information upon his intended line of return, faithfully given, but which proved to be disastrously erroneous in its leading and governing feature."  "All maps up to that time had shown this region traversed from east to west, from the base of the Rocky Mountains to the bay of San Francisco, by a great river called the Buenaventura, which may be translated the good chance. Fremont believed in it, and his plan was to reach it before the dead of winter, and then hibernate upon it." It is evident that Colonel Benton had never seen Captain Bonneville's map, or he would not have written this paragraph.

The route sketch of this excursion, prior to his winter encampment in Bear Valley, is shown in approximate relationship to his journal based on coordinates of current map projections. The route defined by Captain Bonneville, using his map, is greatly distended and bears little relationship with the actual terrain.

Prince Maximilian & Karl Bodmer Expedition to Fort McKenzie[14] – 1833

As part of what some referred to as “The Second Great Age of Discovery”, Prince Maximilian Alexander Philipp of Wied and Karl Bodmer a Swiss artist, traveled to America to document the western land and its people. They left Rotterdam on May 17, 1832, arriving in Boston on July 4th. On March 24, 1833 they reach St. Louis, met up with members of the American Fur Company and prepared for their trip into the Indian lands by traveling on the Missouri River. They arranged passage on the fur company’s steamer Yellowstone and on April 10th they journeyed upriver, reaching Leavenworth on the 22nd.  Next stop was Bellevue on the 22nd, then Fort Pierre on May 30th. Here they spent six days before changing boats, departing on the Assiniboine for Fort Clark. They reached the fort on June 18th, and continued on to Fort Union, reaching it on the 24th, where they stayed until July 6th.  Fort Union was the uppermost limit of steamer travel in 1833. Here they boarded a keelboat operated by the American Fur Company, and continued upriver, reaching Fort McKenzie on August 9th, where they stayed for five weeks. During their journey notes and sketches of the Indian Tribes activities were extensively made. They were welcome journeyers and were trusted by the Indians.

On September 14th, they traveled downstream to Fort Union, remaining there from September 29th through October 29th. Next they departed for Fort Clark, arriving there November 8th. On May 27th, 1834 they completed their journey by arriving at St. Louis and journeyed home. [On the return voyage to St Louis, the steamer Assiniboine carrying many natural history specimens, burned and sank a few miles south of Bismarck.] After reaching Europe, they spent the next several years preparing their detailed research book “Travels in the Interior of North America, 1832-1834.”


The exploration of the Great Salt Lake was a favorite object with Captain Bonneville; though called Lake Bonneville by Mr. Irving, its existence was well known to the traders and trappers on his arrival in that country, as was also that of the Ogden's or Mary's River. In Captain Stansbury's report, page 151, states: "The existence of a large lake of salt water, somewhere amid the wilds west of the Rocky Mountains, seems to have been known, vaguely, as long as 150 years since. As early as 1689 the Baron la Hontan wrote an account of discoveries in this region, which was published in the English language in 1735." This narrative of La Hontan of his journey up "La Rivire Longue," flowing into the Mississippi from the west, has for more than a century been considered fabulous. It is spoken of even by Captain Stansbury as an "imaginative voyage up this most imaginary river," up which La Hontan claims to have sailed for six weeks without reaching the source. During this voyage he learned from four Mozeemlek slaves belonging to the Indians living on the river "that, at the distance of 150 leagues from the place he then was, their principal river empties itself into a salt lake of 300 leagues in circumference, the mouth of which is two leagues broad; that the lower part of that river is adorned with six noble cities, surrounded with stone cemented with fat earth; that the houses of these cities have no roofs, but are open above, like a platform, as you see them drawn on the map; that, besides the above-mentioned cities, there are above a hundred towns, great and small, round that sort of sea, upon which they navigate with such boats as you see drawn on the map," etc. Now, this description does not, in any particular, correspond with the Great Salt Lake; and if it was told by the savages to the baron might, with as much if not far greater propriety, be considered as referring to the Pacific Ocean, with the Columbia flowing into it. The story of La Hontan excited much speculation and received various additions in his day; and the lake finally became represented on the published English maps of as late date as 1826 (see Plate III) as being the source of two great navigable rivers flowing into the South Sea. Here it was that historians supposed the Aztecs were located before their migration to Mexico. Father Escalante, in 1776, traveled from near Santa F4, New Mexico, in a northwesterly direction, to the Great Colorado. After crossing it and passing to the southwest through the country near its western bank, he turned again to the southeast, recrossed the stream, and proceeded to the Gila. During his journey he probably was in the vicinity of Utah Lake. He there met with Indians who told him of a lake to the north whose waters produced a burning sensation when they touched the skin. This lake was perhaps the Great Salt Lake; and its property of making a burning sensation when applied to the skin was probably the effect of the strong solution of salt, which it contains. Father Escalante did not visit this lake; and that which he represents on his map, and which is copied on Humboldt's New Spain as Lake Timpanogos, was probably what is now called Lake Utah, into which a stream flows called by the Indians Timpanogos River. A portion of the Great Basin system was visited by Father Font as early as 1777, near the Mojave River (which he called Rio de los Mortires). He followed its course to the place where it sinks, and then traveled east, crossing the Colorado at the Mojave valleys, and kept on as far as the Moquis villages. A copy of his map was procured in California by Captain Ord, U. S. A., and was placed on file in the Topographical Bureau.

Discovery of Great Salt Lake and Humboldt River by Lieut. E. Steen, U. S. A. - 1835

In a book titled: "Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains” by Washington Irving. Author's revised edition, complete in one volume. New York: G. P. Putnan -1849." It contains a reduced copy of Wilkes's map of Oregon. This book, published first in 1836, contains an account of the voyages and journey performed by Mr. Astor's parties. One of these, under Messrs Hunt and Crook, went, in 1811 and 1812, from the Arikaree village, on the Missouri, at the mouth of Grand or " Big River," westward through the Black Hills and Big Horn Mountains to Wind River, and thence to the sources of the Snake or Lewis River, and down that stream to the Columbia.

Topographical Bureau, map of the western frontier - 1837

This map exhibits the country from the west boundary of Arkansas and Missouri to the Rocky Mountains, between the 31st and 45th parallels, on a scale of 20 miles to an inch, it shows the route of the rangers under Colonel Manny’s command, in 1833, who made an excursion from Fort Gibson westward as far as the head of the Little River, and back; and of the routes of the dragoons under Colonel Dodge, in 1834 and 1835. Capt. R. B. Marcy, U. S. A., has since explored all this section, and information concerning it can be found in his reports. The expedition under Colonel Dodge in 1835 started from Fort Leavenworth, proceeded up the Platte and South Fork to its source, then traveled south to the Arkansas River, and returned by it and the Santa Fe road to Fort Leavenworth.

This is another map illustrating the plan of the defenses of the western and northwestern frontier, as proposed by Charles Gratiot, in his report of October 31, 1837, compiled in the United States Topographical Bureau, under the direction of Col J. J. Abert, United States Topographical Engineers, by TI. Hood. This map was published (Senate document No 65, second session twenty-fifth Congress) on a scale of 50 miles to an inch. It embraces the territory of the United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the 45th parallel of north Latitude, and from the Mississippi River west to near the 103d meridian. New Orleans and St. Louis are both represented as being in longitude 90º 25'.

C. Dimmock, C. E., Survey between Fort Smith and Fort Leavenworth - 1838

This survey, made with chain and compass for a military road along the western borders of Arkansas and Missouri, between Fort Smith and Fort Leavenworth, was a valuable source of information in the early 1800’s between Old Fort Scott and Fort Smith. It had not been replaced by the United States Land Office surveys at that time.

Topographical Bureau, Map of Oregon - 1838

The title of this is "A map of the United States Territory of Oregon west of the Rocky Mountains”, exhibiting the various trading depots or forts occupied by the British Hudson Bay Company connected with the western and northwestern fur trade, compiled in the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, from the latest authorities, under the direction of Col. J. J. Abert, by Washington Flood, 1838. M. H. Stansbury, del." This map accompanies the report of Mr. Linn, from "the select committee to which was referred a bill to authorize the President of the United States to occupy the Oregon Territory, submitted to the Senate," which report forms Senate document 470, second session Twenty-fifth Congress. The map is published on a scale of 25 miles to an inch, and embraces the territory of North America from the 38th to the 55th parallel west of the 102d meridian. This entire map, between the 40th and 50th parallels, with some minor changes, was published in Wyndham Robertson's work, entitled "Oregon, our Right and Title," etc., printed in Washington, 1846.

Capt. W. Hood, T. E., Headwaters of the Missouri, Yellowstone, Salmon, Lewis, and the Colorado - 1839

Capt. Washington Hood, Topographical Engineers, while stationed on the Missouri frontier, compiled in 1839 a map, on a scale of 42 miles to an inch, of the country adjacent to the headwaters of the Missouri, the Yellowstone, the Salmon, the Lewis, and the Colorado, with various observations on the subject of the practicable passes or routes through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, "from information obtained in frequent conversations with two highly intelligent trappers, William A. Walker, of Virginia, and Mr. Coates, of Missouri, who belonged originally to Captain Bonneville's party, but subsequently continued to roam the mountains as free trappers during six consecutive years; as also that derived from others, who were connected with surveys and expeditions as far to the westward as Santa Fe and Taos." This map was correct in its main features, but neither it nor the notes were ever published. Its present location is unknown.

Survey of boundary of Louisiana and Texas - 1840

The journal of the commission is found in Senate document No. 199, second session, Twenty-seventh Congress, and is accompanied by two maps. One, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch, gives the Sabine River; and the other, on a scale of 4 miles to an inch, represents the meridian boundary line between the Sabine and Red Rivers, the initial point being the place where the Sabine is crossed by the parallel of 32 degree north latitude. Lieut Col. James Kearney, Lieut, made the surveys on the part of the United States of the portion north of the Sabine River, along with J. Edmond Blake, and Lieut. L. Sitgreaves, Topographical Engineers. Portions along the Sabine River by Maj. J. D. Graham, Lieut. T. J. Lee, and Lieut. G. G. Meade, Topographical Engineers. The surveys on the part of Texas were by Messrs. P. J. Pellows, D. C. Webber, and A. B. Gray

Commodore Wilkes, U. S. N., map of Oregon - 1841

His report is titled: "Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, and 1842”, by Charles Wilkes, U. S. N., commander of the expedition, member of the American Philosophical Society, etc., printed in five volumes, and an atlas. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard..-1845." The map extends from the 40th to the 53rd parallel, and from the 106th meridian to the Pacific, on a scale of about 48 miles to an inch. This naval exploring expedition arrived in Oregon in 1841. A party under Lieutenant Johnson started from Nisqually, crossed the Cascades near Mount Rainier, and reached the Columbia near the mouth of the Pisquose River. Crossing the Columbia they proceeded to Fort Okinikaine, then to the mouth of the Spokane, and then north to Fort Colville. They next turned south, visited the Mission, and continuing onward reached the Kooskoosky, about forty miles below where Lewis and Clark struck it; then they traveled to Fort Walla-Walla. From this point they returned to Nisqually by the valley of the Yakima River, crossing the Cascade Mountains at its source. The Columbia River was surveyed as far up as Walla-Walla, and a party was dispatched up the valley of the Willamette, and then to the sources of the Sacramento, down which they traveled to the bay of San Francisco.

Kendall's Santa Fe expedition - 1841

His report is published in: "Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition”, comprising a description of a tour through Texas, and across the great southwestern prairies, the Comanche and Cayuga hunting grounds, with an account of the sufferings from want of food, losses from hostile Indians, and final capture of the Texans, and their march as prisoners to the city of Mexico, with illustrations and a map. George Wilkins Kendall; printed in two volumes. New York: Harper & Brother, 82 Cliff Street. —1844. The map is on a scale of 45 miles to an inch, bounded on the north by the 38th parallel, on the east by the 91st meridian, on the south by the 19th parallel, and on the west by the 103rd meridian. This expedition left Austin, the capital of Texas, on the 21st of June 1841. Mr. Kendall, the author of the narrative, accompanied the expedition from motives of mere curiosity and a desire of travel, being fully impressed with the idea that it was entirely a commercial expedition, and not one that would render null his passport received from the Mexican consul at New Orleans. The entire military force consisted of six companies, averaging forty men each. There was a large train of wagons containing the property of merchants who accompanied the expedition to trade at Santa Fe. The whole party was under the command of General McLeod.  This expedition, it is thought, may have been the first to visit the sources of Red River, but it furnished no topographical information that could be accurately represented upon a map.

Professor L. Nicollet's Upper Mississippi River - 1836 to 1840

This report and map was printed by the Senate, Document No 237, Twenty-sixth Congress, second session; the title being: "Report intended to illustrate a map of the Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi River”, made by L. Nicollet while in employ under the Bureau of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, February 16, 1841. Ordered to be printed, and 200 additional copies for the use of the Senate. Washington: Blair & Rives, printers.1843. The map accompanying this document is on a scale of 1 to 1,200,000. Reduced and compiled, under the direction of Col. J. J. Abert, in the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, by Lieut. W. H. Emory, from the map published in 1842, and from other authorities in 1843. The map published in 1842 was on a scale of 1 to 600,000, and bore the title of "Map of the Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi River”, from astronomical and barometrical observations, surveys, and information, by I. N. Nicollet, made in the years 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840; assisted in 1838, 1839, and 1840, by Lieut. J. C. Fremont, of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and authorized by the War Department. Both of these maps comprised the valley of the Mississippi and country adjacent, from the parallel of 38º to 48º 30' north, between the 89th and 101st meridians west from Greenwich, and contained, in addition to the results of Mr. Nicollet's own observations and determinations, a compilation of nearly all previous authentic explorations within these boundaries. Mr. Nicollet says in his introduction that "having come to this country for the purpose of making a scientific tour, and with a view of contributing to the progressive increase of knowledge in the physical geography of North America, I determined, after having explored the Allegheny range in its various extension through the Southern States, and having ascended the Red River, Arkansas River, and to a long distance the Missouri River, to undertake the full exploration of the Mississippi River from its mouth to its very sources. During the five years that I was engaged in these excursions I took occasion to make numerous observations calculated to lay the foundation of the astronomical and physical geography of a large extent of country, and more especially of the feat and interesting region between the Falls of St. Anthony and the sources of the Mississippi. With these labors I connected, also, the study of the customs, habits, manners, and languages of the several Indian nations that occupy this vast region of country. At the expiration of this long (and I found it an arduous) journey, I returned to Baltimore among my good friends of St. Mary's College, where I soon received a flattering invitation from the War Department and Topographical Bureau to repair to Washington. The result of my travels was made known to these departments, upon which they thought proper to entrust me with the command of an expedition to enable me to complete to the greatest advantage a scheme which I had already projected on my visit to the far west, namely, the construction of a geographical and topographical map of the country explored." This was in the spring of 1838.

The years 1838 and 1839 were spent in explorations in Minnesota, assisted by Lieutenant Fremont. Mr. Nicollet had nearly completed the map, and written a portion of his report, when death put an end to his labors before he was enabled to finish it, or to revise what had been previously written. The report does not, therefore, do justice to the surveys, and it is impossible to specify the routes he pursued except for the years of 1836, 1837, 1838, and 1839, and somewhat imperfectly for these, even though his original notes are available in the Topographical Bureau’s file reconnaissance of these years are the ones which, topographically, had in the 1880’s the greatest value, as nearly all the others made by him have since been replaced by more accurate surveys under the General Land Office. Wherever Mr. Nicollet went he was indefatigable in the use of the telescope for observing occultation and eclipses, and of the sextant, with which he was very skillful; with these, a pocket chronometer, artificial horizon of mercury, and barometer, he obtained results possessing remarkable accuracy for the means employed. Mr. Nicollet was the first explorer who made much use of the barometer for obtaining the elevation of the United States interior country above the sea. An abstract of the methods and principles by which he was governed in his explorations is given in his report, and have served as a guide to many subsequent explorers. His map was one of the greatest contributions ever made to American geography.

Lieut. J. C. Fremont, T. E., exploration - 1842

The report of this expedition is Senate Document No. 243, Twenty-seventh Congress, third session, and is entitled "An Exploration of the Country lying between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, on the line of the Kansas and Great Platte Rivers." It is illustrated by a map on a scale of 1 to 1,000,000 (nearly 16 miles to an inch), embracing the country from the forks of the Platte to the South Pass, between the forty-third and forty-fifth parallels. Lieutenant Fremont's party consisted of about twenty-five persons, all mounted except eight who drove the carts carrying their stores. He was assisted by the since well-known topographer, Mr. Charles Preuss, and provided with chronometers, sextant, artificial horizon, telescope for observing occultation, and a barometer. Lieutenant Fremont made, throughout this journey, astronomical observations whenever circumstances permitted. His barometer was broken among the Wind River Mountains. The manuscript copy of this map, report, and journal was available in the files of the Adjutant-General's Office, and it is exceedingly interesting as containing an account of a country almost unknown. The map is on a scale of 20 miles to an inch. It exhibits the country between the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers as far west as the 100th meridian. It contains no meridians or parallels, as no astronomical observations were made. Captain Boone says: "It is a map or rough sketch of the country, with the water courses running through it. The courses and distances are all estimated from point to point direct, and not according to the distance actually traveled during each day, as it was found impossible to note the courses and distances of the windings made during each day's march." This report is accompanied by a minute journal, covering fifty-five pages of letter paper, closely written, and is referred to by General Taylor, in transmitting it, as containing "much valuable and curious information, particularly in relation to the salt region on the Red Fork of the Arkansas." The map and report have never been printed.

Lt. John C. Fremont, Fort Laramie (Trading Post) to Red Buttes – (Part 1 - July 1842)

Commanded by Lt. Fremont, under his first command, the troops departed Cyprian Choteau’s post near the mouth of the Kansas River, along with 25 men. Attached were: Charles Preuss, photographer; and Kit Carson, guide. The party split up on the way to Fort Laramie, but joined up at the fort. During the way they met Jim Bridger who advised them to turn back due to hostile Indian action ahead. At the fort, one man requested to be left behind. He also hired an Indian guide before proceeding. [This was part of a longer journey through South Pass.] Reported in Lt. Fremont’s travel diary for the trip: “Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842.”

Capt. J. Allen, U. S. A., Expedition along the Big Sioux River - 1843

The report and journal of this expedition was printed in House Document No. 168, 1st session 29th Congress. No map was printed with the report. Captain Allen separately submitted a map of his route with the report, concerning which he made the following remarks: "For the actual route passed over I must refer to the accompanying map, which will show it more fully and completely than it could be made by any other description. The map was constructed by Lieutenant Potter, under my immediate direction, and the care of taking minute notes on the way and the pains taken during its projection by that officer to secure all the information within its reach, will warrant me in saying that it gives a very correct delineation of the country passed over, as also the topography of other parts of this territory, perhaps the most accurate on record." The Adjutant-General (R. Jones), in his letter Though I am not aware that this map was ever published by the Government, the principal topographical information which it contained was embraced in a map published by the Messrs. Harper, in 1847, entitled " Harper's Cerographic Map of the United States. By Samuel Breese, A. M." In transmitting this report to Secretary Marcy, the note says: "Instead of the map of the route accompanying the report, I submit the more perfect map of the Upper Mississippi by Nicollet (from which Captain Allen's sketch no doubt was taken), upon which the route of the troops under his command has been carefully traced in the Topographical Bureau. Should it be determined to publish Captain Allen's route, Colonel Abert is of opinion it would be best to use the plate prepared for Nicollet's map. This would be not only much less expensive, but would probably improve the original map, which is one of much value." The expedition under Captain Allen consisted of J. S. Griffin, assistant surveyor First Lieut. P. Calhoun, 2d dragoons; Second Lieut. P. Noble, 1st dragoons; Second Lieutenant Potter, 1st infantry, and 52 soldiers. Captain Allen was supplied "with a small imperfect sextant," and no chronometer. A portion of this route along the Big Sioux has not been reconnoitered since.

Topographical Bureau Map of Texas - 1844

The title of this is: "Map of Texas and the countries adjacent”, compiled in the Bureau of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, from the best authorities, for the State Department, under the direction of Col. J. J. Abert, chief of the corps, by W. H. Emory, 1st lieutenant Topographical Engineers, War Department, 1844," on a scale of about 70 miles to an inch. This gave most of the information extant, at the date of compilation, respecting the country comprised between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west, between the twenty-second and forty-second parallels of north latitude. No mountains are indicated, except those inclosing the Rio Grande Valley. A lake, in the approximate position of the Great Salt Lake, is represented, and another one receiving the waters of Ogden's or Mary's River. There are no names on the lakes and rivers represented in these interior basins; but this compilation shows that the existence of these basins and lakes was, at that time, admitted as an established fact in the Topographical Bureau.

Gregg's " Commerce of the Prairies" New Mexico - 1844

The title page of this book is “Commerce of the Prairies, or the Journal of a Santa Fe Trader, during eight expeditions across the Great Western Prairies, and a residence of nearly nine years in Northern Mexico”, illustrated with maps and engravings. Josiah Gregg, and printed in two volumes. New York: Henry G. Langley, 8 Astor House. -1844." The map, which accompanies the book, is on a scale of 57 miles to an inch, and embraces the country from the west boundary of Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana, to the 108th meridian. It is based on the map of Humboldt's New Spain, that of Major Long's first expedition, and that of the road survey of J. C. Brown along the Santa Fe Trail, with such corrections and additions as Mr. Gregg's own observations suggested. It was one of the most useful maps of' this region at that day. The book is an interesting and valuable description of all the then known portions of New Mexico, and of the country along the routes between Fort Leavenworth and Santa Fe, and between Santa Fe and Fort Smith.

Capt. J. C. Fremont, T. E., 1st & 2nd Explorations to Oregon & California – 1843 to 1844

The title of the printed report is, " Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-'44”. Brevet Captain J. C. Fremont, of the Topographical Engineers, under the orders of Colonel J. J. Abert, chief of the Topographical Bureau; printed by order of the Senate of the United States. Washington: Gales & Seaton, printers-1845." Senate Doc. No. 174, Twenty-eighth Congress, second session. This book contains a reprint of the report of the exploration in 1842, and the accompanying map exhibits the routes followed during that expedition, as well as during the years 1843 and 1844. The longitudes given on this map and in this report (pp. 100 and 101) differ materially from those of the first report and map; the reason for the change being explained. The new map is on a scale of 32 miles to an inch, and is "strictly confined to what was seen and to what was necessary to show the face and character of the country." Charles Preuss, whose skill in sketching topography in the field and in representing it on the map has probably never been surpassed in this country, drew it. The map, which in most respects may serve for a model, exhibits also a profile, made from barometrical observations, drawn with a horizontal scale of 1 to 3,000,000,000 or 47.35 miles to an inch, and a vertical scale about thirty times greater, or 8,500 feet to the inch. A topographical map of the road from Missouri to Oregon, commencing at the mouth of the Kansas, in the Missouri River, and ending at the mouth of the Walla-Walla, in the Columbia, in seven sections, from the field notes and journal of Capt. J. C. Fremont and from sketches and notes made on the ground by his assistant, Charles Preuss, compiled by Charles Preuss in 1846, by order of the Senate of the United States," forms a part of House Committee Report No. 145, second session Thirtieth Congress. Its scale is 10 miles to the inch. It contains detailed topography and full notes of the route pursued by Captain Fremont (between the points named) in 1843, and is an excellent map for travelers. It is not, however, accurately constructed, according to the list of geographical positions given in Captain Fremont’s report, and this should be borne in mind by compilers. Throughout this lengthened exploration in the mountains and across the plains Lieutenant Fremont made many astronomical observations, determining longitude by observing occultations and eclipses with a telescope and by chronometric differences, and latitudes by observing with sextants and artificial horizons. After the investigations necessary in compiling the map which accompanies this memoir, there appears to be truth in Captain Fremont's assertion in his notice to the reader at the beginning of his report, "that the correctness of the longitudes and latitudes may well be relied upon." They contain only such errors of longitude as are inherent to results obtained from observations made, and Fremont did not receive his promotion to the rank of brevet captain until the termination of his second expedition. A mercurial barometer was carried across the continent on the road to Oregon as far as the Blue Mountains, where it was broken. The temperature of boiling water determined subsequent elevations on the route. The second expedition under Lieutenant Fremont left the town of Kansas on the 29th of May 1843. The party consisted of twenty-nine men, all mounted, their stores, etc., being carried in twelve carts. Mr. Charles Preuss as topographer, Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick as guide, and Mr. Theodore Talbot assisted him.

Capt. J. C. Fremont, T. E., 3rd   Exploration Upper California – 1845 - 1846

The United States Senate published a portion of the exploration, first session Thirtieth Congress, Doc. No. 148, entitled: "Geographical Memoir up1on Upper California”, in illustration of his Map of Oregon and California, by John C. Fremont, addressed to the Senate of the United States. Washington: Wendell & Van Benthuysen, printers. This is accompanied by a map, drawn by Charles Preuss, on a scale of 1 to 3,000,000, embracing all the country between the 104th meridian and the Pacific Ocean, and between the 32d and 50th parallels of north latitude. It was compiled from the surveys of Captain Fremont and "other authorities," and was at the time of its publication (1848) the most accurate map of that region. A great deal of information in regard to this expedition, not contained in the memoir, has been published in the newspapers and in various pamphlets. There are probably many reasons why a complete account of this third expedition, as well as Colonel Fremont's subsequent ones, has never been published; but this desideratum will probably be soon supplied. Captain Fremont started upon this exploration better provided than on his previous ones. He had under his command Lieuts. J. W. Abert and William G. Peck, Topographical Engineers, and was aided by Mr. Charles Preuss and Mr. E. M. Kern, as topographers and artists. He was provided with a portable astronomical transit instrument, sextants, barometers and chronometers. Col. J. C. Fremont's Explorations, prepared by the author, included all his expeditions. Childs & Peterson, publishers, No. 602, Arch Street, Philadelphia. No map or account has been published of his route east of Bent's Fort, but it is believed to be nearly that by which he returned in 1844. He left the frontier of Missouri in May, and on arriving at Bent's Fort detached Lieutenants Abert and Peck to explore the sources of the Canadian River, and then to return to the States. It is probable that the war with Mexico and the troubles between Americans and Mexicans in California, which began prior thereto, put a stop to his explorations beyond what could be obtained by ordinary observations in traveling from point to point during a period of violent hostilities. During this expedition Captain Fremont obtained the longitude of the mouth of Fontaine qui Bouit; of the camp at Great Salt Lake; of Lassen's farm, on Deer Creek; and of the Three Buttes, in Sacramento Valley. The first two results have never been tested by any other observer with a good instrument, but are generally received as correct. The other two have been tested by land-office surveys, and by Lieutenant Williamson's second Pacific railroad survey, connecting with the Coast Survey longitude of San Francisco. Both tests indicate that his results were close approximations to accuracy. These four determinations of Captain Fremont detected some errors in his previous map, amounting in one instance to 15' in longitude, and which furnished the means for correcting them. A note on Captain Fremont's map of routes of 1843-'44 gives the following descriptive information: "The Great Basin: Diameter 110 of latitude, 100 of longitude; elevation above the sea between 4,000 and 5,000 feet; surrounded by lofty mountains; contents almost unknown, but believed to be filled with rivers and lakes which have no communication with the sea, deserts and oases which have never been explored, and savage tribes which no traveler has seen or described." This note, with the map and accompanying report, has conveyed the idea that a ridge of mountains forming a rim encircles this basin. This was so represented on the map compiled by Mr. Preuss in 1848, and gave rise to the belief in the existence of two long ridges running east and west, lying on the north and south of the basin, which, however, by that time had been much reduced in extent.

Lieut. J. W. Abert, T. E., Reconnaissance of Platte River - 1845

This report forms Senate Doc. No. 438, Twenty-ninth Congress, first session, and is accompanied by a map on a scale of about 32 miles to an inch, embracing the country from the 94th meridian to the Rocky Mountains, and between the Platte River and the 35th parallel. Lieut. J. W. Abert assisted by Lieut. William G. Peck, Topographical Engineers, having been detached at Bent's Fort by Captain Fremont, in 1845, with instructions from him to explore the Purgatory Creek, the Canadian and False Washita Rivers, left that fort on the Arkansas on the 15th of August, 1845, with a party of thirty men, four wagons, and sixty-three horses and mules. They were supplied with a chronometer and sextant.

Lieut. W. B. Franklin, Reconnaissance Map of Col. Kearney - 1845

An abstract of Lieutenant Franklin's journal, and a reduced copy of his map, on a scale of 75 miles to an inch, were published in House Ex. Doc. No. 2, first session Twenty-ninth Congress. The title of the map is: "Map of the Route pursued by the late Expedition under the command of Col. S. W. Kearney, United States 1st Dragoons”, by W. B. Franklin, Lieutenant Topographical Engineers, attached to the expedition, 1845." The original map is on a scale of 32 miles to an inch. The new information which it contained was published with Lieutenant Abert's map of his exploration, made in 1845, wherein credit is given to Lieutenant Franklin for the material taken from his map. The expedition was under command of Col. S. W. Kearney, United States 1st Dragoons. An account of the expedition is given in Lieut. Col. P. St. G. Cooke's book of " Scenes and Adventures in the Army.”


Texas Annexed in 1845

Capt. George W. Hughes; San Antonio to Saltillo, Mexico Survey - 1846

An account of this march, from a topographical standpoint (accompanied by astronomical determinations of latitude and longitude), by Capt. George W. Hughes, Corps of Topographical Engineers, forms Senate Mis. Doc. No. 32, Thirty-first Congress, first session. The division was under the command of Brig. Gen. John E. Wool. The topographical party preceded the troops, leaving San Antonio on September 23, 1846, and consisted of the following persons: George W. Hughes, captain, Topographical Engineers; L. Sitgreaves, first lieutenant, Topographical Engineers; W. B. Franklin, second lieutenant, Topographical Engineers; F. T. Bryan, brevet second lieutenant, Topographical Engineers; Dan Drake Henrie, interpreter; James Dunn, hunter and guide; two waggoners, four laborers, and two private servants. The distance from San Antonio to the west bank of the Rio Grande over the route traversed was 164 miles; that from the Rio Grande to Santa Rosa, 209 miles; from Santa Rosa to Monclova, 72 miles; and from Monclova to Parras, 181 miles. From Monclova reconnaissances were made to Quatro Cienegas and to Saltillo and beyond in several directions via Monterey. During a long halt at Monclova the topographical engineers were engaged in making surveys of the surrounding country and astronomical observations, reconnaissances for long distances from the camp in different directions, making computations, plotting field-notes, and reducing observations. Immediately prior to the above march, Lieutenant Franklin had made a reconnaissance of the country from La Vaca to San Antonio, Texas. The topographical party was provided with the necessary instruments for the determination of geographical positions by latitude and longitude. The computed latitudes of forty-one stations, determined by observations with the sextant on Polaris, are given, and also eight longitudes. The latter were determined (with the exception of that of one point by lunar distances) by observations on the eclipses of Jupiter and satellites. A general topographical map (scale 5 inches to 1 mile) embracing all the routes reconnoitered accompanies the above Executive document, which shows also the trace of a route from Matamoras on the Rio Grande northward to San Antonio.


Oregon Territory’s British Claims

Extinguished in 1846


Brevet Maj. W. H. Emory, T. E., Reconnaissance from Missouri to San Diego - 1846 to 1847

The report forms a part of Senate Ex. Doc. No. 7, first session of Thirtieth Congress, and is entitled: "Notes of a Military Reconnaissance from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, including parts of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers.” By Wm. H. Emory, Brevet Major Topographical Engineers, made in 1846-'47, with the advanced guard of the Army of the West. Washington: Wendell and Van Benthuysen, printers.1848. It is accompanied by a map, on a scale of about 24 miles to an inch, exhibiting only that portion of the country and the routes that came under the observation of the parties. The map contains also a barometrical profile of the route across the continent, on a horizontal scale of about 24 miles to an inch, and a vertical scale of about 8,200 feet to an inch, the vertical scale being about 15 times the horizontal. A report by Lieutenant Abert of the portions of the route between Fort Leavenworth and Bent's Fort is also appended Major Emory (then a first lieutenant of Topographical Engineers) was assisted by Lieut. W. H. Warner, Topographical Engineers, Lieut. James W. Abert, Topographical Engineers, Lieut. Wm. G. Peck, Topographical Engineers, Mr. J. M. Stanley, and Mr. Norman Bestor. His instruments were two box chronometers, two 8k-inch sextants, and one siphon barometer, which was the first mercurial barometer ever carried overland to the Pacific unbroken. Lieutenants Abert and Peck did not accompany Lieutenant Emory beyond Santa Fe, instructions being given them to make certain explorations in the neighboring region.

Lieut. J. W. Abert, T. E., Reconnaissance of New Mexico – 1846 to 1847.

The results of these explorations are given by Lieutenant Abert's report, which forms a part of House Ex. Doc. No. 41, first session Thirtieth Congress. It is accompanied by a map, on a scale of 10 miles to an inch, exhibiting the portion of New Mexico between latitude 33 - 30' and 37º, and from the meridian of 104º 30' to 108º. This map was also reduced and republished on Lieutenant Emory's map of the survey. Lieutenants Abert and Peck commenced, on the 8th of October, the examination entrusted to them by Lieutenant Emory, after having previously visited certain mines. It was also published by the House of Representatives, House Ex. Doc. No. 41, first, session, Thirtieth Congress.—VOL I. It appears that they were not equipped with any instruments for making astronomical observations, and the latitudes and longitudes used were those determined by Lieutenant Emory.

Lieut. Col. P. St. George Cooke, U. S. A., Mormon Expedition on Rio Grande – 1846 to 1847

This report forms a part of House Executive Document No. 41, first session Thirtieth Congress, and is accompanied by a map of his route, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch; his route is also represented on Emory's map. General Kearny sent Colonel Cooke from La Joya to Santa Fe, with instructions to take command of the "Mormon Battalion," en route at that time for California. Proceeding to that place, he assumed command, and on the 19th October, 1846, led the battalion, consisting of about four hundred men, each company having three mule wagons, down the Rio Grande to a point about three or four miles above San Diego, on that river.

Wislizenus, M. D., Examination of New Mexico – 1846 to 1847

The account and results of this tour form Senate Misc. Doc. No. 26, first session Thirtieth Congress, and are entitled: "Memoir of a tour to Northern Mexico, connected with Colonel Doniphan's Expedition, in 1846 and 1847.” By A. Wislizenus, M. D., with a scientific appendix and three maps. Washington: Tippin & Streeper, printers.-1848." These maps are: 1) a map of the country from the 25th to the 39th parallel, between the 94th and 107th meridians, on a scale of 50 miles to an inch, exhibiting the topography of the route traveled over; 2), a map or geological sketch of the same country, on a scale of 80 miles to an inch; and 3), a barometrical profile of the route, on a horizontal scale of 36 miles to an inch and a vertical scale of 2,000 feet to the inch, the vertical scale being 95 times the horizontal. Dr. Wislizenus undertook this scientific tour at his private expense. Leaving St. Louis in the spring of 1846, he followed the Santa Fe road, via the Cimarron route, to Santa Fe. Then he went down the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso and Chihuahua. Here the derangement, which the Mexican war produced, kept him for six months "in a very passive condition." On Colonel Doniphan's arrival in that neighborhood he accepted a position in the medical department of the Army, and returned with the troops, by way of Monterey, to the States.

Brevet Capt. W. H. Warner, T. E., Reconnaissance of Pacific Land Routes – 1847 to 1849

Very little of the results of the exploration of Brevet Captain Warner, after he was relieved from duty with Major Emory, have been published. He made extensive examination of routes along the Pacific and in the Coast Mountains, from San Diego to San Francisco, and had nearly completed his map of that then unknown section of country when he was directed to make the exploration in the Sierra Nevada, on which he lost his life in an Indian ambush. His notes and papers passed into the possession of his assistant, Lieutenant Williamson, Topographical Engineers, and were thus available to him in his examinations made later in 1853-'54, in connection with a route for a railroad to the Pacific. The only portion of Captain Warner's explorations, of which a map and report were published, was that of his last expedition. This was prepared by Lieutenant Williamson, and forms a portion of Senate Ex. Doc. No. 47, first session Thirty-first Congress. The map of the route is on a scale of 15 miles to an inch. At about latitude 42º Captain Warner was surprised on the march by an ambush of Pit River Indians, and he and several of his party were killed. This rendered the further prosecution of the reconnaissance impossible, and Lieutenant Williamson returned to Benicia. Captain Warner's notebooks were saved, and from them Lieutenant Williamson made a sketch of his route, with a report.

Geological explorations, Lake Superior region, Foster and Whitney – 1847 to 1850

These explorations to obtain knowledge of the physical geography, climate, and geology of the copper and iron regions bordering on Lake Superior were made by Messrs. Foster and Whitney in or about the years 1848, 1849, and 1850. It would appear that the U. S. Land Office surveys were the basis upon which the main work of this survey was compiled. Foster and Whitney were in charge of the survey for a little more than two years, and were aided by James Hall, of New York, E. Desor of Massachusetts, and Charles Whittlesey, of Ohio; also for a part of the time by Mr. S. W. Hill, of Michigan, and Mr. John Burt, for many years a surveyor in that region, who placed his notes at their disposal. The report is addressed to Hon. Justin Butterfield, Commissioner of the Land Office. It is in two parts. Part I, made in 1850 and published in 1851, gives a historical sketch of the explorations, a description of the physical geography and climate, and so much of the geology as was necessary to the full elucidation of the copper-bearing rocks and their relation to the sedimentary formations. Part II forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 4, special session, March, 1851, and has title, " The Iron Regions," together with the general geology; ordered to be printed March 13, 1851. Printed by A. Boyd Hamilton, Washington, 1851. In this a detailed and systematic description, as far as the materials would permit, is made of the geology of the whole of the Lake Superior region, commencing with the bed formations and ascending to those, which was then in process of accumulation. The report was accompanied with sections, illustrations, and a general map on which the range and extent of the general systems of rock are defined. The observations were extended over an area of little less than 100,000 square miles. Chapter IX, on Magnetic Variations, Comparison of Terrestrial and Astronomical Monuments, by Charles Whittlesey, General Warren states, "will have a permanent geographical interest and value as long as the United States land surveys form the basis of our maps."

Geological exploration of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, David Owen - 1849

The published results of this investigation appear in the form of a "Report of a Geological Survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, and incidentally of a portion of Nebraska Territory”, made under instructions from the U. S. Treasury Department by David Dale Owen, U. S. Geologist. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co.-1852." (1 vol., 4º, pp 638.) This work made large additions to geographical as well as geological information. The final report made to Hon. J. Butterfield, Commissioner of the Land Office, embraces in a connected and revised form the substance of all the preliminary reports made from time to time and of the annual reports for 1848, 1849, together with a full statement of the result of the last year's operations. It is accompanied by condensed reports of the assistant geologist and of the heads of sub-corps, which contain detailed distributions of the districts assigned to each, together with generalizations deduced from the reports. The names of the following are acknowledged: J. G. Norwood, assistant geologist; J. Evans, B. F. Shumard, B. C. Macy, C. Whittlesey, A. Litton, and R. Owen, heads of sub-corps; G. Warren, H. Pratten, F. B. Meek, and J. Beal, sub-assistants. Accompanying the report is a general map, 1 to 1,200,000, on which the different geological formations are represented by distinct colors. It includes latitude 38º to 49º, longitude 89º 30' to 96º 30'. The report contains many illustrations in scenery, sections, diagrams, plates of fossils, and detail maps. Among the latter may be enumerated a map of the north shore of Lake Superior; of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to the Falls of St. Anthony; of the Wisconsin River from the mouth up to Whitney's Rapids; of the Missouri River from its mouth to the Big Sioux River, in two sheets; of the Des Moines River from its mouth up to Lizard Fork, in two sheets. These maps of rivers exhibit sections showing the geological formations of the bluffs. There is also a map of the Bad Lands, which is imperfect in its representation. A party under Dr. Evans examined the Missouri River in 1849 as high up as Fort Berthold, the Fox Hills north of the Cheyenne River, and the Bad Lands on the White River. A party under Dr. Shumard ascended the Minnesota River as far as the mouth of Red Wood River, a tiny stream. Dr. Owen ascended the Mississippi as high as Crow Wing; thence by that river and Otter Fort River he passed into the valley of the Red River of the North, and along it to Fort Garry in the British Provinces. Many barometrical observations were made and altitudes deduced.


Northern Mexican Territory

Ceded by Mexico in 1848


Lieut. G. H. Derby, T. E., Reconnaissance of Sacramento Valley - 1849

A report of certain of these examinations forms a part of Senate Ex. Doc. No 47, first session, Thirty-first Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the Sacramento Valley from the American River to Butte Creek, surveyed and drawn by order of General Riley, commanding Tenth Military Department, by Lieutenant Derby, Topographical Engineers, September and October, 1849, on a scale of 10 miles to an inch.

Lieut. J. D. Webster, T. E., Survey of Mouth of Rio Grande - 1847

The report of this forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 65, first session Thirty-first Congress. The map is on a scale of an inch to a mile and exhibits the windings of the river from Matamoras to its mouth.

Lieut. J. H. Simpson, T. E., Reconnaissance along the Canadian River - 1849

The report of this survey forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 12, first session Thirty-first Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the route, in four sheets, on a scale of one inch to 10 miles. The survey was made with chain and compass, checked by astronomical observations made with a sextant and chronometer.

Lieut. J. H. Simpson, T. E., Reconnaissance, Navajo Country - 1849

Lieutenant Simpson's report of this expedition forms part of Senate Ex. Doc. No. 64, first session, Thirty-first Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the route pursued, on a scale of an inch to 10 miles. This expedition, the object of which was the chastisement of the Navajo Indians, was under the command of Brvt. Lieut. Col. J. M. Washington. Lieutenant Simpson was assisted in his duties by Messrs. E. M. Kern and R. H. Kern, and was provided with a sextant and chronometer for astronomical observations. The whole command left Santa Fe on the 16th August 1849. This report is also published as part of House Ex. Doc. No. 45, Thirty-first Congress, first session.

Capt. R. B. Marcy, U.S.A., Expedition from Fort Smith to Santa Fe - 1849

The report of Captain Marcy forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 12, first session Thirty-first Congress, and is accompanied by a map drawn on a scale of an inch to 36 miles, embracing the country from the Arkansas River south to the 31st parallel, between the 94th and 108th meridians. Captain Marcy went from Fort Smith to Santa Fe over the route surveyed by Lieutenant Simpson, Topographical Engineers. Of the remainder of his journey he prepared a map from notes taken by his command. He was not supplied with instruments for astronomical observations; his distances were measured with an odometer.

Capt. H. Stansbury, T. E., Expedition to Great Salt Lake - 1849 to 1850

The report of this expedition forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 3, special session, March, 1851, and is entitled: "Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, including a reconnaissance of a New Route through the Rocky Mountains.” By Howard Stansbury, Captain Corps of Topographical Engineers, United States Army. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co.-1852. It is accompanied by a map of the routes from the Missouri River to the Great Salt Lake, on a scale of 1 to 1,000,000 (about an inch to 16 miles), and by another of the Great Salt Lake and vicinity, on a scale of 1 to 240,000 (about 4 miles to an inch).

Captain Stansbury, Survey of the Salt Lake Valley (May 1849)

Commanded by Captain Howard Stansbury, his party was assembled at Fort Leavenworth and consisted of: 18 men, five wagons and 46 mules and horses, plus a guide, Archambault. Orders of April 11, 1849, have for its object a survey of the Great Salt Lake, and an exploration of its valley. His instructions required him to report to the commanding officer of the regiment of Mounted Rifles, at Fort Leavenworth, on the 10th of May following, and directed him to accompany those troops on their route to Oregon as far as Fort Hall, at which point he was to separate from the command and prosecute the examinations required. Owing to causes beyond his control, he did not reach Fort Leavenworth until after the departure of the Rifle Regiment from that post, and was consequently obliged to make such change in my arrangements as the circumstances required. Lt. Gunnison was ill at the start and was carried in a spring wagon used to transport the surveying instruments. Joining him was: Mr. Sackett with six people, one wagon, a traveling carriage and 15 animals. They departed on May 31st, and followed the Emigrant Trail to Fort Laramie (originally called Fort John) on July 12th. He gave the Smithsonian Barometers carried in his survey packet to Lt. Woodbury, and remained there until the 18th, repairing his equipment. He added 15 mules.

July 18. -He departed Fort Laramie; and continued his journey. The next stop was planned to be Fort Bridger, on Black's Fork of Green River, distant about four hundred miles. The supply train followed the traveling track (Emigrant Road), he took a road nearer the river, and examined a quarry which the workmen from the fort are opening. Leaving the valley of the Warm Spring Branch, the road crosses over to a branch of Bitter Creek, an affluent of the Platte, down the valley of which it winds until it reaches the main stream. We followed this valley the whole day, crossing the stream several times, and encamped on its left bank after a short march of ten and a-half miles. We were detained here the following day by the extreme illness of Auguste. He passed nearly consumed fragments of about a dozen wagons that had been broken up and burned by their owners; and near them was piled up, in one heap, from six to eight hundred pounds of bacon, thrown away for want of means to transport it farther. Boxes, bonnets, trunks, wagon-wheels, whole wagon-bodies, cooking utensils, and, in fact, almost every article of household furniture, were found from place to place along the prairie, abandoned for the same reason. In the evening of July 19th, Captain Duncan, of the Rifles, with a small escort, rode into camp. He had left Fort Laramie in the morning, and was in hot pursuit of four deserters. On the 22nd they were fifty miles from Fort Laramie, and descended the ridgeline into the valley of Horseshoe Creek.

July 25; - They reached “Deer Creek, a bright, clear stream, running pleasantly through a large grove of timber, principally cottonwood. Judging from appearances, this spot has been a favorite campground for the emigrants. Property of every description was strewn about in all directions, and in much greater quantities than we had yet seen. Just above the mouth of this stream, stretched across the river, and secured at the ends to either bank. Frail and insecure as was the appearance of this very primitive ferryboat, yet all the wagons were passed over in the course of two hours, without the slightest accident, although many of them were very heavily laden. The animals were driven into the stream and obliged to ferry themselves over, which they did without loss, although the river was now somewhat swollen by late rains and the current extremely rapid and turbid. The ferrymen informed me that an emigrant had been drowned here, the day before, in essaying to swim his horse across, which he persisted in attempting, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and warnings of his friends. They told us that this man made the twenty-eighth victim drowned in crossing the Platte this year; but I am inclined to believe that this must be an exaggeration. The charge for ferriage was two dollars for each wagon. The price, considering that the ferrymen had been for months encamped here, in a little tent, exposed to the assaults of hordes of wandering savages, for the sole purpose of affording this accommodation to travelers, was by no means extravagant.”

July 26; - They passed eleven wagons that had been broken up, the spokes of the wheels taken to make packsaddles, and the rest burned or otherwise destroyed. The road has been literally strewn with articles that have been thrown away. Bar-iron and steel, large blacksmiths' anvils and bellows, crow-bars, drills, augers, gold-washers, chisels, axes, lead, trunks, spades, ploughs, large grindstones, baking-ovens, cooking-stoves without number, kegs, barrels, harness, clothing, bacon, and beans, were found along the road in pretty much the order in which they have been here enumerated. The carcasses of eight oxen, lying in one heap by the roadside, this morning, explained a part of the trouble. Capt. Stansbury recognized the trunks of some of the passengers who had accompanied him from St. Louis to Kansas, on the Missouri River, and who had here thrown away their wagons and every thing they could not pack upon their mules, and preceded on their journey. At their noon halt, an excellent rifle was found in the river, thrown there by some desperate emigrant who had been unable to carry it any farther. In the course of this one-day the relics of seventeen wagons and the carcasses of twenty-seven dead oxen were seen.

August 6; - They arrived at the valley of the Sweetwater, they crossed through South Pass to the head branches of Sandy Creek, an affluent of the Colorado (Green River of the West), and nooned at the Pacific Springs," at the foot of the pass, on the western side.

August 9: - Their path ran along the right bank of Big Sandy, until reaching Green River, which they crossed above the junction, and encamped a couple of miles below.

August 11; - After a drive of thirty-two miles, during which we crossed Ham's Fork and Black's Fork three times, brought us to Fort Bridger-an Indian trading post, situated on the latter stream, which here branches into three principal channels, forming several extensive islands, upon one of which the fort is placed. It is built in the usual form of pickets, with the lodging apartments and offices opening into a hollow square, protected from attack from without by a strong gate of timber. On the north, and continuous with the walls, is a strong high picket fence, enclosing a large yard, into which the animals belonging to the establishment are driven for protection from both wild beasts and Indians. We were received with great kindness and lavish hospitality by the proprietor, Major James Bridger, one of the oldest mountain-men in this entire region, who has been engaged in the Indian trade, here, and upon the heads of the Missouri and Columbia, for the last thirty years. Several of my wagons needing repair, the train was detained five days for the purpose, Major Bridger courteously placing his blacksmith-shop my disposal.

Col Loring, March of Rifle Regiment from Fort Leavenworth to Oregon - 1849

An account of this march by Maj. Osborne Cross, A. Q. M., forms an appendix to the Quartermaster-General's report to the Secretary of War. It is printed in House Ex. Doc No. 1, second session Thirty-first Congress. This regiment, under Colonel Loring, marched from Fort Leavenworth to the Columbia River, with wagons.

Major Wood, U. S. Inf., and Captain Pope, Expedition to Red River - 1849

The report of the commander of this expedition, Bvt. Maj. S. Woods, Sixth Infantry, U. S. Army, forms House Ex. Doc. No. 51, first session Thirty-first Congress. Capt. John Pope, Topographical Engineers. This report appears also as part of House Ex. Doc. No. 45, Thirty-first Congress, and first session. Pope’s report, who was attached to the command, is found in Senate Ex. Doc. No. 42, first session Thirty-first Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the route, on a scale of an inch to 20 miles, based on the map of the Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi, created by Mr. Nicollet, most of which latter map is here repeated. On the outward journey, Captain Pope measured the road with an odometer, took courses with a compass, and made observations for latitude with a sextant.

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, Reconnaissance for Southern Routes in Texas - 1849 to 1851

No reports were published of the whole exploration made in Texas by these officers. The reports of separate explorations have been published and form part of the Senate Ex. Doc. No. 64, first session Thirty-first Congress. The report of Capt. S. G. French, A. Q. M., of the southern route from San Antonio to El Paso, forms also a part of this document, which is accompanied by a map of the routes described, on a scale of an inch to 20 miles. Lieut. William F. Smith, in February 1849, started to explore a road from San Antonio to El Paso. Lieut. F. T. Bryan left San Antonio June 14, 1849, for El Paso, and taking nearly the same route as Lieutenant Smith to the San Saba River, crossed it, and traveled north to the north branch of Brady's River, where he struck west along the head of the Rio Concho, and then to the Pecos at the Horse-head Crossing. Fording the river he traveled up its right bank to Salinas Creek; and struck northwestward to Delaware Creek, ascended it to its source, and crossed the Guadalupe Mountains, through the Guadalupe Pass; then proceeded to the Sierra de los Alamos, and then through the Sierra Hueco to El Paso. Colonel Johnston, in 1849, directed the construction of a road for the troops over the route discovered by Lieut. William F. Smith.  On arriving at El Paso Colonel Johnston and Lieutenant Bryan surveyed the valley of the Rio Grande to Dona Ana, while Lieut. William F. Smith examined the Organ Mountains north to Salina de San Andres, and the Sacramento Mountains between the Canon del Perro and La Cienega. Colonel Johnston and party returned to the Pecos by the route that Lieutenant Bryan had explored through the Gaudalupe Pass; thence they passed down the Pecos River to the mouth of Live Oak Creek, from which point they examined the direct route to Fort Inge, across the heads of the San Pedro and Nueces Rivers. During Colonel Johnston's reconnaissance the roads were measured with an odometer, and numerous observations were made with the sextant. Lieut. N. Michler, in 1849, made a reconnaissance of the country from Corpus Christi to Fort Inge, along the valleys of the Nueces, Leona, and Frio Rivers, for the purpose of opening a military road. Lieutenant Michler then examined the route from San Antonio to Fort Washita, passing through Austin, Navarro, Dallas, and Preston, and thence to the emigrant crossing of the Pecos. The return route from Fort Washita lay up the Red River to the mouth of the Little Washita, then west to the Big Washita, then southwest to the Double Mountain Fork, then to the Big Springs of the Colorado, and then through the White Sand Hills to the Pecos. From this point he returned to San Antonio over nearly the same route previously explored by Lieutenant Bryan as far as the head of the Concho, where he struck southwest to the San Saba, and then by Forts Mason and Martin Scott to San Antonio. The distances along the route from Fort Washita to the Pecos were chained. No mention is made of astronomical observations taken on this journey. Capt. R. B. Marcy, Fifth Infantry, had previously passed over the portion of the route from the Pecos to the Double Mountain Fork, and gave Lieutenant Michler information concerning it. Lieut William F. Smith, assisted by Messrs. R. A. Howard and J. F. Minter, also made an examination of the Colorado, with the view of improving its navigation. Lieutenant Whiting reconnoitered the route between San Antonio and Preston, via Fredericksburg, Fort Croghan, Fort Gates, Fort Graham, and * See House Ex. Doc. No. 67, Thirty-first Congress, first session. Lieutenant Bryan, Topographical Engineers, also examined this route. The above items are mainly from the printed reports or maps. The following information in regard to the unpublished maps of the explorations in Texas in 1850-'51 has been obtained from the officers engaged in the surveys. In the Topographical Bureau there are two maps, both incomplete, of these explorations; and each contains routes not upon the other. In January, 1849, Lieutenants Bryan and Michler, Topographical Engineers, examined Aranzas and Corpus Christi Bays, and the road from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, via San Patricio and Calaveras. In February, 1849, they made a reconnaissance of the lower road from San Antonio to the crossing near Presidio de Rio Grande, via Fort Inge; and also of a road from the San Fernando Crossing to San Antonio. In May, 1849, Lieutenant Michler examined the road from San Antonio to Port Lavacca; and in June and July, 1849, the road between Corpus Christi and Fort Inge, along the Nueces, Frio, and Leona Rivers. In May, 1850, Lieuts. William F. Smith and F. T. Bryan, Topographical Engineers, surveyed the Rio Grande with boats from El Paso to Presidio del Norte. From August to November, 1850, Lieut. M. L. Smith and N. Michler examined a road from San Antonio to Ringgold Barracks, via Fort Merrill, of which there is no map. They also surveyed the Rio Grande from Ringgold Barracks to a point 80 miles above the mouth of the Pecos. In April 1851, Lieutenant Bryan prepared a route and made the road from Austin to Fort Mason, of which there is, also no map. In April 1851, Colonel Johnston reconnoitered the western frontier of Texas from the headwaters of the Nueces to Fort Belknap, via the headwaters of the Llano, San Saba, Concho, and Clear Fork of Brazos. There were other surveys and reconnaissances made by these officers; but those maps are not available. Throughout most of the above examinations astronomical observations were made for latitude. Colonel Johnston determined the longitude of San Antonio by moon culminations. In April 1851, Lieuts W. F. Smith and N. Michler were placed on duty on the United States Mexican Boundary Survey. Lieutenant Bryan left Texas in the spring of 1852; Lieut. M. L. Smith in November 1852; Colonel Johnston in the spring of 1853.

Topographical Bureau, Map of Territory of United States West of the Mississippi - 1850.

To this map the following title was affixed: "A map of the United States and their Territories, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, and of part of Mexico; compiled in the Bureau of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, under a resolution of the United States Senate, from the best authorities which could be obtained." This map was published on a scale of 50 miles to an inch, and contained material from the greater portion of the maps previously created.

R. H. Kern, C. E., Reconnaissance on the Pecos River - 1850

Mr. R. H. Kern, (Third Artillery) was attached to the command of Capt. H. B. Judd, made a military reconnaissance of the Rio Pecos, as far south as the Bosque Grande, in 1850. It was probably made with a compass and estimated distances, and without any astronomical observations. Lieutenant Parke used the map of the reconnaissance in his compiled map of New Mexico in 1851.

Lieut. J. G. Parke, T. E., Map of New Mexico - 1851

This map, by Lieutenant Parke, was a careful compilation of all the available and reliable information in relation to New Mexico, which could be obtained at that date from trappers and hunters, as well as from actual survey. It was prepared by him, while in that country, by order of Bvt. Col. John Munroe, U. S. Army, commanding Ninth Military Department, and was drawn by R. H. Kern in 1851. It was subsequently reduced in the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, and published on a scale of 36 miles to an inch.

Captain Sitgreaves and Lieutenant Woodruff, T. E., Boundary of Creek Country Arkansas - 1850 to 1851

The report and map of this survey form printed House Ex. Doc. No. 104, first session Thirty-fifth Congress. The map is on a scale of 1 to 600,000, or about an inch to 9I miles. Chain and compass were used in the survey, and the longitude of Fort Gibson was determined by moon culminations. A sextant was used to determine the latitudes. The northern line begins on the parallel, which passes near the mouth of the Red Fork of the Arkansas, at a point a little west of north from Fort Gibson, and continues west on the parallel to the 100th meridian.

Captain Pope, Cimarron Route along Cedar Creek - 1851

Captain Pope traveled on the Cimarron route as far as Cedar Creek, where he turned north and struck the Arkansas at the Big Timbers. Crossing this river he took a northeast course to the Smoky Hill Fork, and came upon it near where Captain Fremont struck it in 1844. From this point he traveled down the stream. No other details available.

 Captain Sitgreaves, T. E., Expedition to Zuni and Colorado Rivers - 1851

The report of this forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 59, second session of Thirty-second Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the routes pursued, on a scale of 10 miles to an inch. The reconnaissance was made with a compass and estimated distances, and checked by astronomical observation made with a sextant. This expedition, under Captain Sitgreaves, assisted by Lieut. J. G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, Mr. R. H. Kern as topographer, and Dr. S. W. Woodhouse, surgeon and naturalist, was organized at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and consisted of about twenty persons, including packers and servants; pack-mules being used for transportation of provisions, etc. The party accompanied an expedition against the Navajos as far as Zuni, which point they reached by the road from Albuquerque on the 1st of September 1852.

Fort Laramie Treaty Crow Reservation -1851 September 17

When the Government created their 1st Treaty at Fort Laramie with the Crow Indians, they established about 38,000,000 acres of land for their use. The northern boundary was not closed causing much confusion.

Lieut. G. H. Derby, T. E., Reconnaissance to Mouth of Colorado River - 1851

The report of this forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 81, first session Thirty-second Congress, and is accompanied by a map, on a scale 4 miles to an inch, of the Colorado River from its mouth to Fort Yuma. Lieutenant Derby was supplied with a sextant and chronometer.

Lieut. I. C. Woodruff, T. E., Reconnaissance of Arkansas Rivers - 1852

Lieut. I. C. Woodruff, Topographical Engineers, made a reconnaissance, in 1852, of a portion of the Kansas River; of Walnut Creek; of Pawnee Fork; and of other streams lying between the Smoky Hill Fork of the Kansas and the Arkansas Rivers. These examinations were made for the purpose of selecting proper sites for military posts. The map and report prepared by Lieutenant Woodruff have never been published The former was made from compass notes and estimated distances, checked by the astronomical determinations of Captain Fremont and Major Emory.


Gadsden Purchase Completed in 1853


Capt. R. B, Marcy, U. S. A., Expedition to Source of Red River - 1853

The report of this expedition forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 54, second session Thirty-second Congress, House Ex. Doc., first session Thirty-third Congress, and is accompanied by numerous illustrations and by two maps, one of which exhibits the country from the 91st to the 114th meridian, lying between the 31st and 38th parallels, drawn on a scale of 24 miles to an inch; the other, on a scale of 10 miles to an inch, shows the country surrounding the sources of Red River. Bvt. Capt. G. B. McClellan assisted Captain Marcy, Engineers, who made astronomical observations for latitude and longitude by means of a sextant and "pocket lever watch." The routes were mostly measured with an odometer, and observations were taken with a barometer. Dr. G. G. Shumard accompanied the expedition as surgeon and geologist.

Gov. Isaac I. Stevens and Capt. G. B. McClellan, U. S. E., Exploration and Survey for a Railroad Route (NPR) from St Paul to Fort Union - 1853 to 1855

The 33rd Congress, 1st Session, issued Executive Document 1, which contained the Appropriation Act for 1853. Sections 10 and 11 identified the army’s portion established for the Office of Pacific Railroad surveys. United States Congress appropriated $150,000 to the War Department to conduct such explorations and surveys "as might be needed in order to establish the most practical and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean." Several possible rights-of-way were debated. Interested parties gained serious consideration for routes that would follow the 45th, 42nd, 37th, 35th, and 32nd parallels. Southerners led by United States Secretary of War Jefferson Davis aggressively sought land for the southern route along the 32° latitude. The commission’s findings went to Congress in 1855 with recommendations for four routes. Excluded was the Northern Pacific route examined by Governor Stevens. Since this route was abandoned, very little attention to the mapping and territory was given to this team’s effort.


The report of this exploration and survey is found in Vol. I, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 78, second session Thirty-third Congress, and House Ex. Doc. No. 91, second session Thirty-third Congress. Quarto edition. They are accompanied by a map, in three sheets, drawn on a scale of 1 to 1,200,000, exhibiting the entire exploration, and a sheet of profile on Vol. I contain the report of the Secretary of War and Capt. A. A. Humphreys on the comparative advantages of the routes examined. These are accompanied by a map of the territory of the United States, from the Mississippi to the Pacific, on a scale of 1 to 3,000,000, and a sheet of profiles of all the routes on a horizontal scale of 1 to 3,000,000, and a vertical scale of 1 to 60,000 with a horizontal scale of 1 to 3,000,000, the vertical scale being 1 to 60,000, or fifty times greater. A brief report of the progress of the survey was published in Senate Ex. Doc. No. 29, first session Thirty-third Congress, which is accompanied by a map of the route from St. Paul to Fort Union, drawn on a scale of 1 to 1,200,000. A nearly complete report is contained in House Doc. No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress, accompanied by a profile and map, in three sheets, showing the entire route, drawn on a scale of 1 to 1,200,000. This map is, however, not so complete as the one in the quarto edition. An additional report has also been made by Washington Territory Governor Stevens, which will appear in a subsequent volume with numerous landscape illustrations. This expedition, as first organized, consisted of four separate parties. The one under Governor Stevens's personal supervision operated from St. Paul westward towards the mouth of White Earth River; thence on the prairies lying along the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, and then among the passes of that region, arriving at Fort Benton. [He filed his first major report of the survey on September 9th, 1853, from Fort Benton. In this three-page document he describes the excellent treatment received from the Indians, and praises their support.] The second party under Bvt. Capt. G B. McClellan, Engineers, began at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia, operated northeastward, examining the passes of the Cascade Range, and then eastward to join Governor Stevens's party. The third party, under Lieut. A. J. Donelson, Engineers, examined the Missouri River from its mouth to the Yellowstone, where a junction was made with that under Governor Stevens. A fourth party, under Lieut. R. Saxton, United States artillery, conducted a reconnaissance from Fort Walla Walla to the Bitter Root Valley, where a depot was established. The party under the immediate supervision of Governor Stevens took the field at St. Paul's on the 8th June. The principal engineer and scientific assistants consisted of Lieut. C. Grover, United States artillery; Dr. George Suckley, surgeon and naturalist; Messrs. F. W. Lander and A. W. Tinkham, civil engineers; Mr. J. Lambert, topographer; Mr. J. M. Stanley, artist; Mr. G. W. Stevens, assistant astronomer, and Mr. J. Moffett and Mr. J. Doty, meteorologists. Governor Stevens failed in securing the services of the officer designed to take charge of the astronomical observations. Ordered by the Senate at the second session Thirty-fifth Congress. The party was well supplied with suitable instruments. Odometers, compasses, barometers, thermometers, sextants, chronometers, and a portable astronomical transit of twenty-six inches focal length (which was not used).



Lieutenant Saxton arrived at Fort Benton on the 12th of September. He was responsible for establishing a depot of supplies at St. Mary's village, and left The Dalles on the 18th of July 1853. His party consisted of Lieuts. Robert Macfeely and Richard Arnold, Messrs. Arnold and Hoyt, and forty-nine enlisted men, packers, etc. They were provided with barometers, compasses, sextants, and chronometers. The distances were estimated.

The party on the western division, under the command of Capt. George B. McClellan, consisted of Lieut. J. K. Duncan, Third Artillery, Lieut. S. Mowry, Lieut. H. C. Hodges, Mr. J. F. Minter, civil engineer, George Gibbs, geologist, and Dr. J. G. Cooper, naturalist. Captain McClellan left Fort Vancouver in July 1853. Lieutenant Duncan prepared a large map of the Cascade Range, north of the Columbia, on a scale of 1 to 400,000.

Lieutenant Mullan, was left at Cantonment Stevens, on the Bitter Root River, to make observations in the mountains during the winter, made several reconnaissances. Mr. Adams as topographer and artist assisted him. The maps of the routes were made from compass courses and generally estimated distances. The reports of each of the reconnaissances made by the subordinates of Governor Stevens's expedition will be found with his printed report; and Mr. Lambert compiled the various maps of these routes on the map that accompanies it. Governor Stevens also made additional examinations in 1855, in connection with his official duties with the Indians, and the results would be published in a supplementary volume.


Lieut. R. Arnold, U. S. A., survey, 1854.

In the summer of 1854 Lieut R. Arnold, Third Artillery, made an odometer survey and map of a road which he opened from Puget Sound to Walla Walla, through the Naches Pass, over nearly the same route reconnoitered by Lieutenant Hodges, of Captain McClellan's party in 1853. His report is found as an appendix to the annual report of Col. J. J. Abert, Topographical Engineers, forming part of Senate Ex. Doc. No. 1, first session Thirty-fourth Congress.

F. W. Lander, C. E., reconnaissance, 1854

The report of Mr. Lander forms part of House Ex. Doc. No. 129, First Session Thirty-third Congress, and is reprinted in the quarto edition of Pacific Railroad Reports, Vol. II, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 78, and House Ex. Doc. No. 91, second session Thirty-third Congress. The report is unaccompanied by maps or sketches. Mr. F. W. Lander returned to the States in 1854 by the emigrant road up the valley of the Columbia; thence across the Blue Mountains through the Grande Ronde; thence up Snake River and across to Bear River; and thence by the usual traveled road through the South Pass and down the Platte River to Missouri. He undertook the journey at the request of citizens of Oregon and Washington Territories, to endeavor to find a railroad route in this direction. Although he examined several approaches to the Blue Mountains from the west, he found no practicable railroad route, as time and means did not permit him to reconnoiter this portion as fully as he intended. It was also his design to examine a route from the source of Snake River over the mountains to the head of Green River, but an accident to him prevented this. His examinations tended to confirm the opinion of the difficult nature of the route west of the South Pass.

Capt. G. W. Gunnison, T.E., and Capt. E. G. Beckwith, U. S. A., exploration and survey for a railroad route, 1853.

The report of this examination was made by Capt. E. G. Beckwith, United States Artillery, and forms part of Vol. II of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Report, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 78; House Ex. Doc. No. 91, second session Thirty-third Congress The maps were prepared by Mr. F. W. Egloffstein, and are in four sheets, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch. The profile of this route is engraved on a horizontal scale of 30 miles to an inch, and a vertical scale 391 times greater than the horizontal. Numerous illustrations accompany the quarto edition. This report was also published in House Doc. No. 129, first session, Thirty-third Congress, and was accompanied by a preliminary map, on a scale of 50 miles to an inch, and profile on a horizontal scale of 15 miles to an inch, the vertical scale being 2,000 feet to an inch. A sketch of the portion of the route between the 104th and 110th meridian, on a scale of about 16 miles to an inch, accompanies the report of the Secretary of War-Senate Ex. Doc. No. 29, first session, Twenty-ninth Congress. This expedition was composed of Captain Gunnison, Lieut. E. G. Beckwith, Third Artillery; Mr. R. H. Kern, topographer; Mr. S. Homans, astronomer; Dr. J. Schiel, surgeon and geologist; Mr. F. Creutzfeldt, botanist; and Mr. J. A. Snyder, assistant topographer; with the necessary teamsters and employes. They were escorted by Capt. R. M. Morris and Lieut. L. S. Baker, and about thirty soldiers of the regiment of mounted rifles. They were provided with sextants and artificial horizons, compasses, odometers, mercurial and aneroid barometers, and instruments for railroad surveying. Their supplies, etc., were transported in wagons. Messrs. Beale and Heap passed over nearly this same route in advance of Captain Gunnison's party on their way to California. The journey of these enterprising travelers was a very trying one; and they lost nearly everything they had in attempting to cross Grand River on a raft during a high stage of water. They published a brief and interesting narrative of their journey, accompanied by a map. Col. J. C. Fremont also passed over nearly this same route during the winter of 1853-'54. He crossed the Sierra Blanca through the Sandy Hill Pass; thence his route was not materially different from Captain Gunnison's to the point where the latter left Grand River[15]. Colonel Fremont continued further south, and crossed the Wasatch Mountains south of Gunnison's route. He had with him, as far as the Mormon settlement, Mr. F. W. Egloffstein, as topographer.

Capt. E. G. Beckwith, U. S. A., exploration and survey for a railroad route, 1854

The report of this route, by Lieutenant Beckwith, forms part of Volume II of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports. The topographical maps are in four sheets, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch. The profiles are drawn on a horizontal scale of 16 miles to an inch, the vertical scale being 28-1 times larger. This report of Captain Beckwith was also published in House Document No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress, and was accompanied by a preliminary map on a scale of 50 miles to an inch. On the 3d of April Lieut. E. G. Beckwith, aided by Mr. F. W. Egloffstein and the surviving assistants of Captain Gunnison, started to examine the practicability of the Wasatch Mountains east of Great Salt Lake. This examination throws much light on the subject of the practicability of the route for a railroad. The altitudes were determined by an aneroid barometer. The determination of the eastern boundary of California was another object in the examination, and for this purpose the party used an astronomical transit and sextant with chronometers. The report of these operations, by George H. Goddard, accompanies the annual report of the surveyor-general of the State of California, Assembly document No. 5, session of 1856.

Capt. A. W. Whipple, T. E., exploration and survey for a railroad route, 1853-'54.

The final report of Captain Whipple forms Volumes III and IV of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 78, House Ex. Doc. No. 91, second session'Thirty-third Congress. A topographical map in two sheets, drawn on a scale of 15 miles to an inch, and a sheet of profiles accompanies it on a horizontal scale of 15 miles to an inch, and a vertical 50 times the horizontal. There are geological maps and numerous other illustrations. His preliminary report forms part of House Doc. No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress. This edition is accompanied by a map in two sheets, and on a scale of 1 to 900,000, and a profile of the route on a horizontal scale of 1 inch to 79,500 feet, and a vertical scale of 1 inch to 3,000 feet. Captain Whipple was assisted by Lieut. J. C. Ives, Topographical Engineers; Dr. J. M. Bigelow, surgeon and botanist; Jules Marcou, geologist and mining engineer; Dr. C. B. R. Kennerley, physician and naturalist; A. H. Campbell, principal assistant railroad engineer; H. B. Mollhausen, topographer and artist; Hugh Campbell, assistant astronomer; William White, jr., assistant meteorological observer; Mr. George G. Garner, assistant astronomer; Mr. N. H. Hutton, assistant engineer; John P. Sherburne, assistant meteorological observer; and Mr. T. H. Parke, assistant astronomer and computer. They were provided with a portable transit, sextants, and chronometers, for astronomical observations, and with the other instruments needful for reconnaissances. They were escorted by a company of the Seventh Infantry, under Capt. J. M. Jones, and began the survey with a train of wagons. Lieutenant Ives proceeded with an astronomical transit and other instruments, from Washington, D. C., to Albuquerque, by way of San Antonio and El Paso, where he joined the party.

Lieut. R. S. Williamson, T. E., survey for a railroad route, 1853-'54.-

The final report of these surveys and reconnaissances forms Volume V of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports. A general map accompanies it on a scale of 1 to 600,000; one of certain passes on a scale of 1 to 240,000, and several detailed maps. There are sheets of profiles drawn on a horizontal scale of 1 to 120,000 and a vertical scale five times greater. Geological maps and profiles also accompany the report. The report and general map were also in House Document No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress. Lieutenant Williamson was assisted by Lieut. J. G. Parke, Topographical Engineers; Lieut. G. B. Anderson, Second Dragoons; Dr. A. L. Heerman, physician and naturalist; Mr. W. P. Blake, geologist; Mr. Isaac W. Smith, civil engineer; Mr. Charles Preuss, topographer; and Mr. Charles Koppel, artist. His escort was commanded by Lieut. G. Stoneman, First Dragoons. Continuous topographical sketches of the routes traversed were taken: and the work checked by astronomical observations with the sextant. Two of the passes were surveyed with chain and spirit level. On the map Lieutenant Williamson embodied some of the explorations of Captain Warner, which were not previously published.

Lieut. J. G. Parke, T. E., exploration and survey for a railroad route - 1854

The report of this reconnaissance forms part of Volume II, quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports. This report is printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress, and is there accompanied by a map on a scale of 5 miles to an inch, and profile on the same horizontal scale, the vertical being 1,000 feet to an inch. Lieutenant Parke, assisted by Mr. H. Custer, topographer, and Dr. A. L. Heerman, physician and naturalist, and provided with barometers, odometers, and compass, on the 24th of January 1854, left San Diego with a party of twenty-three men, exclusive of an escort, under Lieutenant Stoneman, of twenty-eight dragoons.

Capt. J. Pope, T. E., exploration and survey for a railroad route - 1854

The report of this reconnaissance will be found in Volume II of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, and is accompanied by a map, on a scale of 15 miles to an inch, and a profile on the same horizontal scale, the vertical being fifty times greater. The report, with a map and profile, on a scale of 10 miles to an inch, also forms part of House Doc. No. 129, first session Thirty-third Congress. Capt J. Pope was assisted by Lieut. Kenner Garrard, First Dragoons; Dr. J. Mitchell, surgeon and naturalist; Mr. C L. Taplin, and J. H. Byrne, with an escort of twenty-five men under Lieut. L. H. Marshall, Third Infantry. The party, including teamsters, etc., numbered seventy-five men. They were provided with sextant, chronometer, odometer, and compasses. The route grades were determined by measuring the vertical angle with a theodolite. The expedition left Dona Ana February 12, 1854. Captain Pope made additional explorations in the vicinity of the Guadalupe Mountains during the years 1855, 1856, and 1857, while engaged in the experiment for obtaining water by artesian wells, but his final report was apparently not published.

Lieut. J. G. Parke, T. E., exploration and survey for a railroad route - 1854-'55.

The report of these examinations forms part of Volume VII of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, and is accompanied by two topographical maps, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch, and profiles of his routes on the same horizontal scale, and a vertical scale fifty times larger. On the same sheet is a profile of the route from Fulton to San Diego, on a horizontal scale of 36 miles to an inch, and a vertical scale fifty times greater. There are also geological maps and profiles. Lieutenant Parke was assisted by Mr. Albert H. Canpbell, civil engineer; Dr. Thomas Antisell, geologist; and Messrs. Custer and N. II. Hutton, topographers. They were provided with sextants and chronometers, barometers, compasses, and odometers. On the 20th November 1854, they left Benicia with a party of about thirty persons.

Lieut. R. S. Williamson, T. E., and Lieut. H. L. Abbott, T. E., exploration and survey for a railroad route - 1855

The report of this expedition, owing to the illness of Lieutenant Williamson, was written by Second Lieut. H. L. Abbot, Topographical Engineers. It forms Volume VI of the quarto edition of the Pacific Railroad Reports, and is accompanied by a topographical map, in two sheets, on a scale of 12 miles to an inch, and two sheets of profiles, on the same horizontal scale, but with the vertical scale fifty times greater. The party consisted of Lieut. R. S. Williamson, Topographical Engineers, assisted by Lieut. H. L. Abbot, Topographical Engineers, with Dr. J. S. Newberry, as geologist; Dr. E. Sterling, as physician and naturalist; Mr. H. C. Fillebrown, as assistant engineer; Mr. C. D. Anderson, as computer; and Mr. John Young, as draughtsman. A light cart was taken for the instruments, but pack mules transported everything else. The party was supplied with sextants and chronometers, odometers, compasses, and barometers. The expedition left Benicia, California, on July 10, 1855, and proceeded up the Sacramento Valley to Fort Reading, crossing the river at Fremont. At the fort it was joined by the escort, consisting of Lieut. H. G. Gibson, Third Artillery; Lieut. G. Crook, Fourth Infantry; Lieut. J. B. Hood, Second Cavalry, and one hundred soldiers. In making the map of this exploration, Lieutenant Abbot embodied various unpublished military reconnaissances made in Oregon and northern California, which he duly acknowledges. These were: That by Major Alvord, in 1853, from Myrtle Creek, in Umpqua Valley, to.Rogue River Valley; that by Mr. G. Gibbs, in 1852, from Humboldt Bay to the head of Scott's River; that of Lieutenant Chandler, in 1856, near the mouth of Rogue River; that of Lieutenant Kautz, in 1854, near Coos Bay; those of Lieutenant Williamson from Yreka, east of Shasta Butte, to Fort Reading; from Yreka to lower Klamath Lake, and from Port Orford to Coquille and Rogue Rivers, made while on military duty in the Department in 1851-'52.

Maj. W. H. Emory, U. S. A., United States and Mexican boundary survey - 1849-'55

These surveys began in 1849, and continued, with various interruptions, until 1856. During the establishment of the boundary line agreed upon by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, four different appointments were made of United States commissioner, four of astronomer, and two of surveyor. Delays were caused by these changes, by a want of means to properly carry on the work, and by differences of opinion as to the proper initial point on the Rio Grande. The following-named reports can be consulted in relation to it: 1st. The reports of the Secretary of the Interior, one dated February 27, 1850, printed Senate Ex. Doc. No. 34, first session Thirty-first Congress; and another dated July 1852, which is printed Senate Ex. Doc. No. 119, first session Thirty-second Congress. These contain various letters from different individuals and sketch maps in reference to the initial points of the boundary line on the Pacific shore, at the juncture of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, and on the Rio Grande. 2d. Extract from a journal of an expedition from San Diego, California, to the Rio Colorado, from September 11 to December 11, 1849, by A W. Whipple, Lieutenant United States Topographical Engineers; printed Senate Ex. Doc. No. 19, second session Thirty-first Congress 3d. Report of Lieut Col. J. D. Graham, Topographical Engineers, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 121, first session Thirty-second Congress. This is a narrative by Colonel Graham of his connection as astronomer with the establishment of this line, and is accompanied by numerous letters from different persons, one of which is Lieutenant Whipple's report to Colonel Graham on the survey of the Gila. This report of Colonel Graham is also accompanied by a "barometric profile of the route from San Antonio via Castorville, Fort Inge, Howard's Spring, Ojo Escondido, Eagle Spring, El Paso del Norte, and Dona Ana, to the copper mines of Santa Rita, in New Mexico, in 1851; from observations by and under the direction of Bvt. Lieut. Col. J. D. Graham, United States Topographical Engineers, assisted by Lieut. W. F. Smith, Topographical Engineers, and Mr. J. Lawson, and computed by Lieut. G. Thorn, Topographical Engineers" The profile is on a horizontal scale of 20 miles to an inch, the vertical scale being 105-5- times greater. Colonel Graham acknowledges, in terms of commendation, the aid received by him from Lieutenant Whipple, Topographical Engineers, and Lieutenants Tillinghast and Burnside, U. S. Army. 4th. "Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, during the years 1850-'51-'52, and'53. By John Russell Bartlett, United States Comvmissioner during that period; in two volumes, with maps and illustrations. Publisled by D. Appleton & Co., Nos. 346 and 348 Broadway, New York, and No. 16 Little Britain, London -1854." In page 11 of the preface to this work, Mr. Bartlett says: "The maps of the survey, as well as the astronomical, magnetic, and meteorological observations, with all that strictly appertains to the running and marking the boundary line, were, by the instructions of the Secretary of the Interior, placed in charge of the surveyor, Bvt. Maj. W. H. Emory, who alone is held responsible for the faithful performance of these duties. From the high character of that officer as an engineer, the public may expect, in proper season, a satisfactory account of his labors in these departments. Some time must elapse before the maps to illustrate the whole boundary from one ocean to the other can be completed; I have therefore been compelled to construct, meanwhile, the map prefixed to this work from my own itinerary and from the most authentic information that could be obtained." This work contains, among other things of interest, an account of the country south of the boundary, on the route from El Paso via the Guadalupe Pass to Guaymas; and also of a journey through Chihuahua, Coahuila, and New Leon to the Rio Grande. 5th. "Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey," made under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, by William H. Emory, Major First Cavalry and United States Commissioner. Washington: Cornelius Wendell, printer." The report of Major Emory was published in 1858, and forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 108, first session Thirty-fourth Congress, and, with the appendices, makes two volumes. There are four topographical maps on a scale of 1 to 600,000, "showing the boundary line and the country contiguous, as far as information has been obtained from actual survey or reconnaissance." There is also a topographical map on a scale of 1 to 6,000,000, entitled a "Map of the United States and their Territ6ries between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean and part of Mexico, compiled from surveys made under the order of W. H. Emory, Major First Cavalry, United States Commissioner, and from the maps of the Pacific Railroad, General Land Office, and the Coast Survey, projected and drawn under the supervision of Lieut. N. Michler, Topographical Engineers, by Thomas Jekyll, C. E., 1857-'58." This map (of all the country north of the surveys of the Mexican boundary) is a reduction from the map which was compiled for the Pacific Railroad office. Major Emory's report is also accompanied by a geological map of the same country, and on the same scale as that just mentioned, prepared by James Hall, assisted by J. P. Leslie, esq. this map is without date. There is also a barometrical and geological profile along the Rio Grande from its mouth to El Paso, and thence across the country to the Pacific. The report contains numerous illustrations of scenery, and geological, botanical, and zoological plates. Assistance was received in the field from Lieut. A. W. Whipple, Topographical Engineers; Bvt. Capt. E. L. F. Hardcastle, Topographical Engineers; Mr. G. C. Gardner, Dr. C. Parry, Messrs. E. Ingraham, C. Radziminski, Arthur Schott, J. H. Clark, S. W. Jones, E. A. Phillips, J. H. Houston, J. E. Weiss, H. Campbell, F. Wheaton, W. White, and G. G. Garner. The line, as finally determined and established under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, extended up the Rio Grande from its mouth to latitude 31º 54' 40" north; thence west along that parallel to the meridian of 109037' west; thence due north to the Rio San Domingo; thence down that stream to the Gila; thence down the Gila to its mouth; thence in a straight line to the point on the Pacific in latitude 32º 32' north. Numerous reconnaissances were made by different parties in going to and from various points on the line; and the Rio Grande was surveyed as far up as the parallel of 32º 22' north, and a portion of that parallel run by Lieutenant Whipple as directed by Mr. Bartlett, commissioner at the time. The treaty of 1853, by which the tract of territory known as the Gadsden purchase was acquired from Mexico, changed the boundary line so as to make it commence on the Rio Grande at latitude 31º 47' north; thence due west 100 miles; thence south to latitude 310 30' north; thence due west to the 111th meridian; thence in a straight line to a point on the Colorado 20 miles below its junction with the Gila; thence up the Colorado to the former line. To establish this boundary Major Emory (then brevet major, Corps Topographical Engineers) was appointed commissioner and astronomer on the part of the United States; and the work was accomplished during the years 1855-'56. Major Emory was assisted in this work by Lieut. N. Michler, Topographical Engineers; Lieut. C. N. Turnbull, Topographical Engineers; Messrs. C. Radziminski, M. T. W. Chandler, J. H. Clark, H. Campbell, W. Emory, M. Von Hippel, C. Weiss, F. Wheaton, A. Schott, J. Houston, D. Hinkle, B. Burns, E. A. Phillips, and J. O'Donoghue. Capt. G. Thom, Topographical Engineers, had charge of the office in computing the work and projecting the maps of both boundary surveys.

Capt. J. L. Reno, U. S. A., Survey - 1853

Captain Reno was assisted in this survey, which was made with chain and compass, by Mr. James Tilton (later surveyor-general of Washington Territory) and Mr. A. Cross. The map stored in the Topographical Bureau has never been published. The report forms printed House Ex. Doc. No. 97, first session Thirty-third Congress.

Capt. R. B. Marcy, U. S. A., exploration - 1854

The report of this forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 60, first session Thirty-fourth Congress. It is accompanied by a map of the region explored, on a scale of 8 miles to an inch. Captain Marcy was accompanied by Major Neighbors, Indian agent, and Dr. G. G. Shumard, geologist, and escorted by forty-five men of the Seventh Infantry, under Lieuts. N. B. Pearce and G. Chapin. An odometer, compass, aneroid barometer, and thermometer composed his main instruments. The object of the expedition was to find suitable lands to reserve for the Indians. No astronomical observations were made; he adopted the positions of Forts Belknap and Phantom Hill, from Johnson's map of Texas.

Alexander Ross - " Fur Hunters of the Far West" - 1855

This book begins with the transfer of Astoria to the British Northwest Company, and gives the history of this company down to its union with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, which closes the first volume. The second volume is a narrative of some expeditions conducted by Ross for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1825 and previous years. On one of these he led a large trapping party into the Snake country, and visited the sources of Salmon, Malade, Goddin's, and Reid's or Boise Rivers, giving a very interesting account of much country as yet unexplored by any surveying expedition. The information concerning it is of great value and interest. The author, in speaking of the great amount of information required by the members of these fur companies, and the little that has been given to the public, says that it has not been kept secret from design, but merely from inability to make it public. There are many works of travels and adventures on the prairies mentioned in this memoir.

March of Colonel Steptoe's command to California - 1854-'55

The report of Capt. Rufus Ingalls, quartermaster to this command, forms a portion of the printed annual Executive Document of 1855, part two. A map showing the routes of portions of the command from Salt Lake City west is also a part of the same document, and was furnished by Captain Ingalls. The command started from Fort Leavenworth during the first part of June 1854, and traveled via Fort Kearny, Fort Laramie, South Pass, and Bear River to Great Salt Lake City, where they spent the winter. Lieut. S. Mowry, who accompanied Colonel Steptoe, was detached at Great Salt Lake City in the spring of 1855 to conduct some dragoon recruits and animals by the Santa Fe trail to Fort Tejon, in California. This duty he performed. His report was rendered to the Adjutant-General, but was not published. It had no topographical sketches.

Lieut. J. Withers, U. S. A., survey of road - 1854

The map, with descriptive notes, is on file in the Topographical Bureau. It is drawn on a scale of 2 miles to an inch. The road is located along the Valley of Umpqua River, between Scottsburg and Myrtle Creek. The report of Lieutenant Withers accompanied the annual report of the Colonel of Topographical Engineers for 1855.

Lieut. G. H. Derby, T. E., survey of roads - 1854-'55

The principal of these examinations were for a road from Salem to Astoria, in Oregon, and from Columbia Barracks to Fort Steilacoom, in Washington Territory. The maps are on file in the Topographical Bureau, drawn on a scale of 1 to 48,000. There are also reductions of these (made in the Topographical Bureau) to a scale of 4 miles to an inch. These surveys and maps were made by direction of Maj. H. Bache, Topographical Engineers, by Lieutenant Derby, assisted by Mr. George Gibbs and C. M. Bache. A brief report in relation to these routes will be found in the annual report of the Colonel of Topographical Engineers for 1855.

Lieut. G. H. Mendell, T. E., Fort Boise Reconnaissance for Indians - 1855

Lieutenant Mendell's report has not been located. The reconnaissance was probably made by means of compass courses and estimated distances, checked by astronomical observations for latitude. A tracing from his original map is in the Topographical Bureau. This expedition, consisting of about two companies, all mounted, under the command of Bvt. Maj. G. P. Haller, Fourth Infantry, was organized by General Wool in the summer of 1855, for the purpose of chastising the Indians who had killed some emigrants near Fort Boise.

Capt. J. H. Simpson, T. E., survey of roads [St. Louis, Fort Ripley, Big Sioux River] - 1855

Captain Simpson's annual report for 1855, with a map, on a scale of 24 miles to an inch, showing all the General Government roads under his charge, forms a part of the annual Executive document for that year. One of these roads extends from Point Douglas, on the Mississippi, to the mouth of St. Louis River; another from Point Douglas to Fort Ripley; another from Fort Ripley, on Crow Wing River, to Otter Tail Lake; and another from the Mendota to the mouth of the Big Sioux River. These are the principal roads. Captain Reno surveyed the one last mentioned in 1853.

Lieut. G. K. Warren, T. E., Reconnaissance in Nebraska - 1855

The report of this forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 76, first session Thirty-fourth Congress. A map accompanies it on a scale of 1 to 600,000, giving the detailed topography of the routes explored, and a general map of Nebraska, on a scale of 1 to 3,000,000. While making this reconnaissance Warren was attached to the staff of General Harney, commanding Sioux expedition, and was assisted by Mr. P. Carrey and J. H. Snowden. He left St. Louis on the 7th of June. Sketches of routes were also furnished by Lieut. G. T. Balch, U. S. Ordnance, and Lieut. J. Curtiss, Second Infantry. The instruments used consisted of odometers, compasses, and barometers. The routes traveled and the distances were measured with an odometer; and maps were made of all the routes traversed.

Lieut. F. T. Bryan, T. E., Reconnaissance Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley - 1855

The map of this is in the Topographical Bureau, but neither it nor the report has been published. The party under Lieutenant Bryan consisted of Mr. J. Lambert, topographer; Mr. C. Lombard, road surveyor; Mr. C. F. Lamed and S. M. Cooper, assistant topographers. Their instruments consisted of compasses and odometers. Having surveyed the route from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley, they were joined there by an escort under Maj. L. Armistead.

Lieut. J. C. Amory, U. S. A., Reconnaissance Fort Gibson to Walnut Creek - 1855

Lieutenant Amory was attached to the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, who left Fort Gibson and traveled up the Verdigris as far as the Kansas boundary. Here they left that river and proceeded northwest, gradually approaching the Arkansas until they struck it at the mouth of Walnut Creek; thence they proceeded over the usual road to Bent's Fort. Their route from Fort Gibson to the mouth of Walnut Creek was through country previously unexplored.

Major Merrill, U. S. A., Reconnaissance Fort Belknap to Fort Riley- 1855

This consists in a sketch of the route of a portion of the Second Dragoons from Fort Belknap direct to Council Grove and Fort Riley.

Lieut. I. N. Moore, U. S. A., Map of Rio Grande & Pecos in New Mexico - 1855

This map embraces the country between the Rio Grande and Pecos, from the thirty-second parallel to the thirty-sixth, and is compiled from examinations, sketches, and notes taken by himself, Major Carlton, Lieutenant Higgins, and other officers of the Army while traversing this region on Indian scouts, etc. The positions of the main points along the Rio Grande, Canadian route, and upper El Paso route are taken from the published maps of the Topographical Engineers.

Lieut. E. L. Hartz, U. S. A., Reconnaissance Fort Davis to El Paso Road- 1856

Lieutenant Hartz, with a command of three non-commissioned officers and twenty-four men, with two wagons, started on the 16th of August from Fort Davis to intersect the El Paso road. His general course was nearly west, but with many detours to obtain water. He passed through the Carisso Pass, which is difficult for wagons, and struck the El Paso road 25 miles west of Eagle Springs. Lieutenant Hartz made a map of this route, on a scale of 1 inch to 5 miles. It is not stated in his report or map what instruments were employed in reconnoitering.

Lieut. F. T. Bryan, T. E., Survey of road, Fort Riley to Bridger’s Pass - 1856

The report of this will be found in the annual documents accompanying the President's message for 1857. The original map, on a scale of I to 600,000, is in the Topographical Bureau, and was not published. Lieutenant Bryan was assisted by Mr. J. Lambert, Mr. C. F. Larned, Mr. S. M. Cooper, assistant topographers, and Mr. H. Englernann, as geologist. They were provided with odometers, compasses, barometers, and sextant. They were accompanied by thirty men, and protected by an escort of one company of the Sixth Infantry under Maj. L. A. Armistead.

Capt. J. H. Dickerson, U. S. A., Survey of road, Omaha City to Fort Kearny - 1856

The report of Captain Dickerson is published with the documents accompanying the President's annual message for 1857, but without the map, which is in the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, under the direction of which the survey was made. This survey from Omaha to the Platte, and along that river to Fort Kearny was made with a chain, compass, and spirit level. A survey was made with compass and odometer of the route up the Loup Fork, on the south side, leaving it near the mouth of Beaver Creek.

Lieut. W. D. Smith, U. S. A., Reconnaissance of route, Fort Randall to Fort Kearny - 1856

A reconnaissance was made of this route during the march of a squadron of the Second Dragoons under Lieut. W. D. Smith. A sketch map made from the measured distances, but without compass courses, accompanies the report. The report has not been printed.

Capt. A. Sully, U. S.A., Reconnaissance, Fort Ridgley to Fort Pierre - 1856

A reconnaissance was made of this route by Captain Sully, whose company formed part of the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Abercrombie, in making the movement between these two posts. Topographical sketches were made with a pocket compass and estimated distances. Captain Sully determined the source of the Big Sioux River to be in Lake Kampeska. This map and the report were not published.

Lieut. G. K. Warren, T. E., Reconnaissance of Missouri and Yellowstone - 1856

A map on a scale of 1 to 600,000 has been prepared and the material reduced from it to the Pacific Railroad map. On this reconnaissance Warren was assisted by Mr. N. H. Hutton and Mr. J. H. Snowden, assistant topographers, Dr. and F. V. Hayden, geologist and naturalist, and was provided with an astronomical transit, a sextant, chronometers, barometers, odometers, and compasses. They started on a steamboat from St. Louis, April 16, to join General Harney at Fort Pierre, and on their way made a map of the Missouri from the mouth of the Big Nemeha. At Fort Pierre Warren received orders from General Harney to proceed on board the American Fur Company's boat “St. Mary” and examine the Missouri River as far as the boat should go, and then to return down the stream by Mackinac boats. The Missouri River was thus mapped as far up as the mouth of the Big Muddy, 60 miles above Fort Union. The party consisted, in addition to the assistants, of about thirty men, seventeen of whom were enlisted men of the Second Infantry.

Boundary Line at 49th Parallel – April 1857

The United States astronomical and surveying parties for establishing the boundary line (49th parallel) between the United States and Great Britain, of which Archibald Campbell, esq., was commissioner, and Lieut. J. G., Parke, Topographical Engineers, astronomer, was organized under the State Department and started for the field of operations on the Pacific coast in April 1857. The party under Mr. W. H. Nobles, organized in the Interior Department for making a road from Fort Ridgely to the South Pass, examined the route during the summer as far west as the Missouri at the mouth of Crow Creek. The party under Lieutenant Warren, Topographical Engineers, organized by the War Department, started in June in two divisions, one from Omaha City, the other from Sioux City. They united at the mouth of Loup Fork, examined this stream to its source, and thence proceeded by way of the valley of the Niobrara River to Fort Laramie. Thence they proceeded north, explored the Black Hills, and, returning by way of the Niobrara River examined it to its mouth. The wagon-road expedition, organized under the Department of the Interior, of which Mr. F. W. Lander was the engineer, made reconnaissances of the mountains between Green River and Bear River. The wagon-road expedition under Lieutenant Bryan, in 1857, was confined to routes, which he had previously mapped and explored. The expedition against the Cheyenne Indians, commanded by Colonel Sumner, explored a portion of the country between the Platte and Arkansas Rivers. The party commanded by Colonel Johnston to survey the southern boundary of Kansas, and of which Mr. J. H. Clark was astronomer and Mr. Weiss surveyor, was organized oy the War Department. It accomplished that work and reconnoitered the country south of the line. The party for constructing a wagon-road from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River was organized by the War Department and placed in charge of Mr. E. F. Beale. He examined the line of the proposed road during the summer and winter. The party for the construction of a wagon-road from El Paso to Fort Yuma, of which Mr. Leach was superintendent and Mr. N. H. Hutton was engineer, passed the summer and winter in the operation. The expedition of Captain Pope for making of experiments in artesian well drilling is still in the field. A party under Mr. Major, for establishing that part of the 98th and 100th meridians between the Canadian and Red Rivers, was organized by the Interior Department. The expedition under Lieutenant Ives for ascertaining the navigability of the Colorado to the Gulf of California was organized under the War Department.

Lieut. G. K. Warren, T. E. (Black Hills Expedition West of 100th Parallel) - 1857

The survey of the territory west of the 100th meridian was made under the direction of Capt. A. A. Humphreys, in charge of Office of Exploration and Survey, and for which the sum of $25,000 was set apart. Organized at Omaha, the survey party left there June 27, 1857. The objective was to gain knowledge of the Territories of Nebraska and Dakota generally in both practical and scientific matters, and among the former was specially desired the nature of the routes pursued as to their being favorable or otherwise to the construction of common roads or railroads. The expedition divided into two parts, one going direct to the Loup Fork of the Platte, the other up the east bank of the Missouri to Sioux City, where an escort was obtained, and then as directly as possible to the rendezvous at the Loup Fork. Thence the whole expedition proceeded up the main Loup Fork to its source, in longitude 104º 35', in the Great Sand Hills, making occasional side examinations some 10 miles on each side of the river. Then the expedition tried to proceed directly north to the Niobrara River, but the sand ridges compelled it to take a westerly course through a country with occasional alkaline and fresh-water lakes, but scantily watered, till it struck the Indian trail between the Platte and Niobrara, in longitude 102 deg 30'. Then it easily reached the Niobrara River, which it followed to where the trail turns off to Fort Laramie, and thence to that point, the longitude of which was determined to be 104 deg 30'. 60. In two parts the expedition left Fort Laramie September 4, 1857, one portion proceeding down the Niobrara to about longitude 101º 30', and there awaiting the other, which proceeded nearly due north to the neighborhood of Rawhide Butte, which was examined; thence to the Indian agency of the Dakotas, on the Niobrara, and from there by a well-marked trail to the Old Woman's Fork; down this to the Sheyenne, along this some distance, thence to Beaver Creek, and along the east branch of that into the Black Hills. Entering these from the west the Inyan Kara Creek was reached; thence southeast by a peak named in honor of General Harney to Bear Butte and the North Fork of the Sheyenne; thence southeast to the South Fork of the Sheyenne, where connection was made with the route of 1855; thence up this fork two days, then through a portion of the "Bad Lands" to the White River; thence southerly to the Niobrara River, and thence to the rendezvous with the other party at the mouth of Reunion Creek. The whole expedition then proceeded down the Niobrara River to the junction of Turtle Creek, when the main party proceeded directly to Fort Randall, while a special party continued the reconnaissance of the river to the Missouri. At Fort Randall a longitude was determined, and thence the expedition went to Sioux City, where it closed. Lieut. G. K. Warren, T. E., commanded the expedition, escorted by 30 enlisted men of the Second Infantry under Lieut. James McMillan. The civil assistants were J. H. Snowden and P. M. Engel, topographers; Dr. F. V. Hayden, geologist; W. P. C. Carrington, meteorologist; and Dr. S. Moffatt, surgeon. The instruments were a portable transit of 26 inches focal length, pocket and box chronometers, sextants, prismatic and pocket compasses, odometer, mercurial barometers and thermometers, and a full outfit of everything necessary for collecting and preserving objects of natural history. Only a preliminary report of Lieutenant Warren to Capt. A. A. Humphreys has been published in the Report of the Secretary of War accompanying the President's Message to Congress at the session beginning December 1858. A selection from this was published in No. 9, Vol. I, of the publications of the American Geographical and Statistical Society of New York, November, 1859, and is also quoted by the English traveler, Burton, in his "Journey across the Rocky Mountains to California," published by Harper & Brothers, New York, 1862. A number of these preliminary reports (1 vol, 8º, pp. 173, 1859), printed for special distribution by the War Department, were accompanied by a military map of Nebraska and Dakota by Lieutenant Warren, which embodied his own results and those of earlier explorers, on a scale of 1 to 120,000. This map was published by resolution of the Senate, first session Thirty-fifth Congress. The above report was reprinted in 1875 (1 vol., 8º, pp. 125). A letter dated January 29, 1858, by Lieutenant Warren to Senator G. W. Jones, of Iowa, by direction of the Hon. J. B. Floyd, Secretary of War, was also published with a. small sketch map, scale 1 to 6,000,000.

1857 – September - LIEUT. G. K. Warren, Loup Fork, BLACK HILLS, SHEYENNE & NIOBRARA RIVER

Commanded by Lt. Warren, the survey team departed Fort Laramie September 4, 1857, one portion proceeding down the Niobrara to about longitude 101º 30', and there awaiting the other, which proceeded nearly due north to the neighborhood of Rawhide Butte, which was examined; thence to the Indian agency of the Dakotas, on the Niobrara, and from there by a well-marked trail to the Old Woman's Fork; down this to the Sheyenne, along this some distance, thence to Beaver Creek, and along the east branch of that into the Black Hills. Entering these from the west the Inyan Kara Creek was reached; thence southeast by a peak named in honor of General Harney to Bear Butte and the North Fork of the Sheyenne; thence southeast to the South Fork of the Sheyenne, where connection was made with the route of 1855; thence up this fork two days, then through a portion of the "Bad Lands" to the White River; thence southerly to the Niobrara River, and thence to the rendezvous with the other party at the mouth of Reunion Creek. The whole expedition then proceeded down the Niobrara River to the junction of Turtle Creek, when the main party proceeded directly to Fort Randall, while a special party continued the reconnaissance of the river to the Missouri. At Fort Randall a longitude was determined, and thence the expedition went to Sioux City, where it closed.

Thirty enlisted men of the Second Infantry under Lt James McMillan escorted the survey team. The civil assistants were J. H. Snowden and P. M. Engel, topographers; Dr. F. V. Hayden, geologist; W. P. C. Carrington, meteorologist; and Dr. S. Moffatt, surgeon.

Lt. Warren only published a preliminary report to Capt. A. A. Humphreys in the Report of the Secretary of War accompanying the President's Message to Congress at the session beginning December 1858. A selection from this was republished in No. 9, Vol. I, of the publications of the American Geographical and Statistical Society of New York, November, 1859, and is also quoted by the English traveler, Burton, in his "Journey across the Rocky Mountains to California," published by Harper & Brothers, New York, 1862. A number of these preliminary reports (1 Vol, 8s, pp. 173, 1859), printed for special distribution by the War Department, were accompanied by a military map of Nebraska and Dakota by Lieutenant Warren, which includes his findings and those of earlier explorers. Map is drawn on a scale of 1 to 120,000. This map was published by resolution of the Senate, first session Thirty-fifth Congress.

Lieut. Col. J. E. Johnston, Kansas Boundary - 1857

The southern boundary of Kansas was established by Lieut. Col. Joseph E. Johnston, First Cavalry, under the War Department during the summer and fall of 1857. He was assisted by J. H. Clark, H. Campbell, and J. E. Weyss. A reconnaissance was also made for a railroad route from the southeast corner of Kansas to the Rio Grande. A practical route was found commencing at Neosho, Mo.; thence southwestwardly, crossing the Grand and Little Verdigris Rivers and the Arkansas at approximate latitude 36º 20'; thence south of west to the Canadian, connecting with Lieutenant Whipple's route of 1853 near the one-hundredth meridian; thence via head of Canadian to Anton Chico on the Pecos; thence westward to Albuquerque, on the Rio Grande. A report to the Secretary of War of the latter appears in House Ex. Doc. No. 103, Thirty-fifth Congress, first session, accompanied by a printed copy of the general map, scale I to 1,000,000. The original maps of this boundary determination, in one general sheet, scale 1 to 1,000,000, and 9 detailed sheets, 8 of which are at scales 1 to 100,000, and one at scale 1 to 25,000, are now on the files of the Engineer Bureau. From a note indorsed on Map No. IX of the vicinity of the terminal point, scale 1 to 25,000, it would appear that this point, ascertained by assuming the west boundary of Missouri at longitude 94º 38' 03".6 west from Greenwich and measuring 462.7 miles, was found upon revision and full comparison of the moon culmination observations, taken at this point, to be 11,582 feet too far west, which places (by this authority) the west boundary of Missouri at 94º 40' 26". No field-notes are on record in the Engineer Bureau. The act of July 8, 1856, authorizing the survey directs the line "to be surveyed and distinctly marked, and a plat of said survey shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of the Interior, and another plat of said survey shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of the Territory of Kansas.” The sum of $35,400 was appropriated to carry out the above.

Lieut. J. C. Ives, T. E. (Colorado River) - 1857-'58

The work of this survey expedition commenced at "Robinson's Landing," near the mouth of the river, on or about December 1, 1857. The party ascended the river in an iron steamer fifty feet long, constructed in sections, and slipped from the east to the mouth of the river via San Francisco. Fort Yuma was reached January 9, 1858, where the entire party (two sections approaching from San Diego and old Fort Tejon, respectively) was assembled. The principal object of the expedition was to determine how far the river was navigable for steamboats, and whether it might not prove an avenue for the economical transportation of supplies to newly occupied military posts in Utah and New Mexico. The steamer exploration was conducted as far as "Explorers' Rock" at foot of Black Canon, from whence by skiff the head of the canon was reached, and probably Las Vegas Wash. Here the further exploration of the river was abandoned, a return to the steamer made, the foot of Black Canon assumed to be the practical head of navigation, and a reconnaissance conducted to connect this point with the road to the Mormon settlements. A land party under Lieutenant Tipton also followed the banks of the river from Yuma to Pyramid Canon. The entire expedition returned to the Mojave villages, where a division was made, a portion returning on the little iron steamer, the Explorer, to Fort Yuma; the remainder, including Lieutenant Ives, Dr. Newberry, Messrs Egloffstein, Mollhausen, and Peacock, laborers, packers, and twenty soldiers as escorts under Lieutenant Tipton, took up a further land exploration. This party proceeded to the eastward, reaching by a detour the Grand Canyon at the mouth of Diamond Creek, thence along the Colorado Plateau to the northeast. The Grand Canyon was again pierced at the "Yampais villages," near the mouth of Cataract Creek; thence south and eastwardly San Francisco Mountain was reached, and eastwardly the little Colorado, from whence a northern dftour brought them to the Moquis villages; thence eastwardly to old Fort Defiance, where the party was disbanded. The expedition was in command of Lieut. Joseph C. Ives, Corps of Topographical Engineers, and under the direction of the Office of Explorations and Surveys, Capt A. A. Humphreys in charge. Lieutenant Ives was assisted by Messrs. Egloffstein and C. Bielawski as topographers, Messrs. P. H. Taylor and C. K. Bockert, assistants; Dr. J. S. Newberry, geologist, with Mr. Mollhausen as assistant. The engineer and constructor of the steamer Explorer was Mr. A. J. Carroll, with Robinson as pilot. The escort consisted of twenty-five enlisted men under Lieutenant Tipton, Third Artillery. The chief of land transportation was Mr. G. H. Peacock. The party were supplied with astronomical transits, sextants, and chronometers, theodolites and transits, cistern barometers, prismatic clinometers, and pocket compasses, chains, tapes, etc. Transit observations, coupled with occultations for longitude, were made at initial and check points; the latitudes were obtained by daily sextant observations and the elevations by barometric hypsometry. Hydrographic and topographic data were separately recorded. The report was made to the Office of Exploration and Survey and published in 1861 as Senate Ex. Doc., Thirty-sixth Congress, first session. It makes one volume quarto, aggregating 365 pages. It comprises also a geological report by Dr. Newberry, one on botany by Profs. Gray, Torrey, Thurbert, and Dr. Engleman, and one on geology by Prof. S. F. Baird. The appendices are devoted to the discussion of the astronomical and barometrical observations, with lists of distances, latitudes, longitudes, etc., and to the construction of the maps. There are two topographical maps: one from mouth of the Colorado to head of navigation, scale 1 inch to 6 miles; another from head of navigation to Fort Defiance, 1 inch to 12 miles. Upon these maps as a base Dr. Newberry has shown the general geological formations in colors. The report is well illustrated by an abundance of panoramic views, engravings, Indian portraits, and woodcuts. The party reached Fort Defiance for disbandment May 23, 1858. This appears to have been one of the most careful, complete, and interesting of the reconnaissance expeditions prior to the war. A preliminary report appears in the annual report of Captain Humphreys, in charge of Office of Explorations and Surveys, War Department, 1858, from pages 31 to 42, inclusive.

Capt. J. N. Macomb, T. E. (Santa Fe to Junction of Green and Grand Rivers) - 1859

The survey started in July 1859, to develop an unexplored region to the northwest. The route was from Santa Fe to Canada, and thence crossing the Rio Grande up the valley of the Chama via Abiquiu, the then outpost of civilization in this direction, across the continental divide to the headwaters of the San Juan via " Horse Lakes," crossing the Navajo and Blanco, reaching Pagosa Springs; thence to the valley of the Rio Dolores, crossing the streams known as Piedras, Los Pinos, Las Animas, La Plata, and Mancos, and thence northwestward to the Grand River, to a point whence could be seen the junction of its valley with that of the Green River. To Ojo Verde the route followed sensibly the old "Spanish Trail." Returning, a southerly direction was taken till the San Juan was struck, near the mouth of Rio de la San Abaso, the right bank of which was followed up to a crossing opposite Canton Largo, which canon was followed up to the divide, which was crossed to the valley of the Rio Grande; thence to the pueblo of Jemez, to the crossing of the Rio Grande at San Domingo, and to Santa Fe. The expedition was commanded by Capt. J. N. Macomb, Topographical Engineers, the escort a detachment of Company E, Eighth Infantry, by Lieut. M. Cogswell. The civil assistants were: J. S. Newberry, geologist; C. H. Dimmock, topographer; F. P. Fisher, as time and astronomical observer; Messrs. Dorsey and Vail, meteorologists. Captain Maconmb was the astronomical observer and computer. The instruments were sextants and artificial horizons, a refracting telescope of about 6 feet focal length and 4 inches aperture, prismatic and pocket compasses, sidereal chronometers, barometers, and thermometers. A report was made November, 1860, to Capt. A A. Humphreys, Topographical Engineers, in charge of Office of Explorations and Surveys, and printed (page 149, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 1, second session Thirty-sixth Congress). Subsequent duty with the Army in the field prevented a more full report on the part of the officer in command. A map* of the route was prepared on a scale of 2 inches to 1 mile or 1 to 31,680, a reduction from which was incorporated in the map of explorations and surveys in New Mexico and Utah, 1860, scale 1 inch to 12 miles, constructed and engraved on a steel plate by F. W. von Egloffstein. The survey was completed in September 1859. The Geological Report was published by the Engineer Department, U. S. Army, 1876 (1 vol., 40, 152 pp). While the map was engraved in 1860, the publication of this report, in common with others on western surveys, was arrested by the war of the rebellion, each and every available military officer and man being called to the field. Captain Macomb, while en route east, proceeded to the southwest corner of the then Territory of Kansas and retraced that part of the boundary along the thirty-seventh parallel from the old monument to the one hundred and third meridian, and erected a stone monument at the intersection of the above meridian and parallel in November, 1859.

Capt. J. H. Simpson, T. E. (Salt Lake to Carson Valley) - 1859

This exploration and survey, ordered by Bvt. Brig. Gen. Albert S. Johnson, commanding Department of Utah, and having for its object the discovery of routes across the Great Basin of Utah more direct and practicable than the Fremont route-hitherto believed the only one possible-left Camp Floyd May 3, 1859. No itinerary is given, but the party reached the termination of the westward exploration June 12, started (This map contains on its face the latitude and longitude of a number of points determined (astronomically) by the expedition.) on its return June 24, and reached Camp Floyd August 5, having discovered two practicable emigrant and military roads, either of which shortened the distance between Camp Floyd and Genoa by 200 miles. The party, in command of Capt. J. H. Simpson, Topographical Engineers, was accompanied by an escort of twenty men commanded by Lieut. Alexander Murray, 10th Infantry, and consisted of Lieut. J. L. Kirby Smith, Topographical Engineers, in charge of observations, with sextant for latitude and time or longitude; Lieut. H. L Putnum, Topographical Engineers, in charge of compass survey of route and topography, observations with astronomical transit for longitude and of dip-circle and magnetometer; HenryEngleman, geological, meteorological, and botanical collector; Charles S. McCarthay, collector of specimens of natural history and taxidermist; C. C. Mills, photographer; Edward Jagiello and William Lee, assistants to astronomer, meteorologist, and photographer; H. V. A. von Beckle, a soldier, as artist to take sketches. Asst. Surg. Joseph C. Bailey accompanied the expedition. The entire party, including the escort and employees, numbered sixty-four persons. The expedition was provided with three sextants, three artificial horizons, one astronomical transit, four chronometers, two barometers, and several prismatic and pocket compasses. The report of Captain Simpson, made to the Chief of Topographical Engineers, February 5, 1861, is accompanied by reports from his assistants on the topographical, geodetic, magnetic, geological, mineralogical, botanical, ethnological, and pictorial character of the country traversed, by a map drawn by J. P. Mechlin (scale 1 to 1,000,000), by profiles, diagrams, and sketches. An important result of the expedition was the establishment by Captain Simpson of a new and more accurate longitude of Salt Lake City, differing largely from certain previous determinations, which has since been substantially verified by the telegraphic determination of the Coast Survey. The report of Simpson was published by the War Department at the Government Printing Office in 1876, and appears as one volume, quarto, 495 pages, accompanied by maps and other illustrations. There is a geological report by Henry Engleman, one on paleontology by Prof. F. B. Meek, a list of birds by Professor Baird, a chapter on ichthyology by Theodore Gill, with botany by Dr. George Engleman. The entire report consists of an "Introduction, Report, and Journal" and nineteen appendices. It is accompanied by a map (scale 1 to 1,000,000) of the wagon-roads explored and opened by Captain Simpson, which contains original topographical data of parts of the Great Interior Basin, then (1859) but little known. Captain Simpson in 1858, prior to his western trip, examined and surveyed a new wagon route (the itinerary of which appears in the above volume) from Camp Floyd to Fort Bridger, which was constructed also under his direction, and a report of which appears in Senate Executive Document No. 40, Thirty-fifth Congress, second session.

Lieut. J. Dixon, T. E. (Fort Dalles and Great Salt Lake Wagon Road) - 1859

A command was organized for the purpose of exploring and opening a wagon-road from Fort Dalles, Oregon, on the Columbia River, to Great Salt Lake Valley, by special orders No. 40, Headquarters Department of Oregon, dated April 27, 1859, Brig. Gen. W. S. Harney, commanding. Capt. H. D. Wallen, Fourth U. S. Infantry, was in command of the expedition, and Bvt. Second Lieut. Joseph Dixon, Corps of Topographical Engineers, was assigned to duty with the command. The route traveled commences at Fort Dalles and runs nearly due south, crossing Deschutes River, at the mouth of Warm Spring Creek, to Crooked River, following the same to its headwaters, and from thence to Lake Harney; from thence northeasterly, crossing the Blue Mountains to Malheur River; crossing which, meandering mountain passes and adjacent valleys, Malheur River is again crossed, to Snake River and along this stream to Raft Creek, which is followed to its source at Cedar Spring; thence crossing the dividing ridge to Bear River, which it crosses near mouth of Roseaux River, and from thence nearly due south to Salt Lake City and Camp Floyd. Another route commences at Fort Dalles and runs easterly to Umatilla River, which it crosses and follows for about 30 miles, thence southeasterly crossing the Blue Mountains to headwaters of Burnt River, which it follows to its mouth on Snake River; thence to Malheur River where the first route crosses that river the second time. Another route was traversed by Lieutenant Bonnycastle, of the expedition, from Crooked River to Fort Dalles, crossing the Deschutes at its mouth on the Columbia. Still another route, by Mr. L Scholl, was also traveled, from vicinity of the mouth of the Owhyee near where the first route crosses Snake River, following the course of the near mouth of Kearney River, which it follows to its source, thence passing headwaters of Canon Creek, Bruneau, and Salmon Falls River, etc., to Rock Creek, connecting with first-mentioned route. The instruments used on this exploration consisted of sextants, chronometers, barometers, compasses, odometers, etc. The reconnaissance was completed as far as Lake Harney, and on October 20, 1859, the command returned to Fort Vancouver. The report of Lieutenant Dixon was submitted to the Chief of Topographical Engineers and published in Senate Executive Document No. 1, second session Thirty-sixth Congress, accompanied by a map, scale 1 inch to 20 miles, compiled under the direction of Capt. George Thom, Topographical Engineers. A general report of this expedition, accompanied by reports of Lieutenant Dixon and Lewis Scholl, guide and topographer, appears as Senate Executive Document No. 34, Thirty-sixth Congress, first session. In the appendices are found (pp. 46-49) tables of latitudes, longitudes, and variations of the needle, altitudes, and distances.

Northwestern Rocky Mountain Boundary Survey (A. Campbell, commissioner; Lieutenant Parke, T. E., astronomer) - 1859

The United States Commission, authorized to determine and mark the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions, from the crest of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, according to the treaty of June 15, 1846, and, to act conjointly with a similar English commission, was created by act of Congress of August 11, 1856. A commission, consisting of Captains Prevost and Richards, Royal Navy, was appointed by the British Government to determine that part of the line, which runs through "the channel, which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island." In the summer of 1858 Col. J. S. Hawkins, Royal Engineers, appointed as British commissioner to determine the land portion of the boundary, arrived with a party organized for field operations. In February, 1857, Mr. Archibald Campbell was appointed commissioner for the United States; Lieut. John G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, chief astronomer and surveyor, and G. Clinton Gardner, assistant astronomer and surveyor. Other members of the expeditionary force were William J. Warren, secretary to the commission; John J. Major, clerk to the chief astronomer; J. S. Harris, general assistant; C. B. R. Kennerly, surgeon and naturalist; Henry Custer and Francis Herbst, topographers; George Gibbs, assistant geologist; J. N. King, quartermaster and commissary; R. V. Peabody, guide and interpreter; Prof. James Nooney and F. Hudson, computers; Charles T. Gardner, surveyor; E. Ross, assistant; and James M. Alden, artist; also, the requisite number of packers, laborers, etc. The United States Commission was duly organized and repaired to Fuca Straits in the spring of 1857;-from whence, because of the inability to co-operate of the British Commission, the United States Commission established a depot and located an observatory at the western land terminus of the forty-ninth parallel, and continued reconnaissances and explorations in the vicinity of the boundary eastward as long as the season permitted. Four astronomical points on the forty-ninth parallel were determined. A meeting of the joint commission was held in the summer of 1858, and a plan for the field operations for the survey of the land boundary was agreed upon. The reconnaissance at the close of this season had extended as far east as the valley of the Skagit, and the astronomical observations necessary for marking the three points of the parallel in the valley of the Chiloweyuck were completed. The following is the work done during season of 1859: Completion of the determination and marking the parallel from three points fixed the previous year; observations for latitude at six stations, between which the parallel has been determined, and seven points marked at crossings of streams; chronometer-trip for difference of longitude between Camp Simiahmoo and Chiloweyuck Depot; longitude determined at two of the latitude stations; triangulation covering an area of 50 square miles; route survey (chained) connecting astronomical stations of about 370 miles; reconnaissance for developing the topography along and adjacent to the boundary line and for communications; magnetic observations at one station and meteorological registers at all the stations occupied. It is understood that the commission remained in the field during the seasons of 1860 and 1861, but no report is available from which to trace its operations and results for these seasons. The commission passed the winter of 1859-'60 at Fort Colville. General Harney from the Department of Oregon furnished United States troops for the protection of the parties. In 1859 an additional escort, under Captain Archer, met the parties in the valleys of the Similkameen and Okinakane. The route of the United States Commissioner in 1859 commenced at Fort Langley, thence running down Fraser's River by water to mouth of Chiloweyuck River; thence along the latter to its source, crossing the divide to head of Similkameen River, thence following its northern bank to Lake Osoyas; thence via valley of the Ne-hoi-al-pit-gua River to Fort Colville; thence via Slavoutchas and Chemikana Rivers to the Spokane River; thence to Lewis Fork or Snake River, at the mouth of the Peloux, and to Walla Walla; thence due south to the Umatilla; thence to Fort Dalles; from the Dalles by water to Monticello, thence along the Cowlitz River and the headwaters of the Chehalis to Olympia on Puget Sound.* The transportation was largely by mules and pack-trains on land, and whale-boats on the water. Bridging streams, corduroying and grading rough roads, with ferrying at river crossings, were constantly done. The instruments used were astronomical transits, heliotropes, zenith telescopes, transit theodolites, telescopes, sextants, chronometers, magnetic theodolites, dip-circles, compasses, pocket levels, chains, tapes, camera-obscura, barometers, hygrometers, and thermometers. Monuments marking stations on the parallel were constructed of pyramidal piles of stones 6 to 8 feet high, or earthen mounds, covering wooden posts. *This route is indicated in manuscript on a printed map of Oregon and Washington Territories, 1859. Scale 1 to 1,500,000, Bureau of Topographical Engineers. These stations were established at nearly every accessible point from which the line was ascertained, and traced along vistas crossing valleys and trails. The reconnaissance line connecting stations was 800 miles, embracing an area of 30,000 square miles. Within this space over 800 barometric heights were -obtained. The boundary line exceeds 9º in longitude, or about 410 miles, and the amount expended (see Senate Ex. Doc. No. 86, Fortieth Congress) for its survey and demarcation, including the preparation of results, was $569,223.79, or at the rate of $1,388.34 per mile. Magnetic observations were made over an arc of 3º 20' in latitude, and 4º in longitude. Reports upon the geology, botany, and natural history of the reconnaissance area were prepared. Glaciers were discovered and perpetual snow found in the cascades (2 feet of snow found on the route in July, 1859). Much of the line ran through a heavy growth of pine and fir, with much fallen timber. A progress report of the marking of the boundary, made November 12, 1859, appears as Senate Ex. Doc. No. 16, Thirty-sixth Congress, first session. The expenditures made appear in House Ex. Doc. No. 86, Fortieth Congress, second session, in which a letter from Mr. Campbell to the Secretary of State gives data concerning the nature and extent of the services performed, but I have been unable to trace the manuscript of the final report, including that of the chief astronomer and the specialists, which it is believed was made. According to the Journal of the Senate of February 9, 1871, this report was called for by the Senate, but a search of the Senate records, and also those of the State Department, made by Warren, and at the request of Mr. Dwight, librarian of the State Department, remained unavailable as of June 15, 1887. Mr. William J. Warren, secretary of the commission, now chief clerk of the Engineer Department, recollects to have seen the manuscript of this report at the office of the Northern Boundary established in 1873, as does also Maj J. F. Gregory, Corps of Engineers, a member of that commission, but it could not be found by Mr. Dwight in the records transmitted at the close of the latter survey to the State Department. The original manuscript maps are on file in the State Department, photographic copies of which were filmed at the General Land Office. Captain Prevost, R. N., visited the 49th parallel in October 1857, and in absence of Captain Richards proposed to proceed to the determination of the water boundary. He claimed Rosario Straits (the channel nearest the continent), and Mr. Campbell the Canal de Haro (the channel nearest Vancouver's Island), as the boundary channel intended by the treaty. The British commissioner, after correspondence, proposed to compromise by running the boundary through an intermediate channel, thereby securing the island of San Juan to Great Britain, which. the United States commissioner declined. Senate Ex. Doc. No. 29, second session Fortieth Congress, contains the correspondence above referred to; also a geographical memoir of the islands in dispute, and a map and cross-section of the channels. In pursuance of the fifth section of the act creating the commission the superintendent of the Coast Survey was directed to place the steamer Active and brig Fauntleroy at the disposal of the commission. Both of these vessels were employed for the survey and soundings of the various channels and islands between the continent and Vancouver's Island, co-operating with Captain Richards of the British surveying steamer Phumper, as a result of which a thorough survey of these channels and islands south of the 49th parallel was made during the several seasons, which was shown on the map above mentioned. Maps. The following maps were constructed and compiled under the supervision of Archibald Campbell, commissioner, and Lieut. John G. Parke, Topographical Engineers, by Assistants L. D. Williams, Theo. Kolecki, and Ed. Freyhold, in 1866, and found reproduced, as follows: " Survey of the northwest boundary, 1857-'61, from Point Roberts, along the forty-ninth parallel to the Rocky Mountains between the British Possessions and the United States," fourteen sheets, scale 1 to 60,000, photo lithographed on double the scale of the originals; also, maps showing the boundary line from the western coast of the continent to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, and thence southerly through the middle of said channel, etc., to Fuca Straits, scale 1 inch to 4 miles (engraved); also, map embracing the country between the parallels 46º and 49º 30', and from the Pacific to 110º west longitude (all in Washington Territory), scale 1 inch to 17 miles (photographic copies); also, a series of cross-sections from Vancouver's Island on parallels 49º, 48º 45', 48º 35', and 48º 25', respectively, to the mainland, were also prepared (engraved)

Capt. John Mullan, Second Artillery (Wagon Road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton) - l858-'62

The purpose of this expedition, which took the field in 1858, was to survey, locate, and build a wagon-road from Fort Benton, on the Missouri, to the Oregon country at Walla Walla, thus completing a northern line of road communication to the Pacific. The route commenced at Walla Walla and ran northeast to Snake River at the mouth of Palouse Creek, crossing on the way Dry Creek and Ponchet River; along Palouse River, Cow Creek to Aspen Grove; from thence northeast crossing the head of Rock Creek, a tributary of the Oraytayons River, to Hangman's Creek and to Spokane River, which it crossed and followed to Coeur d'Alene Mission and the river of that name; thence crossing summit of Bitter Root Mountain and striking the source of St. Regis Borgia River, the valley of which and also that of Bitter Root River it follows to Hell's Gate; thence along the Big-Blackfoot River to Hell's Gate River; thence along Deer Lodge River; thence northeast over hilly ground to Little Blackfoot, up which and over the west base of the Rocky Mountains at Mullan's Pass to Prickly Pear Creek, which it follows to near its mouth; thence due north to Dearborn River; thence via Bird Tail Rock to Blackfoot Agency on Sun River, and thence northeast to Fort Benton. The expedition was under the command of Capt John Mullan, Second Artillery. He was assisted by C. R. Howard and Capt. W. W. de Lacey, civil engineers; P. M. Engel, topographical engineer; Theo. Kolecki, topographer; John Weisner, meteorologist, and assistants; G. Sohon, guide and interpreter, and others in various capacities. The military escort consisted of 100 men, detailed from the Third Artillery, at Fort Vancouver, accompanying which were Lieuts. James L. White, H. B. Lyon, and James Howard, Third Artillery. The report made to the Chief of Corps of Topographical Engineers was published as Senate Executive Document No. 43, Thirty-seventh Congress, third session, accompanied by four maps: One, reconnaissance from Fort Dalles via Fort Walla Walla to Fort Taylor, on Snake River, scale 1 to 300,000; one from Fort Taylor to the Coeur d'Alene Mission, scale 1 to 300,000; one from Coeur d’Alene Lake to Dearborn River (tributary of the Missouri River), scale 1 to 300,000, and a general map of the entire route, scale 1 to 1,000,000. The fieldwork closed in September 1862. In the exploration and location of this road distances were measured by the odometer, longitudes determined by lunar culminations, latitudes by Polaris and meridian altitudes and prime vertical observations (the astronomical transit and sextant being employed), bearings by the Schmalalder compass, profiles by the barometer, together with variations of the needle from camp to camp. The resulting latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes appear in an appendix to the above document. Considerable topographical information regarding territory on either side of the route, especially from a reconnaissance northward to Fort Colville, Wash., appears for the first time on the resulting general map. During the Indian difficulties of 1858, Lieutenant Mullen commenced the exploration and location of this road from Fort Dalles as far as Coeur d'Alene Mission, as acting topographical engineer on the staff of Col. Geo. Wright, Ninth Infantry, and his report forms Senate Executive Document No. 32, Thirty-fifth Congress, second session.

Capt. W. F. Raynolds, T. E. (Examination of Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers Headwaters) - 1859-1860

The expedition started from St. Louis, May 28, 1859, by steamer, passed up the Missouri to Fort Pierre, and left the river at that point June 28, 1859, having for its object the examination of the headwaters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, and of the mountains in which they have their sources. Leaving Fort Pierre the expedition went westward, skirting the northern slope of the Black Hills to the waters of the Powder River; down that stream to within 40 miles of the Yellowstone; thence westward to that river, below the mouth of the Big Horn; thence southward to the Platte, by two routes, one up the Big Horn, skirting the eastern base of the Big Horn Mountains, the other from 20 to 50 miles farther east. The expedition wintered at Deer Creek, on the North Platte. From winter quarters to the three forks of the Missouri the expedition was divided. One party passed up the Wind River with the intention of reaching the headwaters of the Yellowstone, but was compelled by impassable mountains to cross to the headwaters of the Columbia, near the sources of the Colorado; thence along the west side to Henry Lake; thence down the Madison to the three forks of the Missouri. The second passed through the valley of the Big Horn to the lower canon; thence westward, by the Yellowstone and Gallatin of the Missouri to the three forks; thence to the mouth of the Yellowstone by three routes-the first by way of the Yellowstone; the second overland, on the east side of the Missouri to Fort Benton, thence by the Missouri; and the third overland from Fort Benton, following approximately the line separating the waters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. From the mouth of the Yellowstone part of the expedition descended the Missouri in boats to Omaha, and the remainder reached that place by a route never passed over before on the west side of the Missouri. The expedition was commanded by Capt. W. F. Raynolds, Corps of Topographical Engineers. The escort for the year 1859 was commanded by First Lieut Caleb Smith, Second Infantry. The escort for the year 1860 was commanded by First Lieut. John Mullins, Second Dragoons, and First Lieut. Henry E. Maynadier, Ninth Infantry, was assistant, Astronomical positions en route were determined with sextant and chronometer The topography was sketched with the use of prismatic compass and odometer The longitude of "winter quarters" was determined by observations ot moon culminations with transit instrument. The report, delayed by the breaking out of the rebellion, was made to the Chief of Engineers in 1867. The narratives of Captain Raynolds and his assistants were published as Ex. Doc. 77, Fortieth Congress first session (8 vol, 174 pages). A special geological report by F. V. Hayden was printed in 8 vol, 174 pages, at the Government Printing Office in 1869. The report (Ex Doc. 77) was accompanied by a topographical map on the scale of I to 1,200,000, by profiles and ketches of routes, and by numerous illustrations, and the special geological report contains the above topographical map, geologically colored. This exploration first pointed out a route for a wagon-road, which was subsequently opened from the Platte to the three forks of the Missouri, skirting the eastern base of the Big Horn Mountains, and first located correctly the Yellowstone River from where it leaves the mountains to the mouth of Powder River. Captain Raynolds was told by his guide, James Bridger, of the latter having visited and seen "burning plains, immense lakes, and boiling springs " near the sources of the Yellowstone, as also the "Two Ocean River;" but impracticable ridges and deep snows prevented the party from penetrating from the Wind River direction the region since so well known as the Yellowstone National Park. NOTE.-Bridger also gave Lieutenant Gunnison, while the latter was associated with Stansbury on the Salt Lake Survey (1849-'50), a description of the natural wonders of the Upper Yellowstone, mentioning a lake 60 miles long; plains where the ground resounded to the tread of the horses; geysers spouting 70 feet high; waterfalls; mammoth hot, acid, and other springs. (See Gunnison, History of the Mormons, 1852, page 151.) The following papers accompanying the report have not been published: Tables of latitudes and chronometer errors. Tables of meteorological observations and barometrical heights (two routes 1859, and two routes L860). Tables of meteorological observations at Deer Creek. Tables of meteorological observations at Fort Prien. Report on Fossil Plants, by Prof. J. S. Newberry. Report on Fossil Birds, by Dr. Elliott Coues. Report on Mammals. Catalogue of Plants, by Dr. George Engleman Report on Carices, by Prof. Chester Dewey. List of Mosses and Liverworts, by Professor Sullivan, List of Shells, by Professor Binney. The party reached Omaha, where it disbanded on October 1860.

1859 & 1860 – Capt. Raynolds, Expedition to the Headwaters of the Yellowstone & Missouri Rivers

Captain William F. Raynolds commanded the two-year expedition. First Lt Caleb Smith, Second Infantry escorted the first part of the expedition in 1859. First Lt John Mullins, Second Dragoons commanded the escort for the year 1860 and First Lt. Henry E. Maynadier, Ninth Infantry, was his assistant. James Bridger was guide after reaching Fort Sarpy. This expedition had several mini-expeditions within it.

1859 -The main expedition started from St. Louis, May 28, 1859, by steamer, passed up the Missouri to Fort Pierre, and left the river at that point June 28, 1859, having for its object the examination of the headwaters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, and of the mountains in which they have their sources. Leaving Fort Pierre the expedition went westward, skirting the northern slope of the Black Hills to the waters of the Powder River; down that stream to within 40 miles of the Yellowstone; thence westward to that river, below the mouth of the Big Horn; thence southward to the Platte, by two routes, one up the Big Horn, skirting the eastern base of the Big Horn Mountains, the other from 20 to 50 miles farther east. The expedition wintered at Deer Creek, on the North Platte. From winter quarters to the three forks of the Missouri the expedition was divided. One party passed up the Wind River with the intention of reaching the headwaters of the Yellowstone, but was compelled by impassable mountains to cross to the headwaters of the Columbia, near the sources of the Colorado; thence along the west side to Henry Lake; thence down the Madison to the three forks of the Missouri. The second passed through the valley of the Big Horn to the lower canon; thence westward, by the Yellowstone and Gallatin of the Missouri to the three forks; thence to the mouth of the Yellowstone by three routes-the first by way of the Yellowstone; the second overland, on the east side of the Missouri to Fort Benton, thence by the Missouri; and the third overland from Fort Benton, following approximately the line separating the waters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. From the mouth of the Yellowstone part of the expedition descended the Missouri in boats to Omaha, and the remainder reached that place by a route never passed over before on the west side of the Missouri.

The report of the expedition was made to the Chief of Engineers in 1867. The narratives of Captain Raynolds and his assistants were published as Ex. Doc. 77, Fortieth Congress first session (8vol, 174 pages). The Government Printing Office in 1869 printed a special geological report by F. V. Hayden in 8 volumes.  Raynolds’ report (Ex Doc. 77) was accompanied by a topographical map with profiles and sketches of routes and numerous illustrations. The attached and special geological report contains the above topographical map, geologically colored. This exploration first pointed out a route for a wagon-road, which was subsequently opened from the Platte to the three forks of the Missouri, skirting the eastern base of the Big Horn Mountains, and first located correctly the Yellowstone River from where it leaves the mountains to the mouth of Powder River. Captain Raynolds was told by his guide, James Bridger, of the latter having visited and seen "burning plains, immense lakes, and boiling springs " near the sources of the Yellowstone, as also the "Two Ocean River;" but impracticable ridges and deep snows prevented the party from penetrating from the Wind River direction the region since so well known as the Yellowstone National Park. NOTE:  Jim Bridger also gave Lieutenant Gunnison, while the latter was associated with Stansbury on the Salt Lake Survey (1849-'50), a description of the natural wonders of the Upper Yellowstone, mentioning a lake 60 miles long; plains where the ground resounded to the tread of the horses; geysers spouting 70 feet high; waterfalls; mammoth hot, acid, and other springs.

1859 – October. Platte to Headwaters of the Shayenne, Snowden, Topographer (Raynolds’ Expedition.) The orders from Captain Raynolds were to examine the country between the Deer Creek camp and the sources of the two forks of the Shayenne River. They are to pass through the western end of Pumpkin Buttes. J. Hudson Snowden departed on October 19th, leading a group of eight persons, including: Dr. Hayden, Schonborn and Waring. They had five pack animals. Arriving at Bissonette’s Trading house they picked up a guide, Michael Boyer. They crossed the North Platte River, about one-half mile below the trading post, at a place called “Lodge Pole Crossing.” After 4-1/2 miles traveling on the north side of the river to the east, they came to the valley of a dry creek that emptied into the Platte. They crossed the dry creek and followed it for 13-1/2 miles to the summit of a high ridge that divided the waters of the Platte from the Shayenne. Laramie Peak is 35 degrees east of south. Following a north direction, they traveled towards the Powder River for six miles. (Total distance 21-1/2 miles)

On the 20th about 3-1/2 miles distant was a water source called the Sioux (Mini-t-him-ki, meaning the Last Spring.) Traveled on for another 3-1/2 miles at a small creek. (Total travel 6-3/4 miles)

On the 21st marched 2-1/4 miles up a hill and saw Pumpkin Buttes and the Big Horns. He descended into a valley and arrived at a sandy-bottomed creek where water rose through the sand in places, then disappearing in others. (Total distance was 13 miles)

He arrived at the base of Pumpkin Buttes (Wa-ga-mu Pa-ha, by the Sioux) on the 23rd. [Details of the formation is contained in his report.] On the 25th he arrived at the dividing ridge between the two forks of the Shayenne River. On the 26th he crossed Dry Creek (Mini Pusa.) This is the northern most branch of the south fork of the Shayenne. Men living along the Platte call it, along with the larger branch below, the North Fork. What the military calls the North Fork is called Belle Fourche by these men. On the 27th they crossed an Ogallalah trail leading to the Missouri River headwaters. On November 1st they arrived at Antelope Park Hill, which is a ridge called “Tak-che-cua-paha” by the Sioux. At this place in 1851 the Araphoes constructed a pen to trap antelope. Traveling southwest on the 2nd they reached La Bente creek, and on the 3rd reached the Platte Road at the Wagon Hound Creek crossing. From here they stayed on the south side of the Platte until they arrived at Deer Creek on the 4th. Total distance traveled was 247 miles.

In his report he recommended that if a road were to be constructed it should be a little east of his trail to Pumpkin Buttes, connecting with the headwaters of the Belle Fourche about 12 miles east of that location, then follow the Belle Fourche to the head of the Little Missouri River.

He also mentioned that Sir St. George Gore in 1855 took a large train of ox and mule wagons from the Platte, near the mouth of Box Elder Creek to the Powder River. He passed near the west side of Pumpkin Buttes. This route he didn’t recommend as the water was scarce, and little timber.



1860-May. The Big Horn-Yellowstone River expedition (commanded by Captain Raynolds), but with 1st Lt. Maynadier with Lt Mullen’s party attached, left its winter quarters on the 10th of May, and on the 12th reached the Red Buttes, where a snowstorm prevented further movement until the 14th. At this point the command was to separate, and the party under my charge to travel up the Sweetwater and across the Big Horn mountains to the Yellowstone. The morning of the 14th of May dawned clear and bright, though-the air was cold and the mantle of snow upon the surrounding hills was more suggestive of January than of May. Captain Raynolds started first with his party, and soon after the rest were on the way. Lt. Maynadier had for assistants Mr. Snowden, topographer, Mr. Fillebrown, meteorologist, Dr. Hines, physician, Messrs. Trook, Waring, and Lee, general assistants, and Paul Deval, guide. In addition to these were 23 packers, herders, and drivers, plus a wheeled mileage cart. Baggage was carried on carts, until the path became too rough and they had to be abandoned. The route passed through Pryor Gap and into the valley floor where they located a buffalo and Indian Trail that led them directly to Clark’s Fork. This was the first recorded note that a wheeled vehicle had passed through the region. Along the route several streams were named, or renamed. Extensive details about the journey are contained in his report. (Part of Captain Raynolds Report) During the journey they constructed two boats, and had to cut a road into near vertical cliffs to reach the Yellowstone River. In his report he established that river travel as far as the Powder can be easily attempted; but further navigation is possible. Travel should be restricted from May to August 1st. During the trip, portions of the party traveled by boat, others by foot. After departing Fort Union (15 August) they traveled down the Missouri. Their land and water journey was 2,500 miles long, and copious notes and details about the entire region were compiled in several attached reports. The party separated for a 2nd time after reaching Three Forks and meeting up with Captain Raynolds.

1860-May. Yellowstone River expedition (commanded by Captain Raynolds), after leaving the other group, headed north, and proceeded westward up the valley to the Wind River-Popo Agie junction.  They followed the river into the mountains, but were unable to ascend into Yellowstone Park due to the extreme depth of the snow packs. They had to divert into Pierre’s Hole (Teton Valley) in Idaho, then north to Three Forks Junction. Here they joined up with Lt. Maynadier’s party, and then attached Lt. Mullen’s’ party to his own. After leaving Three Forks, they used the Lewis & Clark Diaries to assist in their journey. The route was extremely difficult, and Jim Bridger was unable to locate a path through the snow to the source of the Yellowstone from the west side of the mountain ranges. On the summit of the Teton Mountain Range he noticed a pine tree bearing the inscription: "J. M., July 7th, 1832; & July 11, 1833." Trees in the area were about four feet in diameter. They arrived at Fort Benton on July 14th.

1860-July – Missouri River expedition (commanded by Captain Raynolds). This was the end of his survey action. He constructed a 12-foot skiff, mounted a sail and proceeded to sail down the river to join up with the other members of his party. He departed Fort Benton on July 23rd. He discovered that the river flow was very fast, and navigation identification during the travel was not possible. He typically mad 50 miles per day. After reaching El Paso Point (terminus of steamship travel prior to 1859) he found the water depth to be only 10 inches in many places. Fort Stuart (an abandoned trader post, is identified and located in the report.) He arrived at Fort Union on August 7th, and there joined the balance of his party.

Lieut. J. Dixon, T. E. (Harney Lake to Eugene City, Oregon) - 1860

Created by special order No. 37, Headquarters Department of Oregon, April 6, 1860, a command was again organized for the purpose of opening a wagon road from Harney Lake to Eugene City, Oregon, in extension of the exploration made in 1859. The expedition was commanded by Maj. Enoch Steen, First Dragoons; and Bvt. Lieut. Joseph Dixon, Corps of Topographical Engineers, was assigned to duty with it. The instruments used were the same as in 1859. A preliminary report, dated September 24, 1860, was made of this expedition by Lieutenant Dixon to the Chief of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and will be found in his annual report for 1860. A map of this expedition by Lieutenant Dixon, scale 1 to 750,000, is to be found in Senate Executive Document No. 1, Thirty-seventh Congress, second session. The reconnaissance was commenced May 24, 1860, and on June 16 it had reached Lake Harney. From thence it was continued in a northwesterly direction with satisfactory results for a distance of 105 miles, when, on account of Indian difficulties, it returned to Lake Harney, and September 14, 1860, to Fort Vancouver. The area traversed by the expeditions of 1859 and 1860 embraces a great portion of the country between latitude 42º and 45º and longitude 117º and 119º W. from Greenwich, independent of the southeasterly routes reaching Great Salt Lake.

J. H. Clark (Texas boundary), 1857-'60.Government Rio Grande wagon-roads - 1857-'61

The boundary line is the one-hundredth meridian west from Greenwich, between the main Red River and the parallel of 36º 30' north latitude; this parallel between the one-hundredth and one hundred and third meridian, the latter meridian between the parallels of 36º 36' and 32º and this parallel between the one hundred and third meridian and the Rio Grande. The commission was organized and conducted by instructions of the Secretary of the Interior of July 9, 1858, pursuant to act of June 5, 1858. Mr. J. H. Clark  (commissioner for the United States) was assisted in the astronomic work by H. Campbell and for the topography by J E. Weyss and W. P. Clark. No corresponding Texas commission was continuously in the field, and the only known published results appear in Senate Executive Document No. 70, Forty-seventh Congress, first session. This document, which embraces the field-notes of the astronomic and topographic work, is accompanied by fourteen detailed photolithographic maps (incomplete), each showing a portion of the line, one having upon it the scale of 1 inch to 2 miles, or 1 to 132,000. The general map, scale 1 inch to 15 miles 4,133 feet (reported as lost in the above document), was found and photo lithographed at the Engineer Department, the original having passed into the office of the Commissioner of Public Lands. None of the maps are authenticated or approved, and one is missing. The field work commenced on January 9, 1859, near the junction of the thirty-second parallel with the Rio Grande, connection being had with the longitude determination of the Mexican boundary near El Paso, and terminated September 7, 1860, the winter quarters of the commission being at Fort Smith, Ark. The latitudes of forty-six stations, resulting from zenith telescope and sextant observations, are found on page 143. Lunar culmination observations for longitude were made near junction of one hundred and third meridian and thirty-second parallel and near northwest corner, results from which were used in the field, but no final longitude computations are given. The transfer of longitude from the Kansas boundary, checked by a lunar culmination longitude and independent zenith telescope latitude, established the northwest corner. The eastern boundary was joined to that part of the one-hundredth meridian between the Red and Canadian Rivers, run (with the assistance of Daniel G. Major, astronomer) by Messrs. Jones and Brown, in 1859, for the Indian Bureau. That part of the west boundary between, approximately, 33º and 33º 45' north latitude was not traced and marked on the ground on account of the desert character of this portion of the Staked Plains. No part of the line was officially agreed upon or accepted by the two Governments. The length of the boundary is about 800 miles, the determination of which, on account of physical obstacles, required a survey of more than 1,400 miles, checked by nearly 4,000 astronomic observations. The latitude of Fort Cobb was determined, a part of the Pecos meandered, and considerable topography sketched on either side of the line. The monuments were of cairns of stone or mounds of earth. The appropriation of $80,000, made for field operations alone, was also available for the office work, so far as continued. The work was transferred to the General Land Office, and suspended on January 21, 1862, with the maps left, as stated, in a partially finished condition. During the period from 1857 to the outbreak of the war officers of the corps of Topographical Engineers were engaged in the survey, location, and construction of military wagon-roads in the following States and Territories, viz: Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, southern and northern Oregon, Washington and Utah Territories. While geographical data was not the principal object, the survey of each and every road added its details to the first topographical knowledge of a vast expanse of country, while sketches and maps were always available in compilation of general maps issued by the Topographical Bureau. The Interior Department during this period were also engaged in the construction of what were termed " Pacific wagon roads," seven of which Albert H. Campbell was superintendent. (See House Ex. Doc. No. 108, Thirty-fifth Congress, second session, and Senate Ex. Doc. No. 36, Thirty-fifth Congress, second session, the latter accompanied by a number of compiled maps.) The principal therein mentioned are the "Fort Ridgely and South Pass Road," the "Fort Kearney and South Pass and Honey Lake Road," the "El Paso and Fort Yuma Road," and the "Nebraska Road." The Land Office or planimetric subdivision surveys, necessary for marking the legal townships and other divisions, were carried on steadily in the several States and Territories west of the Mississippi River during this period. The Coast Survey operations (devoted principally to the hydrographic and a narrow strip of topography adjacent to main harbors) commenced on the west coast in the year 1848. Their progress, which is not especially pertinent to this memoir, will be found in the several annual reports of this service. The wagon-road examined from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River by E. F. Beale, under the War Department, during the summer and winter of 1857-'58, will be found reported upon in House Ex. Doc. 124, Thirtyfifth Congress, first session. This report is accompanied by a map and itinerary from Albuquerque to the Colorado. The outbreak of the war of the rebellion called all available officers and enlisted men to duty with the army in the field. The officers of Topographical Engineers were one and all called from the scene of their geographical labors in the Far West for actual war military service. This corps was merged with the present Corps of Engineers in 1863, and no duties of a topographical character were resumed till the close of the war, when, in 1865, such service was first resumed in the Military Division of the Pacific by Major Williamson, as will appear in the succeeding chapter. (See annual reports of the Chief of Topographical Engineers up to 1863, and all reports of the Chief of the Bureau of Exploration and Survey, accompanying the Secretary of War, for reference to details of wagon-roads, compiled maps, and various results of a topographical nature, concluding those of the ante-war period.)


1860 – March – J. D. Hutton, Wagon Road Reconnaissance from Platte River to Powder River

Hutton was assigned special duty to define a wagon route from the Deer Creek area to the Powder River so that a road can be constructed. He describes the route traversed in detail, along with map coordinates and landmarks. He crossed the North Platte River 900 yards west of Bissonette’s post and then proceeded north. He traveled up river 2,600 yards to where the Powder River Trail leaves the Emigrant Road. From there he travels at 62º west, until reaching the top of the first set of hills. After traveling 19.05 miles he camped on Willow Springs. (His report is part of Captain Raynolds) He established the best crossings to use at Powder River. He departed Deer Creek on 29 March, and returned on April 7. He traveled 96 miles. With him were heavy wagons that made the trip more difficult.

1864 – Various Military Command Searches for Hostile Indians[16]

General Pope’s Command issued numerous directives and established policies that desired peace with all Indian Tribes. Most of the major correspondence and complete military reports are transcribed and listed in the early surveys summary. General Alf Sully was detailed to hunt the hostile Sioux roaming between the Dakotas and the Yellowstone River, and curtail their pillage and killing. Events leading up to the decision to establish major posts on the Yellowstone and the Missouri Rivers are included in his reports. The first steamers to reach the Big Horn River in August are noted. The link to those reports is contained in the early surveys summary. Collectively these reports and the decade of reports that follow clearly show both the compassion and hatred faced by the commanders, the Indians and the local residents. During this upheaval of time, both were faced with bandits, terrorists, unsavory Indian Agents, Mexican, French and British supporters of Indian raids, plus their own battles. The Indian allotments for food and clothing typically was a “1” wide strip of cloth plus one teaspoon of sugar per person per year!” The rest simply disappeared into the hands of privateers or the strongest of the group. Information is available to plot the routes taken by each command; but has yet to be completed. Interaction with the Civil War and the affect it had on the troops engaged in the Indian Wars is clearly evident. Some of these reports are included to show the effect.


1865 – James Sawyer[17], Wagon Road from Sioux City to Virginia City[18]

Congress had approved funding of $50,000 to Sawyer for construction of a wagon road from Omaha to Virginia City. He started from Sioux City and arrived at the mouth of the Niobrara River (Yankton) where a military escort, commanded by Captain Williford, joined him. He was charged with the responsibility to locate a route departing directly from the “First Overland Route” known as: “The Niobrara”, and onto the Powder River and into the gold fields of Montana, via the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers.

Sawyer’s main interest apparently was to conduct a heavy civilian wagon train consisting of 80 wagons plus the emigrants through to the gold fields of Montana, and not actually construct a road. His guides were not familiar with the terrain they were to trespass; and he was ordered to not proceed west along the Niobrara River and into the Indian country by General Connor, and order which he ignored. He did wait for his military escort at Yankton.

Captain George W. Williford, Commanding the Fifth U.S. Volunteer Infantry (Companies C and D) was issued orders to escort the Sawyer team on 21 April 1865. His command embarked on Steamer J.H. Lucy, and arrived at Yankton prior to June 13. Captain Williford was ordered to simply escort the party, and had no control over the operation, unless the situation demanded it.

The full team departed Yankton on June 13th, marching 10-15 miles per day. On June 20th Lt. Wood and 24 men belonging to Company B, First Dakota Cavalry Volunteers joined them. When the group reached within 20 miles of the Powder River, their guides determined that further passage wasn’t possible, and they retraced their steps for two days. At that point they were attacked by Indians, and held under siege for four days. After the attack, the group turned south, and struck the emigrant & military wagon road leading to the northern areas of Wyoming made by General Connor[19] a few days earlier. General Connor sent word to Captain Williford to report to Fort Connor[20] with the Sawyer group. They were 15 miles south of the fort at the time. Captain Williford was commended for his brave and prompt action in saving the Sawyer group, after they failed to take appropriate actions.


Killed were: Orlando Sous (e.g., John Rouse as listed on the roster), Anthony Nelson, private, and Nathaniel D. Hedges (sutler with the wagon train).


James Sawyer complained about the harsh treatment he had the hands of Captain Williford and demanded he be relieved of his escort duties. He didn’t recognize the military efforts that saved his group[21]. After the Indians had failed in their initial attempt to take horses etc., they held a parley with the Sawyer’s group. In the Indian party were two of Col. Bent’s sons, George and Joe[22]. Sawyer gave them a wagonload of goods, and the Indians departed. Captain Williford disagreed with the decision, causing a serious rift between the two. Immediately after the exchange, the Indians attacked, killing the three men noted above. Bent stated that the only condition on which the Cheyenne Indians would retreat is if the Government hung Col. Chivington. Captain Williford took charge and led the group to safety.


Captain James H. Kidd, of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, was assigned as escort for the Sawyer group from Fort Connor to the east bank of the Big Horn River. After crossing the Big Horn, Sawyer was not assigned a military escort. The group followed the wagon road being created by Col. Carrington that lead to Fort Phil Kearny and Fort C. F. Smith[23].


General G. M. Dodge, in his “Powder River Indian Expedition June 20 to October 7, 1865” report, totally degraded the Sawyer efforts, and clearly stated that General Connor had previously created a fine road from Sioux City to Montana, via Fort Laramie, which would serve as the route to Virginia City. [Portions of this route became known later on as “The Bozeman Trail.”] On September 15, 1865, General Dodge reported to General Pope (St. Louis) that the road from Fort Laramie to Virginia City, via Powder River, is an “excellent wagon road: good grass, water, and wood all the way, and is the most direct route that can be got.” It saves 450 miles in distance.

Maj. R. S. Williamson, Corps of Engineers, Susanville to Fort Bidwell, Cal., and Fort Klamath, Oregon - 1865

The survey made by order of Maj. Gen. I. McDowell, commanding Department of the Pacific, organized at Fort Crook, and left there July 18, 1865. It had for its object the examination of routes of communication from Susanville, California, to Idaho and Surprise Valley, and from there to Fort Klamath, and the exploration of such unknown localities as might be of military interest, and to report upon sites for military posts which might become necessary for the protection of the increasing settlements and mining interests. The routes traveled were from Fort Crook to Susanville, to Smoky Creek Depot, to Summit Springs on the Idaho route, to Surprise Valley, and along its west side to Fort Bidwell, where a connection was made with the northeast boundary corner of California, as established by the surveyor general of California, and Warner's Valley and Mountains located. From Fort Bidwell a route was surveyed across Warner's Range by Lassen's Pass to Pitt River, the south fork of which was explored to its headwaters in the range near Saddle Mountain, which was ascended and its altitude obtained; thence to Madeline Plains and Pass and to Susanville by Pine Creek. From Susanville a more direct route was examined by Eagle Lake across Madeline Plains to the south end of Surprise Valley; thence by its western side to Fort Bidwell; thence by Lassen's Pass to Hot Springs at the head of Goose Lake, to south fork of Sprague River, and down this to Fort Klamath; thence to Lost River, along this to Grass Valley, and thence by the Old Emigrant Trail to Fort Crook. Maj. R. S. Williamson, Corps of Engineers, commanded the expedition, and Captain Tillinghast the escort. The civil assistants were John D. Hoffman, photographer, and G. S. Demeritt, barometric observer. The prismatic compass was used for angles, the odometer for distances, and the barometer for altitudes. Latitudes by sextant were observed at nearly every camp. The report was made to the General Commanding the Department, but was not subsequently printed. A map accompanied it on a scale of 1 inch to 3 miles. In 1866 Britton and Rey, of San Francisco, compiled a map of parts of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho, comprising the results of the expedition, and published with the consent of the Commanding General. The survey was completed by the return to Fort Crook, September 28, 1865.

Maj. R. S. Williamson, Corps of Engineers, Fort Churchill, Nev., to Fort Lyon, Idaho, and vicinity and return - 1866

The survey made by order of General Halleck, organized July 25, 1866, at Fort Churchill, Nevada, to examine the hitherto unknown portions of northern California and Nevada and southern Oregon and Idaho, with the special object of discovering more direct and easy routes of travel. The route was from Fort Churchill to the bend of the Truckee River, down this river to where it empties into Pyramid Lake. A curious discovery was here made of the forking of the Truckee, one branch emptying into Pyramid Lake, the second into Winnemucca Lake, some 3 miles distant and 50 feet lower, 15 miles long and 3 wide. The shore of this lake was followed to its northern extremity; thence the route lay in a northeast direction to Camp McDermit, a number of springs being discovered on the way. From Camp McDermit the usual circuitous trail to Camp Lyon was followed, from whence an examination was made to Ruby City, Silver City, and vicinity, returning to Camp Lyon. From there a direct route was examined back to Camp McDermit, passing by the forks of the Owyhee River, which flows for many miles through a canon from 500 to 1,500 feet deep, which can be crossed in but few places. One of these crossings is at the forks, where wagons can ascend and descend. Thence in a southeast direction an elevated plateau was crossed, from the top of which the descent of several thousand feet was made to the valley of Quin's River, where Camp McDermit is situated. An attempt was made to find a better and more direct route from this camp to Lassen's Meadows, but the country was found to be sandy, with water only at long distances. From Lassen's by another route to Winnemucca Lake and thence to Fort Churchill. Maj R. S. Williamson, Corps of Engineers, commanded the expedition. There was no commissioned officer commanding the escort, but Lieut. W. H. Heuer, Corps of Engineers, was Major Williamson's assistant. G. C. Demeritt was the meteorologist. The instruments used were the sextant, prismatic compass, and odometer. Sextant observations were made nearly every night. The report was made to the assistant adjutant-general, Department of California, accompanied by tables of distances, altitudes, etc., and a topographical sketch. The report was never printed, but Britten and Rey, of San Francisco, subsequently lithographed a map on a scale of 1 inch to 12 miles.

Lieut. M. R. Brown, Corps of Engineers, Fort Riley to Fort Dodge and Fort Harker to Denver - 1867

The route was from Fort Riley via Smoky Valley and Smoky Hill River to Salina, thence to Fort Harker, thence to Fort Zarah, thence along Arkansas River to Fort Lamed, thence up Pawnee Fork to Indian Village, thence to Fort Dodge to headquarters of Coon Creek, thence to Fort Lamed; from Fort Larned to Walnut Creek, and crossing Smoky Hill River to Old Fort Hayes on Big Creek, thence via Smoky Hill Valley to Fort Harker. The expedition left Fort Harker again via Smoky Hill River Valley to Fort Hayes; thence along Big Creek to its source; thence to the head of Castle Rock Creek and Fort Wallace; thence along the South Fork of Smoky Hill River via Big Timber to Cheyenne Wells; thence via Deering's Wells, David's Wells, and Hugo Springs to Willow Springs; thence along Big Sandy Creek to River Bend. From here the command proceeded by two different routes. The first, north by way of Cedar Point, Fairmount, Benham Springs, Bijou, and Kiowa; the second, south via Reed Springs, Bijou Basin at the source of Bijou Creek, and crossing Kiowa River to Denver. A route was also pursued fiom Fort Wallace along the valley of the Smoky Hill to Chalk Bluff, thence to Castle Rock, thence to Downer's, and along the valley of Smoky Hill River to New Fort Hayes. Lieutenant Brown had with him on this expedition a sextant, transit, and artificial horizons, and made observations for latitude, longitude, and variation of the needle. Accompanying his manuscript report, dated Fort Leavenworth, October 19, 1867, to the Chief of Engineers, are tables of distances measured by odometer, detail journal sketches of the country passed over, its topographical and geological character, and information concerning wood, water, and grass.

Capt. C. W. Howell, Corps of Engineers, Republican Fork to 100th meridian, Union Pacific Railroad - 1868

A transit and level line with chain measurement was run by Capt. Charles W. Howell, Corps of Engineers, in 1868, from a point on the Kansas Pacific Railroad up the Valley of the Republican Fork (east side) and across the divide to the valley of the Platte, to connect with a monument erected on the Union Pacific Railroad to mark the crossing of the one hundredth meridian west of Greenwich. The topography was sketched, and Capt. George D. Graham was in charge of the escort, consisting of two noncommissioned officers and ten privates, Tenth Cavalry. The longitude of the terminal point of the survey was determined by observations with a sextant and telegraphic communication with Chicago. The engineers of the railroad company first established the monument by measurement from old Fort Kearney, Nebraska.

Capt. W. J. Twining, Corps of Engineers, Survey of Northern Dakota - 1869

The survey, made by orders from headquarters Department of Dakota, started July 1, 1869, having for its object a reconnaissance of the part of northern Dakota lying east of longitude 100º 30'. The surveyed lines were as follows: (1) From Fort Abercrombie to Fort Totten; (2) from Fort Totten to St. Joseph, crossing the headwaters of the western tributaries of Red River, and returning to the west of Devil's Lake; (3) from Fort Totten to Mouse River and Turtle Mountain and return; (4) a direct trail from Fort Totten to the south bend of Mouse River; and (5) from Fort Totten to Georgetown, on the Red River. The officer in command was Capt. W. J. Twining, Corps of Engineers. The party was escorted, after leaving Fort Totten (September 6), by Lieutenant Lacristo, Twentieth Infantry, thirty men, and four Indian scouts. The routes traveled were surveyed with a small compass and odometer, and were checked in latitude by frequent astronomical observations. The report was made to the department commander, February 20, 1870. The map of the reconnaissance, incomplete, was embodied in the maps of northern Dakota. The report, field-notes, and astronomical observations were also used in connection with the work of the United States Northern Boundary Commission (1872-'74).

Capt. Charles W. Raymond, Corps of Engineers, Survey of Yukon River in Alaska - 1869

The survey started July 1, 1869, having for its object to fix the geographical position of Fort Yukon (latitude 66º 33' 47" north, longitude 145º 17' 47" west), and generally to gain information concerning northern Alaska, its resources, the disposition of the native tribes, etc. The following is the itinerary of the route: Sailed from San Francisco April 6, 1869, to Sitka; thence on the Commodore to San Michael's Island, Morton Sound, carrying their small stern-wheel steamer Yukon, to be used in the ascent of the river of that name, under deck, leaving Sitka May 9. On July 1 the Yukon was launched, and arrived July 31 (distance 1,040 miles). This was the first journey by steam that had been made on the Yukon. On August 28 the return trip was commenced. Artic River was ascended in canoes to the head of navigation, 50 miles from mouth, thence over a divide a portage was made to the valley of the Golsova Richka, thence over an almost impassable country, arriving September 24 at the native village of Ikikitoik, on the coast of Norton's Sound, whence, on the 5th of October, a messenger was sent to San Michael's Island for assistance, from whence a whale-boat was secured, in which the party were taken to the ship Commodore, which sailed for San Francisco and reached there November 6, 1869. Capt. Charles W. Raymond, Corps of Engineers, commanded the expedition, Mr. John J. Major was assistant. For surveying, prismatic compasses and hand levels were used; for astronomy, a sextant and five chronometers, portable transit, and zenith telescope; for hypsometry, mercurial and aneroid barometers, wet and dry bulb thermometers; magnetic instruments, theodolite magnetometer, and dip-circle. The report was made to Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, commanding Military Division of the Pacific, and was printed as Senate Executive Document No. 12, Forty-second Congress, and was accompanied by a map lithographed by Julius Bien, on a scale of 1 inch to 50,000 feet, or 1 to 600,000. The geographical co-ordinates of Fort Yukon being determined, it was found to be on United States territory. Possession was taken and the United States flag posted.

Lieut. George M. Wheeler, Expedition to Southern and Southeastern Nevada - 1869

This expedition started from Camp Halleck, Nevada, on the 27th of June, 1869, and had for its object, in accordance with instructions from headquarters Department of California, Brig. Gen. E. O. C. Ord, commanding, a thorough reconnaissance of the country to the south and east of the White Pine Mines, extending, if practicable, to the head of navigation on the Colorado River, with a view to opening a wagon road thereto from the White Pine or Grant mining district; obtaining correct data for a military map of the country, and for the selection of the site or sites for such military post or posts, to cover the mining country south and east of White Pine from hostile Indians, as might be required. Explorations and examinations in reference to the physical geography of the country, its physical resources in wood, water, agricultural, and mineral productions, were required, and notice was also to be taken of the character, habits, and number of Indian tribes, and their disposition toward miners and settlers. The area embraced by the reconnaissance of this year was 24,428 square miles, including portions of southeastern Nevada and western Utah. The officer in command (Lieut. George M. Wheeler, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, chief executive officer and field astronomer) was assisted by an officer of Engineers as assistant executive officer and field astronomer, an assistant surgeon of the Army, one chief topographer, one assistant topographer and photographer, one surveyor and draughtsman, one assistant surveyor and recorder, one collector, one guide, and the requisite number of teamsters, packers, and laborers. Personnel of expedition.-First Lieut. George M. Wheeler, Corps of Engineers, U. S- Army, in command, chief executive officer and field astronomer; First Lieut. D. W. Lockwook, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, assistant executive officer and field astronomer; John D. Hall, assistant surgeon, U. S. Army; P. W. Hamel, chief topographer; Carl Rahskopff, assistant topographer and photographer; Charles E. Fellerer, assistant topographer and draughtsman; William M. Ord, assistant surveyor and recorder; John Koehler, collector; Henry Butterfield, guide. The escort consisted of two non-commissioned officers and twenty-five enlisted men, drawn principally from company H, Eighth U. S. Cavalry. Besides the daily latitudes and chronometric longitudes, by means of which and trigonometric measurements all the lines of survey were checked, it was found practicable to determine, by telegraph, longitudes at the following stations: (1) Camp Halleck, (2) Peko, (3) Elko, (4) Camp Ruby, (5) Camp near Hamilton, and (6) Monte Christo Mill, White Pine district; the value and character of which appear in the preliminary report. Instruments. The instruments used were sextants, theodolites for observations upon peaks, and small Casella instruments with Schmackalder and compasses for meandering. Comparison of time was had with members of the U S. Coast Survey, and Maj. H. M. Robert, Corps of Engineers, San Francisco, Cal. Transportation.-The train consisted of thirty-six persons, eight wagons, forty-eight mules, and thirty-one horses. Supplies were provided at specified points, to which they were transported by the above army wagons, from whence, as centers, they were taken when required by pack animals along the routes following trails, or across country. Reports. A special report of this reconnaissance was made to General Ord, commanding the Department of California, and printed at San Francisco in 1869 in a folio pamphlet, accompanied by a topographical map, separately issued, on a scale of 1 inch to 12 miles. This report, with additions, was reprinted in quarto form (pp. 72) and without the map, at the Government Printing Office in Washington, in 1875. On account of absence in the field no annual report was made at the close of the fiscal year 1868-'69 to the Chief of Engineers. During this survey eighteen mining districts were visited, viz: Cave, White Pine, Robinson, Patterson, Sacramento, Snake, Shoshone, Ely, El Dorado, Yellow Pine, Timber Mountain, Hercules, Tim-pah-ute, Pahranagat, Reveille, Hot Creek, Morey, and Grant, and notice was taken of their character. The examination showed that there were two distinct extended parallel lines of mineral deposits, both bearing southerly to the military road from Mohave to Prescott. The route for a through line of travel, shortest and most practicable for a rail or wagon road, was found to be the one which crosses the Colorado River at the mouth of the Virgin River, furnishing more wood, water, and grass, and having generally less barren land along its way. By this route loaded wagons can reach Camp Toll-Gate from the Central Pacific Railroad in twenty-one days. Four mineral belts, having a general north and south course, are contained in the region traversed, viz, the Hot Creek, Humboldt, Egan, and Schell Creek belts or ranges. The minerals found are gold, silver, copper, lead, antimony, iron, salt, gypsum, alum, and cobalt; silver being the principal one. The highest mountains are in the Humboldt and Spring Mountain ranges, some of the peaks reaching 12,000 to 13,000 feet. The rivers are the Colorado, Humboldt, and Virgin, and of the numerous smaller streams many become absorbed in the plains. A large portion of the region observed is unfit, from its mountainous and desert character, for agricultural purposes, and, where cultivation is possible it must be with irrigation usually. Timber and game are not abundant, and in portions of the valleys water and grass are scarce. The timber for use is white and yellow pine, the principal forage, bunch grass. Herds of cattle range in the principal valleys. Besides the mining settlements or camps, seven Mormon settlements were encountered along the route surveyed. Indians of the following tribes, to the number of about 2,500, were found within the limits of the survey, viz: Shoshones, Gosiutes, Snakes, Pahvants, Utes, and Pah-Utes. About 5 miles from where Muddy Creek enters Virgin River is a large deposit of rock salt, known as Salt Mountain. On the left bank of the Virgin, about 8 miles from its entrance into the Colorado, is a salt mine yielding 80 per cent of salt; the yield of the mountain being 90 per cent. On an extensive mesa, near the mouth of the Virgin, there is a salt well, and saline water is found in pools along the river wash. A cave in Cave Valley, 3,000 feet in extent, is found near the Patterson mining district. The Colorado River formed the southern limit of the survey, and was noticed, with reference to practicability of navigation, at Black and El Dorado Canons, and other points. It was found to be navigable at all seasons as far as El Dorado Canon, above which point, until obstructions are removed, navigation is dangerous as far as it may ever be carried, viz, to the foot of the Grand Canon. The part of the Colorado River touched upon was afterward traversed in boats during the exploration of the Grand Canon in 1871. This survey discovered that the body of water known as Preuss Lake in the memoirs of Fremont's explorations is the reservoir into which Sevier River empties, and, instead of being in Nevada, lies wholly in Utah. It is now known as Sevier Lake, and, with Salt, Utah, and Owen's Lakes, lies within the great interior basin embracing portions of California, Nevada, and Utah, the waters of which find no outlet to the ocean. Field work terminated on the 28th of November, nearly six months having been occupied in preliminary and actual observations. The reductions, necessary upon which the maps were based were made at San Francisco, California, at the headquarters of the Department of California, where the reports were also prepared.

Results. The principal result of this reconnaissance was the topographic data gathered over an area of 24,428 square miles, and published in preliminary and also final form, the latter appearing on regular atlas sheet, 48 D, 49, 57, 58, 59, and 66. Many new latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes were added to those hitherto existing. This reconnaissance, based principally on meander methods checked by principal and intermediate astronomic determinations (of the former of which there were six stations), was the precursor of more elaborate reconnaissance work in 1871 and subsequent years, until the introduction of triangulation methods in 1873, that subsequently were carried to the establishment of a complete trigonometric basis for the detailed topography in 1874 and subsequently.

Capt. D. P. Heap, Corps of Engineers, Montana and Dakota Trail Surveys - 1870

Capt. D. P. Heap, Corps of Engineers, as engineer officer of the Department of Dakota in 1870, surveyed the trails from Pembina to Fort Totten, and from Fort Ransom to Fort Wadsworth. He also approximately determined the forty-ninth parallel and marked it from Red River to Pembina, and later in the season made a short reconnaissance of the country near the mouth of the Yellowstone, commencing at Fort Buford, thence up the Yellowstone for 50 miles and return; thence west between the Yellowstone and Missouri, a distance of 40 miles, turning north and striking the Missouri; thence southeast, reaching the outward trail at Nelson's Springs, returning to Buford by the outward route. Mr. King acted as Captain Heap's assistant in these surveys, except the last, when Mr. Sturgis was engaged. The instruments used were odometer, compass, chain, sextant, pocket chronometer, and engineer's transit. The distance traveled was about 184 miles. A report and map of the last reconnaissance, on a scale of 1 inch to 2 miles, were forwarded to department headquarters.

1870 - Fall – Captain DP Heap[24], Corps of Engineers [King and Sturgis were Assistants]

Trail survey from Pembina to Fort Totten, Fort Ransom to Fort Wadsworth, and part of the 49th Parallel from Red River to Pembina. Included is survey of Yellowstone River from Fort Buford up-stream for 50 miles and return, then west between the Yellowstone and the Missouri rivers for 40 miles, then north to the Missouri River, then south east to the outward trail at Nelson’s Springs; returning to Fort Buford by the outward route. Distance traveled was 184 miles. Map created by the expedition was sent to Dakota Army Department Headquarters (Not located).

Lieut. G. C. Doane, U. S. Army, Upper Yellowstone Survey - 1870

Lieutenant Doane, in August 1870, in accordance with instructions from headquarters military district of Montana, with one sergeant and four privates of Company F, Second Cavalry, escorted the surveyor-general of Montana (H. D. Washburn) and eight others to the falls, lakes, and hot springs and geysers of the Yellowstone. While this expedition does not answer to the criterion of those coming within the scope of the memoir (no latitudes or longitudes having been determined), yet it is introduced as a link in the chain of exploratory endeavor that led to the discovery, exploration, location, survey, and physical examination of that wonderful region now known as the Yellowstone National Park, the probable existence of which was first made known to the scientific world by Captain Raynolds, of the Topographical Engineers, in his report on the exploration of the Yellowstone, published in 1868. This party started from Fort Ellis August 22 on the direct road to the Yellowstone River, which was reached near Butler's Ranch. The valley of the river was then followed to the "Great Falls," thence to Yellowstone Lake, thence via head of Yellowstone and Snake Rivers to Firehole River, a tributary of the Madison, which was followed to near the upper settlements, Lieutenant Doane reaching Fort Ellis in return via Sterling. A descriptive report by Lieutenant Doane appears as Senate Ex. Doc. No. 51, Forty-first Congress, third session. The information gathered by him was also presented to the Philosophical Society of Washington during the winter of 1870-'71, by Prof. S. F. Baird, and doubtless stimulated the further exploration of this region during the season of 1871 by Prof. F. V. Hayden and party, under the Interior Department, and Captains Barlow and Heap, under the Engineer Department.

1870 – August – Lieut. G. G. Doane, US Army, Yellowstone Expedition [25] - “The Washburn Expedition of 1870”

The Military District of Montana assigned Lt. Doane and 4 privates from Company F, Second Cavalry consisting of Sergeant William Baker, Privates Charles Moore, John Williamson, William Leipler and George W. McConnell, to lead the Surveyor General of Montana and eight others from the Helena area to the falls and geysers of Yellowstone Park[26]. No measurements of latitude or longitude were taken. Washburn and other civilians left Helena on the 17th, passed through Bozeman then onto Fort Ellis. The party left Fort Ellis following the same route as that used by the Folsom party the previous year. They departed Fort Ellis on 22 August 1870 and proceeded directly to Bottler’s Ranch on the Yellowstone River, stopping at Trail Creek the first night out. They then followed the river valley floor to the “Great Falls of the Yellowstone”, and then along the heads of the Yellowstone & Snake Rivers to Firehole River (branch of Madison River), returning by way of Sterling, Montana, located on Hot Springs creek. Truman C. Everts became separated from the group while at the lake area, and was lost.

Members of final team were: H. D. Washburn, Surveyor General of the Territory, Hon. N. P. Langford, Hon. Truman C. Everts, late Assessor of Internal Revenue, M. F. Truett, Judge of the Probate Court, Samuel T. Hauser, President of the First National Bank, Warren C. Gillette, Esq., Cornelius Hedges, Esq., Benjamin Stickney and Walter Trumbull. James Stuart represented deer Lodge. J. M. Greene, who joined the expedition at Bozeman City, represented Boulder Valley. At Fort Ellis, the group picked up their military escort, commanded by Lieutenant Doane and twelve men[27]. Also in attendance were two packers and two cooks.

Capts. J. W. Barlow and D. P. Heap, Corps of Engineers, Upper Yellowstone - 1871

Gen. P. H. Sheridan, commanding Military Division of the Missouri, commanded that a survey start at the field of Fort Ellis, Montana on July 16, 1871, having for its object the examination of the sources of the Yellowstone, Missouri and Snake Rivers, for the purpose of verifying the reports of extraordinary phenomena existing in that region. Crossing the Bozeman Divide it proceeded up the valley of the Yellowstone, discovering and examining the remarkable system of hot springs near the mouth of Gardner's River; thence the Great Falls, the Boiling Mud Springs and the Yellowstone Lake were visited; thence west to the wonderful geyser basin on Fire Hole River, a tributary of the Missouri; thence up the valley and across to the Yellowstone Basin. The western shore of the Yellowstone Lake was meandered, and then the party turned southward to the sources of the Snake River; thence eastward to the Yellowstone, down this valley to the lake, the eastern shore of which was surveyed; thence to the Great Falls on the east side; thence a detour to the east fork of the Yellowstone, which was descended to its mouth. After recrossing the Yellowstone the party returned to Fort Ellis, and disbanded September 1, 1871. The expedition was in command of Capt. J. W. Barlow, Corps of Engineers, who was assisted by Capt. D. P. Heap, Corps of Engineers. The civil assistants were W. H. Wood and H. G. Prout, topographers; Thomas J. Hine, photographer. Capt. G. L. Tyler commanded a small cavalry escort. The instruments were sextants, chronometers, barometers, compasses, and odometers. The report forms Senate Ex. Doc. No. 66, second session Forty-second Congress, and is accompanied by a map of the route traversed on a scale of 1 to 300,000.

1871 – Fall – Captain Hall, NPR Route through Bozeman to Pryor Creek & Yellowstone Valley

Northern Pacific Railway was provided a government charter that provided for government protection against hostile Indians during the surveys and construction. In 1871 Captain Hall, along with a company of men from Fort Ellis, were assigned to accompany the NPR surveyors led by Mr. Muhlenberg. The route survey started out from Bozeman in the late fall, and ran easterly to a point near the mouth of Pryor’s Creek; to a location they called “Place-of-the-Skulls.” The route was on the north side of the Yellowstone River. Here they abandoned their survey effort due to heavy snowfall, and returned to Bozeman. No Indians were encountered, and the troops were disbanded.


1871 – July - Captains D. P. Heap & J. W. Barlow, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of Upper Yellowstone [Hayden Expedition]

General Sheridan ordered a survey of the sources of the Yellowstone, Missouri & Snake River and to verify the reported phenomena existing that area. The survey team departed Fort Ellis on 16 July 1871. They returned on 1 September of the same year. Joining the survey party was the Hayden Expedition team.

Captain Barlow was in command. Civil assistants were: WH Wood, HG Prout, topographers; Thomas J Hine, photographer. Captain GL Tyler commanded their cavalry escort. Senate Executive Document # 66, 42nd Congress, 2nd Session reported the event, along with a map of the region traveled. To quote Captain Barlow: “Three days were spent at Fort Ellis in preparation for the trip. Instruments were unpacked and put in order. Camp equipment and subsistence stores selected, and provision made for transportation upon pack animals. It was ascertained that the quartermaster's and commissary departments could furnish nearly everything that was required, in addition to the articles I had brought with me. I increased my party to eleven persons by hiring three civilian packers, two laborers, and one cook. To mount this party I made requisition for twelve riding-animals. For conveying instruments, commissary stores, and other baggage, ten pack animals were obtained”.

Professor Hayden, was in charge of a geological expedition, was being sent to the same field of exploration as Captains Barlow & Heap. Hayden had been at Fort Ellis for some days, organizing and equipping his party. His was a much larger group, and a company of the Second Cavalry, from Fort Ellis, had been ordered to accompany it as their escort, under the protection of which the Barlow-Heap expedition was also to be made. A guard of one sergeant and five men were assigned to Barlow specially, in case he desired to leave at any time for making side surveys. Dr. Hayden proposed to transport his material as far as possible on wagons, then dividing the stores, and leaving with his wagons a portion to be sent for as might be required. The pack animals carried only the remainder and his necessary baggage. This idea appeared to be good and was adopted. Ten pack animals were assigned to carry thirty days' rations for Captain Barlow’s party, besides the other baggage required. This arrangement did not work well since the roads would not permit wagon-transportation very far, being only able to reach Bottler's Ranch, on the Yellowstone, a distance of thirty-five miles from Fort Ellis. The passage of the heavily laden wagons to this point required much inconvenience and labor, and consumed three days' time. Dr. Hayden was ready to start by the 15th of July, but owing to a delay in the arrival of a portion of Captain Barlow’s baggage from Virginia City they were unable to depart until the morning of the 16th. The escort consisted of Company F, Second Cavalry, Captain Tyler and Lieutenant Grugan commanding.

They crossed the Bozeman Divide and followed the Yellowstone River valley to Gardner’s River, and on into the Yellowstone Lake region and west to the Fire Hole River and on to the Yellowstone Basin and the western side of the lake. They then went southward to the source of the Snake River, then east to the Yellowstone shore where they surveyed; and descended the East Fork of the Yellowstone to its mouth, then returned to Fort Ellis. A wagon broke on the first day out, and they had to wait for a replacement.

Capt. W. A. Jones, Corps of Engineers, Uintah Mountains, 1871.-

The object of this expedition, as determined by the instructions from headquarters Department of the Platte, was as follows: (1) To ascertain the character and extent of the valleys of the streams and their adaptability to cultivation or grazing. To ascertain the character of the timber, its amount, location, and the feasibility of getting it to the railroad. (3) If possible, to find a wagon road from Fort Bridger to the Uintah Indian Agency. (4) If practicable, to examine the country on Green River with reference to the large mineral deposits reported there. Generally, to give all useful information concerning the country examined, which is now comparatively unknown. The party left Omaha June 11, 1871, and arrived at Fort Bridger June 29, proceeding south along the west branch of Smith's Fork (9 miles distant), thence ascending this stream 24 miles, thence to Gilbert's Pass, thence eastward 12 miles to the headwaters of a branch of Lake Fork called Big Spring Creek, which was followed for 12 miles to within 11 miles of its mouth on the Uintah River. After examination and survey in this vicinity the Uintah Valley Agency, on the North Uintah River, was reached via the valley of this stream. From thence northeast across Tau-a-wah to Ashley Creek, tributaries of Green River; thence northerly to near the summit of the mountains; thence northwesterly via the heads of Hunting-Ground Creek, Sheep Creek, and Burnt Fork to Henry's Fork, near boundary between Utah and Wyoming; thence northwesterly through the "Bridger Bad Lands" to Sage Creek, northerly along valley of Cottonwood Creek, and due westerly across to Smith's Fork, arriving at Bridger August 19, 1871. The country was minutely and carefully examined on either hand from the route pursued. On account of the poor character of the transportation furnished it was found impracticable to examine the Green River country as had been anticipated. The expedition was in command of Capt. W. A. Jones, Corps of Engineers, assisted by one topographer and one flagman, and with an escort of one corporal and six men, under Lieut. W. W. Wood, Thirteenth Infantry. A practicable wagon route was found from Fort Bridger to the Uintah Valley Agency via the pass at the head of the main branch of Smith's Fork, discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert, Seventh Infantry. The funds available admitted of only a simple reconnaissance. The report on this reconnaissance appears as Appendix AA of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1872, accompanying which a map was prepared of the " Uintah Mountains and Vicinity," scale 1 to 627,264, drawn by L. von Froben, 1872.

1872 – July & August - NPR Bismarck to Rocky Mountains (Part 1 – Hayden’s Survey of Yellowstone – West to East)

In early spring of 1872 NPR initiated action to carry on their surveys in an intensified manner, and called upon the government to provide protection. They planned to run rail lines over a vast region going from the base of the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River at Bismarck. This route clearly was passing through hostile Sioux Indian land. Two survey parties were established, one starting out from Bismarck, and one from the place on the Yellowstone River that Muhlenberg abandoned the previous year. They also planned to complete a survey of the valley from there to the mouth of the Powder River. Here the two survey teams were expected to meet.

·        Col John Gibbon, 7th Infantry, and District of Montana, assigned Major Eugene M. Baker as the escort commander for the survey party that started east. Companies C, E, G, and I of the 2nd Calvary from Fort Ellis were under his command. This was basically a continuation of the “Muscleshell Survey” that took place in mid-July; and he joined the forces already on the Yellowstone in August. (Part 1)

·        Col David S. Stanley, commanded the 22nd Infantry.  The survey party started west had an escort of nearly 1,000 men. They had virtually nothing to do with the events that transpired in Yellowstone Valley under Col. Baker’s command. (Part 2)

General Hancock, in his 1872 annual report stated: “On the 29th of June I received instructions from the lieutenant general to prepare two commands as escorts for two surveying parties of the Northern Pacific Railroad, one to proceed from Fort Rice on the Missouri River about 240 miles and return, the other to start from Fort Ellis, Montana, proceed to the mouth of Powder river, 310 miles, and return by way of the Mussellshell river.”

On July 13th the respective companies met at Shields River (Presently Park County) and were joined by Col Hayden and his corps of survey engineers. From here they marched slowly downstream to the juncture where they stopped surveying last year. It was an easy trip, and no Indians were encountered. On August 13th, having reached their previous location, they camped on the north side of the river near to where the Pryor Creek enters the Yellowstone.  Not seeing any Indians along the way Col Baker took no special precautions to guard against an attack. However, there were a few Indian dogs in the vicinity, and some of the men in his command believed that “the Redskins” were not far away. [According to Lt James H Bradley, Col Baker became intoxicated that night and was unfit for the performance of his duties.]

Previously, on the 12th of August, a large force of 800 – 1,000 Sioux warriors was making their way upstream to locate and fight the Crows. Their advance scouts discovered the survey party and after a short council, it was decided to check out the security during the night of the 13th, and attack on the morning of the 14th. The camp selected by Col Baker was in an ideal location, and could have been easily defended had precautions been taken. None were established, but through the special efforts of the officer of the guard (Lt William Logan), the forthcoming attack was not disastrous.

“The Sioux attack was well planned. They posted several hundred warriors close to the lower side of the camp, where they were completely screened from view by timber and willow. The main body of the Indian’s force was to attack on the landward side of the camp so as to draw the soldiers in that direction. This would allow the others to ambush from their concealment, cut through the camp, loose the horses, and cause confusion by the rearward attack. On the evening of the 13th, under cover of darkness, they reconnoitered the camp and stole several saddles out of the tents of some prospectors that had joined the party. They also cut lines and made off with six mules picketed near Col Baker’s tent. They also killed a dog that threatened to betray them.”

“Lt Logan, command of 26 men, suspected the presence of Indians, and made all preparations to guard against surprise that were possible under the circumstances. His guard was posted on the flank of the camp, away from the river and some 300 yards distant there form, his sentinels covering the camp as far as possible while the herds of beef cattle and mules of the government and contractor’s trains, which had been left out to graze, were held well under cover of the guard of the island like location of the camp, with a squad of herders over them to prevent straggling or stampede. The horses of the Cavalry were tied at the picket lines within the limits of the camp.”

“About three o’clock in the morning of August 14th, the officer of the guard made the round of his sentinels and found all quiet, the animals having ceased to graze and having lain down in the space between the guard tents and timber growing along the slough. [Where the Indians were hiding] Only a little while after this tour of inspection the Indians made their attack.”

“From the timber at different points along the landward side of the slough the Indians opened fire and advanced upon the island to attempt capture of the herd. In a moment the boldest of them were mingled with the animals, but the few men posted over the herd stood their ground manfully, opening a rapid fire upon the assailants at close range, and at the same time attempting to put the herd in motion toward the corral. The guard was instantly under arms, and by judicious management the animals were driven gently to the rear, the Sioux who had sought to stampede them being forced by the fire of the guard to fall back. A few moments sufficed to enable Lt Logan to throw the entire guard between the Sioux and the herd, where, deployed as skirmishers and lying down in the long grass, the men opened fire upon the moving forms dimly seen before them through the gloom. After the first volley the Sioux maintained a scattering fire, but the unexpectedly hot reception given them by the guard soon caused them to retire from the timber to the open ground beyond, and, within a few moments after the attack began, the ground was cleared of them and their fire had subsided into a few straggling shots.”

According to Lt James H Bradley, after interviews with soldiers, citizens and Indians who took part in the battle, and after a site visit in 1876, concluded: “The camp was pitched upon ground favorable for defense, being located on the margin of the stream, with a timbered slough sweeping in a semi-circular direction around it so as to form in connection with the river that may be termed an island of two or three acres area, the whole at long rifle range from the adjacent bluffs. To have rendered the position wholly secure, however, it would have been necessary to guard the slough that it could not be occupied by the enemy as a preliminary to their attack; but this was not done. Fortunately, it was rather the purpose of the Indians to get possession of the animals of the command with as little fighting as possible than to gain any decisive advantage over the troops, and their plans were laid accordingly.”

For continuation of specific details and listing of personnel wounded in the attack, see “Chapter II of Yellowstone County History.”

After the battle, the survey continued east, and on August 20th at a point about six miles west of Pompeys Pillar, the whole command turned toward the Musselshell River. The survey continued across the valley (Yellowstone County) to the Musselshell and up its south fork. On September 25th the survey expedition was disbanded, the survey plans abandoned, and the troops left for their respective posts. Both parties blamed the other for the failure to complete the survey mission plan. Colonel Stanley completed the survey the following year (Part 2)

1872 – NPR Bismarck to Rocky Mountains (Part 2 – Colonel Stanley’s Survey of Yellowstone East to West)

Capt. D. P. Heap, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of Missouri River and Dakota - 1872

In 1872 Captain Heap made a reconnaissance of the right bank of the Missouri from Fort Rice to the mouth of Heart River, and surveys of the roads or trails from Fort Rice to the Northern Pacific Railroad crossing of the James River, and from there to Fort Abercrombie. The instruments employed were of a similar character to those used by Captain Heap in 1870. Captain Heap, during same year, also reconnoitered the country between Beaver Dam and Buck Creeks, including that portion between these streams above and below present site of Fort Abraham Lincoln. A report and map (scale 1 inch to 4,000 feet) were forwarded to department headquarters. The instruments used were sextant, transit, and chain.

Maj. J. W. Barlow, Corps of Engineers, Yellowstone and Muscleshell[28] Rivers, 1872.

Major Barlow assisted by Second Lieut. Henry A. Irgens accompanied the Northern Pacific Railroad engineers in their surveys in 1872 eastward from Fort Ellis, which they left July 27, to the Yellowstone, thence after a few days' work northward to the Muscleshell[29], up this valley, across the Belt Range, and down Sixteen-Mile Creek to the Missouri. Maj. J. W. Barlow, Corps of Engineers, commanded the expedition. Bvt. Col. E. M. Baker, major Second Cavalry, commanded the escort of three hundred and seventy-six men, cavalry and infantry. The survey disbanded at Fort Ellis about September 29, 1872. The report was published in Ex. Doc. No. 16, third session Forty-third Congress. A map (scale I to 1,200,000) of the country and a survey of the camp where an Indian battle occurred were made, but not published with the report.

1872 – July – Major Barlow, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of Yellowstone & “Muscleshell” Rivers

Major Barlow commanded the expedition and accompanied the NPR survey teams east of Fort Ellis. The parties left Fort Ellis on July 27, 1872 and traveled northward toward the Musselshell River valley, then up the valley to the Belt mountain Range, down Sixteen-Mile Creek to the Missouri River. Barlow’s report of the survey can be found in senate Document #16, 43rd Congress, 3rd Session. A map was created, but not included in the report.

Col. EM Baker commanded the military escort from the Second Cavalry. The force consisted of 366 personnel.

Capt. William Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, Yellowstone River - 1873

This reconnaissance was made in connection with the movements of the Yellowstone expedition of that same year. Boats loaded with stores ascended the Yellowstone about 85 miles to Glendive Creek, the point near where the Northern Pacific Railroad survey line reached the river, and Captain Ludlow, after departure of the expedition from Glendive Creek, overtook it 10 miles above the mouth of Powder River. The river was carefully mapped by means of compass bearings and estimated distances checked by daily observations with sextant and chronometer. The expedition, which Captain Ludlow accompanied, consisted of six companies of the Sixth Infantry, commanded by Capt. H. S. Hawkins, Sixth Infantry. A report and map (on a scale of 1 inch to 4 miles) were forwarded to department headquarters. The astronomical determinations can be found at the headquarters of the department at St. Paul.

Capt. G. J. Lydecker, Corps of Engineers, Lava Beds - 1873

Captain Lydecker made a reconnaissance of the lava beds during the Modoc campaign in northern California in April and May 1873. The preliminary report was made to the commanding general of the division, together with sketches and stereoscopic views, and subsequently a general map (showing position of Jack's stronghold, lake shore and country between Hospital Rock and General Gillem's camp, scale 1 inch to 1 mile) was prepared and forwarded to the Engineer Department. Mention of this reconnaissance appears in Captain Lydecker's annual report. (See Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1873, Appendix FF.)

Lieut. E. H. Ruffner, Corps of Engineers, Ute Country - 1873

This exploration was organized by command of Brigadier-General Pope, commanding Department of the Platte. The expedition left Pueblo, Colo. (the longitude of which was determined by telegraph), May 7, 1873, and ran a line to Fort Garland, Colo., thence across the San Luis Valley and up the Rio Grande to its source, and down the Animas River. Retracng the line to the vicinity of longitude 107º the Pacific Divide was again crossed, the Lake Fork of the Grand River was followed down to its grand canon, thence east via Los Pinos Agency and Cochetopa Pass to the San Luis Park, where the first line was joined at Del Norte. Refitting at Fort Garland the expedition was continued over the Cochetopa Pass, up Taylor River and its tributaries, across the Red Mountain Pass to the head of the Arkansas River, and down it to Canon City, Colo. A sideline was run through Puncho Pass, ending at Fort Garland, to connect with the Land Office surveys in San Luis Park. This expedition was the outgrowth of the disturbed relations between the Uncompahgre Utes and the miners of the so-called San Juan region, the ascertaining of the position of the eastern boundary of the Indian reservation (107º west of Greenwich) being the principal object, which was supplemented by an examination of the various approaches from the Arkansas to the Ute country. The personnel was as follows: Assistant Engineer H. G. Prout (in charge of field work); assistant engineer, James Bassett; recorder, Samuel Anstey; recorder, D. W. Campbell; geologist, F. Hawn; assistant geologist, L. Hawn; photographer, T. Hines and two sergeants of the Engineer Battalion. A small escort from Company F, Eighth Cavalry, commanded by a sergeant, accompanied the first part of the exploration, and Lieutenant De Lacy, with a detachment from Company D, Fifteenth Infantry, escorted the second party. The line was run by theodolite, the angles being referred to meridians determined nightly; the distance was ascertained by the use of a stadia, and this is believed to be the first time this method has been used in mountain work. A report made to the Chief of Engineers of this exploration, accompanied by a lithographed map on a scale of 1 to 500,000, was printed in Executive document No. 193, Forty-third Congress, first session, House of Representatives, and separately as a pamphlet by the Engineer Department in 1874. The expedition disbanded at Pueblo October 4, 1873. In appendixes to this report are found tables of distances with astronomically determined

Northwestern Wyoming and Yellowstone Park - 1873

The expedition, which took the field at Fort Bridger, Wyo., in June, 1873, had for its object "the reconnaissance of the country about the headwaters of the Snake, Green, Big Horn, Gray Bull, Clark's Fork, and Yellowstone Rivers;" also to find, if possible, a good route from the south, via the Wind River Valley and Upper Yellowstone, to the Yellowstone National Park and Montana. The route traversed was: leaving Fort Bridger June 12; thence northward to Camp Brown; thence northward across the Owl Creek Mountains into the valley of the Big Horn as far as the Stinking Water River; thence westward across the South Shoshone Mountains to Yellowstone Lake; thence northward, a portion of the expedition going to Fort Ellis, Mont., and making a wide detour to the westward, visiting all the noted phenomena in the park; thence southeast via the head of Wind River to Camp Brown, where the expedition disbanded. Capt. W. A. Jones, Corps of Engineers, commanded the expedition, and Capt. Henry E. Noyes the escort, of Company I, Second Cavalry, and fifteen Shoshone Indians, who were accompanied by their families. The assistants were Prof. T. B. Comstock, geologist; Dr. C. C. Parry, botanist and meteorologist; Assistant Surg. C. L. Heizman, U. S. Army, chemist; Second Lieut. S. E. Blunt, Thirteenth Infantry, astronomer; Second Lieut. R. H. Young, Fourth Infantry, acting assistant quartermaster and acting commissary of subsistence; Louis von Froben and Paul Le Hardy, topographers. The instruments were one large transit theodolite, one small transit theodolite, one chain, three odometers, pocket compasses, one reflecting circle, one sextant, two box and two pocket chronometers, two mercurial and two aneroid barometers, ordinary pocket maximum and minimum and radiation thermometers, and one medical test chest, with apparatus for the field analysis of waters and gases. The report was made to Brig. Gen. E. O. C. Ord, commanding Department of the Platte, and with the maps form House of Representatives, Executive Document No. 285, first session Forty-third Congress; also House of Representatives Bill No. 2854, first session Forty-third Congress. The former document with additions, including geological report by Professor Comstock, was republished by the War Department in 1875 (1 vol., 8º, pp. 331, with maps and sketches). The much-doubted "two-ocean water" was discovered where one stream forms the common source of two, running respectively to the Atlantic and Pacific flowing waters. A very easy pass was found at the head of Wind River, thus opening a route to Montana from the southeast via Wind River and the Yellowstone National Park, the distance from Point of Rocks, Wyo., to Yellowstone Lake being 289 miles, and to Fort Ellis 437 miles. The reconnaissance was completed in September 1873.

1873 –August – Stanley, Wagon Road Survey for the NPR on the Yellowstone River


Before the survey effort from the previous year was re-started, Chief Red Cloud, in July of 1873 stated a warning that the railroad should not be laid across his country, and was on hand to oppose the surveyor’s progress. In 1873 the War Department ordered the Engineer Department to make an itinerary of every reconnaissance for posting on a master map in Washington. Thus, Captain William Ludlow, Chief Engineer, Department of Dakota, accompanied Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer’s 7th Cavalry into the Black Hills in July 1874. When Ludlow’s report, noting small amounts of gold, reached eastern newspapers, prospectors flowed into the Hills. When the Sioux refused to sell the Hills, the Grant administration gave them until February 1876 to evacuate and move onto reservations. After that, any Sioux found off a reservation would be considered hostile and an Army responsibility[30].

General DS Stanley was placed in command of the survey support party. He had 1,500[31] men at his command, plus an abundance of ammunition and supplies. General Custer, who commanded 450 men of the 7th Cavalry, was a part of the force. Stanley was assigned the duty of proceeding up the Yellowstone and looking for a practical road to be used for the supply wagons and artillery. On the 4th of August, near the mouth of the Tongue River, Custer was attacked and the Indians tried to draw m him into an ambush that failed. The Indians [Sioux] then moved up the valley with Custer in chase. On the night of August 9th the Sioux war party of 800 warriors attacked Custer’s men. After a long battle the Sioux were driven back. After this second major attempt to disrupt the survey expeditions, the Sioux did little more than harass the troops just to annoy them. The command marched across the country from Fort Rice to a place on the Yellowstone about 100 miles upstream of the confluence of the Yellowstone with the Missouri. Here a riverboat met them and ferried the command upstream between several survey excursions. Eventually they ended up at the Tongue River where additional forces were sent to join with Custer’s command.

The survey continued from a point six miles west of Pompeys Pillar, and on September 15th they turned north and went to Fort Peck. At Fort Peck, the expedition disbanded, and the troops went back to their posts. The escort party for the surveyors in General Stanley’s command made the trip up the Yellowstone River; supplies were brought in by boat, as far as Glendive Creek. The Key West [Packet Boat] made it as far as Wolf Rapids [just below Miles City.] Businessmen in Bozeman became excited about the news and immediately wanted to create a wagon road from their village [Bozeman] to the mouth of the Yellowstone River. They also sought federal aid to improve the riverbed. Nothing but plans were made for the road and the river improvement during this year. The NPR survey parties were under the command of General Thomas L. Rosser.

“It was not until July that the Yellowstone expedition assumed definite shape, and began its westward movement from Fort Rice. The engineers and surveyors of the Northern Pacific railroad were under the direction and management of General Thomas L. Rosser. This gentleman deserves a fuller notice than the limits of this article will permit. He and I had been cadets together at the Military Academy at West Point, occupying adjoining rooms, and being embers of the same company, often marching side by side in the performance of our various military duties while at the Academy. When the turns of secession broke upon the country in ‘61, Rosser, in common with the majority of the cadets from the Southern States, resigned his warrant; and I hastened to into his personal fortunes with those of his State—Texas. He soon won distinction in the Confederate army, under Lee, and finally rose to the rank and command of major general of cavalry. I held a similar rank and command in the Union army, and it frequently happened, particularly during the last year of the war, that the troops commanded by Rosser and myself were pitted against each other in the opposing lines of battle, and the two cadets of earlier years became not only hostile foes, but actual antagonists. When the war was ended Rosser, like many of his comrades from the South who had staked their all upon the issue of the war, at once cast about him for an opportunity to begin anew the battle, not of war, but of life. Possessing youth, health, many and large abilities, added to indomitable pluck, he decided to trust his fortunes amidst his late enemies, and repaired to Minnesota, where he sought employment in one of the many surveying parties, acting under the auspices of the Northern Pacific road. Upon applying to the officer of the road for a position as civil engineer, he was informed that no vacancy existed to which he could be appointed. Nothing daunted, he persisted, and finally accepted a position among the axe-men, willing to work, and proved to his employers not only his industry, but also his fitness for promotion. He at once attracted the attention of his superiors, who were not slow to recognize his merit. Rosser was advanced rapidly from one important position to another, until in a few months he became the chief engineer of the surveying party accompanying the expedition. In this capacity I met him on the plains of Dakota, in 1878, nearly ten years after the date when in peaceful scabbards we sheathed the swords, which on more than one previous occasion we had drawn against each other. The manly course adopted by Rosser after the war, his determined and successful struggle against adversity, presents a remarkable instance of the wonderful recuperative powers of the American character[32].”[Custer’s Comments]



1873 – Prospecting & Fighting Indians on the Yellowstone, Col. Brown


This year was also the first reported attempt to navigate the Yellowstone River. Col Brown headed up a command that consisted of 149 mountaineers, 17 wagons, and a special weapon called “The Big Horn Gun.” The purpose was to prospect for minerals and fight the Sioux Indians. It started out from Bozeman and descended the river as far as the Big Horn. From there they crossed over to the Rosebud River and engaged in fighting the Cheyenne and Sioux warriors. The gun they used was obtained from the Platte to Bozeman march that was made in 1870. It was loaded with cut-up fragments of old horseshoes, and caused much desecration of the Indians who were hit. [No map was created.]

1873 – June – Captain W. A. Jones, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of Northwestern Wyoming, Including Yellowstone Park

Captain Jones commanded this expedition that examined the country around the headwaters of the Snake, Green Big Horn, Gray Bull, and Yellowstone Rivers. They were to locate (if possible) a good route from the south, departing from Fort Bridger and traveling through the Wind River Valley, the Upper Yellowstone area and into Yellowstone Park. They departed Fort Bridger on 12 June 1873, reaching first Camp Brown, then northward across the Owl Creek Mountains and into the valley of the Big Horn. They traveled as far as the Shoshone River (Stinking Water), then west across the South Shoshone Mountains and on to Yellowstone Lake. Here the expedition split: part of the group examining the Yellowstone area, and on to Fort Ellis, the other part wade a wide detour westward, visiting all of the phenomena in the park, then southward to the headwaters of the Wind River and on to Camp Brown, returning to Fort Bridger in September 1873.

Captain Henry E. Noyes commanded the military escort from Company I, second Cavalry; plus 15 Shoshone Indians and their families. The group included Professor T. B. Comstock (geologist), Dr. C. C. Parry (botanist & metrologist), Assistant Surgeon C. L. Heizmann (US Army chemist), 2nd Lt. S. E. Blunt (13th Infantry astronomer), 2nd Lt. R. H. Young (4th Infantry, asst quartermaster), and Louis von Froben & Paul Le Hardy (topographers).

There were two reports created: One was issued to General E. O. Ord, Commanding Department of the Platte. Refer to 43rd Congress, 1st Session, and Executive Document No. 285. The second one was issued to 43rd Congress, 1st Session, and House of Representatives Bill # 2854. The first report also contained the geological report by Professor Comstock. This document was later republished by the War Department in 1875. In this report the following were noted:

·        The “two-ocean water source” was verified. Here one stream provides a common source for waters that flow respectively to the Pacific and Atlantic just as Jim Bridger had earlier claimed.

·        An easy pass was located at the headwaters of the Wind River, thus opening up a route into Montana from the southwest via the Wind River and Yellowstone Park. The mileages reported from Point of Rocks, Wyoming (on the Continental Divide west of Rock Springs) was: Yellowstone Lake 289 miles, Fort Ellis 437 miles.

Lieutenant Ruffner, Corps of Engineers, and Lieutenant Anderson, U. S. Army, Fort Garland to Fort Wingate - 1874

Lieut E. I. Ruffner states that in June 1874, Lieut. G B. Anderson, Sixth Cavalry, was detailed from Fort Lyon, Colo., to conduct a survey for a direct wagon route from Fort Garland, Colo., to Fort Wingate, N. Mex. A small detachment of Company M, Sixth Cavalry, accompanied the party, which consisted, in addition to Lieutenant Anderson, of Assistant Engineer D. W. Campbell and Recorder Samuel Anstey. The instrumental work was done by azimuth and stadia, as in the prior surveys of their office. The line was run southwest from Fort Garland, the instrumental line commencing at a point on the land surveys at the junction of the Conejos River and Rio San Antonio. Two lines were thus carried across the high mountain spur separating the waters of the Conejos and the Rio Chama, one of the tributaries of the Rio Grande, during the month of July. The report of Lieutenant Ruffner on the results of this examination and survey, accompanied by that of Lieutenant Anderson, is found in House Executive Document No. 172, Forty-fourth Congress, first session (with map, scale 1 to 1,000,000). An "atlas of detail sheets" (fourteen in number; scale, 1 to 50,000) remain as originals on the files of the Engineer Department.

1874 – February – Create a Wagon Road Supply Route & Stockade between Bozeman & Mission Creek


In January active preparations were started to create a wagon road. A large expedition departing on 12 February from the Quinn Ranch (between Bozeman and Mission Creek) was sent down river to the head of the navigation point on the Yellowstone. The group were supposed to locate that point, and where a connection with the packet boats could be made, and then on to the terminus of the NPR. They also were to make a stockade to defend the site against hostile Indians. The expedition was well armed and provisioned. They had over 200 horses and mules, 28 yoke of oxen, 22 wagons loaded with supplies and provisions for four months. They carried two artillery pieces and 150 rounds of artillery shells. All men were armed with the latest breech-loading rifles, and had over 40,000 rounds of ammunition. They believed that the point they were seeking was at the Tongue River junction, where it was thought that there were rich mines of gold in the area. This was also believed to be the head of navigation on the Yellowstone. They were enroute for three months and traversed 600 miles; had four skirmishes with Indians, and the entire trip was a failure. They returned via the Bozeman Trail.

Capt. William Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, Black Hills Expedition - 1874

The expedition was under command of Lieut. Col. G. A. Custer was organized in pursuance of special orders No. 117, Headquarters Department of Dakota, June 8,1874, and had for its purpose the reconnoitering of a route from Fort Abraham Lincoln to Bear Butte, in the Black Hills, and exploring the country south, southeast, and southwest of that point. The expedition consisted of ten companies of cavalry, two of infantry, and a number of Indian scouts, in all about 1,000 men, one guide, interpreters, and teamsters. Captain Ludlow was detailed as its engineer officer. The line of reconnaissance (1,204 miles in length) commenced July 2, moving southwestwardly toward the bend of Heart River; thence across the north fork of the Cannon Ball; thence across the south fork, called also Cedar Creek; thence over the Belle Pierres Hills; thence into the valley of the North Fork of Grand River; following this valley for a distance, the trail bore to the southwest, across several bends of the South Fork of Grand River, to a camp on a small branch of the Little Missouri; from this point (called Prospect Valley) the trail led around the northern extremity of the Short Pine Hills, into the valley of the Little Missouri; thence southeasterly in the direction of Bear Butte, camp was made on a small branch of the Belle Fourche, the valley of which stream was reached at a point 292 miles from Fort Lincoln; thence by Redwater Creek, a tributary of Belle Fourche, into the Black Hills; thence to Myan Kara Creek, after the peak of that name, which was here ascended, and near the source of which exploring parties were sent out in various directions; thence camp was made in Castle Valley Creek; thence southeasterly to an unnamed creek (from whence Harney Peak was ascended); from this point reconnaissances were made to the south and southeast, toward the plains, rendezvous being again made in the heart of the Black Hills. On August 6 camp was broken for the return trip, which followed partly the incoming route, to determine the practicability of a road northward through the hills, emerging near Bear Butte. Castle Valley and Elkhorn Prairie were retraversed, whence the plains were reached, and a trail reconnoitered over a different route in 1875, returning to Fort Lincoln (see pp. 1128 and 1129, Annual Report Chief of Engineers), which point was reached August 30, the sixtieth day of the trip. W. H. Wood, topographer, and a detachment of Engineer soldiers, assisted Captain Ludlow. Prof. W. H. Winchell was geologist; Dr. Williams, surgeon, U. S Army; George Bird Grinnell, paleontologist and zoologist; a photographer also accompanied the party. The instruments used were odometers, prismatic compasses, mean solar chronometers, barometers and thermometers, a Wurdemann transit, and a sextant. The general topography along all routes and at all points visited was carefully recorded and the lines checked by astronomical latitudes and points in the hills checked from a measured base by trigonometric means. A preliminary report of this expedition was made to the Chief of Engineers, and appears in his Annual Report for 1874 (Appendix KK). A subsequent report, including summaries of distances, latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes, and the result of geological examinations of W. H. Winchell, State geologist of Minnesota, and upon paleontological observations by George Bird Grinnell, representing Prof. O. C. Marsh, appears as Appendix PP, Annual Report Chief of Engineers for 1875. This report also, accompanied by maps, was subsequently reproduced in quarto in 1875 (pp. 121). The latter document is accompanied by a map of the reconnaissance (scale 1 inch to 12 miles); one of the Black Hills, topographical (scale 1 inch to 3 miles), and a geological map, based on the same.

1874 – July – Lt. Col G. A. Custer, Reconnaissance of the Black Hills by Capt. William Ludlow

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer commanded the expedition under Special Orders No. 117, Headquarters Department of Dakota, and June 8, 1874. He was to look for a route from Fort Abraham Lincoln to Bear Butte in the Black Hills; then explore the country south, southeast and southwest of that point. The 1,000 man expedition consisted of ten companies of cavalry, two of infantry, and a number of Indian Scouts. Also included were one guide, some interpreters and the teamsters. Captain Ludlow was assigned as “Engineering Officer”, and this expedition is sometimes called the Ludlow Survey.

The expedition covered 1,204 miles, and departed Fort Abraham Lincoln on 2 July 1874. They moved southwest toward the bend in the Heart River, then across the north fork of the Cannon Ball River, and then across its south fork, called also Cedar Creek. From there they traveled across the Belle Pierres Hills, into the valley of the North Fork of the Grand River moving southwest in the valley, across several bends of the South Fork of the Grand River to a campsite on the Little Missouri called Prospect Valley. From here the trail led around the northern extremity of the Short Pine Hills, into the valley of the Little Missouri, then southeast in the direction of Bear Butte. Here they camped on a small branch of the Belle Fourche River, having traveled 292 miles.

They continued into the Black Hills via Redwater Creek, then on to Myan Kara Creek. Here they ascended the Myan Kara peak. They set up a base camp on Castle Valley Creek, where the exploring parties were dispatched in various directions. The main body moved on towards a pre-planned rendezvous site in the Black hills, traveling southeast towards Harney Peak. At this point excursions were made to the south and southeast towards the plains. The broke camp on 6 August and started their return, following mainly the outbound route. To determine if a road north of the Black Hills was practical, when they approached Bear Butte the area around Castle Valley and Elkhorn Prairie were examined. They returned to Fort Abraham Lincoln on 30 August 1874.

Captain Ludlow was assisted by W. H. Wood (topographer), a detachment of Engineer Soldiers, Professor W. H. Winchell (geologist from Minnesota), Dr. Williams (surgeon), George Bird Grinnell (paleontologist and zoologist), plus a photographer. A preliminary report was issued to the Chief of Engineers, and appears in Appendix KK of that report for 1874. A detailed report with maps was filed in the 1875 Chief of Engineers Report as Appendix PP.

Capt. William Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, Carroll (Mont.) to Yellowstone Park - 1875

The reconnaissance commenced at Carroll, Mont., July 13, 1875; and the Carroll road was surveyed to Camp Baker, Mont.; thence to Fort Ellis; thence through Bozeman Pass and up the Yellowstone River to the Yellowstone Park, and return by same route to Ellis August 31; thence to the South Fork of Deep Creek; thence down the South Fork of the Musselshell to the forks; thence along the Carroll road to Armelis Creek. From this point an examination of the Judith basin was made by Lieutenant Thompson, under direction of Captain Ludlow, thence to Carroll, September 19, 1875. Captain Ludlow commanded the expedition, assisted by Second Lieut. R. E. Thompson, Sixth Infantry. The escort from Carroll to Baker was 10 men, Second Cavalry, under command of Second Lieut. C. F. Roe, Second Cavalry, and from Ellis to Carroll of 2 non-commissioned officers and 8 men of Second Cavalry. The civil assistants were W. H. Wood and Edwin Ludlow, topographers; G. B. Grinnell, paleontologist and zoologist; Edward S. Dana, geologist, besides his detachment of engineer soldiers; and Charles Reynolds, hunter and guide. The instruments used were transit, chain, sextant, reflecting circle, prismatic compass, odometers, and chronometers. A map of the reconnaissance accompanied the report on a scale of 1 inch to 6 miles. The published report (Appendix NN, Report Chief of Engineers, 1876) is illustrated by three maps of the reconnaissance, 1 inch to 12 miles; of the Judith Basin, 1 inch to 6 miles; and of the Geyser basin, and 1 inch to 6 miles. This report was also separately published in quarto, 155 pages, in 1876.

1875 – May & June – Col. Forsythe, Military Secretary, Expedition up Yellowstone River

General Orders (Letter of Instruction dated May 19 1875, P. H. Sheridan, Lt-General)

Steamer Josephine will be placed at your (Lt. Col. Forsythe) disposal at Bismarck, ND for examination of the Yellowstone River from its mouth to the Big Horn River and farther up, if possible. Report on timber, soil, geological formations, depth of water, and character of rapids. “Make your examination as complete as possible, without any unnecessary detention of the boat, and return from any point when, in your best judgment, there is not sufficient water, or any other obstacles to impede your progress.”  “I decline to authorize you to allow any person whomsoever to accompany you except Lt-Col Grant (Aide de Camp), who is part of your expedition, …. officers and troops forming your escort. “ Boat personnel will accompany you. Four mounted scouts are authorized.

Lt-Colonels Forsythe and Grant boarded the Josephine at Bismarck, [along with Acting Assistant Surgeon J. A. McKinney]. Twelve officers and 31 men manned the boat; Captain Marsh, boat commander, was the only boat person identified in the reports. The Josephine carried no freight for this trip, although it was permitted to do so up to the point that it would enter the Yellowstone River. It drew 20 inches of water when it entered the Yellowstone River. All army personnel were from the Sixth Infantry. No photographers were on board. Note that there were no professors from the Smithsonian Institute. They were on the same boat later in June see below.

Stopping first at Fort Stevenson they took on Company H with 2nd Lt R. E. Thompson and 2nd Lt C. L. Gurley commanding 40 men, and a one inch Gatling gun supplied with 10,000 rounds of ammunition. Stopping next at Fort Buford they took on Company E with Capt. Thomas Britton and 2nd Lt R. I. Jacobs commanding 30 enlisted men; and Company G with 1st Lt W. H. Cornell and 2nd Lt Thomas G. Townsend commanding 30 enlisted men. One month’s food rations were loaded for the army members. Each soldier carried 350 rounds of ammunition, and the enlisted men were assigned duties to chop wood for the trip, and stand guard.

2ndLt Thomas G. Townsend provided pen & ink sketches of the country, 2ndLt Richard. E. Thompson provided the map of the Yellowstone River[33] used for the journey, and Corporal Thoma prepared pencil views of the trip.

The steamer Josephine arrived on June 6th about 1-1/2 mile west of the Hell Roaring Rapids (Ramsey’s Rapids), and docked for the night on the north bank. It tied up to two trees. On the 7th they continued upstream to a point slightly beyond Duck Creek, where they turned around and headed back to Bismarck quickly as possible. Details of the journey are described in the two military reports filed by Colonels Grant and Forsythe[34].

 Captain Grant Marsh didn’t issue a report, as he was assigned to be pilot of the Josephine for the trip. In 1909 he prepared a letter to President Roosevelt condemning the plan to place a dam across the Yellowstone River near Miles City that unfortunately had some memory errors about the 1875 trip. In the letter he stated that the Josephine arrived (in the Billings area) and tied up to a large cottonwood tree on June 7th. He also stated that four civilians (from the Smithsonian) were onboard for scientific observation, and that he established the mileages traveled. This information was incorrect and mixed with the Carroll trip. [See below]

The Col. Gibbon expedition to join General Crook’s 1876 campaign against the Sioux found them encamped enroute upriver on the Yellowstone 1-1/2 mile from the Canyon Creek confluence, and Lt. Bradley also identified the turn-around spot for the Josephine at Duck Creek as being about 2-1/2 miles upstream from the campsite. This places the end journey for the Josephine about one mile west of Duck Creek, and agrees with the military reports.

1875 – July – Captain Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of the Yellowstone

 Special Orders No. 110, Headquarters Department of Dakota, St. Paul, MN dated June 14, 1875 initiated the survey trip.

Captain William Ludlow commanded the overland expedition that started from Fort Carroll, Montana 13 July 1875 and was completed on 31 August 1875. [Confusion of this engineering expedition with the military expedition the preceding month has resulted in some researchers mixing the two reports (see above). This mix-up was probably due to the fact that both expeditions started out by the War Department commandeering the Josephine Riverboat that departed from Bismarck, and some of the same personnel were onboard for both trips.] Several excursions and road surveys were recorded. Refer to the reports contained within Captain Ludlow’s submittal. Definitive directions, camps and forts construction are described in detail. [The accompanying map only showed the relative journey.]

Assigned personnel was determined by their special orders, and consisted of: Captain Barlow, his assistant, Sergeants Becker & Wilson plus five enlisted men (Special Order No. 121), four civilians (Edwin Ludlow - New York, W. H. Wood, Captain Ludlow’s assistant, George Bird Grinnell & Edward S. Dana – Yale College who will report on geology, paleontology and zoology findings), Charles Reynolds – guide with his horse, 2nd Lt. R. E. Thompson – topographer, and the Josephine boat crew (commanded by Captain Grant Marsh).

Departure on Josephine Riverboat was from Bismarck on July 6th. Sergeant Becker was assigned to create a survey of the river enroute to Fort Carroll[35], but since the boat traveled also by night, this effort had to be abandoned. At Fort Stevenson (84 miles north of Bismarck) the boat docked and Lt. Thompson and guide Charles Reynolds got off and picked up some needed supplies. These they packed overland to Fort Berthold where they rejoined the Josephine. The Josephine offloaded some cargo it was carrying, and then continued on its journey. On July 8th, Reynolds and his horse were put ashore. He was to precede the boat on its journey to Fort Buford to deliver a note requesting supplies and services of the post surgeon. Here the Captain and the sick man stayed onshore, waiting for the next boat. Lt. Thompson was placed in charge and ordered to continue to Carroll and then on to Camp Baker. The Josephine returned to Fort Buford on the 15th. Lt. Thompson reported that the Indians drove off 40 mules belonging to the Diamond Transportation Company. He also reported that the area is troubled by Indian attacks. Captain Ludlow joined the Key West on July 23rd and traveled to Carroll. He arrived there on the 27th.

Lt. Thompson traveled the Carroll to Baker road, and then cut over to the southeast towards the Yellowstone River. He arrived near Big Timber (90 miles upstream of where Col. Forsythe turned around earlier on June 7th, at Duck Creek), and went upstream, arriving at Fort Ellis.

Captain Ludlow, after reaching Carroll, surveyed the road to Camp Baker, and continued on to Yellowstone Park. He and his companions prepared a large detailed report.

Capt. W. S. Stanton, Corps of Engineers, Big Horn and Yellowstone - 1876

This expedition, of fifteen companies of cavalry, five of infantry, one hundred and five wagons, and six hundred pack-mules, commanded in person by General George Crook, was organized at Fort Fetterman in May, 1876. The expedition left Fetterman May 29, marching northward on the old Montana road [Bozeman Trail], camping first on Sage Creek; thence on branch of the Cheyenne; thence across two tributaries to headwaters of this stream; thence to Dry Fork of Powder River; thence to Clear Fork of Powder River; thence via old Fort Phil Kearney to camp on Little Piney Creek; thence to Hay Creek; thence to mouth of Prairie Dog Creek; thence returning along this creek, reaching camp on Goose Creek; thence to Rosebud Creek, where a successful engagement was had with the Sioux Indians; thence to a small stream in vicinity of Tongue River; thence by a devious route to new rendezvous camp on Goose Creek; thence to Camp Cloud Peak, on same stream; thence to main Fort Smith road, near Fort Phil Kearney, returning by the outward route and reaching Fort Fetterman June 21. Mr. R. F. Koehneman, draughtsman and topographer, Private Henry Kehl, general service, and two infantry soldiers assisted Captain Stanton, engineer officer to the expedition. The instruments employed were sextants and chronometers for difference of time and latitude, mercurial and cistern barometers, prismatic compass and odometers. Careful topographical sketches of country adjoining the route were made. A report of the reconnaissance will be found as Appendix PP, Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1876, and it is also mentioned in Appendix QQ, Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1877.

Lieut. E. Maguire, Corps of Engineers, Yellowstone & Powder River Valley Region - 1876

The expedition organized in the Department of Dakota was in command of Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry, and to which Lieutenant Maguire, U. S. Engineers, was attached as chief engineer. It left Fort Abraham Lincoln May 17, 1876, marching almost due west to Heart River; thence to Sweet Brier Creek; thence to Crow's Nest, or Buzzard's Roost Butte; thence to Big Muddy Creek; thence via Big Muddy Valley to Thinfaced Woman's Creek; thence to north fork of Heart River; thence to valley of Powder River; thence to valley of Davis Creek; thence to the Little Missouri; thence via Sentinel Buttes to Beaver Creek; thence via head of Cabin Creek to O'Fallon's Creek; thence to Powder River; and thence to the Yellowstone-a total distance of 3184 miles. The command with which Lieutenant Maguire moved was transferred by steamer up the Yellowstone, near the mouth of the Big Horn, where the march to the Little Big Horn commenced, which was reached about 9 miles above its mouth, near the scene of the Custer Battle, which battlefield was mapped [Maguire Map]. A return march was made to the Yellowstone, and a reconnaissance carried up the valley of the Rosebud and via Tongue River to Pumpkin Creek; thence to the valley of Powder River via a tributary of the Mizpah, and thence again to the Yellowstone, from whence movements were made in different directions. Astronomical observations, necessarily interrupted by the specially military necessities of the campaign, requiring moving by pack train at a moment's notice in any direction, without intervals of repose, were taken at a number of points, results from which appear on pages 1359 and 1360, Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1877. The instruments used were chronometers and sextants, with artificial horizons. Transportation was both by wagon and pack train. The elevations are barometric; the measurements are odometric. Lieutenant Maguire was assisted by Second Lieut. E. J. McClernand, Second Cavalry, and Mr. W. H. Wood. His report appears as Appendix PP of Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1877. The original map, filed in the Engineer Bureau, and drawn by Sergt. James E. Wilson, Battalion of Engineers, is to the scale of 1 inch to 12 miles. Capt. W. S. Stanton, Corps of Engineers, routes in Wyoming, 1877.

1876 – May – Lt. E. Maguire, Engineering Officer, Campaign Against Hostile Sioux

General A. H. Terry was in command, and Lt. Maguire was attached as Chief Engineer to record the actions. The troops left Fort Abraham Lincoln and marched due west to Heart River, then to Sweet Brier Creek, Crow’s Nest, Big Muddy Valley, Thin Faced Woman’s Creek, and north to Powder River Valley. Here they traveled to Beaver Creek via Sentinel Buttes, and on to the head of Cabin Creek and on to O’Fallon’s Creek, Powder River, and to the Yellowstone River.

Lt. Maguire traveled by steamer to a point nine miles above the mouth of the Big Horn River where he met the overland marching command. Their return was by the Yellowstone River. Here the reconnaissance was made of the valley of the Rosebud, and then via Tongue River to Pumpkin Creek, on to the Powder River Valley via a tributary of the Mizpah Creek, and back to the Yellowstone River. At this point several movements were made in various directions as the conditions warranted. Lt Maguire’s report is filed in Appendix PP of the Annual Report of Chief Engineers, 1877. A map of the route was made by Sergeant James E. Wilson, Battalion of Engineers, and was submitted separately to the Engineer Bureau.

1876 – May – Captain W. S. Stanton, Corps of Engineers, Campaign Against Hostile Sioux

General George Crook was in command of 15 companies of cavalry, 5 infantry companies, 105-wagons and 600 pack mules. The expedition force departed Fort Fetterman 29 May 1876 and traveled northward on the Montana Road towards Fort Phil Kearny. After departing their campsite near Fort Phil Kearney they entered the Tongue River area and searched for the Sioux. They engaged them on the Rosebud Valley area, and then returned to Fort Fetterman on 21 June 1875.

Captain Stanton was assigned as Engineering Officer with Mr. R. F. Koehsman as topographer. Assisting him were Private Henry Kehl as general service, and two infantry soldiers. He surveyed the route and published a report with a detailed map as Appendix QQ in the Annual Report Chief of Engineers, 1877.

Reconnaissance of Routes in Wyoming, Captain W. S. Stanton - 1877

The parties took the field at Cheyenne, Wyo., July 11, and proceeded first to Fort Laramie, 88 miles; thence to Hat Creek, 60 miles; thence to Deadwood, 126 miles; thence to Fort McKinney, 197 miles; thence to Fort Fetterman, 91 miles; thence to Rock Creek Station, Union Pacific Railroad, 83 miles; thence to Laramie Peak, 45 miles; thence to Fort Laramie, 60 miles; thence to Camp Robinson, 73 miles; thence to Deadwood, 157 miles; thence to Custer City, 55 miles; thence to Hat Creek, 87 miles; thence to Camp Robinson, 53 miles; thence to Sidney Barracks, 120 miles; where disbandment was made November 3. The length of the reconnaissance was 1,328 miles. Forty-four latitudes and longitudes were determined, twenty-two magnetic declinations, and two hundred and seventy-one barometric altitudes. The expedition was in command of Captain Stanton, who was assisted by Lieutenant Swigert, Second Cavalry; Lieut. Henry Seton, Mr. R. F. Koehsman, draughtsman and topographer; 10 enlisted men, one of whom acted as photographer. An escort of 1 sergeant and 9 men from Fort Laramie, and a like number from Camp Robinson, accompanied the expedition. The instruments employed were sextants, chronometers, prismatic compass, cistern and aneroid barometers, and odometers. Independent of latitude and longitude determinations by Captain Stanton, as well as magnetic variations, careful topographic sketches of country adjacent to the routes was recorded, and the usual hypsometric observations taken for altitudes.

1877 – July – Captain W. S. Stanton, Corps of Engineers, Reconnaissance of Routes in Wyoming

Captain Stanton commanded the survey with Lt. Swigert (Second Cavalry, Lt. Henry Seton & Mr. R. F. Koehsman as draftsmen, plus 10 enlisted men (one was the photographer.) Escorting the survey team were a sergeant and 9 men from Fort Laramie, and the same from Camp Robinson.

The team left Cheyenne on July 11, 1875, and traveled 88 miles to Fort Laramie and then to Hat Creek, 60 miles; Deadwood, 126 miles; Fort McKinney, 197 miles; Fort Fetterman, 91 miles; Rock Creek station at Union Pacific Railroad, 83 miles; Laramie Peak, 45 miles; Fort Laramie, 60 miles; Camp Robinson, 73 miles; Deadwood, 157 miles; Custer City, 55 miles; Hat Creek, 87 miles; Camp Robinson, 53 miles; and finally to Sidney Barracks, 120 miles, where they disbanded. They traveled 1,328 miles. The report is filed in Appendix RR of the Annual Report of the Chief Engineers for 1878. A sketch of the route is attached to the report. Captain Stanton incorporated this survey into the military map of the Department of the Platte. This map included actual and proposed wagon roads.

The report of this extended instrumental reconnaissance will be found as Appendix RR, Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1878, p. 1705. It is accompanied by a sketch map of the routes (scale 1 to 900,000). The result of his explorations was used by Captain Stanton in compilation of a military map of the Department of the Platte. The engineer officers at headquarters military divisions and departments have, from time to time, made surveys of military reservations and of wagon-roads, prior to the construction of the latter, the results of which appear in the Annual Reports of the Chief of Engineers; or, if unpublished, in the archives of the Engineer Department or at the headquarters offices respectively. The following are the authorities that were available for the compilation of a standard official list of latitudes and longitudes west of the Mississippi River:

1.      Annual reports of Chief of Topographical Engineers (Graham, Lee, Poe); 1860, p. 341; 1860-'61, pp. 554 and 571.

2.      Annual Reports Chief of Engineers U. S. Army to date (Lockwood, Bailey, Ruffner, Wheeler, Wisner, Ruffner, Hoffman, Major, Greene, Barlow, Safford, Maguire, and others); 1860-'61, pp. 576 and 581; 1866, p. 48; 1870, p. 546; 1873, p. 681; 1874, pt. 2, pp. 432 and 610-620; 1877, p. -; 1879, p. -; 1881, Vol. III, p. 2844; 1882, pt. 3, p. 2833, and elsewhere.

3.       U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey to date (various observers).

4.       U. S. Geographical Surveys, annual reports 1875 to 1879, inclusive; 1875, p. 11; 1876, pp. 6-35; 1877, pp. 1214-1217; 1878, pp. 6-14; 1879, pp. 114-122; 1880, p. 35.

5.       Tables of geographic positions, etc., U. S. Geographic Surveys, 1885 (Wheeler, Lockwood, Hoxie, Marshall, Kampff, Safford, Clark, Austin, Eastman, Wheeler, and Roberts).

6.       U S. Geographical Survey Reports, Vol. I, especially App. A, and Vol. II, pp. 488-491.

7.      Vol I, Reports of fortieth parallel, p. 766.

8.      Astronomic report, 1874; preliminary report, 4º, 1869; distances, etc., 4º, 1872; U. S. Geographic Surveys.

9.      Hayden reports, Bull. Texas, Vol. III, No. 3, p. 713, 1877; annual reports 1872, p. 796, and annual report 1878, p. 463.

10.  Final report Lake Survey (Professional Papers, Corps of Engineers, No. 24; Comstock, Adams, Lockwood, Texas and United States (Clark). Senate Ex. Doc. No. 70, Forty-seventh Congress, first session.

11.  United States and Mexican boundary reports (Emory, Whipple, and Michler).

12.  United States and Northwestern boundary (Parke and Gardner). MSS. in State Department archives.

13.  United States and Northern Boundary report (Twining, Gregory, Greene, and Boss); p. 198.

14.  Warren, Vol. XI, Pacific Railroad reports.

15.  Naval Observatory, annual report 1871, p. xvi and others.

16.  Reports on transit of Venus and eclipse expeditions (Harkness, Newcomb, and others).

17.  Yukon River (Raymond and Major); Jones, Wyoming (Blunt and Hitt); Mullan's wagon road, p. 360 (Wiesner and Kolecki); Ives, Colorado River; Simpson, Great Basin; Ludlow, Black Hills; Stanton, Nebraska; Livermore in Western Texas (unpublished), and others.

18.  General records of the Engineer Department (see among others 305 and 2139 of 1879, 651 and 2664 of 1881, 3476, 4032 and 4900 of 1882).

19.  General records of the Geological Survey 


Miscellaneous Surveys – Not Discussed

U. S. Lake Survey. - Mississippi River Commission and Survey, Col. and Bvt. Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, Corps of Engineers, and Lieut. Col. and Bvt. Brig. Gen. C. B. Comstock, Corps of Engineers, Presidents to 1879, inclusive.

Missouri River Commission.

Surveys for River and Harbor Improvements.

New Maps of Western Territories and of the United States, by Corps of Engineering Department

Geological Examination of Nebraska and Wyoming, 1867-'68;

 Geological Survey of the Territories, 1869 to 1872, inclusive;

 Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, Hayden, 1873 to 1878.-

Exploration of the Colorado River, 1869 to 1872, inclusive

Geological and Geographical Surveys of the Rocky Mountain Region, Powell, 1873 to 1879.

Geological Exploration of the Black Hills, Jenney, 1875

 Indian Office - State and Territorial boundary lines and of Indian Reservation, General Land Office, 1857-'80.

Subdivision of public lands, General Land Office, 1857 to 1880

U. S. Geological - Northern Boundary, Campbell, commissioner; Farquahur and Twining, chief astronomers, 1872

Triangulation along Thirty-ninth Parallel, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and in aid of State surveys.

U. S. Naval Observatory - State geological and other surveys

Topographic and miscellaneous Government maps. Material used for creating a general topographic atlas




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[1] Report upon United States geographical surveys west of the one hundredth meridian, in charge of # Geo M. Wheeler ...Geographical surveys west of the 100th Meriden (U.S.) printed in eight vol., il. pl. maps and atlas. Washington 1875-1889. Information was extracted from this Library of Congress report, and presented herein. Many of the name spellings have not been reviewed or corrected. That is left to the reader. We are grateful to the Library for their extraction. It will serve as a basic and strong guide in future field work, without which the history of our continent’s activity would have been lost. This small portion is presented only to establish the timeframe of the surveys.

[2] Extracted from “Brief History of the Yellowstone River”, by Anna Derig-1974 BLM Publication

[3] Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Natural History Notes; 2000

[4] "An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and through the western parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansas and Pierrejaun Rivers, performed by order of the Government of the United States, during the years 1805,'6, and'7; and a Tour through the interior parts of New Spain, when conducted through these provinces by order of the Captain General, in 1807. By Major Z. M. Pike; illustrated by maps and charts. Published by C. & A. Conrad & Co., Philadelphcia. John Bizus, printer.-1810.

[5] Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Journal of a voyage to the source of the Mississippi American Philosophical Society



[6] The Red River main stem originates at the confluence of the Ottertail and Bois de Sioux Rivers in the communities of Breckenridge, MN, and Wahpeton, ND, and ends at Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada (2003 - Tom Raster [email protected])

[7] “Views of Lousiana, together with a Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River, in 1811”, published1814, Pittsburg, by Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum

[8] Journal of a fur-trading expedition on the Upper Missouri, 1812-1813, by John C. Luttig, edited by Stella M. Drumm

[9] Some maps are noted in

[10] Refer to Steamboat Design and Operation, Days of the Steamboats by William Ewen, 1967


[12] Also spelled Assinibonne.

[13] Donald Heald, Rare Books Print details and prices.

[14] Fort McKinzie was built in 1832 by the American Fur Company. In 1843 it burned to the ground and was replaced by Fort Benton.

[15] See letters to the editors of the National Intelligencer, which form House Miscellaneous Document No. 8, second session Thirty-third Congress.

[16] For some unknown reason, all of the command reports and expeditions involving all the Indian Territories were omitted from the original report that was created for the War Department. The link to early surveys re-create the locations and events of that time. These events continue on for another decade; but were not previously reported.

[17] Reports of Army Commanders & Congress (See War of the Rebellion & Congressional Records – Listed elsewhere)

[18] General Dodge command instructions; April 21, 1865 to General Mitchell at Fort Leavenworth.

[19] Jim Bridger was guide for Connor, and laid out the route to where Fort Connor was located (Dry Fork of the Powder River.)

[20] General Connor established the fort on June 11th, 160 miles north of Fort Laramie

[21] Dodge letter to Pope, September 15, 1865.

[22] One of the Bent sons was in the Southern Army, fighting the North.

[23] Jim Bridger was guide for Carrington, and laid out the route to the Big Horn River.

[24] Retired as Major, and his widow received a pension.

[25] Senate Ex. Doc 51, 41st Congress, 3rd session contains the detailed report.

[26] Refer to: Special Order No. 100, issued to Lt Doane at Fort Ellis, Montana Territory, August 21, 1870

[27] Refer to Yellowstone Park, by Norris

[28] Early Spelling

[29] Early Spelling of Musselshell

[30] (Office of Military History.)

[31] Custer in his story “Battling with the Sioux on the Yellowstone”, claims that about 1,700 men were in the command. The routes and battles are documented.

[32] The Galaxy – Custer’s Article VOL. XXII.pg92,JUNE, 1876, TO JANUARY, 1877.

[33] Map was not separately identified. Probably included the latest compilations from earlier surveys that showed major points of interest whose mileage locations were denoted by the Colonels.

[34] Lt. Bradley and Col. Gibbon identified the steamer’s stopping point as being west of Canyon Creek. Mileages reported place the event about one mile west of Duck Creek Bridge.

[35]The Diamond R Transportation Co established fort in 1874.  Matthew Carroll was a founder. Details about the town are in Captain Ludlow’s report.