Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This was a large, well armed and supplied expedition led by General George Custer and was the first systematic exploration of the Black Hills region. Other attempts by small parties of explorers to enter the Black Hills usually ended in disaster such as experienced by Lord Gore. The Warren expeditions had previously attempted to explore the Black Hills but the Souix effectively stalled that part of the expedition. Although Custer's expedition did not enter Montana, it traveled very near Montana's eastern border along the divide between the Little Missouri and Missouri Rivers. George Bird Grinnell served as naturalist on this expedition to the Black Hills and his notes on the wildlife are excellent. The following year another large expedition, led by Walter Jenney and Henry Newton entered the Black Hills for the purpose of geologic and topographic exploration.
Custer, G.A. 1875. Report of the Chief of Army Engineers. in: Annual report of the Secretary of War. 43rd Cong., 2nd sess., H.R. Exec. Doc. I, Pt. II (1874-1875), Appendix KK: Preliminary report of reconnaissance to the Black Hill, St. Paul, MN., 7 Sept. 1874. Jenney, W.P. 1876. The mineral wealth, climate, rainfall, and natural resources of the Black Hills of Dakota. 44th. Cong.,1st. sess., Sen Exec. Doc. 51. McFarling, L. 1955. Exploring the northern plains, 1804-1876. Caxton. Caldwell, ID. [Reprint of Grinnell's report on the mammals.] Newton, H. and W.P. Jenny. 1880. Report on the geology and resources of the Black Hills of Dakota, with Atlas. Washington, DC.