Rare Western Americana Book for sale, Warren, G. K.; Preliminary Report of Explorations in Nebraska and Dakota, in the Years 1855-56-57. Washington, 1875.

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Warren, G. K.; Preliminary Report of Explorations in Nebraska and Dakota, in the Years 1855-56-57. Washington, 1875. Octavo, pp. 126, large folded map of Dakota and Nebraska.

The work is complete and in a modern calf over marbled boards with a paper title label and original title cover bound in. The binding is tight and clean, map re-backed on verso of folds with archival tissue, the text is very clean, canceled library book plate on verso of title cover. In very good condition.


Gouverneur Kemble Warren (January 8, 1830 – August 8, 1882) was a civil engineer and prominent general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. ?Warren was born in Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York. His sister, Emily Warren Roebling, would later play a significant role in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.?He entered the United States Military Academy at age 16 and graduated second in his class of 44 cadets in 1850. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers.?From 1850 to 1853 Warren served on several important survey expeditions, including surveys of the lower Mississippi delta in 1850-1851 to explore means of flood prevention, and of the upper Mississippi rapids in 1853 to facilitate navigation of this vital trade route. ?From 1853 to 1855 he assisted in a government study to determine the best possible transcontinental railroad route, examining reports of all explorations west of the Mississippi back to Lewis and Clark. This required extensive explorations of the vast Nebraska Territory, including Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, part of Montana, and part of Wyoming. His report on the Dacota Country with the maps was one result.?From 1855-1857 Warren made three expeditions in the Nebraska Territory (present day Nebraska, S. Dakota, N. Dakota, and Montana). He surveyed possible routes for roads and railroads, and indulged his interest in science by collecting, sketching, and describing fossils and sketching and mapping the geology. He sent many of his fossil specimens to the Smithsonian where they were further described and became part of published studies.?Warren took part in studies of possible transcontinental railroad routes, collecting data for what was to be the first comprehensive map of the United States west of the Mississippi. He spent nearly a year in Washington compiling his findings into official reports and completing his Map of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, which accompanied Secretary of War Jefferson Davis' final report to Congress on the results of the transcontinental railroad route investigation. in 1857. For western historians he is best remembered for his 1857 “Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean” found in volume 11 of the Pacific Railroad Survey set.?From 1859 to 1861 he served as an assistant mathematics professor at West Point. In May 1861 Warren was given a leave of absence from the Academy to accept the offer of a lieutenant-colonelcy in the 5th New York Volunteer Regiment and his career as an officer in the Civil War Began.?For Civil War historians, he is best remembered for arranging the last-minute defense of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg and is often referred to as the "Hero of Little Round Top." His subsequent service as a corps commander and his remaining military career were ruined during the Battle of Five Forks, when he was relieved of command by Philip Sheridan. Humiliated by Sheridan, Warren resigned his commission as major general of volunteers in protest on May 27, 1865, reverting to his permanent rank as major in the Corps of Engineers. Numerous requests were ignored or refused until Ulysses S. Grant retired from the presidency. President Rutherford B. Hayes ordered a court of inquiry that convened in 1879 and, after hearing testimony from dozens of witnesses over 100 days, found that Sheridan's relief of Warren had been unjustified. Unfortunately for Warren, these results were not published until after his death. ?Warren's study of the Black Hills, and the Nebraska and Dakota regions was originally published as an appendix to Humphrey Report of the War Department to the President in 1858. The work therefore had little access to the general public. With renewed interest in the Black Hills and its mineral deposits; especially gold, it was ordered that 2,000 copies of the report be reprinted for distribution as needed. The map of Nebraska and Dakota  measures 32" x 56". It shows the topographic and geographic features from Kansas in the south to the Canadian border on the north. The map extends westward to the eastern edge of the Colorado Rockies and beyond the fork of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. The locations of the Indian tribes are also shown.