Skip to main content

Full text of "The Black hawk war"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 




j Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 




^£^0^' Jm-^: 

Digitized by 



Black Hawk War 



Illustrated with upward of three hundred rare and interesting 
portraits and views 



1205 Chamber op Commerce Bldg. 

Chicago . . Illinois 


Oiocked ^- ^ 

Digitized by ^ 



R 1^^ L 

Entered according to Act of ConKrett, in the yeer 1903, by 


in the office of the Librarian of Congrats at 

Washington, D. C. 

Digitized by 


So Ai^ Aotbet 

Dear Mother— This book 
represents long years of pa* 
tlent toil from which a corre- 
sposding return is not expect- 
ed; it has been a labor of love. 
To whom, then, shoold it be 
dedicated bnt yourself, who 
spent so many toilsome years 
to rear iu author, who may 
nerer repay a fraction of the 
debt he owes you. P. B. S. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Digitized by 



In the autumn of 1871, I began the collection of materials for the 
book which is just completed; at a time when many original sources ex- 
isted from which to draw. Since that time, no opportunity wherein I 
might see and talk with persons who were in the Black Hawk campaigns 
has been lost, and from those interviews I have been able to gatlier infor- 
mation, old letters, commissions, muster rolls and papers obtainable by no 
possible system of correspondence. 

I have endeavored to be thorough, and to be thorough has required 
space. I deplore the necessity which forbids an expression of thanks to 
each individual by name who has contributed documents, valuable por- 
traits and information from which this work has been constructed. I thank 
them all as generously as I have borrowed, which has been much. 
Especially must I thank Mrs. Catherine Buckmaster Curran, of Alton, 
Illinois, who furnished me with a complete set of papers, without which 
I could never have finished my work as it should be finished. 

Mrs. Colonel William Preston Johnston, of New Orleans, who, at 
great inconvenience and sacrifice of time, secured a copy of the journal 
kept by Lieut. Albert Sidney Johnston during his service in those cam- 

Dr. J. F. Snyder, Virginia, Illinois, President State Historical Society. 

Prof. B. F. Shambaugh, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Mr. R. G. Thwaites, Madison, Wisconsin. 

Charles Aldrich, Des Moines, Iowa. 

Miss Caroline M. Mcllvaine, Librarian Chicago Historical Society, 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 




Chapter I. — Birth, Personal Description and Character of Black Hawk. Not 
a Chief. - Made a Brave. Expeditions against the Osages. Death of Py- 
e-sa. Period of Mourning. Expedition against the Osages. Expedition 
against the Cherokees. Expedition against the Chippewas, Osages and 
Kickapoos. The first Appearance of the Americans 17 

Chapter II. — British Intrigue against the Frontiers. Hatred of the Americans. 
Treaty of 1804 25 

Chapter III. — ^Treaty of 1804 and Black Hawk's Version 31 

Chapter IV.— Treaty of 1804. 34 

Chapter V. — Erection of Fort Madison. Rumors of Indian Attack. Black 
Hawk joins Tecumseh. Returns to his Village. Attacks Fort Madison. 
The Siege 37 

Chapter VI.— Black Hawk enlists with the British in the War of 1812. De- 
serts. Foster Son story. Keokuk made Chief 41 

Chapter VII. — Expedition of Governor Clark to Prairie du Chien. Lieut. 
Campbell's Battle 46 

Chapter VIII.— Major Taylor's Battle. Battle of the Sink Hole. Various 

Murders. British Agents withdrawn from Rock River Country 52 

Chapter IX. — Treaty of Portage des Sioux, 1815. Treaty of St. Louis, 1816. . 60 

Chapter X. — Fort Armstrong built. Black Hawk as a Fault Finder. Annihi- 
lation of the lowas ; 66 

Chapter XL — ^Treaties of 1822-4-5. Winnebago Outbreak. Attack on the 
Boats. Arrest and Discharge 71 

Chapter XII. — The Military Tract. Perils of Frontier Life. Gathering Set- 
tlements about Black Hawk's village. Friction. Attempted Compromise. 
Complaints. Gov. Reynolds calls out Militia. Notifies Clark and Gaines. 
Correspondence. Gaines* at Fort Armstrong 77^ 

Chapter XIII. — Council. Militia Organized. March to Black Hawk's Village. 
Flight. Village Burned. Treaty of 1831 g2 

Chapter XIV. — Unrest Messengers and War Parties sent out. Attack on the 
Sioux. They Retaliate. Attack on the Menominees. A Council 100 

Chapter XV. — Ne-a-pope's Mission. Keokuk's Village. Council. Black 
Hawk Moves down Iowa River and up the Mississippi to Rock River. At- 
kinson Moves up to Ft Armstrong 109 

Chapter XVI. — Council. Atkinson calls for Troops. Reynolds' Proclamation. 
Black Hawk Defiant Gratiot's Journey 112 

Chapter XVII.— The Militia Moves to Rock River 116 


Digitized by 




Chapter XVIII. — Roster. Movement up Rock River Begun. The Prophet's 

Village Burned. Forced March to Dixon's F.erry 122 , 

Chapter XIX. — Dixon's Ferry. Plight of Re)molds' Messengers. Stillman's 
Defeat 129 

Chapter XX. — Call for Additional Troops. Burial of the Dead. Arrival of 
Atkinson. Lead Mines Militia. Erection of Forts. Dodge's March to 
the Four Lakes Country 139 

Chapter XXI. — Atkinson Moves up Rock River. Indian Creek Massacre. 
Narratives 145 

Chapter XXII. — General Panic. Independent Companies Raised. Atkinson's 
March Continued. Insubordination. Army Disbanded. Interim Regiment 
Raised 159 

Chapter XXIII.— iVarious Illinois Murders, including those of Sample, Payne 
and the St. Vrain Party 165 

Chapter XXIV. — Atkinson's March to Mouth of Fox River. Dodge's March 
to Meet Him. Capt. lies' March 172 

Chapter XXV. — Capt. Snyder's Battle. Murders in the Lead Mines Country. 
Battle of Pecatonica. Capt. Stephenson's Battle 176 

Chapter XXVI.— Attack on Apple River Fort 185 

Chapter XXVII. — Organization of Forces at Ft. Wilbourn and Disposition of 
Same. Murder of Phillips. March to Dixon's Ferry 188 

Chapter XXVIII. March to Dixon's Ferry. Dement's Battle 197 

Chapter XXIX. — Murders near Ottawa. Posey's Division Ordered Forward. 
Alexander's Division Ordered to Plum River. Henry's Division, with 
Regulars, Moved 202 

Chapter XXX. — Consolidation of the Divisions. Capt Dunn Shot. Henry, 
Alexander and Dodge Detached to Move to Ft. Winnebago. Posey sent 
to Ft. Hamilton. Disintegration of Army. Alexander's Return 208 

Chapter XXXI.— Ft. Winnebago Reached. Stampede. Henry's Treatment of 
Disobedient Officers. Black Hawk's Trail to Westward Discovered. 
Forced March. Battle of the Wisconsin. At Blue Mounds 213 

Chapter XXXII.^Pursuit Resumed. Battle of the Bad Axe 221 

Chapter XXXIII. — Throckmorton's Narrative. Atkinson's Report. Black 
Hawk's Flight. Capture. Delivery to Gen. Street. Council 226 

Chapter XXXIV. — Stambaugh's Expedition 234 

Chapter XXXV. — Examination of the Indians. Black Hawk a Prisoner 238 

Chapter XXXVL— Scott's Expedition. Treaty 242 

Chapter XXXVII. — Movements of the Michigan Militia 243 

Chapter XXXVIIL— Prison Life. Eastern Trip. Return. Council at Ft. 
Armstrong. Black Hawk's Apology. Black Hawk Released 259 

Chapter XXXIX.— Second Trip East. A Quiet Life. July Fourth Toast at 
Ft. Madison. Interview with lowas. Death. Burial. His Grave Robbed. 
Bones Recovered. Consumed by Fire. Death of Madam Black Hawk 268 

Appendix : Abraham Lincoln m the Black Hawk War 277 

Appendix : Jefferson Davis in the Black Hawk War 290 

Digitized by 


List of Portraits and Other Illustrations 


Abercrombie, Lieut. J. J. From photograph deposited by Hon. A. J. Turner, 
of Portage, Wis., in the Wisconsin Historical Collections 293 

Alexander, Gen. M. K. From daguerreotype owned by his daughter, Mrs. 
J. A. Judson, of Paris, 111 192 

Anderson, Lieut. Robert. From ivory miniature owned by his daughter, Mrs. 
E. M. C. A. Lawton, Washington, D. C; by her copyrighted in 1901, and 
now first published 293 

Archer, Cou Wiluam B. From a steel plate owned by F. J. Bartlett, Mar- 
shall, 111 225 

/Arenz, FkLANCis. From an oil painting owned by his son, Albert W. Arenz, of 
Jacksonville, 111 93 

Atkinson, Gen. Henry. From oil painting owned by his grandson, Captain 

^ B. W. Atkinson, U. S. A. Now first published 112 

Bad Axe Battlefield. From oil painting owned by Wisconsin Historical 

Society ♦ 224 

Bailey, Major David. From oil painting owned by his son, D. G. Bailey, of 

Delavan, III. Now first published 133 

Baker, Lieut. E. D. U. S. Senator, Hero of Ball's Bluff. From rare plate in 

sketch of his life, by Joseph Wallace, published in 1870 130 

Baker, Mrs. E. B. From photograph by Chiverton, Dixon, III. She still lives 

at Dixon, 111 I37 

Ball, Capt. Japhet A. From old photograph owned by John M. Ball, of 

Chatham, 111 130 

Barnes, Capt. Robert. From oil painting owned by R, M. Barnes, of Lacon, 

111 159 

Barney, Capt. Benjamin. From photograph made in 1870 119 

Barnsback, Capt. Julius L. From daguerreotype made in 1845, owned by 

Mrs. Clara P. Jones, of Edwardsville, III 125 

Beach, Major John. From Fulton's Red Men of Iowa 37 

Beall, Major Alexander. From photograph made in 1862, owned by William 
A. Peak, of Exeter, 111 123 

Beggs, Rev. Stephen R. From **Kirkland's Chicago." 167 

Benson, James. Private in Captain McClure*s Company. At Stillman's battle. 

From photograph owned by McLean County Historical Society 136 

Blackburn, Col. James M. From his only portrait 225 


Digitized by 




Black Hawk (i and 2). From American Phrenological Journal for Novem- 
ber, 1838. Second number. (3) From portrait by George Catlin. (4) 
From Patterson's First Edition of Black Hawk's Autobiography. (5) 
From oil painting owned by Wisconsin Historical Society at Madison by 
R. M. Sully. (6) From McKenney and Hall's Indians 17 

Black Hawk's Powder Horn. Owned by Iowa Historical Society at Iowa 
City. Photographed by Prof. B. F. Shambaugh 272 

Black Hawk's Promissory Note. From the original, owned by Mrs. Fannie 
Anderson, of Louisiana, Mo. Unpaid 272 

Black Hawk's Tower. As it appears to-day 272 

Blackwell, Robert. Paymaster. From daguerreotype owned by Mrs. J. J. 
Brown, of Vandalia, 111 124 

Buss, Major John.' From portrait in Minnesota Historical Society's rooms 
at St Paul 97 

Boone, Capt. Levi D. From an old photograph owned by C. B. Rhodes, of 
Hillsboro, 111 , 126 

Boone, Col. Nathan. Son of Daniel Boone. Only picture. From daguerreo- 
type loaned by his grandson, N. B. Craig, of Hanover, 111 293 

Bouchard, Edward D. From a tintype made in 1875, owned by his son, Dr. 
William L* Bouchard, of Chicago. Only portrait and now first published. . 143 

Boyd, James M. Second Lieutenant. From photogfraph owned by Dr. H. B. 
Tanner, of South Kaukauna, Wis 235 

Bracken, Lieut. Charles. From daguerreotype owned by Thomas Bracken, 
of Mineral Point, Wis 175 

Brady, Gen. Hugh. From oil painting owned by George N. Brady, of Detroit, 
Mich. Now first published 120 

Breese, Lieut.-Col. Sidney. U. S. Senator, Chief Justice, etc. From his first 
portrait, an oil, owned by his son, Sidney S. Breese, Springfield, 111., and 
now first published 197 

Bristol, John E. Still alive. From photograph owned by author 135 

Browning, O. H. U. S. Senator, Secretary Interior, etc From the engrav- 
ing published with his life. 119 

Buckmaster, Major Nathaniel. From his first picture, a daguerreotype, 
owned by his daughter, Mrs. Catherine Buckmaster Curran, of Alton, IlL, 
and now first published 97 

Burns, Capt. James. From daguerreotjrpe furnished by Hon. Greorge Vemor, 
of Nashville, 111 193 

Butler, Capt. Peter. From daguerreotype owned by R. O. Butler, of Mon- 
mouth, 111 195 

Calhoun, John, of Capt. Goodan's Company. The County Surveyor who 
furnished Abraham Lincoln with instruments and employment as deputy. 
He was president of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention. From 
three-fourths length oil painting owned by Kansas Historical Society, 
Topeka 280 

Cakun, Gov. Thomas. Then Captain. From oil portrait in Executive Man- 
sion at Springfield, 111 94 

Carpenter, William. Paymaster. From a steel plate 124 

Cartwright, Rev. Peter. Private in Captain Reuben .Brown's Company. 

From the plate in his autobiography 281 

Digitized by 




Casey, Zadock. Pajrmaster. Later Lieut.-Gov. Member of Congress, etc. 

From oil painting owned by his son, Dr. John R. Casey, of Joliet, 111 179 

Cassell, Adjutant Henry K. From photograph made in 1863, owned by 

Mrs. Richard Curphy, of Scranton, Iowa 160 

Cass, Lewis. Secretary of War in 1832. From the engraving made by the 

U. S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving 100 

Chetlain, a. L. From photograph owned by author , 142 

Chetlain, Loins. Father of last above. Both in Dodge's Squadron. From 

old photograph owned by the son 142 

Christy, Col. Samuel C. From oil portrait owned by his daughter, Mary F. 

Scanlan, of St. Louis, Mo 93 

Chouteau, Col. Augu^te. From fine plate owned by grandson, J. Gilman 

Chouteau, of St. Louis 32 

Chouteau, Col. Pierre. From oil painting owned by Pierre Chouteau, of 

St. Louis 32 

Clark, Lieut. Meriwether Lewis. Of Gen. Atkinson's StaflF. From oil 

painting owned by Mrs. Meriwether Lewis Clark, of Louisville, Ky., 

made in 1832 113 

Clark, Gov. William. From engraving owned by grandson, John OTallon 

Qark, of St. Louis 54 

Coffey, Capt. Achilles. From frontispiece of his book, entitled, "History 

of the Regular Baptist Church," published in 1877 190 

Copes, Wiluam. Private in Capt. Covell's Compaiiy. Still alive. Present at 

dedication of monument at Stillman's battlefield in 1892. From life 138 

CowEN, LauT.-CoL. Wiluam. From old portrait owned by his son, Robert 

A. Cowen, of Chicago I59 

Craig, Capt. James. From the original, owned by his son, N. B. Craig, of 

Hanover, 111 141 

Danley, Levi. Corporal in Captain McClure's Company. At Stillman's battle. 

From plate owned by McLean Co. Hist Soc 136 

Davenport, George. An assistant quartermaster of militia. First settler on 

Rock Island. From oil painting in Supervisors' room at Rock Island 113 

Davis, Lieut. Jefferson. From an ivory miniature owned by Mrs. Davis 

and copied by her for this work 290 

Dement, Major John. From portrait owned by author 179 

Dickson, Capt. Joseph. From daguerreotype owned by his son, Joseph P. 

Dickson, of Platteville, Wis 216 

Dimmett, William. Private in Capt. Covell's Company. At Stillman's battle. 

From photograph owned \sy McLean Co. Hist Society 136 

Dixon, Eusha. Private in Capt. McQure's Company. At Stillman's battle. 

From photograph owned by McLean Co. Hist Society 136 

Dixon's Ferry. From oil painting owned by Miss F. Louise Dixon, of Dixon, 

HI 129 

DixoN, John. From photograph owned by author 129 

Dodge, A. C. U. S. Senator, Minister to Spain, etc From photograph owned 

by his son, W. W. Dodge, of Burlington, Iowa 299 

DoDOC, Cou Henry. Governor, U. S. Senator, etc. From portrait owned 

by his grandson, W. W. Dodge, Burlington, Iowa 141 

Digitized by 




Dodge, Col. Henry. In uniform as a U. S. Ranger, by George Catlin. From 

the original, owned by W. W. Dodge, of Burlington, Iowa 141 

Duncan, Gen, Joseph. Later Governor of Illinois. From the oil painting 

in Executive Mansion, in Springfield 94 

Dunlap, Adjutant Samuel. From daguerreotype owned by Mrs. J. M. 

Wagner, of Newman, 111 192 

Dunn, Capt. Charles. Chief Justice, etc. From the oil painting in the 

rooms of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, at Madison 191 

Eaton, Lieut. Nathaniel J. From daguerreotype made in 1848, owned by 
his daughter, Mrs. Harriet Eaton Root, of Alton, 111 ^ 113 

Eddy, Henry. Quartermaster-General. From daguerreotype owned by his 
son (recently deceased), John M. Eddy, of Shawneetown, 111 115 

Edwards, Lieut.-Col. Abraham. President First Legislative Council Mich. 
Ten From portrait owned by Mich. Pioneer and Hist. Soc, Lansing 255 

Edwards, Cyrus. From a steel plate owned by his daughter, Mrs. George K. 
Hopkins, of Alton, 111 122 

Edwards, Ninian. First Governor of Illinois Territory, U. S. Senator, etc. 
From portrait in Executive Mansion, at Springfield 54 

Elkin, Capt. W. F. From an old picture owned by Lee B. Elkin, of Spring- 
field, 111 95 

EwiNG, Major W. L. D. U. S. Senator, etc. From miniature made in 1835, 
owned by his daughter, Mrs. Margaret M. Dale, of Kansas City, Mo 224 

Feaman, Capt. Jacob. From photograph owned by Elias Feaman, of Chester, 

III 198 

Flood, Capt. William G. From old photograph owned by his daughter, Mrs. 

W. E. Boswell, of Carthage, 111 123 

Ford, Thomas. Governor, Etc. Private in Whiteside's Battalion in campaign 

of 1831. From painting in Executive Mansion, Springfield, 111 94 

Fort Armstrong. From an original etching by Mrs. Alice C. Walker, of Moline, 

111., and loaned for use in this work 66 

Fort Crawford. From the oil painting made by Arthur Brower 121 

F(«T Dearborn. From picture in rooms of Chicago Historical Society 167 

Fort Dixon. From oil painting owned by author 161 

Fort Madison. From a rare print in the "Annals of Iowa," furnished by 

Mr. Charles Aldrich, of Des Moines Z7 

Fort Madison. Ground plan, from drawings in the War Department, at 

Washington 37 

Fort Snelling. From oil painting in collection of Minn. Historical Society 

at St. Paul 77 

Fort Winnebago. From painting owned by Hon. A. J. Turner, of Portage, 

Wis 308 

Fry, Col. Jacob. From an old photograph owned by his son, William M. Fry, 

of Carrollton, 111 95 

Gaines, Gen. R P. From engraving after the portrait by J. W. Jarvis 93 

Gear, Capt. H. H. From photograph owned by Gen. John C. Smith, Chicago. . 299 
Gillespie, Adjutant Joseph. From daguerreotype owned by C. E. Gillespie, 
of Edwardsville, III 96 

Digitized by 




GiLLHAM^ LiEUT.-CoL. James. From photograph owned by his son, W. A. 
Gillham, of Riggston, 111 196 

GiVENS, Capt. William T. From an old tintype owned by his son, Robert S. 
Givens, of Waverly, 111 126 

Gratiot, Lieut. Charles. Of Capt. Bowling's Company. From daguerreo- 
type owned by his son, Henry R. Gratiot, Gratiot, Wis 142 

Gratiot, Col. Henry. From oil painting owned by Wisconsin Historical So- 
ciety, at Madison. Furnished by Hon. Hempstead Washbume, of Chicago, 
a grandson 115 

Gratiot, Capt. J. R. B. From an ivory miniature painted by the Swiss artist, 
Peter Reinderpacker, owned by daughter of Captain G., Mrs. Ninette 
Hempstead, of De Soto, Mo 141 

Gridley, Lieut. Asahel. Of Capt. CovelFs Company. At Stillman's battle. 
From photograph owned by McLean County Historical Society, of Bloom- 
ington, 111 135 

Grignon, Augustin. From oil painting in Wisconsin Historical Collections.. 235 

Haacke, David. Of Capt. David W. Barnes* Company. Dressed in uniform 
of captain of militia of the time, to which office he was appointed in 1833. . 132 

Haines, Alfred. Of Capt. John G. Adams' Company. From daguerreotype 
owned by his brother, James Haines, of Pekin, 111 I35 

Haines, Jonathan. Of Capt. Adams' Company. From daguerreotype 
owned by his brother, James Haines, of Pekin, III. At Stillman's battle, 
with his brother, next above I35 

Hall, Oliver W. From tintype owned by his daughter. Dr. Lucinda H. 
Corr, of Carlinville, 111 I33 

Hamilton> Col. Wiluam S. From the original, owned by the Wisconsin His- 
torical Society, at Madison 182 

Hardin, Col. John J. From oil painting made of him in 1832, owned by his 
son, Gen. M. D. Hardin, of Chicago 95 

Harney, Capt. W. S. From his first portrait done in oil in 1825, owned by 
Mrs. John M. Harney, of St. Louis, Mo., and now first published 120 

Harrison, Gov. William Henry. From the oil portrait owned by Betty 
Harrison Eaton, of North Bend, Ohio 32 

Haws, Capt. Wiluam. From photograph owned by J. W. Thornton, of 
Magnolia, 111 159 

Headen, William. Surgeon. From oil painting owned by Walter Headen, 
of Shelbyville, 111 124 

HoGAN, Lieut. John S. C. Of Capt. Kercheval's Company. Second Post- 
master of Chicago. From "Kirkland's Chicago." 120 

HoLUDAY, Capt. Joel. From an old tintype owned by his son, James H. Hol- 
liday, of Rileyville 190 

Horn, Rev. Reddick. From his only picture, owned by H. M. Horn, of Republi- 
can City, Neb., and now first published 137 

Horn, Sylvia Hall. From photograph owned by her granddaughter, Mrs. 
Sapiuel Dunavan, of Leland, 111 154 

Hc»ney, Samuel. Quartermaster. From portrait secured by John S. Bagby, 
of Rushville, 111. 123 

Digitized by 




Hubbard, Lieut. Gurdon S. Of Capt Alex. Bailey's Company. From photo- 
graph by Mosher. I75 

HussEY, Nathan. Brigade Wagonmastcr. From beautiful daguerreotype 
owned by grandson, J. Y. Hussey, of Williamsville, 111 I95 

HussEY, William S. Fourth Sergeant of Capt Qaywell's Company. From 
old photograph owned by J. Y. Hussey, of Williamsville, 111 198 

Iles, Capt. Eujah. In whose company Abraham Lincoln was a private. 
From photograph made by Anderson, of Springfield I75 

Irwin, Lieut. Alexander J. From oil painting in rooms of Wisconsin His- 
torical Society, at Madison 235 

Jackson, Andrew. President in 1832. From engraving made from portrait 
by EarL 54 

James, Major Thomas. From oil painting owned by his son, Dr. Lewis 
James, of Racola, Mo 143 

Jefferson Barracks. From an old print — very rare. 100 

Jenkins, Capt. A. M. From oil painting owned by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. 

M. E. Jenkins, of Washington, D. C 196 

Jones, Col. Gabriel. From an old tintype owned by Adelia G. Gordon, of 

Chester, 111 217 

Jones, Georcx W. U. S. Senator, etc From his first picture, owned by his 

daughter, Mrs. J. Linn Deuss, of Dubuque, Iowa 299 

Johnston, Lieut. Albert Sidney. From an ivory miniature in the family of 

Mrs. William Preston Johnston, of New Orleans. Published formerly 

by the *'Century Company." 225 

Johnston, Lieut. Joseph E. From the steel plate in his "Narrative." 246 

Ke-o-kuk. From the oil painting— the only one made of him from life- 
secured by I. G. Baker, of St Louis 27 

LeClaire, Antoine. The Interpreter. From oil painting in Court House, at 
Davenport, Iowa 27 

Lee, William H. Of Capt. Samuel Huston's Company. Still alive. Remembers 
distinctly that Gen. Atkinson swore in the Illinois troops at the mouth of 
Rock River, including the company of Lincoln. The author is under many 
obligations to him for valuable information 281 

Letter of Major Nathaniel Buckmaster determining what officer swore 
Capt Abraham Lincoln into the U. S. service. Owned by Mrs. Catherine 
Buckmaster Curran, of Alton, 111 284 

Lincoln, Capt. Abraham. From his first picture, a daguerreotype, owned by 
Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, of Chicago. Copyrighted 1895-6 by S. S. McClure 
Company. Use permitted here. 277 

Lincoln, Capt. Abraham. Discharge signed by him. From the collection 
of Mr. Oldroyd, of Washington 281 

Lincoln, Capt. Abraham. Muster roll made by him and in the possession 
of the author 279 

Logan, Dr. John B. Father of Gen. John A. Logan. From oil painting owned 
by J. V. Logan, of Menard, 111 196 

Digitized by 



Long, Major Thomas. From oil painting owned by his son, Tt W. Long, of 
Taylorville, 111 119 

Lowe, Capt. Gideon. From oil painting owned by his granddaughter, Mrs. 
R S. Purdy, of Portage, Wis 128 

Macomb, Gen. Alexander. Major-General commanding U. S. A. in 1832. 
From engraving after the painting by T. Sully 308 

Madding, Capt. Champion S. From daguerreotype owned by his son, L. B. 
Madding, of Woodstock, Wis I94 

Map of Illinois. Showing marches, forts, etc. Made by author 

Facing Introduction. 

Map of Ilunois. Showing "Military Tract." Made in 1822, after LcSage's 

Atlas 77 

Map of the Lead Mines District. Made in 1832. From Tanner's Guide 140 

Marsac, Capt. Joseph. From oil painting owned by Michigan Pioneer and 

Historical Society, Lansing. Capt. Marsac was also interpreter at the 

making of the Cass Treaty ; 255 

Mason, Capt. R. B. From miniature made in 1846, owned by his daughter. 

Miss Nannie Mason, of Louisville, Ky 225 

Mason, Gov. S. T. From oil portrait which hangs in the State House at 

Lansing, Mich 255 

Mathews, Capt. Cyrus. From photograph owned by Mrs. James R. Mathews, 

of Jacksonville, 111 160 

Maughs, Capt. Milton M. From a tintype made in 1850, owned by W. B. 

Langley, of Chicago. Captain Maughs was founder of Mauston, Wis 139 

Mayo, Capt. Jonathan. From old photograph furnished by LeRoy Wiley, 

of Paris, III 193 

Mayo, Walter L I94 

Menard, Capt. Peter or Pierre. From daguerreotype Owned by A. H. Menard, 
of Tremont, 111 160 

MoFFETT, Capt. Thomas. From photograph owned by George M. BrinkerhoflF, 
of Springfield, 111 198 

Monument at Indian Creek Massacre. From photograph owned by Mrs. 
Samuel Dimavan, of Leland, 111 iS4 

Monument at Kellogg's Grove. From photograph owned by J. B. Timms... 175 

Monument at Stillman's Battlefield. From photograph owned by author. . 132 

Morrison, Lieut. John. Father of Hon. William R. Morrison. From photo- 
graph owned by latter. Of Capt J. S. Briggs' Company I97 

MuNSON, Rachel Hall. From a photograph made by W. E. Bowman, of 
Ottawa, in 1865, and now owned by author 154 

McClernand, John A. Assistant Brigade Quartermaster. From daguer- 
reotype made in 1843, when he was in Congress. Owned by his son, 
Col. E. J. McQemand, U. S. A. Never before published 190 

McConnsl, Major Murray. From oil painting owned by his daughter, Mrs. 

Lilla M. Boothby 217 

McCullough, William. Of Capt Covell's Company. At Stillman's battle. 

From plate owned by McLean Coimty His. Soc., at Bloomington 138 

Digitized by 




McKee, William. Private of the company of Capt. Ralls. Same regiment 

as Capt. Lincoln 138 

McMuRTRY, Capt. Wiluam. From an old dagucrreot3rpe 195 

Naper, Capt. Joseph. From daguerreotype owned by C. A. Naper, of Naper- 
ville, 111 167 

Newhall, Dr. Horatio. From photograph owned by Mrs. William C. Bar- 
rett, of Galena, 111 140 

Onstott, Capt. John. From daguerreotype owned by J. H. Songer, of 

Xenia, 111 191 

Order of May 22, to Whiteside. Special No. 11 162 

Order of May 25, to cause injury 132 

Order to forbid firing of arms 280 

Orear^ George. From photograph owned by his son, T. B. Orear, of Jackson- 
ville, 111 123 

Orendorf, James K. Private in the company of Capt. Covell. At Stillman's 
battle. From daguerreotype owned by McLean County Hist Soc., Bloom- 

ington, 111 138 

Ottawa. At the time of the Black Hawk War. From an old sketch owned 
by W. E. Bowman, of Ottawa, and now first published 130 

Parker, Leonard B. Quartermaster. From rare old silhouette owned by his 

son, George W. Parker, of St. Louis, and now first published 193 

Parkinson, Capt. D. M. From oil painting owned by granddaughter, Miss 

M. L. Parkinson, of Mineral Point, Wis., and now first published 217 

Parkinson, Nathaniel T. Of Dodge's Squadron. From tintype owned 

b/ Miss M. L. Parkinson, of Mineral Point, Wis 14^ 

Parmenter, Isaac Adjutant From daguerreotype furnished by H. T. God- 

dard, of Mt Carmel, 111 : 194 

Pa-she-pa-ho, Chief. From "McKenney and Hall's Indians." 27 

Patterson, J. B. From photograph owned by his daughter. Miss Tina Pat- 
terson, of Peoria, 111 2y 

Pecatonica Battlefield. From oil painting owned by Wisconsin Historical 

Society, Madison 182 

Pecatonica— Plan of battlefield. From History of Henry Dodge, by William 

Salter 182 

Pike, Lieut. Zebulon M. From the engraving by Edwin, in a "History of 

the War of 1812." 32 

Pointer, Wiluam, of the company of Capt. Seth Pratt. Still alive. He was 

an old acquaintance of Capt. Lincoln 280 

Powell, Capt. Danieu From an old photograph owned by H. B. Trafton, of 

Norris City, IlL, a grandson 195 

Powell, Lieut. Starkey R., of the company of Capt. William B. Smith. From 

daguerreotype owned by his daughter, Mrs. Mary Catherine Peffer, of 

Rochester, N. Y 125 

Preuitt, Capt. Solomon— later Lieut Col. in campaign of 1832. From the 

"History of Madison County." 97 

Price, Capt. Daniel 127 

Digitized by 




Prickett, G)u David. From oil painting owned by daughter, Miss Christiana 

G. Prickett, of Springfield, III 122 

PucH, Capt. Isaac C. From old photog^raph owned by Mrs. Mira H. Marks, of 
Decatur, 111 127 

Raum, Major John, From daguerreotype owned by his son, Gen. Green B. 

Raum, of Chicago 190 

Remann^ Major Frederick. From photograph owned by Mrs. Fred G. Re- 

mann, of Vandalia, 111 224 

Reynolds, Gov. John. From the plate in his "My Own Times." 93 

Rice, Matthew, of Capt. Solomon Hunter's Company. From^ photograph 
owned by his daughter, Mrs. M. R Smith 198 

Richardson, W. A. Ass't Quartermaster Maj. James Odd Battalion. Lieut.- 
Col. Mexican War, Member of Congress, Gov. of Nebraska, and U. S. 
Senator to succeed Stephen A. Douglas. From photograph owned by his 
son, W. A. Richardson, of Quincy, 111 127 

Robinson, Alexander, Chief of the Pottowatomies. From "Kirkland's Chi- 
cago." 166 

Robison, John K., of Capt. Gear's Company. From photograph owned by his 
daughter, Mrs. Amelia McFarland, of Mendota, 111 299 

Roman, Richard, Surgeon. From photograph owned by Richard Roman, of 
Washington, D. C 96 

Ross, First Sergeant Lewis W., of Capt. John Sain*s Company. From photo- 
graph owned by his son, P. C. Ross, of Lewiston, 111 137 

Ross, Capt. Thomas B. From oil painting owned by grandson, Robert W. 
Ross, of Vandalia, 111 192 

Ross, Col. William. From picture owned by Hon. A. C. Matthews, of Pitts- 
field, 111 119 

Roundtree, Capt. Hiram. From photograph owned by his daughter, Mrs. 
Etta Roundtree Stubblefield, of Hillsboro, 111 143 

Roundtree, Capt. John H. From photograph own^d by Miss Lilly M. Round- 
tree, of Platteville, Wis 143 

Rutledge, Thomas O., of Capt. Coveirs Company. At Stillman's battle. From 
old photograph owned by McLean Co. Hist. Soc, Bloomington, 111 137 

Sandford, Capt. Isaac. From oil painting owned by O. S. Sandford, Tuscola, 

111 191 

Scales, Capt. S. H. From photograph owned by Samuel Scales, of Shullsburg, 

Wis 140 

Scott, Maj. Gen. Winfield. From his autobiography. Made of him about 

the time of the Black Hawk War 246 

Scott, Maj.-Gen. Winweld. Headquarters at Ft. Armstrong 246 

Semple, James. Later U. S. Senator, etc. From "History of Edwards 

County." 96 

Sha-bo-na, or Shab-bo-na. Spelled both ways in this work, as both are used 

by the best authorities. One "b" should, however, be considered preferable. 

From an old tintype owned by Hon. George M. Hollenback, of Aurora, 111. 

The last picture made of the old Chief, during the first week of July, 1859, 

just prior to his death 166 

Digitized by 




Shelledy, Cou Stephen B. From old photograph owned by Margaret I. 
Vance, of Cresco, Iowa 192 

Shxjll, Jesse W. One of the oldest traders of Northern Illinois. Went to the 
lead mines in 1819. From old photograph owned by GjI. E. C. Townsend, 
of Shullsburg, Wis., of which city Shull was founder. He was a private 
in Capt. Enoch Duncan's Company 140 

Simpson^ Capt. Gideon. From oil portrait owned by Mrs. J. H. King, a 
granddaughter, of CoUinsville, 111 125 

Smith, Capt. Henry, U. S. A. From old portrait, made in 1831, owned by 
his sister, Katharine Smith Sewall, of Watertown, N. Y 113 

Smith, Col. T. W. From the oil painting in the rooms of the Chicago His- 
torical Society 196 

Snelung, Col. Josiah. From Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. 
Used by permission 77 

Snyder, Capt. Adam W. From a rare ivory miniature owned by his son, Dr. 
J. F. Snyder, of Virginia, 111 179 

Stahl, Sergeant Frederick. From "History of Jo Daviess County." 139 

Stapp, Cou James T. B. From photograph owned by Mr. Guy Stapp, of Chi- 
cago 122 

Stapp, Wyatt B. From oil painting furnished for this book by Mr. Guy 
Stapp, of Chicago 133 

Stephenson, Major James W. From oil painting owned by Mrs. William 
Hempstead, of St. Louis 179 

Stephenson, Capt. Wiluam J. From photograph owned by Alexander H. 
Brown, of Ashley, 111 191 

Stevens, Frank E. From a photograph by Waters, Chicago Frontispiece 

Stewart, Col. Hart L. From "Kirkland's Chicago.** 235 

Stillman's Battlefield. From recent photograph of old cut, by Oliver W. 

Hall, who was upon the scene the following day. Done in colors for this 

work by Mrs. Chas. C. Dunlap, of Chicago 134 

Stillman, Col. Isaiah. From his only portrait, a daguerreotype, owned by 

his daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Barber, of Libertyville, Iowa, and now first 

published 133 

Strawn, Jeremiah. From photograph owned by Susan S. Dent, his daughter, 

Chicago 160 

Strawn, Col. John. From photograph furnished by Mr. J. S. Thompson, of 

Lacon, 111 159 

Street, Gen. Joseph M. From the "Annals of Iowa," furnished by Mr. Chas. 

Aldrich, of Des Moines, Iowa 100 

Strode, Col. James M. From a rare ivory miniature, owned by his daughter, 

Mrs. Luella Strode Howe, of London, Eng. Copied especially for this 

work, and now first published 139 

Stuart, Maj. John T. From the first daguerreot)rpe brought to Illinois, 

owned by his widow — now deceased — ^and loaned by her to the author 94 

Taylor, Major Zachary. From the engraving made by the Bureau of Print- 
ing and Engraving at Washington 54 

Taylor, Lieut. Col. His headquarters at Fort Crawford 128 

Thomas, Col, John. From steel plate in "History of St Clair County." 122 

Digitized by 




Thomas, Capt. Wiluam. From daguerreotype owned by his daughter, Mrs. 
Belle Flynn, of Carmi, 111 194 

Thomas, Cou Wiixiam. From photograph owned by H. E. Rusk, of Jack- 
sonville, 111 95 

Thompson, Capt, James. From an old photograph owned by a son in Chester, 
111 197 

TowNSEND Family. Early settlers in the lead mines, and all of them, brothers, 
served in the Black Hawk War in Dodge's squadron. Three of them 
served in the Winnebago war of 1827. H. S. Townsend, only recently de- 
ceased, was at the battle of the Pecatonica I44 

Twiggs, Maj. D. E. From a photograph obtained from Hon. A. J. Turner, of 
Portage, Wis., and now owned by the Wis. Hist. Society, at Madison 126 

Vaughan, James W. From photograph owned by his son, G. W. Vaughan, of 
Sullivan, 111 125 

Vernor, Z. H. In the campaign of 1831, imder Capt. William Moore. From 
oil painting owned by his son, Hon. George Vernor, of Nashville, 111 96 

Wa-bo-ki-e-shiek, the Prophet. From oil painting from life by R. M. Sully 
while imprisoned at Fortress Monroe. Now owned by the Wisconsin 
Historical Society, at Madison 115 

Wakefield, John A. Distinguished for services in the war and for writing 
in 1834 (published at Jacksonville, 111., the same year), the first history 
of the same. From his only portrait, owned by his daughter, Mrs. Emily 
Terry, of St. Paul, Minn., and now first published 139 

Walker, Capt. George E. First Sheriff of La Salle County. From photo- 
graph made by W. R Bowman, of Ottawa, and now first published 166 

Wa-pel-lo, or Wau-pe-la, Chief. From "McKenney and Hall's Indians." 308 

Westbrook, Rev. Samuel, of Capt. Holliday's Company. Still alive, and who 
has furnished much information for this book 193 

Warren, Capt. Peter. From a very rare tintype, owned by a grandson, 
W. W. Warren, of Windsor, 111 126 

Wau-ban-se, or Wau-ban-see. From "McKenney and HalFs Indians." 166 

Wheeler, Capt. Erastus. From old tintype owned by his daughter, Mrs. 
W. W. Erwin, of Minneapolis, Minn 97 

Whistler, Major William. From "Kirkland's Chicago." 246 

Whiteside, Gen. Samuel. From the only picture ever made of him — ^a very 
rare tintype— owned by his daughter, Mrs. J. A. Henderson, of Mt. Auburn, 

and now first published 115 

Whitlock, Major James. From a beautiful ivory miniature owned by Mrs. 
Eliza A. Greenough, of Marshall, 111 124 

Williams, Archibald, of Capt. Flood's Company. One of Illinois' most dis- 
tinguished men. From old portrait owned by his son, John H. Williams, of 
Quincy, 111 127 

WnjjAMS, Gen. John R. From oil painting in rooms of Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Society, at Lansing 255 

Wilson, Lieut. George, chum of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, who carried the note 
from Lieut. Davis to Miss Taylor which arranged for their marriage. 
From portrait owned by son, Capt. George Wilson, of Lexington, Mo 293 

Digitized by 




Winters, Capt. Nathan. From photograph owned by grandson, G. L. Win- 
ters, of Trenton, Mo. ..i 126 

Wisconsin Heights, Battlefield. From the picture owned by the Wisconsin 
Historical Society, at Madison 216 

Wisconsin Heights— Plan of the battlefield. From the "Life of Henry Dodge," 
by William Salter 216 

Wood, John. Later Governor of Illinois. Private in Gipt Flood's Company. 
From photograph owned by D. C. Wood, of Quincy, 111 217 

Wo(M), Ma J. John D. From photograph furnished by Hon. George Vemor, of 
Nashville, 111 197 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Digitized by 



Birth — Personal D-escription and Character of Black Hawk — Nor 
A Chief — Made a Brave — Expeditions Against the Osages — 
Death of Py-e-sa — Perick> of Mourning — Expedition Against 
the Osages — Expedition Against the Cherokees — Expedition 
Against the Chippewas^ Osages and Kickapoos — ^The First 
Appearance of the Americans. 

Black Hawk's name, as given in his autobiography, was Ma-ka-tai- 
she-kia-kiak,* and, without reference to the many renditions of it by 
various writers, is the version that will be adopted in this work as nearest 
authentic. He was born in the year 1767 at the Sac or Sauk village, located 
on the north bank of Rock River in the State of Illinois, about three miles 
above its confluence with the Mississippi. His father, Py-e-sa, a grandson 
of Na-na-ma-kee or Thunder (a descendant of other Thunders), was born 
near Montreal, Canada, where the Great Spirit was reputed in Indian lore 
to have first placed the great Sac nation. Black Hawk was a full blood 
Sac, five feet eleven inches tall in his moccasins; of broad but meager 
build' and capable of great endurance. His features were pinched and 
drawn, giving ijnusual prominence to the cheek bones and a Roman nose, 
itself pronounced. The chin was sharp. The mouth was full and inclined 
to remain .open in repose. His eyes were bright, black and restless, glisten- 
ing as they roamed during a conversation. Above these rested no eye- 
brows. The forehead was given the appearance of unusual fullness and 
height from the fact that all hair was plucked from the scalp, witH the 
single exception of the scalp lock, to which, on occasions of state, was 
fastened a bunch of eagle feathers. In his later years it was his boast 
that he had worn the lock with such prominence to tempt an enemy to 
fight for it and to facilitate its removal should he be slain in the encounter. 
This statement, however, must be received as a boast and nothing more, 
because among the Sacs the custom of plucking from the scalp all hairs 
save the scalp lock was general and not confined to Black Hawk's redoubt- 
able person, as he would have us believe. J. C. Beltrami, the Italian trav- 
eler, who ascended the Mississippi in 1823, stopping at all the Indian 

^Occasionally rendered In early life "Black Sparrow Hawk.*' 
*H1« weight Is commonly placed at 140 pounds. 

2 17 

Digitized by 



villages, particularly Black Hawk^s upon Rock River, which he reached 
May loth, has this to say, which is interesting : "The faces of the Saukees, 
although exhibiting features characteristic of their savage state, are not 
disagreeable, and they are rather well made than otherwise. Their size 
and structure, which are of the middle kind, indicate neither peculiar 
strength nor weakness. Their heads are rather small ; that part called by 
French anatomists voute orbitaire has in general no hair except a small 
tuft upon the pineal gland, like that of the Turks ; this gives the forehead 
an appearance of great elevation. Their eyes are small and their eyebrows 
thin ; the cornea approaches rather to yellow, the pupil to red ; they are the 
link between those of the orang-outang and ours. Their ears are suffi- 
ciently large to bear all the jewels, etc., with which they are adorned; 
two foxes' tails dangled from those of the Great Eagle. I have seen others 
to which were hung bells, heads of birds and dozens of buckles, which 
penetrated the whole cartilaginous part from top to bottom. Their noses 
are large and flat, like those of the nations of eastern Asia; their nostrils 
are pierced and ornamented like their ears. The maxillary bones, or 
pommettes, are very prominent. The under jaw extends outwards on 
both sides. Their mouths are rather large ; their teeth close set, and of the 
finest enamel; their lips a little inverted. Their necks are regularly 
formed ; they have large bellies and narrow chests, so that their bodies are 
generally larger below than above. Their feet and hands are well propor- 
tioned. Except the tuft on the head, which we have already remarked, 
they have no hair on any part of the body. Books which deal greatly in 
the marvelous convert this into an extraordinary phenomenon, but the 
fact is that, from a superstition common to all savages, they pluck it 
out, and, as they begin at an early age and use the most perservering 
means for its extirpation, nothing is left but a soft down." 

With this personal description of Black Hawk, it may be well to add 
the following, published in the "Annals of lowa,*^ 3rd series. Vol. 4, page 
195 : "Bones of Black Hawk. — ^These bones, which were stolen from the 
grave about a year since, have been recovered and are now in the 
Governor's office. The wampum, hat,* etc., which were buried with the 
old chief, have been returned with the bones. It appears that they were 
taken to St. Louis and there cleaned ; they were then sent to Quincy to a 
dentist to be put up and wired previous to being sent to the East The 
dentist was cautioned not to deliver them to anyone until a requisition 
should be made by Governor Lucas. Governor Lucas made the necessary 
requisition and they were sent up a few days since by the Mayor of Quincy 
arid are now in the possession of the Governor. He has sent word to 
Na-she-as-kuk, Black Hawk's son, or to the family, and some of them will 
probably call for them in a few days. Mr. Edgerton, the phrenologist, has 

^Thlg statement, written at the time, would seem to warrant the aaeertion by friends 
that Bla<^ Hawk'e old and dlaflgnred "ping" hat waa buried with him, instead of a 
military cap, aa contended by a few claiming knowledge. 

Digitized by ^ 



taken an exact drawing of the skull, which looks very natural, and has also 
engraved it on a reduced scale, which will shortly appear on his new chart. 
Destructiveness, combativeness, firmness and philoprogenitiveness are, 
pJirenologically speaking, very strongly developed. Burlington Hawk Eye, 
Dec. lo, 1840.''' 

An intimate knowledge of Black Hawk is denied us. The little 
known of him prior to 1832 is derived from less than a dozen sources, the 
most important being his autobiography;* the others, nearly all military, 
are to be found in treaties and the records of the war department. A few 
settlers only knew him, because settlers about his haunts in those days 
were exceedingly scarce. And so it has come to pass that his character 
has been universally judged by the contact with him during the last five 
or six years of his long life, while he was in a sense a captive, brooding 
over his fallen estate, while the drapery of an eternal evening was fast 
falling about him. At such an age, shorn of power, chafing under restric- 

'Mach has been written of the perfection of Black Hawk's head ; so much that It may 
not be inappropriate to refer to an article to be found In the American Phrenological 
Joomal for November. 1888, Vol. I. No. 2, page 51 et. seq. On page 60 : "We are much 

g leased with the following extract ftom the pen of the editor of the 17. S. Literary 
azette, Philadelphia: 'we found time yesterday to Tlsit Black Hawk and the Indian 
chiefs at the.Ccmgress Hall Hotel. We went into their chamber, and found most of them 
sitting or lying on their beds. Black Hawk was sitting on a chair and apparently 
depressed in spirits. He is about sixty-five, of middling size, with a head that would 
excite the envy of a phrenologist — one of the finest that Heaven ever let fall on the 
shoulders of an Indian.' 

1. Amativeness, large. 20. Constructlvenees, small. 

2. Philoprogenitiveness, large. 21. Ideality, moderate. 

3. Adhesiveness, large. 22. Imitaticm, small. 

4. Inhabl^veness, large. 23. Mirthfulness, full. 

5. Concentratlveness, large. 24. Individuality, very large. 

6. Combativeness, very large. 25. Form, very large. 

7. Destructiveness, very large. 26. Size, very large. 

8. Alimentatlveness, average. 27. Weight, large. 

9. Acquisitiveness, large. 28. Color, large. 

10. Secretiveness, very large. 29. Order, large. 

11. Cautiousness, full. 30. Calculation, large. 

12. ApprobatlvenesB, very large. 31. Locality, very large. 

13. SeU-esteem, very large. 32. Bventuallty, very large. 

14. Firmness, very large. 33. Time, uncertain. 

15. Conscientiousness, moderate. 34. Tune, uncertain. 
. 16. Hope, smalL 35. Language, large. 

17. Marvelousness, large. 36. Comparison, large. 

18. Veneration, very large. 37. Causality, average. 

19. Benevolence, moderata 

Measurements from his bust: 
Circumference of the head, around philoprogenitiveness, secretiveness and 

eventuality 23 inches 

From ear to ear, over firmness 14 6-8 •* 

•* veneration 14 6-8 ** 

From the meatus anditoris to firmness 6y 

" ** veneration 6 j 

" " benevolence 6} 

" ** comparison 6< 

individuality 5} 

" ** philoprogenitiveness 6} 

" " self-esteem 65 

From destructiveness to destructiveness 64 

From seeretiveoess to secretiveness 63 

From combativeness to combativeness 5$ 

From cautiousness to cautiousness 5% 

From ideality to ideality , 6 

'These measurements are taken with callipers, from the bust of Black Hawk, which 
was taken in plaster of Paris from the living head and face, by the Messrs. Fowler, in 
1887, at New York. As his head was mostly shaved, they are probably as perfect and 
accurate, by making allowance of about half an inch for Integuments, as though meas- 
ured directly on the skull itself." 

That book was dictated by Black Hawk In 1888, interpreted by Antoine Le Claire to 
X B. Patterson, who wrote it down in English and assisted materially in securing ita 
pobUcatlon the following year. Mr. Patterson was a private in Captain Maughs* company 
of Jo Daviess County volunteers. 

Digitized by 



tipns, disgruntled at the supremacy of his ancient enemy Keokuk, who had 
answered for his good behavior, the old man's ambitions crushed, he was 
naturally an distressing object, evoking that pity which so universally 
appeals to an American and is so surely allowed to cover a multitude of 
sins. Those few last years have been thus carelessly permitted to become 
the monument to the man, and those who drove him from power have been 
harshly judged or jocularly denominated "carpet soldiers,'^ as much as to 
say the pioneers had never suffered hardships nor endured wrongs. Justice 
to those whose wives and children had been butchered, whose fathers and 
brothers had been burned at the stake, demands that all the truth be told 
and the reason given why those settlers, infuriated at the loss of two 
successive crops from Black Hawk's perfidy, finally drove his band into 
the Mississippi River at the mouth of the Bad Axe and almost anni- 
hilated it. 

It has been written that he p6ssessed a mind of unusual strength, but 
slow and plodding, with little genius and few talents to manage a great 
enterprise in war.* The influence to sustain such a paradox, as well as 
kindred irregularities and disorders of the man's mind, may be attributed 
to the fact that he was a confirmed hypochondriac, morbidly regarding as 
frivolous everything save war. He was discontented and reckless, envious 
of others with greater influence or name, and in meeting questions in or 
out of the council with such men as Keokuk he was churlish to a degree 
unless his individual will ruled. While it must candidly be owned that the 
whites have been guilty of the most revolting injustices to other Indians, 
notably Shabona, the same cannot be pleaded for Black Hawk. He was 
found making and breaking engagements and treaties' the greater part of 
his very long life, and then, when retribution was imminent, he hoisted 
flags of truce down to August 2d, 1832, when his power for further mis- 
chief was forever crushed. 

The reputation which he has established in Indian annals comes not 
from any sacrifice he made for his people, for never in his life did he make 
one. Neither comes it from his struggles for an oppressed race, for he 
never conceived a solitary scheme for its amelioration. He had never a 
lofty aspiration for his nation. His every venture was made for personal 
aggrandizement or popularity. Tecumseh dreamed of a great confedera- 
tion ; not to become a leader. Cornstalk, Logan and Pontiac were ambi- 
tious for their people, but Black Hawk never. Black Hawk said of Keokuk 
that the latter was a groveling sycophant, but Keokuk was the most power- 
ful orator of his race, and, penetrating the inevitable destiny of the whites, 

^Reynolds, "My Own Times,'* p. 320; Perkins and Peck, Annals of the West; Hist 
Des Moines C?o., Iowa. Brown's Hist of Illinois, p. 877 : "Black Hawk compared with 
Philip of Pokanoket Pontiac, Little Turtle or Tecumseh, was but an ordinary man — 
inferior vastly to either. That he was brave is probable. Mere bravery is but a common 
Virtue in the savage. That he was politic bevond others can scarcely be pretended. He 
evinced no particular talents in any of his plans, nor did he exhibit extraordinary skill 
in their accomplishment." 

>Hist of Des Moines County, p. 345. 

Digitized by 



he conformed to it and used his great genius to gain for his people the 
greatest good. While Black Hawk was stolidly plotting for war, Keokuk 
was planning to secure for his people good homes and larger annuities, and 
these he secured, to their very great benefit. Black Hawk's prominence 
comes from notoriety alone. 

In his various conflicts with the whites he was invariably the 
aggressor. The unfortunate affair which resulted in the death of his so- 
called adopted son cannot be, by any conceivable logic, tortured into an 
exception^ is we shall presently see. After the treaty of 1804 he and his 
band were permitted to remain unmolested upon the ceded lands year after 
year and decade after decade, a license rarely allowed and, as it proved, a 
thoroughly mistaken policy. He received his yearly annuities and retained 
the lands for which the annuities were given, literally eating his cake and 
keeping it. His passions were many, but the consuming passion of his life 
was hatred of the Americans, a hatred without cause and as unjustifiable 
and unreasonable as man^s baser passions are always found to be. Yet 
this may not be surprising, fed as he was by his devouring gloom and 
restless, war-like spirit. The mantle of charity has many a time before 
and since covered graver faults ; so let it be with Black Hawk's, for it is 
said of him that in his domestic life he was a kind husband and father, and 
in his transactions with his people he was upright and honest,* if he was 
not ambitious for their elevation. 

Black Hawk was not a chief of the Sac nation." He was simply a 
brave. His father was the tribal medicine man, and whatever standing 
Black Hawk may have secured was derived from his personal bravery and 
daring as a warrior, which have never been questioned. Possessed, as we 
have seen, of a martial spirit, he was ever ready and eager to lead war 
parties of young companions to battle, and one or two engagements alone 
were sufficient firmly to establish him in that leadership which bravery 
fitted him to hold over his followers in war. 

At fifteen, having distinguished himself by wounding an enemy, he 
was permitted to paint and wear feathers and join the rank of the Braves.* 
About the year 1783 he united in an expedition against the Osages and 
had the fortune to kill and scalp one of the enemy, for which youthful act 
of valor he was for the first time permitted to mingle in the scalp-dance. 
As one exploit followed another his desire for blood became insatiable, 
and from his own account, the number of the enemy slain by him staggers 

A short time after the '83 tragedy — '*a few moons," as he puts it — 
Black Hawk was leader of a party of seven which attacked a band of one 

'B^ynoldB, "My Own Times ;" Hist of Des Moines County, p. 830. 

^Perkins and Peck. "Annals of tbe West," p. 705, Bd. of 1850; Thwalto's "Story of 
Bla<^ Hawk ;" Hist of Des Moines County, Iowa ; Fulton's "Red Men of Iowa,*' and let- 
ten from Agents Forsythe and St. Vraln. 


Digitized by 



hundred Osages, killed one of their number and retreated without loss, 
Black Hawk taking the credit for this fatality to his personal valor. His 
taste for war, coupled with his prowess, attracted notice from others, and 
very presently he was found marching at the head of one hundred and 
eighty braves against the Osage village on the Missouri. Finding it 
deserted, the greater number of his young followers became dissatisfied, 
abandoned the enterprise and returned home, but Black Hawk continued, 
and, with but five followers, came upon the Osages, killed and scalped one 
man and a boy and then returned home. In consequence of this mutiny 
he has told us he was not again able to raise sufficient force to move against 
the Osages until his nineteenth year, during which interim, it was 
claimed, the Osages committed many outrages on his nation. 

In 1786 his restless spirit had planned another attack of a retaliatory 
nature against the Osages. Setting out with two hundred followers, he 
met a party of the enemy about equal in strength, which for a time stub- 
bornly resisted Black Hawk^s attack, but, unable to maintain an unequal 
contest with the fierce Sac fighters, the Osages were finally routed and the 
band almost annihilated. One hundred of them were kiUed outright and 
the remnant which remained was left to be scalped while helplessly 
wounded, or driven from the country, while, on the other hand. Black 
Hawk's loss was but nineteen men. Six of the enemy were killed by Black 
Hawk — ^five men and one squaw — and in alluding to this he adds these 
words : "I had the good fortune to take all their scalps.'' In recording 
his glorious enterprise his interpreter doubtless insisted that the murder of 
a female by a great warrior was not creditable, for, once the enormity of 
his offense is cited, he pleads in extenuation that the squaw was accidentally 
killed ; yet he scalped her. 

The severe cost to the Osages of this battle brought about a treaty of 
peace between the belligerents which lasted for a considerable period, as 
peaceful times between Indian nations seem then to have been reckoned. 

The stormiest periods of Black Hawk's life were all bom of tranquil 
times, and this interval of peace served to incubate a plan of campaign 
against his ancient and inveterate enemy, the Cherokees, which was to be 
fraught with consequences more serious than all his former campaigns 

Py-e-sa, Black Hawk's father, the hereditary medicine man of his 
tribe, had held the medicine bag for many years and his ability as a dis- 
creet, fearless and upright man cannot be controverted. Regarding a 
campaign by the young men so far from home as hazardous in the ex- 
treme, he joined this expedition, and with his people paddled his canoe 
night and day down the Mississippi River until the enemy was reached 
upon the Merameg River, south of St. Louis, in vastly superior forces. 
The battle which followed was stubbornly waged, but in it, as in so many 
others, the ferocity of the attack put the Cherokees to flight, leaving 

Digitized by 



twenty-eight of their number dead upon the field, while the Sacs lost but 
seven braves. But one of those seven was Py-e-sa, whose loss was never 
thereafter supplied to the great Sac nation. Had he been spared to treat 
of subsequent questions with the whites, his moderation had unquestionably 
sustained Keokuk's position and the campaigns of 1831 and 1832, with 
their trains of slaughter, would have been averted. In this engagement 
Black Hawk himself killed three outright and woimded many more. 

By the death of Py-e-sa, Black Hawk fell heir to the medicine bag, 
with its attendant responsibility. He immediately returned to his village, 
blackened his face and remained tranquil for the succeeding five years of 
his life, with no more stimulating employment than hunting, fishing and 
meditation. During this period of inaction. Black Hawk maintains, the 
Osages were constantly harassing his people by incursions into his coun- 
try, carrying with each invasion a predatory warfare extremely distressing 
and galling. These became so frequent and offensive that, as Black Hawk 
has told us, "the Great Spirit took pity on them" (the Sacs), upon which 
event he took to the field. Here, at the head of a small party, he overtook 
a few struggling Osages, so feeble that he simply made them prisoners and 
handed them over to the Spanish fatfier at St. Louis. With this famous 
act of clemency he continued his plan of total destruction of the offending 

About the year 1800, the Iowa nation, having accumulated many griev- 
ances against the Osages, made common cause with the Sacs for the pur- 
pose of waging a war of extermination. Raising a force of about one 
hundred, which joined the Sac forces, numbering now about five hundred 
more, the two allies marched upon the unsuspecting Osages, who were 
unarmed and wholly unprepared for defense. They valiantly defended their 
homes and families and fought with the desperation known only to those 
who have waged such defenses against overpowering odds. One by one 
and dozen by dozen and score by score fell dead before the terrific attacks 
of the most terrible of Indian fighters, until there was none left to fill the 
gaps niade in their ranks by the tomahawk and spear. Forty lodges were 
destroyed and every inhabitant save two squaws was put to death. Then, 
returning home, a great feast was made, at which Black Hawk exploited his 
personal valor to his friends. In this engagement he killed seven men 
and two boys with his own hand. 

During those five years of meditation following his father's death 
resentment had but slumbered. They killed his father, 'tis true, but it had 
been done defending themselves. The Sacs as a nation had no quarrel with 
the Cherokees. But immediately he returned from his war upon the 
unsuspecting Osages, Black Hawk collected another party and moved 
down the river against them. In due season the enemy's country was 
reached and invaded, but, roam as they would, no more than five unknown 
people could be f oimd, four men and one squaw. The men, after a short 

Digitized by 



detention, were released, and the squaw was taken back to Black Hawk's 
village on Rock River. 

The futility of this campaign rankled in Black Hawk's heart for a 
time, and to recoup his lost, or at least suspended reputation, he planned, 
in the year 1803, about the ninth moon, the most extensive campaign of 
his life against the combined forces of the Chippewas, Osages and Kas- 
kaskias. No just reason existed for this war ; none of the tribes of these 
nations had trespassed on Sac territory or rights, and none had offended 
in any other particular. Black Hawk was piqued at his last miscarriage 
and he simply made war against these people for the sake of war, and 
bloody indeed it proved to be. During its continuance seven pitched 
battles were fought, together with numerous skirmishes, in all which more 
than one hundred of the enemy perished. Here again Black Hawk boasts 
of personally killing with his own hands thirteen of the bravest warriors 
in the enemy's ranks. His ferocity in these engagements is the best evi- ' 
dence for the statement that the glory of Black Hawk was placed above 
every other consideration. 

In 1763 France ceded Louisiana to Spain, though Senor Rious, the 
Spanish agent, did not formally take possession of St. Louis and the upper 
Louisiana country until 1768, and even then St. Ange, the French 
Governor, continued to perform official acts until 1770. In 1800 Napoleon 
took it away again, retaining it until 1803, when it was purchased by tfie 
United States.* During the Spanish domination Black Hawk had been a 
periodical visitor to St. Louis, accepting frequent presents and forming 
what might be termed a devotion to the Governor, whom he designated as 
his "Spanish Father.^' 

After the conclusion of his last war, he paid this Spanish father a 
friendly visit at St. Louis. Spanish and French domination had ended 
and the Americans were just then taking possession of the country, much 
to his regret and, as might be imagined, disgust. Here are his comments : 
"Soon after th^ Americans arrived I took my band and went to take leave 
for the last time of our father. The Americans came to see him also. 
Seeing them approach, we passed out of one door as they entered another 
and immediately started in our canoes for our village on Rock River, not 
liking the change any more than our friends appeared to at St. Louis. 
On arriving at St. Louis, we were given the news that strange people had 
taken St. Louis and that we should never see our Spanish father again. 
This information made all our people sorry." 

^Treaty concluded April 30, 1803. 

Digitized by 



British Intrigue Against the Frontiers — ^Hatred of the Ameri- 
cans — ^Treaty of 1804. 

By the treaty of Paris, Sept. 3, 1783, Great Britain covenanted to 
surrender certain western forts which were of great strategic importance 
to the Americans in protecting the frontier from Indian incursions and also 
in dealing with such as were disposed to treat honorably with the Govern- 
ment. The compact was solemnly made and signed, but, disgruntled from 
the loss of her colonies, the British government sent secret instructions 
to its garrisons to retain these forts, and in consequence not one of them 
was surrendered. Nor was this the only violation by the British of their 
engagements. Agents were set to work over our vast frontier to foment 
insubordination among the Indians against American domination. These 
Indians were supplied with provisions and arms and incited openly to war 
against the whites and drive them back east of the mountains, and year 
after year they continued until the sickening horrors of the stake and scalp- 
ing knife were sweeping the feeble settlements of the West from end 
to end. 

France and Spain, both with colonial possessions to the west, while 
gratified to see England stripped of her possessions, were suspected of aid- 
ing the design of the British to restrict American settlements to the shores 
of the Atlantic. Spain claimed exclusive ownership of the Mississippi and 
commerce upon her waters by Americans was prohibited. The "dark and 
bloody ground" of Kentucky, long the scene of carnage, was made the 
first scene of British intrigue, where the atrocities of the Indians were the 
most frightful in history. The tribes of Ohio and Indiana, which were in 
the league, penetrated the settlements of the whites, deluging the land with 
the blood of innocent women and children. 

The Government, hopelessly involved with debt and graver questions 
of state, could offer the struggling settlers no relief, and thus alone they 
were forced to stand in hourly fear of butchery. They grew to look for 
no help save in their own resources, and yearly meeting with defiance, a 
pioneer community of militant husbandmen gradually grew and moved 
westward; instinctively taught to rush to arms upon the breaking of a 


Digitized by 



twig or the rustle of a leaf in defense of their defenseless loved ones in 
the cabin. When, therefore, Black Hawk lent a willing ear to the British 
agent, accepted his presents and performed his murderous behests, which 
he did, he should have expected the awful consequences of defeat and 
annihilation which followed his years of hypocrisy, and accepted the 
Government's final requital with gratitude, or at least Indian stolidity, 
instead of snarling at his fate and constantly bewailing the elevation of 
others over him who had loyally stood by the Americans and their Govern- 
ment in perilous times. He invited destruction and was destroyed. T|;ie 
attention of the student is directed to this phase of Black Hawk's character 
as it develops in these pages down to his defeat, August 2d, 1832. 

The Sacs were originally British Indians, domiciled near Montreal. 
By constant quarrels and wars with their neighbors their tribes, once 
numerous and powerful, were reduced to a remnant and finally driven 
from the country altogether. They settled in Wisconsin, where they met 
the Foxes, similarly driven from Canada, and the two tribes immediately 
combined, ever after being considered as a confederated nation. They 
again grew powerful and arrogant and became involved in wars with their 
neighbors. At the time of the last French and English war they took sides 
with the English and received from that source presents for many years. 
This British sympathy was bom in Black Hawk, and continued with him, 
growing in intensity as the Americans expanded and defeated the English, 
until it became positive hatred.* When, therefore, he repeats the statement 
that he heard bad accounts of the Americans in 1803, and then asserts that 
all his differences with the Americans date from the signing of the treaty 
of 1804, he states that which cannot be received with confidence. Prior to 
1803 he never had found himself in contact with the Americans to an extent 
worthy of note, and no cause, real or imaginary, had been given him for a 
difference, yet on leaving the Spanish father, mentioned in the last chapter, 
he catches a rumor, adopts a prejudice and dictates for his autobiography 
the following ill-natured words, false to begin with and as malignant as 
he was generally found to be in speaking or writing of the Americans : 
'T inquired the cause and was informed that the Americans were coming 
to take possession of the town and country, and that we should lose our 
Spanish father. This news made myself and band sad, because we had 
always heard bad accounts of the Americans from Indians who had lived 
near them." 

During the years 1803 and 1804, Gov. William Henry Harrison of 
Indiana concluded treaties with the Kaskaskias and the Wabash tribes, 
obtaining thereby title to a large extent of country south of the Illinois 
River. Having an immense stretch of country unserviceable for fishing 
and hunting, many of the Sacs and Foxes considered it desirable to receive 

^The Illinois country, to which the two tribes finally emigrated, was transferred by 
the French to the English crown In 1765. Thus Black Hawk was bom under British rule. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



annuities/ after the manner of the Wabash tribes. A bad hunt could thus 
he recouped in a certain money stipend. Accordingly, slight overtures 
were thrown out to this effect. The Sacs and Foxes roamed north of the 
Illinois River, like the fugitive buffalo or lonesome bird of passage. Those 
broad prairies afforded them no subsistence in hunting or fishing. The 
bare claim to possession was their sole exercise of it, and that frail tenure 
had been wrenched by conquest from others without compensation in the 
smallest degree. Along the streams a few harmless, nondescript Indians 
and tribal remnants lived, or rather remained, as dependent vassals of the 
mighty Sacs and Foxes, but these were so inconspicuous and weak as to 
be ignored by both the whites and Indians in treaties. 

There can be no doubt of e knowledge by the Government of this 
desire for annuities by the Sacs and Foxes. President Jeflferson was not 
the man to simulate the existence of any unfair postulate in treating with 
the Indians, who were at all times objects of his especial solicitude. 
Accordingly, on the 27th day of June, 1804, he directed Governor Harrison 
to treat with the Sacs and Foxes and obtain cessions of lands on both sides 
the Illinois River, granting as a consideration therefor an annual compensa- 
tion. Agreeably with his instructions, Governor Harrison called the head 
chiefs of the consolidated tribes to meet him at St. Louis, which Pashepaho, 
head chief of the Sacs, Layowvois, Quashquame, Outchequaha and 
Hashequarhiqua did. Here, on November 3d, the following treaty was 
solemnly made and signed: 

Articles of a Treaty, made at St Louis, in the district of Louisiana, between 
William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indiana Territory and the District of 
Louisiana, Superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory and district and 
Commissioner plenipotentiary of the United States, for concluding any treaty or 
treaties, which may be found necessary with any of the Northwestern tribes of 
Indians, of the one part ; and the Chiefs and head men of the united Sac and Fox 
tribes of the other part 

Article i. The United States receive the united Sac and Fox tribes into their 
friendship and protection and the said tribes agree to consider themselves under 
the protection of the United States, and no other power whatsoever. 

Art. 2. The Qeneral boundary line between the land of the United States 
and the said Indian tribes shall be as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point on 
the Missouri River opposite to the mouth of the Gasconade River; thence, in a 
direct course so as to strike the River Jeffreon, at the distance of 30 miles from 
its mouth and down the said Jeffreon to the Mississippi; thence, up the Mississippi 
to the mouth of the Ouisconsing River, and up the same to a point which shall 
be 36 miles in a direct line from the mouth of the said river, thence, 
by a direct line to the point where the Fox River (a branch of the 
Illinois) leaves the small Lake called Sakaegan; thence, down the Fox River to 
the Illinois River, and down the same to the Mississippi. And the said tribes, 
for and in consideration of the friendship and protection of the United States, 
which is now extended to them, of the goods (to the value of two thousand two 
hundred and thirty-four dollars and fifty cents) which are now delivered, and of 

^Drown's Hist of Illinois, p. 381, Is emphatic on this point 

Digitized by 



the annuity hereinafter stipulated to be paid, do hereby cede and relinquish forever, 
to the United States, all the lands included within the above described boundary. 

Art. 3. In consideration of the cession and relinquishment of land made in 
the preceding article, the United States will deliver to the said tribes, at the town 
of St. Louis, or some other convenient place on the Mississippi, yearly and every 
year, goods suited to the circumstances of the Indians of the value of one thousand 
dollars (six hundred of which are intended for the Sacs and four hundred for the 
Foxes), reckoning that value at the first cost of the goods in the City or place in 
the United States, where they shall be procured. And if the said tribes shall here- 
after at an annual delivery of the goods aforesaid, desire that a part of their 
annuity should be furnished in domestic animals, implements of husbandry, and 
other utensils, convenient for them, or in compensation to useful artificers, who 
may reside with or near them, and be employed for their benefit, the same shall, at 
the 'subsequent annual delivery, be furnished accordingly. 

Art. 4. The United States will never interrupt the said tribes in the possession 
of the lands, which they rightfully claim, but will, on the contrary, protect them 
in the quiet enjoyment of the same against their own citizens and against all other 
. white i>ersons, who may intrude upon them. And the said tribes do hereby engage 
that they will never sell their lands, or any part thereof, to any sovereign power 
but the United States, nor to the citizens or subjects of any other sovereign power, 
nor to the citizens of the United States. 

Art. 5. Lest the friendship, which is now established between the United 
States and the said Indian Tribes should be interrupted by the misconduct of 
individuals, it is hereby agreed that for injuries done by individuals no private 
revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof, complaint shall be 
made by the party injured to the other by the said tribe, or either of them, to 
the superintendent of Indian affairs, or one of his deputies; and by the superin- 
tendent, or other person appointed by the President, to the Chiefs of the said tribes. 
And it shall be the duty of the said chiefs, upon complaint being made, as aforesaid, 
to deliver up the person, or persons, against whom the complaint is made, to the 
end that he or they may be punished agrreeably to the laws of the state or territory 
where the offence may have been committed. And, in like manner, if any robbery, 
violence or murder shall be committed on any Indian, or Indians, belonging to 
the said tribes, or either of them, the person or persons so offending shall- be tried, 
and, if found guilty, punished in the like manner as if the injury hiid been done 
to a white man. And, it is farther agreed, that the chiefs of the said tribes shall, to 
the utmost of their power, exert themselves to recover horses or other property 
which may be stolen from any citizen or citizens of the United States by any 
individual or individuals of their tribes. And the property so recovered shall be 
forthwith delivered to the superintendent or other person authorized to receive 
it that it may be restored to the proper owner. And in cases where the exertions 
of the chiefs shall be ineffectual in recovering the property stolen, as aforesaid, 
if sufficient proof can be obtained, that such property was actually stolen by any 
Indian or Indians belonging to the said tribes, or either of them, the United 
States may deduct from the annuity of the said tribes, a sum equal to the value 
of the property which has been stolen. And the United States hereby guarantee 
to any Indian or Indians of the said tribes a full indemnification for any horses, or 
other property which may be stolen from them, by any of their citizens ; Provided, 
that the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is pro- 
duced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. 

Art. 6. If any citizen of the United States, or any other white person, should 
form a settlement, upon the lands which are the property of the Sac and Fox 
tribes, upon complaint being made thereof, to the superintendent, or other person 

Digitized by 



having charge of the affairs of the Indians, such intruders shall forthwith be 

Art. 7. As long as the lands which are now ceded to the United States remain 
their property, the Indians belonging to the said tribes shall enjoy the privilege 
of living and hunting upon them. 

Art. 8. As the laws of the United States regulating trade and intercourse 
with the Indian tribes are already extended to the country inhabited by the Sauks 
and Foxes, and as it is provided by those laws, that no person shall reside as 
a trader, in the Indian country, without a license, under the hand and seal of the 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or other person appointed for the purpose by 
the President, the said tribes do promise and agree that they will not suffer any 
trader to reside amongst them without such license, and that they will, from time 
to time, fifive notice to the Superintendent, or to the Agent, for their tribes, of all 
the traders that may be in their country. 

Art 9. In order to put a stop to the abuses and impositions, which are prac- 
ticed upon the said tribes by the private traders, the United States, will, at a con- 
venient time, establish a trading house, or factory, where the individuals of the 
said tribes can be supplied with goods at a more reasonable rate than they have 
been accustomed to procure them. 

Art. 10. In order to evince the sincerity of their friendship and affection for 
the United States, and a respectful deference for their advice, by an act which 
will not only be acceptable to them, but by the Common Father of all the nations 
of the Earth, the said tribes do, hereby solemnly promise and agree that they will 
put an end to the bloody war which has heretofore raged between their tribes and 
those of the great and little Osages. And for the purpose of burying the toma- 
hawk and renewing the friendly intercourse between themselves and the Osages, 
a meeting of their respective Chiefs shall take place, at which, under the direction 
of the above named Commissioner, or the Agent of Indian affairs residing at 
St. Louis, an adjustment of all their differences shall be made and peace estab- 
lished, upon a firm and lasting basis. 

Art. II. As it is probable that the Government of the United States will 
establish a Military Post at, or near the mouth, of the Ouisconsing River, and as 
the land on the lower side of the River may not be suitable for that purpose, the 
said tribes hereby agree, that a Fort may be built, either on the upper side of the 
Ouis€o;isihg, or on the right bank of the Mississippi, as the one or the other may 
be found most convenient; and a tract of land not exceeding two miles square, 
shall be given for that purpose. And the said tribes do further agree, that they 
will at all times, allow to traders and other persons traveling through their coun- 
try, under the authority of the United States, a free and safe passage for themselves 
and their property of every description. And that for such passage, they shall 
at no time, and on no account whatever, be subject to any toll or exaction. 

Art. 12. This Treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting 
parties, as soon as the same shall have been ratified by the President, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States. 

In testimony whereof, the said William Henry Harrison, and the Chiefs and 
headmen of the said Sac and Fox tribes, have hereunto set their hands and affixed 
their seals. DcMie at Saint Louis, in the district of Louisiana, on the third day 
of November, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Four, and of the independence of 
the United States the Twenty-Ninth. 


It is agreed that nothing in this treaty contained shall affect the claim of any 
individual or individuals, who may have obtained g^nts of Land from the Spanish 

Digitized by 



Government and which are not included within the general boundary line laid 
down in this treaty: PROVIDED, that such grant have at any time been made 
known to the said tribes and recognized by them. 

William Henry Harrison, [l- s.] 

Layowvois, or Laiyuva, [l. s.] 

His (X) Mark, 
Pashepaho, or The Stabber, [l. s.] 

His (X) Mark, 


His (X) Mark. 


His (X) Mark. 
Hashequarhiqua, or The Bear, [l. s.] 
His (X) Mark. 
In presence of 

Wm. Prince, Sec'y to the Commissioner. 
John Griffin, one of the judges of the 

Indiana Territory. 
J. Bruff, Maj. Arfry, U. S. 
Amos Stoddard, Capt. Corps of Artillerists. 
P. Chouteau, Agent de la haute Louisiana 

Pour le department Sauvage, 
Ch. Gratiot. 
Aug. Chouteau. 

Vigo S. Warrel, Lieut. U. S. Artillery. 
D. Delauney. 
Sworn Interpreters: Jos. Barron. 

Hypoute Boixn, 

His (X) Mark. 

Digitized by 


Treaty of 1804, and Black Hawk's Version. 

On December 31st, 1804, the President submitted this treaty to the 
Senate, which ratified it immediately. 

In justice to Black Hawk, his relation of all incidents leading up to 
this treaty, from the departure of French rule to its ratification, which he 
always insisted was the bone of contention between himself and the whites, 
will be given, and in justice to the Americans, his inaccuracies, their 
logical deductions and the manner in which he played the same against 
the facts will also be given. 

In the first edition of his autobiography, published in Boston in 1834, 
page 25, after concluding his sorrow at the advent of the Americans, he 
stated : 

''Some time afterwards, a boat came up the river, with a young American chief 
(Lieutenant, afterwards General, Zebulon M. Pike), and a small party of soldiers. 
We heard of him (by runners) soon after he had passed Salt River. Some of our 
young braves watched him every day, to see what sort of people he had on board. 
The boat at length arrived at Rock River, and the young chief came on shore with 
his interpreter, made a speech, and gave us some presents. We, in return, pre- 
sented him with meat and such provisions as we could spare. 

"We were all well pleased with the speech of the young chief. He gave us 
good advice; said our American father would treat us well. He presented us an 
American flag, which was hoisted. He then requested us to pull down our British 
flags, and give him our British medals, promising to send us others on his return 
to St Louis. This we declined, as we wished to have two fathers" 

***** We did not see any Americans again for some time, being supplied 
with goods by British traders." 

"Some moons after this young chief descended the Mississippi, one of our 
people killed an American and was confined in the prison at St. Louis for the 
o£Fense. We held a council at our village to see what could be done for him, 
which determined that Quash-qua-me, Pa-she-pa-ho, Ou-che-qua-ka and Ha-shc- 
quar-hi-qua should go down to St. Louis, see our American father, and do all 
they could to have our friend released by paying for the i>erson killed ; thus cover- 
ing the blood, and satisfying the relations of the man murdered; that being the 
only means with us of saving a person who had killed another, and we then 
thought it was the same way with the whites. 

"The party started with the good wishes of the whole nation, hoping they' 
would accomplish the object of their mission. The relatives of the prisoner blacked 


Digitized by 



their faces and fasted^hoping the Great Spirit would take pity on them, and return 
the husband and father to his wife and children. Quash-qua-me and party remained 
a long time absent They at length returned, and encamped a short distance 
below the village, but did not come up that day, nor did any person approach 
their camp. They appeared to be dressed in Une coats, and had medals I From 
these circumstances we were in hopes that they had brought good news. Early 
the next morning the Council Lodge was crowded. Quash-qua-me and party 
came up, and gave us the following account of their mission: 'On their arrival at 
St. Louis they met their American father, and explained to him their business, 
and urged the release of their friend. The American chief told them he wanted 
land, and they agreed to give him some on the west side of the Mississippi, and 
some on the Illinois side, opposite the Jeffreon. When the business was all arranged, 
they expected to have their friend released to come home with them. But about 
the time they were ready to start, their friend was let out of prison, who ran a 
short distance, and was shot dead. This was all they could recollect of what was 
said and done. They had been drunk the greater part of the time they were in 
St Louis.' 

"This was all myself or nation knew of the treaty of 1804. It has been ex- 
plained to me since. I find by that treaty all our country east of the Mississippi, 
and south of the Jeffreon, was ceded to the United States for one thousand dollars 
a year ! I leave it to the people of the United States to say whether our nation 
was properly represented in this treaty, or whether we received a fair compensa- 
tion for the extent of country ceded by those four individuals. I could say 
much about this treaty, but I will not at this time. It has been the origin of all 
our difficulties."* 

During the years 1803 and 1804, the British were in their ugliest 
humor toward the Americans, and no effort to aggravate, yea murder, the 
frontier was spared. In the face of those atrocities and in face of the 
further fact that on January 9th, 1789, a solemn treaty of friendship was 
made between the United States and the Sacs, at Fort Harmar, signed by 
Te-pa-kee and Kesh-e-yi-va, the 14th article of which is as follows : "The 
United States of America do also receive into their friendship and protec- 
tion the nations of the Pottiwatimas and Sacs, and do hereby establish a 
league of peace and amity between them respectively ; and all the articles 
of this treaty, so far as they apply to these nations, are to be considered as 
made and concluded in all, and every part, expressly with them and each 
of them,'^ it would seem in extreme bad taste for Black Hawk to desire a 
continuance of British paternity and British provisions, and flout British 
authority in the faces of those Americans who were the sufferers. A sane 
man would expect something to happen. Black Hawk stated and empha- 
sized the fact that Pike went up the Mississippi and returned before the 
treaty of 1804 was made, when as a matter of fact he went up the river in 
1805 and returned in 1807. Now if he committed such glaring errors in 
matters of passing importance, what can be expected in matters of graver 

>When the French discovered and took possession of Illinois, neither the Sacs nor 
Foxes bad any claim or existence on the tract of country mentioned in this treaty. Am. 
State Papers, V, 689, 690, 663. Dawson's Life of Harrison, 69. Perkins and Peck, Annals 
of the West, 546. 

•"Public Statutes at Large," ed. 1848, p. 31. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 


Digitized by 



importance ? And where can the intelligent student draw the line between 
fact and fabrication ? 

Much else that Black Hawk has said is altogether incorrect as well as 
preposterous. There can be no excuse for his untruthful statement that 
but four chiefs signed the treaty, because there were five, as the record 
itself discloses, and Pash-e-pa-ho, the then principal chief of the Sac na- 
tion, was one of them. Nor can it be seen that he strengthened his stand- 
ing with the public to charge William Henry Harrison, the most upright 
of men, with giving the Indian emissaries fine clothes and medals as part 
consideration for their signatures, and with stupefying them with liquor 
and finally murdering outright the prisoner, and it is certainly regrettable 
to find in his narrative no mention of the sorrowing wife and weeping 
children of the murdered American who never returned to his hearthstone. 

Digitized by 



Treaty of 1804. 

That the Indian had many wrongs must not be denied, but that such 
wrongs should be transferred from those who suffered them to the personal 
account of Black Hawk, either entire or to any great extent, is a proposi- 
tion too monstrous for sober consideration. The simpering casuist has 
strenuously endeavored to effect that transfer, even to the extent of adopt- 
ing his statements about the liquor and the murder. As needless, yea 
repugnant, to all sense of propriety and truth as the task may be to shore 
up the reputation of Governor Harrison against Black Hawk's aspersions, 
it has been thought best to quote the only historical record at hand on the 
subject of the murder, and dissipate for all time the maudlin sympathy 
which his contention has raised : 

**Some time about the middle of the year 1804, three American citizens, who 
had settled above the Missouri, were murdered by a party of Sack Indians; and 
the Governor having learnt this circumstance, as well as the hostile dispositions 
of the Sacks and Foxes toward the United States, sent them a message by Captain 
Stoddart, in the month of October, requiring their chiefs to meet him in St. Louis ; 
and on his arrival at that place he learnt the circumstance of the murder, as well 
as the exertions which were making by some of the old chiefs among them to 
give up the perpetrators of it, but who were opposed by a majority of the nation, 
who declared their satisfaction at what had been done, and their determination 
to protect the murderers at all risk. The Governor dispatched another messenger 
to the Sack chiefs, to inform them of his arrival at St. Louis, and urge them to 
make every possible exertion- to apprehend, and bring with them, the murderers; 
but if that could not be effected, he requested that they would come to him at 
any rate, assuring them of their being permitted to return in safety. - 

"The Governor, conceiving that if they could be prevailed upon to come to a 
conference it would be easy to convince them of the necessity of preserving the 
friendship of the United States, had no doubt that he would prevail upon some 
of them to remain with him as hostages for the delivery of the murderers. Bpt 
before his messenger had arrived, the petty chief who headed the war party had 
surrendered himself to the sachems or head men of the nation, and declared his 
willingness to suffer for the injury he had done. On the arrival of the chiefs at 
St Louis, he was delivered up to the Governor, and a positive assurance given 
that the whole nation were sorry for the injury which had been done, and that they 
would never in future lift the tomahawk against the United States."* 

^Dawson's "Life of Harrison.'* (William Henry.) 


Digitized by 



At this same meeting, the treaty was made which has already been set 
out at length, and while the same authority mentions the fact without 
comment, it will be quoted, and following it some reasons may be noted 
why the bargain was not one of particular rigor. At least Black Hawk's 
argument may be shown to be specious : 

*'At this meeting with the chiefs of the Sac and Fox Indians, the Government 
negotiated a treaty by which the Indian title was extinguished to the largest tract 
of land ever ceded in one treaty by the Indians since the settlement of Korth 
America, as it includes all the country from the mouth of the Illinois River to 
the mouth of the Ouisconsing, on the one side, and from the mouth of the Illinois 
to near the head of the Fox River on the other side; and from the head of the 
latter a line is drawn to a point 36 miles above the mouth of the Ouisconsing, 
which forms the northern boundary, and contains upwards of 51 millions of acres." 

Black Hawk offers to leave the question of bargain to the people of the 
United States. From present day standpoints it might be considered a 
hard bargain, but from the facts in the case, the reply might be made with 
an inquiry if the Wisconsin farmer got much of a bargain when he bought 
from a sharper the Masonic Temple of Chicago for $2,000. 

Two-thirds or more of the land ceded was claimed and occupied by 
the Winnebagoes and Pottowattomies at the time, and Black Hawk knew 
the fact and admitted it times without number on subsequent occasions. 
Even down so close to him as the Prophet's village, in the present county 
of Whiteside, the country was Winnebago territory ; the same at Dixon's 
Ferry, while over c«i the Illinois River the Pottowattomies had for a g^eat 
length of time held dominion, and this had never been controverted by the 
Sacs and Foxes. The fact is that the United States acquired but very 
little territory by that treaty, when the magnificent proportions are men- 
tioned without regard to the facts. ; 

With his usual carelessness of fact. Black Hawk omitted to menticm 
the payments down in money and trade which were made and which in 
those days were not regarded as trifling. He made no mention of subse- 
quent and additional payments and annuities, neither did he credit the 
Government for the use and occupation of those same lands for over a 
quarter of a century after they had been ceded. He omitted entirely that 
he had never kept a treaty in his life until he was finally crushed and driven 
from power at the point of the bayonet, and he forgot to omit the further 
fact that all the Sac and Fox Indians, save Black Hawk and his immediate 
followers, recognized that treaty as just in 1808, when a delegation visited 
Fort Madison to ascertain if its erection was in violation of it. School- 
craft, Vol. VI, page 393, made a very sensible observation regarding the 
sales by Indians of their lands : "But while any section of their territories 
abounded in game, the Indians elected to retire thither, and bestowed but 
little attention on either grazing or agriculture. There was, therefore, a 

Digitized by 




singular concurrence in the desire of the emigrants to buy and in the will- 
ingness of the Indians to sell their lands." 

At no time had the Illinois lands been valuable to the Sa^cs for hunting, 
the streams and forests of Iowa having always been sought for their annual 
hunts. There can be no doubt that this feature had its influence exactly 
as Schoolcraft, the friend always to the Indian, has stated. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 















^fc !»^_^ 















J*i€tJ% or .Ft. *MouU^9n, MOS. 

9 ntel»ry 



Digitized by 



Erection of Fort Madison — ^Rumors of Indian Attack — Black 
Hawk Joins Tecumseh — ^Returns to His Village — ^Attacks 
Fort Madison — ^The Siege. 

The object of the expedition of Lieutenant Pike, in 1805-6-7, was, 
among other things, to select suitable locations for military reservations, 
Indian posts and forts. One of the last named he located at the head of 
the Dfes Moines Rapids, immediately above the mouth of the river of that 
name, on the west bank of the Mississippi. 

In 1808, First Lieutenant Alpha Kingsley, with Captain Ninian 
Pinckney's company, was sent there from below to construct the fort and 
garrison it. His work attracted the attention of passing Sacs and excited 
the suspicion that the act might be a possible infraction of the 1804 treaty. 
To determine the matter, a party, including Black Hawk, traveled down 
the river to the scene, where a council or talk was immediately held, at 
which the intention of the Government was fully discussed. The explana- 
tions were satisfactory in every particular to the respective chiefs, who, 
every one, cheerfully ratified the action of the Government, commending 
the act as one of prevision for both parties, and with assurances of good 
feeling returned to their respective homes. Even Drake, the especial 
champion of Black Hawk, is forced to state, on page 79: "Some of the 
Indians went down the river, and, after an interview with the officers in 
charge of the troops constructing it, returned home, satisfied that there was 
no infraction." 

Not so with Black Hawk. He came to the spot bent on mischief, and 
while the others entered and were engaged in the council, he remained 
aloof, that no obligation might rest upon him if the talk should result 
adversely to his wishes, his favorite trick for avoiding the meshes of en- 
gagements which might conflict with the arrangements he had made with 
his Britislv friends, who were furnishing him supplies, as we have seen. 

Thus was the construction of Fort Madison permitted to continue, and 
thus was it in due time completed and garrisoned by seventy-five men; 
but Black Hawk had studied well its plans and marked it for his vengeance 


Digitized by 



at such a time as stealth should permit him to ambush it and butcher its 
garrison, lulled into a supine security.* 

During the winter of 1808-9, the British agents, taking advantage of 
the suppositious dissatisfaction of the Indians, moved industriously among 
the tribes, and, through Black Hawk, were able to create among his fol- 
lowers a desire to annoy the Americans. Reports of impending attacks 
reached the garrison of Fort Madison from time to time. "Upon receiving 
this information," Lieutenant Kingsley wrote, "I made ^very exertion to 
erect the blockhouses and plant my pickets; this we did in two weeks 
(lying on our anns during the night), and took quarters in the new fort 
the 14th inst. (April, 1809). Being tolerably secure against an attack, we 
have been able to get a little rest, and are now making the best preparations 
for the safety and defense of this establishment.** 

This letter is dated, "Fort Madison, near River Le Moin, 19th April, 
1809." In the same letter Lieutenant Kingsley reported that rumors of an 
Indian alliance are reaching him frequently, and that any coming trouble 
may be traced directly to British influence. "The sooner the British trad- 
ers are shut out of the river," he added, "the better for our Government.*' 
Thus was Black Hawk allied, preparing for his part in the war of 1812 with 

Governor Harrison, in a letter to the Secretary of War, dated Vin- 
cennes, July 15th, 1810 (Drake, p. 62), said: "A considerable number of 
the Sacs went some time since to see the British superintendent, and on 
the first instant more passed Chicago for the same destination." 

General Qark, under date St. Louis, July 20th, 1810, stated in writing 
to the same department : "One hundred and fifty Sacs are on a visit to 
the island of St. Joseph, in Lake Huron." John Johnson, the Indian agent 
at Fort Wayne, under date of August 7th, 1810, said to the Secretary of 
War : "About one hundred Saukees have returned from the British agent, 
who supplied them liberally with everything they stood in need of. The 
party received forty-seven rifles and a number of fusils, with plenty of 
powder and lead." 

In 181 1 Black Hawk eagerly accepted British counsel to join the 
Prophet at Tippecanoe" for the purpose of annihilating Governor Harrison. 
Failing in that effort, he turned westward with a party of Winnebagoes 
to attack Fort Madison, but the long march homeward must have ex- 
hausted his martial spirit, because that attack was not made by him until 
September 5th, 1812, at 5 130 P. M. However that may be, he considered 
it unwise to precipitate his contemplated attack without preparation and 
care. Therefore, he had the ground thoroughly reconnoitered by his spies, 
who reported that every morning it was customary for the troops to march 

iTbe exact namber employed on this constraction was one first lieutenant Alpha 
Kingsley; one second lieutenant, Nathaniel Pryor; one surgeon's mate, three sergeants, 
three corporals, two musicians and sixty priyates of Captain Pinckney's company of the 
First Infantry.— Annals of Iowa, Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 103. 

^Reynolds, "My Own Times." 

Digitized by 



out for exercise, leaving no defense behind, and this was the hour finally 
fixed for his attack. 

His British band and about 200 Winnebagoes stealthily marched to the 
neighborhood, where, after a consultation, the plan of attack was changed 
into one of assault, which was immediately begun and continued until 
darkness compelled the Indians to retire. The following morning it was 
not resumed, as contemplated by the garrison, which lulled it into negli- 
gence, for a soldier was permitted to leave the gate. He returned safely, 
and John Cox, another private, was permitted to go out with less show of 
caution. This poor fellow was instantly shot and scalped and the Indians, 
with yells, then recommenced their assault. Ehiring the engagement the 
boat of a Mr. Graham, who had arrived on the 4th, was burned, as were 
two others belonging to the Government. Soon after fire was thrown 
upon the blockhouses that stood near the bank of the river, but syringes 
made from gun barrels were used with such effectiveness that the blaze 
was confined to little damage. One detachment of the enemy killed the 
live stock, plundered and burned the house of a Mr. Julian and destroyed 
the com. On the 7th the battle was renewed and raged with greater fury, 
the Indians again throwing fire upon the blockhouses and shooting flaming 
arrows into the roofs, but the garrison repulsed every attack. In the 
evening the house of a Mr. Nabb was burned and the blacksmith shop and 
factory of the garrison threatened. Had these been fired in the prevail- 
ing wind, every man of the garrison had been burned alive, but command- 
ing officer Thomas Hamilton, by the most heroic measures, forced the fire 
away until the wind veered, when he dispatched a soldier to fire the fac- 
tory, which he successfully did, and in three hours it was consumed with- 
out danger to the garrison. Dnring the day, several Indians crept into a 
stable, and there, harbored from musket balls, shot deadly arrows into the 
roofs, but a shot from the cannon by Lieutenant Burony Vasquez finally 
drove them out. On the 8th the attack diminished in ferocity, and on 
the 9th not an Indian remained to be seen. 

Inside the fort only one man was wounded, but the casualties of the 
Indians were reported as upwards of forty. 

Fort Madison, for the purposes of trading, was favorably located, but 
for purposes of defense it was hopelessly inadequate. Timber, ravines 
and the bank of the river afforded the enemy positions from which he could 
not be driven- At the same time a small party could harass the garrison 
with no great danger to itself unless some of the number became im- 
prudent. During the siege there were but first and second lieutenants 
Hamilton and Vasquez, two sergeants, two corporals and a few more than 
thirty privates to defend a fort — ^a force totally inadequate against a horde 
of bloodthirsty savages. 

After the 9th Black Hawk permitted several days to elapse before 
resuming hostilities, during which he formed another plan to capture and 

Digitized by 



massacre the garrison. To all appearances they had retired to their homes. 
Immediately so-called friendly Indians came to trade, including Quash- 
qua-me and Pash-e-pa-ho, who, while professing friendship under that 
treaty, could not resist British and Black Hawk intrigue, and were then 
leagued with Black Hawk to destroy the fort by stratagem. These two 
were readily admitted to the fort, retired and called again and again, offer- 
ing finally to entertain the fatigued garrison with a dance. The officers, to 
oblige the men, signified a willingness to witness the ceremony. Quash- 
qua-me was to signal Black Hawk, who was to be near by, to rush in upon 
the men and murder every one while the dance progressed. Early in the 
day a young woman, who had formed a strong attachment for one of the 
garrison, appeared before Lieutenant Hamilton as though in g^eat distress. 
She was taken inside the stockade, and, when free from observation, dis- 
closed the plot of the would-be assassins. Her simple story touched the 
heart of every man, and, though their long seige had worn them down 
well nigh to despair, her love and devotion inspired a strength and courage 
which would only falter when the spirit had fled and left the useless body 
a clod upon the field.* Lieutenant Hamilton caused a six-pounder, loaded 
with grapeshot, to be masked and ranged full upon the stockade entrance. 
Sentinels were posted with orders to allow no more than one Indian to enter 
at a time. Quash-qua-me and his companions duly appeared and were 
admitted singly. The warriors within, to a considerable number, gathered 
about the entrance, the designated place, and began their dance, raising 
with their whoops and yells a din to heaven. Suddenly the dance was 
suspended by the warriors making a furious rush for the gate, which con- 
veniently opened. Confident that the plot had been successfully carried 
out by those inside, the others outside madly charged the angle. A lighted 
fuse, flashed above the unmasked cannon, brought those in front to a sud- 
dent halt, while those bdiind, by reason of it, were plunged headlong into a 
confused and confounded mass. Aghast at their miserable miscarriage, a 
general retreat was attempted, but this was not accomplished by Quash- 
qua-me and his immediate followers, who were made prisoners. 

Finding himself in disgrace and fearing condign punishment, Quash- 
qua-me renounced hostilities against the Americans, was released, and, 
with slight exception, remained thereafter their faithful friend. His fol- 
lowers, who were imprisoned, finally confessed the plot in its every detail, 
and when released, as they immediately were, maintained a lasting 

In this episode Black Hawk was at a convenient distance in the bushes, 
leaving all the danger and obloquy to fall upon Quash-qua-me. 

'Maj. John Beach, agent of Sacs and Foxes, substantiated the story. Folton and In 
Hist Lee Co., Iowa, p. 858. 

Digitized by 



Black Hawk Enusts With the British in the War of 1812 — 
Deserts — Foster Son Story — Keokuk Made Chief. 

It was not enough that British intrigue had maintained a reign of 
terror upon the frontier where the sturdy pioneer was slowly and pain- 
fully conquering a few roods of timberland to provide a home for his 
family. It was not enough that his life, the only protection of that family, 
should be daily menaced with ambush. British arrogance now menaced 
the nascent Republic by extending its infamous tactics to the high seas, 
bullying our infant commerce by exacting the right of search from feebly 
manned vessels and cruelly impressing into British service American 
seamen to fight their friends and relatives in case of war. On June 18, 
1812, the declaration of war followed; then the fall of Mackinaw, July 
17; the Fort Dearborn massacre, August 15, and, finally, the mortifying 
and distressing surrender of Hull on August i6th. 

These disasters opened wide the gates for British influence to promote 
war upon the feeble frontiersmen, with such allies as Black Hawk, and to 
him they were buds of mighty promise. The first act of the English 
trader, Robert Dickson, who had headquarters at Prairie du Chien, was to 
send La Gouthrie, the trader, by boat to Black Hawk's village on Rock 
River with presents, money and ammunition for this Indian and his band 
of mercenaries who did his bidding. The Fort Madison affair followed, 
after which Black Hawk and 200 of his followers immediately went to 
Green Bay, Wisconsin, and joined the British expedition fitted out there, 
and where the commander made him a speech, dubbed him "General Black 
Hawk" and assigned him the responsible and distinguished position of Aid 
to the great Tecumseh.* 

In spite of these calamities, the pioneer hardened his heart, consigned 
his family to the nearest fort, then, molding his bullets, he shouldered his 

>In 1811, there being a strong probability of war, a deputation of Sacs and Foxes, 
said to have Included Quaah-qua-me, yislted Washington to tender the services of their 
tribes to the President; but the members of it were thanked and requested to remain 
neutral and they returned. Again in 1812, after war had been declared, the same tribes 
sent deputations to the American agent at St Louis, renewing their offer of services to 
Hlfiit the British, but again they were urged to remain neutral, which most of them did. 


Digitized by 



trusty rifle and marched with his brother settler to defend his country, as 
he had defended his fireside so often before. 

To have been assigned to the staff of Tecumseh should have exalted 
Black Hawk to deeds worthy his renowned superior, but his peevish nature 
and lack of capacity prevented a comprehension of his just duties. Colonel 
Kckson admonished him to honest warfare, which was so distasteful to 
Black Hawk that he wrote: **I told him (Col. EHckson) that I was very 
much disappointed, as I wanted to descend the Mississippi and make war 
upon the settlements." This sentiment was, according to his own state- 
ment, promptly rebuked by Dickson, as Black Hawk himself recited: 
"He said he had been ordered to lay the country waste around St. Louis ; 
that he had been a trader on the Mississippi many years ; had always been 
kindly treated and could not consent to send brave men to murder women 
and children. That there were no soldiers there to fight, but where he was 
going to send us there were a number of soldiers, and if we defeated them 
the Mississippi country should be ours !" Here Black Hawk displays his 
besetting weakness — ^incapacity to comprehend the ethics of a cause or 

Leaving Green Bay immediately, the troops marched past Chicago 
and without event joined the British forces at I>etroit. His first ex- 
perience in an open fight with the Americans caused surprise, as he stated : 
"The Americans fought well and drove us with considerable loss. I was 
surprised at this, as I had been told that the Americans could not fight." 
He followed the British army until the conclusion of the Battle of the 
Thames, October 5th, 1813, with its disastrous consequences, when, in the 
face of defeat to his friends, he, with twenty of his braves, deserted in the 
night time for home, assigning for his reason : "I was now tired of being 
with them, our success being bad and having got no plunder."* Not a 
patriotic declaration, to be sure I He arrived home in the spring of 1814, 
and instead of settling down to peaceful pursuits, endeavoring to make 
slight amends for his unjustifiable warfare against the Americans, whose 
country he then occupied, he began a long and bloody series of diabolical 
raids, inciting others to do the same, until the remotest settlement mourned 
its dead. 

In after years, when conquered, instead of expressing any contrition 
for his acts, he invented for his autobic^aphy a sympathetic sort of story, 
but neither fact nor tradition comes to the rescue when it is analyzed. 
Black Hawk claimed that he had one friend bound closer to him than was 
usual, and in consideration of this unusual affinity he adopted the friend's 
only son. When departing to join the British, Black Hawk urged the 
father to send the son to the war. To this proposition the father protested 
his declining years, the favor with which the whites had always treated 

^Black Hawk fought at the Battle of Frenchtown, January 22, 1818, and participated 
in the massacre of the 23d wtfich followed. He was also at Ft. Meigs. April 28, 1813 ; 
Ft. Stephenson, July 31, and Anally the Battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813. 

Digitized by 



him, the need of the boy's assistance at home, and refused to allow him to 

Returning from the war, Black Hawk said, as he was approaching 
his village he saw a column of smoke curling over a hilltop near by, which 
so excited his curiosity that he visited the spot alone (fortunate intuition). 
There he found his old friend sitting in sorrow upon the ground. Being 
revived by some water, the old man related to Black Hawk the story 
of the murder of his son near Fort Madison, whither they had gone to pass 
the winter and hunt under permission of the commandant. The story 
continues that the young man started one day, as usual, for a day's hunting. 
At nightfall he had not returned and the father passed a sleepless night. 
The following morning the boy had not come back and the father sent the 
mother to rouse the neighborhood. /(Why was she not then present to 
minister to him?) Footsteps upon the snow soon brought the party to the 
spot where the boy was found to have shot and skinned a deer and hung 
it upon a branch. Here tracks indicated the presence of white men who 
had come upon and taken him prisoner. Following their trail, the body 
of the boy was soon found, the face shot, the body pierced with dagger 
thrusts and the scalp removed, while his arms had been pinioned at his 
sides. As the old man related this story, a great storm rose which lasted 
for a long time, as though the heavens were angered at the offense and 
threatening revenge. The old man died, and as the storm subsided Black 
Hawk wrapped his blanket around the body, and, kindling a fire, sat by it 
during the night. Were this story true, the act were too dastard to find 
any explanation, but, as already stated, neither contemporaneous history 
nor tradition from the many who love to tell such tales confirms this weird 
invention. On the contrary. Fort Madison had been fkially besieged by 
Indians during the preceding year (1813), the garrison starved to shadows, 
and only by stratagem were the officers and men enabled to escape, which 
was accomplished by digging a trench to the river, when, after firing the 
buildings, they descended the river in boats.' Therefore, if the winter 
just passed, which is the only inference deducible from Black Hawk's ac- 
count, was the winter referred to, the father and son got no permission 
from the commandant, because there was no fort remaining and no com- 
mandant, and, in view of the hostility of the Indians, no settlers remained 
about the locality, unprotected as they would have been. If by any jug- 
gling of dates the winter referred to had been the one of 'i2-'i3, the peace- 
ful Indians had by their own request been removed far to the southwest, 
the garrison had just gone through the first long siege before mentioned 
and only escaped butchery by the plot which the Indian maiden had 

None but hostile Indians were about the fort, and if the young man 
was unknown and killed as related, he was certainly considered an enemy. 

^PaltoQ, p. 70. The Annals of Iowa. 

Digitized by 



If known as the* adppted son of Black Hawk, then openly fighting the 
Americans, it was a fair presumption that he got no permission to hunt 
and was considered as taken red-handed. The community inside Fort 
Madison was in a serious mood those days and in no condition to receive 
Indians with rifles on advantageous terms. Black Hawk arrived at his 
village filled with indignation, as he has said. He was met by the chiefs 
and braves and conducted to the lodge prepared for him. After eating, he 
gave an account of himself and his travels, crediting the Americans with 
some valor and marksmanship. In turn, the village chief replied that with 
the absence of Black Hawk and his following, they would have been unable 
to defend themselves had the Americans attacked them. Not only had they 
been unmolested, but when Quash-qua-me, the Lance and other chiefs, 
with their old men, women and children, descended the Mississippi to St. 
Louis for protection, the Americans received them with every evidence of 
friendship, sent them up the Missouri River and there abundantly provided 
for them. 

Black Hawk found on his return that Keokuk, during his absence, 
had been made principal war chief of the Sac nation, which so enraged him 
that I am forced to believe his attack upcm that chief, which followed, was 
unwarranted, though he magnanimously concluded his philippic with the 
statement that he was satisfied. 

Keokuk, chief of the Sacs, who was above Black Hawk in civil affairs, 
had, from reasons of polity or preference, maintained close and constant 
relations of friendship with the Americans and had prospered in the esti- 
mation of the latter. His rising fortune created friction from the first, 
then envy and finally implacable hatred on the part of Black Hawk, who 
found himself unable to combat the influence of Keokuk, either overtly or 
covertly, by reason of his incapacity. Instead of meeting Keokuk on terms 
as nearly equal as his intellect would permit, he invariably grew angry, 
allowed his baser nature to master him, and left the scene vowing ven- 
geance on the victor. Had he been able to throw off his anger after a 
brief season, as many impulsive men can do, he might yet have accom- 
plished much, but a yellow streak in his nature forbade it, and, I honestly 
believe, impelled the man onward to ruinous decisions in spite of himself. 
His melancholy made him churlish and revengeful, and consequently dis- 
satisfied, unless punishing some real or imaginary wrong. 

British agents could not influence Keokuk, whose temper was natu- 
rally amiable and gentle, and, if one wishes to adopt Black Hawk's 
sarcasm, politic, too. He favored peace always. In a sense he was luxu- 
rious for an Indian, fond of pomp, and those attributes might in a measure 
have superinduced his love of peace ; but peaceful he was after the fire of 
youth had somewhat succumbed to the influence of the whites, and so he 
continued unto his dying day. His oratory was so perfect, his logic so 
convincing, his person so magnetic and his pleas so engaging, that poor 

Digitized by 



Black Hawk made a sorry figure against him, and, after a few attempts, 
dared never again appeal to the reason of his people against the invincible 
Keokuk.* As an orator, Keokuk had no equal among the red men, and the 
influence it acquired for him so rankled in the heart of Black Hawk that 
the latter could never overcome his hatred of Keokuk. Even down to the 
very last speech he ever made, at Fort Madison, he could not repress an 
unfortunate fling at his rival ; and too bad it was that he allowed his passion 
to sway him from a plain and simple talk upon past or present events. 
The words and sentiments of that little talk were truly beautiful and had 
reflected much credit had he resisted the temptation to speak ill of Keokuk. 
His life was then ebbing away, and had that offensive portion of his talk 
been omitted, very many of his evil acts could have been pardoned and 
forgotten. His melancholy and his temper were his undoing. 

^Tbeir final contest was in April, 1832. 

Digitized by 



Expedition of Governor Clark to Prairie du Chien — Lieutenant 
Campbell's Battle. 

During the absence of Black Hawk, in 1812 and 1813, Fort Madiscm 
fell and considerable trouble was encountered from Indians, but, whether 
Sacs or others,* the Sacs were never molested by the Americans. That 
the Sacs were unprepared to stand an attack was freely told him on his 
arrival, and Wash-e-own, who paid him a visit, was warm in his praises of 
American kindness, upon which Black Hawk scornfully commented : "I 
made no reply to these remarks, as the speaker was old and talked like a 

Such perverse assertions as this one, constantly recurring throughout 
his autobiography, are irritating to one who desires candor, and in the face 
of them it is difficult to deal justly in the premises without appearing 
almost savage. He constantly asserts that he never fought the Americans 
without being first attacked, yet who can say that the Americans had 
attacked or disturbed him up to this point ? And how had the Americans 
disturbed him after his arrival home in 1814? His village had never been 
molested, though on his account it might have been with good cause. He 
was still enjoying the use and occupation of it, but, notwithstanding that 
fact, he was no sooner back to it but he began an organized campaign of 
bloodshed on the frontier. Like the torch applied to the dried grass of 
the prairie, the Sacs and Winnebagoes, under him, spread their ravages 
in 1814. British agents again had material to work on, and their machina- 
tions produced results, as the journals of the day recite. 

Black Hawk stated that he, with thirty braves, immediately on his 
return in 1814, out of revenge for the murder of his supposed adopted son, 
descended the Mississippi, and that the battle of the "sink hole" followed. 
This would need to be early in 1814, whereas the fact is that the battle of 
the "sink hole" was fought nearly a year and a quarter after that time, 
and, what is more, after peace had been declared between the United 
States and Great Britain. Now if we cannot believe Black Hawk's asser- 

*The moment Black Hawk returned, the Sacs of his village became anusoally acUve In 
their depredations. 


Digitized by 



tion in that important matter, which is refuted by the record, then when 
can he be believed ? 

Indian depredations made necessary the rehabilitation of the fort at 
Prairie du Chien,* long since allowed to fall into a state of decay by the 
British, and, by reason of the need of troops further to the east, Dickson 
had removed the garrison to Green Bay. For the purpose of capturing 
and repairing it, Governor Qark of St. Louis prepared an expedition to 
ascend the river, which was duly chronicled in the prints of the day : 

"A military expedition, of about 200 men in five barges, under the command 
of Gov. Gark, left St Louis on the ist of May, for Prairie du Chien, supposedly 
with a view of building a fort there and making a station to keep in check the 
Sioux, Winnebagoes and Falsavoine, lately stirred up to hostility by the infamous 
British agent, Dickson. There have been several murders by them."" 

Another dispatch showing the success of the venture is as follows: 

"St Louis, June 18. — On Monday evening last a barge arrived here from 
Prairie du Chien, with Gov. Clark and a few gentlemen who accompanied him 
on his expedition to that place. We are very happy in being able to announce 
the fortunate result of that hazardous enterprise. 

"Nothing worthy of remark attended the flotilla from the time they left St. 
Louis imtil they reached Rock River. Such of the disaffected Sacs and Foxes as 
appeared on the approach of the boats were fired on ; some canoes were taken with 
the arms of the affrighted savages, who sued for peace on any terms. Peace was 
granted them on condition they would join against the enemies of the United States 
and immediately commence hostilities against the Winnebagoes. The Foxes, who 
lived above Rock River at Deboque's mines, were willing to come into the same 

"Twenty days before the arrival of the Governor at Prairie du Chien, Dickson 
left that place for Mackinaw with 85 Winnebagoes, 120 Falsavoine, and 100 Sioux, 
recruits for the British army on the lakes. He had information of the approach 
of Gov. Clark, and had charged Captain Deace, commanding a body of Mackinaw 
fencibles, with the defense of the place ; but Deace and his party ran off, the Sioux 
and Renards having refused to oppose the Americans. As soon as the troops 
landed at the town, notice was sent to the inhabitants (who had fled into the 
country) to return. All came back, but a few scoundrels who knew they deserved 
a halter. 

"Every attention was then directed to the erection of a temporary place calcu- 
lated for defense. Sixty rank and file of Major Taylor's company of the Seventh 
Regiment, under command of Lieutenant Perkins, took possession of the house 
formerly occupied by the old Mackinaw company, and a new fort was progressing 
on a most commanding spot, when the Governor left the Prairie. 

* * * 

"Two of the largest armed boats were left, under the command of Aid-de-Camp 
Kennedy and Captains Sullivan and Yeizer, whose united force amounted to 125 
dauntless young fellows from this county. The regulars, under the command of 
Lieutenant Perkins, are stationed on shore, and are assisted by the volunteers in 
the erection of the new fort. * * * "* 

'This was one of the posts the British solemnly stipulated hi the treaty of Paris to 
tnm over to the U. 8., bnt which fhey retained. 
«Nlle8 Register, Vol. 6, p. 242.— June 11, 1814. 
»Nlles Register, Vol. 6, p. 242.— June 11, 1814. 

Digitized by 



During this celebrated voyage Black Hawk and his British Sacs were 
busy to undo, at the first favorable moment, all the good work done by 
Governor Qark, as may be seen by an article which appeared in the 
Missouri Republican: 

"St. Louis, July i6. — Platoflf, the Hetman Cossack in the service of Russia, 
offered 100,000 ducats and his daughter to any person who would assassinate 
Bonaparte. Alexander discountenanced the affair as infamous and dishonorable. 
How will the English Government and their agent, Robert Dickson' (a native of 
Scotland), appear to the world when it is announced that he suborned a Sac 
warrior to assassinate Governor Clark while in council at Prairie du Chien? The 
affair rests on the testimony of the Indians; the fellow left Rock Island for the 
diabolical purpose, was admitted to the council, but found the Americans armed 
at every point and all possibility of escape cut off ; he therefore prudently declined 
the attempt A gentleman who was at the Prairie and in the council informs us 
that this Indian rose and occupied the attention of the assembly with a harangue 
of trifling import; that his eyes were fixed on the Governor as if riveted to the 
object. At that moment the Governor shifted his sword from an unhandy position 
to one across his knees, when the savage retired to his seat. * * * '* * 

It may be of interest, though not connected with Black Hawk, to note 
here that one very strong reason for the subsequent surrender of the fort 
was the decimation of its garrison : 

**St. Louis, July 2. — On Sunday last, an armed boat arrived from Prairie du 
Chien, under the command of Capt. John Sullivan, with his company of militia 
and 32 men from the gunboat Governor Clark, their time of service (60 days) hav- 
ing expired. Captain Yeizer, who commands on board the Governor Clark, off 
Prairie du Chien, reports that his vessel is completely manned, that the fort is 
finished, christened Fort Selby, and occupied by the regfulars. * * *"» 

But Fort Selby could not spare the withdrawal of the militia men- 
tioned, and on July 21, 1814, the fort surrendered to Colonel McKay after 
a four days' siege. 

Weakened as the garrison was by the withdrawal of the militia, 
General Howard, on his return from Kentucky, advised that immediate 
steps be taken to reinforce it. He quickly perceived the danger from an 
attack and the inability of the small force to defend the post, and he as 
quickly brought into the field a relief expedition. 

Following is the best account extant upon the subject, repeated 
verbatim : 

From the Missouri Gazette, July 30, 1814. 


"As soon as Gov. Qark returned from his successful expedition to Prairie 
du Chien, it was thought proper by Brigadier-General Howard, commanding in 
this district (who had in the interim returned to this place from Kentucky), to 

^History generally records Dickson at a trader of good parts and not so savage as 
pictured daring this war. 

>Nlles Register, Vol. 6, p. 426.— Aug. 20, 1814. 
•NUes Register, Vol. 6, p. 390.— Aug. 6, 1814. 

Digitized by 



send a force to relieve the volunteers, and preserve the acquisition so important 
to the welfare of our country. For this purpose, Lieut. John Campbell of the 
iirst regulars, acting as brigade major, was entrusted with the command of 42 
regrulars and 65 rangers, in three keel boats, the contractor's and sutler's boats in 
company. The whole party, including boatmen and women, amounting to about 
133, reached Rock River, within 180 or 200 riiiles of the Prairie, without any 
accident. As soon as they entered the rapids they were visited by hundreds of 
Sacs and Foxes, some of the latter bearing letters from the garrison above to 
St. Louis. The oflScers, being unacquainted with Indian manners, imagined the 
savages to be friendly; to this fatal security may be attributed the catastrophe 
which followed. It appears that the contractor's and sutler's boat had arrived 
near the head of the rapids and proceeded on, having on board the ammunition, 
with a sergeant's guard; the rangers, in two barges, followed, and had proceeded 
two miles in advance of the commander's barge; the latter inclined to the east 
side in search of the main channel, and being now on a lee shore, proceeded with 
much difficulty, and as the gale increased were drifted into shoal water within a 
few yards of a high bank covered with grass, waist high ; a few steps from the bow 
and stem an umbrage of willows set out from shore. 

"In this position the commanding officer thought proper to remain until the 
wind abated; sentries were placed at proper intervals, and the men were occupied 
in cooking, when the report of several g\ms announced an attack. At the first fire 
all the sentries were killed, and before those on shore could reach the barge, 10 or 
15 out of 30 were killed and wounded. At this time the force and intentions 
of the Indians were fully developed. On each shore the savages were observed 
in quick motion ; some in canoes crossing to the battleground ; others were observed 
running from above and below to the scene of attack; in a few minutes from five 
to seven hundred were assembled on the bank and among the willows within a few 
yards of the bow and stem of the barge; the Indians gave the whoop, and com- 
menced a tremendous fire; the brave men in the barge cheered, and retumed the 
fire from a swivel and small arms. At this critical juncture, Lieuts. Riggs and 
Rector of the rangers, who commanded the two barges ahead, did not hear the 
guns, but saw the smoke, and, concluding an attack was made, dropped down. 
Riggs' boat stranded about 100 yards below Campbell's, and Rector, to avoid a 
like misfortune and preserve himself from a raking fire, anchored above; both 
barges opened a brisk fire on the Indians, but as the enemy fired from coverts, it 
is thought little execution was done. 

"About one hour was spent in this unequal contest, when Campbell's barge 
was discovered on fire, to relieve which Rector cut his cable and fell to windward 
of him, and took out the survivors. Finding he could not assist Riggs, having 
a number of wounded on board, and in danger of running on a lee shore, he made 
the best of his way to this place, where he arrived on Sunday evening last. 

Killed and Wounded. 

"There were 3 regulars killed and 14 wounded ; 2 died on their passage to this 
place; i ranger killed and 4 wounded on board Lieut. Rector's barge. Brig.- 
Maj. Campbell and Dr. Stewart are severely wounded. Two women and a child 
were severely wounded — one of the women and the child are since dead. Just 
as we had finished detailing the above unfortunate affair, we received the glad tidings 
of the arrival of Lieut. Riggs at Cap au Gray; he lost 3 men killed and 4 
wounded. Would to Heaven we could account for the remaining 2 barges. 

Digitized by 




**As we were preparing the foregoing for press, gunboat Gov. Qark, com- 
manded by Capt. Yeizer, arrived here, in nine days from Prairie du Chien, with 
the contractor's and sutler's barges, which were fortunately relieved at the moment 
the Indians were about to board them. From the oflScers of the Gov. Clark we 
have received the following very important news from the Prairie: On the 17th 
inst. the long-expected British force appeared in view. Marching from the Ouiscon- 
sing toward the village, the line of the regular troops, militia and Indians extended 
about 2 miles, with 24 flags flying. A British officer arrived at the fort, demand- 
ing its surrender. Lieut Perkins returned for an answer that he was able and 
prepared to defend the post entrusted to his charge. Before the return of the 
flag, the British commenced a fire upon the Gov. Clark from a small battery of 
I or 2 three-pounders, which was immediately answered from a six-pounder from 
the boat. Soon after firing commenced, a large body of Indians and white troops 
crossed to the island which fronts the village, and enabled them to fire on the 
boat at pistol-shot distance, and screen themselves behind trees from the grape 
which incessantly poured from the boat. In this manner the contest continued 
for two hours, until the gunboat received several shot between wind and water, 
when it was concluded to move down the river; by this movement down the 
narrow channel they had to run the gauntlet through a line of musketry nearly 
. nine miles. On approaching the rapids, Capt. Yeizer sent his skiflF with nine men 
down to.reconnoiter, who discovered Riggs' boat engaged with the Indians and 
Campbeirs barge on fire. These appearances induced the boat's crew to return, and 
tfie Indians to call to them to come on shore, raising to their view the English 
flag, believing them to be Mackinaw voyageurs. Before dispatching the recon- 
noitering boat, the Gov. Clark joined the contractor's and sutler's boats. Those 
on board were ignorant of the fate of the boats below, and would, within half 
an hour, have been in the power of the savages, if they had not thus been provi- 
dentially snatched from destruction. 

"Seven were wounded on board the Gov. Clark, namely, Lieut. Henderson 
and Ensign St. Pierre, severely. Five privates were wounded ; one died on the way 
down the day after his leg was amputated. 

"Every account of the attack on Campbell's detachment reflects highest en- 
comium on the skill and undaunted bravery of Lieuts. Rector and Riggs of the 
rangers. The former, after a contest of two hours and twenty minutes, withdrew 
to a favorable position, which enabled him to save the few regrular troops as well 
from the flames which surrounded tljem as the fury of the savages. The high 
wind which then prevailed, and the loss of his anchors, prevented his rendering 
a like assistance to Lieut. Riggs. The latter, though stranded and in a hopeless 
situation, kept up an incessant fire on the Indians, and by a ruse de guerre 
afforded his party an opportunity of making the savages feel some of the conse- 
quences of their perfidy. He ordered his men to cease firing for about ten minutes, 
and at the same time ordered howitzers to be well loaded with grape, and the 
small arms to be in readiness. The Indians, believing the rangers to be all 
killed, or that they had surrendered, rushed down the bank to extinguish the fire 
on board Lieut. Campbell's barge and to board Riggs*. Our hero then opened 
upon them a well-directed fire, which drove them in all directions, leaving several 
of their dead behind." 

When Campbell reached Rock River he called upon Black Hawk with 
a handful of men as an escort — so ridiculously small that Black Hawk re- 
peatedly stated he could have captured and put them all to death with little 

Digitized by 



or no effort. Campbell made the Indians presents, and in return received 
from Black Hawk a solemn promise that no effort to assist the British or 
disturb him in his ascent would be made by the Indians, but during the 
night some powder arrived from the British, who had in the meantime 
driven the Americans from Fort Selby, and sent it to Black Hawk with in- 
structions to use the same in case any Americans attempted to pass his 
village to succor the garrison at Prairie du Chien. 

Black Hawk had a very facetious way of putting that request into 
his biography. He stated on page 56 that Campbell and his aids, after 
holding a council with him, remained all day, and then after receiving 
word during the night (along with the powder), that Prairie du Chien 
had fallen, and that the British wished him to join them again : "I imme- 
diately started with my party by land in pursuit, thinking that some of 
their boats might get aground, or that the Great Spirit would put them in 
our power if he wished them taken and their people killed." 

It is astonishing to note how frequently he confused the behests of the 
British with those supposed to emanate from the Great Spirit ! 

While the men were helplessly floundering in the mud to extricate 
their boat, which had run aground, Black Hawk was pouring a murder- 
ous fire into their exposed ranks, and that, too, after promising the day 
previous to be friendly. To reduce the hapless wretches still more, fire 
was thrown by arrows into the sails, and the boat, likely to be consumed, 
was abandoned ; then the Ii;idians plunged into the water and drew it ashore. 
At this stage Black Hawk virtuously knocked in the heads of all the kegs 
of whisky which he found in the hold, yet when he retired down the river 
to the Fox village, opposite the mouth of Rock River, he hoisted the 
British flag and when, immediately after, the British came along with 
a keg of rum. Black Hawk and his band had a great feast and dance,^ end- 
ing the scene in a protracted and hilarious spree. A refinement of the 
ethics of liquor-drinking quite abstruse — ^this difference between whisky 
and rum ! 

Those Britirfi brought the Indians a gun which was used on the 
defenseless Americans under Zachary Taylor a little later as Black Hawk 
stated : "We were pleased to see that almost every shot took effect.^' 

>Hi8 autobiography. 

Digitized by 



Major Taylor's Battle — ^Battle of the Sink Hole— Various 
Murders — ^Biritish Agents Withdrawn from Rock River 

Disturbances by the Sacs now followed so frequently that Major 
Zachary Taylor, with a detachment of troops, was sent against that one 
disturbing and bandit element of Indian population located near the mouth 
of Rock River, Black Hawk's village. 

Black Hawk attacked and repulsed Major Taylor in a manner which 
made the pulse of every settler throb with fear for the safety of his family. 
He had, without the least provocation, been constantly and successfully 
engaged in warfare the most stubborn and unrelenting, and backed by his 
British friends, the safety of the country, after Taylor's defeat, hung in 
the balance. Major Taylor's report, a temperate and dignified document, 
is as follows : 

"Sir: — ^In obedience to your orders, I left Fort Independence on the 2d ult. 
and reached Rock River, our place of destination, on the evening of the 4th inst., 
without meeting a single Indian or any occurrence worthy of relation. 

"On my arrival at the mouth of Rock River, the Indians began to make their 
appearance in considerable numbers ; running up the Mississippi to the upper village 
and crossing the river below us. After passing Rock River, which is very small 
at the mouth, from an attentive and careful examination, as I proceeded up the 
Mississippi, I was confident it was impossible for us to enter its mouth with our 
large boats. Immediately opposite its mouth a large island commences, which, 
together with the western shore of the Mississippi, was covered with a considerable 
number of horses, which were doubtless placed in those situations in order to 
draw small detachments on shore; but in this they were disappointed, and I deter- 
mined to alter the plan which you had suggested, which was to pass the different 
villages as if the object of the expedition was Prairie du Chien, for several 
reasons. First, that I might have an opportunity of viewing the situation of the 
ground to enable me to select such a landing as would bring our artillery to bear 
on the villages with the greatest advantage. I was likewise in hopes a party would 
s^proach us with a flag, from which I expected to learn the situation of affairs at 
the Prairie, and ascertain in some measure their numbers and perhaps bring them 
to a council, when I should have been able to have retaliated on them for their 
repeated acts of treachery ; or, if they were determined to attack us, I was in hopes 
to draw them some distance from their towns towards the rapids, run down in 


Digitized by 



the night and destroy them before they could return to their defense. But in this 
1 was disappointed. The wind, which had been in our favor, began to shift about 
at the time we passed the mouth of Rock River, and by the time we reached the 
head of the island, which is about a mile and a half long, it blew a perfect hurricane, 
quarterly down the river, and it was with great diflSculty we made land at a small 
island, containing six or eight acres, covered with willows, near the middle of the 
river, and about sixty yards from the upper end of the island. In this situation I 
determined to remain during the night if the storm continued, as I knew the 
anchors of several of the boats in that event would not hold them, and there was 
a great probability of their being drifted on sandbars, of which the river is full 
in this place, which would have exposed the men very much in getting them off, 
even if they could have prevented their filling with water. 

"It was about 4 o'clock in the evening when we were compelled to land, and 
large parties of Indians were on each side of the river, as well as crossing in 
different directions in canoes ; but not a gun was fired from either side. The wind 
continued to blow the whole night with violence, accompanied with some rain, 
which induced me to order the sentinels to be brought in and placed in the bow 
of each boat. About daylight, Capt Whiteside's boat was fired on at the distance 
of about fifteen paces, and a corporal, who was on the outside of the boat, was 
mortally wounded. My orders were, if a boat was fired on, to return it; but not 
a man to leave the boat without positive orders from myself. So soon as it got 
perfectly light, as the enemy continued about the boat, I determined to drive them 
from the island, let their numbers be what they might, provided we were able 
to do so. I then assigned each boat a proper guard, formed the troops for action 
and pushed through the willows to the opposite shore; but those fellows who had 
the boldness to fire on the boats cleared themselves as soon as the troops were 
formed by wading from the island we were encamped on to the one just below us. 
Capt. Whiteside, who was on the left, was able to gfive them a warm fire as they 
reached the island they had retreated to. They returned the fire for a few mo- 
ments, when they retreated. In this affair we had two men badly wounded. When 
Capt. Whiteside commenced the fire, I ordered Capt. Rector to drop down with his 
boat to ground and to rake the island below with artillery, and to fire on every canoe 
he should discover passing from one shore to the other which should come within 
reach. In this situation he remained about one hour, and no Indians making 
their appearance, he determined to drop down the island about sixty yards and 
destroy several canoes that were laying to shore. This he effected, and just on 
setting his men on board, the British commenced a fire on our boats with a six, 
a four and two swivels, from behind a knoll that completely covered them. The 
boats were entirely exposed to the artillery, which was distant three hundred and 
fifty paces from ns. So soon as the first gun fired, I ordered a six-pounder to 
be brought out and placed, but, on recollecting a moment, I found the boat would 
be sunk before any impression could be made on them by our cannon, as they 
were completely under cover, and had already brought their g^uns to bear on our 
boats, for the round shot from their six passed through Lieut. Hempstead's 
boat and shattered her considerably. I then ordered the boats to drop down, 
which was done in order, and conducted with the greatest coolness by every 
officer, although exposed to a constant fire from their artillery for more than 
half a mile. 

"So soon as they commenced firing from their artillery, the Indians raised 
a yell and commenced firing on us from every direction, whether they were able 
to do us any damage or not. From each side of the river, Capt. Rector, who 
was laying to the shore of the island, was attacked the instant the first gun was 
fired, by a very large party, and in a close and well contested action of about fifteen 

Digitized by 



minutes, they drove them, after giving three rounds of grape from his three- 

"Capt. Whiteside, who was nearest to Capt. Rector, dropped down and anchored 
nigh him, and gave the enemy several fires with his swivel; but the wind was so 
hard down stream as to drift his anchor. Capt Rector at that moment got his 
boat off, and we were then exposed to the fire of the Indians for two miles, which 
we returned with interest from our small arms and small pieces of artillery when- 
ever we could get them to bear. I was compelled to drop down about three miles " 
before a proper place presented itself for landing, as but few of the boats had 
anchors sufficient to stop them in the river. Here I halted for the purpose of 
having the wounded attended and some of the boats repaired, as some of them had 
been injured by the enemy's artillery. They followed us in their boats until we 
halted on a small prairie and prepared for action, when they returned in as great 
a hurry as they followed us. 

"I then collected the officers together and put the following question to them: 
*Are we able, 334 effective men, officers, non-commissioned officers and privates, to 
fight the enemy with any prospect of success and effect, which is to destroy their 
villages and com?' They were of opinion the enemy was at least three men to 
one, and that it was not practicable to effect either object. I then determined to 
drop down the river to the Lemoine without delay, as some of the ranging officers 
informed me their men were short of. provisions, and execute the principal object 
of the expedition, in erecting a fort to command the river. This shall be effected 
as soon as practicable with the means in my power, and should the enemy attempt 
to descend the river in 'force before the fort can be completed, every foot of the 
way from the fort to the settlements shall be contested. 

"In the affair at Rock River, I had eleven men badly wounded, three rtiortally, 
of whom one has since died. I am much indebted to the officers for their prompt 
obedience to orders, nor do I believe a braver set of men could have been col- 
lected than those who compose this detachment. But, sir, I conceive it would 
have been madness in me, as well as a direct violation of my orders, to have risked 
the detachment without a prospect of success. I believe I should have been fully 
able to have accomplished your views if the enemy had not been supplied with 
artillery and so advantageously posted as to render it impossible for us to have 
dislodged him without imminent danger of the loss of the whole detachment. 

"I am, sir, yours, etc, 

'^ , "Za. Taylor, Brev. Maj\, 

"Com, Detachment/'^ 

Emboldened by his successes, Black Hawk continued his warfare, and 
in the murder of inoffensive settlers there was no abatement. Through 
the year 1814 they continued, and notwithstanding the treaty made between 
the two nations, we find the English agents and Black Hawk still pursuing 
their depredations in the spring of 181 5. 

"Traitors. — The undernamed gentry were residents within tl^is and the neigh- 
boring territories previous to the war, and always claimed the rights of citizens of 
the United States ; but as soon as war was declared they, to a man, took part against 
us, and were active agents in the British interest in different parts of the Indian 
country : 

"Robert Dickson, James Aird, Duncan Graham. Francois Boutillier, Edward 
La Gouthrie, Brishois, of the Prairie du Chien, Jacob Franks, the brothers Grigneaus 

»Copy of letter to Gen. Howard, Nlles Eeg., Sap. to Vol. 7, p. 137. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 


Digitized by 



of Gspactt Bay, Joseph La Croix and Lassaillier of Milwaukee, Joseph Bailly and 
his cousin B'arrott of St. Josephs, Mitchell La Croix, Louis Buisson, Louis Benett, 
formerly of Peoria. 

"It is ascertained that in the unsuccessful attack made by the unfortunate 
Lieut M'Nair,' four men were killed. M'Nair was wounded and taken prisoner 
and conveyed two days on his march to Rock River; but, being unable to travel, 
was tomahawked. A man taken up from the river at Carondelet a few days ago 
was recognized to be one of the four missing of the name of Best 

"By late news from Rock River, we learn that the Kickapoos have abandoned 
the British and demanded peace, agreeably to the treaty. It is further said that 
the Sacs, Winnebagoes and Fallsavoine are determined to prosecute the war."* 

Here, long after the treaty of Ghent, signed December 24th, 1814, 
Black Hawk formulated and made his dastard attack on Fort Howard, 
known as the "sink hole affair." Note how puerile, yea, preposterous, 
his adopted son fiction appears in the light of contemporaneous reports 
and his continued war upon the Americans! This affair, unprovoked 
and mean, occurred in May, 1815, and I take the liberty to copy the account 
of it as published immediately after its occurrence. 

"St. Louis, May 20 (1815). — Every day affords a new proof that the Rock 
River Sacks intend to continue the war. They have been notified of the pacification 
by the military commander of this district, as well as by Governors Qark and 
Edwards; yet they still continue their war parties on the frontiers of St Charles, 
and murder all those who are so unfortunate as to come within their reach. 

"On Wednesday, the loth inst., at Cap aux Gre, a party of rangers were de- 
tached to procure wood. Whilst proceeding on this duty, a man by the name of 
Bernard, who was in advance of the squad, was fired on and mortally wounded. 
Lieut Massey, with a reinforcement from the fort, attacked the Indians, and, after 
a rapid exchange of several shot, the savages precipitately retreated. 

"On the Friday following, a young man, an inhabitant of Portage des Sioux, 
was pursued by four Indians. He was returning from the village of St Charles 
on horseback, and had reached the Portage fields, when hf discovered the Indians 
in full speed after him. Being well mounted, he escaped. 

"An express arrived here on Wednesday last from Capt. Musick of the rangers 
stationed near Cuivre, informing him that a number of the rangers* horses are 
stolen by the Indians, who are becoming very troublesome. The extraordinary 
rise of the waters of the Mississippi, overflowing its banks in many places, and 
filling up the lakes and rivulets in the neighborhood, enables the Indians to attack 
and to baflfle pursuit." 

Extract of a letter from Lieut Drakeford, of the United States 
Rangers, to Col. Russell, dated Fort Howard, May 25, 181 5. 

"Sir: — Yesterday, about 12 o'clock, five of our men went to some cabins on 
the bluff, about one-quarter of a mile below the fort, to bring a g^ndstone. The 
backwater of the Mississippi rendered it so that they went in a canoe. On their 
return they were attacked by. a party of Indians, supposed to be about fifty in 
number. They killed and tomahawked three and wounded one mortally. While 
about this mischief, we gave them as good a fire from a little below the fort as 

»NIle8 Reg., Vol. 8. p. 311.— June 10, 1815. 

Digitized by 



the breadth of the breakwater would permit of. Captain Craig and myself, with 
about forty men, waded across the water and pursued them. In going about half 
a mile we came on them and commenced a fire, which continued about one hour, 
part of which time at a distance of about forty steps, and no part of the 
time further than one hundred and fifty steps. Shortly after the commencement 
of the battle, we were reinforced by Capt. Musick and twenty of his men. The 
enemy now ran; some made their escape, and others made to a sinkhole that is 
in the battleground, and from there they returned a most rapid fire. It being very 
dangerous to approach nearer than fifty steps of the sink, we at length erected a 
breastwork on the two wheels of a wagon, and resolved on moving it up to the 
edge of the sink to fire from behind, down into the sink, and preserve us from theirs. 

"We got the moving battery finished about sunset and moved it up with a 
sufficient number of men behind it, whilst all other posts round were sufficiently 
guarded in case they should be put to the rout. 

"We had not moved to within less than ten steps of the sink before they com- , 
menced a fire from the sink, which we returned at every opportunity and all possi- 
ble advantages. Night came on and we were obliged to leave the ground and 
decline the expectation of taking them out without risking man for man, which .• 
we thought not a good exchange on our side. During the time of the battle, an- 
other party of Indians commenced a brisk fire on the fort. Captain Craig* was 
killed in the commencement of the battle; Lieutenant Edward Spears at the mov- 
ing of the breastwork to the sink. The morning of the 25th we returned to the 
ground and found five. Indians killed and the sign of a great many wounded that 
had been taken off in the night. The aggregate number of killed on our part 
is one captain, one third lieutenant; five privates killed, three wounded, one miss- 
ing; one citizen killed and two wounded mortally."' 

Concerning the same affair, Captain David Musick, of the St. Louis 
county rangers, in a letter or report to Col. William Russell, commander of 
that district, dated Lower Cuivre Ferry, May 25, 1815, had this to say: 

"About II o'clock yesterday we were alarmed hy the firing of guns in the 
direction of Fort Howard, and immediately mounted such horses as were within 
reach and proceeded in full speed to the assistance of Captain Craig, whom we 
found closely engaged with the Indians and pretty equally matched with respect 
to number. 

"Having arrived in good season, just on the rear of the Indians, who im- 
mediately broke and ran, a part of them retreated into a sinkhole and baffled " 
every art to get them out, as they had a better chance to kill than be killed," * 

To which battle a Mr. Archambeau added the finishing touches : 

"St Louis, Missouri, June 3. — The Indians must have suffered considerably* 
in their late attack on the rangers near Fort Howard. Two more dead Indians 
have been discovered some distance from the battleground, and a vast quantity of 
blood marked their retreat to thei;- canoes. Indeed, I think the rangers behaved 
extremely well in this affair; only their ardor to get at the enemy exposed them- 
too much, which was the cause of our loss. Craig and Spears would have done 
better in combat with regular troops; they evinced such a contempt of danger' 

>Black Hawk claimed the credit of being in the sink and also of killing Capt Cralc, 
•the leader," which, of course, could not be true. 
»Nll€« Reg.. Vol. 8, p. 311.— July 1; 1815. 
•Nlles Reg., Vol. 8. p. 812.— July 1, 1816. 

Digitized by 



and death that they despised the devious mode of Indian warfare. I am in- 
formed Lieutenant Spear's family are by no means opulent His widow 
should receive his pay without delay. I am informed from good authority that 
the Indians of Rock River have declared they are willing to bury the tomahawk 
if their friends, the English, will only say the word. The last war parties sent 
to our frontiers were mustered by the British and sent to murder our women and 
children since they received an official account of the ratification of the late treaty. 
The bulk of the Kickapoo nation have separated from the hostile bands, and I am 
at a loss to imagine how the redoubtable Duncan Graham can subsist so many 
of his Majesty's allies at this time. The village at Rock River and the straggling 
camps on this side, above and below the Lemoine, must amount to 1,200 or 1,500 
warriors — Sacks, Foxes, loways, Winnebagoes and Fallsavoins." ' 

The most atrocious of his murders may be found in the following : 

"The house of Mr. Robert Ramsay of St. Charles County, Missouri Territory, 
about 50 miles from St. Louis, was recently attacked by the British allies. Three 
of his children were horribly butchered, his wife so mangled as to leave no hope 
of her recovery, and he himself dangerously wounded. Hard the necessity that 
may compel the extermination of these miserable beings excited to murder by the 
nation that has been impudently called the ^bulwark of religion.* We trust de- 
cisive measures will be taken to gfive security to our frontiers. It is probable that, 
as in 1794, many Englishmen are among the savages, exciting them to these horrid 
deeds. If any such are found, they ought to be capitally punished on the spot 
without mercy."" 

In a later communication, this same revolting crime is more particu- 
larly related : 

"A letter received at St. Louis, Missouri, has the paragraphs below. Why 
does British influence lead the deluded savages to extermination? Ih the South 
as well as the West, it appears that the war in which the Indians were involved 
op British account is not yet closed. Is the alliance to be dissolved only by the 
destruction of one of the parties? What murders has the 'bulwark of religion* 
to account for! Merciless Englishmen, let the wretched Indians have peace! 

"You have no doubt heard of the butchery of Robert Ramsey and his family 
by the savages. 

"Mrs. Ramsey was attending the milking of her cow and their pretty little 
children were amusing themselves feeding the poultry and assisting their mother. 
Mr. Ramsey, who, you know, has but one leg, was near his wife at the moment 
the first shot was fired. He saw his wife fall and proceeded to lead her into the 
House; but as he reached the door he received a wound which prevented him 
going to the relief of his children, who were caught by the Indians and cut to 
pieces in the yard. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are dead; both were shot through the 
abdomen. Mrs. R. was far advanced in pregnancy.*** 

Matters in the West had assumed such a tragic phase that heroic meas- 
ures were projected at the seat of government, and Gen. Jackson was given 
command of the military district which embraced the seat of hostilities. 

>NIle8. Vol. 8, p. 812.— July 1, 1815. - ' 

•Nlles, Vol. 8. p. 271.— Jijne 17. 1815. » 

•Nlles. Vol. 8. p. 848.— July 15, 1815. 

Digitize'd by 



He at once assigned Brig.-Gen. Smith to command the post at Prairie du 
Chien and Gen. Scott to the command of military districts 8 and 9, being 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri, while Jackson himself was 
placed under orders to conduct a western campaign. Col. Miller with 
500 men was encamped at Portage des Sioux and the regiment of riflemen 
under Lieut.-Col. Hamilton was directed by Jackson to immediately organ- 
ize and march to Prairie du Chien. The fact that Jackson was to settle 
with Black Hawk and his braves at once stimulated the people with new 
hope, as will be seen by the following : 

"It is determined to scourge the allies of our late enemy in the Missouri Ter- 
ritory, etc, into a respect for the lives and property of attr frontier fellow citizens. 
Their depredations are constant and distressing. The commissioners to settle a 
peace with them have effected nothing. The deputations from most of the tribes 
were 'insufficient,' and from those most desirable to have met there were no 
representatives at all. The detail of proceedings is interesting and shall be pre- 
served; but at present the flood of news from France bears down everything. 
It appears that General Jackson will open a new negotiation with them upon the 
*Iast resort of reason.' We understand he will soon proceed from Nashville to 
St. Louis, where a handsome body of reg^ulars will be collected, and that he will 
be accompanied by a militia force from Kentucky and Tennessee. In obedience 
to his request, Governor Clark of the Missouri Territory has, in genral orders, di- 
rected the militia of that state to hold itself in readiness to march at a moment's 
notice; and we have every prospect that British influence among the northern will 
receive the same reward that befell it among the southern Indians. It must be 
eradicated." * 

Doubtless British influence recollected a little adventure with Jackson 
the preceding 8th of January, for immediately the expedition by him was 
to become a reality, overtures for peace were made and commissioners 
to make a treaty were substituted for the person of Jackson, as will be 
seen by the following from the Missouri Grazette of June 17th, 181 5. 

The following letters were received by Governor Qark on Wednes- 
day last: 

"It appears that Messrs. Turcot and Lagoterie (who were employed by the 
commissioners to proceed to Rock River and announce to the Indians the object 
of the treaty to be held at Portage des Sioux) were fortunate in reaching Little 
Mascoutille, some distance below their place of destination, without any accident. 
At this place they met with a party of Fox Indians, bearing letters from the 
British commandant of Prairie du Chien to Governor Clark, who informed them 
of the departure of Captain Duncan Graham, deputy scalping master general, from 
Rock River, after bestowing on his worthy comrades, the Sacks, 10 barrels of 
gunpowder and 20 fuses as a reward for their services in butchering the helpless 
women and children on the frontiers. 

"As usual, the Sacks received the news of peace with 'unbounded joy/ and 
even sent a British flag to protect our messengers on their return. They acknowl- 
edged they had 200 warriors on the frontiers, but could not tell the number of 

iNllea, Vol. 8. p. 436.— Aug. 19. 1815. 

Digitized by 



their killed and wounded. They said they would attend the treaty and bury the 

A ^treaty of peace was finally in sight — ^the treaty of Portage des 
Sioux I And now up to this time, it must be owned by the impartial mind 
that rather than receiving any wrong from the Americans, Black Hawk, 
without any provocation and contrary to his promises, had waged a merci- 
less war on the feeble settlements simply because he hated the Americans 
— ^the enemy of his friends, the British. Drake, to condone those atroci- 
ties, has stated on page 90 of his "Life of Black Hawk:" "Some pallia- 
tion for these outrages may be found in the fact that the British on the 
northwest frontier, long after they were officially notified of the peace, 
continued to excite the Indians to acts of violence against the United 
States, and, indeed, participated in them likewise." This statement, from 
a man snugly ensconced in an upholstered chair, must be regarded as mag- 
nanimous ! We have found here Black Hawk the cdd-bkxxled aggressor 
and murderer, and when he subsequently stated that the treaty signed by 
him in 1816 was not made known to him, can he be believed? Armstrong, 
another apologist for the "poor Indian," stated that Black Hawk was a 
truthful Indian, though he "withheld facts that were material."* The 
frightful plight of the settlers can never be realized by the present gener- 
ation ; neither can the actions of the British be justly comprehended in the 
face of present amity. Plotting destruction. Black Hawk was invariably 
found to the front, and while successful, he found no fault with the defense 
of the Americans. That remained for the time when he felt the heel of 
the conqueror, resenting his years of blood-shedding. Where one man is 
invariably the offender, it is safe to pronounce him an incorrigible quar- 
reler. Black Hawk was this and more — 'he was a British mercenary. 

*A1] these Indian trooSIes dated from Black Hawk's return, it most be noted. Prior 
to It. no record Is to be found of hostile Sacs. 
^Armstrong's, **The Sanks, etc./' p. 126. 

Digitized by 


Treaty of Portage des Sioux, 1815 — Treaty of St. Louis, 1816. 

At the close of hostilities with England, a quietus to the horrors of 
Black Hawk's raids was demanded. The treaty with that power pro- 
vided for it. As shown in the preceding pages, all efforts had failed to get 
the Indians together for that purpose until it was learned that Jackson was 
on their trail. Then Duncan Graham fled from Rock River and the 
Indians generally became suddenly impatient at the delay of the few days 
necessary for notifications to meet the commissioners, William Clark, 
Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, at Portage des Sioux, the place 
designated for treaty negotiations. Promptly on the day, all the principal 
Sacs and Foxes met and participated in this council save Black Hawk 
and a few of his immediate followers. This Indian, dissatisfied, sullen, 
malignant, declined to participate, and, lurking in the woods near by, where 
he might spy upon his neighbors, sulked, claiming to be an English citizen 
and subject, and notwithstanding the peremptory nature of the provision in 
the treaty of Ghent for just such a council as the present, he neither 
appeared in council nor signed the treaty which followed. 

Separate treaties were made, one with the Sacs and another with the 
Foxes. That with the Sacs was signed on the 13th day of September, 
1815, and that with the Foxes the following day, and to forever silence all 
objection and cavil to the treaty of 1804, an article was inserted in each 
emphasizing and expressly ratifying it. 

That with the Sacs was as follows : 

"A Treaty of Peace and Friendship, made and concluded between William 
Clark, Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, Commissioners Plenipotentiary of 
the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said States, of the 
one part; and the undersigned Chiefs and Warriors of that portion of the Sac 
Nation of Indians now residing on the Missouri River, of the other part: 

"Whereas, The undersigned, chiefs and warriors, as well as that portion of 
the nation which they represent, have at all times been desirous of fulfilling their 
treaty with the United States, with perfect faith ; and for that purpose found them- 
selves compelled, since the commencement of the late war, to separate themselves 
from the rest of their nation, and remove to the Missouri River, where they have 
continued to gfive proofs of their friendship and fidelity; and, 


Digitized by 



"Whereas, The United States, justly appreciating the conduct of said Indians, 
arc disposed to do them the most ample justice that is practicable; the said parties 
have agreed to the following articles: 

"Article i. The undersigned chiefs and warriors, for themselves and that 
portion of the Sacs which they represent, do hereby assent to the treaty between 
the United States of America and the united tribes of Sacs and Foxes, which was 
concluded at St Louis, on the third day of November, one thousand eight hundred 
and four; and they, moreover, promise to do all in their power to re-establish and 
enforce the same. 

"Art 2. The said chiefs' and warriors, for themselves and those they represent, 
do further promise to remain distinct and separate from the Sacs of Rock River, 
giving them no aid or assistance whatever, until peace shall also be concluded 
between the United States and the said Sacs of Rock River. 

"Art 3. The United States, on their part, promise to allow the said Sacs of 
the Missouri River all the rights and privileges secured to them by the treaty of 
St Louis, before mentioned, and, also, as soon as practicable, to furnish them with 
a just proportion of the annuities stipulated to be paid by that treaty; provided 
they shall continue to comply with this and their former treaty. 

"In witness whereof, the said William Clark, Ninian Edwards and Auguste 
Chouteau, Commissioners, as aforesaid, and the aforesaid Chiefs and Warriors, have 
hereunto subscribed their names and affixed their seals, this thirteenth day of 
September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and of 
the Independence of the United States the fortieth. 

Wm. Clark. 
^ Ninian Edwards. 

Auguste Chouteau. 
Shamaga, the lance. 
Weesaka, the Devil. 
Catchemackeseo, the big eagle. 
Chekaqua, he that stands by the tree. 
Kataka, or sturgeon. 
Mecaitch, the eagle. 
Ncshota, the twin. 
Quashquammee, the jumping fish. 
Chagosort, the blues* son. 
Pocama, the plumb. 
Namachewana Chaha, the Sioux. 
Nanochaatasa, the brave by hazard. 

"Done at Portage des Sioux, in the presence of R. Wash, Secretary of the 
Commission ; Thomas Levers, Lieut-Col., commanding ist reg't. I. T. ; P. Chouteau, 
agent ; T. Paul, C. C. T. ; Jas. B. Moore, capt ; Samuel Whiteside, capt. ; John W. 
Johnson, U. S. factor and Indian agent; Maurice Blondeaux, Samuel Solomon. 
Noel Mograine, Interpreters; Daniel Converse, 3d lieut To the Indian names 
are subjoined a mark and seal."^ 

This treaty was ratified December 26th, 1815. 

The treaty with the Foxes, made on the following day by the same 
commissioners, and ratified December 16, 1815, while not affecting Black 
Hawk in particular, was so intimately connected with him that it may be 

Wol. 7, Pub. statutes at Large, U. 8., p. 184, ed. 1848. 

Digitized by 



well to repeat it here. After the caption and the recital of a desire to re- 
establish peace it ran as follows: 

" "Article i. Every injury or act of hostility by one or either of the contracting 
parties against the other shall be mutually forgiven and forgot. 

"Art. 2. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the citizens 
of the United States of America and all the individuals composing the said Fox 
tribe or nation. 

"Art. 3. The contracting parties do hereby agree, promise, and oblige them- 
selves reciprocally, to deliver up all the prisoners now in their hands (by what 
means soever the same may have come into their possession), to the officer com- 
manding at Fort Clark, on the Illinois River, to be by him restored to their re- 
spective nations as soon as it may be practicable. 

"Art. 4. The said Fox tribe or nation do hereby assent to, recognize, re-estab- 
lish and confirm the treaty of St. Louis, which was concluded on the third day 
of November, one thousand eight hundred and four, to the full extent of their 
interest in the same, as well as all other contracts and agreements between the 
parties; and the United States promise to fulfill all the stipulations contained in 
the said treaty in fevor of the said Fox tribe or nation."* 

This document, with its trifling exactions, was signed by twenty- 
two Fox chiefs and warriors without protest or comment, forcibly 
demonstrating the anxiety of all for peace when removed from ulterior 
influences. Everyone who participated therein appeared gratified that 
hostilities were ended; but an insecurity was still sensible which noth- 
ing but the signature of Black Hawk could quiet. In the face of the 
many murders so lately committed by Black Hawk's band and the Eng- 
lish, the statement by Black Hawk that he was still an English subject 
and his refusal to treat brought an issue squarely between the United 
States and him, and the authorities at Washington were in no humor 
to allow that dissembler to dictate the policy of the Indians and con- 
tinue his crusade of crime against helpless settlers. He was urged to 
sign .and when pressed, preferring plunder to peace, declined and stalked 
to his canoe in dudgeon. Was he to be peacefully subdued? 

While the United States authorities were actively planning to bring 
him to terms, the leading men from the other Sac tribes and from the 
Foxes continued their persuasions, and on meeting constant refusal, 
finally, with some of his personal followers, unitedly demanded that he 
sign a treaty, and then, fearing the possible loss of his influence, he 
reluctantly consented. Another convention was at once called to meet 
at St. Louis May 13, 1816, which Black Hawk attended and there 
"touched the goose quill," as he has stated. This treaty, more important 
than the other two, because it bound the leader of all the insurgent 
Indians, was signed on the 13th day of May and ratified December 30 of 
the same year and is as follows : 

»Vol. 7, Pnb. Stat at Large of U. S., p. 185. 

Digitized by 



"A TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP, made and concluded between 
IViUiatn Clark, Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, commissioners plenipo- 
tentiary of the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said states, 
of the one part, and the undersigned chiefs and warriors of the Sacs of Rock 
River and the adjacent country, of the other part. 

"Whereas, By the ninth article of the treaty of peace, which was concluded 
on the twenty-fourth day of December, eighteen hundred and fourteen, between the 
United States and Great Britain, at Ghent, and which was ratified by the President, 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the seventeenth day of February, 
eighteen hundred and fifteen, it was stipulated that the said parties should severally 
put an end to all hostilities with the Indian tribes, with whom they might be at 
war, at the time of the ratification of said treaty, and to place the said tribes inhabit- 
ing their respective territories, on the same footing upon which they stood before 
the war ; provided, they should agree to desist from all hostilities against the said 
parties, their citizens or subjects respectively, upon the ratification of the said 
treaty being notified to them, and should so. desist accordingly; and, 

"Whereas, The said United States being determined to execute every article 
of treaty with perfect good faith, and wishing to be particularly exact in the execu- 
tion of the article above alluded to, relating to the Indian tribes: The President, 
in consequence thereof, for that purpose, on the eleventh day of March, eighteen 
hundred and fifteen, appointed the undersigned William Clark, governor of Missouri 
territory, Ninian Edwards, governor of Illinois territory, and Auguste Chouteau, 
Esq., of the Missouri territory, commissioners, with full power to conclude a treaty 
of peace and amity with all those tribes of Indians, conformably to the stipulations 
contained in the said article, on the part of the United States, in relation to such 
tribes; and, 

"Whereas, The commissioners, in conformity with their instructions in the 
early part of last year, notified the Sacs of Rock River, and the adjacent country, of 
the time of the ratification of said treaty ; of the stipulations it contained in relation 
to them; of the disposition of the American government to fill those stipulations, 
by entering into a treaty with them, conformably thereto; and invited the Sacs of 
Rock River, and the adjacent country, to send forward a deputation of their 
chiefs to meet the said commissioners at Portage des Sioux, for the purpose of 
concluding such a treaty as aforesaid, between the United States and the said 
Indians, and the said Sacs of Rock River, and the adjacent country, having 
not only declined that friendly overture, but having continued their hostilities, and 
committed many depredations thereafter, which would have justified the infliction 
of the severest chastisement upon them; but having earnestly repented of their 
conduct, now imploring mercy, and being anxious to return to the habits of 
peace and friendship with the United States; and the latter being always disposed 
to pursue the most liberal and humane policy towards the Indian, tribes within 
thdr territory, preferring their reclamation by peaceful measures, to their punish- 
ment by the application of the military force of the nation; now, 

"Therefore, The said William Qark, Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, 
conmiissioners, as aforesaid, and the undersigned, chiefs and warriors, as aforesaid, 
for the purpose of restoring peace and friendship between the parties, do agree 
to the following articles: 

"Article I. The Sacs of Rock River, and the adjacent country, do hereby 
unconditionally assent to recognize, re-establish, and confirm the treaty between the 
United States of America, and the united tribes of Sacs and Foxes, which was 
concluded at St. Lx)uis, on the third day of November, one thousand eight hundred 
and four; as well as all other contracts and agreements heretofore made between 
the Sac tribe or nation and the United States. 

Digitized by 



"Art. 2. The United States agree to place the aforesaid Sacs of Rock River 
on the same footing upon which they stood before the war; provided, they shall, 
on or before the first day of July next, deliver up to the officer commanding at 
cantonment Davis, on the Mississippi, all the property they or any part of their 
tribe, have plundered or stolen from the citizens of the United States, since they 
were notified, as aforesaid, of the time of the ratification of the late treaty between 
the United States and Great Britain. 

"Art. 3. If the said tribe shall fail or neglect to deliver up the property afore- 
said, or any part thereof, on or before the first day of July aforesaid, 
they shall forfeit to the United States all right and title to their proportion 
of the annuities which, by the treaty of St Louis, were covenanted to be paid 
to the Sac tribe; and the United States shall forever afterwards be exonerated 
from the payment of so much of said annuities as, -upon a fair distribution, would 
fall to the share of that portion of the Sacs who are represented by the undersigned 
chiefs and warriors. 

"Art. 4. This treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting 
parties, unless the same shall be disapproved by the President and Senate of the 
United States, or by the President only; and in the meantime all hostilities shall 
c^se from this date. 

"In testimony whereof, the said William Qark, Ninian Edwards, and Aug^ste 
Chouteau, commissioners as aforesaid, and the undeisigned chiefs and warriors 
as aforesaid, have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals this thirteenth 
day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixteen." 

"Wm. Clark, 
"Ninian Edwards, 
"AuGUSTE Chouteau." 
"Anowart, or, the one who speaks, 
"Namawenane, Sturgeon Man, 
"Nasawarku, the Fork, 
"Namatchesa, the Jumping Sturgeon, 
"Matchequawa, the Bad Axe, 
"Mashco, Young Eagle, 
"Aquaosa, a Lion coming out of the water, 


"Sakeetoo, the Thunder that frightens, 

"Warpaloka, the rumbling Thunder, 

"Kemealosha, the Swan that Hies in the rain, 

"Pashekomack, the Swan that flies low, 

"Keotasheka, the Running Partridge, 

"Wapalamo, the White Wolf, 

"Caskupwa, the Swan whose wings crack when he Hies, 

"PoiNAKETA, the Cloud that don't stop, 

"Mealeseta, Bad Weather, 

"Anawashqueth, the Bad Root, 

"Wassekenequa, Sharp-faced Bear, 

"Napetaka, he who has a Swan's throat around his neck, 

"Mashashe, the Fox, 

"Wapamukqua, the White Bear/' 

"St. Louis, May 13th, 1816. Done in the presence of R. Wash, Secretary to 
the Commission; R. Paul, C. T. of the C. J. Bt. Caron, Samuel Solomon, Inter- 
preters; Joshua Norvell, Judge Adv. M. M.; Joseph Perkins, Joseph Charless, 

Digitized by 



B. G. Tavar, Charles Wm. Hunter, Cerr6, M. La Croix, Guyol de Guirano, Boon 
Ingels, Moses Scott, James Sawyer." 

"To the Indian names are subjoined a mark and a seal."' 

After all the trouble given the Americans by Black Hawk, it is not 
to be presumed that this treaty was lightly considered, or that the Amer- 
icans neglected to explain every line of it fully, thereby allowing oppor- 
tunity for future contention from one only too apt to contend; yet 
Black Hawk later had the audacity to claim that he did not know his 
village passed by that treaty when it became time for him to enjoy 
another war with his ancient enemy, the Americans. Line upon line and 
section upon section the treaty was carefully read and interpreted by men 
whose names were above reproach, that no future claim of misunder- 
standing could be alleged, and to that solemn treaty Black Hawk placed 
his mark and declared and promised thereby that he would no longer 
torment the whites with his aggressions. The preamble of the doc- 
ument should forever have fttopped Black Hawk from alleging ignor- 
ance of its provisions; with respect to all the others who sigfned that 
treaty, the facts recited in it were so truthfuly stated, and they were so 
well satisfied with its provisions, that not one of them was ever heard to 

>yol. 7, Pob. Stat (U. 8.) at Large, p. 141. 

Digitized by 



Fort Armstrong Built — Black Hawk as a Fault-Finder — ^Anni- 
hilation OF THE low AS. 

Black Hawk's intermittent promises of good behavior and declara- 
tions of future tranquility were justly distrusted by the War Department, 
and rather than remain open to future disadvantage, it resolved to erect 
near his haunts a fort. Accordingly, on the loth day of May, 1816, 
Gen. Thomas A. Smith and Brev. Lieut. Col. W. Lawrence, with a detach- 
ment of men, landed on Rock Island and soon thereafter, under the direc- 
tion of the latter, began the construction of Fort Armstrong* — so called in 
honor of Gen. John Armstrong, then late Secretary of War. 

Black Hawk witnessed these movements with dissatisfaction. The 
Indians had a superstitious veneration for the island, claiming, as will be 
seen from Black Hawk's words :' "A good spirit had care of it, who lived 
in a cave in the rocks immediately under the place where the fort now 
stands, and has often been seen by our people. He was white, with large 
wings like a swan's, but ten times larger. We were particular not to make 
much noise in that part of the island which he inhabited, for fear of dis- 
turbing him. But the noise of the fort has since driven him away, and 
no doubt a bad spirit has taken his place." And in further contemplation 
of the beauties of the place and pleasures of this island to the Indians, 
Black Hawk was made to utter many fine sentiments, of a character to 
command our stanchest support and eyoke a sympathy from one cover 
of this history to the other, had they been ingenuous and free from the 
suspicion that Col. Patterson may have allowed his generous nature to tint 
them a color not to be found in that Indian's nature. 

Though hampered by various annoyances, the troops eventually 
completed Fort Armstrong and occupied it; their presence serving a 
healthy object lesson to quiet those British Sacs who were too fierce to be 
pacified while life lasted, and to stimulate a healthy and satisfactory trade 
between the remote points of the north and northwest and those to the 
south. It frequently has been alleged that Black Hawk and his people 

>FIagIer*8 Rock Island Arsenal, p. 15. 
•Auto., p. 70. 


Digitized by 





Digitized by 


Digitized by 



never received their annuities. This is untrue as the record of the time 
has disclosed/ 

In November, 1820, we find the Sacs were drawing their annuities and 
had been on the 3d of each November ; in fact, those annuities had been 
made permanent, and while bickerings about a fair division at times had 
been noticeable, the tribes and head men were satisfied.* 

It may be well to add here, that when Rev. Jedediah Morse made the 
report just cited, he was a commissioner appointed by the President for the 
purpose of ascertaining the actual state of the Indian tribes of the north- 
west, and having visited Fort Armstrong in the summer of 1820, he found 
British flags still floating and English medals still worn almost exclusively 
in Black Hawk's village. An exchange of these for American flags and 
medals had been recommended in a letter written to him November 20, 
1820, from that post, and he adopted the suggestion in his report ;• but the 
flag^ and medals continued in evidence, notwithstanding Morse's report 

Following those manifestations, hostility to Anierican rule was also 
expressed in mutterings and quiet threats in 1823, when Beltrami stopped 
there, and which he expressed in his books as follows : "For, both from 
instinct and from feelings transmitted from father to son, they cordially 
despise and hate them"* (the Americans), which certainly did not indicate 
that the treaty of 1804 was responsible for their hatred ; it indicated also 
that the treaty of 1816 rested very lightly upon their shoulders and that 
the erection of Fort Armstrong was a wise precaution. If it may be 
thought that the treaty of 1804 made Black Hawk a fault-finder with 
the Americans, it may be well to introduce a specimen of his chronic afHic- 
tion, found in the papers of Capt. T. G. Anderson, British Indian Agent, in 
Vol. 10, Wis. Hist Coirs., pp. 145, 146. 

"Speeches of Black Hawk and Na-i-o-gui-man, at Drummond's Island, July 
12, 1821. 

"Present, Lieut-G)l. Wm. McKay, British Indian Superintendent; Capt. Thos. 
G. Anderson, Qerk; Maj. James Winnett, and other officers of the Sixty-eighth 
British Regiment, together with Lieut. L. Johnston. 

'The Black Hawk, Speaker: 

"'Father, I am not very able to speak— probably I may say something im- 
proper. I may have something to reproach my father with. I could not get any 
of my chiefs to come with me.' One of the Reynard or Fox chiefs accompanied 
me, and some of the Menominees who reside among us. My mind has been entirely 
taken up since I left home with the idea that every stroke of my paddle carried 
me nearer to my Great Father's fire, where his soldiers, the red coats, would be 
charitable to me and cover my naked skin; and that in consequence of my not 

'Journal of MaJ. Thomas Forasrthe, the Indian agent, who called June 24, 1819, at 
Black Hawk*8 village to pay the installment due, as all previous ones had been paid. Vol. 
«, Wis. Hist. So. Colls., p. 191. 

*Mor8e*s Report to Secretary War, pp. 139, 877, etc. 

*Morse*s Rei>ort, p. 69. 

«Beltrami*s Pilgrimage, Vol. 2, p. 166. 

*A circumstance demanding notice. 

Digitized by 



having been able for three years to step across the barriers, which separate us 
from them, I would receive a double proportion of my Great Father's bounty. 

" The Americans, my father, surround us, but we are ever ready to meet them. 
Now, my father, as we see you but seldom, I hope you will open your stores 
and give us more presents than you do to other Indians who visit you annually. 
Now I speak to you, my father, in hopes you will be charitable to us, and give 
us something to take to our wives and children. They are expecting to be 
warmed by the clothing of their Great Father.' 

"Taking some strings of wampum, he added: Tather, I got this from the 
White Elk (Capt. McKee), to open a smoother path from our country to all your 
fires. I spoke to the Pottawattomies with it, and they were happy to accede to 
our proposals of friendship. Now, my father, we have always ol?eyed your voice 
and will ever listen to your counsels. With regard to the Indians, we have a good 
road from our country to your fires; but there are whites who appear strong, and 
tell us they will not allow us to see you any more. Should that be the case, we 
will be miserable. But if the road continues good, as Capt. McKee told us it 
would, we will see you every day' (year). Delivered the wampum. 

"Answer of the Superintendent: 

" 'Children, I have listened to your discourse. Every word has entered into 
my ears. When you came here three days (years) ago, I gave you of your Great 
Father's bounty a much greater proportion than I did to other Indians, and told 
you your presents would in future be given you at Amherstburg. You were 
displeased. You went away dissatisfied. I have again this year treated you well. 
Vou appear dissatisfied still, and want more. I now tell you that your presents 
are at Amherstburg, and that in future you must go there if you wish to receive 
your Great Father's bounty. I have done everything in my power to please you 
and render you happy ; but my efforts appear to have been thrown away upon you. 
Go home, and I do not wish to see dissatisfied children about me again. 
With respect to the road being stopped up as you say. that is news to me. I do 
not know that any steps have been taken to effect that; and, indeed, if you behave 
yourselves, as I have always recommended you to do, I do not believe you will 
be hindered from seeing your Great Father's fires.' " * 

It will be seen from that meeting with his friends that Black Hawk 
was a hard man to get along with, even with his friends. He returned 
home; but instead of behaving himself he joined Pash-e-pa-ho in a 
war which robbed the lowas of their lands and exterminated their tribes, 
so that thereafter their nation became a tradition. If Black Hawk 
should be heard to complain of the loss of his lands to the Americans 
for a trifling price, how much more should others whom he had wan- 
tonly robbed and whose kin he had murdered be heard ? Old men, young 
men, old women, young women and children in swaddling clothes were 
murdered in the most brutal manner; their homes were confiscated and 
their tribal name effaced from history, to be no more known of men. Aye, 
upon that bloody battlefield it was decreed that Black Hawk should 
be buried and from it a ghoulish hand should steal his body; a fitting 
retribution, one might justly say! 

>If he had behaved himself as advised, there had been no Black Hawk campaigns in 
1831-2 and no occasion* for this history. The admonition contains more food for thought 
than four volumes of comment could supply. 

Digitized by 



On the first day of May, 1823, the lowas were celebrating their 
return from a successful hunt by feasts, games and horse-racing. The 
mellow sun had just arisen to witness their mock jousts and races. 
Intent upon the harmless tournament, none had noticed the gradual 
gathering in the neighboring grass and woods of the vicious Sacs 
during the night. The women and children had been left at the village, 
while the men, discarding their arms, gathered some distance away to 
enjoy their frolic, unarmed and unsuspecting. A race had been 
appointed for the most famous, and thus, while all were eagerly pre- 
paring for its issue, the murderous Sacs pounced upon them. 

All that day the unequal struggle waged; the unarmed lowas 
against their amied and powerful foes. Man after man went down 
before the fury of the victors. Home after home was made desolate from 
the blow of the tomahawk, the thrust of the spear and the ugly gash of 
the knife in the hands of the hideous, howling Sacs; very devils incar- 
nate. Parties of twenty-five armed Sacs sought out a similar number of 
unarmed lowas whose strength had been well nigh spent and slaugh- 
tered them. Fresh bands of the same number from the reserves did the 
like with other tired and spent defenders until evening approached, 
when, unsupported by the arms which had been left back at the village, and 
fighting against hopeless odds, the lowas could no longer sustain an 
honest cause; then, and then only, as the mantle of evening fell upon 
that gory battlefield, with a few scattered exceptions, the last of the 
lowas was sent to the hunting grounds of his dreams. The victorious 
Sacs fell upon the women, children, invalids and cripples and murdered 
all save a pitiful handful, which Black Hawk piously offered afterward 
to adopt into his tribe. 

No one can estimate the number of dead. Pashepaho and Black 
Hawk have attempted the task, but when it is known that the ordinary 
wild Indian cannot comprehend numbers, we must leave all calculation 
open to conjecture. Suffice it to say, the Iowa nation was annihilated, 
its lands confiscated, and a scene of desolation was upon the land for 
many years thereafter. 

Following the account of Fulton, we find on page 120 et seq, the 

"When Mr. Jordan first saw the battleground in 1828, the graves of the slain 
still appeared fresh, as if they had not been made more than a year or two before. 
Black Hawk had often detailed to him tl^ plan of the attack and the incidents 
of the engagement Contrary to the usual Indian custom, this battle was brought 
on in the daytime. The battlefield is a level river bottom prairie, about four miles 
in length and two miles wide near the middle, narrowing to points at either end. 
The main area of the bottom rises about twenty feet above the river, with a 
narrow strip of lower land skirting the margin of the stream, covered with trees. 
The river bank was fringed with a dense growth of willows. Near the lower 
end of the prairie, and extending up to the bank of the river, was situated the 

Digitized by 



Iowa village. Two miles above the town, near the middle of the prairie, was situated 
a small natural mound which was then covered with a growth of small trees and 
shrubs. In the rear of this mound lay a belt of wet prairie which was covered 
with a rank grass. Bordering this on the north, the land rises abruptly into broken 
bluffs covered with a heavy forest many miles in extent. It was through this forest 
that the Sac and Fox war party approached in the night before the attack, and 
secreted themselves in the tall grass mentioned, intending to remain in ambush 
through the day, and make observations to aid them in the attack which they con- 
templated making on the following night From this position their spies could take 
a full survey of the situation of the village and watch the movements of the lowas. 
"Near the mound mentioned, the lowas had their racecourse, where they were 
frequently wont to resort to engage in the amusement of horse-racing. Unfor- 
tunately for them, this day they had selected for their sports. Unconscious of the 
proximity of a lurking foe, they repaired to the racing ground, leaving most of 
their arms in the village with the old men, women and children, unprotected. The 
Sacs and Foxes, under the leadership of their wily old chief, Pash-e-pa-ho, per- 
ceived their advantage. He directed his subordinate in command, Black Hawk, 
with a band of young warriors to file off through the tall grass and avail themselves 
of the cover of the timber along the river bank, to reach the village with the utmost 
speed and there commence the battle. This movement was successfully executed, 
while Pash-e-pa-ho with his division made a simultaneous assault from their ambush 
upon the unarmed lowas, who were engaged in their amusements at the racecourse. 
Black Hawk, with his warriors at the village, poured a furious volley upon the 
defenseless inhabitants, completing the slaughter with tomahawk and scalping knife. 
The unarmed lowas at the racecourse attempted to reach the village, two miles 
distant, but most of them were slain in their flight by Pash-e-pa-ho's warriors. The 
survivors reached their village only to find it in flames and to behold their 
slaughtered friends in the midst of the devouring element. So great was the advan- 
tage of their assailants that the lowas could make but a feeble resistance. Their 
enemies, however, accorded to them the credit of making a brave but hopeless re- 
sistance and of yielding only because of the advantage their enemies had taken. 
The lowas asked a parley and submitted their fate to the will of their conquerors. 
For a time they lived in the country as an integral part of the Sac and Fox nation. 
This condition of a conquered people they felt to be a galling one, and they com- 
plained of the tyranny of the Sacs and Foxes." 

Digitized by 



Treaties of 1822-24-25 — Winnebago Outbreak — ^Attack on the 
Boats — ^Arrest and Discharge. 

The Sacs and Foxes were also trespassers upon Illinois soil, dispossess- 
ing by conquest, after the manner just related, the Santeaux, who claimed 
the soil from which they were driven/ Black Hawk was always stren- 
uously insistent for the principle that land could not be alienated, there- 
fore his nation could not, by treaty, legally have alienated their lands. If 
lands were inalienable by grant, how, then, could they have been alienated 
by conquest? The diflference was in instance and not principle with 
Black Hawk, and he no doubt argued that the case was different with San- 
teaux and lowas, because his was a party in interest. And so with the 
treaty of 1804 ; it was good if it helped Black Hawk and very bad if it 
contained an)rthing good for the Americans. 

That the Americans were intent on doing the best for the Indians 
which then could be done under all circumstances is everywhere apparent 
in the several treaties with the Sacs and Foxes. On Sq)tember 3d, 1822,* 
another treaty was negotiated with them, which also recognized the 1804 
compact, and doubtless Black Hawk thought this all right, because it gave 
to them an additional $1,000.00 for the privilege of being relieved from 
the obligation of building a factory as that treaty had provided. This 
1822 affair bears the signature of Black Hawk. 

Again on August 4th, 1824, a treaty was made between the Sacs and 
Foxes recognizing the former treaties.' 

On August 19th, 1825, another treaty for the purpose of suspending 
the constant internecine wars of the Indians was made at Prairie du Chien, 
wherein all former treaties were recognized.* With all these various rati- 
fications one would naturally infer that the treaty of 1804 was pretty 
thoroughly understood by the Indians, and particularly by Black Hawk, 
yet in the face of them all he continued his hostility to the Americans 
whenever the possibility of making them trouble arose, and if it did not 

^Annals of the Weet, Perkins & Peck Edition, pp. 718, 795. 
*n. 8. Stat, p. 223, and comment in above Annals, p. 796. 
•U. S. Stat, p. 229. 
*U. 8. Stat, p. 272. 


Digitized by 



arise from the efforts of others, he was ever alert to set it in motion on 
his own account. The Winnebago outbreak, coming along in 1827, 
afforded him the next opportunity to display his genius for war, and he 
was quick to place himself against his ancient foe, the Americans. The 
unfriendly attitude of certain unruly Sioux, scMnetimes called or classed as 
the Dakotas in the prints of those days, was quickly brought to his atten- 
tion, and without delay he was on the road north to find trouble in which 
to participate. 

In those days there were good and bad Dakotas, as with the Sacs, 
and the malcontent element of the former was generally finding itself in 
trouble. Upon two notable occasions parties of Dakotas wantonly mur- 
dered unoffending Chippewas, the latest offense being under the very walls 
of Fort Snelling and at a time when the Chippewas were dispensing a 
liberal hospitality to them — ^a most atrocious crime !' 

These deeds were so revolting that Col. Josiah Snelling, the com- 
mandant, very properly applied the custom prevalent among the Indians 
by turning the four captured culprits over to the injured Chippewas for 
punishment. Each Dakota was given thirty paces law, and a chance to 
run for. his life; but Chippewa bullets were swifter, and four vicious 
Dakotas were speedily forwarded to their fathers. Revenge toward the 
whites for the part they played in that affair rankled within the breasts 
of the friends of the dead Dakotas and they diplomatically set about 
settling the grudge in a most civilized and sensible manner, at the expense 
of their friends, the Winnebagoes. Red Bird, a Winnebago chief of note, 
contemporaneously, or soon thereafter,* led a losing enterprise against the 
Chippewas, returning to his camp crestfallen and sullen. It was at. this 
fecund moment that emissaries from the Dakotas fell upon him with all 
manner of adroit badinage for his fallen estate, impressing upon his mind, 
with much innuendo, to what belittled influence his parts had been reduced 
in the estimation of his people and to what distressing ridicule he was 
being subjected by the laughter of the Americans. While in the receptive 
mood to which these tactics had driven his mind, he was in the same 
perverted manner made to believe that the four guilty Dakotas turned 
over to the Chippewas and killed were Winnebagoes. Thus was the 
foundation laid for the "Winnebago war^' of 1827 1 The murder of one 
Methode, with his wife and five children, was discovered. Following 
this, on the 26th of June, 1827, Red Bird, with We-kau and Chic-hon-sic, 
called at various places in Prairie du Chien (the garrison and its stores 
having been removed just previously to Fort Snelling), obtained from 
a trader ammunition and, as some have said, whisky, and left for the . 
cabin of one Registre Gagnier, who resided with his wife, young son, 
baby daughter and an old discharged American soldier named Solcwnon 

>Vol. 5, wis. Hist. Cons., p. 180, et teq. 
»P. 148, above. 

Digitized by 



Lipcap some two miles from the village. The three entered, begged and 
received food, and, taking advantage of their entertainers' unguarded 
condition, shot down and instantly killed Gagnier and Lipcap. Madam 
Gagnier, in the frenzy of her excitement, seized the gun of her dead hus- 
band, and while protecting her son finally drove the savages into the 
yard, where they scattered. She then ran to the village with her boy, 
forgetting the infant daughter, which had been lying upon the bed 
when the Indians entered. The posse which immediately returned found 
Gagnier and Lipcap scalped, but the girl baby, alive, was discovered 
under the bed, though scalped and savagely cut in the neck. Stranger 
yet, she recovered and grew to woman's estate. 

Thomas L. McKenney, who gained the woman's story from her own 
lips, has narrated it in a manner worthy so illustrious a writer, disclosing 
a heroism sufficient to warrant the erection to her memory of a monument 
more than a little pretentious. In the order of mundane things, however, 
heroines fare very badly when burly heroes can be found or manufactured 
to consume the contributions of a hero-loving public, and probably Madam 
Gagnier will get no monument. 

Next evening a keel-boat, its sides literally filled with leaden balls, 
arrived from Fort Snelling, bearing the dead bodies of two of its crew 
and four wounded members, two mortally and two slightly ; also the body 
of a dead Indian, the result of a conflict of unusual fierceness and inequal- 
ity with Sac and Winnebago Indians at the mouth of the Bad Axe about 
sunset of the 26th. This boat, the Oliver H. Perry, with its consort, had 
gone up to Fort Snelling, under the command of Captain Allen Lindsay, 
some time before, and meeting on the route* with many exactions and 
exasperating and suspicious ovations from the Dakotas whose villages 
were along the river, asked and received at Fort Snelling thirty-two 
muskets and a quantity of powder and ball. 

Arriving on the downward passage* at the the last of their villages, 
Wa-ba-sha, now Winona, Minnesota, the Dakotas were found dancing a 
war dance and making threats, but, offering no resistance (the Winne- 
bagoes and Sacs present having assumed that dangerous function), Cap- 
tain Lindsay very naturally considered all danger over and allowed the 
boats, which had been lashed together for protection, to separate. That 
which sat deeper in the water, having the advantage of the river's under- 
currents, gained several miles' advantage. This boat, commanded by a Sac 
half-breed named Beauchamp, was manned by a crew of sixteen, officers 
and men. The Frenchmen of the party, growing suspicious of the actions of 
new bands of Indians gathering as the boat approached the Bad Axe, 
urged the crew to caution, but the usual contempt for Indian prowess and 

>Vol. 5. Wis. Hist Colls., p. 144. 
aVoI. 6, wis. Hist. Colls., p. 147. 

Digitized by 



the thought that all danger had been passed caused a foolhardy disregard 
of the Frenchmen's warning. Naturally a supine security followed. 

The wind had sprung into unusual strength from the east and, in 
the face of continued admonition, some of the crew were for tying up for 
the night then and there, river crews in those days being much used to 
the enjoyment of their own wishes. 

A large body of Indians had collected on an island to the west of 
the channel near to which the boat must pass, and as it reached this 
point was rapidly drifting toward the bar on the island's edge. Suddenly 
the trees and rocks reverberated with blood-curdling war-whoops and a 
volley of bullets rained upon the deck, wounding a negro named Peter so 
desperately that he afterward died. The crew instantly sought shelter 
by lying flat below the water line, because the bullets penetrated the 
bulwarks. The second volley resulted in the instant death of an American 
named Stewart, who had risen to return the first fire through a loophole. 
The exposure causing a target to be made of his head, he fell back dead, 
his finger still upon the trigger of his undischarged gun. No further 
attempt was made to return the Indians' second volley, and they, encour- 
aged by this non-resistance, rushed to their canoes with intent to board. 
The men who had remained flat recovered in a measure from their panic 
and the boarders were received with a disastrous fire and repulsed. One 
canoe in particular was severely received, two of its crew being killed, and 
in the death struggle overturned, compelling the others to swim for their 

Presently a voice in the Sac tongue hailed the boat, demanding to 
know if the crew were English. Beauchamp, who was a half-breed Sac, an- 
swered in the affirmative. 

"Then," replied the querist, "come on shore and we will do you no 
harm, for we are your brethren, the Sacs." 

"Dog," retorted Beauchamp, "no Sac would attack us thus cowardly. 
If you wrant us on shore, you must come and fetch us." 

Confident that it was impossible to storm the boat with success, the 
plan was abandoned by all save two daring Indians, who leaped aboard. 
One seized the steering oar and strove to run the'' boat aground, while the 
other discharged some guns found abandoned on the deck, wounding one 
white. After this exploit, he hastened to the bow of the boat and, lying 
upon the deck, endeavored to assist his companion in stranding the boat. 
Succeeding in this, he dropped the pole, and with supreme contempt for 
danger began loading and firing, passing unscathed through the return 
volley. In the general fusillade Beauchamp succeeded in shooting the 
Indian at the steering oar, who dropped dead upon the deck and was 
carried into Prairie du Chien, but in retaliation the savage in the bow, 
with his third fire, shot Beauchamp and he fell upon the deck mortally 
wounded. At this critical loss of the commander, some of the crew were 

Digitized by 



for an immediate surrender, but the suggestion was quickly vetoed by 
Beauchamp, who cried: "No, friends, you will not save your lives so. 
Fight to the last, for they will show no mercy. If they get the better of 
you, for God's sake throw me overboard. Do not let them get my hair." 
In the meantime Jack Mandeville, a powerful member of the crew, with 
the heart of a lion, jumped into the breach, and as Beauchamp was cheer- 
ing him with cries of "fight on," Mandeville shot the Indian through the 
head and he, with his g^n, fell overboard. Bullets from the shore con- 
tinued to pour into the boat, and one party of the crew favored attempting 
an escape in the skiff, but Mandeville, who now assumed command, threat- 
ened death to the first man who suggested anything but fight. 

He routed out the timid and skulkers. Darkness was approaching, 
which boded evil for the crew. The bullets were falling with painful pre- 
cision, and if the boat was allowed to remain aground it was clear that 
every man must die by the most refined torture. 

With the judgment and determination of a brave man, Mandeville 
jumped overboard and began the use of his herculean strength to dislodge 
the boat from the bar. 

The savages rushed upon him, but with an armored club he beat 
them back. Only warily and at intervals could the whites fire in their 
efforts to protect Mandeville. Seeing the futility of this style of warfare, 
four of the crew resolutely jumped upon the bar to their leader's assist- 
ance, and in a space too brief for the relation the boat was put afloat and 
the crew quickly and safely working her down stream, the gathering 
gloom assisting their escape from the bullets which followed. 

The battle had raged for three hours with a fierceness which no 
Indian but Black Hawk could precipitate, and there he was, directing a 
cause which was none of his own, he and his British band, notwithstand- 
ing his pledges and protestations, fighting the Americans with the ferocity 
of a wild beast. The casualties were two of the crew killed outright and 
four wounded, two mortally and two slightly, while the loss of the 
Indians was variously estimated at from seven to twelve killed and many 

The other boat, which had aboard William J. Snelling, son of Colonel 
Snelling, followed, but the darkness saved it from any damage, the volley 
which was fired passing harmlessly overiiead. 

It has been said the Indian force numbered thirty-seven, but these 
figures appear ridiculous when parties at Prairie du Chien, present when 
die boat landed, reported over five hundred bullet holes in the craft, and 
Mr. Snelling reported 693, which would allow eighteen bullets to the 
Indian and leave no reckoning for the many which missed the boat en- 
tirely. As this conflict occurred on the same day which saw the Gagnier 
family murdered by Red Bird and his companions, it is not conceivable 

Digitized by 



how Red Bird could have been present. In fact, he was not, as Black 
Hawk admitted after his acquittal. He was the leader and he said so.* 

It should be noted in this place that the miserable rumor mentioned 
by Reynolds in his "My Own Times" and by other writers, of the action 
of the crew upstream in debauching certain Winnebago squaws, had no 
foundation whatever. 

Black Hawk was subsequently arrested for this attack, but the lack 
of evidence allowed him to escape an indictment. When discharged he 
made no secret of his participation in the affair, but prior thereto he was 
the most discreet Indian the imagination can portray. The only reference 
to the court proceedings made by the newspapers at the time is to be 
found in the Miner's Journal of Galena for Saturday, September 13, 1828, 
and is as follows : 

"A gentleman who was present at the time of the arraignment and trial of these 
Indians at Prairie du Chien has given us the following particulars: 

"A special term of the United States Circuit Court for the county of Crawford, 
sitting as a court of oyer and terminer for the trial of seven Indian prisoners (Win- 
nebagoes), confined at Prairie du Chien, was held at that village on the 25th ult., 
by the Hon. James D. Doty, additional U. S. Judge for Michigan. Wan-i-ga, or 
•the Sun,' and Chick-hong-sic, or *the Petit Boeuff/ were tried severally on two 
indictments, one for the murder of Registre Gagnier, as accomplices of Red Bird, 
deceased. On the second indictment, Chick-hong-sic was tried for the murder of 
Solomon Lipcap, and Wan-i-ga was also tried on the same as his accomplice. On 
the third indictment, Wan-i-ga was tried for scalping Louisa Gagnier, with intent 
to kill. On first indictment, defendants were found guilty. On second, Chick- 
hong-sic guilty, Wan-i-ga acquitted. On third, Wan-i-ga found guilty; the others 
acquitted. In the case of the United States vs. Wau-koo-kah and Mah-na-at- 
ap-e-kah, for the murder of Methode and family, a nolle prosequi was entered 
and the prisoners discharged. 

"There being no bills found against Kanon-e-kah, or The youngest of the 
Thunders,' and Kara-zhon-sept-kah, or 'The Black Hawk,' imprisoned for attack- 
ing and firing on the keel boat last year, nor against the son of Red Bird, they 
were discharged. 

"Counsel for the prosecution, John Scott, Esq., of Ste. Genevieve, Mo.; for 
the defense, assigned by the Court, Charles S. Hempstead, Esq., of St Louis. 

"Wan-i-ga and Chick-hong-sic were sentenced to be executed on the 26th of 

lAnnals of the West, pp. 706-7 ; Brown's Hist of Illinois, p. 857. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Ci>L, JniilAJ! SNfCLiami 


Digitized by 



The Military Tract — Perils of Frontier Life — Gathering Settle- 
ments About Black Hawk's Village — Friction — ^Attempted 
Compromise — Correspondence — Gaines at Fort Armstrong. 

It may be possible that this fresh outbreak was superinduced by the 
gradual appearance of the hated American further and further northward 
toward Black Hawk^s village, but, if true, the act was indefensible as it 
was meddlesome. He deliberately assisted in precipitating the trouble 
between Red Bird (who was a remarkably decent Indian) and the Ameri- 
cans, without the slightest provocation. 

By acts of Congress* bounty land warrants were voted to the soldiers 
of the war of " 'twelve," and for their especial benefit the so-called "Mili- 
tary Tract" was erected in the State of Illinois, comprising the territory 
between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, 169 miles north to a line 
drawn from the great bend of the river above Peru to the Mississippi, 
containing 5,360,000 acres.* Into this, two classes of settlers poured — as 
Catlin aptly put it, "the overwhelming torrent of emigration to the Tar 
West.' " 

From the conclusion of the first peace with Great Britain, the native 
white population increased at a ratio astonishing to the observer and writer 
of those days, particularly James Hall, and with the advent of the 
"twenties" the overflow was moving into this "Military Tract." Ckie class 
comprised the soldier, who was the beneficiary, with his family, while 
the other was composed of families from Kentucky and Tennessee, the 
purchasers of those warrants, whidi had been gradually working north- 
ward from the beginning of the century, and which up to this time largely 
predominated in the population of Illinois. In both of these classes were 
the Indian fighters ; men whose homes had been desolated or whose fath- 
ers and mothers had been murdered by blood-thirsty savages ; men whose 
bodies carried lead placed there by Indian muskets, and who, from sad 

'December 24, 1811 ; January 11, 1812, and December 10, 1814. 

*Peck'fl Oazeteer for 1825. The land was surveyed in 1815 and 1816. 

By letter of the Surveyor-General. August 30, 1815, we are Informed that lands 
were selected in Southern Michigan, Northern Ohio, the military tract in Illinois and 
In Missouri, but by reason of Indian hostility the first two selections could not be sur- 
veyed that year.— Niles Reg., Vol. 9, p. 15. 


Digitized by 



experience, were not likely to receive with composure the raids of bandit 
Sacs. These men were tired of tilling the soil with rifles lashed to the 
plowbeam and of being constantly called away from the field to awful 
scenes of carnage; where perhaps neighbor or wife or child had just been 
burned at the stake. Gen. A. C. Dodge, who was a pioneer by birth, a 
man whose honesty of purpose and soundness of judgment on Indian 
questions have never yet been questioned, forcibly illustrated those condi- 
tions in a speech at the semi-centennial of Burlington, Iowa: "In the 
settlement of Kentucky five of my father's uncles fell under the Indian 
hatchet. Among the incidents of his very earliest recollection was to have 
seen the dead and bleeding body of one of those uncles borne in the arms 
of another on horseback to the stockade fort in which they lived. My 
own brother, Henry LaFayette Dodge, * * * was captured and burned to 
death at the stake." 

James Hall, the friend and defender of the Indian, has pictured the 
vicissitudes of the pioneers who blazed the way for later generations to 
follow. Among other things, we find, on page 152, Vol. 2, "Sketches of 
the West," the following: 

"They left behind them all the comforts of life. They brought but little fur- 
niture, but few farming implements, and no store of provisions. Until their lands 
were cleared and brought into culture, and their domestic animals became pro- 
ductive, they depended for subsistence chiefly upon the game of the forest They 
ate their fresh meat without salt, without vegetables, and in many instances without 
bread; and they slept in cabins hastily erected, of green logs, and in which they 
were exposed to much of the inclemency of the weather. To their other 'suffer- 
ing's that of sickness was often added; and they found themselves assailed, in 
situations where medical assistance could not be procured, by diseases of sudden 
development and fatal character. 

"While thus overburthened by toil and assailed by disaster, the settler found 
employment for all the energy of his character and all the inventive powers of 
his mind. The savage was watching, with malig^nant vigilance, to grasp every 
opportunity to harass the intruder into the hunting grounds of his fathers. Some- 
times he contented himself with seizing the horses or driving away the cattle of 
the emigfrant, depriving the wretched family of the means of support, and reserving 
the consummation of his vengeance to a future occasion; sometimes, with a subtle 
refinement of cruelty, the Indian warrior crept into a settlement by stealth, and 
created universal dismay by stealing away a child, or robbing a family of the wife 
and mother; sometimes a father .was the victim, and the widow and orphans 
were thrown upon the protection of the friends who, on such occasions, were 
never deaf to the claims of the unfortunate, while as often the yelling band 
surrounded the peaceful cabin at the midnight hour, applied the firebrand to the 
slight fabric, and murdered the whole of its defenseless inmates." 

Exhausted by such scenes, these men had come to Illinois with their 
children, whose tender memories had gathered material never to be 
effaced, to enjoy peaceful pursuits and erect homes for their families. 
When, therefore. Black Hawk sought to renew such tactics, he trod the 
mine which exploded and tore his power to shreds. The final conflict was 

Digitized by 



inevitable, and though during the first portion of the campaign, for want 
of discipline, those spirited, independent and unrestrained young fellows 
brought no great honor to their arms, when the iron hand of Gen. James 
D. Henry brought them to reason, they marched with a grim determina- 
tion to avenge the murders of their ancestors by hurling Black Hawk 
forever from the power to molest them more, and they did it in a manner 
sufficiently decisive. 

In 1829* these settlers, observing the fertility of the lands at the 
mouth of Rock River, the protecting influence of a Government fort, 
pushed over to that point and squatted upon the lands there. Settlements 
multiplying by the reputation of the land, the President was persuaded 
that the time had come to survey and open them up for sale, and he issued 
his proclamation accordingly. This survey included the village occupied 
by Black Hawk. 

It has been urged by some that there was no necessity for opening up 
this tract for settlement, because the nearest settlements were far away, 
leaving an extensive belt between, which should first have been occupied. 
Who is to judge of man's choice in the public domain but the man him- 
self? The fort and public buildings made a respectable settlement by 
themselves. Add to these the traders and a garrison with all the hangers- 
on, and the neighborhood became an inviting one for settlers. The mines 
to the north were booming ; the river boats were carrying great numbers 
of passengers, who always stopped at this point, and one must repeat, why 
should it not be attractive? 

When requested, Keokuk and the other chiefs issued proclamations, 
and, with most of their people, removed to the west side of the river.* 
Wapello, the head chief of the Foxes, and Pash-e-pa-ho of the Sacs, mak- 
ing the decision almost unanimous, also went over, but Black Hawk, find- 
ing it possible to annoy the Americans, refused, claiming that when he 
signed the treaty of 1816 he had been deceived and never knew that his 
village had been included in its terms. His oflfenses had been condoned so 
many times by the indulgent Americans that he had grown to consider 
himself above danger from them, and doggedly remained, in defiance of 
the wish of the President and the proclamations of Keokuk and Wapello. 
The promotion of Keokuk to be chief of the Sacs bad its influence, for any 
proclamation Keokuk might make would certainly be defied by Black 
Hawk. Keokuk urged him to avoid friction by peaceably removing with 
the others, but this appeal only strengthened his determination to remain, 
and he sat back upon his haunches like the bull before the locomotive, 

>AiiDal8 of the West, p. 797. In 1828 the President Issued his proclamation opening 
this land, which had been previonsly surveyed, and the following year was occupied, and 
later sola. 

*In 1828 some few lingered, but by May all but Black Hawk*s band and Quash-qua-me 

Digitized by 



and, to carry the simile to a logical conclusion, was very naturally annihi- 

The disposition to quarrel may be seen from the following extract 
from a letter written to Governor Qark by Agent Forsythe : 

Rocky Island, 17th May, 1829. 

Sir: — Some time early in the spring, a number of settlers came to the Sac 
village on Rock river and enclosed nearly all the Sac Indians' corn fields. The 
Indians, on their arrival, were surprised at this, as also the destruction committed 
by the settlers by tearing down many of their lodges. The settlers who reside 
at the Sac village have called on me frequently, wishing me to drive the Indians 
away; that they must go, ought to go, pointing out the necessity of sending them 
away, etc., etc 

I yesterday had a meeting with a number of Indians, and had a very long 
talk with them on the subject of all the Indians moving onto their own lands. 

Quash-qua-me denying that he ever sold any land above Rock river, etc, the 
Black Hawk also saying that the white people were in the habit of saying one 
thing to the Indians and putting another on paper; and both those Indians made 
use of every argument they were masters of to convince me that they never had 
sold the land above Rock r^ver, etc. 

I acquainted all the Indians with the provisions of the treaty of 1804, where 
Quash-qua-me's name is, as one of the chiefs who sold the land in question (the 
other chiefs being dead). I also reminded the Black Hawk of the treaty of 1816, 
when the commissioners refused to smoke with him and the other Sac chiefs (who 
accompanied him down to St. Louis), to make peace, until they signed the treaty, etc. 

The Black Hawk denied that any mention was made to him about land in 
making the treaty of 1816; but that the commissioners must have inserted in 
the treaty what was not expressly explained to him and friends. 

The Indians and myself had a great deal of talk at this meeting, the most of 
which was quite unnecessary, at the winding up of which I told the Indians I would 
not listen to any complaints that might come in future from any Indians who 
would remain at Rocky river. 

The chief Keokuk inquired of me in private if he and some of his friends 
could remain at Rocky river to raise the corn they had planted,* saying at the same 
time that most of the principal chiefs and braves had gone to reside at a place a 
few miles within the mouth of loway river, and that more than one-half of those 
now at Rocky river would also go shortly to the same place. 

I told Keokuk that he had heard what I had said to the Indians in council, and 
that it was out of my power to give any Indians such permission as he asked for. 

It is my opinion that but few Indians will remain at Rocky river this summer, 
but yet I am fearful that some difficulties will take place among them and the 
settlers during the ensuing summer. All the Fox Indians formerly residing in 
this vicinity have gone and made a new village at the Grand Mascatin. 

As has been stated, Black Hawk was not a chief, and was never 
recognized as such. He was simply a brave who had gathered around him 
a party of disaffected spirits, eager to foment strife ; being no Pontiac or 
Tecumseh, and having no call upon him by his nation or his tribe to 

>The plantTng of the corn In 1829 by the squaws was done to feed those who had gone 
to the Iowa River and were there preparing new fields, which could not then be used. 

Digitized by 



rectify any wrongs, his controversies in 1830 had degenerated into petty 
quarrels with the incoming settlers. 

He refused to cross the Mississippi because he was meanly jealous of 
Keokuk and his influence and because of his hatred of the Americans, and 
not because of fealty to any principle. He considered every argument 
of his friends to mean that his removal meant his absorption as an attrac- 
tion. Removal west, with Keokuk above him, meant desuetude and dry 
rot for his schemes. He preferred being a small quarreler to being none 
at all, and he remained. 

The Indian inclosures were made with stakes driven into the ground, 
to which poles were transversely laid and tied with strips of bark. When 
the crop of 1830 had been planted within these enclosures, or otherwise, 
the Indians left for a summer hunt. Returning when the com was in 
the milk, it was gathered and their horses were turned into the fields. 
The aftermath of those meagerly cropped fields was uninviting while the 
ripening grain of the whites was near at hand, and, without any cere- 
mony, the slight fences were trampled down and the grain of the white 
man more or less consumed or destroyed. A casual glance at this state of 
things would disclose no premeditation on the part of the Indians to 
molest the whites, but the whites complained and seem to have proven 
beyond all doubt that the Indians, finding they could harass the whites 
by these tactics, carried them a little further, until they secretly drove 
horses into the fields and upon various occasions killed the live stock 
of the whites. The correspondence entire upon the subject, as found in 
public document No. 2 of the proceedings of the Twenty-second Congress, 
first session, is scattered along through this chapter. These depredations 
continued until autumn, when Black Hawk and his band departed on their 
winter's hunt. 

By way of experiment, a compromise for the year 1830 was attempted 
whereby th^ whites and Indians were to try to live together in peace, but 
the antagonistic natures of both made success impossible and the attempt 
was abandoned, with the determination by the whites that if Black Hawk 
annoyed them in their future efforts to develop their farms his actions 
would be met with resistance and his removal by force demanded of the 
authorities. In the spring of 1831 the Indians returned to find the whites 
prepared to resist them. Black Hawk's wick-a-up was occupied. This 
act brought his contention to a climax, as might have been expected, by 
openly attempting the destruction of property. This he did without 
molesting the owner, adroitly provoking the Americans to menace and 
possibly force him to assume an attitude of defense of Indian rights and 
the "graves of his fathers." On April 30, 1831, the following letter was 
sent to Governor Reynolds, setting forth grievances, and signed by a 
numerical force which should command attention from any executive: 


Digitized by 




"April 30, 1831. 
"His Excellency, the Governor of the State of Illinois: 

"We, the undersigned, being citizens of Rock River and its vicinity, beg leave 
to state to your honor the grievances which we labor under, and pray your pro- 
tection against the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians, who have again taken possession of 
our lands near the mouth of Rock River and its vicinity. They have, and now 
are, burning our fences, destroying our crops of wheat now gfrowing, by turning 
in all their horses. They also threaten our lives if we attempt to plant com, and 
say they will cut it up; that we have stolen their lands from them, and they are 
determined to exterminate us, provided we don't leave the country. Your honor, no 
doubt, is aware of the outrages that were committed by said Indians heretofore. • 
Particularly last fall, they almost destroyed all our crops, and made several 
attempts on the owners' lives when they attempted to prevent their depredations, 
and actually wounded one man by stabbing him in several places. This spring they 
act in a much more outrageous and menacing manner, so that we consider ourselves 
compelled to beg protection of you, which the agent and garrison on Rock Island 
refuse to give, inasmuch as they say they have no orders from government; there- 
fore, should we not receive adequate aid from your honor, we shall be compelled 
to abandon our settlement, and the lands which we have purchased of government 
Therefore, we have no doubt but your honor will better anticipate our condition 
than it is represented, and grant us immediate relief in the manner that to you 
may seem most likely to produce the desired effect. The number of Indians now 
among us is about six or seven hundred They say there are more coming, and 
that the Pottawattomies and some of the Winnebagoes will help them, in case of an 
irruption with the whites. The warriors now here are the Black Hawk's party, 
with other chiefs, the names of whom we are not acquainted with. Therefore, look- 
ing up to you for protection, we beg leave to remain yours, etc." * 

"John Wells, 
"B. F. Pike, 
"H. McNiel, 
"Albert Wells, 
"Griffith Ausbury, 
"Thomas Gardiner, 
"J. Vandruff, 
"S. Vandruff, 
"John L. Bain, 
"Horace Cook, 
"David B. Hail, 
"John Barrel, 
"William Henry, 

"Erastus Kent, 
"Levi Wells, 
"Joel Wells, 
"Michael Bartlet, 
"Huntington Wells, 
"Thomas Davis, 
"Thomas Lovitt, 
"William Heans, 
"Charles French, 
"M. S. Hulls, 
"Eli Wells, 
"Asaph Wells, 

"G. V. Miller, 
"Edward Burner, 
"Joel Thompson, 
"Joel Wells, Jr., 
"J. W. Spencer, 
"Joseph Danforth, 
"William Brazher, 
"Jonah H. Case, 
"Samuel Wells, 
"Charles French, 
"Benjamin Goblc, 
"Gentry McCall." 

Receiving no reply .to that request, the citizens waited until the 19th 
of May, when they fancied they would have to send a personal embassy 
to Reynolds, which they did, in as much haste as possible, as they were 
expecting momentary trouble from those Indians. They accordingly drew 
up the following petition and sent it by one of the most respectable of 
their citizens, who in person laid it before the Governor : 

^Wakefield, Appendix, Note 1, pp. 107-116. 

Digitized by 



"Farahamburg, May 19th, 1831. 
"To his Excellency, the Governor of the State of Illinois : 

"We, the undersigned, citizens of Rock River and its vicinity, having previously 
sent a petition to your honor, praying your protection against these Sac Indians, 
who were at that time doing every kind of mischief, as was set forth and represented 
to your honor; but feeling ourselves more aggrieved, and our situation more pre- 
carious, we have been compelled to make our distress known to you by sending 
one of our neighbors, who is well acquainted with our situation. If we do not 
get relief speedily, we must leave our habitations to these savages, and seek safety 
for our families by taking them down into the lower counties and suffer our 
houses and fences to be destroyed, as one of the principal war chiefs has threatened, 
if we do not abandon our settlement, his warriors should burn our houses over 
our heads. They were, at the time we sent our other petition, destro3ring our 
crops of wheat, and are still pasturing their horses in our fields, burning our fences, 
and have thrown the roof off one house. They shot arrows at our cattle, killed our 
hogs, and every mischief. 

"We have tried every argument to the agent for relief, but he tells us they 
are a lawless band, and he has nothing to do with them until further orders, leaving 
us still in suspense, as the Indians say, if we plant we shall not reap, a proof of 
which we had last fall ; they almost entirely destroyed all our crops of com, potatoes, 
etc Believing we shall receive protection from your excellency, we shall go on 
with our farms until the return of the bearer; and ever remain your humble sup- 
plicants, etc.," 

Which petition was signed by nearly the same citizens as the first. 
Benjamin F. Pike, the bearer of the above petition, and also Hiram 
Sanders and Ammyson Chapman, made oath to the truth of the allegations 
contained in it, as follows : 

"State of Illinois, St. Gair County. 

"Present, Benjamin F. Pike, before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for the 
safd county, and made oath and deposed, that he has resided in the vicinity of Rock 
River, in the State of Illinois, for almost three years last past; that he is well 
acquainted with the band of the Sac Indians whose chief is the Black Hawk, and 
who have resided and do now reside near the mouth of Rock River, in this State; 
that he understands so much of the said Indian language, as to converse with the 
said Indians intelligibly; that he is well satisfied that said Indians, to the amount 
of about three hundred warriors, are extremely unfriendly to the white people; 
that said Indians are determined, if not prevented by force, to drive off the white 
people, who have some of them purchased land of the United States, near said 
Indians, and said Indians to remain the sole occupiers of the said country. 

**That said Indians do not only make threats to this effect, but have, in various 
instances, done much damage to said white inhabitants, by throwing down their 
fences, destroying the fall grain, pulling off the roofs of houses, and positively 
asserting that if the whites do not go away, they would kill them; that there are 
about forty inhabitants and heads of families in the vicinity of said Indians, who 
are immediately affected by said band of Indians; that said Pike is certain that 
said forty heads of families, if not protected, will be compelled to leave their 
habitations and homes from the actual injury that said Indians will commit on 
said inhabitants. That said band of Indians consists, as above stated, of about three 
hundred warriors, and that the whole band is actuated by the same hostile feelings 
towards the white inhabitants; and that, if not prevented by an armed force of 

Digitized by 



men, will commit murders on said white inhabitants. That said Indians have 
said, that they would fight for their country where they reside, and would not permit 
the white people to occupy it at all. That said white inhabitants are desirous to 
be protected, and that immediately, so that they may raise crops this spring and 

"Benjamin F. Pike. 
"Sworn and subscribed before me, this 26th May, 1831. 

"John H. Dennis, J. P." 

"The deposition of Hiram Sanders and Ammyson Chapman, taken before 
Stephen Dewey, Esq., a Justice of the Peace for Fulton County. 

"State of Illinois, Fulton County. 

"" "Personally appeared before me, Stephen Dewey, an acting Justice of the Peace 
in and for said county of Fulton, and State of Illinois, Hiram Sanders, and 
Ammyson Chapman, of the aforesaid county, and State, and made oath that some 
time in the month of April last, they went to the old Indian Sac town, about thirty 
miles up Rock River, for the purpose of farming and establishing a ferry across 
said river, and the Indians ordered us to move away, and not to come there again 
and we remained there a few hours. 

"They then sent for their chief, and he informed us that we might depart 
peaceably, and if we did not that he would make us go. 

*'He therefore ordered the Indians to throw our furniture out of the house; 
they accordingly did so, and threatened to kill us if we did not depart We there- 
fore discovered that our lives were in danger, and consequently moved back again 
to the above county. 

"We supposed them to be principally Winnebagoes. 

"H. Sanders, 
"A. Chapman. 

"Sworn and subscribed this nth. day of May, 1831. 

"Stephen Dewey, J. P. 

There were several other petitions sent to the Governor from Hender- 
son River and elsewhere; likewise a number of depositions were taken, 
the substance of which will be found in General Gaines' report to the 
Secretary of War. 

For almost twenty-seven years> much over an average Indian's life- 
time, the Government had faithfully observed its compact of 1804 to 
allow the Sacs and Foxes the privilege of remaining on the ceded lands 
until surveyed and thrown upon the market. With each new treaty ac- 
knowledging that one, additional annuities had been granted them, until 
the annual distribution amounted to $27,000.00: "The Sacs and Foxes 
are already drawing an annuity of twenty-seven thousand dollars for thirty 
years to come, in cash, and by the present treaty that amount will be 
enlarged to thirty-seven thousand dollars per annum."' The last named 
treaty, mentioned by Catlin, brought these Indians seventy-five cents, per 
acre for their lands. Yet Black Hawk, regardless of the obligation of his 
lawful superiors and his own, under those repeated treaties and payments, 


Digitized by 



lingered and quibbled and quarreled, thinking, no doubt, by this time that 
he could not or would not be removed at all. 

The little band of whites, unable to contend successfully against the 
overwhelming numbers of Indians and their exasperating thefts and 
annoyances, applied to the agent and got no relief and, as it seemed to the 
settlers, almost no thought. The United States authorities, particularly 
Governor Qark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis, were the 
ones to furnish protection, vi ef armis or otherwise. Governor Reynolds 
was very unwilling at first to send the militia to the scene without invita- 
tion from those army officers ; therefore, when he received the first petition, 
instead of replying at once to it, he applied to the Indian agents at Rock 
Island and to General Gaines. Failing of receiving any consideration, the 
second message from the citizens, who thought he had ignored them, com- 
pelled the "Old Ranger," as the Governor was called, to take the initiative 
by calling out the militia to the number of 700, which he did on May 26th, 
with instructions to rendezvous at Beardstown June 10, 183 1.* On the 
day of issuing that call, he wrote Governor Dark a letter, calculated to 
leave no room for doubt as to the course he should pursue and the manner 
of his treatment of the Indians if they did not move. 

"Belleville, 26th May, 1831. 

"Sir: — In order to protect the citizens of this State, who reside near Rock 
River, from Indian invasion and depredations, I have considered it necessary to 
call out a force of militia of this State of about seven hundred strong, to remove 
a band of the Sac Indians who are now about Rock Island. The object of the 
government of the State is to protect those citizens, by removing said Indians, peace- 
ably, if they can, but forcibly if they must. Those Indians are now, and so I have 
considered them, in a state of actual invasion of the State. 

"As you act as the public agent of the United States in relation to those 

Indians, I considered it my duty to inform you of the above call on the militia, and 

that in or about fifteen days a sufficient force will appear before said Indians to 

remove them, dead or alive, over to the west side of the Mississippi; but to save 

all this disagreeable business, perhaps a request from you to them, for them to 

remove to the west side of the river, would effect the object of procuring peace 

to the citizens of the State. There is no disposition on the part of the people of 

this State to injure those unfortunate and deluded savages if they will let us alone; 

but a government that does not protect its citizens deserves not the name of 

a government Please correspond with me to this place on this subject. 

"Your obedient servant, ,,, ^ 

John Reynolds. 

"Gen. Clark, Supt., etc." 

Reynolds* letter hastened the following reply, which clearly indicated 
that much had really been done by Governor Qark to remove the Indians : 

"Supcrintendency of Indian Affairs, 

"St. Louis, May 28, 1831. 
"Sir: — ^I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th 
inst, informing me of your having considered it necessary to call out a force of 

•*My Own Times/* p. 328. 

Digitized by 



militia of about seven hundred for the protection of the citizens of Illinois who 
reside near Rock Island from Indian invasion and for the purpose of removing 
a band of Sac Indians who are now about Rock Island, etc 

"You intimate that to prevent the necessity of employing this force, perhaps 
a request from me to those Indians to remove to the west side of the Mississippi 
would effect the object of procuring peace to the citizens of your State. In 
answer to which, I would beg leave to observe, that every e£Fort on my part has 
been made to effect the removal of all those tribes who had ceded dMir lands. 
For the purpose of affording you a view (in part) of what has been done in this 
matter, I enclose you herewith extracts from the reports of the agents for the Sacs 
and Foxes, by which it will be seen that every means, short of actual force, has 
been employed to effect their removal. 

"I have communicated the contents of your letter to Gen. Gaines, who com- 
mands the western division of the army, and who has full power to act and execute 
any military movement deemed necessary for the protection of the frontier. I 
shall also furnish him with such information regarding the Sacs and Foxes as 
i am possessed of, and would beg leave to refer you to him for any further pro- 
ceedings in relation to this subject I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

"Your obedient servant. .^^ ^^^^ 

"His Excellency, John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois." 

The fact that Governor Reynolds did not immediately hear from 
General Gaines or the Indian agents led him into the mistaken belief that 
they were entirely inactive and unsympathetic as to the fate of the settlers. 
The contrary is the truth, as the following letters, mentioned in the fore- 
going, frc«n Agent St. Vrain, a most courteous and conscientious man, 
will disclose. This same good man was subsequently butchered in a most 
shocking manner by the Indians :* 

"Rock Island, May 15, 1831. 

"Respected Sir:— I have again to mention to you that the Black Hawk (a Sac 
chief) and his party are now at their old village on Rock River. They have 
commenced planting com and say they will keep possession. I have been informed 
that they have pulled down a house and some fences, which they have burned. They 
have also turned their horses in wheat fields and say they will destroy the wheat, so 
that the white people shall not remain among them. 

"This is what I expected from their manner of acting last fall, and which I 
mentioned to you in my letter of the 8th October last. I would not be at a loss 
were it not for the 7th article of the treaty with the Sacs and Foxes of 3d November, 

"I respectfully ask, would it not be better to hold a treaty with those Indians 
and get them to remove peaceably, than to call on the military to force them off? 
None of this band has as yet called on me for information. A few have been 
at my agency to have work done at the smithes shops. I have the honor to be, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"Felix St. Vrain, Indian Agent. 

"Gen. William Clark, Supt. Ind. of St. Louis." 

"St Louis, May 28, 1831. 
"Respected Sir: — Since my last of the 15th inst on the subject of the band 
of Sac Indians, etc, the Indian village on Rock River near Rock Island, I have 

»Se€ page 170, poet 

Digitized by 



heard from the Indians and some of the whites, that a house had been unroofed 
instead of pulled down and burned and that the fence had caught fire by accident 
As regards the destroying of the wheat, etc, the Indians say that a white man 
hauled some timber through a field and left the fence down, by which means 
their horses got into the field. This, however, has been contradicted by the white 
inhabitants of that place. They say that the Indians are constantly troubling 
them by letting their horses into their fields and killing their hogs, etc., etc. This, 
however, I am confident is occasioned in a great measure by whisky being given 
to the Indians in exchange for their guns, traps, etc. 

"I had a talk with the principal chief and. braves of that band of Indians. 
1 spoke to the Black Thunder, who is the principal of that band. The Black 
Hawk is only a brave, but has considerable influence with them. I told them that 
they had sold those lands to the government of the United States, and that they 
ought to remove to their own lands. They then said that they had only sold the 
lands south of the river. I then produced the treaties and explained to them that 
they had relinquished their right as far as the Ouisconsin. Quash-quam-me (the 
junking fish) then said that he had only consented to the limits being Rock 
River; but that a Fox chief agreed (as he understands, afterwards) for the 
Ouisconsin; that he (Quash-quam-me) had been deceived, and that he did not 
intend it to be so. I had considerable talk with them on this subject, and could 
discover nothing hostile in their disposition, unless their decided conviction of 
their right to the place could be construed as such. I have been informed that 
a white man and his family had gone to an Indian village on the borders of Rock 
River, about forty miles from Rock Island, for the purpose of establishing a 
ferry, and that the Indians at that place had driven them away, at the same time 
saying to them that they would not hurt them, but they should not live there. 
This village is occupied by a mixture of Winnebago, Sac and Fox bands and 
headed by the Prophet, a chief. I have the honor to be 

"Your obedient servant, 

"FmJx St. Vrain, Indian Agent 

"Gen. William Qlaxk, Supt Indian Affairs, St. Louis." 

That CJeneral Qark was more active than credited by Reynolds will 
also be learned from the ensuing letter, whidi he at once dispatched to 

General Gaines : 

"Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 
"St Louis, May 28, 1831. 

"Sir: — I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of a letter of 26th inst. just 
received from the Governor of Illinois, by which you will perceive he has thought 
it necessary to call out a force of about 700 militia for the protection of the citi- 
zens of that State, who reside near Rock River, and for the purpose of removing 
a band of Sacs which he states are now about Rock Island. 

"As the commanding General of this division of the army, I have thought 
it my duty to communicate to you the above information; and for the purpose 
of putting you in possession of the views of the Government in relation to this 
subject, as well as to inform you of the means which have been heretofore em- 
ployed for the removal of the Sacs now complained of, I enclose to you herewith 
copies of my correspondence with the War Department and with the agent for 
those tribes, also extracts from such of their reports as had immediate relation 
to the subject.* 

'Forsythe's letter of 1829, ante, was one o£ them. 

Digitized by 



"The Sacs and Foxes have been counseled with on the subject of their re- 
moval from the lands which they had ceded to the United States. The prospect of 
collisions with the white settlers who were then purchasing those lands, and the 
interminable difficulties in which they would be involved thereby -were pointed out, 
and had the effect of convincing a largemajority of both tribes of the impropriety 
of remaining at their old villages. They, therefore, acquiesced in the justice of 
the claim of the United States and expressed their willingness to comply with 
my request to remove to their new village on loway river, west of the Mississippi, 
all but parts of two bands headed by two inconsiderable chiefs, who, after abandon- 
ing their old village, have, it appears, returned again, in defiance of all consequences. 

"Those bands are distinguished and known by the name of The British Party,* 
having been for many years in the habit of making annual visits at Maiden in 
Upper Canada for the purpose of receiving their presents, and it is believed to be 
owing in a great measure to the counsels they have there received, that so little 
influence has been acquired over them by the United Stales agents. 

"In justice to Keokuk, Wapello, The Stabbing Chief, and, indeed, all the 
other real chiefs and principal men of both tribes, it should be observed that they 
have constantly and zealously co-operated with the Government agents in further- 
ance of its views, and in their endeavors to effect the removal of all their prop- 
erty from the ceded lands. 

"Any information in my possession which you may deem necessary in rela- 
tion to this subject will be promptly afforded. With high respect, I have the 

Honor to be ,.__ , .. 

Your most obedient servant, 

"WiLUAM Clark. 

"Major-Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, Commanding Western Department, U. S. A." 

"P. S. The agent for the Sacs and Foxes (Mr. St. Vrain) has received his 
instructions and will perform any service you may require of him with the Sacs 
and Foxes." 

Reynolds must have received General Qark's letter on the date of 
writing, since he concurrently addressed General Gaines as follows : 

"Belleville, May 28, 1831. 
"General Gaines. ' 

"Sir: — I have received undoubted information that the section of this State 
near Rock Island is actually invaded by a hostile band 6i the Sac Indians, headed 
by Black Hawk; and in order to repel said invasion, and to protect the citizens 
of the State. I have, under the provisions of the Constitution of the' United 
States and the laws of this State, called on the militia, to the number of seven 
hundred men, who will be mounted and ready for service in a very short time. 
I consider it my duty to lay before you the above information, so as you, com- 
manding the military forces of the United States in this part of the Union, may 
adopt such measures in regard to said Indians as you deem right. 

"The above-mentioned mounted volunteers (because such they will be) will 
be in readiness immediately to move against said Indians, and, as Executive of 
the State of Illinois, I respectfully solicit your co-operation in this business. 
Please honor me with an answer to this letter. 

"With sincere respect for your character, 

"I am, your obedient servant, 

"John Reynolds." 

Digitized by 



To which rather tart epistle General Gaines replied instanter : 

"H. Q. Western Department, May 29, 183 1. 
"His Excellency, Governor Reynolds. 

"Sir: — I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 
yesterday's date, advising me of your having received undoubted information that 
the section of the frontier of your State near Rock Island is invaded by a hostile 
band of Sac Indians, headed by a chief called Black Hawk. That in order to 
repel said invasion, and to protect the citizens of the State, you have called on 
the militia to the number of seven hundred militiamen, to be in readiness im- 
mediately to move against the Indians, and you solicit my co-operation. 

"In reply, it is my duty to state to you, that I have ordered six companies 
of the regular troops stationed at Jefferson Barracks to embark to-morrow morning 
and repair forthwith to the spot occupied by the hostile Sacs. To this detach- 
ment I shall, if necessary, add four companies. With this force I am satisfied 
that I shall be able to repel the invasion and give security to the frontier in- 
habitants of the State. But should the hostile band be sustained by the residue 
of the Sac, Fox and other Indians, to an extent requiring an augmentation of my 
force, I will, in that event, communicate with your Excellency by express, and 
avail myself of the co-operation which you propose. But, under existing circum- 
stances, and the present aspect of our Indian relations on the Rock Island section 
of the frontier, I do not deem it necessary or proper to require militia, or any 
other description of force, other than that of the regular army at this place and 
Prairie du Chien. 

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"Edmund P. Gaines, 
"Major-Gen. by Brevet, Commanding." 

Dignifying Black Hawk's return with the term invasion was a mis- 
nomer, at least an exaggeration, on the part of Reynolds, but Gaines 
promptly set out for Fort Armstrong, where he quickly absorbed the situa- 
tion and communicated it to Reynolds. 

"Headquarters, Rock Island, June 5, 1831. 
"John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois. 

"Sir: — I do myself the honor to report to your Excellency the result of my 
conference with the chiefs and braves of the band of Sac Indians settled within 
the limits of your State near this place. 

"I called their attention to the facts reported to me of their disorderly con- 
duct towards the white inhabitants near them. They disavow any intention of 
hostility, but at the same time adhere with stubborn pertinacity to their purpose 
of remaining on the Rock River land in question. 

"I notified them of my determination to move them peaceably if possible, but 
at all events to move them to their own side of the Mississippi River, pointing out 
to them the apparent impossibility of their living on lands purchased by the 
whites without constant disturbance. They contended that this part of their 
country had never been sold by them. I explained to them the different treaties of 
1804, '16 and '25, and concluded with a positive assurance that they must move 
off, and that I must as soon as they are ready assist them with boats. 

"I have this morning learned that they have invited the Prophet's band of 

Digitized by 



Winnebagoes on Rock River, with some Pottanattomies and Kickapoos, to join 
them. If I find this to be true, I cfaall ^dly avail myself of my present visit to 
see them well punished ; aad, therefore, I deem it to be the only safe measure now 
to be taken io SBiiawt of your Excellency the battalion of mounted men which 
yott did tne the honor to say would co-operate with me. They will find at this 
post a supply of rations for the men, with some com for their horses, together 
with a supply of powder and lead. 

"I have deemed it expedient under all the circumstances of the case to invite 
the frontier inhabitants to bring their families to this post until the difference 
is over. 

"I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"Edmund P. Gaines, 
"Major-Gen. by Brevet, Conmianding." 

"P. S. Since writing the foregoing remarks, I have learned that the Winne- 
bagoes and Pottawattomie Indians have actually been invited by the Sacs to join 
them. But the former evince no disposition to comply; and it is supposed by 
Colonel Gratiot, the agent, that none will join the Sacs, except, perhaps, some few 
of the Kickapoos. E. P. G." 

The situation had developed such symptoms, to the mind of General 
Qark, that, after writing Governor Reynolds and urging Gaines forward, 
he made the following report to the Secretary of War : 

"Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 
"St Louis, May 30, 1831. 

"Sir:— On the 28th inst. I had the honor of receiving a letter from the Gov- 
ernor of Illinois dated the 26th, informing me of the measures which he had consid- 
ered it necessary to pursue for the protection of the citizens of his State from In- 
dian invasion and for the purpose of removing a band of Sacs then about Rock 
island. A copy of his letter and my answer is herewith^ enclosed. 

"Deeming the information received from the Governor of Illinois important, I 
immediately communicated it to General Gaines, who happened to be in this 
place at the time ; and shortly after was called upon by Governor Reynolds himself, 
to whom I gave such information respecting the Sacs complained of as had come 
to my knowledge, and also furnished him with such of the reports of the agent 
for those tribes as had relation to the subject. To the commanding General I 
furnished similar information; and also for the purpose of possessing him of the 
views of the Government on that subject, I gave him copies of such of my cor- 
respondence with the War Department as had any relation thereto. 

"I also enclose to you copies of two reports of the agent for the Sacs and 
Foxes of the 15th and 28th inst. By the first it will be seen that the band com- 
plained of is determined to keep possession of their old village ;* and it is probable 
from a knowledge of the disposition evinced in the matter by the Sacs and for 
the purpose of dispossessing them, that the conmianding General has thought 
proper to make a display in that quarter of a part of the force under his com- 
mand, six companies of which arc now leaving this place for Rock River. The 
expedition (be the result what it may) cannot fail of producing good effects, even 

>See letter Col. Henry Oratlott next following. 

Digitized by 



should the Indians be disposed to move peaceably to their own lands ; and if not» 
their opposition should, in my opinion, be put down at once. 
"I have the honor to be, with high respect, 

"Your most obedient servant, 

'*WiLLiAM Clark. 
"The Hon. John H. Eaton, Secretary of War." 

"Rock Island, June 12, 183 1. 

"Sir: — ^I have the honor to report to you that, agfreeably to my intimation 
to you, I visited the village of Sac Indians near this place j p ni ff niaj i far the pur- 
pose of p e isuadlug off tibe ^Wamdngo Prophet and some young men of his 
band whom I knew had previously been there, and, I believe, with an intention 
to support the Sac Indians. I found that the Prophet had just left there for 
his village, which is within my agency upon Rock River, and although he had 
previously promised that he would return home and remain there, I have reason 
to believe that his object is to get as many of his band and of the other bands 
of the Winnebagoes (who reside at Rock River, within my agency) as he can, for 
tEe purpose of joining the Sacs and of supporting them in their present pretensions. 

"I have recently been at some of the principal villages of Winnebagoes within 
my agency, and have ascertained from unquestionable authority that, although they 
had been invited to join the Sacs, they had refused to do so. I think it will be 
prudent for me to follow the Prophet, to prevent him from influencing any of 
the Indians up the river to join him. Should I, however, find that any of the 
warriors have left before my arrival amongst them, I will (if you think it best) 
return immediately to this place, bringing with me three or four influential chiefs 
who can be relied on and who will, with my assistance, I think, be able to 
control them. 

"In my opinion there are at least 400 warriors at the Sac village which I 
visited yesterday, apparently determined to defend themselves in their present 
position. On the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, I immediately hastened 
to this place with a view to give you the most satisfactory information upon the 
subject of it and tender my services in any way you may think useful. 

"I am, respectfully yours, 

"Henry Gratiot, Sub-Agent, etc 

"Maj.-Gbn. Gaines." 

Digitized by 



Council — Militia Organized — March to Black Hawk's Village — 
Flight — ^Vill^vge Burned— Treaty of 183 i. 

Once awakened, General Gaines lost no time in bringing about a 
convention with the Indians, to avoid, if possible the trouble of a demon- 
stration, but Black Hawk was fired with hatred and unprepared to accept 
any terms whatsoever. A council or talk was had in the council chamber at 
Fort Armstrong, which Black Hawk and his British sympathizers attended 
in numbers, and all fully armed. General Gaines opened the council by 
stating that the great father at Washington desired only what was right, 
and closed by insisting that the Indians should remove peaceably. Black 
Hawk replied that the Sacs had never sold their lands and were deter- 
mined not to give up their village. General Gaines then asked : "Who 
is Black Hawk ? Is he a chief ? By what right does he appear in coun* 
cil r^' To these questions Black Hawk that day made no reply, but on the 
following morning he was again in his seat. When the council opened he 
arose and, addressing General Gaines, said: "My father, you inquired 
yesterday, *Who is Black Hawk? Why does he sit among the chiefs?' 
I will tell you who I am. I am a Sac; I am a warrior, and so was my 
father. Ask those young men who have followed me to battle, and they 
will tell you who Black Hawk is ; provoke our people to war and you will 
learn who Black Hawk is.'" It is further recorded of this meeting that 
in the heat of passion Black Hawk called General Gaines a liar and made 
demonstrations to kill him, which were only averted by the coolness of 
Gaines in parrying his threats by words of calmness. In this delicate 
affair Antoine LeQaire, the interpreter, was a powerful factor in smother- 
ing the threatened disturbance. The situation has been briefly set out in 
fortieth of Niles Register, page 310, as follows: 

"Encampment, Rock Island, June 8th. 

"We yesterday had a talk with the Indians, and from their determination not 

to leave the white settlements, and from their numbers, we shall have pretty 

serious work; that is, we shall have no play. They came into the council house 

yesterday with their spears, hatchets and bows strung. I have no doubt, from 

iFuIton*8 "Red Men of Iowa/* p. 194 ; Dflvldson & Stuve Hist 111.* p. 877. 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



the extreme agitation of the interpreter, that there was more danger than most were 
aware of, as our troops were near a quarter of a mile off and they were about 
ten for one of us." 

If any proof of hostility had been theretofore wanting, that demon- 
stration supplied it and determine'd General Gaines to act heartily in con- 
junction with Governor Reynolds, and hastily as well. ^ 

Men left their plows, and, with little or no preparation, hastened to 
Beardstown, where twice the number of volunteers asked assembled. In 
bringing this expedition about, with as little hardship as possible, Governor 
Reynolds summoned none south of St. Qair or east of Sangamon counties. 

None brought provisions and many failed to bring firearms, as re- 
quested in the call, but through the unusual resourcefulness of Colonels 
Enoch C. March and Samuel C. Christy, who were appointed quarter- 
masters, supplies were quickly and abundantly provided, and by the good 
fortune of finding with Mr. Francis Arenz, a merchant of Beardstown, a 
consignment of brass guns, designed for the South American trade, but 
not so used, arms for all were provided. Governor Reynolds seemed deter- 
mined not to conform to the punctilio of bureau fighting. 

To organize the army. Governor Reynolds appointed as his aids 
James D. Henry and Milton K. Alexander. The task was difficult, but it 
was done satisfactorily. It must be remembered that the men were un- 
accustomed to subordination; many aspiring politicians whose appeals 
could not be ignored clamored for recognition; many more troc4)s than 
were needed appeared, and to turn any number back might have 
jeopardized the success of the expedition, yet all conditions were met and 
harmoniously adjusted. 

Joseph Duncan of the state militia, afterward Governor, was ap- 
pointed Brigadier 'General, to assume immediate command of the brigade,* 
and William Thomas was appointed Brigade Quartermaster; William G. 
Brown, Paymaster General, and A. Atkins, Isom M. Gillham and Enoch 
B. Wethers, aids to General Duncan. E. D. Taylor was his Adjutant and 
J. J. Hardin Inspector General on his staflF. 

The brigade was divided into two regiments, a minor odd battalion 
and a spy battalion. The First Regiment was composed of seven com- 
panies, commanded by Captains Adam Smith, William F. Elkin, Achilles 
Morris, Thomas Carlin,* John Lorton, Samuel C. Pierce or Pearce and 
Samuel Smith, the staff officers being James D. Henry,' Colonel; Jacob 
Fry, Lieutenant-Colonel; John T. Stuart, Major; Thomas Collins, Adju- 
tant; Edward Jones, Quartermaster; Thomas M. Neale, Paymaster. 

The Second Regiment was composed of seven companies, commanded 
by Captains H. Mathews, John Haines, George Bristow, William Gillham, 

*Reynolda' "My Own Timee/* p. 334. 

'SubsequenUy Goremor of Illinois. 

*On tbe election of Henry to be colonel, Jobn Dement was made aide to Reynolds. 

Digitized by 



Hiram Kincaid, Alexander Wells and William Weatherford; the staflf 
officers, so far as known, being : Daniel lieb. Colonel ; Nathaniel Butler, 
Major, and W. Jordan, Quartermaster. 

The odd battalion was composed of three companies, commanded by 
Captains William Moore, John Loraine and Solomon Miller, with the staflf 
made up of Nathaniel Buckmaster, Major; James Semple, Adjutant; 
David Wright, Quartermaster; Joseph Gillespie, Paymaster; Charles 
Higbee, Surgeon, and John Krupp, Armorer. Richard Roman was Sur- 
geon^s Mate; John H. Blackwell, Quartermaster Sergeant. 

The spy battalion, first mentioned, was composed of four companies, 
commanded by Captains Erastus Wheeler, William B. Whiteside, William 
Miller and Solomon Preuitt, with the staflf officers as follows: Samuei 
Whiteside, Major; Samuel F. Kendle, Adjutant; John S. Greathouse, 
Quartermaster, and P. H. Winchester, Paymaster;* John F. Gillham, 

Thus organized, the little army left camp near Rushville for Fort 
Armstrong, June 15,' 1831, about 1,600 strong, reaching a point on the 
Mississippi about eight miles south of Black Hawk's village, called Rock- 
port, after a pleasant and prosperous march of four days. E. C. Berry, 
Adjutant-General of the State, accompanied the army, which was met at 
Rockport by General Gaines, who had brought on a steamboat loaded with 
provisions, secured by the General Quartermasters March and Christy, 
and here Major John Bliss, First U. S. Infantry, mustered it into the 
United States service. 

At that point the army encamped for one night, where a plan of 
operation was concerted. The following morning the army moved for- 
ward with an old regular soldier for a guide, the steamboat at the same 
time starting, with General Gaines, up the river* for Vandruflf's Island, 
where it was expected the Indians would concentrate, opposite their vil- 
lage, to pick oflf the soldiers as they approached. It was planned that the 
volunteers should cross the slough to this island, rout the enemy and ford 
the main river to the village, where the regular troops were to meet them 
from Fort Armstrong. The island was covered with bushes and vines, so 
thick as to render them impenetrable to the sight at a distance of twenty 
feet. General Gaines ran his steamboat up to the south point of the island 
and fired several rounds of grape and canister into the bushes to test the 
presence of the enemy. The spy battalion formed in line of battle and swept 
the island until it was ascertained that the ground rose so high and so 
suddenly that General Gaines' shot could have taken no eflfect one hundred 
yards from shore. The main body of volunteers, in three columns, came 


sTbe name of QeoTge F. Kennedy bas at times been confused with that of Samuel 
F. Kendle. 

MO Niles, 841, says June 19. 
«Ford, 112. 

Digitized by 


BRHi, 4iRN. JOi^EI'M nrNCAS. 




Digitized by 


rAm\ W. F. ELKIN. 




Digitized by 



following, but before they could reach the northern border of the island 
the troops became so indiscriminately mixed, officers and men together, 
that no man was able to distinguish his own company or regiment. Gaines 
had ordered the artillery of the regulars to be stationed on a high bluff 
which looked down on the contemplated battlefield half a mile distant, 
from which, had the expected battle ensued, more friends than foes had 
been killed, many times over. 

When the army finally reached the main body of the stream it was 
found bold and deep, fordable at no place nearer than half a mile and with 
no means of transportation convenient to carry the troops across. There, 
within sight of the enemy's village, they were compelled to waste much 
time in idleness until scows could be brought to ferry them over. 

After imusual eflFort the volunteers reached the village, only to find 
it abandoned, the Indians having quietly withdrawn to the west side of 
the Mississippi that morning. A most abortive and humiliating campaign 1 

Whilst in camp down the river the previous evening a canoe filled 
with friendly Indians, bearing a white flag, called upon General Gaines to 
inform him of their neutrality, and ascertain a place of safety to which 
they might remove from the dangers of the anticipated battle of the 
morrow. Had Gaines desired to pursue a tactful course and punish the 
Indians, he might have learned definitely the position of the enemy and 
planned a successful campaign, but he gruffly told them to be gone, and 
that night they returned to the village, where preparations were imme- 
diately made to abandon it, as they did the following morning. 

Governor Ford, who was a private of Whiteside's battalion in this 
expedition, has been especially severe with Graines in his narration of the 
lack of preparation and the frightful confusion which ensued, together 
with the peril in which the troops found themselves by Gaines' dispositi(Mi 
of the cannon on the heights above. It always is easy to plan an enter- 
prise after it has been concluded and all its details fathomed by experience ; 
much easier than before, with its uncertainties and possible failure. The 
Indians left ; no blood was shed ; no accidents happened to man or beast, 
and so long as the wish became a fact, though somewhat ingloriously 
done, there should be no cause for such acrimonious comments as Ford 
saw fit to record. 

The enemy having escaped, the volunteers were determined to leave 
behind them a record of their displeasure. The rain descended in torrents, 
and though shelter might have been found for many in the frail houses, 
the Indian village was put to the torch and soon consumed with flames. 

The volunteers then marched for Fort Armstrong the following morn- 
ing and encamped several days on the left bank of the Mississippi, where 
the city of Rock Island now stands. The island. Rock Island, was then 
a most romantic bit of nature. To this landscape Governor Ford in his 
narrative did ample justice : "It was then in a complete state of nature — 

Digitized by 



a romantic wilderness. Fort Armstrong was built upon a rocky cliff on 
the lower part of an Island near the center of the river. * * The shores 
on each side, formed of gentle slopes of prairie, extending back to bluffs 
of considerable height, made it one of the most picturesque scenes in the 
western country. The river here is a beautiful sheet of clear, swift-running 
water, about three-quarters of a mile wide; its banks on both sides were 
uninhabited, except by the Indians, from the lower rapids to the fort, 
and the voyagers upstream, after several days' solitary progress through a 
wilderness country on its borders, came suddenly in sight of the white- 
washed walls and towers of the fort, perched upon a rock, surrounded by 
the grandeur and beauty of nature, which, at a distance, gave it the ap- 
pearance of one of those enchanted castles in an uninhabited desert, so 
well described in the Arabian Nights Entertainment.^'' Reynolds, in his 
"My Own Times," page 338, mentions a supposition that Gaines purposely 
retained the troops in camp at Rockport over night to allow the Indians 
to escape, and that he and Duncan knew of their flight when the brigade 
moved upon the village. If he did, then his arrangement of the contem- 
plated battle was justified. But whether he knew of the departure or 
not, his measures for pursuit were prompt, vigorous and effective, and 
Black Hawk realized the fact. When demanded to return for a *'peace 
talk," some of the Indians appeared at the fort without Black Hawk. 
Immediately Gaines sent word down to the camp, twelve miles below, that 
unless the remaining warriors came in at once and sued for peace he 
would chastise them. Very soon these recalcitrants, five or six hundred 
in number, appeared upon the river, picturesquely dotting it with their 
canoes for the whole distance. 

On the 30th of June, 183 1, in full council, Black Hawk and twenty- 
seven chiefs and warriors signed a treaty with Governor Reynolds and 
General Gaines, which was faithfully interpreted, word by word, by 
Antoine LeQaire, and is as follows : 

cluded this thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, be- 
tween E. P. Gaines, Major-General of the United States Army, on the part of 
the United States; John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois, on the part of the State 
of Illinois; and the chiefs and braves of the band of Sac Indians, usually called 
the 'British Band of Rock River,' with their old allies of the Pottawatomie, 
Winnebago and Kickapoo nations: 

"WITNESSETH : That, Whereas, the said British Band of Sac Indians have, 
in violation of the several treaties entered into between the United States and the 
Sac and Fox nations in the years 1804, 1816 and 1825, continued to remain upon 
and to cultivate the lands on Rock River, ceded to the United States by the said 
treaties, after the said lands had been sold by the United States to individual 
citizens of Illinois, and other states. And, Whereas, the said British Band of 
Sac Indians, in order to sustain their pretensions to continue upon the said Rock 
River lands, have assumed the attitude of actual hostility towards the United 

•Ford, 115. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 





Digitized by 



States, and have had the audacity to drive citizens of the State of Illinois from 
their homes, to destroy their com, and to invite many of their old friends of the Pot- 
tawatomies, Winnebagoes and Kickapoos to unite with them (the said British Band 
of Sacs) in war, to prevent their removal from said lands : And, Whereas, many of 
the most disorderly of these several tribes of Indians did actually join the said 
British Band of Sac Indians, prepared for war against the United States, and 
more particularly against the State of Illinois, from which purpose they confess 
that nothing could have restrained them but the appearance of force far exceed- 
ing the combined strength of the said British Band of Sac Indians, with such 
of their aforesaid allies as had actually joined them; but being now convinced 
tBat such a war would tend speedily to annihilate them, they have voluntarily 
abandoned their hostile attitude and sued for peace. 

"First — Peace is therefore given to them upon the following conditions, to 
which the said British Band of Sac Indians, with their aforesaid allies, do agree; 
and for the faithful execution of which the undersigned chiefs and braves of the 
said band, and their allies, mutually bind themselves, their heirs and assigns 

"Second — The British Band of Sac Indians are required peaceably to submit 
to the authority of the friendly chiefs and braves of the United Sac and Fox 
nations, and at all times hereafter to reside and hunt with them upon their own 
lands west of the Mississippi River, and to be obedient to their laWs and treaties ; 
and no one or more of the said band shall ever be permitted to recross this river 
to the place of their usual residence, nor to any part of their old hunting grpunds 
east of the Mississippi, without the express permission of the President of the 
United States or the Governor of the State of Illinois. 

"Third— The United States will guarantee to the united Sac and Fox na- 
tions, including the said British Band of Sac Indians, the integrity of all the 
lands claimed by them westward of the Mississippi River pursuant to the treaties 
of the years 1825 and 1830. 

"Fourth— The United States require the united Sac and Fox nation, includ- 
ing the aforesaid British Band, to abandon all communication, and cease to hold 
any intercourse with any British post, garrison, or town; and never again to 
admit among them any agent or trader who shall not have derived his authority 
to hold commercial or other intercourse with them by license, from the President 
of the United States or his authorized agent. 

"Fifth— The United States demand an acknowledgment of their right to estab- 
lish military posts and roads within the limits of the said country guaranteed 
by the third article of this agreement and capitulation, for the protection of the 
frontier inhabitants. 

"Sixth— It is further agreed by the United States, that the principal friendly 
chiefs and head-men of the Sacs and Foxes bind themselves to enforce, as far as 
may be in their power, the strict observance of each and every article of this 
agreement and capitulation; and at any time they may find themselves unable 
to restrain their allies, the Pottawatomies, Kickapoos, or Winnebagoes, to give 
immediate information thereof to the nearest military post. 

"Seventh — And it is finally agreed by the contracting parties, that henceforth 
permanent peace and friendship be established between the United States and 
the aforesaid band of Indians. 

"In Witness Whereof, we have set our hands, the date above mentioned. 

"Edmund P. Gaines, 
"Major-General by Brevet, Commanding. 
"John Reynolds, 
"Governor of the State of Illinois." 

Digitized by 




Pash-c-pa-ho Stabbing Chief his X mark 

Washut Sturgeon Head his X mark 

Cha-kee-pax-he-pa-ho Little Stabbing Chief his X mark 

Chick-a-ka-la-ko Turtle Shell his X mark 

Pem-e-see the one that flies his X mark 

Wakriors and Braves. 

Ma-ca-la-mich-i-ca-tak ^the Black Hawk his X mark 

Men-a-con ..the Seed his X mark 

Ka-ke-ka-mah all Fish his X mark 

Nee-peek .Water his X mark 

A-sam-e-saw the one that flies too fast his X mark 

Pan-see-na-nee Paunceman his X mark 

Wa-wap-o-la-sa White Walker his X mark 

Wa-pa-qunt White Hare his X mark 

Ke-o-sa-tah .Walker his X mark 

Fox Chiefs. 

Wa-pa-la the Prince his X mark 

Kee-tee-see .the Eagle his X mark 

Pa-we-sheek one that sifts through hts X mark 

Na-mee one that has gone his X mark 

Fox Braves and Warriors. 

Al-lo-tah .Morgan , his X mark 

Ka-ka-kew the Crow ^ his X mark 

She-she-qua-nas Little Gourd >... ...his X mark 

Koe-ko-skee his X mark 

Ta-ko-na .the Prisoner his X mark 

Na-kis-ka-wa the one that meets his X mark 

Pa-ma-ke-tah the one that stands about his X mark 

To-po-kia the Night his X mark 

Mo-lan-sat the one that has his hair 

pulled out his X mark 

Ka-ke-me-ka-peo sitting in the grease his X mark 


Joseph M. Street, U. S. Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien. 

W. Morgan, Colonel ist Infantry . 

J. Bliss, Brevet Major ist Infantry. 

Geo. A. M'Call, aid-de-camp to Ma j .-Gen. Gaines. 

Sami Whiteside. 

Felix St Vrain, Indian Agent 

John S. Greathouse. 

M. K. Alexander. 

A. S. West 

Antoine LeQaire, Interpreter. 

Jos. Danforth. 

Dan S. Witter. 

Benj. F. Pike.* 

>Bx. Doc B, Ist Bess. 22d Congress, p. 187. 

Digitized by 



During the progress of this treaty the women and children remained 
encamped on the west bank of the river, reduced by the improvidence of 
the men to the extremity of starvation. In many cases they had nothing 
to cover their nakedness, presenting a spectacle so appealing to Gaines and 
Reynolds that the former took from the general store of provisions and 
delivered to Black Hawk and his band a quantity sufficient to tide them 
over until another crop should have been gathered. Black Hawk accepted 
them and went his way with many protestations of satisfaction. 

Black Hawk in his book has stated that at this time he was perfectly 
willing to remove to the west bank of the river for a cash consideration of 
$10,000 to himself, and thus abandon his village and the graves of his 
fathers. Rather a sordid ultunattmi for a patriot I 

The regular troops reached Jeflferson Barracks on their return, July 
6th, and the volunteers, in riding to their various counties, required a 
little more time. The latter, who had hoped to end the controversies with 
Black Hawk in an open fight, were loud in their protests when they dis- 
covered that instead of bullets the Indians were to receive provisions, call- 
ing the expedition a com war and other names of ridicule, but the sober 
judge of all the circimistances will render his opinion in favor of the 
justness of Gaines' and Re3molds' actions. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Unrest — Messengers and War Parties Sent Out — Attack on the 
Sioux — ^They Retaliate — ^Attack on the Menominees — ^A 

The Sioux and Sacs and Foxes had been enemies for gaierations. 
Predatory excursions by each nation into the other's country had deci- 
mated the ranks of both, until the Government found it necessary to inter- 
fere and demand a treaty of peace between them. Accordingly, cm the 
19 of August, 1825, William Qark and Lewis Cass, as commissioners on 
behalf of the United States, met representatives from the Chippewas, Sacs 
and Foxes, Sioux, Menominees, Winnebagoes, lowas and portions of the 
Ottawas and Pottowattomies at Prairie du Chien, where the first step 
toward a general peace was taken by making a treaty wherein it was finally 
agreed (Article 2) that the United States should run a boundary line 
between the Sioux on the north and the Sacs and Foxes on the south, as 
follows: Commencing at the mouth of Upper Iowa River, on the west 
bank of the Mississippi, and ascending said Iowa River to its left fork ; 
thence up the fork to its source; thence crossing the fork of Red Cedar 
River in a direct line to the second or upper fork of the Des Moines River ; 
thence in a direct line to the lower fork of the Calumet (Big Sioux) 
River, and down that river to its junction with the Missouri River/ 

Article i provided for a perpetual peace between the Sioux and 
Chippewas and confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes and between the 
lowas and Sioux. 

Article 7 determined the boundaries of the Winnebago country in 
Illinois and Wisconsin, most of which, including the lead mines, the Sacs 
and Foxes had claimed and ceded by the treaty of 1804, and which fact, 
when considered, brings the consideration for the lands actually acquired 
within reason. 

Article 9 defined the boundaries of the territory of the Ottawas, 
Chippewas and Pottowattomies, none of which the Sacs and Foxes ever 
owned, though they conveyed it by the treaty of 1804. 

This treaty of 1825, recognizing the right of the United States to 

^Peters' U. S. Stat at Lar^, Vol. vli, p. 272. 


Digitized by 



<;kx. lkwis (ASS. 

.tkffp:rson barracks. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



sundry other lands theretofore ceded by the Sacs and Foxes, over which 
they had some shadow of authority, drew the line immediately north of 
the Black Hawk village,* and this fact may have caused the impression by 
some of the Indians, designedly or otherwise, that the treaty of 1804 con^ 
tained the same stipulation. 

By Article 10 "all the tribes aforesaid acknowledge the general con- 
trolling power of the United States, and disclaim all dependence upon 
and connection with any other power." 

Evidently the pact relating to peace between the Sioux and Sacs and 
Foxes had been avoided or disputed by one or both the subscribing parties^ 
for on July 15th, 1830, at Prairie du Chien, it became necessary to call 
another council and make another treaty whereby the Sacs and Foxes 
ceded to the United States a strip of country twenty miles in width, lying 
south of the line established by the treaty of August 19, 1825, and extend- 
ing along on the south side of said line from the Mississippi to the I>es 
Moines. In the same treaty the Sioux ceded to the United States a like 
strip twenty miles wide, extending along the north side of said line from 
the Mississippi to the Des Moines. This forty-mile trip was known as 
the "Neutral Ground,'^ into which the tribes on either side of the line were 
allowed to enter and hunt and fish unmolested. 

Unmindful of these treaties, however, we find a war party of Sacs 
and Foxes, in 183 1, near the headwaters of Blue Earth River, pouncing 
upon some imoflfending Sioux and murdering two of them in cold blood,* 
as will be seen by the following : 

"Indian Agency, St. Peters, 
"August 8, 1831. 

"General: — ^What I have always feared and what has been predicted by me, in 
the most decided form, has recently taken place. The Sac or Fox Indians, about 
forty, invaded the Sioux territory on or about the 25th of last month (July). 
These were mounted men, who penetrated the country as far as Cintajah, or 
the Grey Tail, near the headwaters of the Terre Blue River, which is a tributary 
of the St Peter's, and contiguous to this post There is no mistake; the Sac 
Indians have killed two of the most respectable men of the Wahpakoota Sioux, 
at the time and place above stated, and this, too, at least sixty miles from the 
ceded territory, as concluded upon at the treaty of July, 1830, at Prairie du Chien. 
The Wahpakootas ask for immediate redress, and I beg leave to assure you 
that the sooner their just expectations in this important matter be met, the better 
for me and for this country. I mean after what was promised by the Government, 
through the commissioners, at the treaty of 1830, in presence of the assembled 
tribes. The Sacs lost one man in their attack upon the Sioux, who were in sight 
of their encampment at the time. 

"I have written to Col. Morgan, or dfficer commanding the troops at Prairie 
du Chien, a copy of which letter is herewith enclosed. I have not gone much 
into detail, as the matter in question does not admit of delay. The. traders must 
lose $20,000 worth of credits already given for the country in possession of the 

>8ee same In map of "Military Tract" 
«VoI. 2, Wis. Hist Colls., p. 170. 

Digitized by 



Wahpakootas, if the present diflSculty be not very speedily adjusted. I have the 
honor to be, with the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant, 

"Law. Taliaferbo, 

"General William Clark, "Indian Agent, St. Peters. 

"Superintendent of Indian Aflfairs." 

'Indian Agency, St. Peters, August 12, 1831- 
"General:— I declined sending off my express on the 8th inst, understanding 
that one of the Wahpakoota chiefs would be here in a day or two. Tah-sau-gah- 
now, the principal chief, reached this place last night, and confirms the statement 
made to you on the 8th as to the attack of the Sac Indians upon his people. He 
desires me to say to you, that in a few days you may expect to hear of a number 
more of his people losing their scalps, as there was considerable firing heard in the 
direction of the camp of the second chief, from whom he had separated but the day 
previous. The Sacs scalped the two Sioux, after which their bodies, together 
with the Sac killed in the conflict, were buried by the Wahpakootas. The chief 
wishes me to state further to you, that it is his intention, at my earnest request, 
to remain quiet until the first of October, when, if the Government settles the 
difficulty as declared at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, his people will be satisfied; 
otherwise, they will, with all their force, carry the war into the Sac country to 
protect themselves. He also states that he has a heart, and it is hard for him 
to see his people shot down like the buffalo on the lands acknowledged by all 
nations to belong to them. I have the honor to be, with high respect, sir, your 
obedient servant, 

"Law. Taliaferro, 
"General William Clark, 'Indian Agent, St Peters. 

"Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis." 

Notwitlistanding the promise to wait, this unprovoked attack aroused 
other bands of the Sioux, who lost no time avenging the act in the follow- 
ing manner: A band of the Foxes living near the Dubuque mines had 
made an engagement to meet the agent at Prairie du Qiien. Learning of 
this contemplated visit, one John Marsh informed the Sioux of the time 
and place thereof. Between midnight and the morning of the day fixed 
for the approach of the Foxes, a band of Sioux, which had been joined by 
a few young Menominees, passed down the river some twelve or fifteen 
miles below Prairie du Qiien, where a thick growth of bushes afforded 
ample opportunity for an ambush. The channel there was narrow, with 
less current than a broader, and was the one always selected by Indian* 
for vo)raging upon the river. Kettle, the Fox chief, was leading his party 
up the channel in person, when, passing the point of bushes there, the 
Sioux and Menominees opened fire, killing Kettle and several of his fol- 
lowers. The frightened Foxes fled to their Dubuque village, while the 
Sioux and Menominees returned home to dance over the event. 

No action was taken against them by the authorities^ for the reason, 
perhaps, that the act was retaliatory, lex idlionis being the law of the 
Indian, treaty or no treaty.* 

^Keolrak, as will be seen later, said the matter was "made all good and even,*' but 
no reeord of the transaction Is to be found. 

Digitized by 



Black Hawk, after his fiasco of 1831, had retired to the west side of 
the Mississippi. He had agreed to remain tranquil ; his people had been 
provided with enough to maintain a provident band through the ensuing 
winter, but no sooner had the soldiers dispersed than he began fomenting 
trouble, and trying, as he had tried in 183 1, to form a confederacy to fight 
the whites. War parties of various sizes were soon on foot to stir up 
trouble with those Indians then known to be on good terms with the 
whites, as will be set forth in the correspondence which I have seen fit to 
c6py in full rather than make extracts. 

"Cantonment Leavenworth, July 29, 1831. 

"Sir: — Last night two young men of the loway tribe arrived at this post on 
express for the purpose of informing me that about 120 Sacs from the Mississippi, 
in three different war parties, were on the way up the Mississippi in search of 
the Ottoes, Omahas or Sioux. I inmiediately sent off a runner to apprise all 
the Indians above this, and put them on their guard. One of these parties passed 
the loway village, proceeded on, and crossed the Missouri at the Black Snake 
Hills, and are now on this side somewhere above ti!(s place. Four men of this 
last party turned back from the loway village and bore off with them two horses 
belonging to one of our citizens in Clay county. I understand the whites have 
pursued them. 

"On the 2ist instant, 32 Sacs from Rock River passed this point on their 
way to the Osage towns. They were accompanied by two Osages, one of whom 
called himself the son of Qament I think it highly probable that these Rock 
River Sacs will give us much trouble in this quarter. I have the honor, etc, 

"John Dougherty, 
To Gen. Wm. Clark, "Indian Agent 

Supt. Indian Affairs.'' 

On July 30th, 1831, a band of Menominees, having business with the 
agent at Prairie du Qiien, was assembled on an island almost under the 
gfuns of the fort. Menominees loved whisky, and these Indians drank 
themselves socially full, carrying their revels far into the night, when 
further drinking put them entirely hors de combat. About two hours 
before daylight of the 31st a war party of Sacs and Foxes, which had 
been watching the debauch, fell .upon the helpless Menominees, killed 
twenty-five of them outright and wounded others. A few, less confused 
by liquor, roused themselves and pursued the Sacs and Foxes a short 
distance without doing more damage than wounding a few. The women, 
fearing possible harm to each other, had hidden all the firearms to be 
found, thus leaving the Menominees doubly insecure. 

The Sacs and Foxes fled direct to Black Hawk's camp, and about 
that individual secreted themselves beyond discovery. 

Those Menominees, while lovers of whisky, were pronounced by 
Hon. James H. Lockwood, who was present at Prairie du Chien at the 
time, and who was intimately acquainted with Menominee character, to be, 

Digitized by 



with surprisingly few exceptions, a quiet, peaceable race, Tomah, the then 
acting chief, occupying in Menominee annals a high character for ability 
and exemplary enterprises. 

"United States Indian Agency, 
At Prairie du Chicn, August i, 1831. 

"Sir:— One year had scarcely elapsed after the sealing of the treaty of 1830 at 
this place, before one of the parties has broken its solemn engagements, and dyed 
the scene of the ratification in the blood of those Indians whom they took by the 
hand in the presence of their great father's commissioners. 

"Two or three hours before day, on the morning of the 31st July, a party 
consisting of 80 or 100 Sacs and Foxes surprised a Menominee camp, three or 
four hundred paces above old Fort Crawford, on the east side of the Mississippi, 
and killed twenty-five of the latter, and wounded many who may probably recover. 
There were about thirty or forty Menominees, men, women and children, in the 
camp, most of whom were drunk, and the women had hidden their guns and 
knives, to prevent their hurting each other. The Sacs and Foxes, though so 
greatly superior in numbers, and attacking by surprise a drunken and unarmed 
encampment, lost several men who were seen to fall in the onset, and retreated in 
less than ten minutes, with only a few scalps, pursued by four or five Menominees, 
who fired on them until they were half a mile below the village. I received in- 
formation, and was on the ground in an hour and a half after the murders were 
committed. The butchery was horrid, and the view can only be imagined by 
those acquainted with savage warfare. 

"At seven o'clock a. m., I addressed the letter marked *A' to the officer com- 
manding at Fort Crawford, giving him the first intimation of the massacre, and 
received in answer his letter of this date, marked 'B'. Lieut Lamotte, stationed 
on the west bank of the Mississippi, two miles below Prairie du Chien, saw the 
Indians pass up about 9 o'clock p. m. the night the murders were committed and 
again saw them descend with great rapidity at daylight the next morning. 

An express was dispatched by the commanding officer here to Rock Island 
at two o'clock on the day of the murders ; but no other steps to arrest these daring 
violators of the provisions of the treaty of July, 1830, have, as I believe, been taken. 

"To-day, the remaining Menominees asked to speak to me, and I met them 
accordingly. They complain of the violation of the treaty, and say they have fallen 
victims to their confidence in the security that was promised them under the sanc- 
tions of a treaty made in the presence of their fathers, Gen. Clark and Col. Morgan. 
That Col. Morgan promised them a free and secure path to this place, and that if 
they were struck, he would march an army of his warriors into the country of 
those who struck them with their warriors, and take man for man of their enemies. 
They say they have lost many of their bravest men. 'One of our chiefs has lost all 
his family; his wife and his children and his brother were all murdered, and he 
is left alone. He is not here; he is in his lodge mourning.* They added, 'Take 
pity on our women and our orphan children, and give us something to console 
us, and we will wait a while to see if our great father, whom you tell us is strong, 
will help us to punish those Sacs and Foxes, who shake hands and smoke the pipe 
of peace to-day, and to-morrow break it and kill those they smoked with.' Under 
existing circumstances, I deemed it prudent and humane to give them a few things 
and to provide some necessaries for their destitute children, the amount of which 
I will forward by mail. I also promised to lay the affair before their great father, 
the President, and ask him to have justice done for them agreeably to their treaty, if 
they would go into their country and remain quiet. They have promised to do so 

Digitized by 



a short time, yet I learn from other sources that runners have been dispatched 
to Green Bay and among the Sioux. 

The Menominees also complain that they were promised that if they would 
be quiet, their great father would see justice done between them and the Chippe- 
ways. That nothing is done, nor are their dead covered. They remarked, 'Shall 
we remain quiet on the faith of our great father until we are all killed? When will 
our great father answer us?' 

"They inform me that a white man (a discharged soldier from St. Peters) 
had killed a Menominee a few days past. On inquiry I learned that the white 
man had a fight with two Indians, and in the fight he struck the Indian on the head 
with a stick and fractured his skull, and he died the day after. There is no 
white person who can testify anything about it, and the white man has gone 
off, I know not where. 

"I have received no answer to my letters respecting the murder of the Menomi- 
nees by the Chippeways, and am unable to satisfy them on that subject. I now 
hope that on the present representation of facts, the Government will feel the 
necessity of a prompt interference, to save this fort from a general rupture. 

"The pacification of July, 1830, has been violated under the guns of Fort 
Crawford, and if some immediate course is not taken to chastise those violators 
of that solemn arrangement, the influence of the officers of the United States will 
be destroyed and the power of the Government disregarded by the Indians. 

"Respectfully, etc., etc., 

"Jos. M. Street, Indian Agent. 
"Gen. William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St Louis." 

"U. S. Indian Agency at Prairie du Chien, 
July 31, 1831, 7 o'clock A. M. 

"Sir : — After a personal inspection of the scene of massacre, I hasten to inform 
you that last night the Sacs and Foxes struck the Menominees, encamped on the 
east side of the Mississippi, about three or four hundred paces above old Fort 
Crawford, and killed twenty-four* of the latter, butchering them in a most shocking 

"The Sacs and Foxes came up and left their canoes just above the old fort 
and completely surprised the Menominees, who, under the sanction of the peace 
of 1830 at this place, and their vicinity to the fort, were unsuspicious of danger. 

"The attack was made about two hours before daylight, and the assailants 
were gone before light. 

"So daring a violation of the treaty of July, 1830, made at this village, and 
within cannon shot of the fort, evinces a spirit little in accordance with its humane 
and. pacific object. 

"I am also this moment informed that runners will be immediately dispatched 
by the Menominees to Green Bay and to the Sioux. 

"I shall be at Judge Lockwood's during the day. 
"Respectfully yours, etc., 

"Joseph M. Street, U. S. Indian Agent. 
"To Capt. G. Loohis^ Commanding Fort Crawford." 

"Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 
"St Louis, Sept 12, 1831. 
"Sir: — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th 

ult on the subject of the late violation of the treaty of Prairie du Chien by the 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Fox Indians; and have, in accordance with your instructions, given the necessary 
directions to the agent at Rock Island to convene the chiefs of the Fox tribes, etc, 
at that place, to meet, if possible, on the 26th inst. Col. Morgan will, agreeably 
to the directions of Gen. Atkinson, be present at the council and will make the 
necessary demand of a surrender of the principal men connected with the outrage 
complained of; and I have reason to believe that if the requirements of the act 
of intercourse of 1802, as well as the stipulations of the treaty of 1825, shall be 
strictly complied with, it will be owing to the prompt and decisive measures pur- 
sued by the department. The result of this council shall be promptly communicated. 
"I take the liberty of enclosing to you herewith two letters from Major 
Taliaferro, of the 8th and 12th August, and one from Gen. Street, received by the 
last mail, charging the Sacs with another violation of the treaty of 1825. The 
facts, however, in relation to this last affair have been differently stated by the 
Sacs, who were the first (it appears) to commence them. They say that the affair 
took place on their own land, on the waters of the loway River ; tfiat a party of the 
Sioux, in a buffalo chase, fired upon some of their people and killed a Sac, and that 
the rest of their people coming up, pursued the Sioux, and killed two of them.* 
I have the honor to be, with high respect. Your most obedient servant, 

"Wm. Clark. 
'The Hon. Lewis Cass, Secretary of War." 

"Rock Island Indian Agency, 
"September 10, 1831. 

"Respected Sir:— I have been informed, and it is currently reported, that two 
Sioux and three Sac Indians met in a prairie, within the limits of the Sac and 
Fox lands; that one of the Sacs went up towards the Sioux with the intention 
of shaking hands with them; but the Sioux refused and threw off their blankets 
and breech cloths, evidently showing an unfriendly disposition towards the Sacs; 
the Sac still continued approaching them until they shot him dead. TJie other two 
Sacs, who had been concealed from the view of the Sioux, pursued them until they 
killed both the Sioux. This is the report of the Sac Indians.* 

"I, in concert with Major Bliss, called a council of the principal chiefs of the 
Sac and Fox Indians for the purpose of demanding the leaders of the band which 
were concerned in the massacre at Prairie du Chien. The result is as contained 
in the enclosed journal, which was kept for the purpose. The Indians remained 
at this place about four days ; they got credit from their traders and departed with 
the intention of making an immediate move to their hunting grounds. I presume 
that you have heard of the death of Morgan, the Fox brave. One of his followers, 
after hearing of the circumstance, said that it was useless for him to live any 
longer, now that Morgan was no more. He took his rifle and went out and shot 

"Since writing the above, Captain Low told me that the Menominees were 
preparing to march against the Sacs and Foxes, and that they would listen to 
no one, but were determined to take revenge. Should I gfet any further informa- 
tion on the subject, I will immediately inform you of it. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 

"Felix St. Vrain, Indian Agent 
"General William Clark, 

"Superintendent Indian Affairs, St. Louis." 

^Untrue In every respect. Every S&c who attempted an explanation had a widely 
dilferent version. 

'Substantially different from the other version and painfully unreal. 

Digitized by 




**At about 12 o'clock the council was opened by the commanding officer, as 
follows : 

'Chiefs and Warriors of the Sacs and Foxes: By the treaty of Prairie du 
Chien, made at the request of the President of the United States 
with the Sioux, Menominees and other Indian tribes, you solemnly promised 
and agreed that there should be peace between you and those tribes. You 
also agreed that if either tribe should attack either of the other tribes, that the 
persons of those who should be concerned in the outrage should be delivered 
up to the officers of the United States. About four or five nights since a war 
party of Foxes and some Sacs, led on by Pash-qua>mee, attacked a peaceable party 
of Menominees near Fort Crawford and killed 26 men, women and children. 
Wrong has been done and the treaty of Prairie du Chien has been violated. 

"It becomes our duty, therefore, as officers of the United States, to demand 
that you, the chiefs and warriors of the Sac and Fox Indians, deliver and sur- 
render to us Pash-qua-mee and all the principal Indians of the Sacs and Foxes 
who were engaged in this late massacre of the Menominees near Fort Crawford, 
and we do demand them. We wait for your answer. We hope it may be such 
as to convince the President, the Great Council and the citizens of the United 
States that the Sacs and Foxes are not liars; that they always speak truth and 
perform as they promise.' 

"After a short delay, Tiomay (the Strawberry), a Fox 'chief, replied: 'My 
Father: I have heard you and the commanding officer. We were all at the treaty 
at Prairie du Chien. We have the talk in our minds. All the chiefs you see here 
have told the young men left behind all that was said at that time. It is because 
you do not know our manners that you think ill of this. When we hear of a 
war party going out, we do all in our power to stop it You have heard what I 
say. We did not tell them to go to war. 

"'My Father and Commanding Officer: How can we stop our men, when 
your white men cannot stop the whites from committing crimes? Both of our 
cases are hard; our young men will not do what we wish, and yours act in the 
same way. This is all I have to say.' 

"Kottekennekak, the Bald Eagle, a Fox brave, then said: 'My Father: Though 
we were all at Prairie du Chien, how can we stop our young men? They go oflf 
while we are asleep and we know nothing of it It was not by our consent that 
the young men struck the Menominees at Prairie du Chien. We have done all 
we could; but the young men will not listen to us.' 

"Quash-quah-ing, the Jumping Fish, a British chief: 'My Father and my 
Friends: All the chiefs are dead and the young men have told me to speak for 
them. You tell the truth about the treaty at Prairie du Chien, but the Menominees 
struck us first and we struck back. The chiefs have said, "Do not let us strike 
first" What do you expect us to do? We only do what our old chiefs have told 
us. The chiefs that have spoken told the truth; but what can we do when our 
young men will not listen?* 

"Keokuk, he that has been everywhere, a Sac brave: 

" 'You tell the truth about the treaty at Prairie du Chien. I was there myself ; 
but you tell a little more. After the treaty was concluded at Prairie du Chien, I 
and four chiefs went to General Clark and Colonel Morgan and said to them, 
"What will you do with those that strike first?" They told us that the principal 

Digitized by 



men should be delivered. This is what I mean when I say "a little more." It was 
then discovered and explained that the word "principal" had not been interpreted. 
"*My old man (pointing to Quash-quah-ing) did not understand. After 
the affair of last year we went to General Clark and Colonel Morgan and, not- 
withstanding the attack of the Menominees, they made all good and even. But now, 
if what they did and what we have now dene was put in scales, it would balance. 
I expect it is because our names are Sacs and Foxes that you make a noise about 
it. When we do the least thing, you make a great noise about it. Last winter I went 
to the Missouri. There an loway killed an Omaha. Why was he not hung? 
They were at the treaty. The reason I say so much against you is because our 
hearts are good. Our chiefs were killed with the pipe of peace and the wampum 
in their hands. This is all I have to say. As for my chiefs and braves, they will 
do as they please. I have said all that I have to say; but why do you not let us 
fight? Your whites are constantly fighting. They are now fighting way ea^t. 
Why do you not interfere with them? Why do you not let us be as the Great 
Spirit made us, and let us settle our difficulties?'" 

As this speech of Keokuk's was received by the Indians with applause 
for its ingenuity, the commanding officer thought it proper to add that 
such treaties as were made at Prairie du Chien were frequently made 
between the white nations at the east and enforced. 

That it was not because they were Sacs that the present demand was 
made, but because it was not wished that the Sacs would become liars. 
That as it regarded the Omahas, whenever they demanded redress for the 
murder from the United States, it would then be time to interfere. That 
the affair did not concern the Sacs. 

James H. Lockwood, Vol. 2, p. 170, and John H. Fonda, Vol. 5, p. 
256, in writing of these events from memory for the Wisconsin Historical 
Collections, fixed upon the year 1830 for the murders of the Sioux and 
Kettle's Foxes, Fonda including the Menominee affair in the same year. 
A. R. FultCMi, in his "Red Men of Iowa," inferentially used the same year 
for the three events ; all agreed that the three followed in rapid succession. 
Lockwood has made so many glaring errors in other parts of his narrative 
that it is easy to believe that he was wrong in placing any of them in 1830. 
The three affairs did occur with unusual propinquity of succession, but in 
1831, as the ccMitemporaneous reports herein given have shown, and which 
must be believed against memory. L. C. Draper, usually accurate, fell 
into Lockwood's mistake in his note to Fonda's letter, by not taking time 
to investigate. 

Digitized by 



NetA-pope's .Mission — ^Keokuk's Villaget— Council— Black Hawk 
Moves Down Iowa River and up the Mississippi to Rock River 
— Atkinson Moves up to Fort Armstrong. 

With these contentious spirits, Black Hawk, restless Black Hawk, em* 
ployed his genius, sending out runners to all points of the compass, some 
going as far as the Gulf of Mexico, to rally round him the confederacy 
which Tecumseh attempted, but who, with his transcendent genius for or- 
ganization and war, failed, and so did Blade Hawk, much more inglori- 
ously, though assured by his runners of an irresistible force to join him the 
moment he rose to strike the whites. He had in 1831 sent his lieutenant, 
Ne-a-pc^e,' to the British in Canada to solicit aid. That Indian, in- 
auspiciously returning through the village of Wa-bo-ki-e-shiek, the cross- 
bred Winnebago prophet, who lived at his village on the left bank of Rock 
River forty miles from its mouth, told the latter vicious meddler of the 
object of the Canadian trip. The unscrupulous prophet, delighted at the 
possibility of making trouble for the whites, performed for Ne-a-pope 
numerous incantations, received a few visions, and made a prophecy that 
if Black Hawk would take up the hatchet once more against the whites 
he would be joined by the Great Spirit and a great army of worldlings, and 
in no time at all he would vanquish the whites and be restored to his 
ancient village. It is more than probable that this hocuspocus had 
great influence with Black Hawk, which, added to Ne-a-pope's falsehoods, 
determined Black Hawk to open another campaign against the whites 
without delay. To begin with, his followers had wantonly wasted their 
provisions, and even before winter had set in he had inaugurated nightly 
raids upon the storehouses of the whites, stealing the grain and vegetables 
there stored with a devilish glee. These raids continued with exasperating 
frequency and regularity all winter and spring. He even brought himself 
to believe that he could easily create dissension among the followers of 
Keokuk and overthrow his power entirely. 

Emissaries from the camp of Black Hawk had been busy in Keokuk's 
village on the Iowa River," and, by insidious industry, murmurs began 
arising upon all sides. Seizing this supreme moment, while Keokuk's 

'Pronounced Naw-pope. 
*Pnlton*8 Red Men, 238. 


Digitized by 



reputation, influence and life, perhaps, were quivering in the balance, Black 
Hawk threw oflF the mask and defiantly marched with his entire force to 
Keokuk's village to dispute the supremacy of Keokuk, steal away his war- 
riors and wage war upon the whites. 

There at the village all was bustle and confusion. The rifle was 
loaded and the knife and the hatchet strapped about the warriors' loins. 
They had importuned Keokuk to lead them to battle, and so subtle had 
been the work of Black Hawk's men that those importunities could not be 
ignored. The torrent of a mighty and heedless anger raged and carried 
conservatism, treaties, sentiment and every motive before it. Menaced 
now by Black Hawk, who had so recently solemnly promised to behave 
himself for all time, every frontier family stood in danger of the tomahawk. 
Had the united Sacs and Foxes levied war against the whites, the waver- 
ing tribes from Illinois north might have joined them and devastated 
the country and desolated every hearth. 

Black Hawk harangued the Indians with all his energy, firing them to 
a pitch of excitement he had not expected and compelling Keokuk then 
and there to promise to lead them to war ; but in promising he, like An- 
tony, was permitted to make a speech — and like Antony's it swayed the 
mob— against Black Hawk. 

"Kill your old men and squaws and children,^' cried he, "for never 
will you live to see them more,*' * and haste was urged in doing it. An 
electric wave from the skies never could have stricken those howling 
beasts of the moment before as did that condition precedent '*You have 
been imposed upon by liars," he shouted, and when he had finished 
speaking, he stood, a conqueror, in a silence inspired by awe, and Black 
Hawk and his band moved sullenly down the river to war upon the whites 
once too often. 

It has been said, and no doubt truly, that one Josiah Smart," the 
representative of George Davenport, was present to learn of Black 
Hawk's success and was so secreted as to overhear every word of thoee 
memorable proceedings, and for their truth he has vouched. 

On April i, 1832, Gen. Henry Atkinson, then in command, at Jeffer- 
son Barracks, received an order dated March 17th, announcing the deter- 
mination of the Government to interfere and demand from the Sacs and 
Foxes at least eight or ten of the principal murderers of the Menominees. 
In obedience to that order, General Atkinson started on April 8th for the 
upper Mississippi with six companies of the Sixth Infantry (220 men) 
and the following officers of the expedition, in the steamboats Enterprise 
and Chieftain:, 

Brig.-Gen. Henry Atkinson, Commanding. 

Brev. Maj. Bennet Riley, Commanding 6th Regiment 

>Almoit identical with the speech of Cornstalk at Chillicothe, just after the battlt 
of Point Pleasant. 

Digitized by 



Capt Zalmon C. Palmer, 6th Regiment. 
Capt. Hemy Smith, 6th Regiment. 
Capt. Thomas Noel, 6th Regiment 
Capt Jason Rogers, 6th Regiment 
Capt George C. Hutter, 6th Regiment 
First Lieut Asa Richardson, 6th Regiment. 
First Lieut J. Van Swearengen, 6th Regiment. 

Second Lieut Albert Sidney Johnston, 6th Regiment, Asst. to Adjt Gen. 
Second Lieut Joseph D. Searight, 6th Regiment 

Second Lieut Nathaniel J. Eaton, 6th Regiment, Acting Conmiissary of Sub- 

Brevet Second Lieut. T. L. Alexander, 6th Regiment, Adjutant of Detachment 

Brevet Second Lieut Thomas J. Royster, 6th Regiment. 

J. S. Van Derveer, 6th Regiment 

J. S. Williams, 6th Regiment 

Second Lieut W. Wheelwright, ist Artillery, Ordnance Officer. 

Will Carr Lane, Surgeon. 

Maj. Thomas Wright, Paymaster. 

On April loth the expedition arrived at the rapids of the Des Moines 
about 2 P. M., where General Atkinson was informed that Black Hawk 
on the 6th had crossed to the east bank of the Mississippi, near the 
mouth of the lower Iowa, with 400 or 500 horsemen, beside others to 
portage canoes, making a total force able to bear arms of over 500 men, 
the whole band, men, women and children, amounting, as then estimated, 
to about 2,000 souls,^ and going, as Black Hawk has told in his \xxk^ 
"to make com." 

>Llfe of A. 8. JoluutOD, p. 88. 

Digitized by 



Council — Atkinson^s Call for Troops — ^Reynolds' Proclamation 
— Black Hawk Defiant— Gratiot's Journey. 

What the intentions of General Atkinson might have been, above his 
actual instructions, when leaving St. Louis, are entirely conjectural. The 
same may be said with reference to the loth, but when he arrived at Fort 
Armstrong, during the night of the 12th, they are plainly evident 

On the 13th, at 10 A. M., he called a council, at which Keokuk and 
his head men, some seventy in number, including Wapelk), attended, and 
there he demanded the surrender of ten of the principal men concerned in 
the murders. Keokuk replied that he was unable to deliver them up be- 
cause some had joined the Prophet's band at his village, toward which 
Black Hawk was then rapidly marching along the left bank of Rock 
River, and the others were with Black Hawk. 

When first the demand was made the Indians retired to the plain 
close by to consult. On determining on the foregoing statements among 
other things, Keokuk returned and finished his talk as follows: 'Tfou 
wish us to keep at peace and have nothing to do with the Rock River 
Indians. We will do so. In token of our intentions, you see we have laid 
our spears there together. While you are gone to Prairie du Chien we will 
endeavor to speak to Black Hawk's band and try to persuade them to go 
back. If we do not succeed, I can do no more ; then we will go home and 
try to keep our village at peace. The one who has raised all this trouble 
is a Winnebago called the Prophet." Wapello spoke to the same effect. 

As it was evident that Keokuk, by reason of his continued acts of 
friendship, might lose much of his influence if too much were exacted of 
him, all demands, including hostages, which were first asked, were waived 
and the council adjourned to the 19th of April. 

General Atkinson immediately started up the river for Fort Craw- 
ford, where he secured all the reinforcements which could be spared from 
that garrison ; at the same time he sent messengers to Fort Winnebago 
and the lead mines district to admonish the settlers to place themselves in 
a state of defgise. 

Lieut.-Col. Zachary Taylor, with two companies of the First In- 
fantry, returned with Atkinson to Fort Armstrong, which was reached 

Digitized by 



Digitized by 





Digitized by 



on the 19th. Immediately after the conclusion of the council on the 
13th, General Atkinson dispatched a letter to Governor Reynolds, who 
had not been idle, asking the latter for the assistance again of his militia, 
to drive Black Hawk and his band from the State once more. Promptly 
on the 1 6th, the Governor responded with a call for an indefinite number 
of men, accompanied by this appeal : 



"Your country requires your services. The Indians have assumed a hostile 
attitude and have invaded the State in violation of the treaty of last summer. 

"The British band of Sacs and other hostile Indians, headed by Black Hawk, 
are in possession of the Rock River country, to the great terror of the frontier 
inhabitants. 1 consider the settlers on the frontiers to be in imminent danger. 

"I am in possession of the above information from gentlemen of respectable 
standing, and also from General Atkinson, whose character stands high with all 

"In -possession of the above facts and information, I have hesitated not as to 
the course I should pursue. No citizen ought to remain inactive when his country 
is invaded and the helpless part of the community are in danger. I have called 
out a strong detachment of militia to rendezvous at Beardstown on the 22d inst 

"Provisions for the men and food for the horses will be furnished in abundance. 

"I hope my countrymen will realize my expectations and offer their services 
as heretofore, with promptitude and cheerfulness in defense of their country." 

Meantime, to protect the frontier, he on the same day called for a 
battalion of 200 militia under Major Isaiah Stillman of Fulton County, to 
patrol the country to the north and westward. On the 20th Judge Richard 
M. Young, Col. James M. Strode and Benjamin Mills wrote from Dixon's 
Ferry to the' Governor, urging haste in protecting the settlements along 
that part of Kellogg^s trail between Peoria and Dixon's Ferry, and at 
once another battalion of 200 men, under Major David Bailey of Taze- 
well County, was called out for the purpose, and both battalions quickly 

On the 19th, General Atkinson met the friendly Sacs and Foxes, who 
in the meantime had brought in three young men engaged in the Mencmii- 
nee murders. Wapello, who delivered them up, said: "There are the 
young men who have taken pity on the women and children. There are 
three of them. These are my chiefs. These are the men who went into 
the braves' lodge to give themselves up. Father, I have received these 
young men. I now deliver them to you." 

Keokuk spoke in the same strain, and received assurances that the 
young men should receive generous treatment.* 

Until the 24th, General Atkinson had sent embassies to Black Hawk 
to dissuade him from his enterprise, but hearing nothing from them, he 

>Life of A. S. Johnston, p. 85. 

Digitized by 



dispatched two young Sacs with a mild talk. On the 26th they returned, 
bringing Black Hawk's answer that "his heart was bad and that he was 
determined not to turn back." 

Ehiring these negotiations occurred one of the most daring and 
heroic incidents of the campaign. Col. Henry Gratiot, father-in-law to 
the late Hon. E. B. Washbume, had early established smelting works at 
Gratiot^s Grove, just over the line into the present county of LaFayette, 
Wisconsin. By his humane and honorable treatment of the Winnebagoes 
he had secured their unbounded confidence, and the Government had 
made him agent for the Winnebagoes, under the celebrated John Kinzie, 
then at Fort Winnebago. Upon him General Atkinson relied as the one 
man above all others who could gain the ear of the Winnebago "Prophet," 
who was in his agency, and Black Hawk's evil genius, and turn the 
deluded British band back to its Iowa reservation. From Fort Crawford 
General Atkinson had dispatched a* request to undertake this perilous 
mission. Colonel Gratiot received the same April 16 and started, taking 
one white man. On the 19th he arrived at the Turtle village of the 
Winnebagoes, where, in order to secure a hearing, he was delayed until 
the 22d. There twenty-four Winnebago chiefs and head men were 
added to his embassy, including Broken Shoulder, Whirling Thunder, 
White Crow, Little Medicine Man and Little Priest among the number.* 
He hurriedly rode to Dixon's Ferry, where canoes were taken and the 
journey completed to the Prophet's village on the 25th. There, despite 
his flag of truce. Colonel Gratiot was surrounded by hostile Sacs, who, 
with every demonstration of violence,' made him prisoner. Black Hawk 
himself, who had hoisted the British flag in camp, supervising the inci- 
dent, and evil times had certainly fallen upon the head of Colonel Gratiot 
had not the Prophet, seeing the danger of his agent, rushed to his rescue, 
crying, "Good man, good man, my friend. I take him to my wigwam. I 
feed him. He be good friend of my Indians." 

When the Prophet had him securely in the wig^wam, Colonel Gratiot 
explained the peaceful object of his mission and the perfidy of the Indians 
if they refused to deal honorably with him. He further sought, with all 
the eloquence and logic he could- master, to dissuade the Prophet and 
Black Hawk from their unrighteous expedition. The Prophet listened 
attentively, but if any impression had been made upon him it was not 
noticeable in word or action, and neither could he be persuaded to try to 
influence Black Hawk to give up his mad enterprise. However, as a 
friend, the Prophet was determined to save Colonel Gratiot's life, if such 
a thing were possible. He kept him in the wigwam for two or three 
days, watching an opportunity to free them. The ferocious Sacs clam- 

'Wakefield, p. 10. 

«Wl8. Hiat Colls., Vol. X, p. 253. 

"Life A. S. Johnston, p. 86. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 







Digitized by 



ored louder each hour for scalps, and no doubt would have succeeded in 
taking them had not the Prophet seduced them away temporarily by 
pr<Mnises until the desired opportunity should arrive. Returning hastily 
on the 27th, he said to Colonel Gratiot : "Chouteau,* you have always been 
my friend and the friend of my people, and you and your party must not 
be harmed, but there is great trouble. My young men will never consent 
to give you up and so you must leave without their knowledge. Your 
canoes are on the shore; go to them at a moment when I shall indicate 
and leave instantly, and go with all speed — ^like wild fire — for the young 
men will give you chase. All will depend on the strength of your arms." 

The signal was given, and scarcely had the canoes been launched 
when an alarm in the village brought the Sacs and young Winnebagoes 
to the river, where a wild war-whoop was sounded and an exciting chase 
down Rock River was begun to capture and kill Colonel Gratiot. 
Gratiot's men pulled for their lives, first losing and then gaining. The 
maddened Sacs whooped and shrieked with anger at the possible mis- 
carriage of their plans as they lent renewed vigor to their strokes, but a 
sense of their overwhelming danger put courage and strength into the 
oars of the pursued and they finally distanced their pursuers, arriving 
safely at Fort Armstrong on April 27th, unnerved and exhausted, to re- 
port that nothing could be done by moral suasion to prevent the advance 
of Black Hawk and that nothing but force would avail. 

While captive in the Prophet's tent Black Hawk came to see him, 
and in response to the appeal of Gratiot to return, replied that his heart 
was bad; that he was going sixty miles up the river, and if molested 
would fight.* 

^The Colonera Indian name. 

*Wakefleld. There are many yerslons of Col. OraUot's trip; but the one given Is 
considered the most authentic, as It came through Hon. B. B. Washbume, son-in-law of 
*CoL Gratiot 

Digitized by 


The Miutia Moves to Rock River. 

At Beardstown the forces rapidly gathered. Colonels March and 
Christy were again placed in charge of the commissary department, but 
Christy, unable to give the service that attention which it demanded, 
resigned, leaving March to go alone to St. Louis for supplies, with 
instructions to have them at Yellow Banks (now Oquawka), on the 
Mississippi River, by the time the army reached that point. Col. E. C. 
Berry, Adjutant-General, and Col. Henry Eddy, Quartermaster-General 
of the State Militia, accompanied the expedition clear through. Gen. 
Samuel Whiteside was appointed Brigadier-General and the other field 
officers were elected by the troops. 

Two companies of foot appeared, which were formed into a battalion 
under the command of Major Thomas Long, and though infantry was not 
asked for in the call for troops, it was deemed impolitic to decline them, 
and they were disposed of by the following order: 

"Headquarters, Beardstown, April 29, 1832. 

"Special Order.— Major Thomas Long, commanding the odd battalion of in- 

"Sir: — You are hereby commanded to repair forthwith on the steamboat em- 
ployed in the service of the United States to the mouth of Henderson's River, 
and there await further orders. And you will strictly prohibit all shooting and 
other disorderly conduct in your command, and use all military precaution to pro- 
tect the steamboat upon which you are conveyed, and use every exertion to meet 
the army at the point designated on the 2d of May next. 

"By order of Brig.-Gen. Whiteside. 

"Nathaniel Buckmaster, Brigade Major." 

On the 30th Governor Reynolds had received a message from Atkin- 
son stating that the Indians had begun that day a movement up Rock 
River. Had the order to Major Long not been issued, the army might 
have been ordered to Peoria or Hennepin and Black Hawk could easily 
have been headed off at Dixc»i's Ferry, saving thereby much blood and 
treasure, but Reynolds feared he could not overtake March and divert 
him to the course up the Illinois River, therefore the' circuitous march to 


Digitized by 



Yellow Banks was undertaken. We have fortunately preserved to us 
an account of that march, made by Private O. H. Browning, later United 
States Senator, and later Secretary of the Interior. 

"Minutes of an expedition undertaken to the northern part of the State of 
Illinois, in the spring of 1832, against the hostile bands of Sac and Fox Indians,' 
who, it was rumored, had invaded that portion of said State which lies contiguous 
to and upon both sides of Rock River. 

•'Sunday, April 22, 1832. 

"About 12 o'clock an order from John Reynolds, Governor of the State of 
Illinois, reached Quincy, requiring the colonel commandant of the militia of Adams 
County to raise a company of fifty mounted men and march them without delay 
to Bcardstown on the Illinois River, the place appointed for the rendezvous of the 

"Monday, 23. 

"Militia of county convened at Quincy. Second order received from Governor 
increasing the requisition from 50 to 100 men, all of whom volunteered. Elected 
William G. Flood captain of Quincy company, £d. L. Pearson first lieutenant 
and Thomas Crocker second lieutenant. Philip W. Martin elected captain of 
Bear Creek company, Howard first and Lillard second lieutenant. Elam S. Free- 
man chosen to take command as major until we reached Rushvillc, to which place 
we were directed to march instead of Beardstown. 

"Tuesday, 24. 

"Spent in making preparations to march. 

"Wednesday, 25. 

"Convened in Quincy and between 11 and 12 o'clock marched with 80 or 85 
mounted volunteers. Three miles from Quincy heavy fall of rain. Continued our 
march 15 miles and encamped at Lasley's. 

"Thursday, 26. 

"Marched from Lasle3r*s to West bank of Crooked Creek in Schuyler County 
and encamped 11 miles from Rushville. 

"Warm and sultry. Encampment much infested with rattlesnakes. Killed 
several. At 8 o'clock commenced raining and continued without intermission dur- 
ing the night. Had no tents. Could not sleep. Stood in mud ankle deep till day. 

"Friday, 27. 

"Morning cold and rainy. Decamped early. Crossed Crooked Creek in boat 
and marched through mud knee deep to our horses to Rushville. Stopped and 
took some refreshments. Got merry and continued our march three miles east 
of Rushville on the road to Beardstown and encamped. 

"Saturday and Sunday, 28 and 29. 

"Remained at the encampment, troops collecting from various places coming 
up from headquarters at Beardstown. 

"Monday, 30. 

"Whole army, consisting of 1,300 horses and some foot, removed seven miles 
and again encamped four miles north of Rushville. The two companies from 
Adams were now attached to the Greene, Montgomery and Bond troops and 
formed into a regiment to the command of which Col. Jacob Fry of Greene County 

Digitized by 



was elected. Major Gregory commanded the battalion of Greene troops and 
Capt. Philip W. Martin of Adams was elected to the conmiand of the battalion 
composed of the Adams, Bond and Montgomery troops. David Crow succeeded 
Martin in the command of the Bear Creek Con^any of Adams troops. E. S. Free- 
man of Adams was appointed adjutant to the regiment, Hiram Bennett of Montgom- 
ery quartermaster, £. L. R. Wheelock of Adams paymaster, Dr. Dulaney of Greene 
surgeon and Calvert Roberts of Montgomery sergeant-major. A brigade had been 
formed previous to the troops leaving Beardstown, to command which General 
Samuel Whitesides was appointed by Governor Reynolds, who accompanied the 
army on its march. Mr. Nathaniel Buckmaster of Madison County received the 
appointment of brigade major, after having been a candidate for the command of 
the regiment, consisting in part of the troops from his own county, and after 
having been rejected by them. 

•Tuesday, May i. 

"Took up line of march for Yellow Banks, 70 or 75 miles distant; traveled 
about 25 miles and encamped in McDonough County. 

•Wednesday, May 2. 

"Continued our march successfully and encamped at night, by order of Mr. 
Buckmaster, in a large prairie, two miles from timber or water. Night cold and 
tempestuous — much dissatisfaction and murmuring among the troops. All cursing 
Budc for keeping them in the prairie. 

•Thursday, May 3. 

"About 12 o'clock reached Henderson River; not fordable— no boats or 
canoes. No pioneers had been sent forward to construct bridges. Army crossed 
in great disorder by felling trees into the river at different places, making thereby 
a show of bridges upon which the troops crossed with difficulty and swam their 
horses — ^two or three horses drowned. Continued our march to the Yellow Banks 
in Warren County, which we reached before night and encamped. Provision 
scarce. Hogs shot by the soldiers. Supplies brought up Mississippi River by 
steamboat William Wallace. No guard placed out at night" 

Private Browning was evidently a fair weather soldier and not at all 
disposed to accept camp life in a soldier-like way, like his superior, Major 
Buckmaster. Governor Re)molds is authority for the statement that 
after separating the army into two divisions the 2,000 horses, with their 
riders, crossed the swollen Henderson River in less than three hours, with 
the loss of but one horse. The boat with provisions had not yet arrived, 
which caused Governor Reynolds much anxiety. Neither did it appear 
on the fourth nor the morning of the fifth, when Re)molds in despair 
dispatched three pioneers, Messrs. Hewitt, Luther Timnell and Orestus 
Ames, to go to Fort Armstrong, some fifty miles distant, for provisions. 
Before night they reached Atkinson's headquarters, and by the morning 
of the sixth a boat, the William Wallace, hove to with ample supplies.* 
The times were trying and should have been met as bravely and patiently 
as soldier life demands. 

The spirit of unrest in the pioneer breast when in restraint must, of 

>Ixi command of March from St Loals. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



(J. n. imOWNING, 



Digitized by 



course, be considered and many extenuations allowed, but Private Brown- 
ing, a lawyer, should not have been so critical. This spirit of unrest and 
insubordination was responsible for Stillman's defeat and the unhappy 
and futile ending of this campaign. It should be noticed, too, in this 
connection that in the face of the Indian Creek massacre, when all were 
bound by every principle of humanity to avenge it. Major Buckmaster re- 
enlisted and fought to do it, while Private Browning did not. 

From Yellow Banks Reynolds desired to move with all speed on to 
Dixon's Ferry to overtake Black Hawk, if possible at that late date, but 
with the provisions sent by Atkinson, which arrived just at dark on the 
6th, came a message that Black Hawk was returning down the river and 
that the volunteers were needed at the mouth of Rock River. Therefore 
camp was broken the following morning and the march to that point 
made in one day, arriving May 7th, about nightfall.* 

The report of Black Hawk's descent proved untrue and added an- 
other important factor to the Stilhnan miscarriage, because Reynolds, by 
marching direct to Dixon's Ferry, could have followed the hypothenuse 
of the triangle on solid ground and had an easy journey. As it followed, 
however, he was forced to pursue both sides of the triangle, over swampy 
ground and through almost impassable bogs and bayous, until the strength 
of the trocq>s was spent and their temper turned. But, above all, time 
was lost. While the rains made bad marching and bad tempers, they like- 
wise promised great returns to the husbandman, and the fact that many 
were forced to leave their plows contributed to imperil the good 
disposition of the troops. The probable loss of a crop meant much to 
them that year, for the reason that the two preceding years had been 
failures and destitution was abroad in the land.* Men dropped their plows 
when the call came, without asking questions, but under delays and hard- 
ships, while they cursed Black Hawk, they murmured. 

A fine illustration of the alacrity with which those men responded was 
written in the history of Pike County. 

"On Friday, the aoth day of April, 1832, in response to Governor Reynolds' 
call for volunteers to fight Black Hawk, the following order was issued: 'G>mpany 
Orders— The volunteer company of Pike County will meet at Atlas on Monday 
the 23d, ready to take up the march by sunrise, except such part of the company 
as are living on the east side of the county, which part will meet the company 
at the house of William Hinman, about four miles this side of Phillips' Ferry, on 
the same day, all with a good horse, and rifle, powder horn, half pound of 
powder and one hundred balls, with three days' provisions. The commanding 
officer of said company flatters himself that every man will be prompt to his duty. 

"W. Ross, 
*"Capt ist Rifles, Pike Co."* 

>Note : — The Indian icare having reached Ft. Dearborn, a company of 40 men pledged 
themielTes to defend It and elected Gholaon Kercheval Captain, George W. Dale Flnt 
liientenant and John 8. C. Hogan Second Lieutenant, May 8d. 

*Edwaids, Hltt of 111., 86& 

Digitized by 



The Captain called upon Benjamin Barney at his blacksmith shop 
and told him of the nature of the order he had received and asked him 
forthwith to mount a horse and start out to notify the settlers to assem- 
ble immediately. Benjamin Barney was engaged at his forge at the time, 
making a plow, but he at cmce laid down his hammer and tongs, untied 
his leathern apron, left his fire to smoulder and die, and started imme- 
dSately upon his mission. The men responded, arid, bidding their 
families good-by, went forward, leaving their work to languish. Beards- 
town, then Yellow Banks, and finally the mouth of Rock River were 
reached, and at the latter place the troops were met by the officers and 
men of the regular army, and here the volunteers were sworn* into the 
United States service by Gen. Henry Atkinson on the 8th day of May. 
Lieut. I. R. B. Gardenier, then on detached service at the Dubuque lead 
mines, was ordered to Galena at this time by request of its citizens, to 
assist in its defense. There he was placed at the head of a volunteer 
company tb drill them, and there he remained, with a brief exception, until 
July 14th, when he was superseded by Nicholas Dowling. 

While mentioning members of this celebrated old Sixth regiment, it 
will be of interest to copy the roster complete from the official army 
register : 

G)lonel, Henry Atkinson, Brevet Brigadier General. 

Lieutenant-Colonel, Daniel Baker. 

Major, William Davenport. 

Captains, Bennet Riley, I. Qark, Jr., Jacob Brown, Zalmon C. Palmer, W. N. 
Wickliffe, Henry Smith, Thomas Noel, Jason Rogers, George C Hutter and 
Qifton Wharton. 

First Lieutenants, R. Holmes, G. W. Waters, Levi M. Nutc, M. W. Batman, 
George Andrews, Asa Richardson, John Nichols, G. H. Crossman,jJ. Van Swear- 
engen and Joseph S. Worth. 

Second Lieutenants, H. St. J. Linden, Gustavus Dorr, Albert S. Johnston, 
Joseph D. Searight, F. J. Brooke, P. St George Cooke, Nathaniel J. Eaton, Robert 
Sevier, Gus S. Rousseau, Thomas F. Drayton, William Hoffman, Albert Cady, 
Jonathan Freeman, M. L. Clark, T. L. Alexander, J. S. Van Derveer, Thomas J. 
Royster, J. S. Williams and John Conrod 

Of the First Infantry and participating were Lieut -Col. 2^chary Taylor, 
Major John Bliss, the mustering officer of 183 1. 

Captains William S. Harney,* William R. Jouett, E. A. Hitchcock, who, with 
the junior officers and men, went to Rock Island and then to Dixon, and Capt 
R. B. Mason. First Lieut W. M. Boyce, Second Lieut. Levin Gale and Captain 
Thomas Barker and First Lieut. W. L. Harris, who remained at Fort Crawford. 

With the first named captains of the First were First Lieutenants Albert S. 
Miller, J. W. Kingsbury, J. J. Abcrcrombie; Second Lieutenants E. G. Mitchell, 
Jefferson Davis and J. K. Greenough. 

Second Regiment, Col. Hugh Brady* 

Fourth Regiment, Lieut.-Col. David E. Twiggs, Capt. James H. Hook, First 
Lieut W. M. Graham, Second Lieut. F. D. Newcomb. 

>GeD. Order No. 8. 

^Harney's company was then stationed at Ft Armstrong. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



Fifth Regiment, Lieut.-Col. Enos Cutler, Capt. Gideon Lowe, First Lieut. 
James Engle and Second Lieut Amos Foster. 

At the breaking out of hostilities in 1832 Major John Bliss, of the First Regi- 
ment, was in command of Ft. Armstrong; Lieut.-G)l. Zachary Taylor, of the First, 
was in command of Ft. Crawford; Col. Henry Atkinson, of the Sixth, was in 
command of Jefferson Barracks; Major William Davenport, of the Sixth, was 
in command of Canton Leavenworth, and Lieut.-Col. Enos Cutler, of the Fifth, 
was in command of Ft. Winnebago, the five Government forts prominent in this 

Digitized by 


Roster — ^Movement up Rock River Begun — ^The Prophet's Village 


Prior to that time, several oflScers had been granted furloughs, and 
when Black Hawk crossed the river were far away from their regiments, 
but immediately upon hearing of the hostile intention of the Indians, every 
oflScer returned to this point and rejoined his regiment. Among the 
number were Capt. W. S. Harney and Lieut JeflFerson Davis. 

All being now in readiness to march, it may be well to repeat the 
names of all officers elected and appointed up to the morning of May 9th, 
when the last change in the personnel of the staff was made. 

Governor John Re3molds, the commander-in-chief of the militia, who 
for many reasons was desired to march with the volunteers, named as his 

James Turaey, Paymaster General^ 

Cyrus Edwards, Quartermaster General. 

Vital Jarrot, Adjutant General. 

Joseph M. Chadwick, Aid-de-Camp, with rank as Colonel. 

James T. B. Stapp, Aid-de-Camp, with rank as Colonel. 

Reddick Horn, Chaplain. 

Bbigade Ofticebs. 

Samuel Whiteside, Brigade General. 

Nathaniel Buckmaster, Brigade Major. 

William Ross, First Aid. 

James Semple, Second Aid.' 

David Prickett, Third Aid. 

William £. Starr, Brigade Pasrmaster. 

William Thomas, Brigade Quartermaster. 

FotST Regiment. 

John Thomas (then signed Junior), Colonel. 

Solomon Preuitt, Lieutenant Colonel. 

John Starkcy, Major. . 

A. W. Snyder, Adjutant 

>Siib§eqnentIy Atty. Oen. of IlL 
*Later U. S. Senator. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



J. A. Blackwell, Quartermaster. 
William G. Brown, Paymaster. 
Richard Roman, Surgeon. 
J. M. McTyre Cornelius, Surgeon's Mate. 
Samuel Sybold, Quartermaster's Sergeant. 
Alexander Shields, Sergeant-Major. 

Second Regiment. 
Jacob Fry, Colonel 
Charles Gregory, Lieutenant- Colonel. 
Philip W. Martin,. Major. 
Elam S. Freeman, Adjutant. 
Hiram C. Bennett, Quartermaster. 
James Durley, Quartermaster's Sergeant. 
R L. R. Whcelock, Paymaster. 
William H. Dulaney, Surgeon. 
John F. Foster, Surgeon's Mate. 
Calvin Roberts, Sergeant-Ma j or. 

Third Regiment. 

Abraham B. DeWitt, Colonel. 

William Weatherford, Lieutenant-Colonel 

Alexander Beall, Major. 

Murray McConnel, Adjutant. 

George Orear, Quartermaster. 

Andrew Mackitee, Paymaster. 

Samuel M. Prosper, Surgeon. 

James Morrison, Surgeon's Mate. 

Levin N. English, Quartermaster's Sergeant. 

Robert Davis, Sergeant-Major. 

Fourth Regiment. 

Samuel M. Thompson, Colonel. 

Achilles Morris, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Moses G. Wilson, Major. 

John B. Watson, Adjutant. 

Samuel Homey, Quartermaster. 

William Carpenter, Paymaster. 

Jacob M. Eddy, Surgeon. 

Adams Dunlap, First Surgeon's Mate. 

William Constant, Second Surgeon's Mate. 

Edward Doyle, Sergeant-Major. 

A. McHatton, Sergeant-Major (Successor). 

William Fitzpatrick, Quartermaster's Sergeant 

William Sprouce, Gunsmith. 

Richard Jones, Color Bearer. 

James Baker, Wagon Master. 

Spy Battauon. 
James D. Henry, Major. 
William L. E. Morrison, Adjutant 

Digitized by 



Montgomery Warrick, Quartermaster. 

Robert Blackwell, Paymaster. 

Joseph C. Woodson, Surgeon. 

Peter Randall, First Surgeon's Mate. 

Benjamin Birch, Second Surgeon's Mate. 

M. £. Rattan, Sergeant-Major. 

John F. Posey, Quartermaster's Sergeant. 

Jesse M. Harrison, Paymaster's **Sergeant." 

William Cook, Color Bearer. 

Spy Battauon. 
Thomas James, Major. 
James Moore, Adjutant. 

James Whitlock, Quartermaster to May 15th. Resigned. 
Scipio Baird, Quartermaster. 
Michael Horine, Paymaster. 
William Headen, Surgeon. 
George Gordon, Surgeon's Mate. 

N. C. Johnston, Sergeant-Major. Resigned May 5th. 
John James, Sergeant-Major. 
James W. Vaughan, Armorer. 
Moses Haskins, Bugleman. 
J. Milton Moore, Color Bearer. 

Foot Battauon. 
Thomas Long, Major. 
John Summers, Adjutant. 
Vawter Henderson, Quartermaster. 
J. L. Thompson, Paymaster. 
Matthew Duncan, Surgeon. 
Jonathan Leigh ton, Surgeon's Mate. 
Sion R. Green, Sergeant-Major. 

Thomas J. (or L) Marshall, Quartermaster's Sergeant. 
Benjamiti Howard, Fife Major. 
Thomas Burton, Drum Major. 

The First Regiment consisted of six companies, commanded by the 
following captains: Julius L. Bamsback and Josiah Little of Madison 
County and Gideon Simpson, William Moore,* John Winstanley and John 
Tate of St. Qair County. Thomas was first elected Captain of Simp- 
son's company, but on being promoted to Colonel, Simpson was elected 
to succeed him. Preuitt was elected Captain of Little's company, but 
upon his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel, Little was elected. 

The Second Regiment was composed of nine companies, com- 
manded, respectively, by Captains Thomas Chapman, Samuel Smith, 

'From RIsdon Marshall Moore of San Antonio, Texas, the following information is 
gathered: His father, Jonathan Moore, a brother of the Captain, was a private in this 
company. The grandfather, Risdon Moore, was Speaker of the Territorial Legislature 
of Illinois in 1814 and In 1822 signed the celebrated protest against slsTery. 

Capt William Moore, besides being a member of the Ninth and Tenth General 
Assemblies, occupied many positions of prominence. See also "Historical Encyclopedia 
of Illinois." 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 







Digitized by 



Thomas McDow and Jeremiah Smith of Greene County, Levi D. Boone 
of Montgomery County, Benjamin James of Bond County, William G. 
Flood and David Crow of Adams County, and James White of Hancjock 
County. Gregory was first elected Captain of Chapman's company and 
Fry of Samuel Smith's company, but both were promoted. 

The Third Regiment consisted of six companies, commanded, re- 
spectively, by Captains Benjamin Barney and Elisha Petty of Pike County, 
John Harris of Macoupin, and William B. Smith, William T. Givens and 
Nathan or Nathaniel Winters of Morgan County. William Ross was first 
elected Captain of Barney's company, but upon his promotion to the staff 
Barney was elected. 

The Fourth Regiment consisted of four companies, commanded by 
Captains Samuel Hollingsworth and William C. Ralls of Schuyler County 
and Abraham Lincoln and Levi W. Goodan of Sangamon County. Moses 
G. Wilson was first elected Captain of HoUingsworth's company, but 
upon his promotion to Major, Hollingsworth was elected. 

Henry's Spy Battalion was composed of four companies, commanded 
by Captain John Dawson of Sangamon, Captain Thomas Carlin of 
Greene, Captain John Dement of Fayette and Erastus Wheeler of Madi- 

James' Spy Battalion was composed of three companies, commanded 
by Captains Daniel Price and Peter Warren of Shelby County and Thomas 
Harrison of Monroe. 

Long's Foot Battalion was composed of three companies, commanded 
by Captains Jacob Ebey, Japhet A. Ball and Seth Pratt of Sangamon.* 

In addition to these troops, the battalions of Stillman and Bailey, 
ordered to range the country and concentrate at Dixon's Ferry, which they 
did on the loth, were considered, of course, a part of the army, though 
not then sworn in. 

The battalion of Major Isaiah Stillman was composed of three com- 
panies, commanded by Captains David W. Barnes and Asel F. Ball of 
Fulton County and Abner Eads of Peoria County. 

Major David Bailey's Battalion was composed of four companies, 
commanded by Captains M. L. Covell and Robert McClure of McLean 
County, Captain John G. Adams of Tazewell and Captain James Johnson 
of Macon County. On the i6th, however, after Stillman's defeat, the 
new Fifth Regiment was organized from these two commands, and I. C. 
Pugh was elected captain of the company commanded by Captain James 
Johnson, who was elected Colonel. No staflF officers were appointed for 
the two battalions prior to their merger into the Fifth Regiment. 

While dwelling on the composition of the Fifth R-egiment, it may be 

"This roster will be foand to materially differ from the "Record of the Services of 
Illinois Boldlers/' published by the Adjutant General In 1882, which is shamefully In- 
accurate In many particulars. I fortunately came Into possession of the original "rank 
roll/' so called, made by General Whiteside and MaJ. Buckmaster, which has permitted 
me to be accurate. 

Digitized by 



well to name its officers as I find them on the original roster in my 

James Johnson, Colonel. 

Isaiah Stillman, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

David Bailey, Major. 

James W. Crain, Adjutant. 

Hugh Woodrow, Quartermaster. 

David C. Alexander, Paymaster. 

Samuel Pillsbury, Surgeon. 

Daniel McCall, Sergeant-Ma j or. 

Joshua C. Morgan, Quartermaster's Sergeant 

On the gth of May, with not a man on the sick list, Genehil Atkinson 

isued the following orders : 

"Headquarters, Right Wing, West Dept 

„^ , ^^ "Mouth of Rock River, 9th May, 1832. 

Order No. 12. 

"The mounted volunteers will move in the morning under Brig.-Gcn. White- 
side, by the route of Winnebago Prophet's village, with a view of reaching the 
hostile band of Indians assembled on Rock River, near or above Dixon's Ferry. 
The regular troops will move by water and meet the mounted troops at Prophet's 
village. Should General Whiteside, however, on reaching Prophet's village, be of 
opinion that it would be prudent to come up with the enemy with as little delay 
as possible, he will move upon him, and either make him surrender at discretion, 
or coerce him into submission. 

"Order No. 13. 

"Colonel Taylor, First Regiment, will assume the conunand of the Ini^try of 
Illinois at this place. They will move by water in conjunction with the U. S. 
Infantry now under his orders, and will be assigned to the charge of transporting 
a portion of the munitions, supplies, etc., for the troops. 

"Order No. 14. 

"Lieut Robert Anderson, Third Regiment Artillery, will, till further orders, 
perform the duties of Assistant Inspector General of the troops now in the field." 

By order No. 9 Colonel Taylor was also given command of the regu- 
lar troops under orders for active service, viz. : Six companies of the 
Sixth Regiment Infantry, imder the command of Major Riley, and the 
companies of the First Regiment Infantry from Fort Crawford, and 
Captain Harney's Company of the First Infantry of the garrison of Fort 
Armstrong. Lieutenant Burbank,* Acting Quartermaster of the post, was 
ordered to store such clothing, provisions and stores as should be left 
by the troops under marching orders. Major Beall* was further charged 
with the safe-keeping of the three Indian prisoners then in confinement, 
which completed all arrangements for marching. 

The volunteer army set out on the loth and reached the Prophet's 
village in the afternoon. Near that place the spies which Governor 

K>f the Flrat Inf. Sidney Bnrbank. 
•Thomas J. Beall, of tbe Flrat Inf. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 



cAi»T. ISAAC c. rroH. 



Digitized by 



Re)molds had sent out on the 8th to reconnoiter and locate the enemy* met 
the army and reported that they had captured an Indian, who had truly 
informed them that Black Hawk was on Rock River, above EHxon's Ferry, 
as had been previously reported. Disappointed at such a delay as the 
march to Black Hawk's camp would incur, the men fired the Prophet's 
village and burned every vestige of it — an act wholly unwarranted and 
useless. About twelve miles above the Prophet's village the army camped, 
and, for reasons utterly inconceivable at this late day, decided to abandon 
all the cumbersome baggage and provisions and force a march to over- 
take the Indians. Whether the troops, who considered it part of their duty 
to dictate policies to their superior officers, clamored for such a move, or 
whether it emanated from the officer in command, has never been ex- 
plained to this day, either in books or personal interviews had by. the 
writer. Whiteside got all the blame for it, but I believe that his action 
was governed by pressure from the headstrong militia, who desired to 
accomplish too much in a limited time, and the passion of Governor 
Re3aiolds to manage the campaign to a rapid and glorious finish. It was 
an unfortunate act at best. Perishable property was piled up to waste, 
unprotected and regardless of future needs. With scarcely enough to last 
them in a forced march to another base, where abundance might await 
them, these impatient men marched into a wilderness where defeat might 
overtake them, with only rations enough to last for a period of three or 
four days. This criminal indiscretion was the first cause of dissatisfaction 
among the men. The commander should have known that those who 
urge the most haste have for all time been first to find fault when the first 
evidence of its indiscretion appears and at once vetoed the foolhardy move. 
Whiteside was a famous old Indian fighter; brave as a lion and 
ready and eager at all times to meet an enemy; but he had never before 
handled a large body of men, and in this case at least it may be said that 
bravery alone was not an indisputable qualification for leadership. It 
rarely is. It later remained for James D. Henry, in a case almost forlorn, 
to terminate further moves like this injudicious one, and thereby end the 
war, as he did. After writing General Atkinson of the action. Governor 
Reynolds, with the troops, moved rapidly for Dixon's Ferry, which was 
reached on the 12th, where James W. Stephenson, James M. Strode and 
others were found, all of whom stated that from scouts just returned it 
was ascertained beyond doubt that the Indians, who had fixed upon a 
point of rendezvous about thirty miles up thp river, were at that time 
scattered over a large area, securing food, and in all probability recruits, 
and that an attempt to march against them would be useless at that mo- 
ment. Governor Re3molds at once realized the force of the point and 
abandoned his projected attack and agreed to rest until Atkinson appeared, 

>Col. John Bwlng, Maj. John A. Wakefield and a lir. Kinney, who nnderatood tha 
Sac language and who served as gaide. 

Digitized by 



which he hoped would be very soon. The scouts sent out, and hereafter 
noticed, were sent to Shabbona's village, and had it not been for the unfor- 
tunate action of Stillman, there probably had been no trouble in ending 
the campaign without loss of time or blood. But the country was covered 
with water, the ground was swampy and almost impassable to footmen, 
the river was high, and only by the most heroic eflForts was it made pos- 
sible to navigate the keel boats and Mackinaw boats upstream.* Men 
waded up to their middle to pull them along, and then only a snail pace 
could be accomplished. A change to the other side of the river was at- 
tempted, with no better results, and finally Atkinson was compelled to 
issue the following order : 

"Headquarters, Right Wing, West Dept, 

^ "Near Marie de Ogee, Rock River, nth May, 1832. 

"Order No. 15. 

"The troops on foot will move in ascending the river, in the following order: 
The First Infantry will march in front, the Sixth Infantry in the center and the 
Illinois Infantry in the rear. An advance guard from the First Infantry will 
precede the column from 400 to 1,000 yards; a flank guard from the Sixth In- 
fantry will be thrown out from 200 to 400 yards, and more, if necessary, according 
to the ground. The Illinois Infantry will march in the rear and furnish the rear 
guard, which is not at any time to leave any of the boats in the rear. The river 
will be crossed to avail the troops of the best ground for navigation and marching; 
the troops will encamp in the order of march. In case of attack the troops will 
form to the front, the rear or upon the flank as circumstances may demand." 

The march was slow and toilsome, but made with decency and, con- 
sidering the surface of the country, dispatch. But it was necessarily so 
difficult to make progress that Atkinson did not reach Dixon's Ferry until 
the 17th, when all was confusion and the men loud in their demands to be 
discharged. So utterly unmanageable had they become that it became 
necessary on that day to issue the following order, and which, by the by, 
was rigidly enforced by Col. Zachary Taylor: 

"Headquarters, Right Wing, West. Dept, 

..^ J ^T ^ "Dixon's Ferry, Rock River, 17th May, 1832. 

•'Order No. 16. » / ./» u- 

"The frequent unauthorized firing of arms in and about the vicinity of the 
encampments of the different corps of the army, composed of the U. S. Infantry 
and the State troops now in the field, compels the Commanding General to forbid 
a practice so dangerous to the individual members of the different corps and 
derogatory to the military character of well-organized troops. No officer or 
private, therefore, will fire again in camp or on the march without permission or 
an order from the commanding officer of his regiment or company." 

From the mouth of the river the soldiers had indulged this boisterous 
pastime, with no restraint whatever, and it is said that this abridgment of 
their pioneer prerogative provoked much indignation, but firing at once 

»The U. 8. Infantry and Long's foot battalion left on the 10th. The Prophet's vil- 
lage was reached on the 14th. 

Digitized by 




Digitized by 




Digitized by 



Dixon's Ferry — Pught of Reynolds' Messengers — Stillman's De- 

Dixon's Ferry, now Dix<Mi, Illinois, at the period of this campaign 
consisted of a ferry, the simple flat-bottomed affair of those days, and a 
90-foot log cabin, built in three sections, both owned by John Dixon. The 
patriarchal appearance of this old pioneer had brought to him the title 
"Na-chu-sa" from the Indians, meaning in the Winnebago dialect "Long 
hair white," and from the whites "Father Dixon." By his kindness, gen- 
tleness, honesty and courage he had won the love of every person, white 
and red, who had ever met him, and to those in the land who had not met 
him his reputation had extended, so that the mention of his name meant 
an overture for peace. 

In the spring of 1827 his brother-in-law, O. W. Kellogg, broke a trail 
through the country from Peoria to Galena, to facilitate the rapidly in- 
creasing overland travel to the lead mines. "Kellogg's trail," as it was 
then called, crossed Rock River at this place, and in 1828, when Father 
Dixon received the contract for carrying the mails from Peoria to Galena 
and Gratiot's Grove, he took with him from Peoria to Rock River a half- 
breed named Joseidi C^ee,* who established a permanent, though un- 
licensed, ferry. Prospective competition or a friend must have suggested 
his laches in this respect, for <mi December 7, 1829, he received from Jo 
Daviess County, whose jurisdiction embraced all that section of country, 
the statutory license to operate the same. But by 1830 the restraint of a 
ferryman's life had become so exceedingly irksome to one of his nomadic 
nature that Father Dixon was constrained to take it off his hands and 
remove his family thence, which he did, arriving there April 11, 1830. 

When Ogee established his ferry he built a hut of logs, unfit for habi- 
tation to any but a rover like himself. The needs of Father Dixon's family 
and increasing travel required something better, and this improvement he 
at once supplied by making additi<Mis, so that he soon had the comfortable 
house-store-hotel displayed in the illustration. He, with his family of 
wife and five children, from that time forward entertained travelers and 

* Pronounced Ozha. 

9 129 

Digitized by 



traded with the Indians until the Indians were no more and travel many 
years later had become diverted to bridges and other thoroughfares made 
by the new and ever-multipl)dng settlements. He was made postmaster, 
and thenceforth Pixon's Ferry was of commanding prominence in Illinois 
travel and Illinois geography. At this period, however, Father Dixon's 
was the only family on Rock River above the old Black Hawk village. 

On his march up the river Black Hawk camped one night near the 
Dixon cabin, and with Ne-a-pope and the Prophet ate with the family, 
Mrs. Dixon waiting upon them in a manner so courteous as completely 
to captivate Black Hawk and command from him thereafter his highest 
admiration. During this stop the family, after a careful observation, esti- 
mated the number of able-bodied warriors with the expedition to be 800, 
and that number was reported to the troops, which arrived there May 12. 
Under the order of April i6th from Governor Reynolds, Majors Stillman 
and Bailey recruited to their battalions the companies already named. 

Leaving Pekin May 8th,* Bailey's battalion reached Boyd's 
Grove the first night out, where Stillman, with his three 
companies, joined them and all camped for the night. The following 
day, at Bureau Creek, another detachment under a Captain Bowman, whidi 
had been ranging through the country toward Dixon's Ferry, joined these 
forces, reporting the theft of many of their horses by the Indians. At 
Dad Joe's Grove the combined forces camped the second night, marching 
the following day (the loth), across the present county of Lee to Dixcm's 
Ferry, where Reynolds and the militia joined them on the morning of 
the 1 2th. 

The first act of the Governor was one of circumspection. Selecting 
from his ablest and most discreet officers Captain John Dement, Colonel 
James T. B. Stapp, Wyat B. Stapp, Major Joseph M. Chadwick and 
Benjamin Moore, and Louis Oiiilmette, a French trader, thoroughly 
familiar with those parts and with Indian character, and who, with others, 
was waiting at Dixon's Ferry, they were directed to start for Paw Paw 
Grove,* some forty miles to the southeast, in the present confines of Shab- 
bona township, DeKalb County, and there have a "talk" with the Potto- 
watomies, whose village was at that place, and assure themselves of the 
positive neutrality of that nation. 

The prairies were covered with water, there were no roads, the day 
was dark and threatening, and, to frustrate their mission completdy, a 
large party of Black Hawk's band overtook them. The enemy undertook 
by every art known to savage tactics to lure the men into an ambush. To 
refute Black Hawk's constant protestations of peace, this scouting party 
of his was discovered to be actively recruiting am<mg the Pottowatomies 

>Jamee Hainee, stni living at Pekln, remembers the clrcomstances well. His two 
older brothers, Alfred and Jonathan, were members of Capt Adams* company. 
*8habbona's village. 

Digitized by 





Digitized by 


Digitized by 



and Winnebagoes. The attempts to decoy the messengers into the Indian 
camp were diplomatically avoided, and so was a pitched battle, which could 
only have resulted in annihilation of the whites. After forty-eight hours 
of ceaseless endeavor, without food, the party finally succeeded in reaching 
headquarters. By this time the forces of Stillman and Bailey were march- 
ing up the river on their ill-fated expedition. . 

There were at Dixon's Ferry, when Reynolds arrived, several promi- 
nent men from the mining country, including Colonel James M. Strode, 
commander of the militia of Jo Daviess Q)unty, James W. Stephenson, 
William S. Hamilton, son of Alexander Haimilton, Col. Henry Gratiot 
and Louis Ouilroette, the trader. Colonel Henry Dodge of Michigan 
territory had organized a company to protect the frontier until he cotdd 
communicate with Reynolds and systematically organize the mining dis- 
trict forces in a manner materially to assist the latter. James H. Gentry 
was captain of this company ; Henry L. Dodge, son of Colonel Dodge, was 
elected first lieutenant ; Paschal Bequette, a son-in-law, was elected second 
lieutenant, while Charles Bracken was aid to the colonel. The file con- 
sisted of some fifty men. This company of rangers, leaving Mineral Point 
May 8th, covered the northwestern frontier until Whiteside's Brigade 
reached Dixon's Ferry, and was camped on the north side of Rock River, 
not far from Black Hawk's camp, when Whiteside and his troops reached 
that point. Here Colonel Dodge was keeping a watchful eye on Black 
Hawk^s every movement and warily awaiting the moment he could pounce 
down upon tihe old Indian if he saw fit to offer war,* an emergency which 
the intrepid little band was fully equal to. 

Dodge saw the frightful consequences of an ill-advised expedition up 
Rock River and urged against it. Failure meant active co-operation with 
Black Hawk by the neutral and undecided Winnebagoes and Pottowato- 
mies, and this in turn meant that the entire northwest frontier would be 
overrun with maurading bands and murderers. 

But the impatient troops of Stillman and Bailey were ambitious to 
fight and would listen to no restraint. They had enlisted to kill "Injuns.^* 
Nothing but a valorous conquest would receive their attention, and General 
Whiteside and Governor Reynolds were constrained to allow the following 
order to be issued : 

'Headquarters Camp No. lo, Dixon's Ferry, 

"i2th May, 1832. 

"The troops under the command of Major Stillman, including the battalions 

of said Major Stillman and Major Bailey, will forthwith proceed with four days' 

rations to the head of Old Man's Creek, where it is supposed the hostile Sac Indians 

are assembled, for the purpose of taking all cautious measures to coerce said 

*Note: — Dodige*8 command (May 8) proceeded by way of Apple River to Buffalo OroTe, 
at which an Indian trail led to Rock Riyer, at a point nearly opposite the mouth of the 
Klah'Wao-kee and only a few miles from Btillman*8 battle, and where the troops were 
encamped at that time. Smith's Hist Wis., Vol. 1, p. 266. 

Digitized by 



Indians into submission, and report themselves to this department as soon there- 
after as practicable. 

"By order of Brigadier Samuel Whiteside, commanding brigade of mounted 
volunteers. ,,^^ ^ 



Writers upon this subject have so stated before, and others have told 
the writer that such was the case here. Furthermore, a rankling jealousy 
existed between Stillman and Bailey, each contending that he should be 
the other's superior and allowed the command of the combined troops. 
Governor Reynolds did his very best to harmonize the men by recogniz- 
ing Stillman, but the rancorous hatred which existed among the troops 
for their rivals destroyed, in a great measure, their effectiveness. 

On the morning of Sunday, the 13th of May, the two brigades 
mardied up from Dixon's Ferry for Old Man's Creek. Many adventur- 
ous spirits from Jhe main army were permitted to accompany the troops, 
as were a few others, like Colonel Strode, who wanted to see the "fun" 
which was promised. A baggage train of six wagons, drawn by oxen, 
guarded by about fifty men, under Mr. Hackelton of Fulton County, and 
bearing the four days' rations, followed in the rear. The day was black 
and threatening, and before the battalions had proceeded ten miles a pelt- 
ing rain compelled them to halt and camp for the night.^ All through the 
night the rain continued, holding the troops there until the morning of 
the 14th was well advanced, when the march was resumed. About dark 
of the same day Old Man's Creek was reached and crossed and the troops 
dismounted to camp for the night. The creek, then much swollen by 
recent rains, formed on the south side a disagreeable swamp. The object 
of crossing to the north side was to avoid this morass and also avail 
themselves of the natural advantages which the north side afforded for 
protection, as well as the more solid ground for camping. 

The creek was lined on both sides with tall willows, while just a little 
to the north the ground was covered with a growth of small black oak 
trees, denominated generally scrub oak. These same "scrub oak," grown 
to thrice the thickness of a man's body, stand to this day, and, judging 
from a present-day standpoint, one can easily see how a handful of reso- 
lute men could defend themselves there against overwhelming odds. To 
the willows the horses were tied, fires were made, coffee pots put to boil- 
ing and a general preparation for supper was going forward, 
when three Indians appeared in camp bearing a white flag.* They were 
taken in, but in the haste of supper preparations and the absence of an 
interpreter, their mission, if for peace, was not discovered at once. As a 
matter of fact, however. Black Hawk had in his lifetime disregarded so 


*Col. Wm. S. Hamilton and many other usually reliable authoritlee claimed the flag 
was red, Indicative of war; but that contention cannot be credited. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



many treaties and flags of truce, that it is no small wonder some of the 
men were for dispatdiing them on the spot. An abiding sense of his many 
misfeasances, no doubt, prompted him to station five other Indians on a 
neighboring hill, some three-quarters of a mile to the north, where they 
might watch and report the manner in which his flag was received. The 
presence of these five Indians on the hill, unexplained, may rightfully be 
styled a misprision, and sufiicient to set the camp into a spasm of turmoil. 
About twenty of Eads' men mounted their horses to charge the five 
Indians, who in turn wheeled to run away. This action was taken by the 
excited and undisciplined troc^s to mean a retreat, and Eads' men imme- 
diately began firing upon their retiring foe. Other small squads joined 
the haphazard pursuit, in the course of which two of the five Indians 
were killed. 

The camp became a bedlam, and while Stillman, Bailey, Adams, Eads 
and other officers tried desperately to restrain the troops and restore order, 
as well might they have commanded the rains to cease and the sun to return 
for half an hour as to have expected obedience from those raw and inde- 
pendent spirits. They were having the "fim" for which they had enlisted. 

Black Hawk the while was at the mouth of the creek with half a 
hundred warriors, where he had been giving a dog feast to Shabbona, 
Waubansee and other influential Pottowatomies in his frantic efforts to 
secure reinforcements against the whites. 

The interchange of shots ahead led those in camp to believe that a 
general engagement was upon them, whereupon Thomas B. Reed of Eads' 
company shot down in cold blood one of the three bearers of the flag of 
truce, an offense so dastardly as to permit of no excuse., It may be urged 
that the troops were frenzied by excitement or dazed with the thought that 
the 800 Indians were coming down upon them like an avalanche, but sudi 
was not the case; it was part of the program of "fun" which impelled it. 
The confusion which followed permitted the two remaining Indians of the 
party of three to escape and join in the massacre of the whites which fol- 
lowed soon after. Squads of two, three and more continued to leave 
camp to join the chase, presenting in the twilight a thin and irr^ular 
line, without order and without a head, until nearly four miles were 
covered by these stragglers. 

As had been adroitly arranged, no doubt, by the survivors of the 
party of five, the foremost of the pursuers were suddenly plunged into 
Black Hawk's presence, behind a growth of chaparral at the mouth of 
the creek, where this wily old savage had arranged his braves, few in 
number, but many more than the first white arrivals, and the instant the 
whites appeared the Indians sent up whoops, shrieks and howls calculated 
to frighten even a brave man. As the savages dashed headlong into the 
advance column, or rather squad, of the whites, with the spirit and sudden- 
ness of an electric shock, the reckless pursuers realized their awful 

Digitized by 



temerity, and the futility of fighting, even under careful protection and 
with the full strength of the battalions, what might be the 800 warriors 
known to belong to Black Hawk's command. 

Stunned by the sudden and furious onslaught of Black Hawk, the 
troops wheeled to retreat, yelling as they fled "Injuns ! Injuns !" (like the 
madmen they now truly became), that their approaching comrades mig^t 
in turn retreat to safety. In no time at all the cry had reached camp, 
which became as panic-stricken as the returning troopers.* 

At the foot of the hill on which the five Indians had rested James 
Doty of Eads' company was killed, and while many of the horses became 
mired in the mud of the credc, Gideon Munson, a Government scout, was 
also slain. As the troops came headlong on, Captain Adams,' than whom 
no braver man ever lived, attempted to make a stand with a handful of 
companions upon the brow of the hill which lies about half a mile to the 
south of the credc, to cover the retreat of the fugitives. Darkness was 
upon them and they had no reason to believe that less than the f tdl force 
of 800 was upon them^ yet they stood their ground to sell their lives as 
dearly as possible to save those who by the delay mig^t reach points of 

The moonlight was only sufiicient to confuse the panic-stricken troops 
still n[K>re, and in that heroic fight unto death which Captain Adams and 
his men made, he scarcely knew whether he was fighting friend or foe. 
In the gloaming the conflict went on, and in the darkness of the night, 
while the scattering forces were safely fleeing on to Dixon's Ferry, Captain 
Adams and his little band fell one by one, imtil the last man bit the dust, 
and then a scene of malignant deviltry almost incredible was perpetrated.* 
Mr. Oliver W. Hall of Carlinville, Illinois, who was present on the field 
the following day, wrote a brief description of it as follows : 

"We were camped at Dixon's Ferry at the time of Stillman's defeat 
Now Stillman had about two himdred and seventy-five well-mounted men, 
with baggage wagons, and he started out on his own accord, camping late 
in the evening on the north side of that little creek. The ford was just 
above, where the willows stood thick on each side of the creek. While 
Stillman's men were cooking supper, three or four Indians on their ponies 
rode up on that high hill just north of Stillman's camp, about sundown, 
and five or six of Stillman's men caught their horses and ran them to 
where the Indians were in camp, in the timber, about a mile and a half 
from Stillman's camp, north. The Indians killed one of our men and ran 
the balance of them into camp. The first that Stillman knew of any dan- 
ger was when the Indians came yelling over that high hill just north of 

>A11 snrYlYoni Interviewed by the author stoutly maintained that Black Hawk bo 
disposed his troops as to make it appear that the whites were surrounded. 

*The father and mother of Capt. Adams were killed by Indians. 

•Wakefield, p. 21, Is authority for the statement that Dr. Donaldson was sargeon 
of Stillman's Battalion. 

Digitized by 








Digitized by 






Digitized by 



Stillman'a camp, and it was a perfect stampede with Stillman's men. 
Some of them got their horses, but lots of them got away on foot, and 
after the Indians had killed eleven of our men they went back to Stillman's 
camp and cut the spokes out of the wagons and poured out a barrel of 
whisky. Well, we lay on our arms the next night on the south side of the 
creek, for we had left our tents at Dixon^s Ferry, as we had to go back 
to meet the boat to get our rations. There were twenty-five hundred of 
us with shotguns and rifles and muskets, all flintlocks, and we were 
mounted, all but two or three companies. We picked up nine dead men as 
we came up from Dixon's Ferry on a forced mardi the next morning after 
Stillman^s defeat. The last two that we found were Major Perkins and 
Captain Adams,* with both their heads cut off and their heads skinned 
all over and left by them. We found them on that descent as you go down 
to the creek from the high land, about half way down, and we buried nine 
men in one g^ve about two hundred yards southwest of those willows, 
just below the ford and on sideling ground, not as far south as the top 
of the hill. We buried one young man about three-quarters of a mile 
north of Stillman's camp (if true, this was James Doty), where he was 
found, and another young man about one-ha|f a mile east, where he was 
found. (This was Gideon Munson.) 

"Now the road crossed the creek just east of those willows, where 
there were a few scattering, scrubby trees. The nine men were buried 
about two hundred yards southwest of those willows and on the west side 
of the road leading to Dixon's Ferry. We never knew how many Indians 
there were." 

If the statement concerning Doty and Munson is true, then but eight 
men could have been buried in the common grave, because but twelve 
were killed, and two were buried to the south. The fact is, Munson was 
buried in this one grave. 

The names of Captain Adams' companions were David Kreeps, 
Zadock Mendinall and Isaac (nicknamed Major) Perkins, of Captain 
Adams' company; James Milton of Captain Pugh's company; Tyrus M, 
Childs, Joseph B. Farris and Corporal Bird W. Ellis of Captain David W. 
Barnes company, and Sergeant John Walters of Captain Ball's company. 

Joseph Draper of Captain Covell's company was also shot and his 
body found five miles due south of the battlefield, on what is now known 
as Mrs. George F. Smithes farm, where it was buried. 

Young Ellis, who was but a boy in years, was able to crawl two and 
a half miles south of the battlefield, where his body was found beside a 
strapping Indian, who had demanded his life, though it was then ebbing 
away. In this enfeebled condition he fought and killed his antagonist, 

^The shock to Mrs. Adams on learning of her husband's horrible fate deprived her 
of reason, which was never recovered. 

Digitized by 



sinking into death soon after. Klis was buried on the spot, now the farm 
of Mr. A. C. Brown. 

The death of Private Joseph Draper was particularly pathetic, and is 
narrated in the historical records of McLean County as follows : 

"In the confusion resulting from Black Hawk's attack, Draper lost his horse. 
A comrade, John Lundy, took Draper onto his horse. While retreating they 
found a stray horse which Draper insisted upon mounting. It had no saddle 
or bridle, but it was supposed it would follow the other horses; instead, it turned 
and ran toward the Indians, who shot Draper. He fell from the horse, crawled 
oflF into the underbrush, where his body was found by the burial party. He had 
written on his canteen an account of his wounds. No copy of the writing on his 
canteen has been preserved." 

It would scarcely seem credible that a man in full possession of his 
faculties would remain on a horse running toward the enemy instead of 
dropping off to seek the shelter of the bushes and secrete his sound body, 
especially in the light of the fact that he was able securely to hide himself 
when wounded, but so it must have been in that fearful panic, because 
his comrade, Lundy, has vouched for the first part of the story and the 
man's canteen told the rest; and the words of a dying man cannot be 
doubted, particularly when alone in the night, miles away from friends 
and ministering care, with the raw and desolate prairie for a bed, howling 
wolves and Indians prowling near and the rough winds of spring about 
to blow his spirit into eternity. 

After five miles' pursuit, the Indians abandoned it to return to muti- 
late the bodies, as described by Mr. Hall, but the whites continued their 
flight, running, riding, yelling, crying, hopelessly crazed, until Dixon's 
Ferry was readied in the early hours of the morning of the 15th. Others 
who became confused in the darkness, and deflected to tlie south, never 
stopped until the Illinois River had been reached at a point near the pres- 
ent dty of Ottawa. From here they scattered (some forty) for thdr 

It was a clear case of panic Men were crazed. They who in a sober 
moment would have walked straight to death without a protest ; they who 
would bend to no command of a superior ofiicer; they who would not 
obey or follow, were driven as easily as a flock of panic-stricken sheep. 
It has been said and written that whisky was the cause of this unfortunate 
rout, but this is hopelessly improbable in the face of the fact that but two 
casks were taken with the baggage train to be consumed by 275 men, who 
lived in a whisky drinking age, when five or ten drinks, more or less, made 
little difference in a daily average. Mr. John E. Bristol, of Eads' com- 
pany, who at ninety-one is alive and hearty to-day, vouches for the truth 
of this assertion and the other one that but two small casks were taken 
along. Mr. Hall specifically states that one cask was emptied by the 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 


TtltrMAK n. lU-TLEDOE. 

MKR i:. I*. BAKEH. 



Digitized by 



Indians, and Black Hawk makes the same statement, therefore it is certain 
that whisky cut no figure in the panic. 

In justice to Stillman, his version of the affair, published in "The 
Missouri Republican" of July loth, 1832, should be g^ven : 

"To the Editors of the Missouri Republican: Gentlemen — I have this day 
discovered in your paper of the 22d ult. an account of the engagement between 
the men under my command and the hostile Sac and other Indians on the Rock 
River. Finding that statement altogether incorrect, I take the liberty to give 
an outline of the transaction, which I am compelled to do in the utmost haste. 

"On the I2th I received orders from His Excellency, John Reynolds, Com- 
mander-in-Chief, etc, to march immediately from Dixon's Ferry to what is com- 
monly known as Old Man's Creek, about 30 miles distant, and coerce the said 
hostile Indians into subjection. We took up our march on the 13th, and on the 
14th, at 2 o'clock, one of our spies discovered two Indians on our left. The 
Indians immediately fired on him, and undertook to make their escape by swim- 
ming Rock River;* this, however, they did not succeed in; our spy brought his 
gun to bear on the forward one, who was tumbled into the river — the horse 
immediately turned his course and swam back, the surviving Indian being, from 
the unmanageable disposition of his horse, compelled to follow until he shared 
the fate of his companion. Both horses were brought in. We reached our 
camping ground on the north side of Old Man's Creek about 6 o'clock, after 
having used every precaution to guard against being deceived by the Indians, 
having kept out the most experienced spies and a very strong guard front, rear 
and flank, during the day. Soon after our arrival we discovered a small party of 
men in our advance, supposed at this time to be a part of our front guard. 
Lieutenant Gridley being then mounted, passed up a ravine for the purpose of 
ascertaining. It was soon after, however, ascertained that our spies with the 
whole of our advance guard had come in. Captain Covell with a party de- 
tached, followed. On the approach of Lieutenant Gridley, while rising the bluff, 
the Indians faced and leveled their guns. When prudence directed a return, the 
Indians pursued and were met by Captain Covell at nearly the same moment, when 
the fire was exchanged without effect The Indians retreated and were pursued. 
Three were killed and three taken, with a loss of one of our men (as supposed). 
Our men were all immediately formed and took their march in the direction of 
Sycamore Creek, five miles above. After marching about three miles an Indian 
appeared and made signs of peace. I was informed of the fact, and orders were 
given for a halt. Myself, together with most of the field and staff ofl&cers ad- 
vanced with Captain Eads as interpreter. We were soon infcM*med that the In- 
dians would surrender in case they would be treated as prisoners of war. This was 
promised them, and they returned with the intelligence, after promising to meet 
us at a specified point On arriving at that point, however, no Indians appeared 
to make the proposed treaty, which convinced us of treachery. 

"Directions were inmiediately given for our men to advance, while Captain 
Eads proceeded a few yards alone to make further discoveries. On reaching 
Sycamore Bluff, the Indians were discovered in martial order; their line ex- 
tended a distance of nearly two miles, and under rapid march. Their sifi^nals 
were given for battle — ^war-whoops were heard in almost every direction — ^their 
flanks extending from one creek to the other. Orders were given for a line of 
battle to be formed on the south of the marsh between the two creeks, while the 
Indians were advancing with the utmost rapidity; their fire was tremendous, but 
on account of the distance, bf little effect Night was closing upon us in the 

Digitized by 



heart of an Indian country, and the only thing to brighten our prospects, the 
light of our guns. Both officers and men conducted themselves with prudence 
and deliberation, until compelled to give ground to the superior foe, when the 
order for a retrograde movement was given, and our men formed in Old Man's 
Creek. Here a desperate attempt was made by the Indians to outflank us and 
cut oflF our retreat, which proved ineffectual, some clubbing with their fire-locks, 
others using their tomahawks and spears. 

"A party of our men crossed the creek, and with much difficulty silenced 
their fire, which made a way for the retreat of our whole party, which was com- 
menced and kq)t up, with few exceptions, in good order. 

"Many of our officers and men having been in the battles of Tippecanoe, 
Bridgewater, Chippewa and Ft Erie, have never faced a more desperate enemy. 
Having had the advantages of ground, the enemy being on an eminence, operated 
much in our favor. In passing Old Man's Creek many of them got their gims 
wet and were deprived of the use of them. Our force consisted of 206 men; 
that of the Indians not known, but consisting of a whole hostile band. Eleven 
of our men were killed, 5 wounded, with a loss of 34 to the enemy. From re- 
port, their encampment consisted of 160 lodges. Our men mostly arrived at Dixon's 
Ferry about 3 o'clock a. m., and it is to be hc^ed that in a short time the number 
of troops stationed at that point and elsewhere will be able to bring them into 
subjection, and relieve our frontier from a much dreaded foe. 
"I am, with much respect, your obedient servant, 

"L Stillman, 
"Brig.-Gen. 5 Brig., 111. Mil. and Act. Maj. N. 111. Vol. 
"In Camp, 19 June, 1832" 

It cannot be said of this explanation that it offers any extenuating cir- 
cumstances for that inglorious retreat or that abandonment by Stillman's 
men of gallant Captain Adams and his men to fight it out alone and die.* 

K)ii June 14, 1902, the State of Illinois dedicated a monament costing $6,000 on 
the hill where Capt. Adams made his stand. The officers of the association to whom 
the credit of securing that monament is dne are Lovejoy Johnson, Pt ; L. Dtckerman* 
V. Pt ; John A. Atwood, Secy. ; John A. White, Treas. ; Wallace Reyell, Trustee. 

Digitized by 







Digitized by 






Digitized by 



Call for Aih)itional Troops — Burial of the Deai>— Arrival of 
Atkinson— Lead Mines Militia — Erection op Forts — ^Dodge's 
March to the Four Lakes Country. 

Tlie straggling arrival of the panic-stricken troops into camp at 
Dixon's Ferry, from three o'clock to daylight of the morning of May 15th, 
threw Whiteside's camp into confusion. The force of Dodge's warning 
had now a depressing, yea, disastrous effect on the army, and the conduct 
of the men was most humiliating to Governor Reynolds. With one accord 
the officers flodced to his tent to hear the exaggerations of the runaways 
and plan a possible maneuver to counteract the fleeting fortune of their 
volunteer arms. 

The catastrophe, instead of inspiring the troops with resolution to 
revenge their fallen comrades, spread disaffection, and demands arose from 
all sides to be discharged from a campaign which promised nothing but 
trouble and a long absence from home. The Governor, foreseeing the 
plight likely to visit him, at once, by the light of a solitary candle, wrote 
out the following call for 2,000 more volunteers to rendezvous at Henne- 
pin on the loth of June: 

"Dixon's Ferry, on Rock River, May 15, 1832. 
"It becomes my duty to again call on you for your services in defense of your 
country. The state is not only invaded by the hostile Indians, but many of our 
citizens have been slain in battle. A detachment of mounted volunteers, about 275 
in number, commanded by Maj. Stillman, were overpowered by hostile Indians on 
Sycamore Creek, distant from this place about thirty miles, and a considerable 
number killed. This is an act of hostility which cannot be misconstrued. I am of 
the opinion that the Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes have joined the Sacs, and 
all may be considered as waging war against the United States. To subdue these 
Indians and drive them out of the state, it will require a force of at least 2,000 
mounted volunteers, in addition to troops already in the field. I have made the 
necessary requisition of proper officers for the above number, and have no doubt 
that the citizen soldiers of the state will obey the call of their country. They will 
meet at Hennepin, on the Illinois River, in companies of 50 men each, on the loth 
of June next, to be organized into brigades. 

"John Reynolds, Commander in Chief." 

John Ewing of Franklin County and John A. Wakefield and Robert 
Blackwell of Fayette County were the trusted noessengers selected to carry 


Digitized by 



this call over the state. At the same time, Col. James M. Strode, colonel 
and commander of the Jo Daviess County militia, was empowered and 
requested to organize his county for immediate action. 

Governor Reynolds also sent word of the defeat to Colonel Dodge at 
the camp of the latter on the north side of the river some distance above, 
with the request that he forthwith take measures to protect the frontier 
of Michigan Territory (now Wisconsin). 

Major Horn* of Re)molds' stafif was dispatdied to St. Louis with a 
message to Colonel March, who was at that place, to forward the supplies 
for the new levy to Hennepin. With his conspicuous vigor the order was 
executed, but not by leaving the provisions at Hennepin. Fort Deposit, or 
later Fort Wilboum, so-called from Captain John S. Wilboum of the 
militia from Morgan County, was a point on the south bank of the Illinois 
River about midway between the present cities of Peru and LaSalle. It 
was nearer the seat of action at Dixon's Ferry and was accordingly chosen 
by Major Horn, and there he deposited the provisions. Thither, too, the 
troops marched, and, as Albert Sidney Johnston wrote in his journal on 
June 12, 1832: "General and stafif arrived at this place this evening. The 
Illinois volunteers having arrived here in great numbers, the General 
decided upon organizing them at this point, supplies for the troops having 
been placed in depot at this place, and the route to Dixon's quite as good 
and as near as the mouth of Fox River." 

That explains the erection of this base, and in the same connection it 
may be said that the old army trail subsequently became known as the 
"Peru road," was the one traveled by Abraham Lincoln on his return home 
via Peoria, and was the route traversed by Colonel John Dement, Receiver 
of the Dixon Land OflSce, when subsequently he carried the public 
moneys from Dixon to Peru to be sWpped by boat to St. Louis, the in- 
dustrial and financial center of the times. 

Another message was sent to General Atkinson, not yet arrived from 
Fort Armstrong, and finally Major Adams' was dispatched to Quincy to 
procure com for the horses. By daylight the various expresses were 
hurrying on their respective ways over the state. 

With the abandonment of the baggage and supplies down the river, 
the improvidence of the troops with the provisions brought along and the 
destruction and confiscation of Stillman's by Black Hawk, there was immi- 
nent danger of a famine, but Mr. Dixon came to the rescue by slaughter- 
ing his oxen, milch cows and young stock, which the troops devoured 
without bread or salt After a hasty breakfast, a general march for the 
battlefield to bury the dead was begun, and by evening finished. 

The sight of the mangled remains of their comrades did not inspire 
the majority of the men with a wish to prolong their service. Dissatis- 

>Red<Uck Horn. 

*2d Sergeant Parker Adams, of Gideon Simpson's Company. 

Digitized by 





1^ io tl lu MH I * 



Digitized by 






Digitized by 



faction, much of it unexplained, prevailed, and nothing but a demand for 
a discharge from further service was heard. 

Gathering the fragments of the mutilated bodies together, they buried 
Captain Adams and his faithful companions that evening, the isth. The 
dismantled baggage wagons, ruined saddlebags, dead horses, destroyed 
provisions and the whisky keg, said by Black Hawk to have been emptied 
by his direction, were found upon the field. 

The army camped that night upon the south bank of the creek, with 
little to disturb it save the casual firing of small arms in the distance, which 
might have indicated the presence of the enemy, but Major Henry and his 
battalion of spies, detached to scour the country and test the presence of 
the Indians, returned to camp at an early hour of the morning without 
discovering a sign of them. 

On the morning of the i6th the army began its return march for 
Dixon's Ferry for provisions, presuming, of course, that Atkinson's forces 
would be there against their arrival in the evening, but the progress of the 
keel boats up the river had necessarily been very slow, and when the army 
reached Dixon's Ferry the regulars had not yet arrived. This caused a 
storm of protest to reach the ears of the officers, which demanded decisive 
action. The unplanted crops, the futility of the enterprise and inntuner- 
able other reasons were urged for disbanding. The "fun" of an Indian 
campaign had proved too serious for the younger generation. 

In this dreadful state of insubordination the Governor held the troops 
until the morning of the 17th, when, after a fervid appeal to their patriot- 
ism to continue their service to protect the exposed frontier until the new 
levies arrived, the remaining troops of Stillman and Bailey, recovering 
their lost senses, immediately consented, whereupon the Fifth Regiment 
was organized, as before mentioned. Delaying for a few hours tiie de- 
cision, which must inevitably have come in favor of the other men, hope- 
ful that Atkinson would come, Governor Reynolds was happily relieved by 
the arrival of Atkinson's forces and Major Long^s foot battalion about 
noon, ¥nth stores, which momentarily quieted the clamoring of the volun- 
teers. With these reinforcements came Captain W. S. Harney and 
Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, each of whom had been absent on furlough, 
but who, on the crossing of Black Hawk into lUimris, had returned to his 
regiment at Fort Armstrong in time to march up the river with Atkinson. 

Before dark of the 15th, Strode, Captain J. W. Stephenson and others 
from the mining district reached Galena with the intelligence of Stillman's 
defeat, and the possibilities of immediate and general Indian hostilities 
created the greatest excitement among the people. The notes of a bugle 
at once called the settlers and miners together on the old race course on 
the bottom near the river,^ and by reason of his popularity, Captain 
Stephenson quickly organized a company of mounted rangers, which 

>Hist. Jo DarieM County, p. 284. 

Digitized by 



elected him captain. Strode, however, could not manipulate his militia, 
as he had confidently expected and promised. Candidates for office con- 
tested the supremacy of Strode, then a candidate for State Senator (and 
later elected), with suggestions that he should get out of the way. With 
this conflict among leaders, men did not respond as expected, and to still 
more complicate Reynolds' already distressing plight, Strode's troubles 
reached Dixon's Ferry. Resolving upon asking the advice of Atkinson, he 
started an express for Atkinson's camp at 3 o'clock in the morning of 
Saturday, May 19th, consisting of Sergeant Fred Stahl and William Dur- 
ley, Vincent Smith, Redding Bennett and James Smith, who bore 
dispatches for Atkinson and who took John D. Winters, the mail con- 
tractor, for guide. On Sunday, 20th, Stahl returned and added to the 
alarm by reporting that his party had been ambuscaded by the Indians just 
on the edge of Buffalo Grove (now Polo, Illinois), fifty miles from Galena, 
about 5 o'clock of Saturday afternoon, and that Durley was instantly 
killed and left on the spot 

Strode was in despair. He declared martial law, and had not Atkin- 
son, on his arrival at Dixon's, anticipated his troubles and sent relief, pocM* 
Strode might have been discomfited. As it was. Lieutenant Jefferson 
Davis and a small detachment was ordered to hasten to his assistance. Ar- 
rived there, Davis, with the co-operation of H. Hezekiah Gear, a man of 
strong personality, great force of character and of commanding influence 
with the sturdy miners, smoothed the ruffled tempers of the miners and 
softened them into an eager desire for enlistment, and the organization of 
the Twenty-seventh Regiment followed. 

This regiment, organized on the 19th and 21st, was composed of the 
companies of Captains Milton M. Maughs, Nicholas Dowling, Clack Stone, 
Charles McCoy, Benjamin J. Aldenrath, H. Hezekiah Gear, Samuel H. 
Scales, Jonathan Craig, L. P. Vansburgh, all from Jo Daviess County. It 
was commanded by Colonel Strode, ranged the northwestern part of the 
state and was mustered out at Galena, September 61th. Owing to the care- 
less manipulation of the records in those days, it is impossible to state the 
remaining officers of the regimttit, except to note the name of Dr. Horatio 
Newhall as surgeon and the casual use of the name of Captain Stephenson 
as major, but as he was subsequently attached to Dodge's squadron as 
major, and acted almost entirely with Dodge thereafter, his should be 
classed as an independent company, not in Strode's r^ment.* 

In addition to the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Jo Daviess organized 
two independent companies, which later became permanently attached to 
Dodge's squadron and were mustered out September 14 at Galena by 
Lieut J. R. B. Gardenier, who for the most part acted as commandant of 
the company of Nicholas Dowling. One of those two companies was com- 
manded by Capt. James Craig and the other was the company of Captain 

^WUllam Campbell was later made Major of tbe Twenty-seventh Re^lmait 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



Stephenson, until he was elected major. On that date Enoch Duncan was 
elected captam, vice Stephenson. 

Of the body called Dodge's squadron, Henry Dodge was Colonel, 
James W. Stephenson was Major and later Lieutenant-Colonel, W. W. 
Woodbridge, Adjutant, Addison Philleo, Surgeon, and John Bivens, Sur- 
geon's Mate. The moment Dodge received word from Reynolds of Still- 
man's disaster, he lost not one minute in returning to the mining district 
to quiet the Winnebagoes, who might and probably wotdd have risen with 
the Pottowatomies and overwhelmed the settlers over the entire north- 
western country, but Dodge and Henry Gratiot gave them no time to 
formulate a plan. The Winnebagftes were the natural friends and allies 
of the Sacs and the constant and unscrupulous enemy of the whites when 
the least opportunity arose, but since the affair of 1827 they feared Dodge. 

His public position in 1832 was Colonel of Michigan Militia,* to which 
command was added, immediately on the commencement of hostilities, the 
command of the moimted volunteers of Iowa County and the Galena volun- 
teers in Illinois, when they served by companies in Michigan Territory. 
Starting before dawn of May 15th for the lead mines settlements, he in 
an incredibly short time had preparations moving for the safety of every 
settler in southwestern Michigan. In a week's time stockades made of 
logs ten or twelve feet high, buried end up, in forms of squares or 
parallelograms, with blockhouses inclosed and lockouts at one or more 
comers, were feiished and ready for occupation at the following places, 
after which all persons so disposed were comfortably "forted,'^ as the ex- 
pression was in those days : 

Fort Union (headquarters). Colonel Dodge's residence near Dodge- 
ville. Colonel Dodge commanding. 

Fort Defiance, at the farm of Daniel M. Parkinson, about five miles 
southeast of Mineral Point. Captain Hoard commanding. 

Fort Hamilton, at William S. Hamilton's diggings, later Wiota. 

Fort Jackson, at Mineral Point. Capt. John F. O^Neal commanding. 

Mound Fort, on the high prairie about a mile and a half south of 
Ebenezer Brigham's residence at Blue Mounds. Capt John Sherman 

Parish's Fort, at the residence of Thomas J. Parish, later Wingville. 
And forts, unnamed, at Cassville, Platteville, Gratiot's Grove, under 
command of J. R. B. Gratiot, Diamond Grove, White Oak Springs, Old 
ShuUsburg and Elk Grove, at the farm of Justus DeSeelhorst. 

About the 22d or 23d of May, Colonel Dodge and Col. Henry Gratiot, 
sub-agent of the Winnebagoes, assembled a company of fifty mounted 
volunteers, commanded by Captains James H. Gentry and John H. Round- 
tree, and marched to the head of the Four Lakes, where, on the 25th, the 
assembled Indians were asked to declare their intentions. If they decided 

»Vol. 1, i>. 266, Smith's Hist, of Wis. 

Digitized by 



to aid, counsel or abet the Sacs, or harbor them in their country, such 
acts would be received as a declaration of war and would be visited with 
condign punishment. Dodge emphatically proclaimed the Sacs liars and 
traitors, who wished only to draw the Winnebagoes into a war to distract 
attention from their own actions, while they might escape when hostilities 
went against them, thus leaving the Winnebagoes to bear the brunt of the 
punishment which must follow in blood and uncomfortable peace addi- 

So vigorous, yet so diplomatic, were Dodge and Gratiot, that peaceful 
relations were at once assured and, with slight exception, maintained by 

'The '*talk" had at this meeting given In full note A, p. 416, Smith, Vol. I. 

Digitized by 



Digitized by VjOOQ I 

Digitized by 



Atkinson's Movement up Rock River — Indian Creek Massacre — 
. Narratives. 

On the iSth, after ten days' rations had been issued, Atkinson, by 
order No. 17, directed Whiteside to be in readiness to move up the river 
the following morning, while Col. Johnson was to remain with his battalion 
at Dixon's as a corps of reserve until the return of the main army, which 
contemplated a movement after the Indians the following morning, or 
until further orders. Later in the day rumors of possible attacks caused 
Atkinson, for better security of the post, to order the company of Gapt 
James White to be in readiness to move to Fort Armstrong at any moment. 
The necessity for departure that day was not, however, apparent, but early 
the following morning the alarm along the frontier had gjown to such 
proportions that not only was Capt. White ordered to proceed at once, but 
Capt. Seth Pratt's company was added to the detail, under orders of Capt. 
White, to proceed at once down the river in the "large*' keel boat with 
the sick and wounded, to report to Major Thomas J. Beall, then in com- 
mand of Fort Armstrong, Major John Bliss being left at Dixon's in 
charge of that post 

While many wild rumors were constantly afloat, no positive danger 
of attack was apprehended up to this time, but when a delegation of in- 
fluential and reputable men from the settlements cm the Fox and Du Page 
rivers met the army the follwing day, some distance up the river, and 
reported actual attacks and more in prospect, another order, No. 20, 
directed Col. Johnson, with Major Bailey and the four companies of 
Captains Covell, McQure, t^ugh and Adams (then commanded by First 
Lieutenant Benjamin Briggs, who succeeded to the command), to proceed 
at once to those scenes, after first securing from Col. Taylor, while march- 
ing, two kegs of rifle powder and one hundred pounds of lead. This dis- 
position left the three companies of Captains Eads, Barnes and Ball, under 
Lieut-Col. Stillman at Dixon's Ferry. 

To ascertain the route pursued by the Indians after Stillman's defeat, 

a party composed of Elijah lies and four others was ordered out. These 

men passed around the late camp a distance of eight or ten miles. A trail 



Digitized by 



was found going in the direction of the Illinois River, which was followed 
some distance without results. The second night out they were alarmed by 
evidence which clearly proved the presence of Indians ; pony tracks, leaves 
turned up by the feet of the ponies and other indisputable indications, 
which were followed by the sight of three Indians, evidently searching for 
them. These were eluded and the second night passed without event. Con- 
tinuing the next morning a course down Rock River, Black Hawk's late 
camp on that river was found about noon, deserted, with many canoes and 
other articles of Indian property left behind. Again striking out for the 
army, the little party reached it about night, when news of the murders at 
Indian Creek was received. 

This scouting party learned that the trail toward the south was a ruse 
to divert the army from intercepting their march to the north, which the 
Indians covered with remarkable cleverness, a few of them going on to 
Indian Creek to participate in the murders, while the others returned 

On the 19th the army, ostensibly to pursue the Indians, moved twelve 
miles up the river from Dixon's Ferry and there camped for the night. 
The following morning the march was resumed with more vigor, and by 
dark Stillman's battlefield was reached alnK>st simultaneously with an 
express bearing tidings of the murder of fifteen persons at the Davis settle- 
ment, twelve miles above Ottawa, on Indian Creek, which empties into the 
Fox about ten miles above its mouth. The effect of this staggering news 
was immediately to place the army in the best possible state of defense 
against attack, which might be made by the confederated tribes of Sacs, 
Foxes, Winnebagoes and Pottowatomies at any moment, as was then 
feared. Accordingly general order No. 21 was fulminated, and detach- 
ments were sent to Dixon's Ferry and other points, as will be noticed 

"The order of encampment and the order of march observed by the mounted 
volunteers will be continued. Should the brigade be attacked in front on its 
march, the advance guard will, as far as practicable, maintain its ground until the 
line can be formed and come up to its assistance. Col. DeWitt and Col. Fry's regi- 
ments will move up and form line to the front, 100 paces in rear of the advance 
guard and dismount; the regiments having been previously told off in squads of 
seven, the fourth man of each squad will take charge of the horses. The two regi- 
ments will then be formed on foot and advance to the attack. In an attack on 
the right flank, Col. De Witt's and Col. Fry's regiments will form line on the right 
flank, with the battalion of spies on their right In case of an attack in the rear, 
Col. Fry's regiment, Col. James* odd battalion, and Col. Thomas' regiment will 
form line, facing to the rear. 

"In the several formations directed, those regiments not named will remain 
in position, and be held in readiness to support the point of attack when ordered. 
Brig.-Gen. Whiteside will cause these dispositions for battle to be practiced as often 

'lies* EJarly Life and Times, p. 48. The author claimed the presence of Col. William 
S. Hamilton in his party, but in that he was mistalcen, as Col. Hamilton returned to 
Galena with Strode. 

Digitized by 



as he may deem necessary. The piece of artillery will be brought into action as 
circumstances may require. Should the camp be attacked, they will be formed in 
front of their tents and in rear of the fires. The regiments thus posted will remain 
in their respective positions until otherwise directed by the commanding officer. The 
Spy Battalion will occupy the center of the camp, and be held in reserve, to be 
directed upon any point that may require support. At night, the fires will be made 
40 yards in front of the line of tents ; the guard will consist of four companies, one 
to be posted on the center of each front, 150 to 200 yards in advance. The sentinels 
will be posted at a proper distance, which will be varied according to the nature 
of the ground. If the guard should be attacked, it will maintain its position as 
long as practicable, and if forced to retire, will do so in good order under the 
direction of the officer of the day, who will instruct the guard when mounted as to 
its disposition in this event. 

"By order of Brig-Gen. Atkinson. 

"A. S. Johnston, A.-D.-C— A. A. A. Gen." 

This massacre was instigated by three of Black Hawk's braves and 
executed by them with the assistance of about seventy disaffected Potto- 
watomies and Winnebagoes.* 

In the spring of the year 1830 William Davis had made a claim on 
"Big Indian Creek," erecting a cabin, blacksmith shop (being a blacksmith 
by trade), and later a mill. When Black Hawk invaded the state in 1832, 
Davis was finishing a dam for the purpose of furnishing power to run the 
mill, preventing thereby the running upstream of the fish, as was claimed 
by the Indians, A numerous band of Pottowatomies, under their chief, 
Meau-eus, lived in their village on this creek, six miles above the dam, 
subsisting largely on the fish caught in that little stream. Meau-eus, hav- 
ing been always a fine hater of the whites, grew excessively angry at this 
obstruction, and in an attempt to destroy it resistance followed, in which 
the Indians claimed one of the band was unmercifully flogged by Davis, a 
man of powerful physique. For final adjustment, the controversy was car- 
ried before Shabbona, who, in conjunction with Wau-ban-se, concluded an 
arrangement whereby the Indians were persuaded for the future to fish 
below the dam, which involved but little additional labor and which they 
did for a time with apparent good will, but beneath the surface a hatred 
lodged, XMily to be spent when, through the assistance of Black Hawk's 
braves, the settlement perished. 

John and J. H. Henderson, Allen Howard, William Pettigrew, Wil- 
liam Hall and others, with their families, had from time to time settled 
near the place, until the settlement had grown to be one of the most promis- 
ing in northern Illinois. 

After Black Hawk passed Dixon's Ferry, it was not long before his 
emissaries discovered the situation and made the best of it by recruiting 
to his ranks the entire band, the very thing the Governor attempted to 
prevent when he sent out his express from Dixon's. The Indians at once 

*The statement by Matson that one Mike Glrty was connected with the Indian Creek 
maatacre is Incorrect 

Digitized by 



ceased to fish, a circtimstance which Davis and J. H. Henderson proceeded 
to investigate by visiting the village. They found it abandoned, as they 
had feared, as was that of Wau-ban-se, who, by the advice of Shabbona, 
had taken his men to the village of the latter after both had sent their 
women and children to Ottawa for protection. 

Stillman's defeat followed, and then came Shabbona's famous ride to 
warn the settlements of the dangers which he too well realized were in 
store for the Davis settlement. Never lived there a more devoted and 
upright Indian than Shabbona 1 From the day he left the fortunes of 
Tecumseh he neglected no opportimity to manifest his friendship for the 
whites, and never was a more perilous ride projected in a frontier country 
than the one he took with his son, Pype-gee, and his nephew, Pypes, that 
memorable day down the Fox River Valley, on to Holderman's settlement, 
and, separating, thence on to Bureau Creek, passing through the Indian 
Creek settlement on the route, missing none in all that vast territory. 

Howard and the two Hendersons took their families to Ottawa and 
then returned to work their farms. Pettigrew likewise took his wife and 
two children to the same place, but finding no trouble in sight at the end 
of a few days, he brought them all back again, reaching Davis' house at 
noon of the day of the massacre. Robert Norris and Henry George, young 
men from the nei^boring settlements, were also at the Davis house, so on 
that particular day Davis naturally thought their numbers sufficient to 
resist any attack ; in fact, he had urged against any member of the settle- 
ment removing to Ottawa for protection. 

Pypes, or Pipe, as he was sometimes called, carried his messages 
safely on down as far as Rochelle's village, below the Illinois River, where 
he tarried, as we are told, to urge his suit with a maid of great beauty at 
that village. Returning home by way of the Indian Creek settlement, he 
discovered, toward dark of the 19th, a large band of Indians entering the 
timber, which fact he reported to Shabbona so soon as he reached the 
latter's village, about midnight.* 

Once more the grand old chief mounted his pony and rode out into 
the night, as he had before done so many times, to spread a warning. By 
sunrise, every person in the settlement had again been notified and given 
a chance to flee to Ottawa, but Davis, again protesting, prevented. 

As Shabbona subsequently told the story, these Indians camped near 
the head of the timber on the creek, while reconnoitering parties surveyed 
and learned the exact location and pursuit of each settler and determined 
on a propitious moment for the assault. These did their work thoroughly, 
leaving no possibility for escape by any number of the intended victims. 
About 4 o'clock of May 20th the scattered settlers were suddenly con- 
fronted by seventy Indians, led there by two Pottowatomies named To-qua- 
mee and Co-mee, all of whom had so adroitly covered their movements 

*Mat8on*8 "MemorleB of Shaa-be-na." 

Digitized by 



as to be able to reach the very dooryards before discovery. The barking of 
a dog attracted the attention of Mrs. Davis, who exclaimed, on looking 
out the door : '*My God ! Here they are now." 

Mr. Pettigjew attempted to barricade the door, but was shot down 
amidst shrieks and whoops, signals for the slaughter which followed. The 
men at the blacksmith shop were so completely surprised that no oppor- 
ttmity for defense was offered. Hall was instantly dispatched. Norris 
attempted resistance, but his gun was seized and in another instant he, too, 
was dead. Davis, the strongest of the party, fought desperately by club- 
bing his rifle, but to no purpose against such frightful odds, for no sooner 
would he dispose of one antagonist than others would take his place with 
added ferocity, for Davis was the man they most of all hated and feared, 
and well he earned the distinction of being a fighter on that dreadful day. 
The ground about his dead body was torn and bloody, indicating a conflict 
second only to the hand-to-hand contest of gallant Captain Adams at Still- 
man's defeat. The brains of children were dashed out against a stump; 
the women were butchered, and, after the most revolting mutilations, their 
bodies were hanged, heads downward, to neighboring trees.* Young Wil- 
liam Davis and John W., a son of William Hall, made their escape after 
desperate chances. Henry George, in attempting to escape, jumped into 
the mill pond, but a bullet quickly disposed of him. Spears, knives, toma- 
hawks and rifles performed their bloody and deadly offices, and the fiends 
afterward confessed they relished the sight because the women squawked 
like ducks as the steel penetrated their flesh. Mrs. Davis, in her fright, 
threw both arms about Rachel Hall, and when shot down the muzzle of 
the rifle had been so close as to bum the flesh to a blister. Aside from the 
few who escaped, but two, Sylvia and Rachel Hall, aged, respectively, 
seventeen and fifteen years, were spared, whether from a sentimental 
demand made by the two Indians, To-qua-mee and Co-mee, before con- 
senting to act as guides, or for the purpose of ransom, cannot be definitely 
determined, but from subsequent devel<^ments it is probable that both 
reasons were factors in their preservation. 

These two Indians, who subsequently confessed their part in the affair 
to Louis Ouilmette, after their acquittal, insisted that it was agreed the 
two young ladies should be spared because of the infatuation of those 
young red men for them. They had been frequent visitors at the Hall 
home, and endeavored, after the fashion of the Indian, to purchase the 
girls from Mr. Hall. 

Following is the narrative of the captivity of the Hall girls, reduced 
to writing by them and John W. Hall, the manuscripts being now in 
possession of Hon. James H. Eckles of Qiicago, and by him loaned to be 
used herein. Mrs. Eckles is a granddaughter of Mrs. Munson. 

"A short and concise account of the capture, treatment and rescue of 


Digitized by 



the two Misses Hall. The capture occurred on the 20th of May, 1832, in 
the afternoon, by the Sacs and Foxes, and the rescue on the ist of June 

The following is a statement of the two girls, made in the presence 
of William Munsori and W. S. Horn, their husbands: 

"In the afternoon of the 20th day of May, 1832, we were alarmed by Indians 
rushing suddenly into the room where we were stajring. The room or house was 
situated on the north bank of Indian Creek, in the county of LaSalle, State of 
Illinois, about 12 miles north of Ottawa. Here our father and family, consisting 
of father, mother, four sisters and three brothers, were stopping a few days. 
Father's name was William Hall, about 45 years old. Mother's name was Mary 
Jane Rebecca, aged 45. The eldest sister's name was Temperance Cutright, who 
was living in McLean County, Illinois, at the time, and was about 27 years old; 
eldest brother's name was John W., who was at home, aged 23; Edward H. Hall, 
aged 21; Greenbury Hall, aged 19 (these two last named were not at the house 
at the time when the Indians made the attack) ; Sylvia Hall, aged 17 ; Rachael Hall, 
aged 15; Elizabeth, aged 8. The house in which we were belonged to Wm. Davis, 
who, with his family, contained nine members. Mr. Pettigrew's family, consisting 
of four members, were also at the house, where those families were stopping 
together, in order to protect each other in case of danger from the Indians. John 
H. Henderson, Henry George and Robert Norris also were stopping at the same 

*7ohn H. Henderson, Alexander Davis, Edward and Greenbury Hall, Allen 
Howard, Wm. Davis, Jr., were in the field, about 100 rods south, at the time when 
the Indians approached the house. Wm. Hall, Wm. Davis, John W. Hall, Norris 
and George were at the time in a blacksmith shop about sixty or eighty steps from the 
house, rather down the creek, and near the bank and not far from the north end of 
a mill dam, which was being built 

"Mr. Pettigrew was in the house, when all of a sudden the Indians came to the 
door. of the house. Pettigrew, with a child in his arms, flew to the door and tried 
to shut it, but failed to accomplish his object, being shot, and fell in the house. 
Then commenced a heart-rending scene. Mrs. Pettigrew had her arms around 
Rachael at the time she was shot, and the flash of the burning powder blew in her 
face. We were trying to hide or get out of the way, while there was no place 
to get. We were on the bed when the Indians caught us, and took us out into the 
yard, two Indians taking each of us by the arms and hurrying off as fast as 
possible, and while going, we saw an Indian take Pettigrew's child by the feet 
and strike its head against a stump, and Davis' little boy was shot by an Indian, 
two other Indians holding the boy by each hand. 

We passed on to the creek, about 80 steps, when they dragged Rachael into 
the creek and about half way across, when they turned back and went near half 
way to the house, where Sylvia and Rachael got together and were hurried up 
the creek on the north side, being the same side the house stood upon, to where 
the Indians had left their ponies, about 1% miles from the house. Here we found 
the Indians with father's horses and some of the neighbors tied up with their 
ponies. We were then placed on a pony apiece, on an Indian saddle, and placed 
near the center of the procession, each of our ponies being led, and occasionally 
the ponies we were riding received the lash from someone behind. 

"We supposed that there was somewhere about 40 warriors, no squaws being 
in this party. In this way we traveled until late in the night, when the party halted 
about two hours, and the Indians danced a little, holding their ponies by the 

Digitized by 



bridles. We rested during this time on some blankets, and both permitted to sit 
together. Then we were remounted and traveled on in the same order until one 
or two o'clock the next day, when they halted again near some bushes, not far 
from a grove of timber (on our right). Just before we stopped, Rachael made 
signs to them that she was tired, and was allowed to get off her pony and walk 
awhile, and while walking we came to a stream of water some three feet deep, and 
she was compelled to wade through the water. Here we rested one or two hours 
while the ponies picked a little, and some beans were scalded by the Indians and 
some acorns roasted, and the Indians ate heartily, and we tried to, but it was very 
hard to get much down while expecting all the time to fare like our beloved 
friends, or worse. After thus resting, we were packed up as usual, and traveled 
on a while, when some of the Indians left us for some time. When they returned 
we were hurried on at a rapid rate some five miles, while the Indians that were 
following had their spears drawn, and we expected that the party while absent 
had seen some whites, and that if we were overtaken they would destroy us. 

"After having rode at this rapid rate for about one hour, they slacked or 
checked their speed and rode on as usual, until near sundown, when the whole 
party halted for the night, and, having built a fire, the Indians required us to bum 
some tobacco and corn meal in the fire, which was placed in our hands by them, 
which we did, not knowing why we did so, except to obey them. We, however, 
supposed it might be to show that they had been successful in their undertaking. 
The Indians then prepared their supper, consisting of dried meat sliced, coffee 
boiled in a copper kettle, com pounded and made in a kind of soup ; they then gave 
us some of this preparation in wooden bowls, with wooden ladles. We partook 
of those provisions, but did not relish them, after which the Indians partook of 
their supper, prepared in the same manner. After supper the warriors held a 
dance, and after the dance concluded, we were conducted to a tent or wigwam, and 
a squaw placed on each side of us, where we remained during this night, sleeping 
what we could, which was but little. The Indians kept stirring round all night 
In the morning, breakfast in about the same manner as supper. Breakfast 
over, the Indians cleared off a piece of ground about 90 feet in circumference, and 
placed a pole about 25 feet high in the center, and 15 or 20 spears set up around 
this pole, and on the top of the spears were placed the scalps of our murdered 
friends. Father's, mother's and Mr. Pettigrew's were recognized by us. There 
were also two or three hearts placed upon separate spears; then squaws, under 
the directions of the warriors, as we understood it by their jabbering, painted 
one side of our faces and heads red and the other black, we being seated on our 
blankets near the center pole, just leaving room for the Indians to pass between 
us and the pole. Then the warriors commenced to dance around us with their 
spears in their hands, and occasionally sticking them in the ground. And now * 
we expected at every round the spears would be thmst through us and our troubles 
brought to an end, yet no hostile demonstration was made by them toward us. 

"After they had continued their dance about half an hour or more, two old 
squaws led us away to one of their wigwams and washed the paint off our faces, as 
well as they could, after scmbbing very hard. Then the whole encampment stmck 
tents and started in a northward direction, while the whole earth seemed to be 
alive with Indians This being the third day of our suffering, we were very much 
exhausted, and still we must obey the savage murderers, and while traveling now, 
we were separated from each other during traveling hours, under charge of two 
squaws to each of us, and being permitted to stay together when not on the march 
under the direction of our four squaws, we now traveled slowly over rough, barren 
prairie land until near sundown, when we camped again, being left with our four 

Digitized by 



squaws, with whom we were always in company, day or night, they sleeping on 
each side of us during the night. 

'The warriors now held another dance, but not around us this time, as before. 
Here we had all the maple sugar we desired, while the Indians seemed to make 
as good preparations for our accommodation as they could. 

"About this time our dresses were changed, the Indians furnishing the dresses. 
The one furnished Rachael was a red and white calico dress, ruffled around the 
bottom. Sylvia's was blue calico. The Indians now tried to get us to throw away 
our shoes and put on moccasins, which we would not do. They also threw away 
Rachad's comb, and she went and got it again and kept it We now traveled 
and canq>ed about as usual, imtil the seventh day, when the Indians came to where 
we were and took Sylvia off on to the side of a hill, about 40 rods from where 
we were before, to where the Indians seemed to have been holding a council, and 
one of the Indians said that Sylvia must go with an old Indian, which we after- 
ward learned was the chief of the Winnebagoes, and called himself White Crow, 
and was blind in one eye, and that Rachael was to remain with the Indians we 
had been with all the time. Sylvia said she could not go unless Rachael went also. 
He, the White Crow, then got up and made a speech, loud and long, and seemed 
very much excited and interested. After he had concluded his speech, some 
Indian, who called himself Whirling Thunder, went and brought Rachael to where 
Sylvia was, and the chiefs shook hands together, and horses were brought, switches 
cut to whip them with, and we were both placed on horses, while one of the 
>oung Indians stepped up, and with a large knife cut a lock of hair out of Rachel's 
head over the right ear, and one out of the back of the head and said to the old 
chief White Crow that he would have her back (as we afterwards learned) in 
three or four days. One of the Indians also cut a lock of hair out of the front 
part of Sylvia's head. Then we started and rode at a rapid rate, until the next 
morning near daylight, when we halted at the encampment of the Winnebagoes, 
and where a bed was prepared on a low scaffold with blankets and furs, upon 
which we lay down until after daylight This was the morning of the ninth day 
of our captivity. After breakfast the whole encampment packed up and placed 
us and themselves in canoes, and we traveled all day until near sundown, by water, 
and camped on the bank of the stream, the name of which we never knew, neither 
can we now tell whether we traveled up or down; neither can we tell what went 
with the horses on which we rode the day before. 

"On the morning of the 9th we were up and had breakfast as usual with the 
Indians very early, after which White Crow went round to each camp or wigwam, 
as far as we could see, and stood at the opening with a gourd with pebbles in it, 
shaking it and occasionally talking as if he was lecturing, then he went off and 
was gone all day, while we remained in camp. He came back at night, and for 
the first time spoke to us in English and asked if father or mother was alive, and 
whether we had any brothers or sisters. We told him we thought not, for we 
.expected they were all killed. When he heard this he shook his head and looked 
very sorry, and then informed us that he was going to take us home in the morning. 

"Things remained as usual through the night. Next morning, being the loth. 
White Crow went through the same performance as on the morning of yesterday. 
Then 26 of the Winnebagoes went with us into the canoes and crossed over the 
stream, swimming their ponies by the side of the canoes. After landing on the 
other shore, all were mounted on the ponies, and we traveled all day through wet 
land, sloughs and a growth of underbrush, no water being where the underbrush 

"At night we came to where there were two or three families encamped. (They 
expressed great joy at seeing us.) Here we stopped for the night and camped. 

Digitized by 



At the camp where we staid, White Crow and Whirling Thunder staid. Here we 
had pickled pork, potatoes, coffee and bread for supper for ourselves and the two 
chiefs, which we relished better than anjrthing we had since our captivity. 

"After all the Indians had laid down, except White Crow, we laid down on 
the bed prepared for us, and White Crow came and sat down by our bed and 
commenced smoking his pipe and continued there, smoking the most of the time 
until morning, never going to sleep, as we believe. 

"The next morning, nth, breakfast about the same as supper. The Indian 
families with whom we staid bid us good-bye, and the same company of 26 Indians 
as the day before started with us, and we traveled over land that seemed to be 
higher than that traveled over the day before, and more barren timber. About 
10 a. m. we came to some old tracks of a wagon, and now for the first time we 
began to have some hopes that these Indians were going to convey us home, as 
they said they would. And as we passed on we began to see more and more signs of 
civilization. About three o'clock p. m. we stopped and had some dinner, broiled 
venison and boiled duck eggs, and if they had not been boiled so soon, the young 
ducks would have made their appearance, and our stomachs would have revolted at 
such a mess as this. But the Indians would never starve, if they could always get 
young ducks boiled in the shell 

After this sumptuous feast, we traveled on until we found we were near the 
fort at the Blue Mounds. White Crow then took Rachael's white handkerchief, or 
one that had once been white, and made a flag of it, raised it on a pole, rode on 
about one-half mile, and halted. There the Indians formed a ring around us, and 
White Crow and two others went on towards the fort until they came within 
about one-half mile of the fort, wh<?re they halted and remained until an interpreter 
met him and ascertained what he wanted. When the interpreter learned what was 
wanted, he returned to the fort, and the Indian Agent, Henry Gratiot, in company 
with a company of soldiers, returned to where we were enclosed. White Crow 
then delivered us over to the company of soldiers, and we returned with the troops 
to the fort and found, to the great joy of our hearts, two of our uncles in the 
company, Edward Hall and Reason Hall. 

"We remained here in the fort two nights and one day ; obtained here a change 
of clothing. It was now about the ist of June. We started in company with 
the same 26 Indians and a company of soldiers, with the Indian agent, Henry 
Gratiot, for Gratiot's Grove, which place we reached at night, and remained over 
night with a family, the agent and interpreter remaining with us, while the Indians 
camped near by. Next morning White Crow made a speech to the company, in 
which he referred to the incidents of our rescue. He also proposed to give each 
of us a Sac squaw for a servant during life, which we declined, telling him 
that we did not desire to have them placed in such a situation. Then we, in 
company with the troops, \^ent on to the fort at the White Oak Springs (the 
Indians bidding us a final adieu at Gratiot's Grove). Here we remained three 
or four days, when J. W. Hall, our dear brother, who we supposed murdered, 
met us, and from whom we learned that all the families that were at the house 
of Davis, and all the individuals that were present, were killed, himself excepted. 
Those in the field at the time of our captivity made their escape to the fort at 
Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, and he, J. W. Hall, after seeing all fall by the 
hands of the Indians, made his escape by jumping down the bank of the creek 
and keeping under said bank on the side nearest the Indians, until he could venture 
out in the prairie and get across to said fort. His statements will be found in this 
work. There we remained two or three weeks, and while there we were furnished 
with materials (by the merchants and others, who seemed to take a great interest 
in our welfare) to make us some clothing, which we made, in order to prepare 

Digitized by 



ourselves to pass through the country honorably, decently and respectably. And 
we are very sorry we cannot recollect the names of those kind friends, that they 
might appear upon record as a testimony of their kindness to us in our destitute 
condition. May the blessings of our Father in Heaven rest upon them all! 

"From this place we went, in company with brother John W. Hall and uncle 
Edward Hall to Galena. Here we staid at the house of Mr. Bells, with whom 
we had a little acquaintance, some days. While here we received rations from 
the army. We also found kind friends in abundance, and received donations in 
clothing and other things, and needed nothing to make us comfortable as we could 
be under such circumstances. For what was supplied, all those friends have our 
thanks, and now we take our leave of them and pass down the Fevre River, to 
the Mississippi, then to St. Louis, Mo. Here we stopped with Governor Clark, 
where we received all the attention necessary to make us comfortable and happy, that 
could be bestowed by himself and kind family. We also here received many 
presents in the way of clothing, and through his (Hon. Gov. William Clark) 
influence, a sum of money was raised and placed in his hands for our special 
benefit, amounting in all, we believe, to the sum of four hundred and seventy 
dollars, to be laid out in land and intrusted to the care of Rev. R. Horn, of Cass 
^ County, Illinois, which was done at our request. There were also other smaller sums 
donated to pay our expenses up the river homeward. Those kind friends also 
have our thanks for their kindness and liberality. We remained here a few days 
and took our leave of those kind friends, probably never to meet again in this 
world. Leaving here, we took boat for Beardstown, Cass County, Illinois, on the 
Illinois River, where we were safely landed in due time and escorted out in the 
country five miles east, by brother J. W. Hall and uncle Edward Hall, who had 
been with us all the time since leaving Blue Mounds, to where we had an uncle, 
Robert Scott, living here. Here we remained about two months while brother 
J. W. Hall went up to Flireau County, Illinois, which is about 40 miles from where 
we were captured, Uncle Edward returning to Galena. About the last of September 
or first of October, 1832, brother J. W. Hall returned, and in his company we 
went to Bureau County, Illinois, where we remained with brother J. W. Hall until 
the next spring. 

"Some time in March, 1833, sister Rachael was married to a William Munson. 
Then sister Sylvia staid part of the time with brother Green and part with Rachael 
until in May, 1833, sister Sylvia was also married to William S. Horn, and removed 
to Cass County, 111.* Thus we have given the circumstances of our captivity and 
rescue as near as we can recollect at this date, September 7, 1867, in the county of 
Nemaha, State of Nebraska, where Sylvia Horn lives and where I and my husband 
have been paying them a visit 

"Rachael Munson, 
In presence of: "Sylvia Horn." 

"W. S. Horn, 

"W. Munson." 

State of Nebraska, ) September, 1867. 

County of Nemaha. J 

"I, John W. Hall, being requested by my sisters, Sylvia Horn and Rachael Mun- 
son, to state what I recollect in reference to the massacre of my father's family, and 
the captivity of my two sisters, Rachael and Sylvia, would most gladly comply 
with their request, so far as I can; but after 35 years of toil have passed over my 
head since that memorable occasion, my memory is in some things rather dim; yet 

*That part of Morgan County aabaequently organized into CaBS County in 1887. 

Digitized by 





Inscribed thereon is : "William Hall, aged 45 ; 
Mary J. Halt, aged 4r> ; Elizabeth HaP. aged 8; 

William Pettigrew, wife and two children ; 

Davis, wife and five children, and Emery George. 
Killed May 20, 1832." 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



there are some things that I do remember most distinctly, and shall as long as I 
have a being (I think). 

"It was in 1832, as near as I now recollect, on or about the 15th or i6th of 
May, Old Shabbona, chief of the Pottawatomies, notified my father and other neigh- 
bors that the Sac and Fox Indians were hostile, and would in all probability make 
a raid on the settlement where we lived and murder us and destroy our property, 
and advised him to leave that part of the country (LaSalle County, Illinois) and 
seek a place of safety; but Indian rumors were so common, and some of our 
neighbors did not sufficiently credit this old Indian, and we were advised by them, 
in connection with others, to collect together as many as possible and stand our 
ground and defend each other; so after spending the night and consulting together 
and hiding all heavy property that we could, my father loaded up his wagon and 
we started for Ottawa, and meeting Mr. Davis, who lived about two and a half 
miles west, who had been at Ottawa the day before, and had learned that a company 
had gone out in a northerly direction, to see what they could learn about the Indian 
movement, who were to report on their return, to Mr. Davis, in case of danger, he, 
my dear father, was prevailed on by Davis to abandon his retreat and stop at 
Davis*, where Mr. Pettigrew and family, Mr. Howard and son, Mr. John H. Hen- 
derson and two men that were hired by Mr. Davis, Robert Norris and Henry 
George, were all stopping. On or about the 20th day of May myself and dear 
father were working under a shed adjoining a blacksmith shop, and on the west 
side, next to the dwelling house, Mr. Davis and Norris were at work in the shop. 
Henry George and William Davis, Jr., were at work on a mill dam a little south 
of the shop. It being a very warm day in the afternoon, someone brought a 
bucket of cool water from the spring to the shop, and we all went into the shop to 
rest a few minutes and quench our thirst. 

"Brother Edward Hall, Greenberry Hall and Mr. Howard and son, Henderson 
and two of Mr. Davis' sons were at this time in the field, on the south side of the 
creek, and in full view of the house, and about one-half mile from the house, 
planting com. While we were sitting resting ourselves in the shop, we heard a 
scream at the house. I immediately said, 'There are the Indians now!' and 
jumped out of the door of the shop, it being on the opposite side from the house, 
and the others followed as fast as they could, and as we turned the comer of the 
shop, I discovered the dooryard full of Indians. I next saw the Indians jerk 
Mr. Pettigrew's child, four or five months old, taking it by the feet and dashing 
its brains out against a stump. Seeing Mr. Pettigrew back in the house, I heard 
two guns, seemingly in the house, and then the tomahawk soon ended the cries of 
those in the house, and as near this moment as possible they fired about twenty 
shots at' our party of five, neither of us being hurt, that I know of. The next 
motion of the Indians was to pour some powder down their guns and drop a 
bullet out of their mouths and raise their guns and fire; this time I heard a short 
sentence of a prayer to my right and a little behind. On tuming my eyes to the 
right I saw that my dear father was lying on the ground shot in the left breast 
and expiring in death. On looking around, I saw the last one of the company 
were gone or going, and the Indians had jumped the fence and were making 
towards me. Mr. Davis was running in a northeast direction for the timber. 
Looked back and said, Take care,' he having his gun in his hands. I at this 
time discovered quite a number of Indians on horseback in the edge qf. the woods 
as though they were guarding the house, to prevent any escape. Then it flashed 
into my mind that I would try and save myself. I think there were 60 or 80 
Indians. I immediately turned toward the creek, which was fifteen or twenty steps 
from where I stood. The Indians by this time were within three paces of me, under 
full charge, with their guns in hand. I jumped down the bank of the creek, about 

Digitized by 



12 feet, which considerably stunned me. At this moment the third volley was fired, 
the balls passing over my head, killing Mr. Norris and George, who were ahead 
of me, and who had crossed the creek to the opposite shore, one in the water and 
the other on the bank. I then passed as swiftly as possible down the stream, on the 
side next the Indians, the bank hiding me from them. I passed down about two 
miles, when I crossed and started for Ottawa, through the prairie, overtaking Mr. 
Henderson, who had started ahead of me, and we went together until we got 
within four miles of Ottawa, when we fell into company with Mr. Howard and 
son and three sons of Mr. Davis and my two brothers, all of whom were in the 
field referred to, except one of Mr. Davis' sons, who was in the shop when the 
first alarm was given, and who immediately left when he heard the cry of Indians. 
We all went to Ottawa together in the short space of one hour or less, it being 
twelve miles (and the county seat of LaSalle County). Here wc aroused the 
inhabitants and raised a company during the night and started the next morning 
for the dreadful scene of slaughter and butchery. 

"On the way we met with Stillman's defeated troops, who had been defeated 
a night or two before, they having encamped within four miles of where the 
bloodthirsty Indians passed the night, after they had killed my dear friends, and 
instead of going with us and helping bury the dead, they passed on to Ottawa, and 
we went to the place where the massacre took place. And what a scene presented 
itself! Here were some with their hearts cut out, and others cut and lacerated in 
too shocking a manner to mention, or behold without shuddering. We buried them 
all in great haste, in one grave, without coffin, box or anything of the kind, there 
to remain until Gabriers trump shall wake the nations under the gfround, and call 
to life the sleeping dead. 

"We then returned to Ottawa and organized a company out of a few citizens 
and some of Stillman's defeated troops, into which company I enlisted. The 
next day we were on the line of march, in pursuit of the red savages, to try, if 
possible, to get possession of my two eldest sisters, who were missing, find who, 
we were satisfied, had been carried away with the Indians when they retreated, from 
signs found on the trails. We proceeded up Rock River, above Sycamore Creek, 
and our provisions failing, we returned to Ottawa and laid in provisions for a 
second trip. Here I had a conversation with General Atkinson and proposed that 
some means be used with friendly Indians, in order to purchase my sisters, as I 
feared the Indians would, in case we overtook them, kill my sisters. He then 
informed me that he had that morning made arrangements with Winnebago Indians 
to try to purchase my sisters. 

"Now we started the second time in pursuit, and proceeded up Rock River, and 
fell in with a company of volunteers, under General Dodge, from whom we learned 
that the friendly Indians had succeeded in obtaining my sisters, and that they were 
at White Oak Grove or Springs. Then, in company with a company of regulars, 
under General Atkinson's orders, we marched to a place called the Burr Oak 
Grove, or Kellogg's old station. Here I, with some others, was detached to guard 
one of the company, who had stabbed his comrade, to Galena, and we started at 
midnight. Arriving at Galena, I obtained a furlough, and went to the White Oak 
Springs, where I found my sisters, and returned with them to Galena, stopping 
at the house of Mr. Sublets, visiting Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Bells, who were ac- 
quaintances of father's. 

"Here we remained a week or ten days. Then bidding those kind friends adieu 
on board the steamer Winnebago, we glided down Fever River to the Mississippi, and 
down that stream to St Louis, Mo., and stopped at the Honorable William Qark*s 
mansion (governor of Missouri), where we met and enjoyed the company of his 

Digitized by 



kind family. Here we remained about one week, and were made as comfortable 
and happy as his family and friends could make us. 

"We received presents and money, an account of which has been given by 
my sisters in their statement, and here I wish to express my thanks to those kind 
friends for their hospitality, sympathy and love, for I feel that we have been 
brought under lasting obligations to them. 

"Leaving here, we took a steamer for Beardstown, on the Illinois River, in 
Cass County, near to which we had an uncle Scott living. Arriving safely at 
Beardstown, we were conveyed to our uncle's, five miles out, where we remained 
a few days, and, leaving my sisters here, I went up the Illinois River to Bureau 
County and lived in a camp until I could build me a house. This county adjoins 
LaSalle on the west. The Indians, having received a dreadful scourging, had 
become peaceable, and in the fall I returned to Cass County and took my sisters 
and returned to Bureau County again, where we tried to make ourselves as com- 
fortable as possible. This fall I married, and my sisters lived with me through 
the winter and in the spring, after which they both married, and now I am at the 
house of the eldest, Sylvia Horn, and dictated the above lines, while my brother- 
in-law, W. S. Horn, committed them to paper. 

"September, 1867. "J. W. Hall." 

In presence of: 

"W. S. Horn, 

"Sylvia Horn." 

Late in the afternoon of the 20th, while Capt. George McFadden, 
Wilbur Walker and others who had been to ask Governor Reynolds and 
General Atkinson for the four companies ordered by them to go under 
Colonel Johnson were passing this point, some two miles distant, on their 
return trip, the shots of that frightful massacre were heard, but in their 
haste to reach their own settlements they did not pause to investigate the 

The following day the company of Capt. Joseph Naper, from 
Chicago, which had been ranging the country, reached the scene and buried 
all the dead except little Jimmie Davis, a lad of seven years, who had 
been spared at first and taken along, but who, being unable to keep the 
pace demanded, was shot a short distance out. The scene was awful, but 
the lad showed a spirit of fortitude attained by none other in this war of 
brutal slaughter. The two Indians who had him in charge held him 
between them, one by each hand, while another shot him down in cold 
blood, and then, before life was extinct, his scalp was lifted and his body 
left a prey for wolves or carrion birds. The little fellow blanched like 
marble, but received the fatal shot without a quaver. Later his body was 
fortunately discovered and buried with the others. 

To-qua-mee and Co-mee, who were inditted for complicity in the 
murders, were brought to bar for the crime, but by reason of the uncer- 
tainty of the times and judges to try them, the first term of court passed 
with nothing done except to admit the culprits to bail on the bond of 
Shab-bo-na, Shem-e-non, Snock-wine, Sha-a-toe, Mee-au-mese and 

Digitized by 



Sash-au-quash, chiefs and head men of the Pottowatomie naticMi. Before 
the next term of court could be held the tribe had been removed west of 
the Mississippi, whither went the two defendants. When needed for trial 
they were sought by Sheriflf George K Walker, who alone journeyed into 
the Indian country. He gathered together the several chiefs, according 
to custom, who decided the two must return, which they did, with no 
eflfort or inclination to escape. This conduct, together with the lavish 
use of paint, rendered recognition almost imf)ossible by the Hall girls, 
who were the chief witnesses for the State, and procured their acquittal 
by the jury.* 

A deep scar ran across the face of To-qua-mee, by which the Hall 
girls easily recognized him at th« murder of- their parents, and by which 
they could easily have recognized him on his trial, but, thanks to the 
ingenuity of counsel, who had him so bedaub his face with paint, recogni- 
tion was all but impossible. A little later, when he bathed in the Illinois 
River with his friends, the imposture was discovered and he was forced 
to flee for his life to escape the wrath of the settlers. 

'Kee-wafl-see was another defendant, Armstrong 368. Richard M. Young was the 
Judge, Thomas Ford the prosecutor, and Hamilton and Blgelow attorneys i&r defense 
at that time. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



General Panic — Independent Companies Raised — ^Atkinson^s 
March Continued— Insubordination — ^Army Disbanded — In- 
terim Regiment Raised. 

If Stillman's defeat spread consternation, the Indian Creek massacre 
created a veritable and universal panic in the West. Counties began the 
organization of companies and regiments, Putnam alone contributing an 
entire r^ment, called the Fortieth, which was mustered into the field 
May 2 1 St. It was composed of the compahies of Captains George B. 
Willis, Robert Barnes, William M. Stewart and William Haws, with the 
following staflF: Colonel, John Strawn; Lieutenant-Colonel, William 
Cowen; Major, Elias Thompson; Adjutant, Henry K. Cassell; Quarter- 
master, Jeremiah Strawn; Paymaster, Peter Bamhart; Surgeon, B. M. 
Hayse ; Quartermaster's Sergeant, Roland Mosley ; Surgeon's Mate, Rich- 
ard Hunt ; Sergeant-Major, William Myers ; Drum Major, Ward Graves ; 
Fife Major, Michael Reed. 

After ranging that section of the country until June i8th, when all 
danger was thought to be over, it was mustered out at Hennepin. 

Colonel Moore's Vermilion County regiment was another, while ten 
companies of foot and mounted rangers ranged over territory generally 
local : Capt. Peter Menard, mounted, of Peoria County, mustered out at 
E>ixon's August 14th;* Cyrus Matthews, foot, of Morgan, must^ed out 
at Fort Wilboum August ist; Capt. George McEadden, mounted, of 
LaSalle, mustered out at Ottawa June 29th ; Capt. John Stennett, mounted, 
of Schuyler, mustered out September 4th ; Capt. M. L. Covell of McLean, 
mounted, mustered out at Bloomington August 3d; Capt. John S. Wil- 
boum, foot, of Morgan, mustered out June 9th; Capt. Solomon Miller, 
mounted, of St. Qair, mustered out at Belleville August 2d ; Capt. Wil- 
liam Wamick, mounted, of Macon (ranged that county only), mustered 
out September 24th at Decatur; Capt. Charles S. Dorsey, mounted, of 
Tazewell (ranged that county only), mustered out at Pekin July 9th; 

>Also served at Bad Axe. 


Digitized by 



Capt James Walker of Will, and, finally, the company of Capt. Earl 
Pierce, about which nothing can be learned, mustered out August i6th. 

The life of Captain Wilboum's company was ephemeral. Reports 
reached Beardstown that trouble was imminent at Hennepin and that rein- 
forcements were needed at once. Accordingly twenty-nine men volun- 
teered from Beardstown under Capt John S. Wilboum, took the steamer 
Caroline, Captain Doty commanding, and proceeded forthwith to Henne- 
pin. Captain Doty, for the better protection of those aboard, and also 
aggressively to de^ with the enemy, mounted a field piece upon the boat, 
where it might do execution at long range. At Hennepin, however, the 
rumor was fotmd to be false and without delay the company was sent bade 
to Beardstown and mustered out June 9th, and this was all the service that 
the company of Captain Wilboum saw. 

Neighboring states were also placed in a state of panic, and to escape 
possible raids, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri called out the militia, the 
first two actually sending a force to Chicago. The last named, while call- 
ing out its militia, did not send it forward. The following general order, 
made in response to the call of Governor Miller of Missouri, ordering 
Major-General Gentry to have 1,000 men in readiness to march at a 
moment's warning to the frontier, appears in the Missouri Republican of 
June I2th, 1832: 


"Columbia, May 31, 1832. 
"Sir: — ^Having been required by General Order to raise and organize the Ninth 
Brigade, which I have the honor to command, 300 mounted volunteers, for the 
defense of the frontiers of the State of Missouri, to be held in readiness to march 
at a moment's warning, you will, therefore, with the least possible delay, cause 
to be raised and organized in the Twenty-sixth Regiment, Ninth Brigade, and Third 
Missouri Militia, which you have the honor to command, 100 mounted volunteers. 
"You will organize 100 volunteers, to be raised into two companies—SO men 
each — and cause an election to be held in each for one captain, one lieutenant, and 
one ensign, and as soon as all the company officers are elected, you will make a 
return to me, certifjring the name and rank of each person elected, etc, that they 
may be commissioned accordingly. Their services will be accepted for six months, 
unless sooner discharged; but no pay or compensation need be expected unless 
ordered by the Governor into actual service. Each volunteer will keep constantly 
in readiness a horse, with necessary equipment, a rifle in ^ood order, with an ample 
supply of ammunition, etc., so as to be ready to march at a moment's warning. 

"Jesse T. Wood, 
"Brig.-Gen., Commanding Ninth Brigade, Third Div., Mo. Militia." 
"Thomas G. Berry, 
"Col. Commanding Twenty-sixth Reg., Ninth Brig., Third Div., Mo. Militia." 

Very naturally the frontier was regarded as a slaughtering pen, where 
flame and the tomahawk were ravaging the settlements almost to extinc- 
tion, and one would think such scenes as the Indian Creek massacre would 
have incited the militia to revenge the atrocities of monsters who could 

Digitized by 



.!1i:ilEMTArl STRAW.N. 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 



butcher women and children ; but such was the disorder, lack of organiza- 
tion^ dissension and open insubordination among many of the influential 
that, though they passed scalps, plunder and other evidences of hideous 
crimes, the troops murmured, and upon one plea and another flatly asked 
for discharge. 

Atkinson did everything a gallant oflScer could to spur the army on 
to an early capture of the enemy. On the 22d, at the third camp above 
Dixon's, he issued the following order: 

"Headquarters, Right Wing, West Dcpt., 
"Third Camp above Dixon's, on Rock River, 22d May, 1832. 
-Order No. 22. 

"The troops will move this morning as early as practicable. General Whiteside 
will call cm the G>mmanding General for special instructions as to the operations 
of the Illinois volunteers. Major Long's Battalion will join General Whiteside's 
Brigade, and receive his orders. Col. Taylor, First Regiment Infantry, will accom- 
pany the volunteers as inspector general of that corps, and will superintend the 
regularity of its movements, order of encampment, of battle, etc, etc Capt Harney 
of the First Infantry will accompany Col. Taylor as assistant inspector. 

'•By order of Brig. Gen. Atkinson, 
"A. S. Johnston, A. D. C, A. A. A. Gen." 

The purpose of these orders was to have such men as Taylor and 
Harney, who were courageous and tactful fighters, pursue the enemy to 
the death, and cflFectually would they have done it had the troops mani- 
fested the least disposition for the task. 

Further alarming reports of danger to the frontier below Dixon's 
prompted General Atkinson, on the 23d, to withdraw with the regulars to 
IMxon's, from which point Stilhnan was ordered with his three companies 
to proceed to join the main army for scouting service, leaving Lieutenant 
Williams of Colonel James' odd battalion in command of the volunteers 
remaining, while Major Bliss continued in charge of the regulars at that 
post, which was ordered to be fortified for better security. Accordingly 
Fort Dixon was erected on the north side of Rock River, opposite. 

The special instructions mentioned in the foregoing order were as 
follows : 

"Headquarters Right Wing, Western Department, 
"Third Camp above Dixon's Ferry, Rock River, 23d May, 1833. 
"Special Order No. 11. 

"It being ascertained that the hostile Indians have left Rock River and passed 
up Sycamore Creek, and probably across to Fox and DuPage rivers, General 
Whiteside will move with the Illinois volunteers up Sycamore Creek, scour the 
country in that direction for the enemy, pass from thence to Fox River of the 
Illinois, and be governed by circumstances as to a further pursuit of him, perse- 
vering, however, until he is subdued or driven from the country. As soon as this 
service is performed and Governor Resmolds may deem the frontier secure, or take 
other measures for its defense, the Illinois volunteers, in the United States service^ 


Digitized by 



will be mustered 1^ the brigade major and discharged, he taking care to note on 
the muster rolls all delinquents. 

"General Whiteside will, during his operations, inform the commanding gen- 
eral by express, at Dixon's Ferry, which is established as general headquarters 
and the base of operations, of every occurrence that may require his attention/ 

"By order of Brig. Gen. Atkinson, 
"Alb. S. Johnston, A. D. C, A. A. General." 

■ After three days' vain search, the army reached a Pottawatomie vil- 
lage on Sycamore Creek, where much of the plunder secured from Still- 
man was found cached, likewise many of the scalps taken from his men 
and the murdered victims of Indian Creek. All Indian property found 
there was confiscated by the men, who were becoming audacious. At that 
point the trail of the Indians lay to the north, while their homes lay to 
the south. Taylor urged pursuit with his accust(»ned vigor, but the un- 
dercurrent of dissatisfaction was so strong that Governor Reynolds called 
to his tent all the captains of his army for a conference. A tie vote 
resulted, whereupon General Whiteside, in his wrath at seeing the scalps 
of his friends and women and children ignored, declared he would no 
longer lead them except to be discharged. Therefore the army turned its 
course southward, a detour being made by some of the troops to rob 
Shabbona's Paw Paw village of the little plunder remaining, thence over 
to Fox River, which was reached May 25th, and where the following order 
was promulgated : 

"Headquarters Camp No. ^ Fox River, May as, 1832. 

"Special Order. Col. DeWitt (and the other cheers) : 

"You are hereby commanded forthwith to cause an inquiry and search of 
regiments in your line and report the articles of any description taken by the 
men at the Paw Paw and the Indian villages on Sycamore Creek belonging to the 
Indians, by whom taken, with the supposed value of such articles, to headquarters 
this evening. 

"By order of Brig. Gen. Whiteside, 

"N. Buckmaster, Brigade Major." 

Lawlessness was running rampant ! Leisurely following Fox River, 
its mouth was reached on the morning of the 27th, where on that day and 
the next the volunteers were mustered out of service by Major Buck- 

While the mortification which fell upon the gallant '*01d Ranger" 
Governor, Reynolds, was crushing to his fine sense of honor, it was prob- 
ably best for the dissemblers to gov even at so great a sacrifice of life and 
personal feeling. An opporttmity was given the patriotic and well disposed 

*The directloB thought to haye been taken by the enemy and mentioned heretn was 
erroneooi. He bad followed Bock Biyer to a polDt near its eoorce. 

s. . . "The muster roll Is not on file, bot the records ehow that the company 
wae mustered out at the mouth of Fox Rlyer, May 27, 1882, by Nathanl^ Bn^onaster. 
Brigade Major, to General Bamnel Whiteside's Illinois Volunteers.** Letter Oen. B. C. 
Dmm, Adj. Gen. U. 8. Anny, in Vol. I, p. 96, of Nicolay and Hay's Abraham Uncoln. 

Digitized by 


^.^ *^V <.^*- jr-'O - •^'- '^^ 


' /*. ^v/*- fZ-za- ^^'^ ''^ ^'^' 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 



volunteers to accept a twenty-day service to guard the frontier while 
the new levy could be brought into the field and finish the campaign. On 
the 29th General Atkinson reached the scene from Dixon's and established 
his headquarters opposite the mouth of the Fox, and immediately urged 
that 1,000 men volunteer for the twenty-day temporary service, which, he 
h<q)ed, would assure him of 3,000 men when in conjunction with the 
new levy. 

The utter disregard of the troops for discipline; their contempt for 
superiors; contempt for their period of enlistment, not one-half expired, 
and almost open insubordination, cannot be appreciated by the present 
generation, unless the matter has been made the subject of conversation 
with a survivor who may have opened his mind in confidence. The follow- 
ing order should be a revelation to explain Stillman's defeat. Dislike of 
Whiteside alone could not have been sufficient to demand such an order: 

. ^ , "Headquarters, May 34, 1832. 

"General Orders: 

"The great disorder in the brigade occasioned by the men's quitting their places 
in the line and scattering over the country, renders it absolutely necessary to 
inflict punishment on everyone who violates orders in that particular. 

"Colonels of regiments and majors of separate battalions will require that 
every man shall keep his place in the ranks if the individual is able to march, and 
if not, he will obtain permission of his captain to march in the rear of the army. 

"All footmen will march with Major Long's battalion. Should any man. 

attempt to pass out of the army on either flank, or should he be found out without 

permission, he will be taken in custody of the guard and, if he be an officer, will 

immediately be arrested. The officer of the, day will be particularly charged with 

the execution of this order. ..« ' , ^ , « . ^ 

"By order of the Bng. Gen. 

"N. Buckmaster, Brigade Majpr." 

There were so many jealousies and irritations, there was such lack 
of cohesion, and certainly lack of organization and discipline, that men 
naturally disposed to continue their service lost interest by the contagion 
of disaffection and wished themselves well rid of it. It may therefore be 
said that the dispersion of the army was the act of wisdom. 

General Whiteside was an energetic and patriotic man, and so it 
should be said of Governor Reyndds. Both had been rangers in the war 
of 1812, suffering dangers and fatigues without number. Both had been 
in responsible military positions and acquitted themselves creditably, but 
the army was composed of such divergent, discordant, independent and 
headstrong characters that harmony was impossible. 

Crops for the second year were being neglected ; business interests left 
to be resumed at the end of thirty days* — as was supposed — ^were urging 
many to return. The prospect of a long campaign, complaints for burn- 
ing the village of the Prophet and the forced march to Dixon's thereafter 

>Tbe cnllitment wm for sixty days. 

Digitized by 



— allowing the Stillman expedition, when probably the men favored it at 
the time — ^all conspired to raise a state of affairs so disagreeable all round 
that disintegration was inevitable and proper. Immediately the mustering 
out was finished, on May 27th, six companies, commanded by Captains 
Samuel Smith of Greene County, Benjamin James of Bcwid County, Elijah 
lies — ^with whom Lincoln was a private — ^Alexander White and Alexander 
D. Cox of Sangamon, William C. Ralls of Schuyler and Adam W. Snyder 
of St. Qair, flew to the rescue of this regiment. Jacob Fry, on the 31st, 
was made colonel; James D. Henry, lieutenant-colonel; John Thomas, 
major; E. P. Oliphant, adjutant; John W. Scott, pajrmaster; William 
Kirkpatrick, quartermaster; H. Dulaney and John B. Rutledge, surgeons; 
Thomas R. Waldron, quartermaster's sergeant; Jonathan Leightcm, sur- 
geon's mate, and William McAdams, sergeant-major. 

This regiment, the flower of the first army, was made up of resolute 
and fearless men, anKmg them Privates Joseph Gillespie, Francis Jarrott, 
Pierre Menard, Richard Roman, James Semple, John T. Stuart, John 
Dement, John J. Hardin and General Samuel Whiteside — men who would 
not permit crops, business or any other enterprise to keep them away from 
the path of duty as they then saw it. 

Digitized by 



Various Ilunois Murders, Including T^ose of Sample, Payne and 
THE St, Vrain Party. 

Before recording the actions of this little regiment, or parts of it, all 
of them important, time must be taken to consider intermediate incidents 
of greatest inq)ortance and sadness. The first demonstration by the 
Indians after crossing the Mississippi was blood-curdling to the last degree, 
and proof positive that the wily old Sac was for war, and had not come for 
the purpose of "making com" at all. 

In the autumn of 1831 a young Methodist preacher named James 
Sample took up a claim near Black Hawk^s village, built a cabin and was 
engaged in subduing the land in the spring of 1832, when Black Hawk's 
approach in April was proclaimed. Sample, with others, fled to the island 
garrison for refuge. Remaining there some weeks without any overt 
demonstration coming to notice, all danger was considered past, and Sample 
and his young wife of a few months determined to dispone of their effects 
and return to their friends south of the Illinois River. Proceeding for a 
time akmg the old Sauk trail, always used by Black Hawk in journeying 
to Maiden to receive his annuities f rcmi the British government, it was 
their intention to remain the first night with Henry Thomas, who lived 
about one mile north of it on Kellogg's trail, where the same passed 
West Bureau timber. But the cabin was found vacant and all the doors 
and windows barricaded against intrusion, which compelled the travelers 
to journey on. They must have camped for the night in the timber, swam 
the creek and then set out for Smith's cabin, some six miles distant, only 
to find it as empty as the first, as was also Elijah Epperson's, a mile to the 
south. The travelers, weary and faint from hunger, were forced to con- 
tinue until sixty miles had been covered.* 

At this time, while picking their way over the prairies, they were 
astounded to hear whoops ftom a band of Indians to their rear, who, hav- 
ing discovered their presence at the Epperson cabin, were then gfiving them 
chase. Jaded though the horses were, the faithful beasts took heart and 
were socm rapidly distancing their pursuers, and but for the frightful 

>MatMa*s Hemoriet of Shan-be-iUL 


Digitized by 



condition of the ground would have carried the Samples to safety, but 
while attempting the passage of a muddy spot the horse of Mrs. Sample 
mired in the inextricable mud and could not move. Try as he would, the 
faithful animal was fast mired. By the time Sample had abandoned 
further efforts fo release the horse, the Indians were upon them, intent 
upon murder. Resolved to sell life dearly as possible, he fired his pistol 
and one Indian dropped dead. Others of the band quickly pounced upon 
the hapless pair, bound them hand and foot, and carried them back to 
camp, to be disposed of in a manner most revolting and fiendish. 

Everything Sample owned he offered them to spare the life of his 
wife and return her safely to the people at Fort Armstrong, but blood 
was demanded, and nothing but the blood of both would avenge the death 
of their comrade, so swiftly both were tied to trees, to watch the fiendish 
brutes gather faggots to place around them. When these were knee high 
the torch was applied, and the helpless victims, writhing in the agonies of 
a lingering death, were reduced to ashes. 

These murders were committed in the western part of the state, and, 
isolated as they were, one might conclude that none others would follow, 
but as Black Hawk advanced up Rock River the infection to take the lives 
of white people spread in all directions. 

About May ist, in response to Black Hawk's request to make com- 
mon cause with him against the whites, the Pottowatomies held a coun- 
cil at the mouth of Rock Creek to consider the question and decide on 
their course during the conflict which was inevitable. That they antici- 
pated one cannot be denied, and that many wished to join Blade. Hawk 
is equally certain, corroborated as the fact was by Shabbona tumsdf , who 
was present and whose influence dominated the sentiment of the council to 
a large d^^ree. Billy Caldwell, Robinson and George E. Walker were 
also present to contribute their influence for the peace party. That senti- 
ment, after a long deliberation, prevailed, with an open and unanimous 
declaration that any Pottowatomie who joined Black Hawk's forces 
would be proclaimed a traitor ; but notwithstanding the friendly resolutions 
of the council, Black Hawk prevailed upon a few of them to join him and 
to carry on the predatory warfare and assist in the murders of Indian 
Creek, Adam Payne and others through the Illinois, Fox and DuPage 
river districts.* 

When Shabbona, Pype-gee and Pypes made their famous ride, the 
panic-stricken settlers along these rivers generally flocked to the stockades, 
barricading their homes as best they could. During the raids which fol- 
lowed the 9tore of George B. HoUenback was looted, the Indians drinking 
of the liquor tmtil too stupid to carry their program of crime further. 
But for this fact murders without number might have been committed. 

HTonMpo&dtaice of Hon. Oeorfe Bf. Hollenback. 

Digitized by 





Digitized by 





Digitized by 



As it was, the time consumed in sobering up allowed leisure for all who 
wished to reach the nearest stockade. 

In what is now Will County, Plainfield was the designated refuge, 
and to the little fortification, which was built of logs and fence rails, arotmd 
the log cabin of Rev. S. R. Beggs, the name of Fort Beggs was given. It 
was not much of a fortification, but it served the purposes of protection to 
the people, who placed themselves under orders of Qiester Smith as 
captain until Captain Naper called with his little company, after the Indian 
Creek murders, and escorted the entire garrison to Chipago for better 
protection. They went none too soon, for the entire country along the 
Illinois, Fox, DuPtige and Auxplaines (Desplaines) was very soon over- 
run with murderous bands of Indians, invariably led by prominent Sacs. 
As their actions became more and more annoying and then distressing, men 
from Chicago and vicinity, under Capt. James Walker, constituted them- 
selves a band of rangers, doing yeoman service, ranging through to 
Ottawa as an independent company, until placed under Major Buclanaster 
when he later came to take charge of the DuPage River district, and under 
whom the Indians were soon dispersed. 

The murder istt this time of Rev. Adam Payne, a Dunkard preacher, 
was as pitiful as it was atrocious. He was a man found at all times sacri- 
ficing his personal comforts and his substance to alleviate the distresses 
and discomforts of his fellowman, and particularly the Indian. His minis- 
trations to their needs had been rewarded by professions of religion from 
munbers, and among the Pottowatomies he was venerated to the last 
d^^ee. His family had been stopping at Hdlenback's Grove, where he 
expected to find them at or near the home of Mr. Cummings, his stepson.* 

On readiing Plainfield he found that they had gone to Ottawa for 
safety, where, in fact, they were in safety at that moment He wished to 
reach them instead of marching to Chicago, as the garrison at Fort B^gs 
was preparing to do. He was importuned to go along, but by reason of 
bis abiding faith in the Indians' appreciation of his works and his trust 
in the protection of God, he determined to set out for Ottawa. The fact 
that he had traveled from Ohio to Illinois, thence by way of Hickory 
Creek to Plainfield without the least interruption from the Indians, was 
reason enough to convince him that he would not be disturbed if he coor 
tinued. Accordingly he started the very morning the garrison set out for 
' Chicago under Captain Naper. He was mounted on a fine bay mare, car- 
ried a large spyglass in his saddlebags, and with the aid of the two he was 
confident he could, if threatened, elude any ordinary foe. 

About the middle of the afternoon, as he was skirting Holderman's 
Grove, tmconscious of danger, he was awakened from a reverie by shots 
fired from a foe concealed in a clump of underbrush. One ball entered his 

*Correfpoiideiice of Hon. George H. Hollenbtck. 

Digitized by 



shoulder and another inflicted a wound, which soon proved mortal, in the 
body of his beautiful mare. Realizing that no time was to be lost in 
garrulous appeals for sympathy and that the only possible chance for 
escape lay in the old-fashioned way of flight, he pricked his mare forward 
and for five miles maintained a safe distance ahead of his three pursuers 
on ponies. But the effect of the mare's wound was now apparent She 
staggered and fell dead under her rider. The three pursuers quickly came 
upon him and leveled their guns, while he simply raised his hands to 
Heaven and appealed for mercy. The appeal was heeded by two of them, 
but, so we are told by one of the party, who subsequently removed west, 
the third pulled his trigger and fired and Mr. Payne dropped dead. If 
two of these fiends had been so humane in lowering their weapons it is 
remarkable that they should all have joined in severing the head from the 
body, as they did. A long black beard flowed from the victim's chin, and 
by this one of the party seized the head, threw it over his shoulder and 
together the three returned to camp. At this very moment Mr. Payne's 
brother Aaron was in the volunteer ranks, and it may not be amiss to relate 
an incident which occurred at the battle of the Bad Axe. He, too, was a 
Dunkard preacher, but, being a sensible man, the murder of his brother 
called every honest human passion into play, one being the desire to 
revenge his brother's death, though this he subsequently denied. 

In pursuing the retreating Indians, he, with odiers, came upon a squaw 
and a boy crouched behind a tree, but, under the belief that the pair were 
harmless, no attention was paid to them. As the last of the rangers 
passed the boy raised his gun and shot Payne from his horse, two balls 
entering his back near the spine. The enraged rangers wheeled and rid- 
dled both squaw and boy with bullets, an act which might be deplored in 
a discussion of casuistic questions, but not to be considered in a case so 
infamous as this. These bullets Mr. Payne carried during a very long 

General Scott, attracted to this simple man as he was lying in the hos- 
pital at Prairie du Chien, had this to say of him: 

"While inspecting the hospital at Fort Crawford, I was struck with a remark- 
ably fine head* of a tall volunteer lying on his side, and seeking relief in a book. 
To my question, 'What have you there, my friend?' the wounded man pointed to 
the title page of 'Young's Night Thoughts.' I sat down on the edge of the bunk, 
already interested in the reader, to learn more of his history. The wounded vol- 
unteer said his brother, Rev. Adam Payne, fell an early victim to Black Hawk's 
band, and he (not in the spirit of revenge, but to protect the frontier settlements) 
volunteered as a private soldier. While riding into the battlefield of Bad Axe 
he passed a small Indian boy, whom he might have killed, but thought him a 
harmess child. 'After passing, the boy fired, lodging two balls near my spine, 
when I fell from my horse.' The noble volunteer, although suffering great pain 
from his wound, said he preferred his condition to the remorse he should have 
felt if he had killed the boy, believing him to be harmless." 

Digitized by 



Public feelings by these murders, had been worked to such a pitch 
that a rumor, no matter bow impossible or ridiculous, was sufficient to 
throw a community into a panic, consequently over in Fulton County 
occurred the silly "Westerfield scare," which threw the population of the 
entire coimty into the in^rovised fortifications. At such times one Indian 
might have a4>tured the county without the slightest resistance. 

While Dodge was covering Michigan territory (Wisconsin), inde- 
pendent regiments and companies from die south were organized and sent 
rapidly forward to protect the country between Plainfield and Chicago and 
Ottawa and the Mississippi, the most important being the Vermilion 
County regiment organized by Colcwiel Moore on the 23d of May, the staff 
<rfBcers of which, as near as can be ascertained from the defective records 
and correspondence, were : Colonel, Isaac R. Moore ; Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Daniel W. Beckwith. It was composed of the seven companies of Captains 
John B. Thomas, Alexander Bailey, of which Gurdon S. Hubbard was 
SeccHid Lieutenant, Eliakem Ashton, James Palmer, I. M. Gillispie, James 
Gregory and Corbin R. Hutt; also of Morgan L. Payne, subsequently 
transferred to Buckmaster's battalion. Of this Vermilion organization 
Governor Reynolds learned May 28th. The regiment ranged constantly 
until June 23d, when, finding its territory purged of the enemy and peace 
thoroughly conserved by Major Buckmaster's battalion, it was mustered 

At this period of atrocious murders, the killing of Felix St. Vrain, the 
Fort Armstrong agent for the Sacs and Foxes, was particularly thrilling 
as wdl as pathetic. This man, appointed about a year previous to super- 
sede -^;ent Forsythe, had always been found the stanch friend of the 
Indian, and such had been the appreciation of his labors that "The Little 
Bear'' had adopted him as his brother. 

Aaron Hawley, John Fowler, Thomas Kenney, William Hale, 
Aquilla Floyd and Alexander Higginbotham, who had been to Sangamon 
County to buy cattle, had heard of the Indian troubles, and, abandoning 
their project, were hurrying home to assist in the protection of their 
homes. On the 22d of May they left Dixon's Ferry for Galena and trav- 
ded as far as Buffalo Grove, where they found the body of Durley, who, 
as will be remembered, was the murdered member of the Frederick Stahl 
party. The party immediately returned to Dixon's, reported the murder 
and remained there over night. As General Atkinson, who had just re- 
turned there on the 23d, had dispatches for Fort Armstrong, he detailed 
Felix St Vrain, the most competent officer for the service, to travel to 
Galena with the party and from that point carry the dispatches down the 
Mississippi to the fort.* 

At Buffalo Grove the returning party found and buried the body of 
Durley about a rod from the spot where he fell. The party then resumed 

'Smith's WIscoDflIn, 418. Hl«t Jo DayieM County, 286. 

Digitized by 



its march, traveling: toward Fort Hamilton for a distance of ten miles. 
Here it halted and camped for the night. 

At daylight the little band started out again on its march and pro- 
ceeded about three miles and then stopped again to cook breakfast. After 
the meal had been finished and the men were about a mile further on their 
journey, they fell in with a band of thirty Sacs under the command of 
"The Little Bear." St. Vrain regarded this as peculiarly propitious and 
at once assured his companions that no trouble need be feared from his 
friend, who had many times been an inmate of his house and partaken of 
his hospitality. Though he approached the Indian with outstretched hand, 
the overture of peace was spumed, and death to everyone sworn. In vain 
St. Vrain pleaded for his companions and urged his relations as agent and 
adopted brother. The Indians attempted in the most methodical and cold- 
blooded manner imaginable to murder every man present 

Seeing the hopelessness of further parley or an attempt to fight such 
odds, each man dashed for freedom, trusting to the superior speed of the 
horses to distance the ponies of the bidians, and the motion of the flight 
to dodge bullets. But first Fowler was shot down, a few yards distant, 
then St. Vrain, a little further out, and Hale about three quarters of a mile 
from the scene of the parley. 

Exulting in the glory of their deeds of blood, the Indians, after scalp- 
ing the three, cut off the head and hands and faet of St. Vrain and took 
out his heart, which was cut up and passed in pieces to the braves to eat,* 
that they might take pride in the statement that they had eaten of the heart 
of one of the bravest of Americans. After these ghoulish acts, the pursuit 
of the survivors was resumed, and in it Mr. Hawley was killed, though 
his body was never recovered and nothing ever definitely heard thereafter 
concerning it. However, as Black Hawk himself was subsequently found 
in possession of his coat, it can be easily conjectured that Hawle/s horse 
mired in the mud, and then, while helpless, the rider was shot down, his 
body spirited away and his clothing used by his murderers. 

The three other fugfitives directed their course toward Galena, pur- 
suing it successfully for three or four miles, when they met part of the 
same band of Indians, who gave them another chase of five or six miles, 
after which the pursued evaded them altogether. The men then crossed 
Brush Creek, and, sighting another band, immediately back-tracked six or 
eight miles to Hum River, where they camped in a thicket until night. 
Traveling all that night and the succeeding night, resting the intervening 
day, the tiiree survivors reached Galena the morning of the third day. 

Aaron Hawley's horse being the fastest, was the first to get away, 
and it was always supposed that he was cut off by another party of the 
same band of Indians and killed, as stated. When last seen by the other 
three he was making his course toward the Pecatonica. 

'Account of George W. Jones, his brotber-ln-lftvr. 

Digitized by 



On the 8th of June the bodies of St. Vrain, Fowler and Hale were 
recovered* and buried four miles south of Kelloggfs Grove, "old place." 
A WU for the relief of the widow and heirs of St. Vrain was passed by 
Congress January 6th, 1834. His tragic death was deplored the country 
over by reason of his unusual acquaintance and his great reputation for 
good deeds all his life long. 

Felix de Hault de Lassus de St. Vrain* (such was his full name) in 
personal appearance was tall and slightly built, with black eyes and black 
curling hair, worn rather long. He was bom in St. Louis, Missouri, 
March 23d, 1799. His grandfather, Pierre Charles de Hault de Lassus et 
de Luziere, Knight of the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Michael, 
was bom in Bouchain in Hainault (now Department of the North), where 
his ancestors had lived from time immemorial, holding offices of the high- 
est importance and trust This grandfather was compelled to leave France 
during the "Reign of Terror," for the Spanish possessions on the Missis- 
sippi, where the oldest son subsequently became Governor de Lassus of 
Upper Louisiana. Mr. Felix St. Vrain's father, Jacques, was an <^cer 
in the French navy. After the transfer of Louisiana to the United States 
members of the family, with the exception of the Govemor, were appdnted 
to offices of tmst under our Government. St. Vrain married Mademoiselle 
Marie Pauline Gregoire, daughter of Charles Cyril Grcgoire, also of 

The Indians had always recognized him to be a man of unusual 
bravery and devotedly attached to their welfare; in fact, he was opposed 
to the use of the military that spring in sending Black Hawk back to the 
west side of the Mississippi, and early in April he went to St. Louis to 
dissuade the authorities from interfering, but the many and constantly 
increasing depredations of Black Hawk's band were perverting the well- 
disposed Indians to similar acts, and it was decreed that the murderers 
of the Menominees must be taught a substantial lesson in bdiavior. 
Accordingly St. Vrain boarded the boat with General Atkinson and re- 
tumed to Fort Armstrong. Upon this boat he was detected with the 
soldiers by the Indian spies, who immediately reported the fact to Black 
Hawk. Without investigating their charge of treason, all of St. Vrain's 
life of devotion to the Indians was blotted out. In the manner of all his 
miserable judgments in the past. Black Hawk now swore revenge on the 
agent and selected "The Little Bear" as his deputy to execute the decree. 

Gen. George W. Jones, brother-in-law of St. Vrain, identified the 
body and took back to camp with, him the dress coat and pouch which he 
wore on that day. These articles are to tins day in the possession of the 
Gregoire family. 

*Oftleiilmii, Jcue 18, 1882. 

•Correspondence of St. Vraln*8 granddaughter, Jalie de St. Vrain Schwankortky, of 

Digitized by 



Atkinson's March to Mouth of Fox River — ^Dodge^s March to 
Meet Him — Captain Iles' March. 

On the 29th of May General Atkinson crossed over from Dixon's 
Ferry to Ottawa to take up his headquarters opposite the mouth of Fox 
River, where Fort Johnston was established, and where he remained until 
Jtme 8th, Col. Zachary Taylor returning to Dixon^s to take charge of that 
post with the regulars who returned with him. On May 29th Atkinson 
issued General Order 26: 

"Colonel Fry of the Illinois volunteers will assume command of the troops 
at this place, and give the orders necessary for its defense and the protection 
of the inhabitants in its vicinity until the troops shall have been organized and 
officers elected according to the laws of the state, which election will take place 
to-morrow^ morning, and the officers elected will be obeyed and respected accord- 
ingly. Mr. Achilles Morris and William Kirkpatrick* are appointed to appraise 
the horses, the equipage and private arms of the troops." 

To give additional protection to the northwest comer of the State, the 
companies of Captains lies and Snyder were selected from Fry's regiment 
and ordered forward. 

Captain lies' company marched first, reaching Galena by way of the 
Apple River Fort route, June loth. On June nth* it leisurdy started on 
its return trip, remaining over in Taylor's camp at Dixon's a short time, 
and then as leisurely continued to Fort Wilboum, where it was mustered 
out by Lieut Robert Anderson June i6th, after having served its period 
of twenty days' enlistment. No event of interest transpired to give char- 
acter to the march, and had it not been for the prominence of its men 
during subsequent years, it would probably never have been chronicled. 
In 1883 Captain lies published a book, entitled "Early Life and Times,** 
in which, on pages 45 et seq, we have happily preserved to our use that 
march of celebrated men : 

*The mutter rolls InTarUbly thow the elecUon to have been held on the 81st 
POMlbly the eloctloii waa held the 80th, but the offlcen were not sworn in untii the 81st 
"Lincoln's opponent in the election for captain. 


Digitized by 



"A few companies from the disbanded troops again enlisted for twenty days, 
to remain and protect the settlers until new troops could assemble. I was elected 
captain of one of these companies, although there was hardly a man in it but what 
was better suited to be a commander. It was made up of generals, colonels, cap- 
tains, and distinff"i;^r^^.?en from the disbanded army. I was proud of it 

"My company was mustered in by young Lieut. Anderson, a graduate of West 
Point, acting as adjutant (of Fort Sumter fame). While the other companies 
were ordered to scout the country, mine was held by Gen. Atkinson in camp as a 
reserve. One company was ordered to go to Rock River (now Dixon), and report 
to Col. Taylor, afterwards president, who had been left there with a few United 
States soldiers, to guard the army supplies. The place was also made a point of 
rendezvous. Just as the company got to Dixon, a man came in and reported that 
he and six others were on the road to Galena, and in passing through a point of 
tind>er about twenty miles north of Dixon, they were fired on and the six killed, 
he being the only one to make his escape. One of the number killed was Col. 
St Vrain, Indian agent. Colonel Taylor ordered the company to proceed to the 
place, bury the dead, go on to Galena, and get all the information they could about 
the Indians. But the company took fright, and came back to the Illinois River 
helter-skelter. (Note.— This is purely a flight of the imagination. Ko such com- 
pany was sent, and none fled.) 

'*Gen. Atkinson then called on me^ and wanted to know how I felt about taking 
the trip; that he was exceedingly anxious to open conununication with Galena, and 
to find out, if possible, the whereabouts of the Indians before the new troops 
arrived. I answered the general, that myself and men were getting rusty, and 
were anxious to have something to do, and that nothing would please us better 
than to be ordered out on an expedition; that I would find out how many of my 
men had good horses and were otherwise well equipped, and what time we wanted 
to prepare for the trip. I called on him again at sunset, and reported that I had 
about fifty men well equipped and eager, and that we wanted one day to make 
preparations. He said, 'Go ahead,' and he would prepare our orders. 

"The next day* was a busy day, running bullets and getting our flintlocks in 
order— we had no percussion locks then. Gen. Henry, one of my privates, who 
had been promoted to the position of major of the companies, volunteered to go 
with us. I considered him a host, as he had served as lieutenant in the war of 
1812, under Gen. Scott; was in the battle of Lund/s Lane, and in several other 
battles. He was a good drill officer, and could aid me much. Mr. Lincoln, our 
late president, was a private in my company. After Gen. Atkinson handed me 
my orders, and my men were mounted and reacib^ for the trip,* I felt proud of 
them, and was confident of our success, although numbering only forty-eight. 
Several good men failed to go, as they had gone down to the foot of the Illinois 
rapids to aid in bringing up the boats of army supplies. We wanted to be as little 
encumbered as possible, and took nothing that could be dispensed with, other 
than blankets, tin cups, coffee pots, canteens, a wallet of bread, and some fat side 
meat, which we ate raw or broiled. 

"When we arrived at Rock River* we found Col. Taylor on the opposite side, 
in a little fort built of prairiie sod. He sent an officer in a canoe to bring me over. 
I said to the ofiker that I would come over as soon as I got my men in camp. 
I knew of a good spring half a mile above, and I determined to camp at it After 
the men were in camp I called on General Henry, and he accompanied me. On 

>Jone 4. 
*Jtiiie 6. 
"June 6. 
^Brenlnf, June 7. 

Digitized by 



meeting Colonel Taylor (he looked like a man bom to command) he seemed a 
little piqued that I did not come over and camp with him. I told him we felt 
just as safe as if quartered in his one-horse fort; and, besides, I knew what his 
orders would be, and wanted to try the mettle of n^ men before^ starting on the 
perilous trip I knew he would order. He said the trip was perilous, and that 
since the murder of the six men all communication with Galena had been cut off, 
and it might be besieged; that he wanted me to proceed to Galena, and that he 
would have njy orders for noe in the morning, and asked what outfit I wanted. I 
answered nothing but coffee, side meat and bread. 

"In the morning* my orders were to collect and bury the remains of the six 
men murdered, proceed to Galena, make a careful search for the signs of Indians, 
and find out whether they were aiming to escape by crossing the river below 
Galena, and get all information at Galena of their prolxable whereabouts before the 
new troops were ready to fdlow them. 

"John Dixon, who kept a house of entertainment here and had sent his family 
to Galena for safety, joined us and hauled our wallets of com and gmb in his 
wagon, which was a great help. Lieutenant Harris, U. S. Army, also joined us, and 
I now had fifty men to go with me on the march. I detailed two to march on the 
right, two on the left, and two in advance, to act as lookouts to prevent a surprise. 
They were to keep in full view of us and to remain out until we canqied for the 

"Just at sundown the first day, while we were at lunch, our advance scouts 
came in under whip, and reported Indians. We bounced to our feet, and havmg 
a full view of the road for a long distance, could see a large body coming toward 
us. All eyes were tumed to John Dixon, who, as the last one dropped out of 
sight, coming over a ridge, pronounced them Indians. I stationed my men in a ravine 
crossing the road, where any one approaching could not see us until within thirty 
yards ; the horses I had driven back out of sight in a valley. I asked General Henry to 
take command; but he said 'No, stand at your post,' and walked along the line 
talking to the men in a low, calm voice. Lieutenant Harris, U. S. A., seemed 
much agitated; he ran up and down the line and exclaimed: 'Captain, we will 
catch hell!' He had horse pistols, belt pistols, and double-barrelled gun. He 
would pick the flints, reprime, and laid the horse pistols at his feet. When he got 
all ready he passed along the line slowly, and, seeing the nerves of the men all 
quiet — after General Henry's talk to them — said, 'Captain, we are safe; we can 
whip five hundred Indians.' Instead of Indians they proved to be the company of 
General Dodge, from Galena, of one hundred and fifty men, en route to find out 
what had become of General Atkinson's army, as, since the murder of the six 
men, communication had been stopped for more than ten days. My look-out at the 
top of the hill did not notify us, and we were not undeceived tmtil they got within 
thirty steps of us. My men then raised a yell and ran to finish their lunch. 

"Next morning,' in passing into a grove of timber, my front scouts again 
came under whip and reported Indians. I asked where? They pointed to my 
two scouts on the right, trying to catch an Indian pony; one had on a red shirt, 
and they mistook them for Indians. These two men had b^en in Stillman's defeat, 
and as their horses were weak and it was easier to march out of line, I had de- 
tailed them to go in the road in front I now ordered them to the rear and to drop 
behind as iar as they chose, and detailed two other men, on whom I could rely, to 
take the advance. 

"When we got within fifteen miles of Galena, on Apple River, we found a 
stockade filled with women and children and a few men, all terribly frightened. 

>Jane 8. 
*Jtine 9. X 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



The Indians had shot at and chased two men that afternoon, who made their 
escape to the stockade. They insisted on our quartering in the fort, but instead 
we camped one hundred yards outside, and slept — what little sleep we did get— 
with our guns in our arms. General Henry did not sleep, but drilled my men 
all night, so the moment they were called they would bounce to their feet and 
stand in two lines, the front ready to fire and fall back to reload while the others 
stepped fonprard and took their places. They were called up a number of times, and 
we got but little sleep. We arrived at Galena the next day, ^ and found the citizens 
prepared to defend the place. They were glad to see us, as it had been so long 
since they had heard from the army. The few Indians prowling about Galena and 
murdering were simply there as a ruse. 

"On our return from Galena,' near the forks of the Apple River and Gratiot 
roads, we could see General Dodge on the Gratiot road on his return from Rock 
River. His six scouts had discovered my two men that I had allowed to drop to 
the rear. Having weak horses they had fallen in the rear about two miles, and 
each took the other to be Indians, and such an exciting race I never saw until 
th^ got sight of my company ; then they came to a sudden halt, and after looking 
at us for a few moments wheeled their horses and gave up the chase. My two 
men did not know but that they were Indians until they came up with us and 
shouted Indians!' They had thrown away their wallets and guns and used their 
ramrods as whips. 

"The few bouses on the road that usually accommodated the travel were all 
standing, but vacant, as we went. On our return we found them all burned by 
the Indians. On my return to the Illinois River I reported to General Atkinson, 
saying that from all we could learn, the Indians were aiming to escape by going 
north with the intention of crossing the Mississippi River above Galena. The new 
troops had just arrived and were being mustered into service. My company had 
only been organized for twenty days, and as the time had now expired, were 
mustered out All but myself again volunteered for the third time. 

"Of all the men in my company in the Black Hawk war, I know of no one 
now living but John T. Stuart Major Stuart was elected to Congress over 
Stephen A. Douglas, and was the first and last one who ever beat Douglas in his 
race for office. Mr. Lincoln was assassinated in Washington, while president; 
Dr. Early was killed in Springfield; General Henry died in New Orleans; General 
Anderson, of Fort Sumter memory, who mustered my company in and out, is 

With the exception named, and the further one that Henry had been 
promoted to lieutenant-colonel and was such at the time, the history of 
diat march is accurate, remarkably so. 

General Henry in this instance had the abiding confidence of the 
men, and his presence alone was a battalion in strength. 

Following closely after lies' departure, Captain Snyder started out to 
cover the same territory and report depredations. 

>Jime 10, Gftlenlan. 

*Left Galena June 11. — Galenlan. 

Digitized by 



Captain Snyder's Battle — Murders in the Lead Mines Country — 
Battle of the Pecatonica — Captain Stephenson's Battle. 

Kellogg's Grove, by reason of the many fights with the Indians at 
and around the place, was the most conspicuous locality during the cam- 
paign, with the possible exception of Dixon's Ferry, which was headquar- 
ters of the army during the different campaigns. To Mr. J. B. Timms, 
present owner of the grove, and Mrs. E. B. Baker, daughter of O. W. 
Kellogg, who built there the first building in 1827, I am indebted for a 
description of the same as it appeared in 1832. 

O. W. Kellogg (brother-in-law to John Dixon), after running "Kel- 
logg's Trail" from Peoria to Galena in 1827, selected that large and beau- 
tiful grove of burr oak timber for his hcxne, erected substantial buildings, 
and brought much live stock to it, with his family. There he lived until 
the spring of 1831, when, in order to be near the Dixons, he removed 
south to Buffalo Grove, another fine grove about one mile due west of the 
present site of the city of Polo, twelve miles north of Dixon. There again 
he built and removed his family, where he was living at the breaking out 
of hostilities in 1832. 

In that year Kellogg*s Grove was known as "Kellogg^s Old Place," 
and generally designated as such in the public and private journals of 
that day. Previously to 1827, however, by reason of the character of the 
timber, it had been designated "The Burr Oak Grove,'* and thus it is we 
find the battle fought there by Capt. A. W. Snyder sometimes denominated 
"The Battle of Burr Oak Grove," naturally confusing one as to its exact 
location. As a matter of fact, it was fought about two and a half miles 
from Kellogg's buildings, but still Kellogg's Grove, as it covered a vast 
area, including the battlefield. The Timms family bought it and moved 
thence in 1835, since which time the present owner has continually resided 
there, conferring upon it the name of "Timms' Grove," which it still 

In 1832 the buildings comprised log cabins, a bam, large for those 
days, and outbuildings to the number of seven, strung along a distance 


Digitized by 



of 120 feet, each approximating seven feet in height, sixteen in length, 
and all covered with basswood bark. 

The site of the nK>nument erected on the site of that grove is in Kent 
township, Stephenson county, about thirty-five miles to the southeast 
of Galena, thirty-seven miles north of Dixcm and seven or eight miles 
from Lena. 

After Stillman's battle its strategic advantages quickly impressed 
the mind of General Atkinson, and as marauding Indians from Black 
Hawk's band began their incursions intp that territory, his first tiiought 
in disposing his new twenty-day troops was to send a company of 
strcMig mto and there establish a base for operations between Dixon's 
Ferry and Galena. The company of Capt. Adam W. Snyder of sixty- 
nine men was selected for that perilous duty, and almost concurrently with 
Captain lies' company marched from the mouth of Fox River for Dixon's 
Ferry. In Captain Snyder's company, as privates, were the late Joseph 
Gillespie, Pierre Menard, Richard Roman, James Semple, Gen. Samuel 
Whiteside and Jdm Thomas, just elected Major, whose headquarters were 
properly opposite the mouth of Fox River with the other regimental ofii- 
cers; but preferring the dangers and privations of the field, he resumed 
his position of private under Captain Snyder and marched in the ranks. 

At Dixon's Ferry Captain lies' company had been detached for sep- 
arate duty, but Brevet-Major Bennet Riley, with two companies of reg- 
ulars, accompanied the Snyder expedition to Kellogg's Grove, and without 
event on the road thither, other than the death of private Loren Qeveland 
on June I2th, it quickly reached its destination. Remaining there for a 
brief rest. Captain Snyder, leaving Riley and the regulars behind, pushed 
on to Galena to familiarize himself with the country, arriving there June 
13th about noon. The following day he returned to Kellogg's Grove.* 

On the night of June 15th the troops were snugly ensconced in the va- 
rious buildings, after § entinels had been picketed about eighty yards out, 
at different points of the compass around the camp. The night was 
cloudy and dark, though intermittently illimiinated with flashes of light- 
ning, rendering possible a sight of the surroundings during those periods. 
Near midnight the presence of the enemy was detected by a sentinel, who 
in the instantaneous period allowed him, attempted to run the Indian he 
discovered through with his bayonet, so close had he crawled; but the 
flash of light was so brief that the sentinel missed his mark and only 
rubbed the bdian's arm. Dropping his gun, the sentinel clinched with 
his adversary and by reason of superior strength was rapidly mastering 
him and would soon have had him a prisoner, but for another flash whidi 
discovered two other Indians within twenty feet, making for the rescue 

H?orre0poiid«nce Capt Snyder, Mo. Beptibllcan of Jane 26, 1882. 
Correipondence Judge Joseph Qllleepfe in Brink's Hist. Madison County. 
Reynold's "My Own Times," p. 877, etc 
Ford's Illinois, 124. 


Digitized by 



as rapidly as the inpenetrable darkness would permit. Quickly rdeas- 
ing his antagonist^ the sentinel ran to camp, shouting: "Indians, Indians/' 
while the Indians pursued him as far as they dared. With a shot into the 
darkness they turned and fled, leaving the men in camp to lie upon their 
arms after that until morning. 

From the fact that one horse was stolen during the night, color was 
given to the theory that {Sunder was the sole aim of the enemy's presence, 
but events of the following day expkxied it. 

Early in the morning Captain Snyder took a detachment of his men 
and pursued the enemy's trail in a southwesterly direction, hoping to 
overtake and punish him before escape was possible. For twenty miles 
it was followed in vain, but Captain Snyder would not permit it to be 
abandoned, and wise indeed was his decision, for after a few rods more 
of ti^vel the detachment came upon four of the Indians preparing a meal 
in a deep ravine just ahead. Flight by them in a circuitous, back-trade 
manner was instantly taken, which nearly baffled the troc^s, but after 
another weary but exciting chase the Indians were again .discovered 
half a mile aliead climbing a high hill within three nules of camp at 
Kellogg's Grove. The troops were delayed in their pursuit by a deep and 
muddy creek, but on finally crossing it discovered the Indians firmly in- 
trenched in a deep gulch, where, in a sharp hand to hand encounter, all 
four were killed, with loss to the whites of one man, private William B. 
Mecomson (or Mdcemson), who received two balls in the abdcxnen, in- 
flicting a mortal wound. While the engagement lasted it was as fierce and 
wicked a frontier fight as has ever been recorded, and in the many shots 
exchanged by the Indians the marvel is that the loss to the whites was 
no greater; but poor Mecomson received the only effective ones. 

A litter was constructed of poles and blankets, upon which the 
wounded man was placed and, carried by his comrades, he was conveyed 
toward camp. In ministering to his needs his bearers were compdled 
to ddiver their guns and horses to the keeping of others, the exchange 
and relief causing some delay and a little temporary confusion ; men were 
necessarily scattered along with no regard for order; the troops were 
flushed with the first victory of the campaign, and while danger was to 
be at all times apprdiended, having disposed of one enemy, the presence 
of other Indians was not a very strong probability. Thus the men 
marched ak>ng for three-quarters of a mile, when the dying man asked for 
a brief rest and a cup of water. As no fresh water was carried, two squads 
were Retailed by Captain Snyder to search for some. General Whiteside, 
First Sergeant Nathan Johnston and Third Sergeant James Taylor went 
to one ^de, while Dr. Richard Romto, Benjamin Scott, Second Corporal 
Benjamin McDanid, Dr. Francis Jarrott and Dr. I. M. McTy Cornelius 
searched the other side for water with which to quench the wounded man's 
thirst. While the last named squad was moving slowly down a ridge 

Digitized by 



Digitized by 







Digitized by 



to a point having a bushy ravine on each side it was fired on by a large 
party of Indians, instantly killing Benjamin Scott and Benjamin McDan- 
iel and slightly wounding Dr. Cornelius. The three survivors retreated 
while the Indians, estimated from fifty to ninety in number, hideously yell- 
ing* rushed upon poor Mecomson and chopped off his head with a toma- 
hawk; then wheeling, they directed their fire upon the main body of the 
whites, who were somewhat scattered, as stated. Closing in as well as pos- 
sible, the detadmient fell back in good order, formed again and returned 
a brisk fire, whidi checked the enemy's advance. Quickly following up 
the advantage gained, Captain Snyder moved rapidly forward, bringing 
his men at close range with the enemy and making the engagement gen« 
eral. Trees were many times used for protection. During the thickest 
of the fig^t the apparent leader of the Indians, mounted on a white horse, 
rode backward and forward, urging his men on with shouts and ges- 
tures ; but the intrepid volunteers were pouring lead into the ranks of the 
Indian^ with such deadly effect that they were gradually forced back. 
After a little the white horse was seen leaving the field without a rider ; 
at the same time the Indians temporarily wavered and the whites pushed 
their lines closer. The Indians, having evidently lost their leader, sullenly 
retired out of range and Captain Snyder held his advanced position. 

Major Thomas had in the meantime volunteered to go alone to Kel- 
logg^s Grove, less than three miles distant, for reinforcements from 
Major Riley, and though the trip was perilous in the extreme he made it 
safely, returning in an incrediWy short time with the reinforcements. 
When they arrived Captain* Snyder had driven the Indians to the timber 
and was anxious to press his advantage, but the lateness of the hour pre- 
vented. He then insisted on camping on the spot for the night, that he 
might pursue his advantage early in the morning, but Major Riley per- 
suaded him to return to camp at Kellogg*s, which he reluctantly did, 
after gathering up the dead for burial the following day. 

Early the following morning Captain Snyder, with his full company, 
returned to the scene of the previous da/s engagements in search of the 
enemy, but he was nowhere to be found, and, burying the dead, the com- 
pany at once returned to camp, where it remained a few days longer, by 
which time the new levies having been rapidly massed at Dixon's Ferry 
for the final struggle. Captain Snyder mardied to that point, and his com- 
pany was mustered out by Colonel Taylor on June 21.* 

That same band of Sac Indians had been lurking about that locality for 
some time, and was, in fact, engaged in all the fights with the whites until 

>Captaln Adam Wilson SDjder waa born In Oonnellarllle, Fayette Co., Pa., Oct 6, 
1799. Came to Cahokla, 111., on foot, June, 1817. Blected Diet Attorney by the IlUnola 
LeglBlatnre January, 1828. Elected SUte Senator, 1880 and in 1882. Blected to Con- 
grcaa 1888. Blected State Senator and Presidential Blector 1840. Nominated for Got- 
emor by Democratic convention, Dec 11, 1841. Died in BellsTllle of consomptlon May 14, 
1842, before election. He wonld have been elected. Got. Ford, the candidate selected In 
his place, was erected. 

Digitized by 



Black Hawk's forces withdrew to the swamps of the Rock River country, 
more than a month later. 

On June 3d the Hall girls were brought to the fort at Blue Mounds 
from the camp of the Sacs where the Winnebagoes had found them. Here 
they were delivered to Col. Henry Gratiot, who was momentarily 
stopping on his return trip from his "talk" with the Winnebagoes, at the 
head of the Four Lakes. 

Colonel Dodge had barely returned to his headquarters when he re- 
ceived word that an attack on Mound Fort was threatened and that rein- 
forcements were promptly needed. Without delay Dodge summoned the 
companies of Capt. J. R. B. Gratiot and Captain Qark, which had been 
formed during his absence, and detachments of two other companies, 
and started for the fort. When within three miles of it an express met 
him with information of the return at that fort of the Hall girls. Arrived 
there, he found the report of the contemplated attack had been exagger- 
ated, though some of the Winnebago party were that night suspected and 
taken into custody. Arrangements were promptly made for the payment 
of the $2,000 promised by Atkinson, which the Indians agreed to accept 
in money, ponies and other useful and valuable chattels. 

That night^ signs of hostilities were made to Capt J. R. B. Gratiot, 
which he quickly communicated to Dodge. Awakening him, the two 
walked over to the brush, to which the particular Indians had retired, 
and took White Crow and five others into custody, marched them to a 
cabin and ordered them to lie down and remain there until rooming. 
Dodge himself laid down beside them, having first placed a strong guard 
around the cabin and a double guard around the whole encampment. The 
next day the whole band, despite the complaint that their feet were sore, 
were taken with the Hall girls to Morrison's Grove, fifteen miles to the 
west, where Dodge held a talk with them June 5th. Candidly speaking 
his fears, he demanded that Whirling Thunder, Spotted Arm and Little 
Priest be held as hostages until the end of the month, to which the In- 
dians assented, and thus doubtless was prevented the formation of a cabal 
which might have brought disaster to the whites. 

By way of Fort Defiance the girls were, on June 8th, taken to Gra- 
tiot's Grove, where a junction was formed with the command of Capt 
J. W. Stephenson, then departing to find the bodies of the St. Vraki party, 
and there the girls were left with Col. Henry Gratiot. There, too, 
the murder of Aubrey was reported. 

On the 6th of June' one William Aubrey, first captain* of Mound 
Fort, was killed by the Sacs while after water at a spring near the dwell- 

>Llfe of Henry Dodge, by William Salter, p. 31. 

>Smlth'i Hlat Wis., Vol. 1, page 272. 

•Bouchard*! NarratlTe, Vol. 2. Wis. Hist. CoHectlons. 

Digitized by 



ing of Ebenezer Brii^ham, a mile and a half distant to the north of the 
fort, to which place the Sacs had been led b)^ Winnebago renegades. 

Being then south bound, Dodge sent an express with instructions 
to Fort Defiance and Mineral Point to proceed with men to the scene 
and bury the murdered man, which was done. 

By noon of the 8th the troops reached Kirker's farm, where they 
halted to consider the numerous murders constantly committed in their 
midst Here Dodge delivered a short address to the troops, which fired 
them with an oithusiasm that none but Dodge could inspire. In fact, it may 
be said for the troops from the mining districts that they fought and 
dragooned their country night and day, with never a thought of flinching 
or flagging. In the afternoon the men marched south and found and 
buried the bodies of St Vrain, Hale and Fowler, after which Stephenson 
returned to Galena, while Dodge moved on to Hickory Point to camp 
for the night. The next morning he marched to Dixon's Ferry and 
camped that night with General Brady. There it was learned that 
Atkinson had gone over to the mouth of Fox River, below which the 
new levies were massing. With twenty-five men Dodge escorted Brady 
thence,* and on the nth the two had a conference with Atkinson, at 
whidi plans for the future campaign were fully mapped out By mid- 
night Dodge had returned to Dixon's. His faculty for quick marches 
has seldom been equaled. In fact, to keep track of him. Colonel Hamilton 
and Captain Stephenson during their rides over the frontier was impos- 
sible to any save members of their commands. Night and day they rode 
tirelessly. From Ottawa and Fort Wilbourri to the south to Mineral 
Point and the Four Lakes to the north, they were incessantly moving 
and charging bands of thieves and murderers, and to their work this pen 
cannot do justice. 

With little or no rest. Dodge started back for the mining country, 
reaching Gratiot's Grove June 13th. There, worn and exhausted, he 
dispersed his command to their respective forts to recuperate the strength 
of the horses and await further orders. 

No sooner had the men reached Fort Defiance at sundown of the 
14th, than one David, as an express, arrived with news of the murder that 
day of Spaflford, Searles, Spencer, Mcllwaine and an Englishman nick- 
named John Bull, at Spafford's farm on the Pecatonica, six miles southeast 
of Fort Hamilton. Captain Hoard at once dispatched an express to 
Dodge at Dodgeville, and ordered Lieut. Charles Bracken with a 
detachment to Fort Hamilton, which was reached late that night. The 
following morning, under guidance of Bennett Million, a survivor .of the 
party which had been attacked. Bracken took a detachment over to Spaf- 

>F6rt Jotaniton, oi»po«lte Ottawa. 

Digitized by 



ford's farm and buried the dead men, who as usual had been shockingly 

Early in the morning of the i6th Dodge sighted the fort about one 
mile away, where he met a German named Henry Appel going to his 
cabin for blankets. In a few minutes shots were heard, and just as Dodge 
was entering the fort, Appel's horse, bedabbled with the blood of its 
owner, came galloping back to the fort. 

A detachment of twenty-nine men immediately started in pursuit 
of the murderers, with another small detail to bury poor Appel, whose 
mutilated body was expected to be found as a matter of course. High 
creeks, muddy roads and other difficulties gave the Indians many advan- 
tages in their escape* to the Pecatonica, which they reached and crossed 
a considerable time before the whites reached it. 

"After crossing the Pecatonica, in the open ground, I dismounted my command, 
linked my horses, left four men in charge of them, and sent four men in different 
directions to watch the movements of the Indians if they should attempt to swim 
the Pecatonica; the men were placed on high points that would give a view of 
the enemy should they attempt to retreat. I formed my men on foot at open 
order and at trailed arms, and we proceeded through the swamps to some tin^r 
and undergrowth, where I expected to find the enemy. When I found their trail, I 
knew they were close at hand. They had got close to the edge of a lake, where 
the honk was about six feet high, which was a complete breastwork for them. 
They commenced the fire, when three of my men fell, two dangerously wounded, 
one severely, but not dangerously. I instantly ordered a charge on them made 
by eighteen men, v.hich was promptly obeyed. The Indians being under tho 
tMink, our guns were brought within ten or fifteen feet of them before we could 
fire on them. Their party consisted of thirteen men. Eleven were killed on the 
spot, and the remaining two were killed in crossing the lake, so that they were 
left without one to carry the news to their friends."* 

As a matter of fact, there were seventeen in the party of Indians; 
eleven were found dead, two were killed in crossing the river or swampy 
widening of it and were scalped by the Winnebagoes, Colonel Hamilton, 
when he came up, found the body of another, and late the succeeding 
winter a French trapper found three more in the swamp close by, beneath 
brushwood, under which they had crawled when wounded.* 

Thus with the loss of the three whites in the first fire, but eighteen 
whites remained to charge the seventeen Indians behind formidable 

Dodge marched to that battlefield to settle many a bloody murder or 
leave his own bones to bleach upon the banks of the Pecatonica. That 
battle meant death to the Indians or death to the family of every man in 
the mining regions, and in this connection it may be well to recall the 
words of Mrs. Dodge when urged to retire to Galena for safety : "My 

'Dddge laid thlrtj minates. 

*Dodge'i Report. 

•Bouchard*! NarratlTe. "" 

Digitized by 





Digitized by 


Digitized by 



husband and sons are between me and the Indians. I am safe so long as 
they live/' Those heroic words must have echoed in the husband's heart 
while grappling those brawny murderers, and hand to hand, body to body, 
and inch by inch, in the death struggle, with gun, bayonet and knife, over 
the breastworks, into the enemy's intrenclunent, into the jaws of death, the 
little band charged and fought until every last Indian was dead and the 
many murders were avenged. 

The names of Dodge's men, so far as can be learned, were Lieut. 
Charles Bracken, Lieut. Bequette, Lieut. D. M. Parkinson,^ Peter Parkin- 
son, Jr., Porter, R. H. Kirkpatrick, Dr. Allen Hill, Thomas Jenkins, 

W. W. Woodbridge, John Messersmith, Jr., Asa Duncan, Benjamin Law- 
head, Samuel Patrick, William Games, John Hood, Levui' Leech, Alex- 
ander Higginbotham, who was of the St Vrain party, Samuel Black, 
Dominick McGraw, Samuel Bunts, Van Waggoner, Wells, Morris, Rankin, 

Thomas H. Price, H. S. Townsend, Devies, M. G. Fitch and J. H. 

Gentry, but the horse of the last-named became mired and his gun became 
useless, both of which accidents prevented his participation in the fight. 
Samuel Black was almost instantly killed and Samuel Wells and F. M« 
Morris, wounded, were left at Fort Hamilton, where both died soon after. 
Thomas Jenkins was wounded, but not severely, and Levin Leech, while 
wresting a spear from a brave, got his hand badly lacerated. The troops 
at once dispersed for their respective forts to prepare for further develop- 
ments. Oi the i8th a fifth company was organized with D. M. Parkinson 

On the 20th Lieut. George Force and Emerson Green were murdered 
and mutilated near the fort at Blue Mounds; one of the bodies, that of 
Force, was recovered by the daring of Edward D. Bouchard, and on the 
24th Dodge, with a detachment of men from the companies of Captains 
D. M. Parkinson and J. H. Gentry, recovered and buried the body of 
Green. Here Dodge, piloted by Bouchard, pursued the trail of the Indians 
as far as the headwaters of Sugar River, and finding that they had scat- 
tered there for various points, he returned to Mound Fort. 

Horsestealing became a recognized feature of Black Hawk's cam- 
paign very soon after Stillman's defeat, which he pushed with unusual 
vigor. He would snatch a band of horses, and if the luckless owner 
attempted a pursuit for their recovery he was invariably ambushed. On 
the night of June 8th* the Indians stole fourteen horses just outside the 
stockade of Apple River fort (now Elizabeth, Illinois), and on the 
afternoon and night of the 17th ten more were stolen.* The number was 
so large and the loss so great that unusual measures were adopted to 

'LAt€r cftptftlo. 

>Hlst. Jo DftTicM Co», 28S, and the Oalcnlan. 

•Charles Bamea and Stephen P. Howard, who declined to *f ort np.** were plowing on 
Apple Rlrer. Indians appeared, and they escaped oyer the rirer bank, but the horses were 
boldly taken. The loss, among others, was reported to the fort. 

Digitized by 



attempt their recovery. As nothing but a military escort was considered 
equal to the seardi, Capt J. W. Stephenson, with twelve of his men from 
Galena and nine from the Apple River fort, started cm the trail early oo 
the morning of the i8th; and overtook the tfiieves about twelve miles east 
of Keltogg's Grove, on Yellow River, southeast of Waddam's Grove, in 
Stephenson County. A hot pursuit followed for several miles. The In- 
dians, seven in number, finally reaching a dense thicket, plunged into it for 
protection. The thicket, a diort distance northeast of Waddam's Grove, 
was so dense that it was impossible to discover their location from the 
open country surrounding it, and thus secreted the Indians remained, 
awaiting the attack of the whites. Stephenson was impatient to dislodge 
them by assault. Dismounting his men, he at first attempted to sweep the 
thicket and draw the oiem/s fire, but the wily Indians refused to shoot 
or otherwise indicate their position. Discarding strat^;y as an evidence 
of cowardice. Captain Stephenson detailed a guard for the horses, and 
with his remaining men made an impetuous charge upon the hidden reds, 
drawing their fire and returning it, but with the loss of one to the whites 
as they were retiring to the prairie to reload. Rather than accept the loss 
and carefully continue the assault by safer and surer methods, Captain 
Stephenson twice more charged the fatal thicket, losing one man with 
each effort, while the Indians lost but one man, who was stabbed in the 
neck by Thomas Sublet. Both sides had exhausted their loads in the 
charge and the fight became general and at close range ; so close, indeed, 
that one could scarcely distinguish friend from foe, and rather than con- 
tinue against odds entirely conjectural, the whites withdrew again to the 
prairie to consult— a precaution they should have exercised in the first 

Captain Stephenson himself was wounded so seriously that he was 
no longer able to continue in command. Of the whites, Stephen P. How- 
ard, Qiarles Eames* and Michael Lovell had been killed, while the Indians 
had lost but the one man, and he had not been killed by the guns. Further 
assaults were considered useless, and, if continued, would have been wil- 
ful ; therefore, leaving the dead where they fell, the men returned to Galena 
for assistance to return and bury the three dead soldiers and the Indian, 
reaching that point on the 19th. 

The charges were brave and dashing, and naturally evoked the cheers 
of those at Galena, but, as with too many of the same character, they 
were not only ineffectual, but resulted in the loss of valuable lives. 
Governor Ford, in his history of Illinois, has justly said, "It equaled any- 
thing in modem warfare in daring and desperate courage." 

On the 20th Colonel Strode, with the ccmipanies of Capt. James 
Craig and Captain Stephenson, marched to the scene and buried the dead.* 

'The prints of the day have the name George Eamea, but correspondence with Hiram 
B. Htinf and N. B. Craig, relatives, indicates that Charles is correct. 

Digitized by 


Attack on Apple River Fort.* 

On Sunday morning, the 24th day of June, Colonel Strode sent an 
express of three men, Frederick Dixon, Edmtmd Welch and one Kirk- 
patrick, with dispatches for General Atkinson, then at Dixon's Ferry. By 
reascm of the drenching rain falling at the time of their departure, the 
men dischatiged their muskets upon starting out. 

Arrived at Apple River fort, twelve or fourteen miles southeast from 
Galena, at about noon, the express found there Capt. Qack Stone, the 
commandant, with only fifteen or twenty of his command with him, the 
others being absent on detached service. The women of the post were all 
out along the river, gathering berries, or else just starting for that pur- 
pose, clearly indicating that war was furthest from their thoughts. Paus- 
ing but a moment to pass the news from Galena and allow Mr. Welch to 
reload his musket, the express again started forward and had covered 
about 300 yards to the east, when Mr. Welch, who had gained about fifty 
yards on his companions, was suddenly fired on by a large party of 
Indians concealed m the high grass near a point necessary to pass on his 
journey. Rising instantly, they were on the point of seizing and scalping 
him, as he fell from his horse, shot through the thigh, when he quickly 
rose and fired at his assailants, some fifteen steps away. His shot was 
ineflFectual, his horse fled, and he would surely have perished had not his 
companions rushed to his rescue and saved him. They had no loads to 
fire, but used their guns in a series of feints as though to shoot. The 
Indians dodged and cowered until the men were able to gain the fort, and 
there secure protection for two of the number. Mr. Dixon, in his frantic 
eflForts to secure the safety of the wounded man, paid no attention to his 
own welfare, and, though he saw Kirkpatrick slip within, did not con- 
sider himself until the heavy timbered door slammed in his face, leaving 
him to face the Indians, who by this time were upon him in overwhelming 
numbers. Dixon was a redoubtable man and full of the resources needed 
in a new country, and without an instant's loss he mounted, wheeled, and 

'A Tery spirited account of this battle, sisned "Flack/' appears in Wakefield's His- 
tory, minutely detailing the actions of the Indians. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


made for the timber, whose hidden paths he thoroughly knew. The 
Indians must have been more intent upon the scalps of the little garrisoa 
and plunder of the many substantial homes of the neighborhood than 
Dixon, for they quickly abandoned him altogether, but he, on reaching 
the house of Mr. John McDonald, where he expected certain relief and 
safety, found it filled with Indians and himself surrounded. Abandoning 
his horse, he fled to the rear, followed the margin of Apple River, under 
cover of its high bank, and, 'after traveling all night, reached Galena in 
the morning, painfully bruised and exhausted, but not so tired as to 
prevent his wish and determination to return to the rescue of his friends. 

The shots by the Indians warned all of approaching danger and gave 
them time to leave the berries and the river and* gain the fort, but no 
sooner were they all safely "forted" than the Indians, who had been mass- 
ing from all points of the compass to the number of at least 200, sur« 
rounded it and hurled agajnst the fort a terrific fire. 

Providentially, a wagonload of meat and lead from Galena had been 
unloaded that very forenoon, which put the garrison in a tolerable state 
to sustain a si^e. 

For two hours a heavy fire was maintained by both sides. Under its 
first fire, the garrison showed fear of the result against such tremendous 
odds, but instantly Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, in a commanding address, 
inspired man and woman alike with such resolution that nothing could 
have driven them from their posts. She divided the women into two 
squads, one to mold bullets, the other to reload the muskets as they 
were discharged. Unfortunately, no time had been allowed to bring in 
a supply of water with which to quench thirst during the weary hours of 
that engagement. The day was hot. Confinement in close quarters of 
the fort, amidst the fumes of gunpowder and heat of the firing, brought 
on a state of suffering bordering upon exhaustion, but the almost fainting 
women, by their heroic disregard for danger and suffering, and by their 
words of cheer, propped the failing energies of the fighting men. Every 
advance by the enemy was met with a galling fire from within and the 
assailants were repulsed, only to resume the assault more fiercely than 
before and again retire with heavy loss. 

Finding it useless to attempt a capitulation by assault, the Indians 
retired to the surrounding log houses, where, knocking the chinks from 
between the logs, they opened a deadly fire, which could not be returned 
with loss to themselves; but this failed to dislodge the whites, and, en- 
raged at their failure, the Indians sought partial revenge by plundering 
the houses. They destroyed the furniture and crockery, emptied flour 
barrels and feather beds, stole the bed clothing and wardrobe and then 

Digitized by 



killed the cattle and hogs, finishing their day of destruction by stealing 
all the horses in sight. 

As night approached, Kirkpatrick, who was but a boy, resolved upon 
going to Galena to seek the aid which he was fearful his companion would 
never live to obtain. Remonstrances were of no avail, and he set out on 
his perilous journey in the blackness of the night. With a courage and 
skill known only on the frontier, he pushed bravely through, reaching 
Galena in time to meet Ccrfonel Strode as he was starting out with Dixon 
and his relief party for the fort. 

Strode moved rapidly down and left such reinforcements as were 
needed, but the Indians troubled Apple River fort no more. The heroic 
little garrison had driven them away for all time. 

This band, under Black Hawk's leadership, was suiqx>sed, with good 
reason, to be the same that attacked Major Dement at Keltogg's Grove 
on the 25th. George W. Herclerode, who exposed his head too much in 
taking aim, and was shot through the neck and instantly killed, and 
James Nutting, wounded, were the only casualties to the whites. 

Following the long list of the "Lead Mines" murders, the reader is 
brought to the murder of two men at Sinsinawa Mound, the home of 
George W. Jones. On June 29th three men were at work in a cornfield 
at Sinsinawa Mound, about ten miles from Galena, when they were 
attacked by a small party of Indians and two of them killed. Captain 
Stephenson, who had just arrived at Galena, immediately summoned 
thirty men of his command and started in pursuit of the Indians. Arrived 
at the scene, he found the bodies of James Boxley and John Thompson, 
mutilated as usual, and, after burial, the detachment attempted to run 
down the Indians. They were pursued as far as the Mississippi, which 
they had evidently crossed in leaving the country. As the trail could 
not be further followed, Captain Stephenson returned to Galena, only to 
be summoned to the final struggle in the pursuit from Rock River to 
the Mississippi. 

Digitized by 



Organization of Forces at Fort Wilbourn and Disposition of 
Same — Mvbdbr of Fhilups — ^March to Dixon's Ferry. 

Returning to the movements of the troops along the Illinois River, 
we find in the Missouri Republican that Cblonel Davenport and two 
companies of United States Infantry arrived in St Louis on June i ith, in 
the steamer Otto from the Cantonment of Leavenworth, and that they 
immediately took the boats Caroline and Winnebago for Fort Deposit, or 
Fort Wilbourn, as it subsequently was called. 

On June 5th, by Order 27, Atkinson dianked the men under Colonel 
Fry for their services and exhorted them to re-enlist in the new cam- 
paign, which they did, almost to a man. 

On the 8th Atkinson fell down the river to the foot of the rapids, 
fifteen miles below Ottawa, and on the 9th mustered out the company of 
Captain Wilbourn of Morgan, which took the steamer Caroline to 
Beardstown, and thence the men' either re-enlisted or marched home. 
From the same point Quartermaster March was ordered to St. Louis to 
forward to Fort Wilbourn^ as early as possible, the pack horses he had 
been (Erected to purchase, also fifteen to twenty two-horse wagons, and 
be in readiness to move to Dixon's Ferry with them on the 17th. 

Back again at Ottawa on the loth, by Order 31, Atkinson directed 
Capt. Cyrus Mathews^ company to remain and guard supplies at Fort 
Wilbourn. On the 12th Capt. Morgan L. Payne, then stationed at 
AuxPlaines, was ordered to remove with his command to the DuPage set- 
tlement 00 DuPage River, remain near Captain Naper and range his 
company from DuPage to Hickory Creek settlements, after which, on the 
same day, Atkinson again moved down the Illinois River to Fort Deposit, 
or, as we have seen. Fort Wilbourn. 

This name Deposit was given' by Maj. Reddick Horn, who estab- 
lished it, to the pcrint at the foot of the Illinois rapids, where the supplies 
were deposited when brought from St. Louis by Colonel March, Q. M., 
and is described in the press and documents of that day as being on the 
left bank of tfie Illinois River, one and a half miles below the mouth of 
the Little Vermilion River — ^about 300 miles from St. Louis and the head 


Digitized by 



of 3teamboat navigation. Fort Johnston,* named from Albert Sidney 
Johnston^ opposite the mouth of Fox River, and Atkinson's headquarters 
for some time, was about twenty miles up from Wilboum and was placed 
at a distance of ninety miles from Chicago, while Wilboum was said to 
be fifty miles from Dixon and Dixon loo miles from the Four Lakes 
country and the neighborhood 6i the camp of the Sacs, which, in turn, was 
about sixty miles from Fort Winnebago and Chicago. 

With Atkinson came his staff, Lieut. A. S. Johnston and Lieut. M. L. 
Clark, Aids; Lieut. Robert Anderson, Assistant Inspector-General; Lieut. 
G. W. Wheelwright, Ordnance Officer; Lieut. R. Holmes, Commissary of 
Subsistence, and Dr. Baylor, Surgeon, and Gen. Hugh Brady and his aid, 
Lieut. Electus Backus, who had left at Dixon's Ferry the two companies 
of infantry brought from Fort Winnebago. As this point was as accessi- 
ble to Dixon's Ferry, the objective point of the army, as Ottawa, it was 
decided to remain there and notify the militia to come on from Hennepin 
and Beardstown, which they did. 

On the 14th General Atkinson ordered Colonel Moore's r^;iment, 
with the exception of Captain Payne's company, to return to Danville to 
be mustered out, while Colonel Moore turned over to the quartermaster 
at Ottawa his surplus ammunition and supplies. Captain Payne being 
ordered to remain at his position till further ordered. 

On the night of the 15th, Billy Caldwell, Shabbona and Wau-ban-see 
came into camp and offered Atkinson 100 men, to be commanded by 
Shabbona, who then communicated the location of Black Hawk at his last 
camp at the head of Rock River, with a following of warriors estimated to 
be from 1,000 to 2,000, and firmly intrenched against attack. 

Governor Reynolds, who had rejoined the men about this time, ap- 
pointed Lieut. R. Holmes on his staff, and, in turn, Atkinson appointed 
Thomas C. Brown, of the Gallatin County volunteers, one of his aids; 
accordingly, on the 19th Brown was discharged as a private, to report 
as aid. 

On consultation with all the captains. Governor Reynolds determined 
that every officer above a captain should be elected by the men themselves,* 
a move which pleased everybody and which gave the army a strength 
unknown during the first campaign. 

It was further decided that the brigade staff officers should be one 
brigadier-general, who should appoint one aid-de-camp, one brigade in- 
spector, one brigade quartermaster, one paymaster and two assistant 

On the isth Major (Rev.) Horn, who had erected the stockade called 
Fort Deposit, was relieved as assistant quartermaster and Hugh McGill 

>It hu been mid that this fort wat named after Col. James Johnson, of the Fifth 
Regiment, bnt the bnrden of anthorlty is in favor of A. 8. Johnaton. 
>Hj Own Times. 

Digitized by 



was appointed by Order 34 from Atkinson. On the same day Posey's 
Brigade was organized and turned over to Atkinson, as f olk>ws : 

Brigadier General, Alexander Posey. 
Aids, Alexander P. Hall and B. A. Clark. 
Brigade Inspector, John Raum. 
Brigade Paymaster, William M. Wallace. 

Assistant Quartermasters, John A. McClernand and Marshall Rawlings, all of 
Gallatin County except Raum, who was from Pope County. 

The brigade was composed of three regiments and a spy battalion. 

The officers of the First Regiment, so*far as known, were : Colond, 
Willis Hargrave; Lieutenant-Colonel, JeflF. Gatewood; Major, James 

It was composed of five companies, all from Gallatin County, and 
commanded by Captains John Bays, David B. Russell, Harrison Wilson/ 
Joel Holliday and Achilles CoflFey. 

The officers of the Second Regiment, so far as known, were: 

Colonel, John Ewing; Lieutenant-Colonel, Storm; Major, Johnson 

Wren; Quartermaster, James F. Johnson, and Quartermaster's Sergeant, 
Moses Neal. 

It was composed of six companies, commanded by Captains George 
P. Bowyer, William J. Stephenson and Obediah West from Franklin 
County, and Charles Durai, Jonathan Durman and Armstead Holman 
irom Pope County. 

The officers of the Third R^ment, so far as known, were : Colonel, 

Samuel Leech ; Lieutenant-Colonel, Campbell, for a short period, 

when he was succeeded by William Adair; Major, Joseph Shelton, and 
Quartermaster's Sergeant, Levin Lane. 

It was composed of five companies, commanded by Captains Ardin 
Biggerstaff and James Hall of Hamilton County; John Otistott of Clay 
County, and James N. Clark and Berryman G. Wells of Wayne County. 

The officers of the Spy Battalion, so far as known, were: Major, 
John Dement; Adjutant, Stinson B. Anderson;* Pa)rmaster, Zadock 
Casey ;• Quartermaster, B. Hicks. 

It was ccmiposed of the two companies commanded by Captains 
William N. Dobtuns of Marion County, and James Bowman of JeflFerson 

KTaptaln Harrlaon Wlltoii, In the war of 1812, was an entlgn In Captain James 
Cralff't company of frontier riflemen. Fourth Beglment. His father. Alexander, waa a 
member of the first Legislature of Illinois Territory, and drafted with his own hand tha 
first code of Bnallsh-speaklng law for that territory. Oen. James H. Wilson, of Wll- 
mlnirton, Del., who represented the U. 8. Army at Klna Edward's coronation, and Col. 
Blnford Wilson, of Springfield, 111., late Solicitor of the U. S. Treasury, are sons of Capt. 
Harrison Wilson, who died In I808. He fought by the side of Jefferson DaTls against 
Black E[awk at the battle of the Bad Axe, while his son. Gen. James H. Wilson, captured 
the President of the Southern Confederacy In the Civil War. Another coincidence must 
be noticed: Maj.-Gen. John A. McClernand was a prlTate In Capt. Harrison Wilson's 
company, and during the recent war with Spain Lt.-Col. Edward J. McClernand, son of 
Qen. McClernand, was adjutant to Oen. J. H. Wilson while the latter occupied Cuba. 

'Later Lleut.-OoTemor. 

•Then Lleut-GoTemor. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



County, and seven detachments from the companies of Stephenson, Dunn, 
Russell, Durman, West, Holliday and Bowyer. 

On Sunday, the 17th, an express came from the DuPage settlements, 
which had left there the preceding evening at 9 o'clock, bringing informa- 
tion of the killing of Private William Brown of Captain Payne's company 
by a party of Sacs on the i6th. 

On the i6th the Second Brigade, consisting of three r^ments, a spy 
battalion and a detachment, was organized, the diicers of which were: 
Brigadier-General, Milton K. Alexander of Edgar County ; Aid, William 
B. Archer; Brigade Inspector, Stephen B. Shelledy; Brigade Quarter- 
master, Henry G. Smith.* 

The dficers of the First Regiment, so far as known, were : Colonel, 
James M. Blackburn; Lieutenant-Colonel, William Wyatt; Major, James 
S. Jcmes; Surgeon, J. J. Parrish; Quartermaster, Leonard B. Parker. 

It was composed of six c(Hnpanies, commanded by Captains Thomas 
B. Ross of Coles County, Royal A, Nott of Qark County and Samuel 
Brimberry, Isaac Sandford, Robert Griffin and Jonathan Mayo of Edgar 

The officers of the Second Regiment, so far as known, were: Colonel, 
Samuel Adams ; Lieutenant-Colonel, J. W. Barlow ; Major, George Bow- 
ers ; Adjutant, Samuel Dunlap ; Quartermaster, Walter L. Mayo. 

It was composed of the companies of Captains John Barnes (only one- 
half thereof, the other half being sent to Isaac Parmenter's detachment 
with the Third Regiment), Alexander M. Houston and part of William 
Highsmith's of Crawford County and John Arnold and Elias Jordan of 
Wabash County. 

The officers of the Third Regiment, so far as known, were : Colonel, 
Hosea Pearce; Lieutenant-Colonel, C. Jones; Major, William Eubanks; 
Adjutant, Isaac Parmenter; Quartermaster, John T. Hunter; Surge<Mi, 
Aaron Thrall. 

It was composed of five companies, commanded by Captains Solomon 
Hunter and Champion S. Madding from Edwards County, and John 
Haynes, William Thomas and Daniel Powell from White County. 

The officers of the Spy Battalion, so far as known, were: Major, 
William McHenry; Adjutant, Nineveh Shaw; Surgeon, George Flanagan. 

It was composed of the companies of Captains John F. Richardson 
from Qark County, Abner Greer from Lawrence County and John Mc* 
Cown from White County. 

Attached to the Third R^ment were fourteen small detachments 
commanded by Isaac Pkrmenter. 

On Monday, the i8th, the company of Capt. David Smith, Madison 

*By Col. Smlth't report, in my poMettioo, he certified that his hrlgtde wm fumithed 
from June 21 to July 10, hy U. 8. GoTemment. with six bagamge wagoni; from July 10 
to July 26 with four WMoot. ^d from the 26tb to Aug. 14 with three pack honea. 
The wagona were each drawn by two horses, and on an aTerage drew 600 pounds. Dla- 
tance traTeled, 1,200 miles. 

Digitized by 



County, First Regiment, Third Brigade, was detached to occupy the post 
at Fort Johnston. On the same day an express arrived from the Heiuier- 
soQ River which reported the murder on Bureau Creek of Elijah Phillips, 
one of a party of six who had been passing the night in the cabin of 
John L. Ament. As this murder created a great scare at the time, it may 
be well to relate the circumstances : 

Ob the 17th Phillips, Ament, J. Hodges, Sylvester Brigfaam, Aaron 
Gunn, James G. Forristall and a lad of sixteen, named Ziba Dimmick, left 
Hennepin to loc^ after cattle which had been left to run at large on 
Bureau Credc. On arriving at Ament^s cabin, a mile and a half north 
of the present site of Dover, they ate their lunch and were preparing to 
return to Hennepin, when a heavy rain set in and the party retired to the 
cabin for the night, after first securely barricading the door. 

To the west of the cabin lay the sugar camp of the Indians, which 
had for years been their headquarters. The presence of Ament in the 
country had greatly angered the Indians, and it required no great effort 
by Black Hawk's emissaries to persuade them to rid themselves 
of the presence of die hated settlers. The presence of the whites was at 
once discovered by them and during the night a cordon was formed around 
the house to ambush them the moment any of the number appeared. Mr. 
Phillips arose and left the cabin alone to look after tfie horses. Proceed- 
ing but a few feet, he walked square upon the Indians in the hazel bushes^ 
who, with deafening yells, rose and shot him. Wishing the ftdl fruition 
of their victory, they rushed upon his body to secure the scalp, but the 
other whites within, thrusting their muskets through the .chinks, fright- 
ened the Indians away. Young Dimmick vcJunteered to return to Henne- 
pin for reinforcements, a dangerous trip, but, calling a horse to him, he 
mounted, and, reaching Hennepin, was able to secure, after much per- 
suasion, some reinforcements from two companies of the rangers who 
had been discharged and were returning home. The body of Phillips was 
secured and taken to Hennepin for burial. 

On Tuesday, the 19th, Posey was ordered to draw ten days' rations 
and start for Dixon's Ferry that night or the fcJlowing morning. Major 
. Dement's battalion, however, was ordered first to scour the woods around 
the Bureau settlements to see if it could not run down the murderers of 
Phillips, and then go on to Dixon's to receive further orders from Colonel 
Taylor, who had remained at that point all the time since the discharge 
of the first levy on May 27th and 28th, with his force of regulars, which 
included Jefferson Davis, his aid, and some 200 volunteers. Just previous, 
Taylor had sent forward with Captain Snyder's company two conqwuiies 
of the r^^ars under Major Bennet Riley, to be stationed at Kellogg's 
Grove, as has been noticed before. 

Governor Reynolds had on the 12th ordered a battalion to be organ- 
ized to guard the frontiers between the Mississippi and Peoria on the 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 






Digitized by 



north of the Illinois River, and selected Samuel Bogart Major to com- 
mand the same, the name of no other officer being known. The com- 
panies, so far as can be ascertained, were those of Captains Peter Butler 
of Warren County, John W. Kenney of Rock Island, James White, Han- 
cock County, John Sain, Fulton County, William McMurtry, Knox 
County, and Asel F. Ball of Fulton County, all of which were mustered 
out September 4th and 5th at Macomb. 

The Governor also, on the 19th, appointed his staff: Aids, Alex- 
ander F. Grant of Gallatin and Benjamin F. Hickman of Franklin ; Adju- 
tant-General, Judge Theophilus W. Smith of the Supreme Court;* Pay- 
master-General, James Tumey, and Quartermaster-General, Enoch C, 

On this same day the Governor organized a battalion to guard the 
frontier between Ottawa and Chicago with the companies of Captains 
Nathaniel Buckmaster, Aaron Armstrong, James Walker, Morgan L. 

Payne, Holden Sessions and Draper, and appointed Buckmaster 

Major, and it may be said that this battalion did excellent service. With- 
out loss, it cleared its territory of the last hostile Indian, and the setttlers, 
in less than three weeks* time, were permitted to return to their homes, 
relieved of the dangers which had for so long a time compelled them to 
remain inside of forts at Chicago and Ottawa. 

At the same time Major Bailey was given command of a battalion 
and was sent to Chicago to take charge of that very important post So 
well did he manage the duties entrusted to him that he received the thanks 
of the President, Andrew Jackson. 

On die 20th Posey's Brigade marched at i o'clock, under the com- 
mand of General Hugh Brady, who took with him the two companies of 
regulars from the Cantonment of Leavenworth, under orders of Colonel 
Davenport, who was ordered to accompany the brigade and perform such 
staff duties as should be demanded of him. Lieutenant-Colonel Baker of 
the Sixth United States Infantry was assigned to comnumd the detach- 
ment of two companies. 

On the same day the Third Brigade, consisting of four regiments 
and a spy battalion, was organized, the diicers of which, so far as known, 
were: Brigadier-General, James D. Henry; Aid, Alexander P. Field;* 
Brigade Inspector, Murray McConnel; Brigade Paymaster, Cornelius 
Hook; Brigade Wagonmaster, Nathan Hussey; Assistant Brigade Quar- 
termasters, N. H. Johnston and Milton B. Roberts. 

The officers of the First Regiment, so far as known, were : Colonel, 
Samuel T. Matthews; Lieutenant-Colonel, James Gillham; Major, James 
Evans; Adjutant, William Weatherford; Surgeon, E. K. Wood; Pay- 

>8€leeted June 6, according to Wakefield. 
"Tben Secretary of State. 


Digitized by 



master, Alexander Beall; Quartermaster's Sergeant, Nathan Hart; Sur- 
geon's Mate, Milton K. Branson. 

It was "composed of six companies, commanded by Captains David 
Smith of Madison County, detailed as stated, William Gillham,* William 
Gordon, George F. Bristow, J. T. Amett and Walter Butler of Morgan 

The dficers of the Second Regiment, so far as known, were: 
Colonel, Jacob Fry; Lieutenant-Colonel, Jeremiah Smith; Major, Benja- 
min James; Adjutant, John CMelvany; Paymaster, Benjamin Bond; 
Quartermaster, C. V. Halsted; Surgeon, William H. Terrell; Surgeon's 
Mate, J. B. Logan; Hospital Steward, John Hawthorne. 

It was composed of five companies, commanded by Captains Hiram 
Roundtree of Montgomery Coimty; James Kincaid, Gershom Patterson 
(the first captain, Alexander Smith having resigned July 15), Aaron 
Bannon of Greene County and Thomas Stout of Bond County. 

The <^cers of the Third Regiment, so far as known, were: Colonel, 
Gabriel Jones ; Lieutenant-Colonel, Sidney Breese ; Major, John D. Wood ; 
Adjutant, David Baldridge; Paymaster, Martin W. Doris; Quartermas- 
ter's Sergeant, Joseph Orr; Sergeant-Major, John Hawthorn. 

It was composed of six companies, commanded by Captains Andrew 
Bankson of Qinton County, William Adair of Perry County, Josiah S. 
Briggs, James Thompson and James Connor of Randolph (Connor's 
company was first conmianded by Jacob Feaman, who resigned July 2Sth) 
and James Bums of Washington County. 

T. W. Smith was first elected Lieutenant-Colonel, and Sidney Breese, 
Major, of the Third R^ment, but upon the appointment of Smith to be 
Adjutant-General, Major Breese was promoted.* 

The officers of the Fourth Regiment, so far as known, were : Colonel, 
James Collins; Lieutenant-Colonel, Powell H. Sharp; Major, William 
Miller; Adjutant, Dr. E. H. Merriman; Surgeon's Mate, John Wamsing. 

It was composed of six companies, commanded by Captains Bennett 
Nowlen of Macoupin County, Ozias Hale of Pike County, Jesse Claywdl, 

^Henry 8. Biggs, a privato In GUlham^s company, who still Htcs at LymiYille, In Morgan 
County, has gixen the march of his company and of Capt Gordon's as follows : ''We first 
met at a farm near Bzeter, and encamped the first night on the bank of the MaoTalsterre. 
northeast of JaduonTille. We then marched in a northeasterly direction and ferded the 
Sangamon BiTer near Petersburg. The journey across couitry to the Tidnity of Ottawa* 
and later Bock Island, occupied a week, and a detachment of one company was left at 
Ft Wilbonm. At this point there were, besides the whites, a good many friendly Indians 
who needed or desired our protection. I was one of those left on goard at the fort, so did not 
take part in any of the skirmishes with the Indians. Black Hawk and his brayes were so 
far ontnnmbered that they knew the folly of continued resistance, but in the final struggle 
seventeen whites were killed and the Indian loss was heavy. Peace was finally declared, 
and when the Tolunteers returned to their homes they had been in the service Just 104 
days. For this campaign each man furnished his own horse and weap<m and the greater 
part of his ammunition." 

*Wakefield, p. 81, is authority for the statement that the regiment reached Beards- 
town June 8, elected ofllcers, and that T. W. Smith was made a staC oflloer June 0, 
and that the march was taken up on the 6th for Ft Wilboum, where HaJ. (Ber.) Horn 
had stored previsions. 

Digitized by 


W. L. MAYO. 




Digitized by 






Digitized by 



Reuben Brown* and Thomas MoflFett of Sangamon County and Henry L. 
Webb of Alexander County. 

The officers of the Spy Battalion, so far as known, were: Major, 
William L. D. Ewing; Paymaster, Frederick Remann; Quartermaster, 
David H. Moore; Surgeon, John Allan Wakefield; Quartermaster's Ser- 
geant, Alanson Powell. It was composed of the companies of Captains 
Allan F. Lindsay of Morgan County and Samuel Huston of Fayette 

On the 2 1 St Brady was ordered to take command of the forces at 
Dixon's when he arrived there, but before starting out he was to detail ten 
men from each brigade for duty with the convoys of wagons, which said 
detail was to report daily to Col. E. C. March, Quartermaster-General. 

At 2 o'clock of the same day Alexander's Brigade started for Dixon's 
Ferry, after receiving General Order No. 41 : 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 
"Rapids of the Illinois, 20 June, 1832. 

"The movement of the mounted volunteers on the march, whether in division 
or brigade, will be in columns tyy heads of regiments or battalions. An advance 
fiank and rear guard will be constantly thrown out on the march ; its distance from 
the main body will be regulated according to the nature of the ground, hy the 
officer of the day, under the direction of the commander or senior officer present. 
Should the troops be attacked in front, flank and rear on the march, the line would 
be formed in either direction by regiments on foot previously named (as will also 
the reserve in either case). The form of the encampment will be a square. The 
troops having occupied the ground designated for the encampment will remain 
on horseback until the guard is posted, when the order to dismount will be given 
tyy a signal, and tents pitched; the train of wagons will then go formed in line 
within a square, in rear of the line of tents. The horses will be grazed until night, 
when, at a given signal, to be given for that purpose, they will be picketed in lines 
in the area within the line of wagons. 

"The fires will be at least forty yards in front of the line of tents. Should the 
camp be attacked, the line will be formed on foot inmiediately in front of the line 
of tents. 

"It is of the utmost importance that the ammunition should not he wasted. 
The commanders of brigades will see that the greatest care is taken of that issued 
to their respective commands. 

"A. S. Johnston, A. D. C, A. A A General" 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

„-, - .- "Foot of the Rapids of the Illinois, June 21, 1832. 

Urder Na 43. 

"In organizing the Third Brigade of Illinois Volunteers, the Commanding Gen- 
eral orders as follows, to- wit: That Captain Jones' company of volunteers from 
Randolph County be and is hereby attached to the Third Regiment of said brigade. 
Captain Smith's company of said Third Regiment is transferred to and is attadied 
to the First Regiment of said brigade, to which is also attached Captain Matthews' 

The great pioneer If etbodltt preacher, Peter Cartwriglit, was a private in Brown's 

Digitized by 



oompany of voltmteer in^try. Captain Matthews' company of infantry being 
stationary, the equipments belonging to said company will be turned over to G>Ionel 
Fry, and the necessary receipts taken for the same. The equipments drawn by 
Colonel Matthews at this place will be turned over to Colonel Collins. The regi* 
ment under Colonel Matthews is assigned to duty on this immediate frontier, and 
will garrison Forts Ottoway and Wilboum, two companies to be stationary at the 
latter post The residue to be stationed at Fort Ottoway for its garrison and for 
succoring the frontier and scouring the neighboring country. From two to three 
companies will generally be kept out for the latter purpose. The security of the 
public property at the forts above mentioned is confided to the commanding officer 
of the regiment 

"A. S. Johnston^ A. D. C, A. A. A. GeneraL" 

The following independent companies, reporting direct to General 
Atkinson, joined the new levies to do scouting duty : Jacob M. Earle/s, 
of which Abraham Lincoln was a private, Alexander M. Jenkins' and B. 
B. Craig's. 

Digitized by 


iAI'T. A, M. mNKINB. 



DR. J. B. LOrtAN. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 



March to Dixon's Ferry — Major Dementis Battle. 

It has already been stated that Major Dement's battalkm was ordered, 
on detached service. Following is a copy of his order : 

''Headquarters, Army of the Frontier^ 
"Order No. 37. "Rapids of the Illinois, 18 June, iSs2. 

"Major Dement's Battalion of Volunteers will be prepared for detached service 
as early to-morrow morning as practicaUe, supplied with provisions for ten diqrs. 
Major Dement will make a requisition on the ordnance officer for ammunition for 
his command, and repott to the commanding general for instructions relative to the 
service to be performed. 

"A. S. Johnston, A. D. C, A. A. A. General" 

Pursuant to these orders, Major Dement called on General Atldnsoa 
and was directed to detach his battalion from Pose/s Brigade, scour the 
Bureau woods to find, if possible, the murderers of Phillips, and then 
go on to Colonel Taylor at Dixon's and report the depredations committed 
by the Indians, so far as he could learn them. 

Eiarly the following morning Major Dement mardied for Henderson 
Creek, where he thoroughly scoured the woods, only to find that the Indians 
had crossed the Mississippi and escaped every eflfort that might be made 
to punish them. Concluding this very tedious duty, the battalion, after a 
weary march through portions of the Winnebago swamps, high credcs 
and through pouring rains, reached Dixon's Ferry on the night of the 
22d, just after Major Bennet Riley's two companies of r^^ulars had re- 
turned from their eflforts to keep open the road between Dixon's and 

'Colonel Taylor met Dement when he arrived, and informed him that 
his arrival was opportune, that he had just the place for him, and directed 
him to swim Ins horses across the river eariy to receive his orders. In 
Major Dement's co^nmand were men who had held nearly every office in 
the State, from Governor down, and Taylor's abrupt manner, if displayed 
before the troops, would not be calculated to promote the dispatch re- 

>MaJ. Dement*! nanmUTe, in my po w e w ion. 


Digitized by 



quired, and which Taylor was in the habit of receiving; in fact. Major 
Dement felt that he could not, in justice to his relations with the men and 
bis future comfort, repeat the orders given, at least verbatim; there- 
fore he requested Taylor to read or deliver them personally. 

The njen, fatigued from their long march, expected a short respite 
when they reached the river, and were not in good humor. 

Taylor had consented personally to deliver his orders, and promptly 
at daylight he was rowed to the south side of the river, where the men were 
formed in line, awaiting his approach. Taylor was nothing if not pictur- 
esque, and in the delivery of those orders his speech and actions were cal- 
culated to perpetuate his reputation ; they amounted to a speech^ in fact. 
He raked the Illinois militia fore and aft, virtually accusing them of 
cowardice, and finally concluding with these words :^ ''You are citizen 
soldiers and some of you may fill high offices, or even be President some 
day, but never unless you do your duty. Forward 1 March 1" Prophetic 
words 1 He became President, and Jefferson Davis, his aid, was present. 
Abraham Lincoln, the second President to be elected from that little army, 
arrived the third time upon the scene, soon after, with Henry's Brigade. 

Taylor's remarks, just as Major Dement had divined, evdced a storm 
of passion, smothered, 'tis true, but the men were almost ready to fight 
Taylor rather than obey him. Major Dement had foreseen the unfortu- 
nate consequences and was prepared to propitiate the angry militia by 
replying with spirit, to the eflfect that the default of the militia had been 
grossly exaggerated, concluding with these words : "Sir, your allusicMis 
are tmjust and entirely tmcalled for from a man who, with the experience 
of the regular army, would intrench himself behind walls (Fort Dixon) 
and send to the front men who had never seen service. Men ! You need 
not obey his orders. Obey mine and follow me,*' and then, wheeling, he 
swam his horse across the river, the men following, with one exception, 
in good humor, with a commander who did not fear "Old Rough and 
Ready." Colonel Taylor saw the point in an instant, and after Major 
Bement rejoined him at Fort Koshkonong he said he told the story to 
his brother officers at Fort Dixon, who roared with laughter. 

"The battalion reached Kellogg's "old place" that night, Saturday, the 
23d, and enjoyed Sunday in hunting. On the night of Stmday, the 24th, a 
Mr. Funk of McLean County, on his way from Galena to DixcHi's, stopped 
at Kellogg's and informed Major Dement that he had seen a large party of 
Indians passing near them, and that without doubt a very large band of 
the enemy was then close by. Major Demenf s command contained not 
one-half the estimated number of the enemy, and, to meet the emergency, 

'History of Lee County, p. 249, Ed. 1893. CoL Whittlesey's NsmUre, 10 Wis. Hist 
collections, i». 177. 

^Reynolds* *'My Own Times," p. 888. 

Digitized by 






Digitized by 


Digitized by 



he called a council of war in the night to decide on a plan of action, and 
this plan, when fully matured, was given to the men in detail. 

At daylight of the 25th Major Dement called for twenty-five volun- 
teers to reconnoiter, and these instantly responded and moved out 7^st 
as Major Dement and Governor Zadock Casey were mounting their 
horses an express came in from the advance party, informing them that 
three or four Indians were seen on the prairie. This information operated 
like an electric shock on the men, and the orders, so carefuly elaborated, 
were cast to the winds as one and all, regardless of order, security, ex- 
perience or common sense, dashed after the reported Indians helter- 
skelter. Though Dement tried times without number, at the risk of his 
life, to bring the troops oflF in good order, his efforts were unavailing. 
Refusing to learn from the experience of Stillman, the foremost men 
dashed headlong on to some timber where Dement had surmised the 
enemy was concealed. He shouted to his men to beware, but once more 
old Black Hawk's videttes decoyed the whites to destruction. About four 
hundred yards from Kellogg^s, Major Dement halted and formed a line to 
await the charge he was positive would follow, and he had not long to 
wait. Stillman's fight was to be duplicated in large measure, and by Black 
Hawk, too, for he was personally leading his men. Just as the whites 
neared the edge of the timber, the enemy opened a galling fire, which 
killed two men and wotmded a third; then, with hideous yells, a large 
force poured from the grove to the right and left, to flank the little band 
about Major Dement. The Indians, all well motmted, were stripped to 
the skin and painted. As they reached the bodies of the dead soldiers they 
clubbed, scalped and otherwise mutilated them in the usual way. 

Major Dement stood his ground, firing volley after volley with deadly 
effect into the advancing ranks of the enemy, but the Indians continued to 
pour from the timber until the whites realized that delay in their perilous 
position meant wilful death. Then they wheeled about, and a most excit- 
ing race for life began, with the Indians on both flanks fighting at every 
step and gaining at every foot of the chase. Then happened a melancholy 
event. Three men, whose horses had strayed away during the night, had 
early in the morning started in search of them, and, returning, were 
caught in one of the flanks of the enemy, who swept over and killed them 
in an instant, after which every man was Stalped, but, to their everlasting 
honor, no three men ever sold their lives at heavier cost to the enemy than 
they, for five dead Indians were found close to their own bodies. 

During this tragic respite. Major Dement rallied a few men about 
him and made another stand to give the shrieking savages battle, but it 
was momentary only; the men caught but a sight of die returning enemy 
and abandoned their intrepid little commander to his fate. At the last and 
supreme moment he dashed to cover and only reached it by a neck. 

iReynoldi, 890. 

Digitized by 



In this engagement Governor Casey's horse was badly wounded and hia 
escape was made only after a terrific fight with the enemy. Reaching Kel- 
logg'Sy the men sprang from their horses and occupied the log house and 
bam. On the least exposed side of the house was a workbench, over which 
Major Dement threw his bridle, and shot through an open window ; into 
this same partially sheltered place the horses instinctively huddled. 

As the Indians swarmed into the grove and covered themselves bdiind 
trees, portholes were made m the chinks of the log buildings and the best 
shots were detailed to pick oflf the Indians who might expose themselves, 
but very few of them were so rash. For many hours the garrison was 
stormed, it being apparently the determination of Black Hawk to extermi- 
nate the battalion to the last man, as he assailed it again and again, the 
Indians becoming finally careless of their security as the assault progressed. 
Making no impression on the besieged, the enemy finally began the merci- 
less butchery of the horses, killing above twenty-five in their savage rage. 

The reinforcements sent for were, fortunately, near at hand, for 
Posey's Brigade had that very morning been ordered to march, and was 
then actually in motion for Kellogg's Grove, on its way to Fort Hamilton 
to join General Dodge. The Indians finally retired, leaving nine dead on 
the field, and escaped with others, before the arrival of Posey, who had met 
Lieut Trammel Ewing, who, though shot through the thigh, had offered 
to start for Dixon's for reinforcements and had met Posey* north of Buffalo 
Grove. When he delivered his dispatches to General Posey that officer 
hastened to the scene with incredible swiftness, while Lieutenant Ewing 
journeyed on to Dixon to carry the news. 

The killed, whose names have been left to us, were William Allen, 
James Black, James B. Band and Abner Bradford, the wounded being 
Lieut. Trammel Ewing and Marcus Randolph, while Major Dement had 
holes shot through his hat and coat 

Black Hawk, in his autobiography, Second Ed., p. 104, in noticing 
this battle and Major Dement, used the following language : 

''The chief, who seemed to be a small man, addressed his warriors in a loud 
voice, but they soon retreated, leaving him and a few braves on the battlefield. 

''A great number of my warriors pursued the retreating party and killed a 
number of their horses as th^ ran. 

"The chief and a few of his braves were unwilling to leave the field. I 
ordered my braves to rush upon them, and had the mortification of seeing two 
of my chiefs killed before the enemy retreated. 

''The young chief deserves great praise for his courage and bravery, but, for* 
tunately for us, his army was not all composed of such brave men." 

When Colonel Taylor so soundly berated the militia. Major Dement 
knew as well as any man that every word was true, but the time for the 
address was inopportune, and, further, if the correction was to be expected 

'Journal of A. 8. Johniton. 

Digitized by 



from any source, he believed it should have emanated from an officer of the 
militia, but when he saw his men, contrary to orders, rushing headlong 
on to an ambush, and then rushing headlong back again, his heart rankled 
with indignation, and he almost regretted having resented Taylor's animad* 
versions. In fact, when he finally reached Hamilton's fort, where the 
question arose of turning Posey's conmiand over to Dodge, Major Dement 
cried :* "He will lead us to victory and retrieve for us the honors we have 
lost at Stillman's Run and at Kellogg^s Grove," and, failing in the election 
of Dodge over Posey, he* resigned and fought the remainder of the cam- 
paign with another brigade. 

But a man was soon to rise who, when these independent militia 
disturbers, with their usual tactics of insubordination, attempted again, at 
a crucial moment, to obstruct the orders of their superiors, crushed them 
into obedience with an iron hand, and that man's name was James D. 
Henry, the towering genius of the Black Hawk war. 

'SaltWf '*Life #f Henry Dodge/* p. 44. 

Digitized by 



Murders Near Ottawa — Posey^s Division Ordered Forward— Alex- 
ander's I>ivisioN Ordered to Plum River— Henry's Division, 
WITH Regulars, Moved. 

At 12 o'clock of the 23d General' Henr/s Brigade mardied for 
Dixon's Ferry with General Atkinson, camping for the night eight miles 
out. About 7 o'clock of the 24th they resumed the march, camping for the 
second night at the "Winnebago Inlet," twelve miles from Dixon's. 

On the morning of the 25th, Atkinson and staff pushed forward, 
escorted by Capt. Stephen H. Webb's company of regulars, and readied 
Dixon's by 10 o'clock. General Henry's Brigade reaching the same point 
at 10 that evening. As before stated, Posey's Brigade was early this mom* 
ing detached by General Brady from this post, with orders to report to 
General Dodge at Fort Hamilton, and was safely on the march when 
Atkinson arrived, fortunately meeting Lieutenant Ewing north of Buffalo 
Grove as the latter was making for Dixon's for reinforcements. 

Ewmg's statement on reaching Dixon's, that many fresh trails indi- 
cated the presence of large numbers of Indians in the party making 
westerly to escape bey<Mid the Mississippi, caused Atkinson to at once 
detach Alexander's Brigade with orders to march«to the mouth of Plum 
River to intercept such escape if possible, and, unless otherwise ordered, to 
return to Dixon's. Accordingly, the brigade moved at 6:30 the following 

Very soon after its departure an express brought news of the mur* 
der, on Fox River, of two citizens employed in conducting a wagon ; also 
of the death of one of Captain McFadden's men in an expedition, June 24, 
on Indian Creek, the details of which Hon. George M. Hollenback has 
kindly furnished me : 

'The last depredations committed by the Indians in this vicinity were done on 
a Sunday, about the last of June. Upon that day, a mounted detachment, numbering 
about 150 men, under Captain Arnett, left Ottawa for the purpose of proceeding 
to the Hollenback settlement and collecting and driving to a place of safety the 
settlers' stock. 

"About the time tiie detachment left, somethmg happened to one of the men 
which delayed him a few minutes, when he proceeded to rejoin the rest of the men. 

Digitized by 



Upon his way, he fell in with two men named Schermcrhom and Hazelton, in 
a wagon, following up the detadiment, in order to visit their homes not far distant 
from the old Mission, and were, as they supposed, perfectly secure. 

"The party had reached a place not far from William L. Dunnivan's, when 
they were fired upon, and both men in the wagon were killed; the soldier on 
horseback escaping. An Indian threw a spear at him as he turned to flee, cutting 
in its flight some of the mane from the horse, just in front of the rider. He 
immediately returned to Ottawa, and procuring sufficient reinforcements, returned 
to the scene, and found the dead bodies of the men, which were taken to Ottawa 
for burial. The detadiment had heard the firing a mile or so in the rear, but 
thought nothing of it until the killing was subsequently learned. During the after- 
noon of the same day the other tragedy was enacted on the west side of Fox River, 
near Indian Creek. 

"On that day, four of McFadden's company. Captain George McFadden himself 
and two brothers. Third Corporal Ezekiel, and Daniel Warren, and Private James 
Beresford left Ottawa and proceeded up the west side of Fox River, near Beresford's 
hcmie, in search of strawberries. They were in fine spirits and it was Bcresford's 
twenty-first birthday. 

"They presently dismounted and, after picking strawberries until they were 
satisfied, proceeded to remount, which all did save Beresford, who was in the act 
when they were fired upon by Indians. This so frightened Beresford's horse that 
he could not remount, and he broke and ran, leaving him helpless to escape. The 
volley was effective upon McFadden, he receiving a ball through the ankle, which 
at the same time mortally wounded his horse, which, after running nearly four 
miles, dropped dead. The Warrens escaped, but poor Beresford, when last seen 
by his companions, was fleeing for his life, with the Indians in close pursuit. His 
fate was ever veiled in mystery, for no friendly eye ever rested on him afterward. 
His death and the manner of it were, of course, unknown." 

Brady had been given his choice, whether to command the 
First and Second Brigades or the Third, with the regulars. He chose the 
latter, and at noon of the 28th marched with them up the left bank of 
Rock River, making twelve miles that afternoon and halting for the nigfit. 
Before moving, Orders 44, 45, 46 and 47 were issued, as follows : 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

"Order No. 44. "^^"^'^ ^'''^' ^ J""*" ^^^ 

"The combined army of regular and volunteer troops, comprising the force 
under the Commanding General, is organized as follows in the following manner: 
"The First and Second Brigades of Volunteers constitute the first division 
under the senior Brigadier^ thereof, when acting in conjunction, and the brigade 
of regular tro<^s and the Third Brigade of Volunteers constitute the second 
division under the orders of Bjigadier-General Brady, and the whole under the 
immediate orders of the Commanding General. 

"One company of regular troops, or a detail of that strength, and one company 
of mounted men of the Third Brigade, with the dismounted men of the brigade of 
volunteers, will remain at this post and constitute its garrison. The detail of regu- 
lar troops for this duty to be made t^ Colonel Taylor, and the volunteer company 
for the same service by Brigadier-General Henry. The duty hereby required is 


Digitized by 



of the most honorable and important nature, and will, it is hoped by the Com- 
manding General, be embraced by those detailed with cheerftdness. After fifteen 
or twenty days, the volunteer company thus detailed may be relieved by another 
company from the same brigade, or from some other brigade, as the Commanding 
General may direct 

"The brigade of regular troops, and the Third Brigade of Volunteers, will hold 
themselves in readiness to move at a moment's notice. The regular troops are to 
fill their haversacks with provisions for the march, and the Third Brigade of Voltm* 
teers will complete its supply of provisions, in addition to what it has on hand, to 
fifteen days' ratons per man. Each will draw a full supply of ammunition." 

''Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

„^ . ^. "Dixon's Ferry, 26 June, 1833, 

"Order No. 45. ^» ^ u- 

"Lieutenant Bowman,* of the Illinois Volunteers, will march this evening with 
a detachment of seventeen men to Kellogg's Grove for the purpose of protecting 
the provisions at that place. Lieut. Bowman is charged with the defense of the 
station, and will be ob^ed and respected by the officers and men left by General 
Posey in charge. He will return to this place early in the morning." 

On the 28th final prq)arations were made for caring for the frontier 
in the absence of the army and arranging for the departure of the troops 
at an early mcnnent, as will be seen by the following order: 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

"Order No. ^ "^'''^'' ^^"^- =* ^"^^ ^^^ 

"Lieutenant Holmes, Asst. Com. Sub., is charged with procuring and furnish- 
ing the army with such further supplies of provisions as may be requisite. Re 
will station himself at this post, visiting Forts Wilboum and Galena, if it should 
be necessary, or other points where the nature of his duties may call him. The 
staff of the Commissariat attached to the Army of the Frontier will be subject 
to the orders of Lieut Holmes. Lieut Gardenier of the First Infantry, now at 
Galena, will act as Asst. Com. Sub. at that place, take charge of such provisions 
as may be sent to that post, and make issue to such volunteer troops as have been 
enrolled and mustered into the service, and when there is a deficiency, make 
purchases to meet emergencies. He will send an express to Fort Crawford, with 
a request that the Commanding Officer there will send from the depot at that 
place, to Galena, aoo barrels of fk)ur and 150 barrels of pork, and hire transporta- 
tion for the same. Ueut. Gardenier will procure, if practicable, a steamboat at 
Galena to go up for it, in preference to any other mode of transportation. 

"In addition to the supply of provisions expected from Fort Wilboum, by the 
teams now gone for it, Lieut Holmes will cause an equal quantity, or more, to 
be brought to this place without delay. Escorts to the wagons will be furnished 
hj the Commanding Officers at Ottoway and this place when called on by Lieut 
Holmes. Lieut Grossman, Asst. Quartermaster, will remain in this district of 
country and attend to the disbursements of all expenses which may be necessarily 
incurred in the Quartermaster's Department" 

At this period George E, Walker called at headquarters to report the 
presence at the mouth of Sycamore Creek of Shabbona, Gildwdl and 

>2d Lt Samuel Bowman of Capt Qerthom Patterson*! Company, who wai klUed at 
the Battle of the Bad Axe, Aug. 2. 

Digitized by 



others, who at Fort Wilboum had signified a willingness to command a 
force of Pottowatomies, and desired a detachment to meet and confer with 
them at that point. Accordingly, the final order issued at Dixon's was 
promulgated : 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

"Order No. 47. "^''°"'* ^^"^' "^ ^""*' '^^ 

"General Henry will detach Colonel Fry, with his regiment, this morning, to the 
mouth of Sycamore Creek, where Caldwell and several of the principal men of ^e 
Pottawattomies, with 75 warriors, are encamped, waiting to join the army to co- 
operate with us against the Sac Indians. The object of the movement is to give 
countenance to the party under Caldwell till the main army comes up, whidi will 
move to-day as early as practicable. Col. Fry will, of course, use the necessary 
precautions for the security of his command." 

On the 29th Atkinson and staflf moved from Dixon's Ferry, reaching 
Stillman^s battlefield that evening, where they camped — as stated by Albert 
Sidney Johnston in his journal — a distance of six miles from the "Syca- 
more Creek, or Kishwaukee, where Colonel Fry's Regiment is now en- 
camped." Four miles were made June 30th, Atkinson resting on Rock 
River for the day.* On the ist of July seven more miles were made in 
the forenoon, the army stopping for the night in the fork of Turtle Creek 
and Rock River, just above the mouth of Turtle Creek.* 

Lack of water was felt the following day for the first time, and after 
a severe march, on the 2d, the army camped above and near the mouth of 
"the river of the Four Lakes,*' on the banks of a large pond, the first water 
to be found after a march of five hours. 

About 10 o'clock of the 3d, scouts brought in news of a deserted 
Indian camp, broken up three nights before, which gave signs of the recent 
burial of five Indians. Several scalps and many feathers were also left 
there. The division halted at "Lake Koshkonong, or Mud Lake," a large 
body of water formed by the widening or enlargement of Rock River. 
Trails were everywhere abtmdant, but no enemy was in sight, nor was his 
position then conjectured. 

At night Captains Gordon and Menard arrived from Alexander's 
command, which had steadily moved thence from the mouth of Plum 
River, with word that it was marching to form a junction with Atkinson's 

On the 4th the old reliable and ever-ready Colonel Fry was sent 
forward with his regiment and several other independent companies to 
reconnoiter both sides of the river, but, notwithstanding the utmost vigi- 
lance, the shadowy enemy was nowhere to be found. Early in the day 
Captain Briggs was dispatched with a detachment to reach Alexander, then 

>It has been said he crossed the boundary line between Illinois and the present state 
of Wisconsin on this day, at a point where the Turtle Village was located, where Belolt 
now stands. Wakefield, p. 4. Thwaltee, 82. Ford, 81. Moses, 872. But I quote John* 
ston's Journal, written on the day and on the spot 

•A. S. Johnston's JounAl. 

Digitized by 



twenty miles distant, and urge that officer to lose no time in joining 
Atkinson at that point, which he did during the afternoon. 

At I o'clock one of Briggs' men returned and reported an crfd blind 
Sac at the deserted camp, who was brought jrf and gave information which 
was not believed. Investigation was made in the vicinity of the "Lake 
we live on" and trails of Indians who had three or four days' advance were 
discovered to lead to the northwest. At this point General Dodge's ap- 
proach was noticed, "with a strong force from the Four Lakes."* 

Again on the Sth the regiments of Colonel Fry and Colonel Jones were 
detailed to scout the west side of the river and discover, if possible, the 
route and position of the enemy. For fifteen miles they advanced through 
mires and undergrrowth, until, becomii^ satisfied that he had moved up 
the river a considerable distance, they returned, meeting Posey and 
Dodge's brigades encamped on the west side of the lake, ten miles from 

Provisions were becoming scarce by reason of the usual wastefulness 
of the volunteers, who still continued their disobedient and independent 
tactics, and Atkinson, becoming alarmed, issued general order No. 48: 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

itr^ J VT o "Camp on Cooshkenong Lake, $ July, 1832. 

Order No. 48. 

"The Commanding General has been disappointed in not finding, on his arrival 
at this place (day before yesterday), the enemy, who had occupied a strong posi- 
tion in the immediate neighborhood for the last six weeks, and which it was 
understood he would not abandon without a struggle. He has, however, retreated 
precipitately in various directions with a view, it is thought, of concentrating at 
some more favorable point not remote from us, where he will make a stand on 
the defense. Hence it is necessary that the greatest vigilance should be observed, 
and the Commanding General therefore calls upon the officers and men composing 
this command to observe and enforce the strictest obedience of orders and discipline, 
and he admonishes every soldier against the smallest waste of the provisions issued 
to him, as a contrary course will certainly subject him to suffering and want, 
detached as we all are at a distance from our depots. 

"It is not at all improbable but we shall come in conflict with the enemy in 
a day or two. On such an occasion it is only necessary for the troops to be firm. 
If they stand, and more particularly if they advance upon the enemy, success is 

"The several corps and brigades will be in readiness to move to-naorrow 

Superior officers seemed not to know how to manage the men, all of 
whom had votes they dared not antagonize at home, and here, surrounded 
with swamps, provisions scarce and no enemy in sight, with a remarkable 
spirit of procrastination rampant, the capture of Black Hawk seemed ex- 

^Ford ttates that this old Indian was put to death by a later detachment, bat that 
is a mistake. 

'Johnston's Journal. 

Digitized, by 



tremely remote. While it was the boast of the army of volunteers that it 
contained the leading spirits of the state, we are forced to the conclusion 
that it had been much better for the state and the reputation of the army 
if there had been in it and commanding fewer judges of the Supreme 
Court, members of Congress and candidates for various other offices, and 
more of such men as Henry and Dodge. 

Digitized by 




Alexander and Dodge Detached to Move to Fort Winnebago- 
Posey Sent to Fort Hamilton — ^Disintegration of the Army 
— ^Alexander's Return. 

Alexander tnardied to the mouth of Plum River, found no Indians to 
intercept, and, receiving orders to meet the right wing at Lake Koshko- 
nong, marched thence and joined Atkinson. Posey, after reinfordng Major 
Dement, marched on to Fort Hamilton, as ordered, and there joined 
Dodge's Battalion, June 28, with orders for both, under Posey's command,* 
to join the right wing on the Koshkonong. This order provoked jealousy 
and a storm of protests broke out against Posey. Dodge conceived a poor 
opinion of him. He was admitted all round to be a fine gentleman, affable, 
upright and well disposed, but to lack energy and atnlity to maintain 
discipline, which rendered his men insubordmate and disorderly.* The 
miners to a man demanded that they be joined to either the brigade of 
Henry or Alexander, which brought about conditions likely to result in 
complete disorganization. Major Dement, after the disobedience of his 
own men, was particularly vehement in demanding the substitution *of 
Dodge for Posey.* Dodge answered the request to accept the command 
with the reply that he would not accept it without election to it by the men. 
Accordingly, a vote was taken, at which, by the fidelity of his old men, 
Posey was re-elected to command by a small majority. 

Gen. George W. Jones has described that election and his letter was 
published on page 54 of William Salter's "Life of Henry Dodge :" 

"On our arrival at the encampment. Col. Dodge refused to* assume command 
unless the volunteers would elect him as their commander, over their own general, 
although Col. Davenport of the U. S. Army, was present, under orders from Gen. 
Atkinson, to make the transfer or substitution in the command. All of the volun- 
teers were entire strangers to Col. Dodge. At his request, they were drawn 

VThwaltes, 'The Black Hawk War,*' p. 88. 

•Peter Parklnsoii, VoL 2. Wla. Hlat. Colli., p. 405. 

•Dement't grlevanca began when, after his tiattle and the reanmptlon of the march 
for Fort Hamilton, Poser enconntered fresh trails on the first day ont and. Instead of 
following them to a possible fight, returned to Kellofls*s and there camped ontll the next 
d^, to^*awalt the baggage Vagons," as claimed by Wakefield on p. 80. :^Dteient charged 
this as an act of cowardice^ 


Digitized by 



up Into a hollow square, when he addressed them, and was followed by Geo. 
Pos^, who appealed to his old neighbors not to desert and disgrace him. His 
entreaties had the desired effect" 

At this point, we are told by Wakefield, Major Dement resigned his 

Dodge's command now consisted of five mounted companies, com* 
manded by Captains D. M. Parkinson, James H. Gentry, George W. Jones, 
Joseph Dickson and Qark — two hundred men in all. 

On July 2d the forces marched from F(Mt Hamilton, , crossing the 
East Pecatonica, then much swollen, by swimming the horses and rafting 
the baggage and provisions, and camping at a point subsequently called 
Argyle. The night of the 3d the divisicm camped at Devee's old smdting 
works on Sugar River, near Exeter, at which point Stephenson, witfi his 
Galena company, and Colonel Hamilton, with his company of Indians, 
joined them. The night of the 4^1 was spent in a wilderness between 
Exeter and Rode River, where the present township of Or^^on may be 
said to lie, and where the Winnebago chief, White Crow,^ with a band of 
some thirty Indians, joined the division. Here also Stephenson was elected 
Lieutenant-Colonel of Dodge's forces, and he was detached to do all the 
scouting duty for the diviskm. 

Passing along as rapidly as the country permitted, the division spent 
the night of the 5th on a sandy ridge ten or twelve miles west from Atkin- 
son's camp, and on the 6th on Rock River opposite Atkinson, where and 
when Order 49 was issued : 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

„^ . .. "On Lake Cooshkenong, 6 Jtily, 1832. 

"Order No. 49. -ot ^ v» •^ 

"General Alexander will move with his brigade this morning across Rode 
River and join General Dodge and co-operate with him and the troops under hii 
command against the enemy atx>ve this lake. On Gen. Alexander joining the 
troops on the opposite side of the lake. Gen. Posey will march with his com- 
mand across Rode River, bdow the lake, and jom the Commandmg General abovt 
this point Gen. Alexander will call on the Commanding General for special in- 

This order effectually settled the controversy between Dodge's men 
and the Illinois troops, which never should have been raised, for Posey had 
many soldierly qualities, as good as any Dodge possessed 

The troops now moved, Alexander widi Dodge on the west bank of 
Rock River, Brady's on the east, which marched five miles to the Burnt 
Village, at the junction of the Rock River with Bark River,* and to whidi 
point Posey rapidly followed. 

'Daring this march White Crow offtr«d to condaet Potoy and Dodge with a Um 
followers to Black Hawk's camp which was singularly stronf, and had tho ofllcen gone 
certain death had followed. Thla conclnslTelj prored that White Cloud designedly sooght 
to hare the party annlhllatdd. 

*Wakefleld, 4S. ICoeet, STS. Brown, 868. JonrnaU A. 8. Johaptoo. 


Digitized by 



At 9 o'clock of the 7th Atkinson crossed a deep, b<^^ creek, one 
mile above the encampment, and reached a branch of the White Water at 
noon, but as no ford could be found it was decided to march nine miles 
up and cross a credc said to be there. After four nwles' march Atkinson 
halted and camped, Posey and Alexander joining later and camping in the 
same place. 

Captain Dunn, who was officer of the day on the 7th, was accidentally 
wounded by a sentinel, as was then thought, fatally. 

On the 8th the one-eyed Winnebago chief, Decori,* came into camp 
and informed Atkinson that Black Hawk was camped lower down the 
river,* whereupon a council of war was called to consider further move- 

A moment's reflection ^ould have exploded this ridiculous state- 
ment, because Fry, Jones, Early and other independent companies had 
explored every foot of debatable country in the vicinity named. 

At this council Governor Reynolds urged Atkinson to move on up 
without delay, before Black Hawk could evacuate his present position 
and flee to the west, but to none of his appeals would the commanding 
general listen. He averred that his artillery had not then reached him, 
and without it he could do nothing, therefore did he not only decline to 
push forward, but he ordered the army to fall back to the Burnt Village at 
the mouth of the White Water for a base.* There Early returned from an- 
other scout and reported the main trail of the Indians, not two hours old, to 
be three miles beyond. Early next morning detachments marched for the 
trail, only to find, after fifteen miles' march, that Early had been wrong. 
Reynolds insisted that another day would bring them to Black Hawk's 
camp, and, as subsequent events demonstrated, the Governor was correct. 
As a matter of fact, Atkinson was upon the wrong side of the river to 
successfully reach Black Hawk. 

Further reconnoisances made by Early's company and other detach- 
ments demonstrated conclusively, and with no delay, that the Indian 
Decori had deliberately fabricated the story, to allow Black Hawk a 
respite for retreat to the Mississippi. The 8th and most of the 9th were 
spent in these fruitless scouting expeditions through impassable under- 
brush and bogs, morasses and over "trembling lands," until the men were 
not only exhausted, but throughly discouraged. A party of Indians under 
Colonel Hamilton covered nine or ten miles of country with equal dis- 
appointment. Provisions had now run exceedingly low; intense dissatis- 
faction prevailed; a second campaign, planned with great pomp and 
expense, was coming to naught, and even the sanguine Governor Reynolds, 
who was energetic, though impractical and moved to many acts by consid- 

'Bejnolds, "My Own Times," 895. 

"Others allege a^ew miles to the east on an Island In the Bark. 

*A. 8. Johnston's Journal. 

Digitized by 



eration of policy for his future, lost heart and left camp, with his staff, 
Colonel Breese and others, for his home in Illinois, by way of Galena. 

Late the afternoon of the 9th it was decided to send Henry, Alex- 
ander and Dodge to Fort Winnebago for provisicms, with positive injiinc- 
tions to hasten. It was further decided to send Posey with his command 
back to Fort Hamilton to guard the mineral country, as will be seen by 
orders 51 and 52: 

''Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

,,^ , ^, "Camp on Whitewater River. 9 July, 1832. 

"Order No. 51. 

"Brig.-G€n. Alexander and Brig.-Gen. Henry, brigade of Illinois mounted vol- 
unteers, will march to-morrow morning to Fort Winnebago and draw twelve 
days* rations of provisions (exclusive of the subsistence of their respective com- 
mands during their stay at the fort) and return to these headquarters without delay. 

"A. S. Johnston, A. D. C, A. A. A. General.'* 

"Headquarters, Army of the Frontier, 

„ _ , __ "Camp on Whitewater River, 9 July, 1832. 

Order No. 5^. 

"Brig.-Gen. Posey will march his brigade of Illinois volunteers to Fort Hamil- 
ton in the mineral district, and remain there till further orders. Brig.-Gen. Posey 
will furnish from his conmiand such escorts as may be required for the safety 
of supplies destined for the Army of the Frontier. 

"A. S. Johnston, A, D. C, A. A. A. General." 

The miserable condition and character of the country, which did not 
permit of carrying more than twelve days' provisions at a time ; the usual 
wastefulness of the vcrfunteers ; the ever-vanishing enemy, and' the general 
feeling of melancholy at having so far accomplished nothing, made this 
disposition of the troops necessary. In addition, the regiment of Col. John 
Ewing was detached to escort to Dixon's Captain Dunn, whose recovery 
was now considered a possibility. Captain Early's entire company was 
mustered out at this point, and all others who were horseless, or physically 
incapacitated from making the weary marches required to reach Black 
Hawk's camp, were also ordered to report at Dixon's Ferry. These troops, 
a comfortable brigade of themselves, left on the loth to return to Dixon's 
by the same route pursued in ascending Rock River, and consumed prac- 
tically the same time in making the march. The loss of those men reduced 
the volunteer force nearly one-half,* and the departure of the other 
brigades, under orders, left the regulars, about 400, alone. 

As the movements thereafter of the regulars were few and simple, 
it is considered best to briefly state them before continuing with Henry, 
Alexander and Dodge and the more important features of the campaign 
which followed. 

On the nth, while at the mouth of the Whitewater, Captain Harney 
was dispatched up Rock River, in command of a small reconnoitering 
party, to ascertain and examine the position of the enemy. Scouts retum- 

>Ford, 134. 

Digitized by 



ing that evening brought information of the Indians' further retirement 
up Rock River. 

On the I2th Harney's party, which had ascended the river thirty 
miles, returned, reporting the flight of Black Hawk into the recesses of die 
8wanq>s of Rock River, fifty or sixty miles above, if not further. On the 
same day three soldiers and two Indians went do¥m to Lake Koshkonong 
in a canoe to e^Iore. They found a small Indian camp, which they 
robbed, but on returning were attacked by a party of Indians, and in turn 
robbed of their spoils of war and also their canoe. 

On the 13th Capt. Samuel McRee, with a detachment of fifty men, 
started in pursuit of the Indians, but returned late in the evening, after a 
long march, reporting no discoveries. 

During the day Colonel March arrived from the Blue Mounds, report- 
ing thirty-six wagons loaded with pirovisions on the way for this point 

During the 14th and 15th the camp was inactive and awaiting events. 
On the i6di dispatches from General Scott, who had been sent to super- 
sede Atkinson,* were received, reporting the ravages in his army from 
Asiastic cholera. The thirty-six wagons of provisions arrived fnnn Blue 
Mounds in the evening; also the padc horses sent to Fort Winnebago for 
provisions. On the following morning Alexander arrived with his men, 
thoroughly fatigued, many of them dismounted tfirough the loss of their 

On the 19th the regulars and Alexander's Brigade marched up the 
Whitewater, with the intenticm of readiing Black Hawk and ending, by 
forced marches, the campaign, which General Jackson felt had been already 
dragged out to 'twice its needed length. The troops proceeded ten miles, 
when the most furious storm of tfiat very stormy season compelled them to 
halt and await its passing. It raged all night long, with increasing fury, 
and not till morning did it abate. Here the trembling lands were reached, 
making further progress, as the Indian guides declared, impossible. It 
was then discovered that the wrong side of the river was being followed 
to ever reach Black Hawk, therefore it was resolved to retrace their stqw, 
cross the river below Lake Koshkonong and ascend the west bank of 
Rode River. (Narrative Capt. Henry Smith, lo Wis., 150, etc.) At this 
time (20th) an express from Henry and Dodge arrived e?u-ly, bringing 
information of the movements of the Indians toward the Mississippi* 
General Alexander at once dispatched Major McHenry, with his spy txit- 
talion, to explore the country between the forks of the Whitewater and 
Rock River and ascertain if all the Indians had left the country or only 
Black Hawk's immediate band. He found the country explored by him to 
be abandoned by them, and, with the other troops, fell bade to Fort Kosh- 
konong, where Capt Gideon Lowe, with thirty or forty men, had been 
called from Fort Winnebago to do garrison duty. 

>Lt Bob«re ABdOTtoo. X WIil Htot OoUi., a ITl. 

•Wakefield, p. 72, hat made the ■tatement tnat AtklnsoQ at once ezpreeeed to Henry 
to p w eeed. 

Digitized by 



Fort Winnebago Rea.chei>—Stampede>— Henry's Treatment of Dis- 
obedient Ofticers — Black Hawk's Trail to Westward Discov- 
ered—Forced March — Battle of the Wisconsin — ^At Blue 

When Henry, Dodge and Alexander left, on the loth, for Fort Winne- 
bago, their horses were in none too good a condition for such a march, but 
it was begun early and continued diligently through the wilderness, until 
the fort was reached, at the end of the second day, a distance of sixty or 
seventy miles. 

The horses, several hundred in number, were turned out to graze on 
the evening of the 12th,* and with no delay the men retired to their tents, 
pitched about three feet apart, and were very soon wrapped in sound 
slumber, during which occurred a calamity entailing greater disaster and 
more suffering than the loss of a battle. In the night (12th) it is sup- 
posed a party of thieving Indians, in attending a whdesale theft, so thor- 
oughly frightened the animals that a stampede fdlowed. Running furi- 
ously in a northerly direction, directly over the camp, men and munitions 
were crushed under foot, A call to arms followed, but the loss of arms in 
the darkness and confusion, the loss of bearings, and almost of reason, 
prevented all possibility of order and concerted action. If it had been an 
attack of the enemy, as was first conjectured, the bruised and confused 
troops could easily have been annihilated. 

The horses reached the Wisconsin River, where they were turned 
back by it, and, widi the fury of the hurricane, rushed back and over the 
camp for the second time, bruising and crippling men and hopelessly 
wrecking tents and g^ns. The men had not recovered their senses when 
this second stan^>ede drove them into the ground, and by the time the 
furious beasts had passed, the poor soldiers were in the saddest possible 

Two days were consumed in repairing the wreck, recovering the 
horses and drawing the twelve days' rations. The stampede at this crisis 
was painfully unfortunate. For thirty miles the horses ran, over ground 

>Wakefleld, p. 61. 


Digitized by 



almost impassable, which added to those already consumed in reaching 
the fort, ruined many and crippled others to such an extent that they soon 
gave out. The search for them added many miles of weary travel, wear- 
it^ those used in it, going and coming, until it was considered doubtful 
if the men could get back to General Atkinson. 

At this place it was ascertained through the Winnebagoes that Black 
Hawk occupied a strong position at the rapids on Rock River.' Henry at 
once called a council of war, composed of every officer from the rank of 
captain up, at which he disclosed his information and proposed the ques- 
tion of disobeying Atkinson's orders by pursuing the enemy. Dodge had 
90 exhausted his men and disabled his horses in forcing a march to be in 
first at Fort Winnebago, that he reported he could not muster a force 
worth taking along.' Alexander reported the unwillingness of his men to 
disobey orders, leaving Henry alone to make the pursuit, if it were to be 
made at all. He quietly yet firmly resolved that it should be made. There- 
upon he reorganized his brigade by disencumbering his command of the 
sick, injured and dismounted men, and appointed noon of the 15th for the 
hour to march. The disaffection of Alexander's men had a demoralizing 
influence on Fry's Regiment, belonging to Henry's Brigade, which resulted 
in the signing of a remonstrance, headed by Lieut-Col. Jeremiah Smith, 
and the presentation of the same to Henry as that officer was ready to 
march. Fry did not sign this document and had no sympathy with it 
On the contrary, he was bitterly opposed to such action. This action, 
emanating from so conspicuous a person and officer as Smith, would, un- 
der usual conditicms, have frustrated Henry's plans and demoralized his 
brigade, but he was the man for an emergency, with the will to meet it 
and the physique to enforce it against ordinary opposition. His genius 
rose to this occasion and his action ended the Black Hawk war, as it would 
have been ended long before could he have ordered the volunteer forces 
as he desired. 

Day after day, week after week, the army had dawdled away valuable 
time in fruitless marches. Every command had been ignored oi: ridiculed. 
Protests had been constantly made, and at every turn the commanding 
influence of the militia and its votes had been consulted and obeyed. 

In camp and on the march they had constantly murmured, and in 
action they had disobeyed and disgraced themselves and their state. Here 
Henry was alone and supreme in command, unhampered by a superior. 
He was a candidate for no office. 

When this remonstrance was presented to him he quietly read it and 
deliberated carefully for some minutes; then, without bluster or useless 
fanfaronade, he ordered every man who had signed it under arrest, with 
orders to Colonel Collins' Regiment to escort them to Atkinson for trial, 

>Wla. Collt., Vol. 2, p. 854. 
•Ford, 180. 

Digitized by 



at which, he had no doubt, they would be shot for disobedience. No man 
knew Henry better than Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, and no doubt remained 
in his mind of Henry^s determination to enforce his order, thereupon he 
begged permission to retire to consult his brother officers who had signed 
the paper, which he was permitted to do. In less than ten minutes every 
one of them had returned and l^ged Henry's pardon, urging that they 
knew not the full import of the document when attaching their signatures. 
In the greatness of his heart that forgiveness was extended them and, with 
no further allusion to the incident, it was from that moment dropped. In 
justice to those officers, it must be said that Henry had no more devoted 
followers in his ranks from that time. 

Alexander now moved for Atkinson's headquarters, and almost simul- 
taneously came Capt. James Craig of Dodge's Battalion from Galena, with 
fresh horses and men, bringing Dodge's command up to 120 strong, when 
he pronounced himself ready for concerted action with Henry, whose 
brigade had fallen from about 1,200 to 600 men, but not more than 450 
were then fit for service. 

From Fort Winnebago Henry and Dodge took up their march, July 
iSth, accompanied by Pierre Poquette as interpreter, and twelve Winne- 
bagoes,^ including The White Pawnee, as glides. Heavy underbrush and 
swamps continually hampered their march, while each new morass cost 
them horses, but after three days of hard marchit^ the rapids (now 
Hustisford) were reached.* No Indians were found. Henry thereupon 
ordered the little army to camp. Here three Winnebagoes reported that 
Black Hawk had gone further up the river to Cranberry Lake. Relying 
on this information, it was determined to ascend the river by a forced 
march the following morning. In the meantime Adjutants Dr. E. H. 
Merryman of Springfield and W. W. Woodbridge of Dodge's Battalion 
were dispatched, at 2 o'clock P. M.,* to Atkinson's camp, accompanied by 
Little Thunder as guide, to post Atkinson as to its movements. 

About dark they had proceeded about eight miles to the southwest, 
when they suddenly came upon the broad fresh trail of the enemy in his 
endeavor to escape to the Mississippi River. At the sig^t of this trail 
Little Thunder manifested unusual and extreme symptoms, and, without 
permission, hastened back to camp, where he informed his two Winnebago 
friends of his discovery. Merryman and Woodbridge hastily followed. 
On returning, these two Winnebagoes, after communicating with their 
friends, attempted to escape, but in passing Major Murray McConnel of 
the staflf, who was reconnoitering, they were arrested and returned to 
camp. Merryman and Woodbridge followed soon after, and in crossing 

>Wftkefleia, p. 62. 

•Wakefield uys the 18th, p. 62. 

•Wakefield, p. 63. 

Digitized by 



tbe picket lines Woodbridge was fired at by a sentinel and barely escaped 
with his life. 

Under an examination by Henry, the Wlnnebagoes confessed that 
they had given false information in order to facilitate the escape of Black 

Early the following morning (19th) the army was ready for a fresh 
march along this trail. The same express was sent tp Atkinson to post 
him as to its movements, Little Thunder safely guiding it.* Five bag- 
gage wagons were discarded' and most of the camp equipage left in a pUe 
in the wilderness. Even blankets and parts of wardrobe were discarded to 
facilitate travel, so that positively nothing could hamper man or beast in 
the contemplated forced marches to overtake Black Hawk. Provisions 
were tightly packed on shoulders and then over credcs, mires, through 
groves, thickets and forests the chase began, men marching and almost 
running a-foot to keep pace with those mounted, to please the leader they 
knew to be the man for the hour. 

A fearful storm arose the first day and continued the following morn- 
ing, and though without shelter, the men cheerfully pushed forward, cover- 
ing fifty miles by nightfall. The sight of Henry dismounting to give some 
tired footman a rest inspired others to do the same, and a valor before 
unknown inspired the men. 

Until 2 o'clock of the morning of the 20th the storm raged. No fires 
could be built by which to cook supper, so meat was eaten raw and flour 
mixed with water into a raw dough was substituted for more substantial 
fare. The men, exhausted but uncomplaining, threw themselves upon 
the wet earth for a brief rest, without blankets or other covering, tfius 
enduring a nig^t of hardship which before that time would have produced 
the dissolution of the army. 

Breakfast on the 20th was little better than supper of the preceding 
night Scouts captured an Indian, who was brought to Henry, where he 
disclosed the information that the main body of the Indians was not far 
ahead. Henry at once formed an order of battle for the day, with Dodge 
and Ewing in front to bring on the fight, Fry to the right, Jones to the 
left and Cdlins in the center. 

Poquette and the White Pawnee, still marching, had in every instance 
been found to be reliable in their bearings, and now that they proclaimed 
the presence of the enemy, a battle was momentarily promised, but their 
expectations were a little premature, and all day of the 20th the march was 
continued in the order stated, until nightfall, when the army camped on 
the east bank of the Third Lake, where for the first time fires could be 
made and a substantial supper cooked. That night was passed in the 
same manner, upon the ground, without event, save for the sight of a 

>W«kefleld, p. 68 and 72. 
>Wakefleld, p. S4. 

Digitized by 




SB <M.CMm^a,0mm<L ^ ^^ 

rrr it.«t..«.»M by*. Mi.. fe...wik MVf ji 



Digitized by 






Digitized by 



rapidly disappearing Indian, who was fired at by a sentinel while fading 
away en the lake. 

Passing around the lake early on the 2ist, the army continued its 
march with the spy battalions of Major William L. D. Ewing and Colonel 
Dodge still in front, the footmen continuing the pace set by the horsemen, 
who had discovered unmistakable evidences that the enemy was but a short 
distance ahead 

The sight of discarded Indian camp equipment encouraged them with 
the hope that a few hours only would intervene before a battle and the 
possible termination of the war. 

In Smith's History of Wisconsin, Vol. I, p. 279, this pursuit is de- 
scribed as follows : 

"Parsuit commenced immediately, and the trail was followed down the river 
until it diverged from it westward. The detachment crossed the Crawfish River 
near Aztalan, and followed the trail, whith bore to the west of Keyes Lake (Rock 
Lake). It was still followed westward mitil the ground between the Third and 
Fourth Lakes was reached, now the site of Madison ; thence it was followed around 
the southern end of the Fourth Lake, where it appeared that an admirable position 
for a battleground, with natural defenses and places of ambush, had been chosen 
>y the enemy, and here they apparently had lain the previous night This place 
was near Slaughter's farm." 

About noon the scouts fell upon two Indians and killed one while try- 
ing to escape.* Dr. Addison Philleo at that moment scalped him, and for 
many years afterward was in the habit of exhibiting the scalp to strangers 
as a trophy of his valor in that war.* The terrific pressure on the horses 
had been severely felt by this time, and before the day was half done 
forty or fifty of them gave out. About 3 o'clock the company of Capt. 
Joseph Dick'scMi's spies reported the enemy reaching the bluffs of the 
Wisconsin River, which reanimated the troops with unusual vigor to in- 
crease their speed, and, if possible, overtake the enemy before he crossed 
the river. The men pushed on so rapidly that the rear guard of the 
Indians was overtaken, and, in order to occupy the whites, stopped fre- 
quently and engaged them with firing in order to allow the main body to 
cross the river. Twice Henry pressed them and twice the Indians gave 
way, but the third time Dickson's scouts or spies drove them to the main 
body, which had reached a body of timber sufficiently dense to offer pro- 
tection, and here the whole force of Indians made a stand. 

Dismounting, every tenth man was detailed to hold horses, excepting 
the regiment of G>k)nel Fry, which was made the reserve and held to 
prevent the enemy from turning the flanks of the whites. 

The Indians opened fire as the advance guard of the whites was pass- 
ing a stretch of tmeven ground, through the high grass and low brush. 

'Near tbe spot where the Lake Home tnbgeqnently stood. 
«Ford, 144. 

Digitized by 



Major Ewing's Battalion was at once formed in front, where the Indians 
poured their fire into it from behind trees. In a few moments Henry 
arrived with the main army and formed the order of battle, Colonel Jones 
being placed to the right. Colonel Collins to the left. Fry in reserve and 
Ewing in front, with Dodge on the extreme right. In this order Henry 
ordered the forces to move. The order to charge the enemy was splen- 
didly executed by Ewing, Jones and Collins, routing the Indians, who 
retreated to the right and concentrated before Dodge's Battalion, with the 
obvious intention of turning his flank/ Henry sent Major McConnd to 
Dodge, ordering him to charge the enemy, but this Dodge preferred to 
delay until he received a reinforcement, whereupon Henry sent Colonel 
Fry to his aid, and together they charged into the brush and high grass, 
receiving the fire of the whole body of the enemy. ' 

Advancing and returning this fire, Dodge and Fry pursued the 
Indians with bayonets, driving them out with loss. Retreating rapidly, 
the enemy fell back to the west and took up a new and a stronger position 
in the thick timber and tall grass at the head of a hollow leading to the 
Wisconsin River bottom.* A determined stand was made here, but Ewing, 
Jones and Collins dashed upon them and drove them in scattered squads 
down into the Wisconsin bottoms, covered with a swale so high that 
pursuit in the gathering darkness was impossiMe, and Henry, withdrawing 
his forces, lay all night on the field. 

During the night a sonorous voice was heard from a neighboring 
hill, supposedly giving orders to the enemy, but as nothing came of it, no 
commotion or preparation to renew the fight followed. It proved to have 
been Ne-a-pope suing for peace in the tongue of the Winnebagoes, suppos- 
ing that the guides and interpreter present from that nation would under- 
stand and secure a parley, but as all the Winnebagoes had fled in the begin- 
ning of the action, his words were wasted. Had he been understood, no 
doubt can exist but Henry would have closed the war then and there, for 
Black Hawk now realized that he was no longer fighting Stillman^s com- 
mand. The loss of the Indians was sixty-eight in killed and many more 
wounded, twenty-five of whom were found dead on the trail, subsequently 
resumed, while the loss to Henry was but one man killed. Private Thomas 
J. Short of Captain Briggs' company, Randolph County, and eight 
wounded, of whom the following are known : John White, Joseph Wells, 
Armstead Jones, Meredith S. McMillen, James Thompson and Andrew 
McCormick and John McNair of Capt. D. M. Parkinson's company. As 
all the casualties were from the Third Regiment,* conmianded by Col. 
Gabriel Jones, it is to be inferred that he bore the brunt of the fight 

The following morning Henry advanced to the Wisconsin, only to find 
the enemy had retreated during the night across the river to the hills 

>Ford. 145. 
«Pord. 145. 
•Except McNalr. 

Digitized by 



beyond. Had supplies been plenty, he would have pressed his victory by 
following, but being in g^reat need of provisions, he was compelled to fall 
back to the base at the Blue Mounds. 

This was the first time Black Hawk in person had met signal defeat 
during the campaign, and he realized that more would follow, because a 
man who cared nothing for politics and feared not mortal man was after 

Henry was exceedingly modest, retiring and submissive; so modest 
that when others were writing flaming press reports and conspiring to 
make way with his laurels, he attempted no intervention. Quiet, indeed, he 
was, yet resolute in duty to the last degree, and when an arrogant c^cer 
headed a mutinous document he was ordered in irons to the commanding 
General for punishment 

This inflexible regard for duty, even in the face of criticism and 
intrigue, moved him forward with the irresistible force of the glacier, and 
m this instance, with no contrivance, it pushed him forward at a bound to 
be the most popular man in the State of Illinois, and very soon the nominee 
of his party for Governor. Had he lived, nothing could have prevented 
his election. He died of pulmonary consumption, at New Orleans, March 
4th, 1834, at his hotel lodgings. 

Though a giant in stature and rugged to a degree, proof, as was 
thought, against the rigors of any campaign, this one undermined his 
health, and to find relief he sought the milder climate of New Orleans, but 
here he gradually sank, and in a little while passed away, so quietly that 
no one knew who he was until friends from Illinois proclaimed him. 
Then the honors due a soldier were his. 

On the 22d Henry dispatched an express to Atkinson and Dodge 
wrote a letter to the commandant at Prairie du Qiien,* dispatching it by the 
hand of Captain Estes of his command, which later found its way into the 
Missouri Republican and Niles Register. Following is a copy of the letter : 

"Camp Wisconsin, July 22, 1832. 

"We met the enemy yesterday, near the Wisconsin River, and opposite the 
old Sac village, after a close pursuit for nearly 100 miles. Our loss was one man 
killed and eight wounded; from the scalps taken by the Winnebagoes, as well as 
those taken by the whites, and the Indians carried from the field of battle, we 
must have killed forty of them. The number of wounded is not known; we 
can only judge from the number killed that many were wounded. From their 
crippled situation, I think we must overtake them unless they descend 
the Wisconsin by water. If you could place a field-piece immediately on the Wis- 
consin that would command the river, you might prevent their escape by water. 

"General Atkinson will arrive at the Blue Mounds on the 24th, with the regu- 
lars and a brigade of mounted men. I will cross the Wisconsin to-morrow, and 
should the enemy retreat by land, he will probably attempt crossing some twenty 
miles above Prairie du Giien; in that event the mounted men would want some 

*C«pt. Loomls. 

Digitized by 



boats for the transportation of their arms, ammunition and provisions, ^f yon 
could procure for us some Mackinaw boats, in that event, as well as some provision 
supplies, it would greatly facilitate our views. Excuse great haste. I am, yrith 
great respect, your obedient servant, 

"H. Dodge, Col.-Coro. Michigan Mounted Volunteers." 

This letter created much criticism by subsequent historians, notably 
Governor Ford in his History of Illinois. Answers, replies and rejoinders 
were exceedingly numerous for a while, but when time had passed and 
'mellowed the controversy, Henry, the chief in command, and Dodge, the 
second in command at that battle, remained with the people of Illinois and 
WisccHisin first among their fighters and first among their favorites, and 
surely both deserved the best portions of the good things said of either. 
The letter may have been a little presumptuous, but it never marred the 
good feeling which existed between the two men.' 

Litters were constructed for the wounded, the march was taken up 
and in two days (24th) the Blue Mounds were reached and -there Ae 
army met Posey, Atkinson and Alexander, the two latter having pushed 
on from Ft. Koshkonong after learning of the discovery of Black Hawk's 
westward trail. 

* Bmith*! comment on the above letter, Vol. 8, page 426, History fO. WlMonsIn : 
"Tht aboTo letter li extracted from Nilee RMiter of Aucmt 18th, 1882, and It does not 
appear to whom It la adOrcMd; bat It li hlffhly probable that It la the lettmr which 
was tent to the commandant of Fort Crawford, at Prairie du Chlen, whldi Captain 
Batea carried aa ezpreee. 

"The ilngnlarlty of the lanffoage of the letter will be CTident, when It H conaldered 
that Genera] Henij had the chief command at the battle of wlaconaln Heights, and 
not Colonel Dodge.'^ 

Digitized by 


Pursuit Resumed — ^Battle or the Bad Axe. 

*On the 20th Alexander received an express from Scott giving 
particulars of the inefikiency of his army. 

On the 2ist Atkinson and Alexander marched from Ft. Koshkonong' 
in the direction of the Blue Mounds in the midst of a heavy rain, which 
continued all day and all night. The convoy of wagons met was turned 

On die 22d the troops crossed the ford below Lake Koshkonong. 

On the 23d the forces marched from the encampment of the morn- 
ing, eight miles south of "the river of the Four Lakes," towards the 
Blue Mounds, to two miles west of Davitt's. 

On the 24th they marched to the Blue Mounds, after suffering much 
for water, having marched twenty miles without any. The express sent 
from Henry, which informed Atkinson of the "Battle of the Wiscon- 
sin," was met, and on inspection the entire force of militia was now 
found to be reduced to the strength of one original brigade. 

A certain coolness was fotmd to be in store for the volunteers when 
they reached the Blue Mounds, by reason of their winning a victory 
which should have gone to others, according to program, and this, too, 
in the face of disobedience of orders. Victories then were crimes, pretty 
much the same as they were before Santiago in 1898, unless won by rule 
and by those selected for the purpose by those above, and very soon Henry 
was made to feel the displeasure his victory had brought. 

From there Dodge's battalion scattered to the various forts for sup- 
plies and equipment, to meet later and take up die line of march at Helena 
on the 29th. 

On the 251^1 the army marched for the "Ouisconsin," to overtake 
Black Hawk and finish the war, before he could reach and cross the 
Mississippi. In this Henry's men, though subordinated in their posi- 
tion in the line of march, cheerfully submitted. In this march the regu- 

>Joliiiat<m*s JonmaL 

•Wakeaeld, p. 72 and 75. Lt. CoL 'Sharp was left at Ft Koshkonong in charge of 
the men who had lost their hones. 


Digitized by 



lars went first, Posey and Alexander following, while Henry was 
given the rear in charge of the baggage. Such men as Fry resented 
this treatment, but Henry commanded obedience to orders and trudged 
along behind, doing the drudgery of the army. 

By evening the army reached a point within three miles of the Wis- 
consin, where it camped for the night. 

On tfie 26th the Wisconsin was reached, where preparati<Mis had 
been made the day previous by G)l. Enoch C. March for the passage of 
the army, and here at Helena the army, joined by Dodge, whose forces 
reassembled here,* crossed on the 27th and part of the 28th. Colonel 
March, whose record as a Quartermaster* has never been equaled in Illi- 
nois history, was given the heartiest credit from all sides for never failing 
in the greatest emergencies to be upon the spot when needed and with 
the supplies desired. In his duties he was ably assisted by John Dixon 
of Dixon's Ferry, who accompanied the army to the end of the campaign. 

The last of the troops having passed the river on the 28th' and moved 
up the Wisconsin River three or four miles, the trail of the enemy was dis- 
covered bearing down stream and followed by turning the columns to the 
left ; then pursuing it twelve or fifteen miles over a flat and sandy prairie, 
which terminated at a deep creek, where the army camped for the night. 

From this point the trail was pursued with vigor all day over a 
rough, almost mountainous country, passing several of the enemy's 
encampments, which clearly indicated how hard he was pressed for pro- 
visions, horseflesh alone being left to him. The bodies of Indians who 
had died from the lack of proper dressing of their wounds were here seen 
in greater numbers than before. Reaching the summit of a very high 
hill, the horses, for lack of grass to eat amongst the timber, were tied 
up without food. 

All day the 30th the march was continued over a similar country. 
On the 31st about fifteen miles were made over art unusually hilly coun- 
try thickly timbered. At evening the first stream flowing west was 
reached and crossed, the army camping within six miles of the Kicka- 
poo River.* August ist the Kickapoo was crossed at ten o'clock at a 
shallow ford where commenced another rough prairie covered with 
growths of oak timber. It was a long day's march for the troops because 
they were forced to go further than usual for water. The trail indicated 
the inmiediate presence of the enemy and if darkness had not prevented 
he could have been readied very soon. The camp was made that night 
near a small spring. Here Atkinson gave orders to be prepared at two 
o'clock the following morning to move for the bank of the Mississippi. 

As Captain Throckmorton, commanding the Warrior, was ascend- 

iBmitli*! wis.. Vol. 8, p. 228. 

*Lt Robert Anderson, X Wis. Hist. Cons., 170. 

*CoI. W. B. Archer went to the battleground but found nothing new. Wakefield, 76. 

'Johnston's Journal. 

Digitized by 



iqg the river, he noticed a band of Indians near a can>p on the bottoms at 
the mouth of Ae Bad Axe hoisting a white flag. Suspecting treachery, 
he ordered tiiem to send a boat on board for a conference, which they 
declined. Without axnment, except to allow fifteen minutes to remove 
their squaws and children, he shot a six-pounder into their midst, fol- 
lowing it for an hour with a heavy fire of musketry which cost the Indians 
many lives. Needing fuel to continue the contest, the boat fell down the 
river to Prairie du Chien to wood up preparatory to returning the follow- 
ing day and finishing the action, but by the hour of its return the battle of 
the Bad Axe had been finished and Black Hawk's race was run. 

Promptly at 2 the morning of the 2d the troops rose, hastily ate 
breakfast and by sunrise resumed their march. 

Black Hawk was aware of the presence of Atkinson's forces, and to 
give time for a retreat across the river deployed a party of about twenty 
to meet him, commence the attack and by gradual retreats turn him three 
or four miles above the camp. 

About one hour after sunrise the rising fogs indicated the pres- 
ence of the river and Dickson's spies were sent forward; they soon 
returned with a report that the enemy was drawn up in position and near 
at hand. Dodge thereupon ordered Dickson forward to reconnoiter the 
enemy and occupy his attention while he drew up his line and reported to 
Atkinson. This Dickson did, killing eight of the enemy. The regulars 
under Taylor and Alexander and Posey were ordered forward. The reg- 
ulars immediately in Dodge's rear moved forward oa his right; Dodge's 
men, dismounting, moved forward at the left in extended order for some 
minutes before Posey's command came up. This officer was posted on the 
right of the regulars and Alexander on his right, while Henry, trudging 
along with the baggage, came upon the scene — ^just in time to be ordered 
to send Fr/s regiment to Atkinson, which was done.* 

When the forces moved against the Indian decoys, they of course 
gave way and were hotly followed by the whites. 

Henry clearly saw the stratagem when Major Ewing discovered and 
reported to him the main trail leading to the river lower down. This trail 
he rapidly followed to the foot of the high bluff bordering on the bottoms, 
covered with timber, driftwood and underbrush, through which the trail 
ran. Halting here and leaving the horses, he formed his men on foot and 
advanced, after first sending forward a forlorn hope of eight men to draw 
the enemy's fire. These eight men boldly advanced until they were in 
sight of the river, when they were suddenly fired upon by a party of In- 
dians and five of the eight men fell. Retreating to the cover of trees, the 
other three stood their ground until Henry came up. 

Deploying his men to the right and left from the center, a charge 

>B«7iioldf, "My Own Times," 415. 

Digitized by 



was made and the battle began along die whole line. At this time Henry 
despatched Major McConnel to Atkinson to report the presence of the 
entire force, which massed after the first charge and, with the loss of 
Fry's regiment, was now larger than Henry's force. 

The Indians fought desperately from tree to tree, falling back step 
by step until the river was reached, when by a bayonet charge they were 
driven into the river. Some tried to swim ; others took shelter in a small 
willow island near by. This charge practically ended the battle, when 
Atkinson, Dodge, Posey and Alexander, hearing the continued heavy fir* 
ing, and receiving Major McConnel's message, came up, and while 
Henry's men were finishing the fight, poured a galling fire into the van- 
ishing remnant, which killed many women and children^ to the sincere 
r^[ret of all, but as many of the squaws were dressed as men and mingled 
freely wilji them, it was a misfortune none could have foreseen or 

To put the finishing strokes to Black Hawk's power, Dodge, Fry and 
Ewing, with the regulars under Taylor, Bliss, Harney and Smith, 
plunged breast deep into the water to the willow island, where most of 
the remaining Indians had taken a last stand and where in the face of a 
heavy fire the whites either killed, captured or drove them into tfie river. 
It was ^ere in that little side contest that the greatest loss was supposed 
to have occurred to the whites, whose casualties in Ae engagement were 
twenty-four killed and wounded, while that of the enemy were upward of 
one hundred and fifty, forty captured, mostly women and children, and 
about forty or fifty horses taken. The loss to the regulars was five killed 
and four wounded; to Dodge six wounded;* Posey one wounded; Alex- 
ander one wounded,' and Henry seven killed and wounded.* 

Black Hawk, with his sons and the Prophet, escaped to the Dalles of 
the Wisconsin. 

On the 3d one hundred and fifty men under Colonels Blackburn and 
Archer crossed the river, searching the islands and bottoms for fugitives, 
but found none. Their trail indio^ed that they had gone along the Iowa 

A party of Sioux called upon General Atkinson to receive permis- 
sion to follow the fugitives, which was given, and in that pursuit Ne-a- 
pope was captured and many more Sacs perished. 

At that battle again, contrary to plans, Henry won the deciding 
and final fight of the war, but there he received from every ofiker of the 
regular service a hearty congratulation,* and in his journal no stronger 

^PrlratM Smitlf, Hood and Lowry died of their wounds. Capt. Joteph DIcksoa 
wounded. Sergeant George Willard and Private Skinner were wonnded. 

*Tlie brother of Adam Payne. 

■Lt Samuel Bowman, UUed. lat Sergt Wm. C. Murphy, wounded. Private 
Hutching; wounded and died the Sd. Prlratea John White, Joteph L. Young, Andrew 
UcCormlck and Bobert B. Smith, wounded. 

«Capt Henry Smith's slrratlTe, Z Wis. Hist Colls., 166. 

Digitized by 





Digitized by 






U. S. A. 

CAPT. K. B. MASON, U. S. A. 

Digitized by 




praise could be accorded a brother than that given by Albert Sidney 

Covered with glory and the hearty good wishes of every officer and 
man in tlie army, Henry returned home, only to be cut off in the zenith 
of his career, as before stated. 

At the close of the f^;ht Atkinson, .Dodge, Posey, R. B. Mason and 
other officers and U. S. Infantry boarded the Warrior and dropped 
down the river to Prairie du Qiien, arriving* in the evening of the 4th. 

On August 17th the regular troops which left Jefferson Barracks in 
April had returned to the same point.* 

K^apt Henry Smltb*8 narrative. 


Digitized by 



Throckmorton's Narrative — ^Atkinson's Report — Black Hawk's 
Flight— ^^apturd—Deuvery to General Street — Counciu 

After darkness had finished the battle of the Wisconsm, many of the 
fugitives, women, children and old men, were sent by Black Hawk down 
the Wisconsin to escape, but on receipt of Dodge's letter. Gov. Joseph 
M. Street, agent of the Wmnebagoes at Prairie du Chien, sent 
Lieutenant Ritner with a small detachment of r^^lars up the 
river to the ferry, later called Barrett^s, to intercept them, which 
he did by firing into the party, killing fifteen men and capturing 
thirty-two women and diildren and four men. Nearly as many more 
were drowned, while the others who escaped to the woods, with few 
exceptions, perished with hunger or were massacred by a party of Mencxni- 
nees from Green Bay under Colonel Stambaugh.* 

*In addition to this precautionary move. General Street, on July 25th, 
directed Mr. J. P. Burnett, sub Indian Agent for the Wlnnebagoes, to 
ascend the Mississippi and order all the Winnebagoes to descend with their 
canoes and other water craft to the Agency at once, thus to prevent the 
Sacs from securing assistance in crossing the Mississippi, and, in case any 
excuses were offered, to threaten the objectors with non-pajrment of their 

Mr. Burnett carried out his instructions faithfully on the following 
day, but found Winneshiek and several other prcxninent Indians absent 

On the 27th supplemental instructions were sent to Mr. Burnett to send 
for them, which was likewise done, and on the 28th all had gathered 
at the Agency that General Street desired, making escape across the 
Mississippi by Black Hawk practically impossible. 

Among the numerous incidents related of the Battle of the Bad Axe 
is one of Lieut. Robert Anderson, printed in the Galenian and copied 
into Niles Register for November 3d, 1832, in Vol. 43, page 147. 

"When our troops charged the enemy in their defiles near the bank of the 
Mississippi, men, women and children were seen mixed together in such a manner 

>2 Wis. Hist COII0., 258. 12 Wis. Hist. Colls., 254, Thwaltes. 
«2 Wis. Hist. Colls., 259. 


Digitized by 



as to render it difficult to kill one and save the other. A young squaw of about 
nineteen stood in the grass at a short distance from our line, holding her little girl 
in her arms, about four years old. While thus standing, apparently unconcerned, 
a ball struck the right arm of the child above the elbow and shattered the bone, 
passed into the breast of its young mother, which instantly felled her to the ground. 
She fell upon the child and confined it to the ground also. During the whole 
battle this babe was heard to groan and call for relief, but none had come to afford 
it When, however, the Indians had retreated from that spot and the battle had 
neaiiy subsided. Lieutenant Anderson, of the United States Army, went to the 
spot and took from under the dead mother her wounded daughter, and brought 
it to the place we had selected for surgical aid. It was soon ascertained that its 
arm must come off, and the operation was performed without drawing a tear 
or a shriek. The child was eating a piece of hard biscuit during the operation. 
It was brought to Prairie du Chien, and we learn that it has nearly recovered. 
This was among the many scenes calculated to dr^w forth a sympathetic tear for 
human misery." 

As the Warrior played an important part in Black Hawk's fall, it may 
be well to copy the Captain's letter: 

Letter of Captain Throckmorton, 3d August, 1832 (Prairie du 

"I arrived at this place on Monday last (July 30), and was dispatched, with 
the Warrior alone, to Wa-pe-shaw*s village, one hundred and twenty miles above, 
to inform them of the approach of the Sacs, and in order to bring down all the 
friendly Indians to this place. On our way down we met one of the Sioux band, 
who informed us that the Indians, our enemies, were on Bad Axe River to the 
number of four hundred. We stopped and cut some wood and prepared for action. 
About four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon (August ist) we found the gentlemen 
where he stated he left them. As we neared them, they raised a white flag and 
endeivored to decoy us; but we were a little too old for them, for instead of 
landing, we ordered them to send a boat on board, which they declined. After 
about fifteen minutes' delay, giving them time to remove a few of their women and 
children, we let slip a six-pounder loaded with canister, followed by a severe fire 
of musketry; and if ever you saw straight blankets, you would have seen them 
there. I fought them at anchor most of the time, and we were all very much 
exposed. I have a ball which came in close by where I was standing, and passed 
through the bulkhead of the wheelroom. We fought them for about an hour 
or more, until our wood began to fail, and night coming on, we left and went on 
to the Prairie. This little fight cost them twenty-three killed and, of course, a 
great many wounded. We never lost a man and had but one man wounded (shot 
through the leg). The next morning, before we could get back again, on account 
of a heavy fog, they had the whole army upon them. We found them at it, walked 
in, and took a hand ourselves. The first shot from the Warrior laid out three. 
I can hardly tell you anjrthing about it, for I am in great haste, as I am now on 
my way to the field again. The army lost eight or nine killed and seventeen 
wounded, whom we brought down. One died on deck last night We brought down 
thirty-six prisoners, women and children. I tell you what, Sam, there is no fun 
in fighting Indians, particularly at this season, when the grass is so very bright 
Every man, and even my cabin-boy, fought well. We had sixteen regulars, five 
riflemen, and twenty of ourselves. Mr. How of Piatt, Mr. James G. Soulard and 
one of the Rolettes were with us and fought well 

Digitized by 



General Atkinson's report of the battle is also given as follows : 

"Headquarters, First Artillery Corps, Northwestern Army, 
"Prairie du Chien, August 25, 1832. 

"Sir: — I have the honor to report to you that I crossed the Ouisconsin on 
the 27th and 28th ultimo, with a select body of troops, consisting of the regulars 
under Col. Taylor, four hundred in number, part of Henry's, Posey's and Alex- 
ander's brigades, amounting in all to 1,300 men, and inunediately fell upon the trail 
of the enemy and pursued it by a forced march, through a mountainous and diffi- 
cult country, till the morning of the 2d inst, when we came up witli his main body 
on the left bank of the Mississippi, nearly opposite the mouth of the loway, which 
we attacked, defeated and dispersed, with a loss on his part of about a hundred 
and fifty men killed, thirty-nine women and children taken prisoners — the precise 
number could not be ascertained, as the greater portion was slain after being forced 
into the river. Our. loss in killed and wounded, which is stated below, is very 
small in comparison with the enemy, which may be attributed to the enemy's being 
forced from his positions by a rapid charge at the commencement, and throughout 
the engagement. The remnant of the enemy, cut up and disheartened, crossed 
to the opposite side of the river and has fied into the interior, with a view, it is 
supposed, of joining Keokuk and Wapello's bands of Sacs and Foxes. 

"The horses of the volunteer troops being exhausted by long marches, and 
the regular troops without shoes, it was not thought advisable to continue the 
pursuit; indeed, a stop to the further effusion of blood seemed to be called for, till 
it might be ascertained if the enemy would surrender. It is ascertained from our 
prisoners that the enemy lost in the battle of the Ouisconsin sixty-eight killed and a 
very large number wounded. His whole loss does not fall short of three hundred. 
After the battle of the Ouisconsin, those of the enemy's women and children, and 
some who were dismounted, attempted to make their escape by descending that 
river, but judicious measures being taken by Capt Loomis and Lieut Street, 
Indian agent, thirty-two women and children and four men have been captured, and 
some fifteen men killed by the detachment under Lieut. Ritner. 

"The day after the battle of this river, I fell down with the regular troops 
to this place by water, and the mounted men will join us to-day. It is now my 
purpose to direct Keokuk to demand a surrender of the remaining principal men 
of the hostile party, which, from the large number of women and children we hold 
prisoners, I have every reason to believe will be complied ' with. Should it not, 
they should be pursued and subdued, a step MaJ-Gen. Scott will take upon his 

"I cannot speak too highly of the brave conduct of the regular and volunteer 
forces engaged in the last battle and the fatiguing march that preceded it As 
soon as the reports of officers of the brigades and corps are handed in, they shall 
be submitted with further remarks. 

5 killed, 2 wounded, 6th Inft. 

2 wounded, Sth Inft. 

I captain, 5 privates Dodge's Bat mounted. 

I lieutenant, 6 privates, Henry's. 

I private wounded, Alexander's. 

I private, Pose/s. 

"I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"H. Atkinson, Brevet Brig-Gen., U. S. A 

"Major-Gen. Macomb, Com.-in-Chief, Washington." 

Digitized by 



Whipped so thoroughly that no more fight remained in him, Black 
Hawk, at the close of August 2d, fled to the woods of the North with his 
sons and principal officers, hoping that he would be protected by his 
whilom friends, the Winnebagoes, when once in the fastnesses of the 
Dalles of the Wisconsin, far from the scenes of conflict; but General 
Street, in calling the Winnebagoes to the Agency on August 4th, had an- 
ticipated and frustrated every plan and move of the defeated and fugitive 
Indi^is. From the Agency he sent in pursuit of them the one-eyed Decori 
and Chaeter, who caught first Black Hawk and the Prophet, and later 
the Sioux caught Ne-a-pope. The most authentic account of that cap- 
ture seems to be the one made by David McBride, and is to be found in Vol. 
5 of the Wisconsin Historical Collections, page 293, verbose, but in the 
main correct: 

''He became satisfied the battle was lost, and hastily retreated to a surrounding 
height, overlooking the sanguinary battleground, accompanied by his faithful 
adjunct, the Prophet, and for an instant turned to view the scene of his disastrous 
defeat, his haughty bosom filled with mingled feelings of disappointment and 
despair, * * * then hastily fled, to seek a temporary refuge among his pseudo 
friends, the Winnebagoes of the Lemonweir valley. • 

"The fugitive chief fled northward with his follower, until he entered tiie valley 
of the Lemonweir, where he hoped to secrete himself among its numerous Uuffs 
and rocky cliffs. * * * When he reached what is now known as the Seven 
Mile Bluff, from its lofty and precipitous heights he could see an enemy or friend 
in their approaches for many miles. Here he felt secure for the present, and cast 
himself down tmder the shade of its evergreens to rest his wearied body, that had 
for many days known no respite or repose, dispatching his companion in search 
of food, and to ascertain whether any of his Winnebago friends were in the 
vicinity. Late in the evening, the messenger returned without food, but with infor- 
mation that they were pursued ; that either friends or foes were on their trail. Not 
a moment was to be lost; they must separate and each secrete himself as best he 
cotdd. The Prophet sought refuge in a cliff of the romantic chimney rocks, at 
the east end of the bluff,* and Black Hawk selected a unique hiding place, where 
he had often, years before, secreted himself, when on hunting excursions, to watch 
for game. On a bold promontory of the bluff that stretches far out into the valley, 
on its northern face, and high on the summit of a towering crag, stands an isolated 
gray pine, with its dwarfed and straggling limbs. About twenty feet from its 
base, a remarkable thicket of small branches starts suddenly out from its trunk like a 
cradle from the ship's mast, covered with a dense mass of deep green foliage 
closely matted together, forming a complete protection from outward view to a 
much larger animal than man, and from which an extended view was readily obtained 
of the leading trail, which passed to tl)e foot of the cliff, up and down the valley 
for many miles, and which has since the above event, been familiarly known as 
Black Hawk's Nest, by the early settlers of the valley. 

For two whole days and nights he kept still in his eyrie. Twice during the 
first, runners passed on the trail, but doubtful of their character as friends or foes, 
the accustomed signal was not given. Towards evening of the third, two tall chiefs 
approached in view ; the quick, discerning eye of the fugitive recognized the well- 

'Prophet captured on Black River and Black Hawk at the Dalle on the Wisconsin, 
forty miles above the Portage. Galenlan, Sept 5, 1882, which corresponds with account 

Digitized by 



known costume and gait of his former Winnebago friends, Cha-c-tar and One-Eycd 
De-cor-ra. They had been friends in the early period of the contest, had given him 
important intelligence of the movements of the white men, and had even piloted 
him to the settlement at Spafford's Farms and Fort Mound, while another of their 
chiefs. White Crow, was acting as guide to CoL Dodge. Soon theSe runner chiefs 
came close to the hiding place of Black Hawk and encamped for the night at the 
base of the cliff upon which he was perched. Before they slept, in soft whispers, 
the purport of their journey was disclosed to the deeply interested ear of their 
intended victim. Their errand was to make him captive. Overwhelmed with 
disappointment at their duplicity and treachery, but fearful of the result of an 
attempt at this moment to seek revenge, with characteristic stealthiness, at midnight, 
he quickly descended and again sought safety in flight After communicating with 
his friend, the Prophet, on his future plans of escape from the grasp of his pur- 
suers, they both started for Prairie La Crosse, one hundred miles up the Mississippi, 
where he could cross to the west side and again be secure, 

"But in this he was alike deceived and unfortunate. As day broke, Cha-e-tar 
and De-cor-ra, believing he had sought refuge in the great cave in one of the twin 
bluffs about fifteen miles west, started on their hurried journey, and had proceeded 
but a few miles ere they came upon the well-known trail of the fugitives. Though 
prepared for the emergency, their instructions were to take them alive, if possible, 
and their policy was to keep close on their footsteps, well knowing they could make 
the capture before crossing the river. For two days these wary chiefs kept dose 
in Black Hawk's rear, until, on the evening of the second day, they saw their victims 
enter the wigwams of their band at the river, and in a few moments after they 
were in the presence of the fugitive chief and his companion. Black Hawk saw 
at once his fate was sealed; he was in the hands of his captors, his long-cherished 
visions of triumph over his white enemies instantly vanished, but he was still a 
brave, a warrior that could meet his worst fate with dignified composure. * * ♦ 
He silently held out his hands for the accustomed cord." 

On the 27th of August the two were delivered to General Street 
at Prairie du Qiien, which important event was fully chronicled in a 
letter written by General Street to the St. Louis Globe, dated Prairie du 
Chien, 3d September, 1832: 

"F.P.Blair, Esq.: 

"Dear Sir: — The Indian war is over. The celebrated leaders of the hostile 
Indians, Black Hawk and the Prophet, were delivered to me at this place on the 
27th ultimo, by the Winnebagoes of my agency. The day after Generals Scott and 
Atkinson left this place, I sent out two parties of Winnebagoes to bring Black 
Hawk, the Prophet and Ne-a-pope to me. They returned the 27th ult, about 10 
or II o'clock, and delivered the two first The same day I turned them over to 
Col. Taylor, commanding Fort Crawford, and expect to accompany them with a 
military escort to the headquarters of Gen. Scott at Rock Island in a day or two. 

"I am now waiting the return of an express sent up the Wisconsin, by which 
I expect to receive about fifty or sixty more prisoners taken by the Indians. There 
are now forty-eight in the fort, delivered me by the Winnebagoes of my agency, and 
I have previously delivered to Gen. Atkinson forty-three taken by the Winnebagoes 
and Menominees. 

"The moment the hostile Indians entered the limits of my agency by crossing 
the Wisconsin, with the aid of the commanding officer at the fort, I assembled the 

Digitized by 



Indians of my agency and encamped them before my door, where they remained 
until the battle of the Mississippi and the rout of the hostile Indians. 

"I herewith convey to you an account of the delivery of Black Hawk and the 
Prophet to me. 

"Your most obedient servant, 

"Joseph M. Stkeet." 

"Prairie du Chien, 27th August, 1832. 

"At II o'clock to-day, Black Hawk and the Prophet were delivered to Gen. 
Joseph M. Street by the One-Eyed Decori and Chaeter, Winnebagoes, belonging 
to his agency. Many of the ofl&cers from the post were present It was a moment 
of much interest 

"The prisoners appeared in a full dress of white tanned deerskins. Soon after 
they were seated the One-Eyed Decori rose up and said: 

" *My Father :— I now stand before you. When we parted, I told you I would 
return soon, but I could not come any sooner. We have had to go a great distance 
(the Dalle on the Wisconsin, above the portage). You see we have done what 
you sent us to do. These are the two that you told us to get (pointing to Black 
Hawk and the Prophet). 

"*My Father: — ^We have done what you told us to do. We always do what 
you tell us, because we know it is for our good. 

"'My Father: — You told us to get these men, and it would be the cause of 
much good to the Winnebagoes. We have brought them, but it has been very hard 
for us to do so. That one— Mucatamish-ka-kaik (Black Hawk) — was a great way 
off. You told us to bring them to you alive. We have done so. If you had told 
us to bring their heads alone, we would have done so, and it would have been less 
difficult than what we have done. 

" *My Father : — ^We deliver these men into your hands. We would not deliver 
them even to our brother, the chief of the. warriors, but to you, because we know 
you, and believe you are our friend. We want you to keep them safe. If they arc 
to be hurt, we do not wish to sec it Wait until wc are gone before it is done. 

" 'My Father : — ^Many little birds have been flying about our ears of late, and 
we thought they whispered to us that there was evil intended for us, but now wc 
hope these evil birds will let our ears alone. 

" 'My Father :^We know you are our friend, because you take our part, and 
that is the reason wc do what you tell us to do. 

" 'My Father: — You say you love your red children. Wc think we love you as 
much, if not more, than you love us. We have confidence in you, and you may 
rely on us. 

"'My Father: — ^We have been promised a great deal if we would take these 
men; that it would do much good to our people. We now hope to see what will 
be done for us. 

" 'My Father :^We have come in haste ; we are tired and hungry. We now put 
these men into your hands. We have done all that you told us to do.' 

"General Street said: 'My children :— You have done well I told you to bring 
these men to me, and you have done so. I am pleased at what you have done. It 
is for your good, and for this reason I am pleased. I assured the gttsl chief of the 
warriors that, if these men were in your country you would find them and bring 
them to me; that I believed you would do whatever I directed you, and now that 
you have brought them, I can do much for your good. I will go down to Rock 

Digitized by 



Island with the prisoners, and I wish you who have brought these men especially 
to go with me, with such other chiefs, and warriors as you may select. 

" 'My Children :— The great chief of the warriors when he left this place di- 
rected me to deliver them and all other prisoners to the chief of the warriors at 
this place, Col. Taylor, who is here by me. 

" 'My Children :— Some of the Winnebagoes south of the Wisconsin river have 
befriended the Saukies, and some of the Indians of my agency have also given 
them aid. This displeases the great chief of the warriors and your great father, the 
President, and was calculated to do much harm. 

"'My Children: — ^Your great father, the President, at Washington, has sent a 
greaX war chief from the far east. Gen. Scott, with a fresh army of soldiers. He 
is now at Rock Island. Your great father, the President, has sent him and the 
Governor and chief of Illinois to hold a council with the Indians. He has sent a 
speech to you, and wishes the chiefs and warriors of the Winnebagoes to go to 
Rock Island to the council on the loth of next month. I wish you to be ready 
in three days, when I will go with you. 

" 'My Children : — I am well pleased that you have taken the Black Hawk, the 
Prophet and other prisoners. This will enable me to say much for you to the 
great chief of the warriors and to the President, your g^reat father. 

'"My Children: — I shall now deliver the two men, Black Hawk and the 
Prophet, to the chief of the warriors here; he will take care of them till we start 
to Rock Island.' 

"Col. Taylor said: — 'The g^'^at chief of the warriors told me to take the pris- 
oners when you should bring them, and send them to Rock Island to hinL I will 
take them and keep them safe, but I will use them well and send them with you 
and General Street when you go down to the council, which will be in a few days. 
Your friend. General Street, advises you to get ready and go down soon, and so 
do I. 

" *I tell you again I will take the prisoners. I will keep them safe, but I will 
do them no harm. I will deliver them to the great chief of the warriors, and 
he will do with them and use them in such a manner as shall be ordered by your 
great father, the President.' 

"Chaeter, a Winnebago warrior, then said to General Street: 

" 'My Father : — I am young and do not know how to make speeches. This is 
the second time I ever spoke to you before people. 

" 'My Father : — I am no chief ; I am no orator ; but I have been allowed to 
speak to you. 

" 'My Father : — If I should not speak as well as others, still you must listen 
to me. 

"'My Father: — ^When you made the speech to the chiefs, Wau-kon Decorri, 
Carramana, the One-Eyed Decorri and others 'tother day, I was there. I heard 
you. I thought of what you said to them. You also said to me, you said, "If these 
two (pointing to Black Hawk and the Prophet) were taken by us and brought 
to you, there would nevermore a black cloud hang over your Winnebagoes." 

"'My Father: — ^Your words entered into my ears, into my brains, and into 
my heart. 

'"My Father: — I left here that same night, and you know you have not seen 
me since until now. 

" 'My Father :-— I have been a great way. I have had much trouble ; but when 
I remembered what you said, I knew what you said was right. This made me 
continue and do what you told me to do. 

"'My Father:— Near the Dalle, on the Wisconsin, I took Black Hawk. No 
one did it but me. I say this in the ears of all present, and they know it, and I now 

Digitized by 



appeal to the Great Spirit, our grandfather, and the earth, our grandmother, for 
the truth of what I say. 

"*My Father: — ^I am no chief; but what I have done is for the benefit of my 
nation, and I hope to see the good that has been promised to us. 

"*My Father:— That one, Wa-bo-kie-shiek (the Prophet), is my relation. If 
he is to be hurt, I do not wish to see it 

" *My Father : — Soldiers sometimes stick the ends of their guns (bayonets) 
into the backs of Indian prisoners when they are going about in the hands of the 
guard. I hope this will not be done to these men.' "— G)pied in Niles Weekly 
Register, Vol. 43, page 78, issue of Sept. 29, 1832. 

Digitized by 


Stambaugh's Expedition. 

On the 23d of June Col. George Boyd, Agent for the Mencnninees 
at Green Bay, wrote Atkinson oflFering or suggesting the services of the 
Indians of this agency, to which Atkinson replied on the 12th of July, 
requesting him to raise a company of 200 Menominees to arrest the 
progress of Black Hawk toward the Milwaukee River. This letter was 
entrusted to Colonel Hamilton and safely delivered. 

On the I2th July Colonel Boyd replied as follows :* 

"Indian Agency Office. 

"Green Bay, July 20, 1832. 
"Sir:-— I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th 
instant, in answer to one of mine of the 23d ult, by the hands of Col. Hamilton, 
three days since, and to inform you that arrangements are making, with all possiUe 
expedition, to forward to your aid the services of two hundred Menominees, with 
a view to arrest the progress of the enemy towards the Milwaukee country. Th^ 
will be placed under the inunediate command of CoL Stambaugh, the former agent 
of these people, who, on my first arrival in this country, demanded as a favor that, 
in the event of the Menominees being called into the field, that C<^. Stambaugh 
should be placed at their head. This request was formally granted them by me 
in council, and it is to redeem this pledge, as well as to enable me ccmsistently to 
relinquish a command for which my present state of health wholly unfits me, that 
this arrangement has been made. It has been my earnest wish to employ the talents 
and experience of Col. Hamilton, l^ associating him with the expedition, with 
that rank which would bring him second in command. This offer, I regret to say. 
Col. Hamilton has at once declined. I trust, however, that the Menominees will 
effect what you calculated from their presence in the field under the present man- 
agement, and that they will be ready to take the line of march in order to aid you 
in your intended operations against the enemy in about seven days from the present 
time. ♦ ♦ * "With great respect, etc., 

"G. Boyd, U. S. Ind. Agent 
"Brig.- Gen. H. Atkinson, U. S. Army, Commanding Camp Whitewater, Rock 

There were no arms for them when the communication arrived. 
They were scattered about in a manner to require unusual trouble in 

^12 wis. Hist Colls., p. 270. Lack of knowledge of the country and its geography 
caused Atkinson to call It the Milwaukee country. He intended to cut off a possible 
retreat to Canada via Green Bay. 4 Wis. Hist Colls., p. 185. 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 





Digitized by 



collecting them and upon putting the plan into practical operation Colonel 
Boyd almost despaired enlisting the desired 200. He attempted to 
engage recruits from the ranks of the New York Indians, the Oneidas 
and Stockbridges under Alexander J. Irwin of Green Bay, but they to a 
man refused and Irwin enlisted imder Stambaugh. 

There was no overt hostility to the command of Hamilton, but the 
Menominees held Colonel Stambaugh in such veneration that they were 
unwilling to trust another to command them. 

After much discouraging work, the quota was finally secured and, 
divided into two commands or companies, the battalion was ready to 

*S. C. Stambaugh, Commander; Augustin Grignon, Sr., Captain; 
Chas. Grignon, Jr., First Lieutenant and Interpreter; Robert Grignon, 
Second Lieutenant; George Johnston, Captain; James M. Boyd, First 
Lieutenant; William Powell, Second Lieutenant and Interpreter, and 
Alex J. Irwin, charged with the commissariat, with the rank of First 
Lieutenant Infantry. 

After which Colonel Stambaugh received the following instructions : 

"Indian Agency, July 25, 1832. 

*"Sir: — ^As you have been selected l^ the Menominees to lead them in the 
coming conflict, and having yielded to their choice, I consider it my duty to enclose 
to you a copy of the Commanding General's instructions to Col. Hamilton, as to 
their movements in the field, and the position to be occupied by them in regard 
to the main army, and to request your strict adherence to them, as far as practicable. 

"As much time, however, has elapsed since the above instructions were given, 
and the general line of operations of our army perhaps materially changed, it is 
determined, under all circumstances, to direct you to proceed with all possible 
expedition to Fort Wimiebago, and, immediately on your arrival there, to report 
yourself forthwith, by express, to the Commanding General in the field, and to 
await his orders as to your further movements. 

"Wishing you all the success which the Government has a right to anticipate 
from the movements of the Menominees, and that the honor and the interest of 
the nation may be your leading star, to guide you in all your operations, I have 
the honor to be. Yours, etc, 

"George Boyd, Indian Agent" 
"Col. S. C. Stambaugh, Com. the Menominee Expedition, Green Bay, M. T." 

On the 26th* the battalion moved, and for the only authentic account 
extant of their movements from that hour I am indebted to Augustin 
Grignon, one of the captains in the expedition, which is to be found in 
Vol. 3 of the Wis. Hist. Soc. Colls., p. 293 et seq. 

"Col. Stambaugh had previously been the Menominee Indian Agent, but had 
been superseded by Col. Boyd, who had been directed to raise a party of the Me- 
nominees to serve against the hostile Indians. 

»12 wis. Hist CoUs., p. 279. 
n2 Wis. Hist Colls., p. 282. 
•12 Wis. Hist Colls., p. 284. 

Digitized by 



"Col. Boyd gave the command of the expedition to Col. Stambaugh. The 
Menominees rendezvoused at Green Bay early in July, 1832. There were over 300^ 
all Indians except the officers, about nine in number. 

"Osh-kosh, Souligny, I-om-e-tah, Grizzly Bear, Old Po-e-go-nah, Wau-nau-ko, 
Pe-wau-te-not, Osh-ka-he-nah-niew, or the Young Man, La Mott, Carron, and, 
indeed, all the principal men of the Menominees, were of the party. Alexander 
Irwin was Commissary and Quartermaster. The Indians were arranged into two 
companies. I commanded one, having my son, Charles A. Grignon, and my nephew, 
Robert Grignon, for lieutenants, tieorge Johnson of Green Bay was chosen to 
the command of the other company, with William Powell and James Boyd, a son 
of Col. Boyd, for lieutenants. George Grignon served as a volunteer. 

"With a few pack horses and each man a supply of provisions, we started from 
the Bay and proceeded to the Great Butte des Morts, and there crossed over to the 
present place of Robert Grignon. Went to Portage, and the next day renewed 
our march, and the first night camped on Sugar Creek, some half a dozen miles short 
of the Blue Mounds, and the second night at Fort Dodge, then to English Prairie, 
thence with one other camping we reached Prairie du Chien;* before reaching 
which, Grizzly Bear, his son and two or three others, descending the Wisconsin in a 
canoe, discovered a Sauk girl on an island alone. The Grizzly Bear's son went and 
took her and found her half starved. She was about 10 years old, and on the 
return of the party. Colonel Stambaugh took her to Green Bay and placed her in 
the Indian mission school, and the next year, when Black Hawk reached Green 
Bay on his way home, he took her with him. 

"From Col. William S. Hamilton we learned at Prairie du Chien that a trail 
of Sauks had been discovered down the river. Fully one-half of our party, with 
George Grignon and William Powell, remained at Prairie du Chien while Osh- 
kosh, I-om-e-tah, Souligny, Carron, Pe-wan-te-not, with their warriors, proceeded 
t^ land, accompanied by Colonel Hamilton. 

"We stopped at Barrett's Ferry on the Wisconsin and started early the next 
morning, and about noon struck the Sauk trail and pursued it till the sun was 
about an hour and a half high, when we discovered the smoke of Indians encamped 
in a low spot beside a small stream in the prairie. There were only two men and 
a youth about twelve years old; three or four women and as many children. We 
at once surrounded them and rushed upon them, with orders to take them prisoners ; 
but the Menominees were fierce for a fight and killed the two men and took the 
others prisoners. They fired a volley at the two Sauks, and when they fell they 
were riddled with bullets by those coming up, who wished to share in the honor 
of having participated in the fight In the melee one of the children was wounded 
and died the next day. 

"Lieutenant Robert Grignon was badly wounded in the side with a buckshot, 
and, coursing round his back, lodged. He thought he was shot by the Indian 
lad, but I think it was quite as likely to have been done by some of our own 
party, firing as they were in every direction. 

"This little affair occurred not far back from the Mississippi and some ten 
or fifteen miles north of Cassville. Colonel Hamilton participated in it. 

"We camped on the battleground that night, and next day went to Cassville, 
carrying Robert Grignon on a litter, and thence to Prairie du Chien; he was con- 
veyed in a canoe, while we returned by land. We delivered the prisoners at 

>Oii August 8, as stated by Wakefield, p. 88. 

Digitized by 



Prairie du Chien; we had to leave Robert Grignon there; the shot could not be 
extracted, and he was not able to return till in the autumn. 

"We commenced our return home in three days, and nothing happened on 
our march worthy of particular notice." 

While Stambaugh's expedition accomplished little, it was an integral 
part of the general scheme and has been given the consideration it 

Digitized by 


Examination of the Indians — ^Black Hawk a Prisoner. 

With the exception of Black Hawk's immediate party, the prisoners 
were sent to Fort Armstrong, and in a report from General Scott to 
Hon. Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, dated at Fort Armstrong, August 
19th, he states that he had examined many of the 118 prisoners taken, 
from whom he had learned that at one time ten lodges of Winnebagoes 
had been with Black Hawk's party, and that Winnebagoes brought in 
scalps eight different times. They also stated that the Agent St. Vrain 
was killed by Winnebagoes ; in consequence whereof, the general had sent 
a talk to the Winnebagoes, demanding of them that their chiefs, warriors 
and principal men meet him on the loth of September and bring such 
Sacs, Foxes and Kickapoos of Black Hawk's party as may have taken 
refuge amongst them, and such Winnebagoes as may have been engaged 
in the war, or may have given assistance to the enemy. 

Ne-a-pope, the principal war brave of Black Hawk's band, in his 
examination^ said : 

"I always belonged to Black Hawk's band. Last summer I went to Maiden; 
when I came back, I found that, by the treaty with General Gaines, the Sacs had 
moved across the Mississippi. I remained during the winter with the Prophet, on 
Rock River, 35 miles above the mouth. During the winter the Prophet sent me 
across the Mississippi to Black Hawk with a message, telling him and his band 
to cross back to his village and make com. That if the Americans came and told 
them to move again, they would shake hands with them — if Americans had come and 
told us to move, we should have shaken hands and immediately have moved peace- 
fully.* We encamped on Sycamore Creek — ^we met some Pottowattamies and I 
made a feast for them. At that time I heard there were some Americans near us 
(Stillman's). I prepared a white flag to go and see them, and sent two or three 
young men on a hill to see what they were doing. Before the feast was finished 
I heard my young men were killed; this was at stmset. Some of my yotmg men 
ran out; two were killed, and the Americans were seen rushing on to our camp. 
My young men fired a few guns and the Americans ran off, and my young men 
chased them about six miles."' 

^Made on the 19th. 

*He entirely forgot the many requests of Atkinson to move peacefully. 

•Also copied in 43 Niles Beg. for Sept 29, 1882, p. 69. 


Digitized by 



Ne-a-pope continued by stating that the Pottowatomies of the vil- 
lage immediately left them, and that no Kickapoos joined them but those 
who were originally with Black Hawk; but the Winnebagoes did, and 
brought in scalps frequently; that at last, when they found the Sacs 
would be beaten, they turned against them. 

Na-ni-sa, a Sac woman, aged 25, sister of a head warrior, stated that 
in the hottest of the fight of August 2d she kept her infant close in her 
blanket by the force of her teeth, seized a horse's tail, and got across the 
Mississippi, where they were afterwards attacked by the Sioux. She 
ran oflF, but during the firing she heard some of those who fired, hallo — *^1 
am a Winnebago." 

When, on August 27th, Black Hawk was brought a prisoner before 
General Street, he is reported to have addressed the latter as follows:* 

"My warriors fell around me. It began to look dismal. I saw my evil day at 
hand. The sun rose clear on us in the morning; at night it sunk in a dark cloud, 
and looked like a ball of fire. This was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. 
He is now a prisoner to the white man, but he can stand the torture. He is not 
afraid of death. He is no coward. Black Hawk is an Indian. He has done noth- 
ing of which an Indian need be ashamed. He has fought the battles of his country 
against the white man, who came year after year to cheat his people and take 
away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all 
white men. They ought to be ashamed of it The white men despise the Indians 
and drive them from their homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. Indians do 
not steal. Black Hawk is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. 
He has done his duty. His father will meet and reward him. The white men 
do not scalp the heads, but they do worse — they poison the heart It is not pure 
with them. His countrymen will not be scalped, but they will in a few years 
become like the white man, so that you cannot hurt them ; and there must be, as in 
the white settlements, as many officers as men to take care of them and keep them 
in order. Farewell to my nation I Farewell to Black Hawk !" 

Black Hawk and his fellow prisoners were placed aboard the steam- 
boat to be delivered to General Scott at Fort Armstrong, where treaties 
were to have been negotiated at once with the Sacs and Foxes and Wiime- 
bagoes. Soured at his restraint he sought, in a speech at Galena, to shift 
his guilt to the shoulders of Keokuk, as has been reported in the Galenian 
of September 5th, 1832: 

"Black Hawk this morning desired to speak to General Street The amount 
of what he said was: That he was not the originator of the war. He was now 
going where he would meet Keokuk and then he would tell the truth. He would 
tell all about this war which had caused so much troul^e. There were chiefs and 
braves of his nation who were the cause of the continuance of the war. He did 
not wish to hold any council with him. He only wanted to tell him that when he 
got where Keokuk was, he would tell the whole of the origin of the differences and 
those who continued them. He wanted to surrender long ago; but others refused. 
He wanted to surrender to the steamboat Warrior, and tried to do so till the second 

>Falton*s "Bed Men of Iowa/' p. 210. 

Digitized by 



fire. He then ran and went up the river and never returned to the battleground. 
His determination then was to escape if he could. He did not intend to surrender 
after that; but when the Winnebagoes came upon him, he gave up — and he would 
tell all about the disturbances when he got to Rock Island." 

It is a noteworthy fact that when he did meet Keokuk he made 
no startling disclosures. On the contrary, he leaned upon Kerfcuk and 
cultivated the latter's assistance, with the expectation that Keokuk would 
be able to aid him to escape further captivity. 

Upon the arrival at Fort Armstrong of the boat, the cholera was rag- 
ing with such virulence that General Scott directed the prisoners to be 
taken on down to Jefferson Barracks until tiie fury of the disease had 
abated.* This angered Black Hawk, for he was determined to make a 
speech to Scott and doubtless endeavor to unload all his offenses upon 

This memorable trip from Prairie du Chien to Jefferson Barracks 
was made in charge of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, and of his kindness and 
consideration for the feelings of the distinguished prisoners, Black Hawk 
has this to say:* 

"We remained here (Prairie du Chien) a short time, and then started for 
Jefferson Barracks in a steamboat under the charge of a young war chief (Lieut 
Jefferson Davis) who treated all with much kindness. He is a good and brave 
young chief, with whose conduct I was much pleased. On our way down we 
called at Galena and remained a short time. The people crowded to the boat to 
sec us, but the war chief would not permit them to enter the apartment where we 
were — ^knowing, from what his feelings would have been if he had been placed 
in a similar situation, that we did not wish to have a gaping crowd around us." 

Arriving safely at Jefferson Barracks,* the prisoners were delivered 
to General Atkinson, who put them in irons and thus laid the finishing 
stroke to Black Hawk's pride. On this feature of his captivity he had 
Colonel Patterson write: "We were now confined to the barracks and 
forced to wear the ball and chain. This was extremely mortifying and 
altogether useless. Was the White Beaver (Atkinson) afraid I would 
break out of his barracks and run away? or was he ordered to inflict tiiis 
punishment upon me? If I had tak«i him prisoner on the field of battle 
I would not have wounded his feelings so much by such treatment, know- 
ing that a brave war chief would prefer death to dishonor. But I do 

^The Captain, prior to leaylng, had pledged his passengers not to stop at Ft. 
strong. Mo. Rep., Sept 11, 1882. 

•Autobiography 2d Bd., p. 111. 

"Mo. RM>ablican of Sept 11, 1882, contains statement that steamboat Wlnnebaco 
arrived in St Lonis en route for r Jefferson Barracks "ten miles ' below," on Sept 10. 
That the "boat left Galena with Black Hawk, The Prophet two sons of Black Hawk and 
nine braves, together with about 50 warriors." The latter were landed south of the 
lower rapids on their pledge of neutrality. Black Hawk, The Prophet^ two sons aad 
nine braves were taken to Jefferson Barracks to remain as hostajges. On the preceding 
Thursday Ne-a-pope and six or seven warriors were taken there oy Lt. Cross and five 
men under his command. 

Digitized by 



not blame the White Beaver for the course he pursued, as it is the custom 
among the white soldiers, and I suppose was a part of his duty." 

The White Beaver probably had in mind the many previous breaches 
of faith exhibited by the prisoner, after having made promises and trea- 
ties to behave himself, when he applied ^he shackles, and Black Hawk real- 
ized for the first time that the whites would suflPer him to disturb them no 
longer. In his lofty speech to General Street, stating that "he can stand 
the torture," one would expect to find Black Hawk glorifying the pleasure 
of manacled martyrdom; but in the contrast between the speech arid 
the complaint, we find the true Black Hawk, from young manhood to 
his capture. The inconvenience of prison life made of him the poorest* 
example of martyrdom that ever posed. 


Digitized by 


Scott's Expedition — ^Treaty. 

Allusion to the presence of General Scott in this campaign has been 
made, but for the purpose of receiving substantial treatment later on 
was temporarily dropped. 

He may not have participated in any of its pitched battles, but in 
his conflict with an enemy more dreadful than bullets, he displayed a 
genius and heroism seldom found in military annals. 

For the first time in the history of this continent, Asiatic cholera had 
appeared in Quebec and Montreal during the early days of warm weather. 
Few knew its character and none its treatment. 

Jackson, who had g^own impatient at what he considered a policy of 
procrastination and conduct which he is said to have characterized as 
pusillanimous on the part of tiie volimteers, ordered Scott to take nine 
companies from the Atlantic coast, proceed to the seat of war and put an 
end to it. 

On June 28th General Scott started from Fortress Monroe with them, 
and with four of his nine companies made the trip to Chicago in the 
incredibly short space of eighteen days. His departure was noticed in 
Niles Register for June 30, 1832. The trip was prosperous enough to 
Buffalo, where four steamboats, the Sheldon Thompson, H«iry Clay, 
Superior and William Penn, were chartered to carry the expedition 
around the lakes to Chicago. Down Lake Erie all went well, but when 
Detroit* was reached, two cases developed on board the Thompson while 
moored to the wharf, which excited alarm. The victims died and the 
boats all passed on up tiie St. Clair River to Fort Gratiot, some forty 
miles distant, by which time the contagion had assumed such proportions 
that it became necessary to land five companies of 280 men. Many had 
died ; others died immediately after landing; others fled, and later, when 
seized with the pest, were shunned and denied assistance. Thus abandoned 
and exhausted, the miserable wretches perished in woods and fields, only 
to be discovered when birds of prey surrounded their bodies or the odor 

^Dayidson A Stnye, IHs., p. 406. Brown Hist Ills., p. 878. 


Digitized by 



from decomposition became apparent. Of the entire body of 280 men, 
we are told that but nine survived. 

Scott, in his autobiography, Vol. i, p. 218, has stated that the disease 
broke out on his boat and that the only surgeon aboard, after drinking 
half a bottle of wine, was frightened into a sickness which kept him to 
his bed. He further adds witfi some asperity that the surgeon "ought 
to have died." 

Preparatory to departure, Scott, who was always forehanded, had 
consulted Surgeon Mower of New York about the disease, and, adopting 
all his suggestions, had laid in a supply of medicines to use if tj^e plague 
overtook him. These he supplied with his own hand to one and all, from 
the moment of its appearance to the final eradication of the scourge from 
the ranks of his army. In Niles Register for August 4th, Vol. 42, 
p. 402, we are told that Lieut. Gust. Brown and Second Lieut. Franklin 
McDuffie had died July 15th,' and Col. W. J. Worth, Capt. John Munroe 
and Lieut. William C. DeHart were ordered east July 14th from Chi- 
cago, being too ill to travel. In the issue of August nth Captain Gath 
(probably meant for Gait), the other member of "the staff," is mentioned 
as being sent in the same party. 

Decimation of the ranks of the men is noticed in Vol. 42, Niles, 
p. 423, for August nth: "Of the 208 soldiers attached to the command 
of Colonel Twiggs, 30 died and 155 deserted. Of three companies of 
artillery under him, consisting of 152 men, 26 died and 20 deserted. Of 
Colonel Cummings' detachment of 80 men, 21 died and 4 deserted. Of 
Colonel Crane's artillery, 220 men, 55 died. Of the 850 men who left 
Buffalo, not more than 200 were left fit for the field." 

While a slight discrepancy may be found to exist between items 
and their totals, they are but natural to all statements, and do not over- 
estimate the awful mortality and the conditions, which can readily be 
realized. The following letter, published in the same issue of Niles and 
dated Fort Dearborn, July 12th, will probably convey a better idea of those 
conditions than any deductions I may make : ^ 

^'We have got at last to our place of rendezvous, but in what a condition! 
We have traveled 600 miles in a steamboat crowded almost to suffocation and 
the Asiatic cholera raging amongst us. The scenes on board the boat are not to be 
described. Men died in six hours after being in perfect health. The steerage was 
crowded with the dying and new cases were appearing on the deck, when the 
demon entered the cabin. The first case occurred at Fort Gratiot ; the man attacked 
belonged to the company I commanded. I found that the soldiers hesitated about 
attending him at first, so that I went to the sick man, felt his pulse and stood by 
his bed, and in a short time the soldiers became reconciled. This was only at first, 
for when the disease came upon us with fury and the boat became a moving 
pestilence, every soldier who was well became a nurse for the sick. The disease 

»Wentworth*8, Ft. Dearborn, p. 81. 

Digitized by 



was met with resolution, and never did a body of men stand more firmly by each 
other than the soldiers in our boat. 

"To give you an idea of the disease: You remember Sergeant Hcyl? He 
was well at nine o'clock in the morning — ^he was at the bottom of Lake Michigan 
at seven o'clock in the afternoon! I was officer of the day when we arrived and 
had to move all the sick, men to the shore ; I had scarcely got through my task 
when I was thrown down on the deck almost as suddenly as if shot 

• "As I was walking on the lowef deck, I felt my legs growing stiff from my 
knees down. I went on the upper deck and walked violently to keep up a circulation 
of the blood. I felt suddenly a rush of blood from my feet upwards, and as it 
rose my veins grew cold and my blood curdled. I was seized with a nausea at 
the stomach and a desire to vomit My legs and hands were cramped with violent 
pain. The doctor gave me eight grains of opium and made me rub my legfs as 
fast as I could ; he also' made me drink a tumbler and a half of raw brandy, and 
told me if I did not throw up the opium I would certainly be relieved; but not 
until I had had a violent spasm. The pain is excruciating." 

Another letter, written by Capt. A. Walker to Capt. R. C. Bristd, 
which first appeared in the Chicago Democrat, March 23d, 1861, was 
afterward copied in "Fort Dfearbom," page 72^ in an address delivered 
by John Wentworth, May 2isti 1881, and published the same year by the 
Chicago Historical Society, and is as follows: 

*** * * It will also be remembered, as stated in my former communication, 
that four steamers, the Henry Clay, Superior, Sheldon Thompson and William 
Penn, were chartered by the United States Government for the purpose of trans- 
porting troops, equipments and provisions to Chicago during the Black Hawk war, 
but owing to the fearful ravages made by the breaking out of the Asiatic cholera 
among the troops and crews on board, two of those boats were compelled to 
abandon their voyage, proceeding no further than Fort Gratiot The disease be- 
came so violent and alarming on board the Henry Clay that nothing like discipline 
could be observed; everything in the way of subordination ceased. As soon as 
the steamer came to the dock each man sprang on shore, hoping to escape from a 
scene so terrifying and appalling. Some fled to the fields, some to the woods, 
while others lay down in the streets, and under the cover of the river bank, where 
most of them died unwept and alone. 

"There were no cases of cholera causing death on board my boat until we 
passed the Manitou Islands (Lake Michigan). The first person attacked died about 
four o'clock in the afternoon, some thirty hours before reaching Chicago. As 
soon as it was ascertained by the surgeon that life was extinct, the deceased was 
wrapped closely in his blanket, placing within some weights, secured by lashing 
some small cordage around the ankles, knees, waist and neck, and then com- 
mitted, lyith but little ceremony, to the deep. 

"This unpleasant, though imperative duty, was performed by the orderly ser- 
geant, with a few privates detailed for that purpose. In like manner twelve others, 
including this same noble sergeant, who sickened and died in a few hours, wer^ 
also thrown overboard before the balance of the troops were landed at Chicago. 

"The sudden and untimely death of this veteran sergeant and his committal to 
a watery grave caused a deep sensation on board among the soldiers and crews, 
which I will not here attempt to describe. The effect produced upon General Scott 
and the other officers in witnessing the scene was too visible to be misunderstood. 

Digitized by 



for the dead soldier had been a very valuable man, and evidently a favorite among 
the officers and soldiers of the regiment 

"Some very interesting and appropriate memoranda were made by the steward 
of the boat at the time on one of the leaves of his account book (which is still 
in my possession) by quotations from one of the poets, such as 'Sleep, soldier, 
sleep; thy warfare's o'er/ etc. 

"On another leaf is a graphic representation of a coffin, made by pen and ink, 
placed opposite the account on the credit side of one of the volunteer officers, who 
died after reaching Chicago, with this singular and concise device or inscription 
written upon the lid of the coffin: 'Account settled by death.' 

" *H. Bradley, Qerk and Steward, 

"'Steamer Sheldon Thompson. 

"'Chicago, 111., July ii, 1832.'" 

"There was one singular fact — not one of the officers of the army was at- 
tacked by the disease while on board my boat with such violence as to result in 
death, or any of the officers belonging to the boat, though nearly one-fourth of the 
crew fell a prey to the disease on a subsequent trip while on the passage from 
Detroit to Buffalo. 

*'Wc arrived in Chicago* on the evening of the loth of July, 1832. I sent 
the yawl boat on shore soon after with General Scott and a number of the volunteer 
officers, who accompanied him on his expedition against the hostile tribes, who, 
with Black Hawk, had committed many depredations. Before landing the troops 
next morning, we were under the painful necessity of committing three more to 
the deep, who died during the night, making in all sixteen who were thus con- 
signed to a watery grave. These three were anchored to the bottom in two and a 
half fathoms, the water being so clear that their forms could be plainly seen from 
our decks. This unwelcome sight created such excitement, working upon the 
superstitious fears of some of the crew, that prudence dictated that we weigh 
anchor and move a distance sufficient to shut from sight a scene which seemed 
to haunt the imagination and influence the mind with thoughts of some portentous 

"In the course of the day and night following eighteen others died, and we 
interred their bodies n6t far from the spot where the American Temperance House 
(northwest comer Lake Street and Wabash Avenue) has since been erected. The 
earth that was removed to cover one made a grave to receive the next that died. 
All were buried without coffins or shrouds, except their blankets, which served for 
a winding sheet, and there left, as it were, without remembrance or a stone to 
mark their resting place. During the four days we remained at Chicago fifty-four 
more died, making an aggregate of eighty-eight who paid the debt of nature." 

The disease was dreadful enough, but its reputation had spread such 
consternation abroad that Scott was compelled to write to Governor 
Reynolds a letter, asking for it general circulation, to allay the fright of 
the people : 

"Headquarters, Northwest Army, Chicago, 
"July IS, 1832. 
"Sir:— To prevent or to correct the exaggerations of rumor in respect to the 
existence of cholera at this place, I address myself to your Excellency. Four 

'Lt. Humphrey Manhall, later General and a Member of Congress from Kentucky, 
came to Chicago wlCh Scott — ^Barly Chicago, Ft. Dearborn, p. 81. 

Digitized by 



steamers were engaged at Buffalo to transport United States troops and supplies 
to Chicago. In the headmost of these boats, the Sheldon Thompsoa, I, with my 
staff and four companies, a part of Colonel Eustis' command, arrived here on the 
night of the loth inst On the 8th, all on board were in high health and spirits, but 
the next morning six cases of undoubted cholera presented themselves. The disease 
rapidly spread itself for the next three days. About 120 persons have been affected. 
Under a late act of Congress six companies of rangers are to be raised and marched 
to this place. General Dodge of Michigan is appointed major of the battalion, and 
I jhave seen the names of the captains, but I do not know where to address them. 
I am afraid that the report from this place in respect to cholera may seriously 
retard the raising of this force. I wish, therefore, that your Excellency would 
give publicity to the measures I have adopted to prevent the spread of this disease 
and of my determination not to allow any junction or communication between 
uninfected and infected troops. The war is not at an end and may not be brought 
to a close for some time. The rangers may reach the theater of operations in time 
to give the final blow. As they approach this place I shall take care of their 
health and general wants. 

"I write in great haste, and may not have time to cause my letter to be 
copied. It will be put in some postoffice to be forthwith forwarded. I have the 
honor to be your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

"WiNracLD Scott. 

"His Excellency, Governor Reynolds.'' 

From Fort Gratiot the remnant of the troops proceeded around 
the lakes, hopeful that no further signs of the cholera would appear. 
In this Scott was gratified until the shores of Mackinac were reached, 
when, notwithstanding the utmost care of his troops, another case sud- 
denly developed, and from that hour until the expedition reached Qiicago, 
July loth, and from thence into the fort, which became a hospital, it 
continued its relentless ravages, until the last of the month, at which time, 
by Scott's tireless exertions, it was thought to have been thoroughly 

*At this time Major William Whistler was commandant of Fort 
Dearborn, which contained one company of infantry imder the immediate 
conwnand of Capt. Seth Johnson, with Samuel G. I. DeCamp, Surgeon; 
Julius J. B. Kingsbury, First Lieutenant, and Hannibal Day, James W. 
Penrose and Edwin R. Long, Second Lieutenants. In many narratives of 
this expedition, it has been stated that Scott arrived before Fort Dear- 
born July 8th, but the letters heretofore copied herein, and which should 
be accurate, make the date July loth, and that is the date which should be 
considered in all future references to the subject. Here, for want of 
harbor facilities, Scott was compelled to unload his men in boats one-half 
mile out and row them to shore.* In all this long journey, with its 

^An entry In the records of the War Dept reads: "Fort Dearborn having become a 
general hospital on July 11th, no returns were received until Its reoccupation: Companies 
O and I, 2d Infantrv, returned to the fort on October 1st from the campaign." went- 
worth's address on Ft. Dearborn. 

•Ft Dearborn by Wentworth, p. 12. 

•Ft Dearborn by Wentworth, p. 84. 

Digitized by 




hs^"^ JP 

V. S. A. 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 



horrors, and in his long stay at Fort Dearborn, Scott never wearied in 
his ministrations to the suffering men, whose brows he snKK>thed as they 
died in agony, trying with a last gasp to bless him for his patient and 
loving care. 

In many a campaign did this fine old hero distinguish himself, but in 
none did he win more fame than in this, against an enemy with whom he 
could not treat ; in which, as he subsequently stated to John Wentworth : 
"Sentinals were of no use in warning of the enemy's approach. He could 
not storm his works, fortify against him, nor cut his way out, nor make 
terms of capitulation. There was no respect for a flag of truce and his 
men were falling upon all sides from an enemy in his very midst.'"* 

Among those who sought fortune in this war were most of a class 
of forty-five cadets of the class of 1832. Twenty-nine of them left Buffalo 
for the Black Hawk campaign, but nearly all were sent back from Fort 

On board the ship, amidst stifling air, the dying and dead ; on land, 
in hospital — ^a very pest house — everywhere, was Scott ; and not until the 
last case had disappeared did he think of relinquishing his fatherly care 
of the suffering soldiers. Then, on July 29th,' finding the spread of the 
contagion once more checked, he set out with three staff officers for 
Prairie du Qiien, following the route subsequently adopted in 1834 as 
the mail route from Galena to Chicago, via Fort Payne,* Naperville, 
Aurora, along through what subsequently became DeKalb County, across 
Lee, up to Dixon's Ferry, arriving there August 2d with the report that 
the troops under Eustis were en route for Dixon's, and leaving oh the 
same day for Galena, which he reached August 3d with his staff officers, 
Captains Patrick H. ,Galt, Hartman Bache and William Maynadier. 
Leaving Galena on the 5th, on the steamboat Warrior, for Fort Crawford, 
it Prairie du Chien, that point in turn was reached August 7th, when and 
where he assumed command of the entire army. 

His first act was to order the discharge of the volunteer forces, which 
immediately marched to Dixon's Ferry for that purpose, Dodge's battalion 
excepted, and then on the loth, at 6 o'clock, he started down the Missis- 
sippi for Fort Armstrong, on the boat Warrior, with two companies of 
U. S. Infantry, eight members of the Sixth Infantry and General Atkin- 
son and staff, transferring the scene to Fort Armstrong.' On the nth 
Fort Armstrong was reached. 

On leaving Chicago, Scott left orders for Lieut.-Col. Abraham Eustis 
to follow his general route to Fort Crawford with all the well troops 

>Pt. Dearborn by Wentworth, p. 3%. 

*Pt. Dearborn by Wentworth, p. 37, where the names are given. 

"Scott's letter, Mo. Republican for Aug. 7, 1882. 

«8cott's letter to Capt J. R. Brant, A. Q. M., St. Louis, pub. In Mo. Bep. Aug. 7, 1832. 

"Johnston's Journal. 

Digitized by 



which had arrived, or might arrive before the 3d August/ which 
Colonel Eustis did, but upon reaching Dixon's Ferry an express from 
Scott informed the Colonel of the termination of the war and ordered him 
to follow Rock River down its left bank, along the route used by Atkin- 
son, to its mouth, and establish his camp at Fort Armstrong on Rock 
Island. On this march Colonel Eustis reached EKxon's Ferry on the 
17th,* resting there until the 22d of August,' when he moved down to 
Fort Armstrong and camped a short distance from die mouth of Rock 
River, about four miles from Atkinson's men. 

On the 1 2th Scott sent Lieutenant Buchanan on the steamboat 
Warrior to bring down all prisoners* surrendered to that period, after 
which he b^^ the examination of witnesses to ascertain the names of 
those who actively assisted Black Hawk and those who were his passive 
allies, in order to act intelligently in adjusting the treaties expected to be 
made September loth, with reference to the settlement of damages sus- 
tained by the United States. On the evening of the 13th Keokuk, with 
fifty or sixty Sacs and Foxes, arrived in camp and reported that he had 
visited all the Sac and Fox villages, and that none of Black Hawk's band 
had yet arrived. He further reported that he had ordered forty-two 
braves in the direction of the "loway,*' to intercept and bring in any 
stragglers as they might appear. On the 14th Keokuk delivered to Scott 
a brave who had murdered a white man, just before, in the vicinity of 
the Yellow Banks. 

On the 15th Atkinson, with his staff, viz.. Lieutenants Johnston, 
Wheelwright and Dorrance, and Captains Smith, Rogers and Hattcm, 
Sixth Infantry, and Lieutenant Richardson, left on the steamboat War- 
rior for St. Louis. 

On or about the 26th of August the cholera again broke out with 
unusual virulence,* and again Scott actively participated in conquering it. 
So many Indians became affected that it became necessary to dismiss them 
all until they could be re-assembled by special summons. The following 
order became imperative: 

"Assistant Adjutant-General's OflRce, 
"O d N 6l "Fort Armstrong, August 28th, 1832. 

"i. The cholera has made its appearance on Rock Island. The two first cases 
were brought by mistake ffom Captain Ford's company of U. S. Rangers; one of 
those died yesterday, the other is convalescent. A second death occurred this morn- 
ing in the hospital in Fort Armstrong. The man was of the 4th Infantry and had 
been there some time under treatment for debility. The ranger now convalescent 
was in the same hospital with him for sixteen hours before a cholera hospital could 
be established outside the camp and fort. 

>Bcott*8 letter to Hon. Lewis Cass, dated Aug. 10, 1832. 
*David8on and Stuve, p. 407. Galenian of Aug. 22d. 
•Nlles, Vol. 43, p. 61. 

«118 as reported by Scott. Nlles, Sept. 29, p. 69. 
•Capt. Henry Smith, X Wis. Hist Colls., p. 165. 

Digitized by 



"2. It is believed that all these men were of intemperate habits. The Ranger 
who is dead, it is known, generated this disease within him by a fit of intoxication. 

"3. This disease having appeared among the Rangers^ and on this island, all 
in conmiission are called upon to exert themselves to the utmost to stop the spread 
of the calamity. 

"4. Sobriety, cleanliness of person, cleanliness of camp and quarters, together 
with care in the preparation of the men's messes, are the grand preventives. No 
neglect under these important heads will be overlooked or tolerated. 

"5. In addition to the foregoing, the Senior Surgeon present recommends the 
use of flannel shirts, flannel drawers and woolen stockings ; but the Commanding Gen- 
eral, who has seen much of this disease, knows that it is intemperance which, in the 
present state of the atmosphere, generates and spreads the calamity, and that, 
when once spread, good and temperate men are likely to take the infection. 

"6. He therefore peremptorily commands that every soldier or Ranger who 
shall be found dnmk or sensibly intoxicated after the publication of this order, be 
compelled, as soon as his strength will permit, to dig a grave at a suitable burying 
place large enough for his own reception, as such grave cannot fail soon to be wanted 
for the drunken man himself or some drunken companion. 

"7. This order is given as well to serve for the punishment of drunkenness 
as to spare good and temperate men the labor of digging graves for their worthless 
companions. « 

"8. The sanitary regulations now in force respecting communications between 
the camp near the mouth of Rock River and other camps and posts in the neigh- 
borhood are revoked. (They had provided for sending all the sick to the hospital 
on Rock Island.) Colonel Eustis, however, whose troops are perfectly free from 
cholera, will report to the Commanding General whether he believes it for the safety 
of his command that these regulations should be renewed. 
"By order of Major-General Scott, 

"P. H. Galt, Ass't Adjutant-General." 

Cold rains fell; many soldiers were afforded protection from them 
only by the most miserable of tents, and soon out of 300 cases there were 
fifty deaths. Finally, as a last resort, the men were removed across the 
river, where the last case disappeared. It has been said that in this last 
visitation the Rangers suffered most.* 

At the time of the appearance of the cholera the three Sacs were 
confined in the military prison at Fort Armstrong on a charge of com- 
plicity in the murder of the Menominees near Prairie du Chien on the 
31st of July, 183 1. By reason of the cholera, General Scott set them at 
liberty, taking their promise to return upon, the exhibition of a certain 
signal to be hung from the limb of a dead tree at an elevated point of 
the island when the epidemic should be over. The signal was subse- 
quently hung up, and, true to their parole, the Indians reported them- 
selves. They were again paroled and subsequently released.* 

Having again checked the disease, Scott sent out the summons to 

>Cholera appeared In the ranks of Capt. Jesse B. Brown's company Jnst below Dlxon*s 
Ferry. Nnrses were left behind to care for the sick. At Fort Armstrong thirteen of 
the company died and wlire burled In the woods. X Wis., 231. 

«Capt Henry Smith. X Wis., 165. 

"Scott's Autobiography. 

Digitized by 



the Winnebagoes, who assembled on the 15th* to sign a new treaty. 
Before proceeding with its details it was considered best to prepare 
them for the forfeitures they must necessarily sustain by reason of thdr 
assistance to Black Hawk at nearly all stages of the campaign^ as ascer- 
tained by the examinations of witnesses: 

"Such is justice between nation and nation, against which none can rightfully 
complain; but as God, in his dealit^s with human creatures, tempers justice with 
mercy — or else the whole race of man would soon have perished— so shall we, 
commissioners, in humble imitation of divine example, now treat you, my red 
brethren, who have offended both against God and your great human father at 

Thereupon the following treaty was made and signed, on the 21st 
day of September, 1832, and promulgated by the President's proclama- 
tion, February 13th, 1833, lifter having been ratified by the Senate : 

concluded at Fort Armstrong, Rock Island, Illinois, between the United States of 
America, by their Commissioners, Major-General Winfield Scott, of the United 
States Army, and His Excellency John Reynolds, Governor of the State of Illinois, 
and the confederated tribes of Sac and Fox Indians, represented in general council 
by the undersigned Chiefs, Headmen and Warriors. 

WHEREAS, Under certain lawless and desperate leaders a formidable band, 
constituting a large portion of the Sac and Fox nation, left their country in April 
last, and, in violation of treaties, commenced an unprovoked war upon unsuspecting 
and defenseless citizens of the United States, sparing neither age nor sex; and 
whereas, the United States, at a great expense of treasure, have subdued the 
said hostile band, killing or capturing all its principal chiefs and warriors, the 
said States, partly as indemnity for the expense incurred, and partly to secure 
the future safety and tranquility of the invaded frontier, demand of the said tribes, 
to the use of the United States, a cession of a tract of the Sac and Fox coun- 
try, bordering on said frontier, more than proportional to the numbers of the 
hostile band who have been so conquered and subdued. 

Article I. Accordingly, the confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes hereby 
cede to the United States forever all the lands to which the said tribes have title or 
claim (with the exception of the reservation hereinafter made) included within 
the following bounds, to-wit: Beginning on the Mississippi River, at the point 
where the Sac and Fox northern boundary line, as established by the second 
article of the treaty of Prairie du Chien of the fifteenth of July, one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty, strikes said river; thence, up said boundary line to a 
point fifty miles from the Mississippi, measured on said line; thence, in a right 
line, to the nearest point on the Red Cedar of the loway, forty miles from the 
Mississippi River; thence in a right line to a i>oint in the northern boundary line 
of the State of Missouri, fifty miles, measured on said boundary, from the Missis- 
sippi River ; thence by the last-mentioned boundary to the Mississippi River, and 
by the western shore of said river to the place of beginning. And the said con- 
federated tribes of Sacs and Foxes hereby stipulate and agree to remove from 
the lands herein ceded to the United States, on or before the first day of June next ; 

'Poetponed from the 10th. 
•Scott's Antobiog., Vol. 1, p. 227. 

Digitized by 



and in order to prevent any future misunderstanding it is expressly understood 
that no band or party of the Sac or Fox tribes shall reside, plant, fish or hunt on 
any portion of the ceded country after the period just mentioned. 

Article IL Out of the cession made in the preceding article the United States, 
agree to a reservation for the use of the said confederated tribes of a tract of land 
containing four hundred square miles, to be laid off under the directions of the 
President of the United States, from the bodndary line crossing the loway River, in 
such manner that nearly an equal portion of the reservation may be on both sides 
of .said river, and extending downwards, so as to include Ke-o-kuk's principal 
village on its right bank, which village is about twelve miles from the Mississippi 

Article III. In consideration of the great extent of the foregoing cession, the 
United States stipulate and agree to pay to the said confederated tribes annually, 
for thirty successive years, the first payment to be made in September of the next 
year, the sum of twenty thousand dollars in specie. 

Article IV. It is further agreed that the United States shall establish and 
maintain within the limits, and for the use and benefit of the Sacs and Foxes, for 
the period of thirty years, one additional black and gunsmith shop, with the neces- 
sary tools, iron and steel; and finally make a yearly allowance for the same 
period, to the said tribes, of forty k^s of tobacco and forty barrels of salt, to be 
delivered at the mouth of the loway River. 

Article V. The United States, at the earnest request of the said confederated 
tribes, further agree to pay to Famham and Davenport, Indian traders at Rock 
Island, the sum of forty thousand dollars without interest, which sum will be id 
full satisfaction of the claims of the said traders against the said tribes, and by 
the latter was, on the tenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty- 
one, acknowledged to be justly due for articles of necessity, furnished in the 
course of the seven preceding years, in an instrument of writing of said date, duly 
signed by the Chiefs and Headmen of said tribes, and certified by the late Felix 
St Vrain, United States agent, and Antoine LeGaire, United States interpreter, 
both for the said tribes. 

Article VI. At the special request of the said confederated tribes, the United 
States agree to grant, by patent in fee simple, to Antoine LeClaire, Interpreter, a 
part Indian, one section of land opposite Rock Island, and one section at the head 
of the first rapids above said island, within the country herein ceded by the Sacs 
and Foxes. 

Article VII. Trusting to the good faith of the neutral bands of Sacs and Foxes, 
thei United States .have already delivered up to those bands the great mass of 
prisoners made in the course of the war by the United States, and promise to. use 
their influence to procure the delivery of other Sacs and Foxes, who may still be pris- 
oners in the hands of a band of Sioux Indians, the friends of the United States ; 
but the following named prisoners of war, now in confinement, who were Chiefs 
and Headmen, shall be held as hostages for the future good conduct of the late hostile 
bands, during the pleasure of the President of the United States, viz. : Muk-ka-ta- 
mish-a-ka-kaik (or Black Hawk) and his two sons; Wau-ba-kee-shik (the Prophet), 
his brother and two sons ; Na-pope, We-sheet loway, Pa-ma-ho, and Cha-kee-pa-shi- 
pa-ho (the Little Stabbing Chief). 

Article VIII. And it is further stipulated and agreed between the parties 
to this treaty that there shall never be allowed in the confederate Sac and Fox 
nation any separate band, or village, under any chief or warrior of the late hostile 
bands; but that the remnant of the said hostile bands shall be divided among the 

Digitized by 



neutral bands of the said tribes according to blood— the Sacs among the Sacs and 
the Foxes among the Foxes. 

Article IX. In consideration of the premises, peace and friendship are de- 
clared, and shall be perpetually maintained between the United States and the 
whole confederated Sac and Fox nation, excepting from the latter the hostages 
before mentioned. 

Article X. The United States, besides the presents delivered at the signing 
of this treaty, wishing to give a striking evidence of their mercy and liberality, will 
immediately cause to be issued to the said confederated tribes, principally for the 
use of the Sac and Fox women and children whose husbands, fathers and 
brothers have been killed in the late war, and generally for the use of the whole 
confederated tribes, articles of subsistence as follows: Thirty-five beef cattle, 
twelve bushels of salt, thirty barrels of pork and fifty barrels of flour, and cause 
to be delivered for the same purposes, in the month of April next, at the mouth 
of the lower loway, six thousand bushels of maize or Indian com. 

Article XI. At the request of the said confederated tribes, it is agreed that 
a suitable present shall be made to them on their pointing out to any United 
States agent, authorized for the purpose, the position or positions of one or more 
mines, supposed by the said tribes to be of a metal more valuable than lead or iron. 

Article XII. This treaty shall take eflfect and be obligatory on the contracting 
parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof. 

Done at Fort Armstrong, Rock Island, Illinois, this twenty-first day of Sep- 
tember, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and 
of the Independence of the United States the fifty-seventh. 


Kee-o-kuck, or He Who Has Been Everywhere. 
Pa-she-pa-ho, or The Stabber. 
Pia-tshe-noay, or The Noise Maker. 
Wawk-kum-mee, or Qear Water. 
0-sow-wish-kan-no, or Yellow Bird. 
Pa-ca-to-kee, or Wounded Lip. 
Winne-wun-quai-saat, or The Terror of Men. 
Mau-noa-tuck, or He Who Controls Many. 
Wau-we-au-tun, or The Curling Wave. 


Wau-pel-la, or He Who is Painted White. 
Tay-wee-mau, or Medicine Man (Strawberry). 
Pow-sheek, or the Roused Bear. 
An-nau-mee, or the Running Fox. 
Ma-tow-e-qua, or the Jealous Woman. 
Mee-shee-wau-quaw, or the Dried Tree. 
May-kee-sa-mau-ker, or the Wampum Fish. 
Chaw-co-saut, or the Prowler. 
Kaw-kaw-kee, or the Crow. 
Mau-que-tee, or the Bald Eagle. 
Ma-she-na, or Cross Man. 

Digitized by 



Kaw-kaw-ke-moute, or the Pouch (Running Bear) . 
Wee-shec-kaw-kia-skuck, or He Who Steps Firmly. 
Wce-ca-ma, or Good Fish. 
Paw-qua-nuey, or the Runner. 
Ma-hua-wai-be, or Wiolf Skin. 
Mis-see-quaw-kaw, or Hairy Neck. 
Waw-i)ee-shaw-kaw, or White Skin. 
Mash-shen-waw-pee-tch, or Broken Tooth. 
Nau-nah-que-kee-shee-ko, or Between Two Days. 
Paw-puck-ka-kaw, or Stealing Fox. 
Tay-e-sheek, or the Falling Bear. 
Wau-pee-maw-ker, or the White Loon. 
Wau-co-see-nee-me, or Fox Man. 

In presence of R. Bache, Cap. Ord. Sec to the Commission; Abrra. Eustis, 
Alex. Cummins, Lieut.-C6l. 2d Jnfantry ; Alex. R. Thompson, Major U. S. Army ; 
B. Riley, Major U. S. Army; H. Dodge, Major W. Campbell; Hy. Wilson, 
Major 4th U. S. Inf. ; Donald Ward, Thos. Black Wolf, Sexton G. Frazer, P. H. 
Gait, Ass't Adj.-Gen.; Benj. F. Pike, Wm. Henry, James Craig, John Aukeny, J. B. F. 
Russell, Isaac Chambers, John Qitz, Adj. Inf.; John Pickell, Lieut 4th Art'y; 
A. G. Miller, Lieut, ist Inf.; Geo. Davenport, Ass't Quar. Mas.-Gen. 111. Mil.; 
A. Drane, Aeneas Mackay, Capt U. S. Army; I. R. Smith, ist Lieut 2d Int; 
Wm. Maynadier, Lieut and A. D. C. ; I. L. Gallagher, ist Lieut A. C. S. ; N. B. 
Bennet, Lieut 3d Art'y; Horatio A. Wdlson, Lieut 4th Art'y; H. Day, Lieut 2d 
Inf.; James W. Penrose, Lieut 2d Inf.; J. E. Johnston, Lieut 4th Art'y; S. Bur- 
bank, Lieut 1st Inf.; I. H. Prentiss, Lieut ist Art'y; L. I. Beale, Lieut ist Inf.; 
Addison Philleo, Thomas L. Alexander, Lieut 6th Inf.; Horace Beall, Act'g Sur- 
geon U. S. Army; Oliver W. Kellogg, Jona. Leighton, Act'g Surg. U. S. Army; 
Robert C. Buchanan, Lieut. 4th Inf.; Jas. S. Williams, Lieut 6th Inf.; John W. 
Spencer, Antoine LeQaire, Interpreter. 

To the Indian names are subjoined marks.^ 

On November 11, 180 men, the remains of the six companies sent 
out with Scott, arrived at Norfolk on the steamboat Potomac, Captain 
Hubbell commanding: Capt John Monroe, Fourth Artillery; Capt. 
Elijah Lyon, Third Artillery; Capt. Upton S. Fraser, Third Artillery; 
Capt Patrick H. Gait, Fourth Artillery, with Lieutenants John Pickdl, 
H. A. Wilson, W. A. Thornton, Joseph K Johnston, Charles O. Collins, 
Edwin Rose and James H. Prentiss.* 

»Vol. 7, U. 8. statutes at Large by Peters, p. 374. 
>Nlles Beg., Vol. 43, p. 180, Nov. 17, 1832. 

Digitized by 



Movements of the Michigan Miutia. 

In the year 1832, Michigan, as a Territory, embraced that territory 
later erected into the State of Wisconsin, and while the latter was storm- 
swept with the troops, the peninsula was in no danger whatever. A great 
danger was anticipated, and during the tremendous scare which spread 
over it from one end to the other, enough correspondence passed between 
Acting Governor Stevens T. Mason, Gen. J. R. Williams and his sub- 
alterns to have sufficed for a war of two years' duration. From the 
first, a fear that Black Hawk intended to go to Maiden with his pec^le 
and there end his days prevailed among the -people of the Territory, in 
which event bloodshed and all the horrors of a border warfare were 
feared. From statements made by Black Hawk at subsequent periods, 
notably to Col. John Shaw, some foundation might appear for this posi- 
tion, but prior to his surrender the officers did not entertain such a 
thought, and it was contrary to his repeated declarations before Still- 
man's battle. At any rate, a supernatural fear ran through the entire 
peninsula, to check which and provide every means of defense for the 
settlers the following order was issued: 

"Executive OflSce, Detroit, May 22, 1832. 
"Major-Gen. John R. Williams. 

"Sir : — By dispatch received at this office from Chicago and St. Joseph, it seems 
that the Indians have assumed an attitude of hostility towards the frontier settle- 
ments in that quarter. 

"I am satisfied that the public safety requires immediate movements on the 
part of the militia of the Territory. 

"You are authorized to raise such a number of volunteers as in your opinion 
may be necessary for co-operating with Brig.-Gen. Brown, who has rendezvoused 
at Jonesville. 

"When you arrive there, you will take such steps as may then in jrour opinion 
be necessary. "Stevens T. Mason, 

"Acting Governor of the Territory. 

"The Quartermaster-General will issue to Major-Gen. John R. Williams such 
stores, ammunition and arms as he may require. "Stevens T. Mason, 

"Acting Governor of the Territory. 
"Detroit, May 22, 1832." 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



An order for the Division Quartermaster to call on the military store- 
keepef for 200 pounds of rifle powder, 100 pounds of bar lead, 1,000 
musket flints, 1,000 rifle flints and cartridge boxes was thereupon made 
by General Williams, as well as a call for the volunteers authorized by 
the acting Governor, who, in a letter attached, limited the number to 300. 
Henry Dodge was at this time acting as Colonel of Michigan militia, 
under a commission dated October 15th, 1829. Major-General Williams, 
just mentioned, was the Major-General in command, under appointment 
the same year, and notice of the appointment was sent him by Lewis Cass 
in the following letter: 

"Washington, March 10, 1829. 

"Dear Sir:— J have the pleasure to infomi you that your nomination as a 

major-general has been^ confirmed by the Senate. I shall now confidently rely upon 

your exertions to plac^.our militia on a respectable footing, and I am well satisfied 

that this confidence will not be misplaced. Lamed and Stockton are the brigadiers^ 

"Sincerely your friend, 

"Lewis Cass." 

Following General Williams' call for volunteers, an order on the 
Division Quartermaster for 3,000 rations of bread and salt pork, to last 
300 men ten days, was issued, and the work of recruiting proceeded, but 
slowly. To the call for volunteers, not a volunteer responded. On the 
^3d, pursuant to peremptory orders to call out such companies or parts 
of companies of the state militia as would insure a force of 300 men. 
General Williams at once issued his second order for the First Regiment 
and Major Davis' battalion of riflemen and the city guards to assemble at 
Ten Eyck's, on the 24th, at 10 o'clock. Meantime he had engaged to 
forward to General Brown 200 stands of arms and bring to Ten Eyck's 
200 additional stands for distribution at 2 o'clock P. M. The militia 
arrived and General Williams requested a voluntary enrollment. Capt. 
Joseph F. Marsac and his men of the First Regiment, and the city guards, 
tmder Capt. Isaac Rowland, and Captain Jackson's troop of cavalry and 
parts of some c(Mnpanies of cavalry volunteered, to the number of 100, 
living 200 to be drafted from the others present, some 400 in number. 
Frcmi these he drafted the required nimiber and organized them. One 
ration was at once issued, but no blankets could then be issued, as they 
had not arrived. During the night and on the morning of the 25th parts 
of Davis* battalion arrived, which Williams was induced to accept (dis- 
charging a like number from the drafted men), and to make a second 

At 12 noon Williams left Ten Eyck's, reaching Willow Springs, a 
place within three miles of Ypsilanti, making a march of seventeen miles 
for the afternoon before camping. 

On the morning of the 26th the troops were again put in motion, not«- 
withstanding a heavy rain, which finally compelled them to halt at 

Digitized by 



Ypsilanti until afternoon, when the storm subsided and the march was 
resumed. At evening a halt was made at Saline for the night, where 
Colonel Schwarz presented orders from Mascm, directing the detachment 
under Colonel Brooks to return to Detroit and ordering Williams to 
"overtake General Brown and to continue part of his regiment in the 
field for the purpose of quieting the fears of the timid, and further direct- 
ing Williams to see the arms sent General Brown secured before he 
returned." After issuing the order to Colonel Brooks, Williams parted 
with them and reached Blackmaar's, sixty-seven miles f ran Detroit, that 
night, at which time and place he received word by express of the mur- 
ders on Indian Creek. 

On the 31st, at a point three miles from Niles, he met the Eighth 
Regiment, which had been discharged by General Brown, and cm his ar- 
rival at Niles he was informed that several detachments of volunteers 
which had been called out and others, in all 350, — 80 of which were 
mounted — had moved forward to the Door Prairie. After conferring 
with General Brown, it was agreed that he should proceed to the Door 
Prairie, about thirty-five miles to the west, and then take such measures 
as he might deem necessary and proper to secure that settlement from 
aggressicm, Williams to remain at Niles tmtil the detachment under 
Colonel Broc4cs should return, when the combined forces of Williams 
and Brooks were to move forward to the Door Prairie. On the evening 
of the 1st June Brown received a peremptory order from Mason to 
march to Chicago, which so mixed the plans made by the two officers 
that it became impossible to act intelligently. Such orders as the one to 
Brooks recalling him, and then ordering him to return to Williams, 
marching and countermarching to no purpose, as well as exhausting the 
men, had a most disastrous efifect. Not only did men thereafter refuse to 
enlist, but, in the face of a campaign, many then in the ranks refused to 
leave their families in danger from such incompetence as had up to that 
moment been displayed. General Williams' righteous indignation rose 
many times in this perplexing campaign. 

On the 2d it was ascertained that the entire force under Brooks, then 
returning, numbered thirty of Jackson's men, the others having been dis- 
abled by their frivolous march through trackless forests. Subalterns in 
the commissary's department quibbled about the constructicm of orders 
and haggled over imaginary slights in the giving of orders to such an 
extent that the troops, with abundance in sight, actually suffered for 
want of food. 

On the 2d Colonel Brooks arrived at Niles with twenty-six men of 
Jackson's troops, and, contrary to orders and all sense of decency, Gen- 
eral Brown returned to Niles on the same day, with all his men, and 
without the least show of authority discharged them. This high- 
handed act threw Williams into a passion, which was clearly shown in 

Digitized by 



a letter written at the time, in which he declared he would prefer charges 
against Brown on his return to Detroit. That astounding action de- 
manded an order to counteract the eflfect on the troops, which was issued 
and instantly forwarded to the Door Prairie as follows: 

"The volunteers and other companies or corps of militia which have been 
called out by a recent order from Gen, Brown and were directed to march to 
and concentrate at the Door Prairie are not discharged. The major-general, after 
having arrived at the Door, will judge of the expediency of discharging a part of 
the troops or not, according to circumstances, and the public service and safety 
to the frontier. 

'The quartermaster of the Third Brigade will immediately provide transporta- 
tion for the provisions, arms, ammunition and other public property which it is 
necessary to forward for the use and subsistence of the troops. The volunteer 
conapanies of mounted men are hereby placed under the inmiediate command of 
Colonel Edward Brooks. He is charged with their instruction and discipline in 
all matters connected with their improvement and efficiency. 

"Order will be observed on the march, and no arms shall be discharged without 
the special permissicm of the senior officer in command. 

"The troops now about to march from this place will be furnished with six 
rounds to each man. 

"The brigade quartermaster, Capt. Ullman, will remain at this place to take 
charge of all provisions, arms and accouterments, ammunition and other public 
property that may remain in store or arrive for the use of the troops, and to be 
in readiness to forward such articles as may be required by the major generaL 

"By order of Major-General J. R. Williams, 
"Charles W. Whipple, Aid-de-Camp.** 

Brown having applied for a leave of absence, by reascm of the ap- 
pearance of measles in his family, was allowed it and departed. 

While every effort had been made by Williams to retain the men 
under Brown, his efforts must have been ineflFectual, for on the 3d, after 
ordering his men to remove to Door Prairie, and directing A, Huston to 
wheel from Terra Coupa Prairie and return to the same destinaticm, he 
also asked the services of 300 mounted militia. To this call Col. Hart L. 
Stewart was the only man able to respond, and he with only fifteen or 
twenty men of Captain Martin's company. Provisions had also given 
out, and, with all the Quartermaster's exertions, he could get none. 

On the 5th Williams reached Door Prairie, at which point he learned, 
on the 6th, of Stillman's defeat and the consequent panic into which the 
country had been thrown. On the 8th orders were given to march on 
the 9th for Chicago, which was taken up promptly and continued till the 
12th, at which time Williams reached Chicago and placed Col. Edward 
Brooks in charge of Fort Dearborn until the arrival of Major Whistler 
of the United States Army. On the 13th General Williams, finding to 
what fears the people had been driven, put all his energy into making the 
fort safe against attack. Reports coming in from the Naper settlements 
of threatened attack, Williams dispatched Brooks, with thirty-five horse- 


Digitized by 



men, to assist in the defense of Fort Payne. Here they remained until 
the threatened danger passed, and Major Whistler arrived on the 17th 
to take charge of the post. On the 13th General Williams also requested 
Colonel Huston to bring 100 men to Chicago, but the action of Brown 
had such a depressing influence on the men that he replied on the 17th, 
"It will not be in my power to obey your call. I should have been ex- 
tremely happy to come through and join you again, but it would be a 
hard matter to march a hundred men from this r^^iment at this 
time. * * *" Thus, for all the assistance rendered by the militia in those 
parts, the people in the western portion of their territory might have 
been murdered to the last man. 

A detachment of 300 men from Indiana having arrived at Fort Dear- 
bom on the 22d, General Williams issued the following order, which 
terminated the duties of the troops from the peninsula, all having re- 
turned agreeably with its contents : 

"General Order. "Headquarters, Chicag^^ June 22d. 18^. 

**A detachment of 300 mounted militia having arrived at this place from the 
State of Indiana, under the command of Colonel Russell, with special instructions 
from the Elxecutive of that State. 

"The Major General directs that the detachment of militia, under the imme- 
diate command of Lieut-Col. Abraham Edwards, embark immediately on board 
the Napoleon, and be conveyed to the mouth of the river St Joseph and there 
landed, and under the direction of the officers present be marched in good order 
to Niles, and when arrived there, will be honorably discharged. The mounted 
men, including Captain Jackson's troop and the staff officers of the detachment, will 
be in readiness to march at 2 o'clock p. m. this day. They will return to Detroit 
under the orders of Col. Brooks. The quartermaster will take charge of all public 
property, including arms, ammunition, etc., and sec that it is carefully shipped and 
conveyed to the mouth of the St. Joseph, and there safely stored to await further 
orders. The stores belonging either to the territory of Michigan or to the United 
States that may now be on the way to this place, shall be carefully shipped to Niles. 
The Major General takes this opportunity to express his entire approbation of the 
good conduct and behavior of every officer, non-commissioned officer, musician and 
private of this command, and therefore tenders his thanks to all in behalf of our 
common country, with his best wishes for the welfare and happiness of every 
individual member of the command. 

"By order of the Major General, J. R. Wiluams, 
"J. M. Wilson, Aid-de-Camp." 

On the 5th of August General Williams had returned to Detroit, but 
not before he had paid his respects to the miscarriages of his command. 

Digitized by 



Prison Life — ^Eastern Trip — ^Return — Council at Fort Armstrong 
— ^Black Hawk's Apology — ^Black Hawk Released. 

In every way possible for those early days, Keokuk endeavored to 
make the confinement of Black Hawk tolerable. Early in the spring he 
took with him the wife and daughter of 'Black Hawk, together with 
Colonel Davenport, Antoine LeQaire and many prominent Sacs and 
Foxes, to pay the old prisoner a visit and cheer him up. Further than 
that, he endeavored to secure his release, pledging himself to General 
Atkinson to be responsible for the good behavior of Black Hawk and 
his fellow prisoners. Black Hawk was delighted to see his wife and 
daughter and hoped to be released under Keokuk's promise, but the 
orders from the War Department were to take the prisoners to Washing- 
ton under the escort of an officer of the army. Accordingly they were 
sent there, arriving the latter part of April, 1833. Black Hawk was first 
presented to the President, then the Prophet, who remarked : 

"We expected to return immediately to our people. The war in which wc 
have been involved was occasioned by our attempting to raise provisions on our 
own lands, or where we thought we had a right so to do. We have lost many of 
our people, as well as the whites Our tribes and families are now exposed to the 
attacks of our enemies, the Sioux, and the Menominees. We hope, therefore, to 
be permitted to return home to take care of them." 

Black Hawk, taking up the conversation, continued: 

"I am a man and you are another. * ♦ ♦ We did not expect to conquer 
the whites. They had too many houses and too many men. I took up the hatchet, 
for my part, to revenge injuries which my people could no longer endure. Had 
I borne them longer without striking, my people would have said, 'Black Hawk 
is a woman ; he is too old to be a chief ; he is no Sac' These reflections caused 
me to raise the war whoop. I say no more of it; it is known to you. Keokuk 
once was here; you took him by the hand, and when he wished to return to his 
home, you were willing. Black Hawk expects that, like Keokuk, we shall be 
permitted to return too." 

He says he took up the hatchet. He attempted to create the im- 
pression, in his formal announcement, when he crossed the Mississippi, 


Digitized by 



that he was simply taking up the hoe, to go among the Winnebagoes to 
make com. 

But it was not the policy of President Jackson to again let him oflF 
without feeling, to a slight degree, the hand of the Government. There- 
fore, cm April 26th, the prisoners were all taken to Fortress Monroe and 
placed in charge of Colonel Eustis, where they remained until the 4th of 
June, the date of the order made by the President for their liberation. 
During his confinement. Black Hawk was treated with the utmost 
courtesy by Colonel Eustis, which was thoroughly appreciated by all the 
prisoners; so much, indeed, that upon their departure. Black Hawk 
made him a speech: 

"Brother: — ^I have come, on my part, and in behalf of my companions, to bid 
jott farewell Our great father has at length been pleased to permit us to return 
to our hunting grounds. We have buried the tomahawk, and the sound of the rifle 
will hereafter only bring death to the deer and the buffalo. Brother, you have 
treated the red men very kindly. Your squaws have made them presents, and 
you have given them plenty to eat and drink. The memory of your friendship 
will remain till the Great S|>irit says it is time for Black Hawk to sing his death 
iong. Brother, your houses are as numerous as the leaves upon the trees, and 
your warriors like the sands upon the shore of the big lake that rolls before us. 
The red man has but few houses, and few warrior^, but the red man has a heart 
that throbs as warmly as the heart of his white brother. The Great Spirit has 
given us our hunting grounds, and the skin of the deer which we kill there is his 
favorite, for its color is white, and this is the emblem of peace. This hunting 
dress and these feathers of the eagle are white. Accept them, my brother. I have 
given one like this to the White Otter. Accept it as a memorial of Black Hawk. 
When he is far away this will serve to remind you of him. May the Great Spirit 
bless you and your children. Farewell." 

These sentiments are truly poetical and worthy a place in any litera- 
ture, but they did not represent the life of Black Hawk. He had all his 
life long been a warrior, fonder of warfare than of life, but no doubt a 
change was coming over his heart with the scenes of peace and progress 
arotmd him. The futility of further war upon the Americans had doubt- 
less finally impressed him, and he realized that they were a peq)le no 
longer to be trifled with. Therefore, he had resolved to submit for all 
time to the inexorable fate of civilization's western march. 

Under the escort of Major John Garland, on the 5th of June, Black 
Hawk and his companions took their departure from Fortress Monroe. 
Visiting the Norfolk navy yard, the Prophet, from the balcony of his 
hotel, addressed a large concourse of people: 

"The Great Spirit sent us here, and now, happily, we are about to return to 
our own Mississippi, and our own people. It affords us much happiness to rejoin 
our friends and kindred. We would shake hands with all our white friends 
assembled here. Should any of them go to our country on the Mississippi we 
would take great pleasure in returning their kindness to us. We will go home 

Digitized by 



with peaceaUe dispositions towards our white brethren, and make our conduct here> 
after more satisfactory to them. We bid you all farewell, as it is the last time 
we shall see each other." 

The party went on to Baltimore cm the 6th, where it was greeted by 
thousands of curious spectators, and where again Black Hawk met Presi- 
dent Jackson. At night both were present at the same theater, and Blade 
Hawk is said to have attracted as much attention as the President. In 
an interview the following day the President advised the Indians to return 
to their homes and listen to the counsels of Keokuk, their principal chief: 

"When I saw you in Washington, I told you that you had behaved very 
badly in raising the tomahawk against the white people and killing men, women 
and children upon the frontier. Your conduct last year compelled me to send 
my warriors against you, and your people were defeated with great loss and your 
men surrendered, to be kept till I should be satisfied that you would not try to 
do any more injury. I told you I would inquire whether your people wished you 
to return and whether, if you did return, there would be any danger to the 
frontier. Gen. Dark and Gen. Atkinson, whom you know, have informed me 
that Keokuk, your principal chief, and the rest of your people are anxious you 
should return, and Keokuk has asked me to send you back. Your chiefs have 
pledged themselves for your good conduct, and I have given instructions that you 
should be taken to your own country. 

"Major Garland, who is with you, will conduct you through some of our towns. 
You will see the strength of the white people. You will see that our young men 
are as numerous as the leaves in the woods. What can you do against us? You 
may kill a few women and children, but such a force would soon be sent against 
you as would destroy your whole tribe. Let the red men hunt, and take care 
of their families; but I hope they will not again raise their hands against their 
white brethren. We do not wish to injure you. We desire your prosperity and 
improvement ; but if you again plunge your knives into the breasts of our people, I 
shall send a force which will severely punish you for all your cruelties. When 
you go back, listen to the counsels of Keokuk and the other friendly chiefs. Bury 
the tomahawk and live in peace with the frontiers. And I pray the Great Spirit 
to give you a smooth path and a fair sky to return." 

The reply of Black Hawk to this address was brief : 

"My Father : — My ears are open to your words. I am glad to hear them. I am 
glad to go back to my people. I want to see my family. I did not behave well 
last summer. I ought not to have taken up the tomahawk; but my people have 
suffered a great deal. When I get back I will remember your words. I won't go 
to war again. I will live in peace. I shall hold you by the hand." 

On the loth Philadelphia was reached, where all remained until the 
14th, with their headquarters at Congress Hall. While there they wit- 
nessed a military display of such impressive interest as to evoke a speech 
from Black Hawk : 

"My heart grew bitter against the whites,' and my hands strong. I dug up 
the tomahawk, and led on my warriors to fight. I fought hard. I was no coward 

Digitized by 



Much blood was shed. But the white men were mighty. They were as many as 
the leaves of the forest. I and my people failed. I am sorry the tomahawk was 
raised. I have been a prisoner. I see the strength of the white men. They are 
many; very many. The Indians are but few. They are not cowards. They are 
brave, but they are few. While the Great Spirit above keeps my heart as it now 
is, I will be the white man's friend. I will remain in peace. I will go to my people 
and speak good of the white man. I will tell them that they are as the leaves 
of the forest, very many and very strong, and that I will fight no more against 

Among other interesting sights seen was Fairmotuit waterworks, after 
which the party started for New York City, where it arrived the evening 
of the 14th. Among the novel sights seen there was a balloon ascension 
from Castle Garden, which greatly astonished the Indians, one of whom 
asked the Prophet if the aeronaut was "gomg to see the Great Spirit" 
Crowds of people gathered about the Exdiange Hotel to see them, and ex- 
change a word with "General Black Hawk," as they called him. He was 
obliged to make his appearance upon all sorts of occasions to gratify the 
curious crowds. His rooms were daily and hourly visited by ladies and 
gentlemen, and each evening the Indians were escorted to the theater 
or other places of amusement. They received many handsome presents, 
and one of the ceremonies was the presentaticm to Black Hawk of a pair 
of topaz earrings for his wife or daughter, by John A. Graham, who said : 

"Brothers, open your ears. You are brave men. You have fought like tigers, 
but in a bad cause. Wc have conquered jrou. We were sorry last year that you 
raised the tomahawk against us; but we believe you did not know us then as 
you do now. * 

"Wc think that in time to come you will be wise and that wc shall be friends 
forever. You see that we arc a g^eat people — numerous as the flowers of the field, 
as the shells on the seashore, or the fish in the sea. Wc put one hand on the 
eastern, and at the same time the other on the western ocean. Wc all act together. 
If some time our great men talk long and loud at our council fires, but shed one 
drop of white men's blood, our young warriors, as thick as the stars of the night, 
will leap on board of our great boats, which fly on the waves, and over the lakes, 
swift as the eagle in the air ; then penetrate the woods, make the big guns thunder, 
and the whole heavens red with the flames of the dwellings of their enemies. 
Brothers, the President has made you a great talk. He was but one mouth. That 
one has sounded the sentiments of all the pe<^le. Listen to what he has said 
to you. Write it on your memories. It is good, very good. 

"Black Hawk, take these jewels, a pair of topaz earrings, beautifully set in 
gold, for your wife or daughter, as a token of friendship, keejMng always in 
mind that women and children arc the favorites of the Great Spirit. These jewels 
are from an old man, whose head is whitened with the snows of seventy winters; 
an old man who has thrown down his bow, put off his sword, and now stands 
leaning on his staff, waiting the commands of the Great Spirit Look around 
you, sec all this mighty people; then go to your homes, open your arms to receive 
your families. Tell them to bury the hatchet, to make the bright chain of friend- 
ship, to love the white men, and to live in peace with them as long as the rivers 
run into the sea, and the sun rises and sets. If you do so, you will be happy. Yoa 

Digitized by 



will then insure the prosperity of unborn generations of your tribes, who will 
go hand in hand with the sons of the white men, and all shall be blessed by the 
Great Spirit Peace and happiness by the blessing of the Great Spirit attend you. 
Farewell" '^ 

To which Black Hawk replied: 

"Brother:— We like your talk. We will be friends. We like the white people. 
They are very kind to us. We shall not forget it Your counsel is good. We 
shall attend to it. Your valuable present shall go to my squaw. We shall always 
be friends." 

Patrick ShirriflF in his "tour," page 29, alludes to this hippodrome in 
the following manner : 

"An Indian chief named Black Hawk, who had been taken prisoner the pre- 
ceding year, in a war to the west of Lake Michigan, and who was carried through 
some of the great towns with a view of impressing him with the power of the 
states preparatory to his liberation, arrived in New York the day after the 
President and divided public attention. The ladies declared in favor of Black 
Hawk, some of them actually kissing him, which it is said affected the old Presi- 
dent's health. The chief of the white men and the chief of the red were alike 
objects of curiosity, the President holding a levee by day, the Hawk by night, in 
Niblo's Gardens. Had a manmioth or elephant appeared, the mighty ones of the 
earth would have been eclipsed in public favor." 

It had been the intention to visit Boston, but, greatly to the disap- 
pointment of its citizens, the route was changed, and on the 22A the party 
left New York in a steamboat up the Hudscm for Albany, where it 
arrived the following day. There the party remained tmtil the 25th, when 
it resumed its western journey, reaching Buffalo on the aSth. In that city 
the members remained three days, where, amcmg other people who came 
to call on Black Hawk, was Kar-lun-da-wa-na, a chief of the Senecas,who 
made an address, counseling Black Hawk and his companions to return 
home and remain in peace. To this Black Hawk replied : 

"Our aged brother of the Senecas has spoken the words of a good and wise man. 
We are strangers to each other, though we have the same color, and the same 
Great Spirit made us all and gave us this country together. Brothers, we have 
seen how great a people the whites are. They are very rich and very strong. 
It is folly for us to fight against them. We shall go home with much knowledge. 
For myself, I shall advise my people to be quiet and live like good men. The 
advice which you gave us, brother, is very good, and we tell you how we mean 
to walk the straight path in future, to content ourselves with what we have, and 
with cultivating our lands." 

From Buffalo the party embarked by water for Detroit, after which 
it proceeded to Green Bay, thence up the Fox and down the Wisconsin 
River to the Mississippi, on to Fort Armstrong, which was reached about 
the 1st of August, and which had been chosen as the spot for the final 
liberation of Black Hawk. Upon landing, messengers were sent to notify 

Digitized by 



tfie Sacs and Foxes to assemble and meet the returned captives. In 
response came Keokuk, Pash-e-pa-ho, Wapello and others, Keokuk lead- 
ing a convoy of canoes floating the American flag and landing opposite 
Black Hawk's quarters. After several hours spent in arranging their 
dress and other preliminaries, they all returned to their canoes, and, with 
shouts and songs and drums, crossed over to the island. There, with 
Keokuk at the head, each Indian cordially greeted Black Hawk and his 
companions. After smoking the pipe of peace, they then returned to 
the west bank of the river to await the grand council set for the follow- 
ing day, when Black Hawk was to be taken home. 

About lo o'clock of the following morning Keokuk, with about loo 
of his followers, crossed over to Fort Armstrong, where a room had been 
especially prepared to receive him, and here Black Hawk was escorted 
to a seat opposite Keokuk. The occasion was one of deep humiliation to 
Black Hawk, and bis appearance indicated as much. Major Garland 
opened the council with a speech, referring to the good feelmg manifested 
by all toward Black Hawk. This was followed by reading the speech 
made by the President to Black Hawk in Baltimore, to which Keokuk, as 
the future custodian of Black Hawk's conduct, rose and replied : 

"I have listened to the talk of our great father. It is true we pledged our 
honor for the liberties of our friends. We thought much of it; our councils were 
k>ng. Their wives and children were in our thoughts. When we talked of them 
our hearts were full. Their wives and children came to see us, which made us feel 
like women; but we were men. The words which we sent to the great father 
were good. He spoke like the father of children. The Great Spirit made his heart 
big in council. We receive our brothers in friendship. Our hearts are good 
towards them. They once listened to bad counsel; now their ears are closed. I 
give my hand to them. When they shake it, they shake the hands of all. I will 
shake hands with them, and then I am done." 

Major Garland then stated that he wished it distinctly understood 
that their great father would hereafter acknowledge Keokuk as the prin- 
cipal chief of the Sac and Fox nation, and that he wished Black Hawk to 
listen and conform to his counsels. This remark was construed by Black 
Hawk to mean that he nuust conform to the counsels of Keokuk, and at 
once his bad blood arose ; all his old animosities mastered him, and in his 
impulsive way he cried : 

"I am a man, an old man. I will not conform to the counsels of anyone. I 
will act for myself; no one shall govern me. I am old; my hair is gray. I once 
gave counsel to my young men. Am I to conform to others? I shall soon go to 
the Great Spirit, where I shall be at rest. Wjhat I said to our great father at 
Washington, I say again. I will always listen to him. I am done." 

His resentful, passionate nature stubbornly refused, as it always had 
refused before, to acknowledge any standard of conduct except such as 
emanated from his own limited capacities. He flew into a rage, no doubt 

Digitized by 



expecting to combat this inexorable decree as he had opposed every 
former American institution, by quibbling or fighting, but at that supreme 
moment of helplessness, more than at any previous time in his life, his 
incapacity to comprehend and act was manifested, and had it not been 
for the soothing gentleness of Keokuk, who realized his old enemy's help- 
lessness and his weaknesses, the question of liberty might have been 
deferred for an indefinite period. After the excitement of Black Hawk's 
speech had subsided, Keokuk stepped to the side of his gloomy old foe, and 
in a low voice said to him : "Why do you speak so before the white men? 
I will speak for you. You trembled ; you did not mean what you said.'* 

Without changing his sullen looks, though recognizing his deplorable 
mistake, he nodded assent, and Keokuk again addressed the council, as 
follows : 

"Our brother who has again come to us has spoken, but he spoke in wrath. His 
tongue was forked; he spoke not like a man or a Sac He knew his words were 
bad. He trembled like the oak whose roots have been wasted away by many rSuns. 
He is old. What he said let us forget He says he did not mean it. He wishes 
it forgotten. I have spoken for him. What I have said are his own words, not 
mine. Let us say he spoke in council to-day — that his words were good. I have 

Keokuk's kind apology, followed by speeches from Col. William 
Davenport, then in command of Fort Armstrcwig, Wapello and Pash-e- 
pa-ho, lulled him back into a full realization of his helplessness, and again 
rising, he deliberately said : 

"I feel that I am an old man. Once I could speak; now I have but little 
to say. To-day we met many of our brothers. We were glad to see them. I have 
listened to what my brothers have said; their hearts are good; they have been 
like Sacs since I left them; they have taken care of my wife and children, who 
had no wigwam. I thank them for it; the Great Spirit knows that I thank them. 

''Before the sun gets behind the hills to-morrow I shall see them. When 
I left them, I expected soon to return. I told our great father in Washington 
that I would listen to the counsel of Keokuk. I shall soon be far away; I shall 
have no village, no band. I shall live alone. What I said in council to-day I 
wish forgotten. If it has been put upon paper, I wish a mark to be drawn over it 
I did not mean it. Now, we are alone, let us say we will forget it. Say to our 
great father and Governor Cass that I will listen to them. Many years ago I met 
Governor Cass in council, far across the prairies, to the rising sun. His counsels 
were good, but my ears were closed. I listened to the great father across the 
waters. My father listened to him, whose band was very large. My band, too, 
was once large. Now I have no band. I and my son, and all the party, thank 
our great father for what he has done. He is old and I am old. We shall soon 
go to the Great Spirit, where we shall rest. He sent us through his great villages. 
We saw many of the white men, who treated us with kindness, and we thank them. 
We thank you and Mr. Sprague for coming with us. Your road was long and 
crooked. We never saw so many white men before. When you were with us 
we felt as though we had some friends among them. We felt safe, for you knew 
them all. When you come upon the Mississippi again you shall come to my 

Digitized by 



wigwam. I have none now. On your road home you will pass where my village 
was. No one lives there now. All are gone. I give you my hand. We may 
never meet again, but I shall long remember you. The Great Spirit will be with 
you, and your wives and children. Before the sun rises I shall go to my family. 
My son will be here to see you before we go. I will shake hands with my 
brothers here, and then I am done.." 

After Keokuk's apdogy and Black Hawk's same, Wapello arose 
(chief of the Foxes) and said : 

"I am not in the habit of talking. I think— I have been thinking all day. 
Keokuk has spoken. Am glad to see my brothers. I will shake hands with them. 
I am done." * 

The chiefs all arose, a general shaking of hands, followed by an 
interdiange of civilities, ensued, and the council adjourned. In the even- 
ing Major Garland invited the principal chiefs, together with Black Hawk, 
to his quarters, as it would aflford a good opportunity to ascertain ex- 
plicitly the feeling which existed among them toward their fallen foe. 
About 7 o'clock they arrived. They Xock their seats in silence, passed 
the pipe of peace and then drank a round of champagne. Pashepaho 
first shook hands with all present and said : 

"We met this morning. I am glad to meet again. That wine is very good. 
I never drank any before. I have thought much of our meeting to-day. It was 
one that told us we were brothers — that we were Sacs. We had just returned from a 
buffalo hunt We thought it was time for our brothers to be here, as our father 
at St Louis told us this was the moon. We started before the rising sun to meet 
3rou. We have met and taken our brothers by the hand in friendship. They always 
mistrusted our counsels, and went from the trail of the red men, where there were 
no htmting grounds nor friends. They returned and found the dogs howling 
around their wig^vams, and wives locking for their husbands and children. They 
said we counseled like women ; but they have found our counsels were good. They 
have been through the country of our great father. They have been to the wigwams 
of the white men. They received them in kindness and made glad their hearts. 
We thank them. Say to them that Keokuk and Pashepaho thank them. Our 
brother has promised to listen to the counsels of Keokuk. What he said in council 
to-day was like the Mississippi fog. The sun has shone and the day is clear. Let 
us forget it. He did not mean it. His heart is good, but his ears have been open 
to bad counsels. He has taken our great father by the hand, whose words are 
good. He listened to them, and has closed his ears to the voice that comes across 
the great waters. He now knows that he ought to listen to Keokuk. He coun- 
seled with us and our yotmg braves, who listened to his talk. We told our great 
father that all would be peace. He opened his dark prison, and let him see the 
sun once more and gave him to his wife and children, who were without a lodge. 
Our great father made straight his path to his home. I once took the great chief 
of the Osages prisoner. I heard the cries of his women and children. I took him 
out by the rising sun and put him upon the trail to his village. 'There,' said I, 
'is the trail to your village. Go and tell your people that I, Pashepaho, the chief 

'Drake, 228. 

Digitized by 



of the Sacs, sent you.' We thank our great father. Our hearts are good towards 
him. I will see him before I lay down in peace. May the Great Spirit be in his 
councils. What our brother said to-day let us forget. I am done." 

Keoktik, after going through the usual ceremonies, followed, saying : 

"We feel proud that you hare invited us here this evening to drink a glass 
with you. The wine which we have drank, we never tasted before. It is the wine 
which the white men make, who know how to make anything. I will take another 
glass, as I have much to say. We feel proud that we can drink such wine. To-day 
we shook hands with our brothers, who you brought to us. We were glad to see 
them. We have often thought of our brothers. Many of our nation said they 
would never return. Their wives and children often came to our wigwams, which 
made us fed sad. What Pashepaho has said is true. I talked to our young men, 
who had the hearts of men. I told them that the Great Spirit was in our councils. 
They promised to live in peace. Those who listened to bad counsels, and followed 
our brothers, have said their ears are dosed. They will live in peace. I sent 
tfadr words to our great father, whose ears were open, whose heart was made sad 
by the conduct of our brothers. He has sent them to their wigwams. We thank 
him. Say to him, Keokuk thanks him. Our brothers have seen the great villages 
of the white men. They traveled a long road and found the Americans like grass. 
I will tell our young men to listen to what they shall tell them. Many years ago 
I went through the villages of our great father. He had many. They were like 
the great prairies ; but he has gone. Another is our father. He is a great war chief. 
I want to see him. I shall be proud to take him by the hand. I have heard much 
of him. His head is gray. I must see him. Tell him as soon as the snow is off 
the prairie, I shall come. What I have said I wish spoken to him, before it is put 
upon paper, so that he shall hear it as I have said it Tell him that Keokuk 
spoke it. What our brother said in council to-day, let us forget. He told me to 
speak. I spoke his words. I have spoken." 

Early next morning Black Hawk went to his family and the Sacs 
hailed his return with great joy. Though shorn of power, no allusions 
were made to his new conditions ; everywhere his old friends, who never 
before sympathized with him, now exercised every eflfort to make his de- 
dining years pleasant He settled quietly down and for some time made 
his home near Keokuk's village, on Iowa River.* 

^Fulton'i "Red Men of Iowa,'* 212 ei 9tq, 

Digitized by 



Second Trip East — ^A Quiet Life— July Fourth Toast at Fort 
Madison — Interview with Iowas — ^Death — Burial — ^His Grave 
Robbed — Bones Recovered— Consumed by Fire — ^Death or 
Madam Black Hawk. 

In 1837 it became necessary for a delegation of Sacs and Foxes to go 
to Washington. Keokuk, who was at its head, prudently took Black 
Hawk along, fearing perhaps that during his absence he might create 
some new disturbance.^ Knowing that he was neither a delegate nor 
chief, he remained indiflferent to the attention given him while traveling 
through the various cities of the East, and little can be said of his trip. 

After his return, in the autumn of 1837, Black Hawk and his family 
spent the winter in Lee County, Iowa, residing on a small stream known 
as Devil's Creek. His family then consisted of his wife, As-shaw-e-qua 
(Singing Bird*), two sons, Nes-se-as-kuk and Na-som-see, and his 
daughter, Nam-equa. It is related that a young man from Baltimore, who 
met Namequa, became charmed with her comely appearance, and, with 
continued acquaintance, became desperately in love with her. The young 
lady received his advances with favor and a wedding was among the im- 
mediate possibilities at Fort Madison. All arguments by friends failed 
to dissuade the young gentleman from marrjring the maid. He was coaxed, 
bantered and threatened, but nothing would affect him in the least until 
one more resourceful than his other friends asked how he would enjoy 

such comments from his Baltimore friends as, "There goes and 

his squaw." That possibility settled the affair against the young lady, 
who became thereby another victim of the white man's fickleness, but 
contrary to the usual trend in matters of that character, Nam-e-qua in- 
differently dropped the subject and later married a young Indian of her 
tribe, living happily thereafter, probably more happily than she ever could 
have lived with the impulsive young white. 

In the spring of 1838 Black Hawk and his family removed to the 
vicinity of the chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes, on the Des Moines River, 

>Folton'8 "Red Men of Iowa/' 222. 
*Annali of Iowa, liay, 1902. 


Digitized by 



near lowaville, the site of the famous battle where the Sacs annihilated 
the tribe of lowas many years before. Here he had a comfortable cabin, 
furnished in humble imitation of the white settler's on the frontier. As 
the whites moved into the country he formed their acquaintance and 
mingled very largely in their pleasures and pastimes with hearty good- 
will. He occasionally imbibed too freely of liquor and made himself as 
merry or ridiculous as the white man under the same condition, but it 
must be said in his favor that when found indulging in spirits it was at 
the invitation of his white brother.* His usually morose disposition grad- 
ually underwent a radical change, for he was frequently found receiving 
the chaff of the whites in a spirit of the utmost jollity and to the very 
best of his ability giving it back again, which, considering the few English 
words he could master, was said to have been remarkable. 

This feature of . "mixing,'^ which he cultivated, had much to do 
with bringing to him during the last years of his life the general verdict 
that he was a martyr and a person of ability far above his actual worth. 
His travels and the universal interest taken in him during them led 
others to seek his acquaintance and to place him in all sorts of con- 
spicuous attitudes, comical and otherwise. The following, kindly fur- 
nished me by Prof. B. F. Shambaugh of the University of Iowa, is a 
fine illustration of that phase of Black Hawk's amusement. 


"Sir:— As there is at present a vacant seat in the council chamber, which 
certainly ought to be filled by some talented and influential person, and as you 
teem to be the theme of men, women and children in this place, and your political 
character well known and established, I would, in common with many others of 
my fellow-citizens, beg, with great deference, to bring you upon the carpet, by 
nominating you as a suitable person, worthy of our elective franchise, to fill the 
vacancy in question, conscious as I am that, once elected and seated beyond the 
threshold of the Council chamber, there to be installed as one of the councilors, in 
all the privileges and honors connected with that station, that your voice and vote 
shall not be found wanting when any question or cause is in agitation involving 
the rights of the people. Your inherent spirit of independence is well known to this 
conmiunity; also that your political views and principles are honorable, and that 
you have no earthly connection with that obnoxious and diabolical phalanx who 
would fain exclude (as they have recently attempted to do) the people from a voice 
in the management of the territorial affairs. Methinks your system would be more 
liberal. I doubt not but the grand and noble feature of your legislative acts will 
be recognized in the unerring vigilance to protect the liberties and rights of the 
citizens of this young and mighty republic, and that you will guard against specu- 
lative innovation, which, unfortunately, in this our day, sways men's best judgments. 

^Page 164, Vol. 8, Smith's Wis. Foot note by W. B. Smith, ths author: "I can 
vouch myself that I came up the Mississippi In a steamboat, on board of which was 
Black Hawk, his wife and son and a number of his warriors. In July, 1837, and that 
Black Hawk was apparently particularly fond of brandy, as he often Indulged himself 
with it at the bar on board of the boat; but to this act, It must be confessed, he was 
always Invited by the white passengers.** 

•Copied from "The Iowa News," Vol. 1, No. 20, June 6. 1888. 

Digitized by 



"As yot} are fully alive to the present depressed and truly deplorable state 
of our commercial affairs, which, if some relief more than the stay of action 
upon executions for twelve months is not immediately devised, will most assuredly 
prostrate and render our young and enterprising merchants of this territory bank- 
rupts, and thus, alas! pave the way to ruin, and bring into active operation the 
machinery of the debtor laws, with their ruinous and demolishing consequences. 

"It need hardly be observed that, upon installation in office, your actions will 
be public, so that they need not blush at daylight; besides, as you know, privacy 
is generally hateful, and is indeed more worthy and characteristic of nocturnal 
clubs than that of legislative assemblies, and thereby g^ve every facility of watching 
and judging the whole course of your official career for your own exoneration and 
the satisfaction of your constituents. You will, in all cases, particularly in the 
passage of bills, laying off county lines and seats of justice, faithfully obey the 
people's instructions and correspond with them timorously; in short, be entirely, 
as far as consistent, g^uided by petitions from the people, and by so doing you 
will, in a great measure, get rid of responsibility which otherwise you might not, 
and if your acts do not turn out so favorable as have been anticipated, they (your 
constituents) cannot, and will not, justly charge you with dereliction of dnty. 
Let it not be heard said of you, as of some others, that you legislate for your own 
and that of your friends' private interests, but for the general good of the country. 

"In conclusion, I beg you to be very guarded how and in what manner you 
vote, not voting for the cause one day, and the next day jump about from 'post to 
pillar,' like jumping 'Yxm Crow,' and vote difiFerently. These hints may be of 
some service to you. Indeed, were it not that I have special interest in your 
welfare, I should be the last individual in this community to advise you in any 
shape or form. I have the honor to be, with due respect, 


"Buriington, Dec. 9, 1837." 

Black Havsrk's constant mingling with the whites taught him 
another familiar characteristic ; one more likely than any other to get him 
into difficulty — ^that of borrowing money. From Louisiana, Mo., I 
was furnished with the copy of one of his financial engagements, pre- 
sented herewith, and for whidi I am under obligations to Mrs. Fannie 
Anderson of Louisiana, Mo. 

Thus in a tranquil, careless way Black Hawk was passing the re- 
mainder of his days, without responsibilities and with the hearty good 
will and esteem of every person who knew him. An old "plug'* hat 
was his passion; he so dearly loved it that some contend it was placed 
upon his head when he was buried. In this and similar eccentric adorn- 
ments he one day rode into Fort Madison, by special invitation, to 
attend a Fourth of July banquet, and it must be said t^iat it was a sorry 
day in his declining years in which he allowed the whites to inveigle 
him into a speech. While his animosity toward Keokuk was as bitter 
as ever, he had latterly learned to curb it with discretion. Among the 
toasts for that occasion was one to which he was asked to respond: 
"Our Illustrious Guest, Black Hawk — May his declining years be as 
calm and serene as his previous life has been boisterous and full of war- 

Digitized by 



like incidents. His attachment and present friendship to his white 
brethren fully entitle him to a seat at our festive board/' After the 
sentiment was explained to him by an interpreter, he responded as fol- 
lows, his words being taken down by two interpreters : 

"It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here today. I have eaten with my 
white friends. The earth is our mother; we are now on it, with the Great Spirit 
above us. It is good. I hope we are all friends here. A few summers ago I 
was fighting against you. I did wrong, perhaps, but that is past. It is buried; let 
it be forgotten. Rock River was a beautiful country. I loved my towns, my corn- 
fields and the home of my people. I fought for it It is now yours. Keep it as 
we did. It will produce you good crops. I thank the Great Spirit that I am now 
friendly with my white brethren. We are here together. We are friends. It is his 
wish and mine. I thank you for your friendship. I was once a great warrior. I 
am now poor. Kedcuk has been the cause of my present situation, but do not 
attach blame to him. I am now old. I have looked upon the Mississippi since I 
was a child. I love the great river. I have dwelt upon its banks from the time 
I was an infant. I look upon it now. I shake hands with you, and as it is my 
wish, I hope you are my friends." 

It is to be hoped that on this occasion Black Hawk was intoxicated, 
not with liquor, but with pride at his flattering reception, and that he 
forgot himself (as he once before did), when he thus uncivilly spoke of 
Keokuk, the man who implored him to desist from entering his disas- 
trous campaign of 1832 ; the man who urged that Black Hawk was de- 
ceived by liars; the man who, when Black Hawk was imprisoned, took 
to him his wife and diild and friends to dieer his fallen spirits ; the man 
who, with all the strength of his mighty eloquence, urged the old man's 
liberation; the man who pledged his every resource as a guaranty of 
Black Hawk's future good behavior for that liberation; the man who 
stood at Black Hawk's side when in an evil hour he flew into a passion 
and defied those who were giving him that liberation on Keokuk's pledge, 
and who whispered in the angry old man's ear words of moderation, and 
then" who rose and in the greatness of his heart s^log^ed for Black 
Hawk's haste and begged that it be overiooked ; the man who at all times 
had but the kindest of words for the old man's failings and who, to please 
a whim of passing envy, actually resigned his chieftainship into the 
hands of his tribe to avoid friction, that his exalted position might 
no longer wound the false pride of Black Hawk. No sacrifice was ever 
demanded that he did not make for Black Hawk. 

It was a shame to c(Mnpromise the old man as he was drifting so 
rapidly to the grave, and expose his foibles, then long forgotten. In the 
fullness of his eloquence he made himself to speak of "my towns, my 
cornfields, and my people," as though he had been autocrat of all the 
Indian tribes, when, in fact, he never had been a chief and had naught 
whatever to say more than another about their disposition or their govem- 

Digitized by 



ment; but no blame shall go to Black Hawk for that speech. Let the 
reader peruse and remember its concluding words, which are as sweet 
and gentle and pathetic as one will find in all literature, and forget the 
old man's follies, for he was mistaken, as many another has been before 
and since. 

Black Hawk's cabin stood about one hundred feet from the north 
bank of the Des Moines River, a few rods from that of Mr. James H. 
Jordan, the agent. Near it, on the sloping bank, stood two large trees, 
an elm and an ash, so intertwined as to appear like one tree. Qose by 
flowed the clear waters of what was known as Black Hawk's Spring. 
Here, during the sultry days of sunmier, he would sit and dreamily pon- 
der over the scenes of his long and turbulent career. Before hun was 
spread that old battlefield on whidi his nation snatched from the lowas 
their country and their homes — the same country then passing to others. 
Then came a gloomy period of melancholy, which enveloped him so com- 
pletely that he said but little, and that to his few intimates. In the sum- 
mer of 1838 a party of lowas returned on a friendly visit to their old 
home and Black Hawk held a friendly council with them at a place about 
half a mile from his cabin. On that spot he directed that his body 
should be buried. At this time he regarded the usual indifferences of 
the Indians as personal slights, and while it may be true that many of 
his whilom companions neglected to show him many of the little civili- 
ties which white men might observe, the whites supplied them with un- 
usual attentions, and he siiould not have fretted as he did fret. General 
Street, observing the same, thoughtfully made the family a present of 
a cow, a property very unusual with an Indian. This pleased him arid 
the family immensely. Madam Black Hawk and her daughter learned 
to milk, and during the warm days of 1838 the two were often seen sit- 
ting beside their beloved cow, patiently brushing away the troublesome 
flies and other insects. This daughter, though married, remained with 
her parents to the time of Black Hawk's death and, it may be said, was 
the mainstay in their domestic affairs ; a model of neatness. It has been 
said that she and Madam Black Hawk were so neat that the little yard 
was swept during the warmer months once a day. One October day was 
designated as "ration day,^' which was attended by nearly every Indian, 
leaving Black Hawk almost alone. Though he had been sick of a fever* 
for many days, nothing serious was feared. Mr. Jordan was with him 
to the last moment his official duties would permit, leaving him, as he 
supposed, on the high road to recovery ; but the old man took a sudden 
turn for the worse and within three hours after Mr. Jordan left his bed- 
side Black Hawk was dead, after a sickness of fourteen days. 

During Black Hawk's sickness his wife, As-shaw-e-qua (Singing 
Bird), was devoted in her attentions to him and deeply mourned his deadi. 

^Bilious fever. 

Digitized by 


hi:ArK tlAWK'S l'ROMTMfJti>UV NtiTK. 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Some days before it occurred she said : "He is getting old ; he must die. 
Monoto calls him home.^' 

His remains were followed to the grav-e by the family and about 
fifty of the tribe, the chiefs and all others being absent at Fort Armstrong 
to receive their rations. He was buried on the spot selected by him prior 
to his death, which is best described by James H. Jordan* in a letter to 
Dr. J. F. Snyder of Virginia, 111., who has written the best account of 
Black Hawk's burial to be found/ and to whom I am much indebted for 
points in this work : 

"Eldon, Iowa, July 15, 1881. 
''Black Hawk was buried on the Northeast Quarter of Section Two, Township 
70, Range 12, Davis County, Iowa, near the northeastern comer of the county, on 
the Des Moines River bottom, about ninety rods from where he lived at the time 
he died, and on the north side of the river. I have the ground where he lived for 
a dooryard. It being between my house and the river. The only mound over the 
grave was some puncheons split out and set over his grave and then sodded over 
with blue grass, making a ridge about four feet high. A flagstaff, some twenty feet 
high, was planted at his head, on which was a silk flag, which hung there until the 
wind wore it out My house and his were only four rods apart when he died. 
He was sick only about fourteen days. He was buried right where he sat the 
year before when in council with the Iowa Indians, and was buried in a suit of 
military clothes, made to order, and given to him when in Washington City by 
Gen. Jackson, with hat, sword, gold epaulets, etc., etc" 

His body was placed on the surface of the ground in a sitting pos- 
ture, with his head toward the southeast, the body supported in position 
by a wooden slab or puncheon. On his left side was placed a cane given 
him by Henry Qay, with his right hand resting on it. Three silver 
medals, the gifts of prominent persons in the east, hung upon his breast.* 
There were also placed in the grave two swords, a quantity of wampum, 
an extra pair of moccasins and other articles of Indian costume, with a 
supply of provisions sufficient to last him three days on his journey to 
the spirit land. Around the body and the articles buried with him two 
large blankets were closely wrapped. On his head was placed a military 
cap elaborately ornamented with feathers. Forked sticks were firmly 
driven at the head and foot of the g^ve and across these a pole was 
placed, extending over the body. Against this pole split puncheons were 
laid to a peak, the gables of the primitive vault being closed with boards 
and the whole then sodded over. Near by was a hewn post inscribed with 
Indian characters. Enclosing all was a strong circular picket fence ten 
or twelve feet high. 

One morning about the ist of July, 1839, Madam Black Hawk, bit- 
terly weeping, called upon Mr. Jordan and informed him that the grave 

^The Indian trader, beloved of Black Hawk and hla family. Fulton, p. 117. 

*M«gailne of American History, VoL XV, No. 6, p. 404 tt teq. 

•It has been said these were cfren hfm respectlrely bj Pt Jackson, Jobs Qvilncy 
Adams, Bx-Pt, and the City of Boston. If tbe latter made sncb a present It must bars 
been daring bis last ylslt east, becanse he did not go to Boston daring his first trip. 


Digitized by 



of her husband had been opened and rifled of everything witfun.* Mr. 
Jordan immediately instituted a search and traced the act to a Dr. Turner 
of Lexington, in the County of Van Buren, who had sent the body to 
St. Louis, where the bones were cleaned and then removed to Quincy, 
where they were articulated. Much contention as to the details of the 
body's pilgrimage has existed, but the letter to be found on page lo hereof, 
written at the time, should conclusively settle the matter. 

At once Governor Lucas, then governor of the Territory of Iowa, 
learned of the location of the bones ; he sent for and received them very 
soon thereafter, but when the sons of Black Hawk called upon the Gov- 
ernor and found them "in a good dry place," they concluded it was best 
to allow them to remain in storage. Governor Lucas allowed them to 
repiain in his oflioe for a little while and then deposited them in the coU 
lections of the Burlington Geological and Historical Society, where 
they remained imtil the year 1855, at which time they were consumed 
by the fire which destroyed the building and all the society's collections. 
Thus all that remained mortal of Black Hawk passed away in fire and 
smoke after the manner of his stormy life. 

It was a spectacular finish and one Black Hawk might possibly have 
courted in his strenuous days had it been less ignoble; but ignoble it 
was and unworthy the man. To Madam Black Hawk and her children 
it was an act of inhumanity which can never be forgiven by civilization. 
If Black Hawk had faults, they were buried with his body, which by 
all rules of decency should have remained sacred. 

When the Sac nation was again removed to its new reservation in 
Kansas, Madame Black Hawk with her family followed and there remained 
until the 29th of August, 1846, when she died at the fine old age of 85 

'Fulton, on DAce 228, Inststi that the head wat flrat etolen, bat being fH^tened. 
Tomer threw it mto hii laddie-ban and ran away to retnm later and procure the body; 
hot ai a discrepancy exif te as to his dates, it is possible he was mistaken in other detaik. 

Digitized by 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Digitized by 



Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War. 

Little consideration should be given to the great majority of stories 
told of Mr. Lincoln's service in the Black Hawk War. If one were to 
believe them all, one would find every man in the army to have wrestled 
and vanquished him or otherwise participated in some undignified 
frolic wherein he was made to appear ludicrously delightful. While 
the age was one of jest and joust, and Mr. Lincoln was apt at both, yet 
his career as captain in that war was temperate and dignified. 

In 1832 all of his young companions were krenuous, as were all the 
young men of Illinois — itself young and vigorous. They bubbled over 
with buoyant animal spirits and paid little heed to formalities. It wa» 
especially an era of independence; discipline being regarded an evidence 
of femininity, and formality a certain indication of snobbishness. In the 
towns of (then) importance — more mature, perhaps — that spirit might 
have been modified ; but the times were essentially of the open air (M^der. 

An atmosphere of politics likewise pervaded and the majority of 
candidates affected that spirit of contempt for the little amenities of life 
and comfort. When, therefore, those young spirits did not like a com- 
mand, the 'first impulse was not to obey it, and in point of fact very few 
commands were obeyed, at least to the letter.* To attempt enforcement 
generally meant disaster, whether the officer was General or Second 
Lieutenant. Some scheme was usually found to counteract the order, if 
at all distasteful to the volunteers. 

While Mr. Lincoln was as stalwart as his generation, he was self- 
possessed and handled his headstrong company with consummate skill 
and was thoroughly beloved by his men. His known honesty, fearless* 
ness and prowess and willingness to back the same made it possible to 
control his men, and from the most unmanageable in the army they be- 
came at his request tractable. These characteristics then made him a 
leader where others failed by swagger and vulgarity. 

On the march and in camp stories were told; but Mr. Lincoln's 

*A ftory has been told Ufat Capt Llnoolii*! flrat command was answered hj being 
told to "go to the derlL** 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


stories were not ribald recitals, told only to express a vicious conclusion. 
TTicy were droll, quaint, h<wnely perhaps, but full of humor ; new and in- 
variably to the point. 

When men congregate it is natural to seek entertainment; the best 
adapted to surroundings, story-telling always finding the most favor, 
consequently the best story-tellers were soon discovered and courted. Thus 
in the camps in Beardstown and Rushville and on the march to Yellow 
Banks, the genius of Mr. Lincoln was discovered and quickly popu- 

At each resting-place diversion was sought in wrestling matches, 
horse racing, foot racing and other kindred sports, and quickly enough 
came Mr. Lincoln's reputation as a champion in the manly sports of the 
day, notably wrestling, which then, as now in new and small villages, was 
made to measure a man's standing. No one was above a "match." If 
he was, his presence in that locality soon became a reminiscence. Add, 
then, the two accomplishments of Captain Lincoln, and no imagination is 
required to account for his tremendous popularity in the army. 

At New Salem Mr. Lincoln adapted himself to his surroundings 
by accepting the first challenge for a match that Mr. Oflfutt unwittingly 
caused to be sent him by John Armstrong, and notwithstanding the 
threatened interference by the "Clary's Grove Boys," he asserted his 
strength and bravery to such advantage that he became from that hour 
a respected leader, and the following year that same Armstrong became 
his First Sergeant, while William and Royal Qary became privates in 
his company. Ehiring the annual muster in the fall of 1831 those same 
influences elected him captain of the militia. 

Being "out of a job" in the spring of 1832, the Black Hawk war 
offered him employment which was at once accepted. On April 21st 
sixty-eight men volunteered* to serve the state from "Richland, Sanga- 
mon County," and at the election which followed for captain Mr. Lin- 
coln was chosen by more than three-fourths of the men. Another, one 
William Kirkpatrick, aspired to the same position. He was pretentious, 
assumed a prominence in the neighborhood, questicmed at times, but 
never severely challenged, and when he announced a desire for the office, 
he expected to get it. The two candidates were placed a short distance 
away and the men were requested to fall in behind the man they pre- 
ferred for their captain. The proceeding was simple, brief and over- 
whelmingly in favor of Mr. Lincoln, arid he was hilariously declared 
elected. Enrolling his company for sixty days' service, he marched at its 
head to Beardstown to be mustered in. 

Captain Lincoln owned no horse and to make that march he was 
forced to borrow, a not very difficult matter in those days ; but on that 

^Another Tolunteered at Beardstown, April 29th, and another at Dizon*f Ferry, May 
19, making the total strength of the company seventy men. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Z^ ■ 

Digitized by 








Digitized by 


Digitized by 



borrowed horse, at the head of his men, he marched into Beardstown, 
"forty miles from the place of enrollment," the proudest man in the state. 
On April 28th the company was mustered into the service of the state 
of Illinois by G>1. John J. Hardin, Inspector-General of the state and 
Mustering Officer. Two muster rolls were made out, one by Colonel 
Hardin and one by Captain Lincoln, both of which are in existence and 
one reproduced herein. 

At Beardstown Captain Lincoln's company was assigned to the 
Fourth Regiment, of which his First Lieutenant, Samuel M. Thompson, 
was elected Colonel April 30th, and William Kirkpatrick, late candidate 
for captain, was made Quartermaster's Sergeant, both quoted as coming 
from "Richland Creek." 

On the 30th the last of the army, including Captain Lincoln's com- 
pany, left Beardstown and encamped four miles north of Rushville. On 
Tuesday, May ist, the march for Yellow Banks, seventy or seventy-five 
miles distant, was resumed and about twenty-five miles covered, the 
army camping at a point on Crooked Creek in McDonough County. On 
Wednesday, the 2d, another distance was made and die army encamped 
in a large prairie, two miles from timber or water. The night was cold 
and tempestuous. 

At about 12 o'clock of Thursday, the 3d, the Henderson River was 
reached and crossed, and before night the Yellow Banks in Warren 
County was reached, where the army again encamped.* There, by reason 
of delay in the arrival of the boat with provisions, the army was com- 
pelled to remain the 4th, 5th and 6th, on which last-named day the pro- 
visions arrived. On the morning of the 7th the army moved for the 
mouth of Rock River, reaching that point about nightfall. 

About Beardstown Captain Lincoln absorbed all the information 
to be found concerning tactics and imparted the same to his company to 
the best of his ability by frequent drills, stories of which have caused 
many a hearty laugh. The best version of one of those celebrated drills 
has been told by Ben. Perley Poore and is to be found on page 218 of 
"Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln": "I remember his narrating his 
first experience in drilling his ccmipany. He was marching with a front 
of over twenty men across a field when he desired to pass through a gate- 
way into the next enclosure. 

" 'I could not for the life of me,' said he, 'remember the proper word 
of command for getting my company endwise so that it could get through 
the gate, so as we came near the gate I shouted : "This company is dis- 
missed for two minutes, when it will fall in again on the, other side of 
the gate I" ' " The story was told to picture the position of someone in 
debate who could find no tactful way out of a dilemma he had woilced 
himself into. But Captain Lincoln was proud of his company and ex« 

^Journal O. H. Browning. 

Digitized by 



pressed his pride on many occasions. Leonard Swett obtained the 
story of that company direct f rcMn the lips of the captain and it is to be 
fouivl in the book last quoted, on page 465 : "Together with the talk 
of organizing a con^any in New Salem began the talk of making Lin- 
coln captain of it. His characteristics as an athlete had made something 
of a hero of him. Turning to me with a smile at the time, he said : 1 
cannot tell you how much the idea of being the captain of that company 
pleased me.' 

"But when the day of organization arrived a man who had been cap- 
tain of a real company arrived in uniform and assumed the organization 
of the company. The mode of it was as follows: A line of two was 
formed by the company, with the parties who intended to be candidates for 
officers standing in front. The candidate then made a speech to the men, 
telling them what a gallant man he was, in what wars he had fought, 
bled and died, and how he was ready again, for the glory of his country, 
to lead them; then another candidate, and when the speech-making 
was ended they commanded those who would vote for this man, or that, 
to form in line behind their favorite. Thus there were one, two or three 
lines behind the different candidates, and then they counted back, and 
the fellow who had the longest tail to his kite was the real captain. It 
was a good way. There was no chance for ballot-box stuffing or a false 

"When the real captain with his regimentals came and assumed the 
control, Lincoln's heart failed him. He formed in the line with the boys, 
and after the speech was made they began to form behind the old captain ; 
but the boys seized Lincoln and pushed him out of the line and began to 
form behind him, and cried, 'Form behind Abe,' and in a moment of irres- 
olution he marched ahead, and when they counted back he had two more* 
than the other captain.'^ 

The lawlessness of the troops in camp and on the march caused 
Governor Reynolds much annoyance and chagrin. When Major Long^s 
battalion was ordered down the river the troops were especially charged 
not to fire their guns aboard the boat, a charge unnecessary with most 
men. So prevalent had that amusement become that the celebrated order 
of April 30th was issued just as the little army was taking up its mardi 
for the Yellow Banks. At the Henderson River a crossing was effected 
only after great labor and more inconvenience in the way of wet clothing, 
and probably to celebrate so successful an event the firing was resumed, 
this time by Captain Lincoln himself, which promptly brought upon his 
head his first disgrace by being reprimanded and, as is generally con- 
ceded, by being compelled to wear a wooden sword. That punishment 
was accepted in good spirit, but no more firing was charged to his 
account during the campaign ; in fact, it made him more punctilious and 

^Hli •treogth was fall three-fonrtbs of the company. 

Digitized by 


.(♦MIX rALlli>IX. 



Digitized by 








^^-%^M ~i/y^y<- im-H^^^^' 

Digitized by 



watchful and more insistent with his men. When off duty, however, 
he allowed himself and his men the harmless diversions of camp life 
without restraint. 

Captain Lincoln was magnetic and his men were drawn toward him 
from admiration, and not alone because they knew he was a man of 
courage and strength. That magnetism drew not only his immediate 
acquaintances at New Salem, but his superior officers, and as he ad- 
vanced in life, it drew about him the men of influence and power who 
later made a new and powerful political party. It attracted John T. 
Stuart to invite him to his office to read law; it attracted the voters of 
his district to beat Peter Cartwright, then the best-known man in Illinois 
probably, for the legislature. That discipline kept Captain Lincoln vig- 
ilant until the mouth of Rock River was reached, and even the affair there 
was not one of commission. 

During the night of May 9th one Royal P. Green, of the company 
of Capt. Thomas McDow of Greene county, entered the officers' quarters 
and, with the assistance of a tomahawk, four buckets and some of Lin- 
coln's command, secured enough liquor to enjoy a comfortable lark and 
place a large number of Captain Lincoln's men hors de combat On 
the morning of the loth, the date fixed to begin the march up Rock River, 
few were able to answer the roll call and few indeed were able to take 
up the march for the Prophet's town. For this offense, which had been 
committed without the knowledge of the Captain, and to his great sur- 
prise and mortification, that officer was again reprimanded and ignobly 
compelled to wear for two days the wooden sword. This he did "for the 
boys" with grim humor. As the men sobered up and gradually straggled 
into camp that night, they realized what their disgraceful behavior had 
brought to their captain. Remorse, or some equally powerful agency, 
made Captain Lincoln's company a model one from that hour. 

To claim that sports were not a feature of camp life and that Captain 
Lincoln did not participate in them, were ridiculous. Nine-tenths of that 
army were Kentuckians or Tennesseeans, every man of which loved a 
horse. There were close upon two thousand horses in camp ; some better, 
some worse, and when off duty no time was allowed to lapse without a 
horse race, a foot race or a wrestling match. Into those cwitests Captain 
Lincoln did not obtrude himself, but he was always counted on as "beings 
ready" and on the spot. His men knew his prowess and were proud of 
it, as was Offutt when he got the Captain into the Armstrong affair. 
They were alert to advertise that prowess at all times and willing to stake 
their last earthly possession on his success. Such is human na- 
ture to-day. The best foot runner, quoit pitcher, boxer or 
wrestler in a body of men has followers constantly boasting 
the prowess of their favorite and getting him into business, and 
many times into troubles. So Captain Lincoln, to oblige his men. 

Digitized by 



and likely his own inclination, took on wrestling matches and vanquished 
his antagonists one after another to the end of his service as a soldier. 

The story of the match with Thompson, the wrestler, is no doubt 
true, though difficult to locate. Some authorities have asserted that 
Thompson came from Union County,* but as Union County supplied but 
one company, that of Captain B. B. Craig, in which no person named 
Thompson can be found, the Union County portion of it must be elimi- 
nated. This is unfortunate when attempting to locate the situs. Had 
Thompson been from Union County his awnpany never could have met 
either of the three companies with which Lincoln was connected, because 
it did not reach the main army until Lincoln had been discharged and 
was on his way home. 

The story contains, with all its variations, the reference to his posi- 
tion as captain, and no loss of prestige with his men; therefore the 
event must have occurred at Beardstown, Rushville, Yellow Banks, 
Dixon's Ferry, Ottawa or some one of the camps along that route, and 
prior to May 27th, the date of his muster out. At any rate the story is 
as follows: 

Thompson, a man of burly form, champion of his section, was ten- 
dered to Captain Lincoln for a match in a way that to decline it wotild 
have disgraced his men and his friends. Captain Lincoln was not given 
to separating himself from a responsibility at any time, and without for- 
mality accepted the challenge. Up to that date there had been no pay- 
day and it is safe to assume that the entire company could not inventory 
five dollars in money; but the men had knives, souvenirs, watches and 
knickknacks, the last one of which was staked on the issue of the match. 
The ccHnbatants grappled and it soon became evident that Thompson 
was qualified to bear championship laurels. The tussle was long and un- 
certain and keyed all the men up to a high tension, as each contestant 
was being cheered to a victory; but Thompson, after a hard battle, se- 
cured the first fall. Lincoln could recognize a worthy antagonist and 
before taking on the second bout said to his friends : "This is the most 
powerful man I ever had hold of. He will throw me and you will lose 
your all unless I act on the defensive.'^ Accordingly, when the men came 
together again. Captain Lincoln played for a "crotch holt," which Thomp- 
son was able to avoid. Then, as the struggle progressed, the trick of 
"sliding away," was tried. In this Captain Lincoln was more successful, 
for in the scramble for advantage both men went to the ground in a 
heap, which, according to the ethics of frontier wrestling, is dencxninated 
a "dog fall," hence a draw. Armstrong claimed a victory, at which a 
storm of protest went up from Captain Lincoln^s backers, and a free 
fight was imminent. Believing that trouble was imminent, Captain Lin- 
coln came forward, and in a voice which c(»npelled attention, exclaimed, 

'Nicolay and Hay. 

Digitized by 



"Boys, the man actually threw me once fair, broadly so, and the second 
time, this very fall, he threw me fairly, though not apparently so,'^* and 
that settled the question for all time, though "dog fall" was frequently 
repeated during the remainder of the campaign by the Captain^s parti- 
sans. That defeat and the acknowledgment of it in no sense diminished 
the influence or standing of Captain Lincoln with his men or those who 
were beginning to know and like him. 

In later years men took advantage of his prominence to claim many 
untrue familiarities in the Black Hawk war. For instance: William 
L. Wilson, who was a private in Capt. M. G. Wilson's company, wrote, 
under date of February 3d, 1882 : "I have during that time had much 
fun with the afterwards President of the United States, Abraham Lin- 
coln. I remember one time of wrestling with him, two best in three, and 
ditched him. He was not satisfied and tried it in a foot race, for a five- 
dollar bill. I won the money and 'tis spent long ago. And many more 
reminiscences could I give, but I am of the Quaker persuasion and not 
much given to writing." There are some other qualities belonging to the 
Quaker persuasion which might have been regarded with advantage in 
the manufacture of that story. 

A story for which there is no warrant of authority, except constant 
repetition, is the one of the drinking contest. At first the scene was located 
at Beardstown, but afterward Colonel Strode, having heard it, aK>ro- 
priated the glory of the contest to himself, at least one-half of it, and 
located the same at Dixon's Ferry. The question of strength having 
arisen. Captain Lincoln was quoted as being the strongest man in the 
army. Strode challenged the statement by offering to bet that he and 
nobody else could raise a barrel of whisky and drink from its bunghole. 
The partisans of Captain Lincoln accepted the challenge, produced the 
whisky and their favorite, and Colonel Strode made his boast good by 
raising the barrel and taking his drink from the bunghole. The feat 
seemed impossible, but having been witnessed by a reputable crowd of 
men, could not be gainsaid. 

Captain Lincoln is said, to have then stepped forward, and with 
much greater ease swung the barrel to his lips and taken his drink, 
thereby besting Strode in his boast. 

An addition was made to the story in later years by having Strode 
•exclaim, "Well, I thought you said you never drank any whisky. Cap- 
tain Lincoln!" 

"I don^t drink whisky. Colonel Strode," replied Captain Lincobi, 
and forthwith he spat the whisky upon the ground. 

At the mouth of the Rock River the company was sworn into the 
United States service by Gen. Henry Atkinson. It is but recently that 
the author has been able to determine that much disputed point, and it 

^Lamon 110. 

Digitized by 



must be admitted that the discovery was made with pain. From the days 
of his earliest boyhood, he had believed that Jefferson Davis was the 
mustering officer and that there the two men who later became so con- 
spicuous, yet divergent, in the eyes of the world, met for the first time, 
the one asking the other if he would support the constitution of the 
United States and fight for the flag. 

For generations that tradition has obtained. It has been repeated by 
the highest authorities, even by President Lincoln himself, if we may 
believe Ben. Perley Poore and others who have claimed the distinction 
of hearing him so state. The point was generally fixed at Dixon's 
Ferry, the birthplace of the author, and for that reason, steeped with 
the tradition from his earliest boyhood, it must be admitted that the 
discovery of the truth was made with profound grief. There can be no 
mistake about the truthfulness of that discovery. Major Natfianiel 
Buckmaster was second in ccmmiand of the army. He was a careful and 
conscientious officer. He wrote the fact in a letter to his wife on the 
following day, and that letter is herewith reproduced as evidence. It 
may be said that General Atkinson might have sworn in the general 
officers, while a minor officer like Lieutenant Davis might have admin- 
istered the oath to the captains and men, but it is not conceivable why 
more than one officer should be employed for so small a body of men, 
and it cannot be imagined why the captains would be separated from 
the few officers of the general staff. In fact, if General Atkinson were 
to have made a specialty of or distinction, it seems fair to presume that 
he would have included the captains with the (^cers sworn in. 

On the 9th General Atkinson issued orders to the troqps to mardi 
on the morning of the loth, which they did, reaching the Prophet's town 
in the afternoon, where camp w^ established for the night. 

The following day, instead of remaining at that point, Reynolds 
pushed up the river twelve miles and again camped. 

On the morning of the 12th the baggage was abandcxied and a 
forced march made to Dixon's Ferry. There Captain Lincoln remained 
the I2th, 13th and 14th, at which last-named date Stillnoan was defeated 
and his men returned to Dixon's pell-mell during all hours of tfie night. 

On the iSth he went up the river, reaching the battlefield just before 
dark. After the burial of the dead he camped and next day returned to 
Dixon's, where he remained until the 19th, when he pushed up the river 
in pursuit of the Indians. Twelve miles out he camped until the aofli, 
when he again marched to Stillman's battlefield, at which point Captain 
Goodan was placed under arrest for some breach of duty, demonstrating 
that Captain Lincoln was not the only officer of that rank to suffer pun- 
ishment. , 

On the 2ist the army moved over to a point on Rock River, where 
it camped until the 22d, moving then over to the Kishwaukee and up the 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 


e^ 9.^^ 




Digitized by 


Digitized by 



same about ten miles from its mouth, where camp was established and 
the army rested until the following morning. 

On the 23d the army moved about twelve miles in a southeasterly 
direction to the Pottawatomie village on Sycamore Creek, at which point, 
after a consultation with all the captains, it was decided to march to the 
mouth of Fox River and there discharge the volunteers. At the village 
were found the scalps of Stillman's men and evidences of Indians, but 
no sentiment could move the men to continue the pursuit of them. Some 
few articles of Indian property were found at the village, all of whidi 
were confiscated by the men. Much confusion has iii the past been 
caused by the terms Kishwaukee and Sycamore Creek, when no such name 
as die latter can now be found on the maps, but an explanation can be 
found in the fact that in those days many called the stream by both 
names, interchangeably, while others especially called the south branch 
of the Kishwaukee River by the name of Sycamore Creek. Afterward 
the latter branch continued by the name Sycamore Creek until settle- 
ments increased, when finally, to avoid confusion, the present name of 
Kishwaukee River was given to both bnuiches. Sycamore Creek meant 
then the south branch of the Kishwaukee. 

On the morning of the 24th the march was resumed, the army 
camping near the "Paw Paw village,*' which was also robbed by the 
men. On the 25th Fox River was reached, most of the day being spent 
there in searching men for articles of plunder taken from the two Indian 
villages. On the 26th, being very near the end of the journey, the march 
was very leisurely pursued for twelve miles, where the last camp before 
reaching Ottawa was established, and where the men remained until the 
following morning, the 27th, when Ottawa was reached. On that and 
the following days the Illinois vdunteers were mustered out by Major 

During that march along Sycamore Creek the story is told of an 
old Pottawatomie Indian who came into camp, tired and hungry. His 
age should have commanded respect, and probably would under circum- 
stances at all different, but in that instance the first chance to kill a sup- 
posed enemy was presented and his death was demanded. The poor old 
Indian produced from his garments a safe conduct signed by Gen. Lewis 
Cass, pleading protection under it. "Make an example of him," cried 
one. "The letter is a forgery,*' cried others, and still others called him a 
spy, and the poor old fellow was in danger of death, when Captain Lin- 
coln, 'Ills face swarthy with resolution and rage," stepped forward, even 
between the cowering Indian and the guns pointed at him, and shouted, 
"This must not be; he must not be shot and killed by us," and the men 
recoiled. "This is cowardly on your part, Lincoln,*' one man said; to 
which Captain Lincoln instantly replied, "If any man thinks I am a 
coward let him test it.*' Still defiant, another cried, "Lincoln, you are 

Digitized by 



larger and heavier than we are," but that nuserable objection was quickly 
disposed of by the rejoinder from the Captain, "This you can guard 
against ; choose your weapons/' It is needless to add tfiat no one diose 
a weapon and that the Indian departed in safety. 

On the 27th, the day Captain Lincoln was mustered out, he rc- 
enlisted as a private in the company of Elijah lies, which was one of the 
six companies to enter the twenty-day service,' pending the organization 
of the new levies at Fort Wilboum. He remained with the company at 
Ottawa and in camp on the opposite bank of the river until the morning 
of the 6th, whdi the company marched for Dixon's Ferry. The first 
night out the company camped at a point a liKle south and east of what 
is now Sublette in Lee County, and reached Dixon's Ferry the evening 
of the 7th. On the morning of the 8th the company started for Galena, 
camping that night about twenty miles out; the night of the Qdi near 
Ai^le River Fort, now Elizabeth, in Jo Daviess County, and in the 
forenoon of the loth the company reached Galena. 

On the nth it started on its return march over the same trail pur- 
sued in going, camping at the same places, reaching Dixon's Ferry the 
night of June 13th, from which point it started on the 14th, and reached 
Fort Wilboum, where, on the evening of the 15th, the ccwnpany was 
mustered out by Lieut. Robert Anderson, and where, on the following 
day, Mr. Lincoln was mustered into the company of Dr. (Captain) 
Jacob M. Early, along with John T. Stuart and other ex-captains, majors 
and minor officers. 

On the 20th his company, which was an independent one, reporting 
direct to General Atkinson, started for Dixon's Ferry, arriving there the 
evening of the 21st, and remaining at that point until noon of the 27th, 
when he, with the second division of the army, began his final march in 
pursuit of Black • Hawk. Twelve miles out he camped, and in the 
afternoon of the 29th once more reached and camped on Stillman's battle- 
field, six miles frc»n Sycamore or Kishwaukee Creek, as stated by Albert 
Sidney Johnston at the time. 

On the rooming of the 30th, he traveled four miles above Sycamore 
Creek, to a point on Rock River "which is very narrow at this place, and 
continues so." 

July 1st, the journal tells us: "Marched this morning seven 
miles from the last encampment. Came to Rock River, which is 
scarcely one hundred yards wide at this point. There is in the Wuff a 
remarkably fine spring, thickly shaded with cedar trees, the first I ever 
saw. The bluff is pebbly. About half a mile above, a narrow, rapid 
creek empties into Rock River, one mile below Pecatcmica, known by 

>Lt Bobert Anderson mustered Priyate Lincoln Into that company. 

Digitized by 



the name of Brown's Creek. Encamped this evening in the fork of 
Turtle Creek and Rock River, above the mouth of Turtle Creek." 

On the 2d he proceeded, after considerable suffering for want of 
water, to the mouth of "the river of the Four Lakes," on the banks of 
a large pond. 

On the 3d Lake Koshkonong, or "Mud Lake," was reached, and 
there the troops remained the 4th, 5th and 61th, Captain Early's com- 
pany doing constant duty as a spy company or scouting party. 

On the 7th the army moved up to Whitewater River and about 
four miles up that stream, to which point the divisions of Posey and 
Alexander came and camped. 

On the 8th a council of war was held, at whidi it was resolved to 
return to the mouth of the Whitewater and operate from that point. On 
reaching the point where the troops were encamped on the 7th, the army 
halted for the night. From* that point Captain Early's company was 
constantly engaged in scouring the country in search of the fleeing 
Indians, without any success at all. Many trails were reported, but on 
following them up each proved abortive. 

Provisions had become scarce. The enemy was as far away as ever. 
The necessity of a different campaign became apparent. Captain Dunn, 
who had been shot by accident, was recovering and was about to be 
returned to Dixon's Ferry under escort of Col. John Ewing's Regiment. 
Henry and Alexander had been detached to go to Fort Winnebago for 
provisions, thus virtually disrupting the army. At that stage General 
Atkinson considered it best to dismiss the independent commands. Ac- 
cordingly, on July loth, 1832, the company of Captain Early was mu^ 
tered out of the service, and its members, including Private Abraham 
Lincdn, started for Dixon's Ferry with the detachment of Colonel 
Ewing, who took with him all the sick and decrepit men of the army. 

The men fell down the river to Dixon's Ferry, along the same route 
pursued by them up that stream, but did not move so rapidly for the 
reason that many of the men had lost their horses by death, theft and 
one or another cause. 

Among those to have lost their horses were Mr. Lincoln and his 
chum, George Harrison, but during the march those who had horses 
cheerfuly gave up the use of them to the unfortunate, and on the wh<Je 
a jolly time of it was had all the way down the river. 

On that march up the river Mr. Lincoln's mess was composed ^f 
five men — himself, his stepbrother, Jcrfm D. Johnston, G. B. Fanchier, 
George Harrison, all privates, and First Corporal R. M. Wyatt, all of 
Captain Early's company. During all of Mr. Lincoln's service he was 
ever ready to march or move upon the phantom enemy. While scouting 
up in the swamps around Lake Koshkonong, he was the first to say. 

Digitized by 



"L«t's go." He was tireless on the march and overflowing with anecdote 
at all times. 

The story has been told of him that while returning to ESxon's 
Ferry after his discharge, his shoes were so worn that he preferred going 
without them. One morning was particularly chilly, which brought out 
tfie complaint that he was very cold. "No wonder," replied his neighbor, 
"there is so much of you on the ground." That story may be truthful, 
but nevertheless the skeptical listener is forced to wonder how anyone 
could suffer to any great extent during the last few days of July, the 
hottest of the year. It is also a noteworthy fact that the story has never 
been authenticated by the names of eye-witnesses. 

From Dixon's Ferry Mr. Lincoln, with his companion, George Har- 
rison, crossed the country to the point on the Illinois River later called 
Peru; thence to Peoria, where they bought a canoe in which to paddle 
themselves down the Illinois River as far as Havana. While Harrison 
supplied the commissary, Mr. Lincoln made an oar or paddle to be used 
as nK)tive power — one large enough to endure hard service. Just below 
Pekin they overtook two men on a log raft, upon which the two soldiers 
were invited. It was meal time, and, western fashion, the hungry men 
were invited to join the raftsmen. Combread, fish, eggs, butter, coffee 
and similar luxuries were lavishly supplied, arid from Mr. Lincoln's own 
statements he did justice to the meal. 

Arrived at Havana, the canoe was sold without trouble and the 
two companions set out overland for New Salem, Lincoln's long strides 
blazing the way and leading poor Harrison a pace he never forgot 

While no military achievement brought glory to Mr. Lincoln, he 
was ever after fond of recording his experiences in the Black Hawk 
War and relating stories of the ridiculous things which were done in his 
campaigns. Repetition by others caused their enlargement, until the 
number and variety became very great. Those stories attracted attention 
to him in Congress and brought him a considerable following, and finally 
a reputation, when he made his celebrated speech on "Military Coat- 
tails," into which he injected portions of his Black Hawk War ex- 
periences in a way to ridicule die life out of the military pretensions of 
Lewis Cass. 

Again quoting from Ben. Perley Poore, we find:* 

"Soon after the presidential campaign of 1848 was opened, Alfred 
Iverson, a Democratic Representative from Georgia, made a political 
speech, in which he accused the Whigs of having deserted their financial 
and tariff principles and of having 'taken shelter imder the military coat- 
tails of General Taylor,' then their presidential candidate. This gave Mr. 
Lincoln as a text for his reply, 'Military Coat-tails.' He had written the 
heads of what he had intended to say on a few pages of foolscap paper, 

^Bemlnifcencet of Abraham ZJncolii, p. 219. 

Digitized by 



which he placed on a friend's desk, bordering on an alleyway, which he 
had obtained permission to speak from. At first he followed his notes, 
but as he warmed up, he left his desk and his notes to stride down the 
alley toward the Speaker's chair, holding his left hand behind him so 
that he could now and then shake the tails of his own rusty black broad- 
cloth dress coat, while he earnestly gesticulated with his long right arm, 
shaking the bony index finger at the Democrats on the other side of the 
chamber. Occasionally, as he would complete a sentence amid shouts of 
laughter, he would return up the alley to his desk, consult his notes, take 
a sip of water and start off again. 

"Toward the dose of his speech Mr. Lincoln poured a torrent of 
ridicule upon the military reputation of General Cass, and then alluded 
to his own exploits as a soldier in the Black Hawk War, 'where,' he con- 
tinued, 'I fought, bled and came away. If General Cass saw any live, 
fighting Indians at the battle of the Thames, where he served as aide-de- 
camp to General Harris(Mi, it was more than I did, but I had a good 
many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes, and although I never fainted 
from the loss of blood, I can truly say I was often very hungfry. Mr. 
Speaker,^ added Mr. Lincoln, 'if I should ever conclude to doff whatever 
our Democratic friends may suppose there is of black-cockade Federalism 
about me, and thereupon they shall take me up as their candidate for the 
Presidency, I protest they shall not make fun of me as they have of 
General Cass, by attempting to write me into a military hero.^* 

"Mr. Lincoln received hearty congratulaticMis at the dose, many 
Democrats joining the Whigs in their complimentary comments. The 
speech was pronounced by the older members of the House almost 
equal to the cdebrated defense of General Harrison by Tom Cbrwin, in 
reply to an attack made on him by a Mr. Crary of Ohio." 

>Mr. Poore was net exact in his quotations from that speech, bnt near enoogh the 
troth to escape the charge of error. 


Digitized by 


Jefferson Davis in the Black Hawk War. 

In the year 1832, when the State of Illinois was but fourteen years 
of age, there was to be found on the south bank of Rock River, sixty- 
five miles above its mouth, a frontier post called Dixon's Ferry. It was 
an impretentious affair, consisting of a solitary tenement laid east and 
west, in three sections, and built of logs — a cozy but rambling aflFair 
ninety feet in length. 

At this point the great "Kellogg*s trail," run by O. W. Kellogg in 
the year 1827, crossed the river, and John Dixon, from whom the ferry 
derived its name and its existence, had lived here with his family since 
early in the year 1830, entertaining travelers, operating the ferry and 
trading with the "suckers" who journeyed to and from the mining dis- 
trict and Indians. This famous old trail was then the route pursued by 
the argonauts of all the southern country in search of sudden wealth 
in the mines. It was the great thoroughfare from Peoria, then more 
commonly referred to as Fort Qark, to Galena, sought by those from the 
St. Louis country on the southwest and the old Vincennes country to the 
southeast, and followed on northwesterly past Dixon's Ferry to Galena, 
where the crowds dispersed and scattered for the "diggings" over north- 
western Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin, then a part of Michigan 
Territory. Later the Government mail route changed the old trail to a 
straighter course between Galena and Dixon^s Ferry, thence leaving it 
for an easterly direction through DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Cook 
cotmties the route continued to Chicago. 

Famous old days were those in the West and famous men traveled 
that trail in those old days! From the miner and prospector to the 
merchant ; from the mail carrier to the soldier ; from the circuit preacher 
to the circuit law rider following a peripatetic court. From Peter Cart- 
wright, the energetic Methodist preacher, who swam swollen streams 
and rivers to keep his word, and who, if rumor be true, brought in more 
than one obstreperous recruit with a flogging, to Col. James M. Strode, 
the then noted but erratic criminal lawyer of Galena; from Lieut-Col. 
Zachary Taylor, who afterward became President of the United States, 


Digitized by 



and Gen. Winfield Scott, who wanted to be, to Lieut. Jefferson Davis, 
who was President of the Southern Confederacy, and Capt. Abraham 
Lincoln, who dissolved it, we find them all associated with the old trail 
and eating and lodging with mine host Dixon, singly and together; 
those who were later to become Cabinet Ministers, United States Senators, 
Representatives, Governors, and soldiers and statesmen without number. 

White men and Indians alike made their pilgrimages along that 
trail, stopping over with Mr. Dixon to strengthen the inner man and 
replenish their stock of supplies. With the Indians he was particularly 
popular, insomuch that he became their counselor and arbitrator, and 
likewise their banker. In turn, as a recognition of his many and kindly 
offices, the Winnebagoes adopted him into their tribe, naming him 
Na-chu-sa (long hair white). This aflfection for the old patriarch was 
equally manifested by the whites, and when the time came to bespeak it 
there was left no uncertainty respecting the judgment. His silent influ- 
ence became so potent that in the year 1840, with Galena the political 
and commercial power of the Northwest, he todc from her to his own 
town the United States Land Office. 

When the subject of removal was first broached it appeared so 
ridiculously impossible that nothing in Galena but laughter protested, 
but John Dixon's tavern was stronger than the politics and commercial 
prestige of the giant philistine, and her haughty pride was humbled. 
Singly he journeyed on to Washington, and for the simple asking, the 
office, the most potential factor in the politics of that day, was ordered 
removed to 'Dixon — the miracle of the century in Illinois politics. 

The man's venerable personality, his charming sweetness of disposi- 
tion, his rugged honesty, and possibly his little account book, were alto- 
gether too powerful for the antagonists of those rugged days, and before 
passing that same little account book it may be well to run hastily over 
its pages. 

Colonel Strode was exceedingly familiar with them; one might say 
that he took liberties with them. First we find Colonel Strode Dr. — ^To 
Cash — $10.00, and again Strode was Dr. — ^To Cash:— $5.00; invariably 
cash, running clear through from cover to cover. 

Col. William S. Hamilton, son of General Alexander Hamilton, 
whose business ventures were as varied as they were numerous, was 
favored with merchandise to the extent of many pages and many hun- 
dreds of dollars, and^sof^by the by, was Col. Zachary Taylor, only to 
more modest amount# #lie entry characteristic of the times is laugh- 
able enough. Here it is : "Col. Z. Taylor — To Md'se. (including a shirt pat- 
tern), $6:50, and then follows its liquidaticHi in a still more laughable 
manner: "Settled by note." 

There is humor for you! The hero of more than one war and 
President of the United States settling an account of $6.50 by note of 

Digitized by 



hand I But the note was paid in due time, we are assured by Miss F. 
Louise Dixon, the owner of the little book with such historic credits and 

Even the dignity of Gen. Winfield Scott was not above the accept- 
ance of the hospitality of those friendly pages, for we find entries which 
tell of the manner they had obliged him, but the punctilio observed by 
him in the discharge of those little accounts was manifested by the same 
precision one would expect frcMn the dignified old soldier, who was 
nothing if not precise. 

Men came and traded, traveled afar off and returned to settle, some- 
times a year from date and sometimes at a still longer date, but they 
returned, and the score at Mr. EHxon's was never forgotten. Today the 
debtor was a miner; tomorrow he might be a contractor, and later he 
might be a lawyer, but in meeting his obligations he was always a man. 

On one occasion we find this same Colonel Hamilton, who had con- 
tracted two hundred steers to be delivered to the Government agency at 
Green Bay, Wisconsin, driving them from Springfield, Illinois, through 
Chicago, and thence northward to his destination. In the same month 
he was operating "Hamilton's diggings," and subsequently he was de- 
fending a noted Mormon at Nauvoo, Illinois, charged with the cixnmis- 
sion of a crime, and yet again he was commanding a band of Menominee 
Indians in the Black Hawk War ; always strenuous and always unquali- 
fiedly successful. 

Backward and forward the people. came, forgetting never to stop 
over with genial Mr. Dixon. Travel was constant, and in a general 
sense men were prosperous, particularly in th^ mines. 

Though freely encroaching on the land of the Winnebagoes, no 
troubles had ensued since the "Winnebago scare" of 1827, when Red 
Bird was captured for an unwarranted attack upon the whites. 

A little riffle was caused in 1831 by Black Hawk, but nothing serious 
arose to disturb the tranquillity of the settlements until the year 1832. 
Possibly if the affair of 183 1 had been more serious the one of 1832 
would have been less disastrous. 

In the spring of the year 1832, Black Hawk and his "British band," 
as it was denominated, of the Sac tribe of Indians, disregarding all 
former treaties, one of them so late as the preceding summer, crossed the 
Mississippi in search of trouble. He had traveled up Rock River, stc^ 
ping one day with Mr. Dixon, and then continued to a point some thirty 
miles above, where Stillman and his militia in attempting later to dis- 
lodge them, were signally defeated, and in consequence consternation 
spread over the entire West. 

Then it was the log cabin of John Dixon took on a national reputa- 
tion, which its memory has ever since maintained, and which must stand 
by it so long as our country endures, and then, indeed, the account books 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 




(Copyrighted, as stated In Index.) 

Digitized by 



took on an importance seldom acquired in the affairs of bookdom. Then 
the tide turned, too, from lawyers and "suckers" to soldiers, and the 
flower and chivalry of the State and Nation went forth to concentrate at 
Dixon's Ferry to contest the advance of Black Hawk and his mer- 
cenaries, who had fought the Americans at every opporttmity from the 
beginning of the century. 

In addition to those named there were Gen. Hugh Brady,- Gen. 
Henry Atkinsai, Col. Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, Capt. W. S. 
Harney, Robert Anderson, Jefferson Davis, N. J. Eaton, Albert Sidney 
Johnston, Joseph E. Johnston, Bennet Riley, W. M. Graham, George 
Wilson, Kearney, Abercrombie, Gardenier, William Whistler, M. L. 
Qark, of the regular army, and of the militia, Capt Abraham Lincoln, 
Gen. Henry Dodee, Gen. George W. Jones, Gov. John Re)molds, Gen. 
E. D. Baker, O. fl. Browning, John A. McQemand, John Dement, Har- 
rison Wilson, James D. Henry, Sidney Breese, Jacob Fry, Samuel White- 
side, Adam W. Snyder and others without number, who became famous 
in the history of the country at subsequent periods. 

The regulars stationed at Jefferson Barracks (St. Louis) started 
under Atkinson up the Mississippi for Fort Armstrong (Rock Island), 
from which point the General, with a small detachment, proceeded fur- 
ther up to Fort Crawford (Prairie du Chien), to secure the assistance of 
the troops stationed there under Lieut.-Col. Zachary Taylor, and those at 
Fort Winnebago (Portage, Wisconsin) under Lieut-Col. Enos Cutler. 
Those under Taylor returned with Atkinson to Fort Armstrong to meet 
the militia of the State of Illinois, then gathering at Beardstown, prepar- 
atory to moving up to the mouth of Rock River, where a junction was 
to be formed with the regulars. Other troops under General Scott were 
subsequently ordered from Fortress Monroe. Others under Brady were 
ordered to Dixon's Ferry from Detroit, taking in the Fort Winnebago 
men, the whole finally making an army formidable enough to annihilate 
all the Indians in the West if Indians could have been drawn into a 
general engagement. 

On the I2th of May, 1832, the militia under Governor Reynolds and 
Gen. Samuel Whiteside arrived, almost simultaneously with a com- 
pany of troops from the mining district under the intrepid Gen. Henry 
Dodge. On the 17th the regulars under General Atkinson arrived, and 
on this day Jefferson Davis assisted in mustering into the United States 
service the newly-formed Fifth Regiment, of which James Johnson of 
Macon County had been made Colonel just before. 

In this first campaign of 1832 Lincoln was captain of a company of 
militia composed of sixty-nine as intractable and headstrong men as 
could be foimd at that very independent period, extravagantly opposed 
to discipline, acknowledging no superior, yet managed with skill and 
credit to all by the captain, who, under ordinary circumstances, chafed 

Digitized by 



under restraint much less severe than that which military authority im- 
posed and which few western men respected. 

The age was one of independence, and that, more than anything 
else, was the cause of Stillman's defeat. Private differences were settled 
without the assistance of courts, which were few and far between. One 
man was as good as his neighbor, and if anyone disputed the proposition 
it generally cost him a sore head. Those men who had fought in the war 
of 1812, without the assistance of the general Government, looked with 
profound contempt on the gold trappings of the regular officer and his 
tedious routine, and Governor Reynolds, diplomat thai* he was in 
handling western character, was put to the limit of his ability and endur- 
ance in smoothing over the difficulties which were needlessly created by 
this miserable spirit of independence. But by appointing officers of the 
regular establishment on his personal staff, requesting General Atkinson 
to accept some of the militia on his staff/ which he cheerfuly did, and 
finally instructing others in the gentle art of "mixing,** he was finally 
able to overcome almost every obstacle which arose. Officers of the 
militia were invited to mess with the regulars, and vice versa, and 
through the friendly offices of the Governor, Abraham Lincoln and 
Jefferson Davis were brought together for the first time and "messed^* 
at Mr. Dixon's table. 

Albert Sidney Johnston, then a second lieutenant, accompanied the 
expedition from JeflFerson Barracks and was appointed on the Governor's 
staff with Robert Anderson. Lieutenant Johnston's journal, kept regu- 
larly during the entire campaign, and which is fortunately preserved to 
us at this day, is a valuable and entertaining document. 

When Atkinson was ordered to the front, Lieut. Robert Anderson 
was at Jefferson Barracks making an inspection. Asking and obtaining 
leave to accompany the expedition, he was appointed Assistant Inspector- 
General of the militia, and, as before stated, made a member of the 
Governor's staff, with the rank of Colonel. 

Gen. W. S. Harney, then a captain, and Jefferson Davis, then a 
lieutenant, were both absent on furlough when Black Hawk crossed the 
Mississippi, but on hearing of his purpose, each at once returned, rejoined 
his regiment at the mouth of Rock River and continued throughout the 
campaign to its close.' 

The season was unusually rainy, and by the time the troops had 
reached Dixon's Ferry they were nearly exhausted with fording creeks 
and towing the unmanageable keel boats up the river, many times wad- 
ing waist deep in mire and water to propel them. 

Stillman had been defeated on the 14th, and by the time General At- 

>Col. B. C. March and others. 
*Flagler*s Rock Island Arsenal, p. 21. 

Digitized by 



kinson's forces reached the ferry the militia and its officers were a panicky 

The War Department at Washington shows that Lieut. Jefferson 
Davis applied for a leave of absence and left Fort Crawford to go upon 
the same on the 26th day of March, 1832, and that he formally rejoined 
his command from leave August i8th, 1832, sixteen days after the battle 
of the Bad Axe, the last engagement of the campaign, which would 
inferentially indicate that he was absent from duty all the time between 
those dates and inferentially not in the campaign. 

In a letter written by Mr. Davis on the 8th day of August, 1882, 

from Beauvoir, Mississippi, to Gen. George W. Jones of Dubuque, Iowa, 

he stated: "In the spring of 1832 I was relieved by Lieut. I. R. B. 

Gardenier, as private matters required me to go to Mississippi, my home. 
* * * " 

So far there is no conflict. But while his official letter acknowledging 
his return to his regiment is not dated till August i8th, he was present 
in flesh and blood from start to finish, delaying that perfunctory duty un- 
til he was once more back to quarters and relieved of the fatigues and 
manifold annoyances of a campaign through swamps and bogs and in- 
numerable privations. And while touching upon the general subject of 
war records, I beg to state that I attended the funeral of an officer killed 
at the battle of Shiloh — ^literally shot to pieces — yet there stands to this 
day against his name in the Adjutant-General's reports this "record :'' 
"Absent on furlough." The officer had no opportunity to take the fur- 
lough, and it took the affidavits of half the town to make the department 
believe he was not actually alive. The facts in the case are exactly stated 
by Col. William Preston Johnston, late President of Tulane University, in 
his very interesting "Life of General A. S. Johnston," at page 36: "Jef- 
ferson Davis, who was with General Gaines in his operations in 1831, 
was absent on furlough? in Mississippi when the Black Hawk war broke 
out, but gfive up his furlough, and, joining his company, served in the 
campaign." This was told him by Mr. Davis himself when Colonel John- 
ston was writing the book, as well as many other little incidents, includ- 
ing one of Stillman's defeat, and should be regarded as conclusive for all 
time. But as various writers, with more regard for revenue than right, 
have sought to discredit the truth because a negative inference from the 
record gave them the opportunity of avoiding a little labor, I have col- 
lected from various sources a complete detail of Mr. Davis' movements 
during the campaign. 

On the 17th day of May, when General Atkinson arrived at Dixon's 
Ferry, the militia were discontented, disconcerted and on the verge of 
insubordination. Governor Reynolds had on the morning of the 15th 
issued a call for two thousand more troops to rendezvous at Hennepin, 

■Digitized by 



and only by the most frantic appeals had he been able to hold the others to- 
.gether until Atkinson arrived. 

It is true the provisions had been exhausted and the volunteers were 
living on less than half rations, but it is equally true that this was "due 
entirely to their own improvidence and wastefulness. 

The troops under Stillman, after their defeat on the 14th, had con- 
sented to remain in the service to protect the frontier imtil a new levy 
could be raised. Accordingly, so soon as they returned from the burial 
of their dead, on the i6th, the Fifth Regiment was organized, and on the 
following day, when the troops under the commanding general arrived, the 
regiment was sworn into the United States service. 

On the isth Strode, who was colonel and commander of the militia 
of Jo Daviess County, had been instructed to hasten back to the mines 
and organize his forces to protect that very important frontier, which all 
recognized as the one to suffer from the attacks of the Indians at almost 
any hour. He quickly returned, but, being utterly unable to manage the 
intractable spirits of that locality, he had declared martial law. This act 
inflamed the people to a high degree of passion and rumors of its effects 
had reached the ears of Governor Reynolds. 

General Atkinson was consulted at once on his arrival, and Lieut. 
Jefferson Davis and two or three other officers were detailed to go post 
haste to Galena and, if possible, bring order out of the chaos which Strode 
had precipitated. 

The departure of Lieutenant Davis on the 17th and his mission to 
Galena have been related to me by Mr. Dixon on more than one occasion. 
Fortunately, others remembered the circumstance and reduced it to writ- 
ing, making a mistake impossible on that point. Among the many 
documents which have come to my attention in connection with this search 
is an old yellow letter in the possession of Gen. John C. Smith of Chicago, 
written to him years ago by H. Hezekiah Gear, who was a captain and 
served throughout the Black Hawk campaign. Captain Gear was a man 
of character and influence in the ccnnmunity and his memory or veracity 
has never yet been called into question. This letter details this very visit 
in a concise yet liuninous fashion : 

"I had a partial acquaintance with Lieut. Jefferson Davis. I had 
a partial acquaintance with him when this whole domain was under sav- 
age rule, except ten miles square about Galena and western garrisons. 
He was, I think, at the Winnebago disturbance in 1827. He was at Fort 
Winnebago on the Wisconsin River, and in 1832 stationed at Prairie du 
Chien, in the then Colonel Taylor's regiment. 

"He came at the commencement of the Sauk and Fox war to Galena 
to counsel with us in relation to defense, with a number of crfficers, his 
superiors, for a day or so. 

Digitized by 



"At the same time the Governor of Illinois, by proclamation, called 
every able-bodied man into the field. Came to Galena on Saturday; all in 
commoticm. Colonel Strode commanding. 

"We held a council of war, yet had no arms. I urged them to have 
spontoons forged. He gave me the order to have 250 manufactured, I 
remember, and on Monday morning I brought them into quarters, when 
I then mounted my horse to go to the diggings, when I was accosted by 
the Colonel: 'Where are you going. Gear?' To plant my potatoes.^ 
'What, leave us here to take care of your family?* *No, I act as a picket 
guard,' having my rifle on my shoulder. 

"'Gear, we cannot spare you.' 'Why?* said I. He said, 'The 
Governor had called every able-bodied man into the field.' I looked along 
the crowd and he had a company of about sixty." 'Are these all ?' was my 
reply. 'Yes,' was his answer. 'Why,' said I, 'I can raise more men at the 
sound of a whistle. Now there is but one to command and the balance to 
obey, Colonel, if we are in such danger. Now would you dare declare 
martial law, as General Jackson did at New Orleans?* He then said as 
Nathan said to David, 'Thou art the man ; make out your order now and 
I will see it obeyed.* I dismounted at once, armed and equipped, shortly 
reporting at his headquarters, where his order was handed me, counter- 
signed by the adjutant. I, reading, replied, 'It was a good order, but do 
you suppose a soul will obey me? No, not one, imless I have a force 
sufficient to carry it out. Will you give me a sergeant's guard?* 'I will.' 
*Will you give me that fife and drum?' 'I will.' 'I will see it carried to 
the extent of my life.' 

"I that day raised 240 recruits, was appointed officer of the day, had 
sixty-four to mount for guard ; got quarters for my men and rations and 
part of their blankets, and refused other blankets that would not pass 
muster by me as a soldier's blanket; put the commissary in mud in the 
streets of Galena, for endeavoring to pass them on my men, and the next 
day received a pair of blankets for all. Well, the last round : I told the 
boys we would have some sport. 

"Mrs. Barnes kept a bakery house on Brush street, which was the 
quarters of several officers of the United States Army. 

"B. ililler, Elsq., called the Chesterfield of the bar of Illinois, was 
there cracking jokes, and I halted at their quarters, requesting orders to 
report. He said to fall into line. 'What are you going to do with us?* 
'The army wants just such men as you. Now we will find a place for 
you.' I then made my bow to Captain Kearney, or Major Harney, I do 
not know which. 'Will you and your brother officers fall into line? We 
belong to the United States Army.' 'Well, then, read them the Governor's 
proclamation and the order from Colonel Strode of the Twenty-seventh 
Regiment declaring martial law. Now, gentlemen, you know my duty, 


Digitized by 



and if you hail General Jackson you will march. Now I cannot discharge 
my duty by leaving you behind, but the Colonel can dispose of you after 
you arrive in headquarters/ So we all fell into line, and under double- 
quick marched to quarters. 

"Now their names were as follows, to wit : Captain Harney, Captain 
Kearney, Lieutenant Anderson, Lieutenant Gardenier, Lieutenant Jeff 

Those companies were formed at Galena on the 19th day of May, and 
the presence of Lieut. J. R. B. Gardenier on that day, as mentioned by Cap- 
tain Gear, is substantiated by reference to page 138 of a ''Record of the 
Services of Illinois soldiers in the Black Hawk War," published by the 
Adjutant-General of Illinois in 1882, where it will be found that Lieut. 
J. R. B. Gardinier acted as commandant of Nicholas Dowling's company 
from May 19th to July 14th, "by request.'^ 

Captain Gear takes considerable credit unto himself for the accom- 
plishment of this muster, but that is a latitude allowed every person who 
narrates a statement of fact so prominent, and especially when so success- 
ful. He has the detail of Strode's order a trifle confused, but that is of 
no consequence when the story is considered as a whole. He has g^ven 
the days of the week with such accuracy that there remains no reason to 
doubt the statement of John Dixon, which it confirms. 

Mr. JcJin K. Robison was at the time a resident of Galena. Subse- 
quently he removed to Dixon, and later removed to Melugin's Grove, in 
the same county, where he passed most of his long and honored life. He 
was fourth sergeant in Captain Gear's company. 

In his lifetime I had many conversations with him about the cam- 
paign and his famous comrades, in the course of which he has more than 
once alluded to this meeting of Lieutenant Davis and Lieutenant Garde- 
nier at Galena while they were encountering such trouble with Colonel 
Strode and his pig-headed tactics. He also told me of meeting Lieutenant 
Davis on several occasions thereafter, particularly at the time Lieutenant- 
Colonel Taylor's troops, with others, crossed the Wisconsin River on the 
march to the Bad Axe, where Black Hawk was overtaken and his band 

From Galena Lieutenant Davis and his companions, with the excep- 
tion of Lieutenant Gardenier, returned to Dixon's Ferry, where, with the 
exception of scouting duty from time to time, and the march up Rock 
River, the troops under Taylor remained until the 27th day of June at 
12 o'clock, when the militia under General Henry and the regulars under 
Atkinson and Brady started up the east bank of Rock River for the head- 
quarters of Black Hawk among the morasses of the river above Lake 

It was during that period of over one month at Dixon's Ferry that 
Mr. Dixon became so well acquainted with Lieutenant Davis and his 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






Digitized by 



companions that error was impossible. He with others were guests at 
Mr. Dixon's house. They traded with him, buying his merchandise and 
paying for it or "having it charged.'' They hunted the wild duck, the 
grouse, the squirrel, the deer and the wild bee trees, and they fished and 
trapped and enjoyed life with a zest allowed no man of the present day 
of dirty pavements, crowded streets and dusty roads. 

For weeks they were present, conversing, dining, playing, romping 
the prairies like so many schoolboys just dismissed from the termination 
of a long and arduous term of school. And thus were the images of those 
army officers impressed upon the memory of John Dixon, who, by the by, 
continued with them clear through the campaign, as army guide and 
contractor, till the battle of the Bad Axe ended the campaign. 

After wearisome efforts around the Koshkonong country to dislodge 
the enemy, Henry and Dodge foimd his trail leading to the west, in a 
final effort to escape destruction, which was so surely coming upon him. 

Taylor's division, including Lieutenant Davis, who was Taylor's 
adjutant, marched immediately for the Wisconsin River and the Blue 
Mounds, and thence on to the Bax Axe. After this engagement, the 
troops marched to Fort Crawford, their headquarters, and there, freed 
from the dangers and fatigue of the campaign, Lieutenant Davis formally 
wrote out a letter notifying the department of his return to duty. From 
that point the Illinois troops were marched back to Dixon's Ferry and 
mustered out by Capt. Zalmon C. Palmer. 

During this period of five weeks, while Taylor remained at Dixon's 
Ferry, he was constantly on the alert, intercepting marauding bands of 
Indians, assisting the volunteers who had temporarily offered their serv- 
ices while the new levy was forming at Hennepin and Fort Wilboum, and 
generally protecting the frontiers, and in this connection it may be said 
that the bloodiest and most destructive skirmishes were made between 
the Ferry and Galena during this period. 

It may also be recorded that while the little account book was at all 
times open to the service of the Officers there stationed, Mr. Dixon always 
laughingly spoke of the fact that, while he often sold them bills of goods, 
yet Lieutenant Davis and Lieutenant Anderson were always, cash custom- 
ers. In the fullness of time, Mr. Dixon, who had never taken thought 
for the morrow, particularly when his fellow man was in need or distress, 
came to an age whtn he felt constrained to marshal all of his resources 
and call iif^his few overlooked accounts. Among them was a large one 
against th| United States Government, which of right should have been 
paid years before, but being in no immediate need, it had slipped along 
withoi^t attention. He finally applied for a land warrant for a quarter 
sectioi< of land to recompense him in a measure for the many and valuable 
services he had rendered his country during the Black Hawk War. A bill 
was introduced in Congress, passed by the Lower House, and in the 

Digitized by 



Senate was referred to the usual committee for consideration. This com- 
mittee reported adversely on the bill, and when it was reported to the 
Senate for final action, Senator Trumbull, who well knew the merit of the 
case and greatly desired the passage of the measure, dispatched a message 
at once to EHxon to inquire if Mr. Dixon did not know of some friend in 
the Senate, as he did in the House, who would assist in its passage. On a 
moment's thought he replied to a friend, "Why, yes, there is Lieutenant 
Davis,'' whereupon the attention of Senator Jefferson Davis was called to 
the bill, and here is the record of What transpired : 

From the Congressional Globe, First Session, 36th Congress. — ^June 
8th, i860, page 2751 : 


"The Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, next proceeded to con- 
sider the bill (H. R. No. 236) for the relief of John Dixon, which bad 
been reported adversely from the Committee on Public Lands. It directs 
the Secretary of the Interior to issue a bounty land warrant for one hun- 
dred and sixty acres to Jdm Dixon, of Dixon's Ferry, in the State of 
Illinois, for services rendered in the Black Hawk war. 

"Mr. Trumbull : *I ask that the bill may be put upon its passage. I 
will remark that the Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, with 
whom I had a conversation on the subject, stated that he reported adversely 
on this bill to grant a land warrant to Mr. Dixon, for the reason that the 
testimony before the Committee did not seem to be sufficient of his having 
rendered any service. He was not enlisted in the service, but he performed 
valuable service in the Black Hawk war — ^furnished supplies and acted as 
a g^ide and interpreter. He is an old man, over eighty years of age, and 
is now in very reduced circumstances. Some of his friends have made this 
application to get the old man a land warrant, and comes, I think, within 
the spirit of the law. The Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Davis), who 
served in the war, knows him personally, and perhaps he would make a 
statement to the Senate of his knowledge of the services for which it is 
proposed to grant a land warrant to this poor old man.' 

"Mr. Davis : 'As stated by the Senator from Illinois, I do know this 
individual personally and believe him to be a very honest man, and I should 
have great confidence in his statement. He was one of the first pioneers in 
the country near what is now the town of Dixon, formerly known as 
Dixon's Ferry. He lived there in an isolated position when I first knew 
him. His house was reached by crossing a wide prairie country inhabited 
only by Indians. He was of great service in the first settlement of the 
country. He was of service to the troops when they ascended the Rock 
River in the Black Hawk campaign. For some time a post was established 
at or near his house. He was of service at that time in furnishing supplies 
and giving information in regard to the country, and afterwards in taking 

Digitized by 



care of the sick. In a liberal spirit toward camp followers, we have since 
that time provided for packmen, for teamsters and for clerks, giving them 
bounty land warrants equally with the soldiers who were serving in the 
same campaign. I think the only objection in this case is the want of testi- 
mony, but I have such confidence in the individual, together with my 
recollection of the circimistances, that I would say that he was within the 
spirit of the law, and I should be glad, because of his many services in 
the first settlement of that country, to see him thus rewarded.' " 

After a few exchanges of explanations, the bill passed the Senate, 
and the recollections of Senator Jefferson Davis of the days he spent at 
and about Mr. Dixon's log cabin saved the day for the bill. 

It is not to be amsidered by any intelligent person that Mr. Davis 
would state on the floor of the United States Senate those facts, "from 
my recollection of the circtunstances,*' if he had not been present in that 
campaign and witnessed them with the pleasantest of memories. The lit- 
tle old log tavem-store-house of the 1832 campaign came back to him with 
all its memories and Senator Davis saved the bill, as the record of the 
proceedings show. 

The days when a man of years was young and his associations are 
never forgotten, and if any association under Heaven will evdce assistance 
fr<Mn one to another it is an appeal to those early associations. And so it 
was with Senator Davis and Mr. Dixon. 

Among others of subsequent prominence in the history of the State of 
Illinois, who formed the acquaintance of Mr. Davis during that campaign, 
and particularly while Taylor was stationed at Dixon^s Ferry, was Col. 
John Dement, later a resident of the city of Dixon, where he died. For 
fifty years Colonel Dement was one of the foremost men of Illinois, and 
whenever he made a statement it carried conviction. He it was who 
fought the battle of Kelloggf s Grove in that campaign, one of the fiercest 
of the many which occurred between Dixon's Ferry and Galena, retiring 
only after his clothing had been pierced with bullets and the Indians 
thoroughly checked from further molestation of the northwestern frontier. 

Colonel Dement many times told me of his acquaintance with Lieuten- 
ant Davis and how it ripened into a strong friendship as the campaign 
progressed, and which continued for all time thereafter. He many times 
in his lifetime spoke of Lieutenant Davis during that campaign, in public; 
and in the form of historical narrative he reduced the same statements to 
writing, one of which I have. 

At the breaking out of hostilities. Colonel Dement was State Treas- 
urer, which station naturally carried with it considerable prestige in more 
ways than one, as proved to be the case a little later when he won for his 
bride the daughter of Gen. Henry Dodge, later Governor of Wisconsin 
and United States Senator, and, by the by, one of the most famous Indian 
fighters that ever lived. 

Digitized by 



Lieutenant Davis knew them both, bride and groom, from the early 
day, all through life, and at the death of the Colonel wrote to Mrs. 
Dement the following touching letter, in which the frienddiip of that 
famous old campaign is alluded to : 

"Beauvoir, Miss., Feb. 4th, 1883. 

"My Dear Friend: Of the many who will offer you condolence in 
your recent bereavement, there is not one who sympathizes more deeply 
with you than he who long years ago claimed the privilege of the sacred 
name of friend. 

"Widely and long we have been separated, but your image has not 
been dimmed by time and distance. 

"The gallantry and noble bearing of your deceased husband was 
known to all who, like myself, were on the frontier of Illinois during the 
campaign against Black Hawk, and from your brother, Augustus, and 
your friend, General Jones, I heard of him in after years. 

"As your husband, he was to me the object of special interest, and it 
was a great gratification to me to learn that he was so worthy to be your 
life companion. 

"If you have preserved enough of the pleasant memories of one 
springtime to care for one who flitted with you over the flowers of youth's 
happy garden, it will give me sincere gratification to hear f rc«n you and to 
learn of the welfare of yourself and children. 

"With cordial regard for you and yours, and renewed assurance of 
my deep sympathy, I am ever, 

"Faithfully your friend, 

"Jefferson Davis.'' 

The term "garden" is appropriately applied to the spring of the 
year 1832 and its successor, 1833. The stunmer of 183 1 had been dry, and 
crops and vegetation had failed; the prairies had been left parched and 
brown, and but for the open-handed manner of the pioneer in helping his 
distressed brother, there had indeed been great suflfering. But in 1832, 
barring the scare of the Indian campaign then carried on, the people were 
permitted to revel in a luxury of vegetation. Rains descended and the 
foliage of the trees was beautiful beyond description. The wild grape and 
cherry and plum, and the bee tree, laden with honey, were all free to 
him who cared to gather. Wild deer, turkeys, ducks, geese, grouse and 
squirrels were everywhere present in abundance for the huntsman, while 
the streams were plentifully stocked with fish. The wild rose spread out 
its blossoms over the prairies, and if man, though never so weary, could 
not revel in his surroundings he was sordid enough. The pathway of the 
pioneer was hard and coarse, but a thoughtful God seasoned his toil with 
many a blessing denied to us of the crowded city. 

General Harney, in the latter years of his life, was very fond of speak- 

Digitized by 



ing of those same beautiful days of springtime and the famous men he 
soldiered with at Dixon's Ferry and on through the campaign, and in all 
those reminiscences failed never to allude to Lieut. Jefferson Davis, be- 
ginning with him at the mouth of Rock River, when they began their 
march up to Dixon's Ferry. Reavis, in his biography, makes frequent 
quotations from those days and events in which both Harney and Davis 
took such active and conspicuous parts. In a recent correspondence with 
Mrs. John M. Harney of St. Louis I am told that full reliance can be 
placed upon the statements made by Mr. Reavis in that biography, and, 
furthermore, all statements contained in the same as emanating from 
General Harney were made in the presence of herself and Mr. Harney, 
and, independently of the book, Mrs. Harney confirms the presence of 
Lieutenant Davis in that campaign from General Harney himself, who in 
his lifetime so asserted many times. 

Gen. John A. McQemand, the last living member of that famous 
band which gathered at Dixon's Ferry, wrote me, a very short time 
before his death, which but recently occurred, that he well knew it to be 
true that Lieutenant Davis was present and participated in the campaign 
to its close. 

Later on, when Lieutenant Davis became Secretary of War, Colonel 
Strode, who had then removed to Woodstock, Illinois, and traveled the 
circuit from that point, was exceedingly fond of alluding to Jefferson 
Davis as his companion in arms during the Black Hawk War, and upon 
that point I have the correspondence, confirming the making of those 
claims at all times and upon all occasions, from so eminent an authority 
as Hon. H. W. Blodgett, for so many years United States Judge of this 

Gen. George W. Jones, the first Senator in Congress from the State 
of Iowa, was a classmate of Jefferson Davis in their days of young man- 
hood at Transylvania, and at his death was one of Mr. Davis' pallbearers. 
The college days, so dear to every man who has a soul, brought them 
together as only college days can bring men together, and if subsequent 
events should ever bring them together again, after separating to start 
out in life, it can scarcely be said that either could be mistaken in any 
material point concerning the history of the occasion. Certainly General 
Jones could not, and here is what he has written above his signature about 
the presence of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, his classmate, in the Black Hawk 
campaign : 

. - Dubuque, Jan. i6th, 1896. 

Mr. F. R. Dixon. 

My Dear Sir : Your letter of the 14th was received yesterday and I 
answer with pleasure. 

My acquaintance with Mr. Jefferson Davis was formed at Transyl- 
vania University, Lexington, Kentucky, from 1821 to 1824; renewed in 

Digitized by 



1828 after he was graduated at West Point and commissioned Sectwid 
Lieutenant of Infantry, U. S. A., when he served under Col. Zachary 
Taylor, at Fort Crawford, Wisconsin. 

I, as Gen. Henry Dodge's aid-de-camp, served with Lieutenant Davis 
throughout the Black Hawk war, from its inception to its close. Later, we 
were brother United States Senators, and an intimate friendship existed 
between us throughout his life. 

I knew your grandfather intimately, as also Colonel Dement, and 
esteemed them both highly. * * * Trusting that the foregoing is a satis- 
factory reply to your inquiry, I am. Yours very sincerely, 

GEa W. Jones. 

And here is what Gen. A. C Dodge of Iowa, Senator in Congress 
with Jeflferson Davis, has written on the subject: 

"In 1832 we became associated in the famous Black Hawk war, he 
(Lieutenant Davis) as lieutenant of infantry, and I as aid-de-camp to 
Gen. Henry Dodge, commanding the militia of Michigan Territory. I 
often accepted his invitation to partake of his hospitality, as well as that 
of Gen. (then Captain) William S. Harney and Col. Zachary Taylor, 
who often divided their rations with me, as we volunteers were frequently 
in want of suitable food. 

"The regulars were much better provided for than we volunteer^ 
were at the time. They were not only furnished with better rations and 
more of them, but they had tents, while we had none ; and I shall never 
forget the generous hospitality of Lieutenant Davis, Col. Zachary Taylor, 
Capt. W. S. Harney and others of my brave and generous ccxnrades of 
those days."* 

There was no point in the material or political growth of that part of 
the then Michigan Territory (now Wisconsin), where Lieutenant Davis 
was stationed, that Generals Jones and Dodge were not identified with and 
thoroughly familiar. They were on the staff of General Dodge during the 
campaign, by reason of which and the exalted position of General Dodge 
they were upon terms of intimacy with the army officers of the war, begin- 
ning with Gen. Winfield Scott, who was chief in command after his ar- 
rival at Prairie du Chien. 

In 1866, after the conclusion of the Qvil War, and when the prominent 
men on both sides were in the minds of everyone. Rev. W. W. Harsha, 
then of Dixon, but later President of the Presbyterian Theological Col- 
lege at Omaha, Nebraska, was about to take a journey to New York City, 
at which point Gen. Robert Anderson was to be found, recovering from 
a very severe illness. 

Commenting on the proposed trip to Mr. Dixon, the latter expressed 
a desire to have Mr. Harsha call upon the General, and, if remembered 

> Jefferson Dayls, a memoir by his wife. Vol. 1, p. 138. 

Digitized by 


rjEi'T. .tf:ffkkson davis. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



by him, to convey to him the very best wishes of Mr. Dixon for his speedy 
recovery, and, in view of the prominence of Lieutenant Anderson, 
Lieutenant Davis and others who served in the Black Hawk campaign, 
recall the incidents of that early day and inquire if General Anderson 
remembered them. Mr. Harsha, upon his arrival, true to his promise, 
made the call, and the following letter, written at the time, gives the sub- 
stance of the interview : 

Chicago, April 29th, 1866. 

My Dear Friend: Being recently in New York City on business, 
and finding myself one day in the neighborhood of General Anderson's 
residence, it occurred to me to call, and, partly on your account and partly 
on my own, make his acquaintance. I did so, and as soon as I told the 
General that I had lived eight years in Dixon, and I mentioned your 
name, he expressed himself greatly pleased to see me. He entered imme- 
diatly upon a minute and interesting detail of his experiences in Illinois 
and confirmed the statement which I had heard from you of his meeting 
Davis and Lincoln at your house at "Dixon's Ferry." He was very glad 
to hear that you were living and inquired affectionately after your health 
and the condition of your family. He seemed distressed to learn of your 
bereavements, and showed himself a man of true feeling. 

He is, as you know, very mqch broken down in health. * * * 

On parting from him the General says: "Tell my old friend, Mr. 
Dixon, that I shall probably not see him in this life again, but I hope to 
meet him in Heaven.^' * * * Yours truly, 

W. W. Harsha. 

To John Dixon, Dixon, Illinois. 

Isaac N. Arnold, Lincoln's friend and biographer, specifically recalls 
a conversation with Lincoln, wherein the latter remembers and mentions 
the presence of Mr. Davis in that campaign. 

Ben Perley Poore frequently heard Lincoln tell of Davis' pres- 
ence in that campaign, and he has particularly told us so on page 218 
of "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln.^' 

After leaving Dixon's Ferry to march up the left bank of Rock 
River, the route became one of privation and hardship, particularly after 
reaching the bogs and swamps about Lake Koshkonong, where men fell 
ill by the score, and where others became so exhausted that they were 
sent back to the Ferry, to be later discharged. In many cases, detachments 
sent out among the swamps to chase the phantom Indian or guard some 
particular settlement against apprehended attack had nothing but pickled 
pork and a course dough for subsistence. The rains made the streams im- 
passable, and many times, as at the Wisconsin, just before the battle of 
that name, the entire army, after making wearisome forced marches with- 
out sleep, were compelled to remain standing all night long before the 


Digitized by 



battle, in a drenching rain, awaiting the hour in the morning when the 
attack might be made. Thus, day after day, the troops marched in cloth- 
ing soaked with water, many falling by the wayside, to be carried to the 
rude hospitals improvised for the occasion, and even so rugged and power- 
ful a man as General Henry, who won both the battle of the Wisconsin 
and the Bad Axe, sickened and died from the exposures of that cam- 

Through all these vicissitudes Davis and Anderson and Johnston 
arid Eaton were cheerful and buoyed up the men with encouraging words 
until back once more at Fort Crawford, where a more fearful enemy than 
exposure was met — ^the Asiatic cholera. Anderson and Johnston were 
stricken and suffered a long time the frightful agonies of that dread dis- 
ease. There at his old and familiar quarters. Lieutenant Davis performed 
the duty demanded of him, of formally reporting himself back with his 
regiment for duty, August i6th, 1832. 

Later, Black Hawk, Neapope, the Prophet and the other Indian lead- 
ers were captured and handed over to Lieut.-Col. Zachary Taylor as pris- 
oners of war. Robert Anderson, in a letter to Hon. E. B. Washburne, has 
stated that he was designated as their custodian to take them to JeflFerson 
Barracks, but that the fateful cholera prevented. In that he was mis- 
taken ; he took the second installment of prisoners. 

We know from every man who served in that campaign and from 
every record that those prisoners were handed by Colonel Taylor to 
Lieut. Jefferson Davis to be taken to Jefferson Barracks. Following is 
from The Galenian of September 5th, 1832: "September 4th General 
Street, the Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, arrived to-day on board the 
steamboat Winnebago with about one hundred Sac prisoners, guarded by 
an escort of troops under command of Lieut. Jefferson Davis. Among the 
prisoners are the celebrated Black Hawk, the Prophet and La-ce-o-souck 
(The Thunder), son of Black Hawk; the latter was delivered on the 
night of the 3d. The prisoners were brought in by the Winnebagoes and 
the Sioux. 

"The Winnebagoes came in, as we learn, so late on the night of the 
3d with the prisoners, and the steamboat being there in waiting for them, 
General Street, instead of delivering them to Colonel Taylor, as hereto- 
fore, delivered them over to the charge of Colonel Anderson, who went on 
that commission, and who is now on his way to Rock Island with them." * 

From the Galenian, a paper published in Galena, we find "locals" 
noting the presence of the noted prisoners and their guard, Jefferson 
Davis, at every point containing a newspaper, at which they stopped. 

No reasonable person can believe that so honorable and responsible 

*He died of consumption incited and accelerated by that exposure. 
'Robert Anderson did take the aerond installment as far as Ft. Armstrong, Wher« 
he was compelled to enter the hospital, trom cholera. 

Digitized by 



a post would have been given Lieutenant Davis had he not participated in 
the campaign with distinction. 

With the most frightful epidemic of cholera at Fort Armstrong which 
they passed; with cholera about him in the boat, he reached Jefferson 
Barracks thoroughly exhausted, and feeling that he was entitled to the 
leave of absence which he had given up to enter this campaign, he ap- 
plied for another and, receiving it, as he did in due time, he returned to 
Mississippi to enjoy it. 

The experience gained in that campaign suggested his name for the 
command of a regiment of Mississippi troops in the war with Mexico, 
where he gained such fame as to bring forth the hearty thanks of Gen. 
Zachary Taylor on the field. 

In conclusion, I wish to add a conversation which Mr. Aldrich, Cur- 
ator of the Historical Department of Iowa, had with Mr. Davis about two 
years before the death of the latter. 

Mr. Davis, in the course of this conversation, said much about 
Black Hawk and that campaign and his participation in it, and here is his 
narrative verbatim, of the Battle of the Wisconsin, in which he was en- 
gaged, taken down by Mr. Aldrich at the time : "We were one day pur- 
suing the Indians, when we came close to the Wisconsin River. Reaching 
the river bank, the Indians made so determined a stand, and fought with 
such desperation, that they held us in check. During this time the 
squaws tore bark from the trees, with which they made little shallops, in 
which they floated their papooses and other impedimenta across to an 
island, also swimming over the ponies. As soon as this was accomplished, 
half of the warriors plunged in and swam across, each holding his gun 
in one hand over his head, and swimming with the other. As soon as 
they reached the opposite bank, they also opened fire upon us, under cover 
of which the other half slipped down the bank and swam over in like man- 
ner. This," said Mr. Davis, "was the most brilliant exhibition of military 
tactics that I ever witnessed — ^a feat of most consummate management 
and bravery, in the face of an enemy of greatly superior numbers. I never 
read of anything that could be compared with it. Had it been performed 
by white men, it would have been immortalized as one of the most splendid 
achievements in military history." 

Black Hawk in his book, page 107, states the facts of that retreat 
pretty much as* Mr. Davis did to Mr. Aldrich, excepting only to take no 
especial credit to himself or his braves for strategy. 

As Black Hawk was taken down the Mississippi by Lieutenant 
Davis, the two were in frequent conversation, and naturally each studied 
the other more or less, and while Mr. Davis, in after years, always spoke 
of his prisoner in the very highest terms, it may be interesting to know 
what Black Hawk had to say about his captor when he came to write his 
autobiography the following year: **We remained here a short time, and 

Digitized by 



then started for Jefferson Barracks in a steamboat, under charge of a 
young war chief (JeflFerson Davis), who treated us with much kindness. 
He is a good aiid brave young chief, with whose conduct I was much 
pleased. On our way down we called at Galena and remained a short time. 
The people crowded to the boat to see us, but the war chief would not 
permit them to enter the apartment where we were, knowing from what 
his feelings would have been if he had been placed in a similar position, 
that we did not wish to have a gaping crowd around us.'^ 

Little can be said for the negative of this question and less can be 
proven, and with such a unanimity of testimony in favor of his presence, 
from those who saw him and there formed his acquaintance and friend- 
ship, it cannot be perceived how an assumption, an "interpretation** can 
be allowed to rob him of that honor. 

Digitized by 





Digitized by 


Digitized by 





























C c. 







11 r-i 





























I =CJ 


















I. * 








: J 










r ^ - 





















f ~( 












1 ' 









o ». 









































o ^^ 





















t J 




^ J 










< J* 




r- ; 





. — t 


•-^ ^ 





k -^ 




'? > 









r • 

















o ^ 
























^ 1 






f^ I 


















CO 1 







•^ \ 








c I 







C> V^ 








r. ^ 















I ' 




i> -J 

























; . 










\ ^ 


^ ,y 


















































J— ; 





r— 1 













I * 











--I r::^ 





p? pj 








c^ c 


















. cj 






C) -o 










n •: 

" J 









'•♦n o 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Ufye Qlack Hawk War. 


^'-x-^ . 

C * ' ' "x'T^HE influence of that war upon the destiny of the Missis- 
^ I sippi Valley has proved to be second in importance to no 
other event in western annals. It never has been treated 
in an accurate, extended and dignified manner. Scattered 
through pages of books and periodicals of a past generation 
are to be found numberless letters, notices, discursive portions 
and hysterical fragments bearing upon it, and even at present, 
allusions to it are frequent in the newspapers; but nearly all 
so painfully incomplete, garbled and untrustworthy as to shock 
the historic sense. Believing that public interest in the subject 
demands the publication of its history in detail, without as- 
sistance from an extensive bibliography and explanatory notes 
vouching for the fact or fabrication of its parts, the author has 
completed such a work and included therein all that could be 
found of Black Hawk and his wars. 

The rapidly disintegrating sources of information have been 
recovered; all original treaties and documents known to exist 
have been transcribed or consulted, and, above all, portraits of 
all its men who subsequently became .famous, and portraits of 
all officers above the rank of first lieutenant, without regard to 
fame, have been collected (where portraits have been made or 
the subject has not dropped from sight altogether), and will 
be found presented within the covers of this book, in attractive 

The book, handsomely bound in cloth, will be a large 
octavo of 400 pages, exclusive of the portraits and views. 
These portraits are in most instances first portraits, of exceed- 
ing rarity and here for the first time reproduced. It may 
safely be said that this collection is the largest and rarest to 
be found in any single volume, and as portraiture is the life of 
historic movement, this feature is expected to attract imusual 

A complete set of muster rolls, made in triplicate at the 
time, including Captain Abraham Lincoln's, was fortunately 
placed at the author's disposal, and now that the Lincoln copy, 
so long on file in the War Department, is said to have been 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


stolen, the reproductioti of the original for the first time will 
prove interesting* 

In recording every move in Black Hawk*s stormy career, 
original sources of information only have been considered ; to 
such an extent, that it is asserted with confidence no official 
document exists which cannot be found in the book. 

The contention that Lieutenant Jefferson Davis was not 
present throughout the campaign has been thoroughly treated 
and placed beyond future caviL That he and Lincoln served 
together through that campaign should no longer remain an 
open question. 

To the historical library this book is indispensable. No 
pains have been spared to make it attractive as well as accu- 
rate. This fact, together with the unusual and costly collec- 
tion of portraits, has made the cost of its publication reach an 
unusual figure; but notwithstanding the fact the subscription 
price has been made very reasonable. 

Dr. J. F. Snyder, Virginia, IlL, President of the State His- 
torical Society, who has read the MS., has this to say of it: 
*'I think it is a work of high merit; well written, and the 
result of a prodigious amount of labor and the most careful 

Prof, B. F; Shambaugh, Professor of Political Science, Uni* 
versity of Iowa, says: '* It is the best biography of an Indian 
that ever has been written." I 

Hon, Hempstead Washburne, Ex-Mayor of Chicago, says: 
*'I wish to thank you in advance for your coming contribution 
to the early history of this State and of the West. It is one 
much needed.'* • 

Hon. S. H. Bethea, U, S. Attorney, Chicago: "A most 
valuable contribution to the history of a very interesting 

The edition is limited to 1,025 copies, and when exhausted 
will bring many times the original cost; the suggestion is . 

therefore ventured that an early subscription will prove vain- I 

able as well as gratifying, I 

PRICE>ftAin to any address, $5,50. Ready for de- 
livery about June jo, 1903, Lu3Libfi..RV ;.*-Xv^.J 
& Faithfully yours, AMN, PUB'RS, ftSS^l, 

1205 Chamber of Commerce Building, 


'4 pc'jnvii AV2., n. Y. 

Digitized by 


- Digitized by 


p • 

The Black Hawk War. 

That event, which transferred the upper Mis- 
sissippi from the red to the white man, may be 
said to transcend all others in importance to the 
Mississippi Valley. While contended to have been 
deplorable, it was a stern necessity now recognized 
the length and breadth of that valley. Besides its 
importance in that particular, it was vastly im- 
portant by reason of the great names to be found 
in the muster rolls: Capt. Abraham Lincoln, Lieut. 
Jefferson Davis, Lieut. Col. Zachary Taylor, Gen. 
Winfield Scott, Col. John A. McClernand, Lieut. 
Albert Sidney Johnston, Lieut. Joseph E. Johnston, 
Lieut. Edward D. Baker, Col. J. J. Hardin, and U. S. 
Senators, Cabinet Ministers, Governors, etc., with- 
out number! The most dramatic and interesting 
bit of Mississippi Valley history. 

Three hundred rare and interesting views and 
portraits are presented for the first time in the 
book of that title, now published. Documents 
heretofore unknown are included at length, in 
fact a large octavo volume is now offered to the 
public which should be in every library. 

Pr ice $5.50 net. 

1205 Chamber of Commerce Building, 

. Chicago, 111. 

''^^ J? 

c. ^ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by 


WKat is Said of It. 

Here is a great work of far more than ordinary value, as books go; 
a volume of permanent historic interest, that ought to find a place in 
every public and private Western library. It deserves to be counted 
among every collection of books of any respectable size in the entire 
country. — The Davenport Democrat 

**The Black Hawk War'* is the title of a book of more than ordinary 
interest and value. It should appeal to all students of American history 
and especially to those interested in the development of the Mississippi 
Valley. — The Inter Ocean^ Chicago. 

Mr. Stevens is to be commended for the carefulness with which he 
has collected his documents, and the result is interesting and valuable. — 
The Nation. 

Mr. Stevens has made an interesting and valuable book and deserves 
public recognition for the labor and sacrifice with which he has carried 
his task to completion. — Record- Herald. 

The narative here presented contains no statement for which the 
authority is not quoted, and it is easy to believe that the labor of many 
years has been required to collect the material here used. — The Tribune^ 

A complete and trustworthy record of a picturesque and critical 
period. — The Evening Post^ Chicago. 

It was due the State of Illinois that such a history of Black Hawk 
and his times be written, and you have done it well. — E. 8. IViClcox, 
Librarian Peoria Public Library, 

Your book is an exceedingly thorough and valuable study. — Warren 
Upham^ 8ec*y Minn. Historical Society, 

Your work fills a vacant niche in the history of the Mississippi 
Valley, which all students of history are glad to welcome. — Mary Louise 
Dalton, Sec'y Missouri Historical Society, 

Prank B. Stevens, deserves the thanks of the people of the North- 
west for the labors which have produced after many years **The Black 
Hawk War, including a Review of Black Hawk's Life."— !Z%€ Daily 
News, Chicago, 

**The Black Hawk War" is the latest contribution to American 
history and it is a work that is of inestimable value. — The Milwaukee 

Digitized by 



Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Digitized by 

Googk f 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


■ \ 

'> , 

;ized by