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Illinois militia, at his own solicitation, had been dispatch e<i I
by Gov. Reynolds to endeavor to ascertain the position of
the Indians. Deceived by some individuals who assured
liim that they had reconnoitered the country for forty-five
miles above Whiteside's camp, and that there were no In-
dians within that distance, Stillman encamped an hour
before sunsel, twenty-live miles from Dixon's, in a well |
chosen position, on a stream since called Stillman's Run.

Indian CA:\rrAir;N of 1833. 157

V.TV soon after pitchin^i? tents, and after unsaddling, some
If.ilians were discovered on the open prairie, a mile or two
,!istnnt. The camp entirely filled a small open wood, whicli
'.vas on every side surrounded by open and clear prairie
vliL,ditly undulating. The strongest fortress could hardly
have been more efTectively defended than the camp in ques- .
ti'in, where a hundi-cd men ought to have repulsed ten
times their number of ai: attacking force. On the discovery of
tliC Indians, only two or three in number, the militia sallied
uut, as all agree, in great confusion, some with saddles and
«iomc without, and pursued and captured these Indians^
when some one called out that three or four others were in
sii^lit; on which another pursuit occurred in still greater
disorder. The last Indians were overtaken, and, it is said,
t>vo of them killed unresistingly and without provocation.
Very soon others were discovered advancing. Their num-
bers appeared, no doubt, much greater than they really were
in the dusk of the evening, and a panic seized the whites,
S'liire qui pent was the word — or rendered into backwood's
Knglish, "the devil take the hindmost," and tlie whole corps
lU-d without firing a %vell-directod shot. They passed on the
run directly through their camp, plunged into tlie creek, and
(lid not halt until they had arrived at Dixon's Ferry, where
tliey came straggling in for twenty hours. Twelve of the
^vliiles and four of tlie Indians, including those wantonly
slain, were killed. It is asserted by the Indians, tliat the
rout was caused by less than one hundred Indians, and the
j'lirsutt continued through the night by less than thirty.
There were, doubtless, many gallant fellows in Stillman's
(^(^rps, and it is diflicuU to account for this, as well as other
similar affairs between the whites and Indians, save by
'Utributing it to a want of discipline, and of material confi-
dence in themselves.

It may be well to add the fact, that Stillman's corns had
Hf-ver been for an instant under Gen. Atkinson's orders, tiiey
liaving joined Gov. lloynfdds at Dixon's, by a march througli
^he country.

Tlie army immediately advanced up Rock river to Still-
'iiau's l^un, having left the defeated corps to guard the sick.

158 Wisconsin State Historical Socihty.

wounded and provisions at tlie depot at Dixon's. At Siill-
man's Kun, Gen. Atkinson was overtaken by an expre;-
with intelligence that the corps left to guard tlie depot \vd<[
determined to abandon their charge and return home. Uv
also ascertained that the enemy had moved rapidly up Syca-
more creek; towards its head. The mounted force no^v
about two thousand, was dispatciied in pursuit, and the reg-
ulars ordered to occupy the depot at Dixon's. Whitesi-l-;
with his command moved up Sycamore creek for two or
three days, pursuing the enemy, never, however, being abl-
to get sight of them.

The first intelligence received of the run-away troops by
Gen. Atkinson, was that they had proceeded across the
country to the Illinois river, and disbanded themselves or
had been discharged. This was said to have been brought
about from some cause connected with the local politics of
of the State. I

The General with his staff immediately proceeded acros>
the country to the Illinois river, and by much exertion sur-
ceeded in inducing a few companies of mounted men ti'
volunteer to assist in protecting the settlements.

Within a few liours after the General's departure, intelli-
gence arrived at Dixon's by express, tliat the enemy linl
made.altacks at different points, eighty or ninety miles apart,
and committed butcheries, with all the accustomed horror.^
of Indian warfare. The report of a few mounted men of
the disbanded militia, who arrived, induced the serious n]-
yjrehension that the General liad been cut off in his journey
across the country. Fortunately our fears proved without
foundation. Among the sufferers, the fate of no one crente-1
more sympathy than that of Felix St. Yrain, Indian Agent
for the Foxes and Sauks, who had accompanied the army t'^
Dixon's Ferry, where he had obtained leave to return, ami
secure his family at Rock Island. On his way to Galejui,
with seven men, they were attacked by a large party of I'^;
dians under commuvul of the Prophet, and Mv. St. Vrain au "•
three others most barbarously murdered, the others makinu'


their escape. _ I

' Tbe south branch of Kish-wau-lu e.

Indian Campaign of 1832. 159

Hv exertions almost incredible, Gen. Aikinson succeeded
ii, loss than three weeks in calling out a new militia
mounted force, for it was already found that the war could
!).,t be successfully prosecuted against a well mounted en-
• iny by infantry alone, and in organizing it anew, and in
procuring provisions for a new movement.

In the meantime, however, two companies of regular
'.n»<>ps and a company of militia had been dispatched to
Krllogg's Grove, for the purpose of occupying the country
hoisveen Tiock and Fevre rivers, and dispersing a party of
the enemy known to be lurking therein. While there, the
fr.ihtia in returning to the camp were attacked by a party
of Indians in ambusli, and driven off, with a loss of three
..f their number killed. The Indians lost four. After re-
maining at Kellogg's Grove ten days, this party were or-
dered to return, and their places were supplied by a battal-
jr.u of militia tvv-o hundred and fifty strong, commanded
by Major John Dement who the day after their arrival at
the position, were attacked and defeated by one hundred
and thirty Indians, who drove them into their stockade, and
besieged them until relieved by Gen. Posey with the residue
of the brigade, when the Indians leisurely withdrew.

About this time also, Ct^l. Dodge, now Colonel of the U. S.
r^ragoons, v^•ilh a party of twenty-eight mounted men,
learned that several murders had been committed in the
neighborhood of Fort Hamilton, and pursued the murder-
ers. Dodge and his party overtook the enemy, who they
found to be a party fifteen in number, and after a sharp con-
flict, killed every one of them, with the loss of three whites

On the 2Sth of June, the army again advanced on the
enemy. Our force consisted of upwards of four hundred
regular infantry, and Henry's brigade of one thousand
mounted militia. Brig. Gen. Brady, IT. S. A., who had in the
Mieantinie joined the army, and by advice of Gen. Atkin-
son, assumed the immediate command of the division of
'■egulars and militia, was loft to guard the depot at Dixon's
Ferry, and Posey's and Alexander's brigades detached and
disposed so as to protect the settlements.


Wisconsin State Historical Society

On the 3rd of July, we found ourselves in the neighhui- |

hood of the enemy, who, however, occupied an inaccessibl.^ |

position in a swamp a few miles from us. This was Winn.- |

bago swamp, in Ogle county, 111. They had retired befor- j

us, and, in several instances, we found in their camps scalps |

and heads previously taken, and left in triumph. They al^- |

always left in their camps a sort of guide-post, witli a wi?i. -^

of hay done up and fixed so as to indicate their destination. |

This, however, was mere bravado, as they avoided a conflict. j

though it was eagerly sought for by our army. The force j

of the enemy at this time could not have been far from ohp .|

thousand efficient warriors, nearly all mounted. Our march- 1

ing had become exceedingly disagreeable and difficult, |

wading through swamps and morasses, our provisions and |

baggage on pack-horses, frequently damaged, a)id the j

fonner of course falling short by the horses sinking in the J

swam]is. . '^

Every exertion was made to procure guides, but in vauL
Such AVinnebagoes or Fottawatojnies as joined us or couLl
be taken, were either ignorant or treacherous. On the Cth
of July, we reached a deep and muddy stream called mo.^i
inaptlyWhite AVater, beyond which we were informed by
the AVinnebagocs we should find the enemy. With mucli
difficulty we forded or swam this stream, or rather the first
of three branches, and after a perplexing march of twelve
or fifteen miles we arrived where the Indian guides assured
the General witli one voice, that further advance was impo!=-
sible, having arrived, as they said, and as it appeared, at a |
wilderness of tluit description of morass called by the Frencli
terra ircniblanfe. We had, it appeared, no recourse but to
retrace our weary march for the purpose of arriving at aud
crossing Kock river, to reach the enemy by moving up the
other ba'nk. At the mouth of the White AVater, the mounted
force under Oen. Henry and Col. Dodge was dispatched with
the pack-horses to Fort Winnebago for provisions.

Under these vexations and disapjiointments, we had tl.*'
satisfaction of knowing that our enemy was completely be-
sieged—cut off from all their resources. Cen. Atkinsou
knew that they must soon be driven by famine to give u^

Indian Campaign of 1835. 101

Ii.ittlo, or to retreat from their present position, where he
i,;i(l Httle doubt of overtaking them. He, therefore, took
»ui-h measures as to prevent tlieir escape. To enable a com-
|any to guard our })rovisions and sick, when we should
.\-^a\n advance, a stockade was erected, which was called
Fort Kosh-ko-nong.'

Here avo learned by dispatches from Maj. Gen. Scott to
.tur commander, of the arrival of that officer with his troops
at Chicago, and that the Asiatic cholera was raging among
them. This was the first intimation any individual of our
cniumand had received of tlic existence of this disease on
this continent. We also received other disagreeable and
mortifying intelligence through the public prints, and from
otlier sources — the censure conveyed in insinuations and
inuendoes by certain prints; the information from private
It'tters, and perhaps the tone of official dispatches, all gave us
too clearly to understand, that thus far for our toil, exposure,
and exertions, we had received nothing but censure — hov/
unjustly, every individual of the army knew and felt.

On the arrival of the provisions, a new guide — an Indian
«'hief ' — offered to conduct the army to the enemy's camp;
his services were gladly accepted, and the army once jnore
;td\anccd through sv/amps in the direction of the foe. AVhen
.'ij-Tain within a few hours march of them, the night set in
^vith the most tremendous storm of rain, wind, thunder and
'ightning that I ever witnessed. Before morning an officer
overtook us with information from Gen. Henry, that the
••neniy liad retreated, crossing Rock river, and that the
'Mounted corps of Ilenr}- and Dodge liaving fallen on the
fresh trail of the retreating Indian army, liad taken the trail
in pursuit, after dispatching the express to Gen. Atkinson.
instantly we commenced our retrograde movement again.

'Tliis Fort was located rn tlie eastern out-skirts of the present village of
* ^'t Atkinson, and was firsc known as Fort Kosli-ko-nong, and afterwards
''* I'ort Atkinson. It was garrisoned by Cajit. (iidoon Lowe, of tlio regu-
-•r-., with tliirty or forty men, till the conchision of the war, wlien it was
"«' •■iiuUtut'd, and Capt. Lowe marched liis men to Fort "NVinuebagn.

L. C. D.

'White Crow. L. C. D.


Wisconsin State Histokical Society.

and that evening arrived at Fort Kosli-ko-non<-: and iK
next day passed around Lake Kosh-ko-nong, and forded Rock
river below the lake.

Our marches were forced and severe. One day we march.- .
it is believed, nearly twenty miles,, a very hot one, ^viti.
out water. Before the arrival of the army at the Wisconsin.
it wafv met by an express with information that Henry an :
Dodge had come up with, and attacked the rear of tlv
enemy near the river, and defeated them.

Rafts were forthwith constructed at the Wisconsin, avu.
the army crossed at a small village called Helena, on tli,
27th of July; and within two hours afterwards we struck
the trail of the enemy. Their trail gave evidence that thoi;
numbers must be considerable. Their order of march wa-
in three parallel coknnns. Over the dry prairie, the rout.
of each column was worn from two to six inches in tlv^
earth; where the ground was marshy, their trail appcar.^ :
■ like ordinary traveled roads, wanting only the tracks of th


From this time until we reached the ]Mississippi river, w.
continued without deviation to follow the trail of the eneniy^
having no other guide, and led — doubtless with a view .■:
batliing the army — over such a country as, I venture to say.
has seldom been marched over -at one mome.nt asccndin-
liills, which appeared almost perpendicular, through tlr
thickest forests; then plunging through morasses; fordiiv.
to our necks creeks and rivers; passing defiles, where oiv-
hundred resolute men might have defeated ten thousand
whatever might be their courage or capacity; next clam-
oring up and down mountains, perfectly bald, without s>
much as a bush to sustain a man. It was in this march tlui:
our infantry regained their confidence in their own power-
— lacking the power of rapid locomotion to make a da^i-
against an enemy -which had been somewhat impairiH-.
oarly in the campaign. They now far out-marched tl <■
horsemen, nearly all of whose horses were broken down.

The Indians were under the impression, that it was imp« -
sible for us to follow them; and to that error, we probnl-l.''-
owe our ultimate gcod fortune in overtaking them, or, :i'

Indian Campaign of 1832. 163

. i4. in bringing them into action on grounds of equality.
\Ve, each day, made two of their day's marches, passing one

r two of their camps. We frequently passed their dead,
V, 1.0, exhausted by wounds or fatigue, liad expired and
:'.illon from tlieir horses.

< In the 1st of August, we passed the bodies of eleven, and
a little before sun set, learned from a prisoner, that the
• nrrny were but a few miles in advance of us. Up to this
liiiie, not a man of the army knew where we were, save that
wo were north of the Wisconsin, and on the enemy's track.
We inarched until after dark, hastily encamped, slept two
"T three hours, when the rereille beat,and we were again on
th;.' march before day- break.

(>u the 2d of August, at a little after sun rise, we discov-
t rvd the curtain of mist hanging over the Mississippi, and
t!it> scouts in advance, a detachment of Dodge's corps, an-
r-'iunced the vicinity of the enemy. We were halted for an
irihtant, our knap-sacks and baggage throv.-n off and our
j'lck-horses left. We then advanced rapidly into the tim-
i-'Ted land, and the occasional shots in advance confirmed
the reports of the scouts. This firing was from a select rear
.:ti;ird of the enemy, about seventy in number.

< Uir order of battle was promjMly arranged under the per-
"•:ial supervision of Gen. Atkinson, the center composed of
ta-.' regular troops, about three hundred and eighty in num-
'"-■r, and Dodge's corps, perhaps about one hundred and fifty.
1 !io right, of the remains of Posey's and Alexander's militia
•■•*"i.i;ades, probably in all two hundred and fifty men; the
'tft, of Henry's brigade, in numbers not far fj-om four iiun-
'^fcd men — which brigade was, throughout the campaign, a
•'^ust excellent body of militia, and well commanded. The
^^riny advanced by heads of companies over two or three
'luk'S. At length, after descending a blufT, almost perpen-
'-"v-'ular, we entered a bottom thickl}- and lieavily wooded,
^■'ithuuich underbrusli and fallen limber,and overgrown with
f-iuk weeds and grass, jdunged through a bayou of stagnant
^"•'ator, the men as usual holding up their guns and cartridge
''■*.ves, and in a few minutes heard the yells of the enemy,
cid^ed with them, and the action commenced.

164 Wisconsin State JIistoeical Society. :

As I have already been more prolix than I intended, ;
refer the reader to the official account of the battle. Sutll ■
it to say, that quarters were in no instance asked or grantc-ii
The official reports give the number of killed of the eneiir.
at one hundred and fifty, though doubtless many more wt';-
killed in the river and elsewhere, whose bodies were nevf-
seen afterwards. Our loss was but twenty-seven. This di>-
parity was doubtless owing to the rapid charge made Ir. :
our troops, on the enemy, giving them time to deliver h\v
one confused fire. About one hundred and fifty horses wei'
taken or killed. The Black Hawk, the Prophet, and sonv '

other chiefs escaped from the action; but were subsequent!; ;

brought in by the Winnebagoes, and the friendly Sauk>. i
and delivered to the commanding General. After thi !
action, a body of one hundred Sioux warriors present*'.! j
tliemselves, and asked leave to pursue on the trail of sue!: !
of the enemy as had escaped. This was granted, and th' ]
Sioux, after two days' pursuit, overtook and killed fifty or i
sixty, mostly, it is feared, women and children. I

The afternoon previous to the action, the steamboat War- j
rior, on heri'eturn from the Sioux villages above, with sonv j
twenty or thirty U. S. soldiei-s, disco vei'ed tlie Indian army j
on the bank of the Mississippi, engaged in constructing rafi- I
and other means of crossing the river, exacth where Gen. |
Atkinson subsequently attacked them. '^1

The enemy for some time endeavored to deco}^ the steam- ]
boat to the sliore, assuring those on board that they wero |
"Winnebagoes, a friendly tribe. A sharp skirmish was fin- |
ally the result, in which several of the Indians — different ^
reports say from seven to twenty-three in number — were i|
killed, and one soldier wounded. The boat then repaired to
Prairie du Chien, and arrived again opportunely at theclo^o
of the action the followir.g day.

The troops moved down the river to Prairie du Chien,
where they were met by yiixj. Gen. Scott, who, with his stall".
had left tho brigade at Giiicago, prostrated by an enemy
far more terriblo than the savages — the cholera; and wa>
hastening to take part in the campaign. The wounded wero
left at this place, and the army descended to Pock Island,

Indian Ca:mi'ai(;n of 1832. IGo

X : . ri' wc arrived in fine health and spirits on the 0th of Au-
Indeed, it is astonishing how perfectly iiealthy the
•;•..• .ps had been during much and great exposure to the ordin-
,rv causes of sickness. Up to this time not a death from dis-
..iM' had occurred during the campaign among the regular
•..-.. -ips. They had borne, without the slightest murmur, their
f iti;:jues and privations, and scarcely an occasion for the
;.:>>>! trifling punishment had been given, from the time the
.rniy took the field. It has never been the fortune of the
•'vr iter, during a service of twenty 3-ears, to witness for a
■ni,nh of time the conduct of any command so perfectly
' \t,-inplary.

We wore soon doomed to CNperience a sad reverse. About
'.'K' •Jotli of August, the troops from Chicago arrived under
'U>' command of Col. Eustis, and were encamped about four
'j.iles from the command of Gen. Atkinson. Poor fellows 1
v.v' listened with sincere condolence to the tale of their
•••rrtoed safl'crings from disease; few of us imagining that
V.-.' should call on them, so soon, to reciprocate our sympathy.

About the 3Gth of August, a case of cholera exhibited
"•^'■If; this was followed by several others, and the ravages
■ • tills appalling disease then became truly dreadful. The
'M.nj,s were camped in wretched tents in close order of en-

• "upment, and for several days of continued cold rain the
; '-tilence raged. Every man could hear the groans and

i-anis of every other individual as often as a case oc-
' 'iired, which added greatly to the horrors of the scene.
"iv l>ravemen who had encountered dangers and hardships

• 'I every shape, now met an enemy which made the stoutest
f'^nt quail. During a very few days four officers and up-
^■•'Uds of fifty rank and file, out of about three hundred in-
^ '"try. became its victims. The Hangers also encamped
*'' ar them, sufTered severely. It is but rendering justice to
•''iij. Gen. Scott to say, that his conduct at Kock Island dur-
'•^s this period of horrors was wortliy the hero of Chippewa.

''•»gara and Fort George — by his example, exciting confi-
''•■iice and courag*', fearlessly exposing himself to disease
''^5' death in its most terrible form, in his attentions alike
' ' ^Iie oflicer and private soldier; while he enforced with

IGG Wiscoxsix State Historical Soctetv,

the most vigilant care the strictest sanitary regulations.
length the troops were moved across the Mississippi, .
out of sight of their late camp, and the pestilence cease<!.

The Indians sued for peace, a treaty was made at R..
Island by which the whole country east of the Mississi; •
called the "Mining district," and a large tract on the v,-.
bank, probably in the whole about 8,000,000 acres, ^v.
ceded to the United States; and all the surviving chiefs
any note who had been in arms against us, were to rem;;::
as hostages during the pleasure of the President.

And thus ended the Sauk war. About the :28th of St p
tember the troops were ordered to their respective statioi;

The fear of being insufferably i)rolix, has induced ti
writer to confine himself to a general account of the car:
paign, leaving minutia' to some future opportunity.

NOTI- — The editor of the Kockford Journal appsndid to his publicati. :
of Capt. Smith's narrative, the following outline of the route pursufc'l '. _ \
Gen. Atkinson's troops: " Tlie line of march of tiie army was from V.v . \

Island to Prophet's Town, in AVhiteside count3', thence to Dixon; tlioi: • 1
north on tlie east side of Hock river, passing a few miles east of Ore:;''!- 1
Ogle county; crossing Stillman's Creek in the towns of Marion and Sc-U ,1
Ogle county, where Stillman's battalion was defeated; crossing the K.^ \

wau-kee river in the town of New Milford. some two or tliree miles fn.: *

its mouth, and jias^-^ing about one mile east from the present city of lu"- *

ford. Thence north, through the [iroscnt towns of Harlem and IJoscoo i }

Wiiineba^^o county, Illinois'. The Wisconsin line was crossed about <■: ■ 1
luile east of the city of Beloit. The east bank of Ivock river was follow -
until they came to Lake Kosh-ko-nong, where the river Avas crospcd, a; •
the army took a westerly course, passing through Dane and lowacountii-
Wiscousin, to the Wisconsin river, at Helena, where they crossed theriv<^
From tliis point the direction was a north-west course, passing thron.:'
Sauk and Richland counties, the north-east corner of Crawford count}
some twenty to twt.-uty-five miles from Prairie du Chien, and thror.,-"
Vernon county, to where the Indians were overtaken at the Bad Axe rivti
and the final battle was fought.

This march was through an entire new country. No white man !':»'
overpassed through it before. The distance niarched was about tlin'>
hundred miles, one hundred and forty of which b^'iiig in Illinois, and the r'
mainder in Wisconsin. The entire time occupied in making the dist:nKi.
including the stujipages and dehj's, from the tinie the army left Rock 1"
land, May 9th, until the defeat of Black Hawk, Aug. 2d, was eighty-fi^''-



The Galena Gazefle, of June 2i, ISrO, introduces (Jen. An-
tiorson's Black Hawk war reminiscences, with the following

Hon. E. B. Washburne, our Minister to France, has placed
us under great obligations in sending to us, for publication
in the Gazette, a very interesting letter in regard to the
IJlack Hawk war, addressed to him by Gen. Robert Ander-
son, now in France, whose heroic defense of Fort Sumter
lias made him so well known to the country. These remi-
niscences of Gen. Anderson will be read with a great deal
of interest. Though this war assumed no large proportions,
yet there were on its theater of action, of wdiich Galena may

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