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Buffalo Creek State Historic Site

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Buffalo Creek State Historic Site, in west-central Cass County, commemorates a point crossed by Sibley’s expedition on August 15, 1863, on their way to Fort Abercrombie at the end of their summer campaign. This was not, however, the full expeditionary force that had entered Dakota Territory on July 2, 1863. Colonel Samuel McPhail and his 1st Minnesota Mounted Rangers were scouting down the James River and would return to Minnesota by a different route.


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After leaving Camp Arnold, Sibley’s men marched nine miles southeast in the growing heat of a mid-August day. The expedition crossed the Maple River and continued another three and one-half miles to Camp Stevens, where they stayed the night. Some have estimated the deaths among the Native American people they encountered during this expedition as approximately 300 people.

The modern Buffalo Creek State Historic Site is located about one-eighth mile east of the Maple River and about two miles northwest of the town of Buffalo. It is marked by a bronze plaque mounted on a boulder on the north edge of a gravel road. The plaque noting the expedition’s crossing was installed in 1927 by the Dacotah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

SHSND Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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SHSND Hours:
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.

Contact SHSND:
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710
email: histsoc@nd.gov