During their exploration of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, Lewis and Clark held councils with Ponca, Omaha, and Sioux Indians inhabiting this region. The council with the Sioux occurred August 28-31, 1804 at Calumet Bluff now the southern abutment of Gavins Point Dam. By 1857 the Ponca and Omaha tribes had signed peace treaties and had been removed to reservations, but peaceful relations with the Sioux were still some years distant. In 1862-1865, General Alfred Sully, provisioned by steamboat, campaigned against the Sioux in Dakota Territory. Many local inhabitants took part in the expedition as members of the Second Regiment, Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry, leaving the Northern Nebraska settlements unprotected. On July 23, 1863, Indians, alleged to be Sioux invaded the area, killing the child of Henson Wiseman who lived near present day Wynot, Nebraska.
Steamboats, which first ascended the Missouri in 1819, carried military personnel, provisions miners to the Montana gold fields and settlers to new homes. To day the churning steamboat has given way to pleasure boats and Missouri yields her power to flood-control reservoirs.