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ably opportunity to nuike a strike in behalf of lilack Hawk;
but the tim.dy nioveniruts of Col. Dod-e foiled them.

Of the nrrsunrll, of the Winnebago Chiefs who ransomed
and brou-ht m the 1 tall girls, I wdl -ive my best recollec-
tions. \Vhit(; ( U-ow appeared to l)i' about fifty years of a-e.
He was about live feet, t.n inches in stature, straight and
erect- and of a mild and pleasant countenance for a savage.
Ho was a lin<. and thient speaker, and the spokesman ot Ins
band on aU im[)orlant ociMsions.

Spotted Arm had the appearance of a man of sixty, was
about the same size and form of Wi.ilc ( "row, excei-t that
he was stooi.shouldered and ill-shapcil: but possessed a mild
and agreeable temperament. He and Little Pri.'st, and
another chief were detaine.l by Col. Dodge at (irat.ots
Groveas hostages forthegoodconductof their people. W hile
kept there, I saw considerable of Spotted Arm. His village
was near or just where the village of Exeter now stands.
After the Rock Island treaty, in September, 1832, when the

rtK:\iiNis('Ei\CEs OF THE Black Hawk War. 191

Winnobagoos rcliiKiuislu'd all claim tu the T.ead mine coun-
try, Sixjtted Afiu oinig-iated with his little band to more con-
genial hiintiii'< ;;-roiunls, in the new home assigned the AVin-
nebaj^oes west of tlu; .Mississippi. W'hiiiin - Thunder and
Littl(^ I'l-iesl ai)i)>:ai't'il to be al>out thirty live years of age.
lean say but liUle of either, save that Whirling Thunder
was moros(^ and sullen in his ai»pearanee, and had the repu-
tation of being cruel. JI(.' was short and thick-set, not more
than hve feet, eight iuclu's in height. Of his subseciuent
career, 1 have no knowledge.

Little Priest was a small-sized ln(lian,of symmetical form
and not very erect, lb; was about i\vc. feet seven inches in
height, lie had ])ieroing black eyes, and evinced but little
inclination to t-ngage in conversation. While sprightly in
his actions, his appeai-ance was tierce and uninviting.

The battle of L\;cka,tonica, June KUli, ls:j->, was perhaps one
of the most renrirkable contests, for the numbers engaged
that WIS ^;^^;^ foag'lit, iu its li m-cju )ssaa I in its dosp^M-ate and
sanguinary character, as wellas iu itselTects and inlluences
upon the savagc^s connected with the wai'. It is, therefore, de-
sirable to know all the circumstances connected with it, and
that led t(. it. Sullice it to say, that about the first days of May,
18.5>, the notable war chi('f, lUack Hawk, who ranked second
only to the gi-eatTecuuiseh, crossed tin; iMississippi, with his
war-like ban I of about oue thousand braves, and invaded
the State of Illinois, lie marched up tlx; valley of the Rock
river, producing the grtsatest fear and consternation among
the inhabitants, causing them to lice in all directions for
safety and protectiou. lUack Hawk continued his march
up the I'iver unlil the 1 lib of May, ^vh(m he fell upon the
unfortunate .Maj. Siillman, one of the commandants of the
Illinois forces, who had under him, it was said, alxnit three
hundred men. These were niost disastrously defeated, and
put to an ignominious tlight, and never stopped tlie run un-
til they reached J)ixon, thirty miles distant from the scene
of action, where they communicated to Gen. Atkinson the
most frightful and exaggerated accounts of the numbers and
ferocity of the Indians,

On the 'i:>d day of May, three days after, the families of

li :/

102 Wisconsin State IIistokical Sucietv,

Ilall, Davis and Petigrow were attacked, and fifteen of the
number wci-e massacred. T\V(j young ladies werr taicen
prisoners, but were afterwards ransomed b}' ('ol. Dodge, at
tlie P>lue Mounds, in Dane County, Wisctnrsin for sj,!) )j,

lndivi(hud nuii'ders wei'e Ijeing eonnnitted about tins time
all over llu; country. At lUiU'eilo (u'live, one J)urlcy was
killed. TJu- next day St. V'rain, the agent of the Sacs and
Foxes, llawlry, Fowler and Hale were killed. Four men
were killed at Sinsinawa Mounds; otlu;rs at ('assville, at the
]>lue .Mounds, and \'arious other places. While this Indian
murdering was going on, whii-h [)i-j la ;e 1 the greatest alarm
and dismay in the minds of the indiabitants, the white's were
no less disnia}'ed and alarmed at the results of the battles
or skirmishes that were being enacted in various i)ortion8
of the country about this time. (ien. Samuel Whiteside,
an old and distinguished Indian hghter, was e'neountered
by a party of old Black Hawk's warriors, on iioek river
and badly defeated. Soon after, .Major Stejilienstni of
Galena, a brave and chivalrous young oilicer was also de-
feated in a skirmish with the Indians on the \'ellow creek,
losing six of his men, and being himself W(ninded; the re-
mainder of his men had to retreat to (ialena, with great
alarm and trepidation. Sdou after this uufortunaU; disa^^ter,
i\raj. D^unint, anotlieu- brave and daring yoaag ollijer, was tlisastrously defeated at Kell(jgg"s ( < rove, losing muny of
his men, ami about thirty of his iiorsi-s.

About this time .V{)ple liivei' l^'ort was attacked by a largcj
bo ly of liulians, im h'r tile c>)innriud of 15 kick II i wk himself,
"^idie fort was beleagut.'rtMi for two days, and it was only by
the most Pi'o\ i(k'ntial circtmislance lliat the women and chil-
dren were not all massacred. SevcMiieen women wimc out.-^ide
of the fort, wasliing at th(3 creek near i)y. The hills a;iil val-
leys were co\ei-ed with children, and Inul it not been h>v the
firing on the express men, i)assing from ( dalena to Dixon,
who gav(! the alarm, all of the women and children who
were outside of the fort must inevitably have been slain.

Thus it will bv3 seen that the country was at this time
in the most alarming and fearful condition. To still further
increase this alarm and consternation, on the llthof.lune

■ ; I

Reminiscences of the Bi.ack Hawk War. li):j

the affair at Spalford's farm, six miles south-cast of W iota,
tt)ok place. It was this attack that led to the battle of the
Peckatonica. In this massacre five men were killi-d, and
two made their escape. ()ne was IJennet Mdlion, who was
}>ursiied by the Indians about Um mlK-s. though Ihry left
him about four miles from the fort. The news of this ter
riljle murder and massacre reached Fort Detiance about
sun-ilown of the day cd' its occurrence — tlui sanui day that
Col. Dodge and his men had arrived home from an expedition
to Rock river and to Ottawa, on the Illinois river. Eleven
men proceedt;d at (^nce to ^Viota, or Fort Hamilton as it
then was called, under the command of JMaj. Ji. II. Kiikpat-
rick, arriving there about mid-night. Next morning, having
been joined by eight or ten more men, the tletachment i)ro-
ceeded, still under the command (^f .Maj. Kirkpatrick, to the
scene of the massacre. After burying the victims, and re-
connoitering the country for Indians and Indian signs, we
returned to Wiota, where we met Oapt. Gentry and ten or
a dozen of his men from I\[ineral Point.

The detachment encamped there for the night, and, next
morning, June 10th, about sun-rise, the unfortunate Apple
passed the encampment, going out to his cabin, about three
miles distant, ft)r his blankets, intending, as he pronused
Cai»t. (i entry, to return and accompany us on our scout that
day for Indians. In a few moments afterwards. Col. Hodge
arrived from the Phie Mounds, having camped tlu; night be-
fore at FretwelTs Diggings. Almost simultan(;ously with
Col. Dodge's arrival, the firing of guns was heard in the di-
rection of the corn-field neai' by. The Colonel proceeded on
to tlu' fort. A}){)le\s horse came running back, shot through
the top part of the head. It was now evident tiiat .\pi)le
was killed. Col. J)(jdge was sent for, and by the time of
his arrival, \\ hich was in a few mcnnents, all hands were
mounted, ready and eager for the pursuit.

Col. Dodge addressed them for a few moments, in stirring
and thrilling language, reminding them of the fearful and
alarming condition of the country, of the exposed and
perilous condition of ourselves and families, and the abso-
lute necessity of then striking a decisive blow; and concluded

1 ,1)J I ? ■■>■

I'j-t Wisconsin State Hislorr'al .Socii-yrv.

by sayin<^. "I siiall start immediately in pursuit of the In-
dians, and 1 shall overtake them before I stop. .Mark the
hm^ua^e —1 shall overtake tiK'm befoi'e 1 stop; and when I
do overtake; them, 1 shall (diai'go ihcin sword in hand, l^t
theii- r.umbers be what they may. if there are aii}' m the,
ranks who feed as if they eannot do this, I want them to fall
into the rear', for 1 want no cowards with nn;."" ' lUd not a
man fell bacdc — all were ea;j,ei- foi the chase.

The order was then j^iven for the ad\'anet', whi(di was
made in <piiek time. Seen we came to the maii^^led and
nmtilated body ef Apple-. The Indians se<Mne(l t(< have
scattered in all directions, and eonsidei-able time was spent
in tindin;^ the trail. AVhen found, it led us throu^^h an almost
impassible thi(dv(it of under-brush , grape-vines, pritdvly ash,
fallen timber, and everything: that was calculated to im-
pede our ijroi^ress. This contiiuied for about thi-ee miles,
when the trail struck tlu; open prairie. Then the pursuit be-
came animated and rapid; but, in j^ettiny out of the tind)er,
the line became wonderfully extended, perhaps a half mile
in length. This fact, and the delays occasioned by the
crossing of brancdies, which vv^ere nuudi swollen l)y the
rain of the previous night, made travel slow'. The Indians
were often in sight, and we could see their moveimMits.
They seemed to be in no hui-ry to get aw^ay from us, neither
did they manifest any fear or alarm, but moved leisurely
along The conmumder, as he seemed to be, was walking-
back wards and talking to his braves. He was perhaps fifty
years of age. of tall and commanding ap[»earance.

After the Indians had swam the Peckatonica river, and
were about two hundn'd }'ai-ds distant, the most of the de-
tachment, with Col. l)odg(^ in the front, came up to the high
blutl' of the stream, on tluw)pp()site side from the Indians.
Here sonu^ random tiring took ])lace, but without elfect.
At this [inint, (!apt. (ientry and Lieut. 1). M. Parkinson gal-
lov)od their horses down the river, and swam them across
to the opposite side where the Indians were. This move-

' Substantially the sa/ne aildress ia K'^'en '')' <^'"1- I^- ^^- l^aikinson, ItVs.
Hist. Culls., ii, 3-17; l>y Ocu. lUackeu, in sauio \, luna-, pp. ;J7U-71; SiniLirs -
WucoiDiin, 1,21:5. I^- ^- ^^-

Remtniscknces ok thh T^lack Hawk Wak. 1^5

ment secaiieil to turn the eiicniy into the heavy tirnhei' on
the river bottom. Wiiere the Indians cros.sed the ri\er
was hij^-h water, ami the hanks woih? steep; hut we soon
et!V;etiMl a, crossinf^at an old Indinn i'oid near hy.

Soon atter the passa,L;<\ th(.' (h'tachmont was met hy J.ieut.
Parkinson, who eduihieted us to the trail ol' the Indians,
^vhi(dl was at this i»oint phiiu and woll delined. When tin;
trail was reached, the men were disinount(^d, and tOiu' of
them detailed to hold tho horses, '['he rt.'mainder, twi^'uty-
one in number, were a<ldressed by Col. Doiit^e in a fe-\v very
stirrim^and appropriate remarks, at the conclusion ol" v/hich,
the ordor to advance was ^ivcn. This was tlui thrilling
crisis of tin; occasion. We knew we were advancini^' U})on
aliidden fi)e, who were closely concealed in some advanta<^e-
ous j)osilion, fr>>m which they nuist inevitably have tliL' tirst
cool and deliborate tire, their nLunl)ers being but few less
tlian ours; and, for aught wo tluai knew, might he mu(di
superior. Still, the brave and gaUant leader, nor any of his
men, seemed the least abasln^d oi- dismiy(Ml, but advanced
into the dense thicket, with boldness and determenation
visil)ly depicted U[)oa every countenance.

AVe mar(die<l in (extended line, with the trail about the
center. After advancing about oiu; hundrcHl and fifty yards
through this dense thicket, and within sixty feet of the In-
dians, who were completely concc^aled under the bank of a
slough, at least six feet high, the stillness and susi)ense of
the occasion was suddenly broken by the Indian guns and
the shrill whistle of the bullets, that passed so near our lieads
that we could ft-el tlie force of tliem. All was accompanied
by the most terrific ycsU of tlu? savage foe, that had so suc-
cessfully and unfortunately frightened and terrilicd the
Illinois forces upon all i)r(;vious occasions. At this lii'e,
three of our brave volunteers w(!re brought to the ground.
Wells, ]\I orris and iJlack received fatal shots; while Jenkins
was soon afterwards severel}^ woandcMl. The order f<_)r the
charge was instantly given, anil as instantly obeyed. The
Indians occupieil about the same position on the trail that
we did — the trail being about their center as well as oui's.
This brought us together, face to face, and breast to breast.

19G Wisconsin State IIistokical Society.

The contest was a territic one, — a li:ui I to liiul eueouiiter.
The Indians" tomahawk and spear were pitted aj^ainst tiie
white man's bayonet and biXH'ch. The conllict was deadly
and decisiv^e. Steel chished a,L;'aiust steel, and the Wfjods
resonn(l(.'d with tiic most territic; \-ell ot Uw sava<^es. lUit
in the end the bayonet and tlie breech were triumphantly
successful. The last Indian was kiUed and scalped, and not
one left to tell old Jilack J lawk, their chieftain, the sad
tale of their N\'holesale disaster.

In this contest the tide of war was turned against them.
In this battle the}' were as badly whipped and beaten as
they had been successful in whijipini^- all with whom they
had hitherto come in contact. In tliis fi^^ht, Col. Dodge
made good his words s{)oken to Capt. Gratiot at the 1*1 ue
Mounds. He showed the Indians that we were not of the
soft-shelled breed, as they had said we Wr^re.

I have said before that this was a remarkable battle. The
annals of Indian warfare furnish no jtarallel to it. Never
before was so large a war i)arty of Indians completely an-
nihilated, with so small a loss to the whites, as in this des-
perate contest, where the numbers were so nearly ecpial.
Lieut. Charles l>ra<.'ken, who acted as Col. Dodge's .\djutant
in the fight, and whose graphic i)en all the old settlers in
this country well reinember, in writing an account of this
battle for ]jublication, said: " Tlujre were indi\idual acts of
devotion and desi)erate bravery, which, if done in the days
of chivalry, would have immortalized the actcn'S, and fur-
nished themes for the song of the ministrel."

This engagement was fought under the most depressing
and unfavoiable circumstances. The inhabitants were scat-
tered over a large area of country, without money or credit,
and without horses or guns, to any gr<nit extent. There
were not at the time of iliis contest one hundred hoi'ses, or
guns, in all this mining region, embrac-ing a country at least
seventy-five miles square; all of which was surroundi-d by
hostile and savage Indians, who were murdering and scalp-
ing the defenceless inhabitants, in all directions. ]\Ien were
being killed at Kellogg's Grove and Apple rivei' on the
south, at Sinsinawa Mounds and Cassville on the west, at

Reminiscences of the Black Hawk War. 1'j7

Blue Mounds on the north, and at Spalford's farm on the

The many disastrous defeats that had just befallen the
Illinois troui)S, have already been alluded to. But, in addi-
tion to all these most lu>art-rending oceurrenees, the most
of us had just returned on the evening of the J 4th, fi-om an
expedition to the ]iOek river and Ottawa, Illinois, durinj^
which we had found and buried the mangled and mutilated
bodies of St. Vrain, Fowler and Hale, who had been mur-
dered near Kellogg's (ii'ove. The remainder of the volun-
teers who were in this contest at Peckatonica, or the most
of them, had just returned from the lilue ]\Iounds, where
they had been to buiy the bodies of Force and Green.
These horrible scenes of murder and savage butchery, to-
gether with the burying of the unfortunate victims of the
Spatford farm massacre, and the sight of the headless and
disend)uvveh'd body of the poor old (jerman, Apple, had the
effect of hari-owing up our feelings to the highest point of
desperation and revenge; and we Avent into this light deter-
mined to kill every Indian, or die in the attempt. So we
fought with the desperation of pirates.

Some idea of the sanguinary and determined character
of the tight may be gatln'red from a few incidents connected
with it. (Jne of the soldiers, in speaking of it, said, " When
I charged up to the slough, I tired my gun, dropped it; drew
one of my pistols, tired and droped it; drew the other, fired
and dropped it, and was pouring some powder into my hand
to re-load my rifle, when some one shouted out, 'They are
all killed.' " Some were run through and killed with the
bayonet; others knocked in the head with the breech of the
old heavy regular-army musket. Our loss was Samuel
Black, Samuel Wells, Montaville ^Morris, mortally wounded;
and Thomas Jenkins, shot through the hip, who recoV(;red.'

' Maj. Thomas Jenliins was born in Soulli Carolina, in March, 1801; ami
after residing in Alaljama and IVIissouri, he settled in Dodgeville, in tlie
Lead Region, in 1827. After serving in tlic Biaclc Hawk war, lie repre-
sented Iowa county in the Territorial Legishiture five sessions, fr.m MiliS
to 1841; was a member of the first Constitutional Convention, and of the
first State Legislature in 1848. Ho removed to California in 1849, and in

iOS Wisconsin Statk lIisriiuicvL Six'IETV.

Tims ended this remarkable battle, and 1 feel called uiK)n,
as its last surviving partieii)ant, thoiij^h a iiu;re boy at the
time, to pay this small tril)ute of res|)eet to the memory of
the brave and heroic- mi'n who shared in this coniliet and
some of whom fell in the engagement — to say, that a braver
and a more determined set *)f men, from tlu.' galhuiL old
leader down to the youngest soldiei', never conducted them-
selves better, or mo)'e bravely, in the face of a foe, than did
those engaged in this remarkable fight. J5esides Col. Di^dge,
wh(.> was aeknowletlged to be the most sucecis.sful and ex-
perienced Indian tigliLer inthe North- West, there were Lieut
1). iM. Parkinson, who had a brother who commanded a
company under (ien. Jackson in the Creek war, Capt. James
11. (Jentry, jNIaj. llichard H. Kirkpatrick, Lieut. (Jharles
Bracken,' and Thomas J enkins, all of whom were men of con-
siderable age and experience, having all been on the frontiers,
and had more or less to do with the Indian -wars and skir-
mishes of 181:^-15. The younger soldiers of this contest
were scarcely less brave and deternuned.

This battle seemed to break the back-bone, as it were, of
thebelligerent Lidians— to discourage and cow them — and
to strike terror and dismay into their ranks. At any rat(,\
it was the turning point of the war, and had more to do with
its final tei-mination than all other circumstances put to-
gether, lilack Hawk's glory was on the wane. jAofercnce
lias already been made to the many disasters and repulses

18Ut to Now ]\[exico, wlieru ho ilied in ISDU, his w ife preceding liiin to tho
gruNfc) ill iyr){). He left two suns. I^- ^'- !*•

'Cjen. Ciiarles Biaekeu was Ijorn at rittsluwg, Pa,, April G, ITliT. He
was Orderly Sergeant in the Pittshurg Hiues, and man lied to Ballinioru
to repel the Drilish attack on that city, hut did not reacli there till alter
the hattle. In ISUi. he settled at t'yntiiiaiia. Ky., and was engaged in
running the boundary lines between Kentucky and Teiin s.see, Louisiana
and Arkansas. Settling in what is now Wisconsin in 182b, he ligured
prominently in the Black Hawk war, as aid to Ueii. Do.lge, in the battles
of Teckatouica, Wisconsin Heights, and Bad A.xe. He served tinve ses-
Bions in the Territorial Legislature in 183'J-liJ; and in the State Legislature
of 1858, and attain; d the rank of General in tlie Militia. He died at Ida
rebidence. Walnut Grove, La Fayette county, Wis., April IG, 18G1. He
Wixa a meritorious pioneer and useful citizen. B- G. I).

Reminisc^ences of the Black Hawk AVah. I'.ii)

that tlie whites liad mot witli; but now the thing was
changed. Tiie Indians from this time forward were upon
the defensive, instead of the aggressive as hgi-etofore. Tiieir
endeavor now was to get out of the (country. I'liey wen-
hotly pursued and (jvertaken at the Wiseonsin Heights, on
the ".'Ist of July, where the}' were again badly defeated,
sixty-eight of their number being killed upon the ground,
and many more dying fiom wounds supposed to have been
received in this fight. On the x'd day of August they were
again overtaken at the IJad Axe, on tla^ ^lississippi ri\er,
where they were almost annihilated and driven out of the

Now it will be seen by reviewing the events of the lilack
Hawk war, that this battle of the Peckatonica was the tirst
repulse the Indians had met wilh; and it will also be seen
that the only battles in which the whites were successful
were those in which (-ol. ])odge and his brave volunteers
were engaged. It will furthermore be seen, that they were
always in the front, and in the thickest and hottest of the
fight. There can be no reasonable doubt, but that the
speedy and suceessftd terminaticjn of this war was largely
attributal)le to the prompt, energetic, and judicious move-
ments of ('ol. Dodge, sustained by the bold and brave volun-
teers under him.

AVhen we C(-)m{)are the duration of this war, and the cir-
cumstances undei- which it was carried ou, with those of the
other Indian out-breaks of this country, we may be able to
form some just estimate of the relative titness and eliiciency
of those who had control of them. The Indian war of Vir-
ginia lasted twenty-two years; the Creek war and those
connected with it, contiiuu'd for ihree years, though waged
by the intrepid Andrew Jackson; the tirst Seminole war
histed one year, and the second StMuinole war lasted two
years; and these wars were in part under the direction of
Col. Zachary Taylor. The Black Hawk war only lasted
about three months at the most; and only one month and
a half after Col. Dodge became connected with the manage-
ment of it. No impartial man who is familiar with the
facts, can doubt that Col. Dodge was the main cause of the

300 Wisconsin State Historical Society.

H{H'tHly ami MUT(\ssful tcrniinatioii of tliis war. I am aware,
hi)Wi'\ ci', lliat s(»inr alt('in[)ts liave hei'ti made to dcpriNc him
of this honor. No loii^-or ai;"o than hist summer, jiir,t after
tlie celebration of this hatth- at this same phice, an article
a})i)eared in t)iie of tlie j\Iilwaiikeo papers, I do not now re-
member which on(% to the eifect that lie was entitleil to no
credit for the liock iliver liapid's ex[>(3dition, — that (Jen.
Atkinson oidered him and (Jeneral Ifenry there to find the
Indians; that he hesitated to ^o, and after he j^ot there
ai:d found the Indians, as the article stated, he refused to
fight them, saying he was only ordered to find them, and
not to fight them. All of which is wholly erroneous. 1 was
with Col. Dodge during all that tinu;; so was my fatlu.'r, who
was Captain of one of the volunteer comjianies. He was the
warmfriendof both Col. 1) jdge and Gen. Henry, and shared
the full confidence of both of these gentlemen, and was ad-
mitted to all their counsels and c<jnsultations. He often in-
formed me that it was at the suggestion of Col. Dodge, and
not in pursuance of any order fi(;m (Jen. Atkinson, that the
expedition to the rapids of Hock river was undertaken: and
that Col. Dodge was justly entitled to all the credit and
honor of that exi)e(lition, and its consequent results. This
may well and justly be said without any disparagement
or discredit to (Jen. Henry, who was doubtle^;s a brave and
heroic man, but wholly inex{)erienced in Indian fighting,
and greatly tlie junior of Col. Dodge in years. He showed
his great prudence in conceding to the superior knowledge
and experience of Col. Dodge in the management and con-
duct of the war.

Those who have read Gen. Smith's Histortj of Wisconsin,
or \o\uine accoudot the Collections of the ]Vis. Hist. Socictij,
will remember that in the battle of the I*eckatonica, a young
man by the name of Black was mortally wounded at the
first fire of the Indians.

This young man — or boy, rather — was from the State of
Pennsylvania, and was the only son of a very respectable

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