Gracious Lady and Meticulous Scholar
Whose Editing of the Black Hawk War Letters and Papers of the Illinois State Historical Library has Provided the Public with Easy Access to an Invaluable Treasure of Primary Source Material.
General Atkinson's Army Trail--The 1832 trail of Atkinson's army searching for Black Hawk (shown above) was taken from the original 1836 survey map and redrawn here on a modern plat map.
Major General Alexander Macomb
Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Lincoln marker in Beloit, Wisconsin.--Lincoln marker at the corner of Riverside Drive and Lawton Avenue, in Beloit, Wisconsin. The date is wrong by one day.
Lincoln Historical Marker--Lincoln historical marker on Highway 51 between Beloit and Janesville, Wisconsin.
1832 army trail through Rock County, Wisconsin.
Brigadier General Milton K. Alexander
Dodge homestead marker south of Dodgeville
2d Lt. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Aide de camp to Atkinson
Meriwether Clark's map of Lake Koshkonong.
Bark river near Burnt Village.
Major General Alexander Macomb
Alexander Robinson, Pottawatomie Chief
Chamblee, Shabbona, Pottawatomie Chief
Map of the Search Area By Meriwether Lewis Clark
Historical marker in Fort Atkinson
John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois
Of Laurel G. Bowen, Curator of Manuscripts, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois.
Of Stuart Lee Butler of the Military Archives Division of the National Archives and Records Service, Navy and Old Army Branch, Washington, D.C.
Of Charles R. Jacobson, Hoard Museum, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Of Robert Gallagher, Chairman of the Milton, Wisconsin, Bicentennial Committee, whose acceptance speech of the Storrs Lake historical marker, printed near the end of this book, contains several valuable and perceptive insights worth taking to heart.
Of Elmore Klement, long-time Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, City Manager, who authenticated the army trail through Rock and Jefferson Counties by referring back to the field notes of the original 1833-1836 survey.
Of Helmut Knies, Hoard Museum, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Of Ron Kurowski, Forest Naturalist in the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, whose enthusiastic map-matching has led to ever-more-accurate location, near Palmyra, Wisconsin, of the July 7 and July 19 camp sites of Atkinson's army.
Of Bill and Dol Maynard, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, whose efforts made possible my trip down Rock river from Jefferson to Fort Atkinson in their canoe, a trip designed to pinpoint the location of the boulders in the river discovered by the troops on July 9, 1832.
Of Thorpe Merriman, Fort Atkinson, to whose row boat I was secured for safety as I walked all over the bottom of Rock river on July 2,1977, confirming that there is, indeed, a ford across the river opposite the site of the old stockade.
Of Mary Michals, Curator of Prints and Photographs, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois.
Of Russ Nieson, Assistant in the office of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, Madison, Wisconsin.
Of Dr. Amy Peterson, Director of Governmental Documents and of the Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Of Mark Sexton, Staff Photographer, Peabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.
Of Hannah Swart, Curator of the Hoard Museum of the Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Historical Society, who explored this subject years ago in her trail-blazing "Footsteps of the Founding Fathers" and whose weekly encouragement and enthusiasm over the years has made editing this book even more pleasurable.
Of Howie Stiff, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, artist, who kindly interrupted his work in the Fine Arts for a while to do the key-line paste-ups for this book.
Of Bill Starke, author of the Fort Atkinson historical pageant, who got me excited about this subject in the first place when he let me direct his successful outdoor extravaganza, "Black Hawk", during its first five formative years.
Of George Talbot, Curator of Iconography, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Of Ethel R. Tauchen, Administrative Assistant, Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, Madison, Wisconsin.
Of Art Thieme, Chicago folk singer and student of lore, whose original ballad "Rock River Valley" continues the folk tradition of the Black Hawk war, and whose permission to use his words and music as one of the concluding statements in this book is appreciated.
Of Katherine Thompson, Reference Assistant, Archives Division, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Of John Westmas, Lake Geneva artist, who teamed up with Howie Stiff to do the keyline paste-ups of this book.
Of Evelyn A. Weiskircher, Shullsburg, Wisconsin, who kindly made available the manuscript recollections of John Ryan.
Of Ellen M. Whitney, Compiler and Editor of the Black Hawk War Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois. Without her landmark volumes, this book could scarcely have been done in a lifetime. See the Dedication.
Of Myrna Williamson, Reference Assistant, Iconographic Collections, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Of lone Winkelman, Johnson Creek, Wisconsin, who set all the type for this book (so full of typographical idiosyncracies) with all the calm of patience on a monument.
Of the Yandry family, Russell and Elsie, and Dean and Sandra and their children, Douglas and Sherry, whose family records helped confirm that their farm (at the junction of County roads M and N outside Fort Atkinson) was where the army camped on the nights of July 6,8, and 9, 1832.
Of the staffs of the following institutions, for innumerable courtesies: Beloit (Wisconsin) Historical Museum, Chicago Historical Society, Fort Atkinson (Wisconsin) Historical Society and Hoard Museum, Galena (Illinois) Public Library, Galena (Illinois) Historical Museum, Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield), Janesville (Wisconsin) Public Library, Milton (Wisconsin) Historical Society and Museum, the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.), National Archives and Records Service (Washington, D.C.), The Newberry Library (Chicago), Peabody Museum (Salem, Massachusetts), Rock County Historical Society (Janesville, Wisconsin), Rock County Registrar of Deeds (Janesville, Wisconsin), Tulane University Library (New Orleans), University of Wisconsin-Platteville Area Research Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Area Research Center.
Hunting A Shadow: The Search for Black Hawk is a day-by-day, eye-witness account of the Black Hawk war as it moved through today's Rock and Jefferson Counties, Wisconsin (Michigan Territory), in that hot, wet summer of 1832.
It reports events experienced both by the mounted volunteers of the Illinois militia (including Abraham Lincoln) and by the regular U. S. Army Infantry troops (under Colonel Zachary Taylor).
These troops were with Brigadier General Henry Atkinson to search for the 65-year-old Sauk Indian warrior Black Sparrow Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak). He and his "British Band"
This book starts in the middle of things. It opens as General Atkinson (Commander of the Right Wing of the Western Department of the United States Army) and about one third of his volunteer civilian army cross from the State of Illinois into Michigan Territory on July 1,1832, at Turtle Village (the site of present-day Beloit, Wisconsin) and as Black Hawk flees up Rock river with his starving people after their unsuccessful attempt to surrender and go home in peace.
This book comes to a close on July 24, 1832, at the Blue Mounds as Atkinson's scattered troops come together again for their forced march to the Mississippi river, where the massacre at Bad Axe river will end the Black Hawk war on August 2, 1832, nearly four months after it started.
Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi river back into Illinois on April 5,1832, to plant corn with Wabokeshiek, the Winnebago Prophet, at today's Prophetstown, Illinois. You can see, therefore, that other volumes are needed (both before and after this one) to complete the historical continuity of this day-by-day series.
My intention is to publish such volumes annually, perhaps as follows: Hunting A Shadow (1981), Battle of Wisconsin Heights (1982), Massacre at Bad Axe (1983), Menominees in the Black Hawk War (1984), and so forth until the series is completed or my career is, whichever comes first.
Jig Saw Puzzle
Creating these books is like locating and fitting together the scattered pieces of a giant jig-saw puzzle. Although some pieces of this historical event are still missing (perhaps in Illinois attics?) and others may be destroyed and lost forever, enough pieces have been found and do fit together to give us a glimpse into our past and to help us recapture a part of our lost heritage.
Material long since buried continues to come to light. More will appear in the future, especially as this book is read
XXVby those who have Black Hawk war letters and papers in their possession. Indeed, if you have pertinent information about any detail of the Black Hawk war, please send a photocopy of it to the Fort Atkinson Historical Society, 407 Merchants Avenue, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538, for inclusion in any subsequent revision of this Sesquicentennial Edition.
Point of View
This book is written from the point of view of the white man rather than of the Indians primarily because the white man left behind written records and the Indians did not.
In the absence of a written language, the Indians used human recorders, Indians who memorized messages and then "played back" those "recorded" messages at a later time. This procedure was explained to Atkinson by Joseph M. Street, U. S. Indian Agent, in his April 25,1832, letter, as follows:
"Thirteen Menominee warriors came down to this Agency Saturday.... They said they were sent to see me, and hear the news from their Great Father.... I delivered the inclosed Talk, to be carried to their Chiefs and braves. (A copy I cover herewith) They said they could not answer, they were only messengers, and would deliver what came out of my mouth; to their Chiefs and braves, and they would answer for themselves. A white-man descending [the Mississippi] met them returning 45 or 50 miles above this place."
Because the Indians communicated in this manner (i.e. by talking rather than by writing), there are no Indian archives of Indian activities during the Black Hawk war. Wampum may have underscored messages being delivered, and pictographic representations of significant tribal events may have been artistically drawn on tanned buffalo hides to
XXVIkeep the memory vivid, but written language as we know it did not exist among the Indians.
What Indian references we do have come from material written down by white men, who either kept minutes of their councils with the Indians, or who reported Indian news as they learned it to their superiors, either in the military, in the fur trade, or in the Indian Affairs department. Such reports generally lagged behind the actual Indian event by days or weeks, and were often (especially with reference to Black Hawk's specific location) vague and/or contradictory.
Interviews of prisoners written down by whites at the end of the Black Hawk war also provide insights into the plight of the Indians during their encounter with the whites.
A major and dramatic exception to the above is Black Hawk's autobiography, published in book form in 1833 after his release from prison and after his tour of major Eastern cities. Black Hawk asked for permission to explain his side of the story, and dictated his "life" to Antoine LeClair, U. S. Interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes. His remarks have been included in this eye-witness series at the proper chronological points.
Black Hawk dedicated his book to Henry Atkinson. Black Hawk said, "The story of my life is told in the following pages; it is intimately connected, and in some measure, identified with a part of the history of your own: I have, therefore dedicated it to you".
In his dedication, Black Hawk also observed with some degree of understatement, "The path to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it".
Intensive research has provided many answers about the Black Hawk war, but it has also raised some questions.
For instance, what was Jonathan Pugh doing with the troops at Lake Koshkonong on July 3 when he had already
XXVIIcompleted his tour of duty and was apparently not enrolled in any military company at that time?
And, how could Meriwether Lewis Clark, Atkinson's Aide de Camp, have drawn such an accurately detailed map (as the one he sent to his father on July 25) of the lakes around today's Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, an uncharted area he had not seen?
Research for this book has also modified many myths about the Black Hawk war.
For example, myth has it that there was an island in Lake Koshkonong on which Black Hawk was hiding. Early references to such an island (by people who were never there) incorrectly identified as Black Hawk Island the strip of land West of Rock river just before the river flows into Lake Koshkonong. Even today this myth is perpetuated by a road sign attesting to this misplacement of Black Hawk Island. There was such an "island", but its placement in Lake Koshkonong is the error. The overwhelming momentum of details in this book shows that Black Hawk was on land surrounded by swamps in the fork of the Rock and Bark rivers near today's Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Myth has it that two armies camped at the same time near today's Beloit, Wisconsin. The facts show that General Atkinson's troops camped on the site of Beloit (at "Turtle Village") on July 1, 1832, and that a detachment of General Winfield Scott's cholera-infected troops under the command of Abraham Eustis camped at Beloit on the nights of August 11 and 12 while they were en route to Rock Island, Illinois, for treaty negotiations with Black Hawk's people and with the Winnebagoes.
Myth has it that the army camped on high lands at Janesville, Wisconsin, which allowed the soldiers to look across to Rock river, but that Black Hawk was, nonetheless, still able to sneak past them through a gully. The facts, however, show that (1) the army did not camp at Janesville, and (2) Black Hawk had headed for the Oconomowoc swamps before the army arrived.
Research has not even left unchallenged information which is carved in stone!
The marker placed at the campsite of the army (and of Abraham Lincoln) in Beloit has "June 30" carved into it...an error by one day. Somewhere along the line during the war, John Wakefield (the source of the information) had lost track of what day it was.
Wakefield's incorrect dating also helps to play havoc with the historical marker at Storrs Lake in Milton, Wisconsin.
Other carved monuments fare little better: The Old Lead Road marker two miles south of New Glarus, Wisconsin, has the wrong date on it, and the war memorial in the Fort Atkinson Evergreen Cemetery even has the wrong name carved into it!
The Stereoptican View
In Hunting A Shadow: The Search for Black Hawk, the story of the Black Hawk war of 1832 is told only in the exact words of actual participants. That is why this book is printed almost entirely in quotation marks.
The tiny superscript numbers throughout the text refer you to the notes at the end of the book, notes which indicate the source for each eye-witness quotation.
If there is no closing quotation mark at the end of a paragraph, it simply indicates that the quotation continues into subsequent paragraphs until the quotation is closed by quotation marks and the superscript is added to direct you to the source of the paragraphs.
This book, you see, was written by eye-witnesses to history. I have simply compiled all of their material (that I could find) and fit it together in chronological order, from July 1 to July 24, 1832, limiting the scope of this book to the activities of the troops with General Atkinson.
I have included in the text each and every reference I
XXIXwas able to find on each and every subject. That is why this book keeps repeating itself.
At first, the several highly similar (but actually different) statements about the same event may seem confusing or redundant, but just think of a steroptican viewer. That 19th century hand-held device lets you view two highly similar but actually different pictures of the same scene, one picture viewed by one eye and the other picture viewed by the other eye. When your eyes adjust their focus to the two different but similar pictures, the total impression to the brain is that of a three-dimensional scene in which the flatness of the two pictures is rounded out to provide a more life-like impact.
So, too, in this book. Because of several references to the same event, you get a richer picture of what actually happened than if I had given you only one flat statement about each event, or--worse--if I had told the story in my own words rather than (as I have) in the exact words of those who were actually there and participated in the action.
A weather report, including three temperature readings, heads each chapter in this book.
These reports were kept daily by the United States Army Hospital Department at each fort. Reports used in this book were kept in a bound "Diary of the Weather" by the hospital staff at Fort Winnebago (Portage, Wisconsin).
The diary today is in the Manuscript Department of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in Madison, filed as follows:
In some instances, I have included additional weather information, taken from the body of the text itself. Because my remarks here explain the source of the weather reports, I have not given them superscript numbers (to refer to their source) in the text.
Because the distance is only 53 miles (as the crow flies) between Fort Winnebago and Fort Cos-co-nong (at today's Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin), these reports indicate the general weather conditions affecting Atkinson and his troops...with the exception, naturally, of localized showers.
For example, the "heavy showers of rain" at Fort Winnebago on July 5 apparently did not affect either Atkinson's troops at Lake Koshkonong or the troops of Alexander Posey and Henry Dodge who were coming cross country (through the locale of today's Stoughton, Wisconsin) to join up with Atkinson. The temperature drop at Fort Winnebago, however, was so dramatic that the daily weather report includes an unusual 12 noon reading to dramatize the 17° drop in temperature in two hours and the 27° drop in temperature in nine hours as the cold front moved through the area.
Weather was a factor in the Black Hawk war, both the nearly unbearable heat and the violent downbursts of rain.
Consider the heat. On July 2 at 2 P.M. as the mounted Illinois militia and the U.S. Army Infantry troops on foot were crossing the open prairies (Rock Prairie and Du Lac Prairie) between Janesville and Milton, Wisconsin, the temperature was 89° Fahrenheit. Little wonder, then, that Atkinson's primary Aide de Camp, Albert Sidney Johnson, wrote in his field journal of "a severe march & considerable suffering for want of water".
But far greater disruptions were caused by the violent rain storms.
For instance, when the storm of June 29 flooded the Pecatonica river, the troops were not only impeded in their crossing, but supply wagons, including the medical wagon, had to be turned back and the medications had to be carried on horseback.
The flooded tamarack swamps along the Bark river prevented Atkinson for several days from crossing over onto the "island" where Black Hawk was hiding in a swamp...and heavy rains also forced the troops (including John Reynolds, the Governor of Illinois) to move, at times, through water up to their arm pits in their search for Black Hawk.
The most crucial impact of weather upon the Black Hawk war was this: It put an early end to the July 21 Battle of Wisconsin Heights. Rain dampened the high grass so much that, if the troops had followed the fleeing Indians into the brush, their flintlock guns would not have fired. Thus Black Hawk and his people escaped--for a while-- thanks to a rainy summer afternoon in 1832. But that's another story, told in The Battle of Wisconsin Heights, the next volume in this eye-witness series.
Reading and Writing
Hunting A Shadow: The Search for Black Hawk is not a style book on proper English grammar, punctuation, or spelling.
Early occupants of the old Northwest Territory were on the forward edge of the frontier--and they steadily pushed westward. Exposed as they were to nature and natives, they naturally had more important things to worry about (in most cases) than readin' and writing'.
It's only natural, therefore, that some of the participants in the Black Hawk war wrote by ear. The result was that "St. Vrain" (the Sac and Fox Indian Agent) sometimes came out on paper as "Savry" and "Prairie du Chien" sometimes came out "P. Ducha", and the reference to the "untied States" is perfectly understandable.
In fact, one of the more difficult tasks in editing this book was to make sure that I mispelled words correctly so they matched the spelling in the original source.
I have taken two liberties with original source material. First, I separated much original material into individual action units so I could place each word, phrase, clause, sentence, or paragraph in the correct chronological position. For example, there's a whole day's worth of adventure between "we marched early in the morning" and "we camped late at night", which might very well have been just one sentence in an original source. In such cases, I have placed the activities of the day between the first clause and the second.
The second liberty I have taken with original material (for clarity and easier reading) was to create paragraphs now and then where they may not have existed in the original.
The books in this Black Hawk war eye-witness series are published privately as a labor of love and are not, therefore, readily available in most commercial outlets.
To obtain your copy of this or other volumes in this series, simply contact the Fort Atkinson Historical Society, 407 Merchants Avenue, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538
The Many Faces of Black Hawk
More than 25 contemporary likenesses of Black Hawk (oil paintings, water colors, lithographs, and line drawings) are randomly dispersed throughout the country, from Virginia to Oklahoma, from Massachusetts to California.
Three oil/canvas portraits of Black Hawk are reproduced here by permission of their owners, who were pleased to share their treasures with a wider viewing audience.
Other faces of Black Hawk can be seen in other volumes of this Black Hawk war series.
Nothing can match the impact of actual portraits. Museums and art galleries, however, often rotate exhibits or put particular pieces out on loan. A given portrait of Black Hawk may or may not be hung for viewing at any given time. To avoid disappointment, it is best to ask ahead of time.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
On an overcast winter afternoon several years ago now (when I was still director of the "Black Hawk" outdoor pageant), I was walking down Main Street in our town as the biting wind drove snow into my eyes. Suddenly I felt a tugging of my overcoat, and looked down into the face of one of my little "Indians", a member of the cast.
She hesitated for a moment, and then asked, "Please, Mr. Thayer, next year could the Indians win?"
I hope so. I hope so.
Crawford Beecher Thayer
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Major General Alexander Macomb
In the month of March last, intelligence was received that the Menomonees, exasperated by a wanton and unprovoked attack and murder committed by the Sacs and Foxes on an unarmed party of their tribe, near the Prairie du Chien, in the month of August previous, meditated a descent on those tribes, with the intention of taking revenge for that outrage.
Apprehending that this movement would lead to a general war among the Indians on the northwest frontiers, General Atkinson was directed to proceed to Rock Island with the effectual force at Jefferson barracks, and demand of the Sacs and Foxes the surrender of the persons concerned in the murder of the Menomonees; at the same time to station troops, to be drawn from the posts on the Upper Mississippi and from Fort Winnebago, at points on the Mississippi, from which they might intercept the Menomonees in their
XXXVIcontemplated descent, turn them back, and inform them that the government had determined to see that justice should be done.
While these measures were in progress a large party of Sacs and Foxes under Black Hawk, among whom were those concerned in the attack and murder of the Menomonees, crossed the Mississippi at the Yellow Banks, and, uniting with the Prophet's band of Winnebagoes, in all about 800 or 1,000 strong, took a position on Rock river, and assumed an attitude of defiance. Under these circumstances it was not in the power of the friendly Sac and Fox Indians to surrender the murderers as demanded, although they had expressed a willingness so to do.
Thus situated, General Atkinson did not conceive that the force under his command was sufficient to justify him in attacking the hostile party, lest an unsuccessful attempt should add to their numbers the wavering and disaffected, and especially as they had not as yet committed any act of hostility, although they evinced a desire to make war upon the whites.
The people settled on the frontiers of Illinois, alarmed at the appearance of so large a band of Indians in their immediate vicinity, with indications of no friendly feelings, fled from their farms into the interior of the State.
The governor of the State ordered out in haste, and for no definite period, a brigade of militia, to assembly on Rock river. These troops, after a march across the country to Ottawa in quest of the Indians, became anxious for their discharge, which the governor granted, retaining of those who were discharged, and volunteered for a further term of twenty days, enough to form six companies.
In the meantime, however, instructions were sent to General Atkinson, authorizing him to call on the governor of Illinois for such a militia force as would, with the regular troops under his command, enable him to act efficiently.
Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Accordingly, three thousand mounted volunteers were ordered into the field by the governor, on the requisition of General Atkinson, and assembled at Fort Deposit, near Ottawa, about the 18th of June, where they were organized. Towards the latter part of that month the campaign was opened with these troops and about four hundred regulars, then at Dixon's Ferry, on the Rock river.
Black Hawk, finding himself unable to cope with so large a force, retired into the swamps and fastnesses, sending out at the same time parties of active warriors to pick up stragglers, and to attack defenceless settlements. In this manner he annoyed the people residing in that part of Michigan [Territory] called the Mining District, and murdered a number of our citizens, men, women, and children.
The people, in different directions of the exposed country, fortified themselves, and by occasional sallies inflicted punishment on these ruthless savages.
With a view to cover the exposed settlements in the counties of Jo Daviess, in Illinois, and Iowa, in Michigan, [Territory] and to intercept the Indians, should they attempt to cross in that direction, General Atkinson detached one brigade into that country; and, with the remaining force under his command, consisting of four hundred and fifty regulars and about two thousand mounted volunteers, moved in the direction of the Four Lakes in pursuit of the main body of the Indians, which was then understood to be encamped in a strong position in the swamps, about ten miles above Lake Goosh-we-hawn [Koshkonong], General Atkinson halted his army on White Water creek [Bark river] for the purpose of ascertaining the exact position of the Indians.
After being frustrated in his attempts to discover them, he was obliged to disperse his mounted volunteers on account of the low state of the supplies intended for their subsistence. One portion, under General Henry [actually Posey], was sent to Hamilton's, a distance of forty-five miles; and another, under General Dodge, to Fort Winnebago, a distance of thirty-five miles --
XXXIXtwo points where provisions were expected to be in deposit.
Having received the supply of provisions, Generals Henry and Dodge returned to the swamp, on the west side of Rock river, with a view of obtaining some information concerning the enemy. At the same time General Atkinson, with the regular troops, and General Alexander's brigade of mounted volunteers, moved up on the east side of the swamp with the same intention.
Black Hawk, finding himself likely to be pressed on all sides, and being no longer able to supply himself with the means of subsistence, broke up his camp and marched towards the Mississippi.
The volunteers under Generals Dodge and Henry, discovering the enemy's trail, pursued it, and came up with him on the 21st of July, on the left bank of the Wisconsin, about twenty miles below Fort Winnebago, where an engagement ensued, which lasted until 7 o'clock in the afternoon, during which the Indians found means to convey across the Wisconsin their non-combatants and baggage. The volunteers having marched forty miles on the day of the action, exposed to the rain for more than six hours, and their arms being wet and out of order, were not in a condition to continue the pursuit that night. The next morning they found that the Indians had crossed the river in bark canoes, which they had on the emergency of the occasion prepared. The loss on the part of the volunteers was one killed and seven wounded; that of the Indians, it was found afterwards, amounted to sixty-eight killed, together with a large number wounded.
The moment General Atkinson was informed that the volunteers were on the trail of the enemy he inarched in pursuit, and arrived at the Blue Mounds, near the Wisconsin, where he was joined on the evening of 23rd of July [actually July 24] by the volunteers under Generals Dodge and Henry, who had retired to that place for a supply of provisions.
The army being refreshed and provisioned, a select body, consisting of four hundred regulars under Colonel Taylor, of the first regiment of infantry, and detachments of Generals Henry, Dodge, Posey, and Alexander's mounted
XLvolunteers, amounting in all to thirteen hundred men, crossed the Wisconsin on the 27th and 28th of July under General Atkinson, took up the trail of the enemy, and pursued it by forced marches through a broken and difficult country until the morning of the 2d of August, when they came up with the main body on the left bank of the Mississippi, opposite the mouth of the Iowa, which they attacked, defeated, and dispersed, with a loss on the part of the Indians of upwards of one hundred and fifty men killed. Many were slain in attempting to cross the river; others escaped in that direction; while the remainder, among whom was Black Hawk, fled into the interior of the Winnebago country. Our loss in this engagement was comparatively small, being only five regulars killed and four wounded; of the volunteers, two officers and thirteen privates wounded.
On information being received by General Atkinson that the Indians had quitted the swamps in the neighborhood of the Four Lakes and marched towards the Mississippi, he despatched instructions to the commanding officer of Prairie du Chien to take measures to intercept them, should they attempt to descend the Wisconsin or cross the Mississippi. In consequence of these instructions a guard and an armed flat were stationed on the Wisconsin about twenty-five miles from its junction with the Mississippi; by which means a number of those who escaped from the engagement on the Wisconsin were killed or captured.
A steamboat in the employ of the quartermaster's department, armed with a field piece, and manned with about twenty men, was despatched up the Mississippi to watch the motions of the Indians, and on the 1st of August discovered a large body of them on the left bank making preparations to cross the river. The Indians at first attempted to deceive our party by declaring themselves to be Winnebagoes, and displaying white flags, at the same time inviting them to land. But the officer in command being aware of their intentions fired upon them, and killed twenty-five of their number. The fire was smartly returned by the Indians, but without effect. This circumstance fortunately checked the Indians in their attempt to cross the river, and led to the action of the 2d of August.
XLIThe enemy being thus cut up and dispersed, General Atkinson conceived it unnecessary to pursue him further. He, therefore, fell down with his force to Prairie du Chien; from which place were despatched, on both sides of the Mississippi, parties of friendly Indians to follow the fugitives and bring them in; and it is believed that not an individual composing the band of Black Hawk has escaped being either killed or captured.
From the information which had been received at the seat of Government of the state of things on the frontier, and with the desire of putting a speedy termination to the war, without calling for any additional militia force, orders were given on the 16th of June for all the force that could be spared from the seaboard, the lakes, and the Lower Mississippi, to repair at once to the scene of action, and Major General Scott was directed to assume the general conduct of the war. Under this order, nine companies of artillery, equipped as infantry, drawn from Forts Monroe and McHenry, and from the harbor of New York, with a detachment of two hundred and eight recruits from the last-mentioned place, and nine companies of infantry from the posts on the lakes, amounting in all to upwards of one thousand men, took up their march for Chicago, near the head of Lake Michigan, the point of rendezvous. Besides this force, two companies of infantry from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, proceeded, by the way of the Mississippi, to the headquarters of General Atkinson.
From the promptness with which this movement was begun, and the rapidity with which it was conducted, reasonable hopes were entertained that the campaign would be of but short duration, and the hostile Indians completely subdued. Unfortunately, however, the cholera was just at this time making its way into the United States from Canada, and infected our troops while on board the steamboats in their passage up the lakes; and such was the rapidity with which this disease spread among them, that in a few days the whole of the force sent by the lakes was rendered incapable of taking the field. Some were landed at Fort Gratiot, others were stopped at Detroit, while the principal part reached Chicago in a most deplorable
XLIIcondition. Of the six companies of artillery which left Fort Monroe, five companies arrived at Chicago, a distance of eighteen hundred miles, in the short space of eighteen days--a rapidity which is believed to be unprecedented in military movements. The loss by cholera in that detachment alone was equal to one out of every three men. General Scott reached Chicago with the first detachment on the 10th of July, where he learned that General Atkinson, with his army, was at Lake Goosh-we-hawn, about eighty miles distant.
Here the general found himself in a most perplexing predicament; only a part of his troops had arrived, and they dreadfully afflicted with the cholera. The remainder, which he daily expected, without knowing the cause of their delay, did not appear. He made General Atkinson acquainted with his arrival and orders, but dared not approach him with troops infected with a disorder that might, by being communicated to the army in the field, render the force of General Atkinson, like his own, unfit to prosecute the war, and thereby defeat the very object for the accomplishment of which he had come.
Under this painful anxiety, General Scott directed General Atkinson to continue his operations without reference to him, professing, at the same time, the greatest confidence in his ability to bring the war to a successful issue, if the means at his disposal would enable him to do so. General Scott, however, after waiting a reasonable time, and not finding it possible to bring his troops into the field, left Colonel Eustis in command of them, with orders to march in the direction of the enemy as soon as it would be prudent to move, and proceeded himself to join General Atkinson.
At Galena he received intelligence of the decisive action of the 2d of August. He thence proceeded to Prairie du Chien, and having made all the necessary arrangements for bringing the Indians who had commenced the war within his power, he retired to Rock Island to enter into negotiations with those of the Sac and Fox Indians, who took no part in the war, and the other tribes interested in the settlement of a peace.
The troops under Colonel Eustis, in the meantime, marched across the country to Rock river, and were useful in making the necessary arrangements to give effect to the meeting of the Indians. Impressed with the folly of opposing the government, and convinced of the impropriety of the conduct of those who were the aggressors, the several tribes yielded to an accommodation, at once beneficial to themselves, and satisfactory, it is to be hoped, to the United States. Black Hawk and a number of chiefs are held hostages under the treaty; the rest of the prisoners were returned to their respective tribes.
The war being concluded, the volunteers were discharged, and the several detachments of regular troops were ordered to their respective quarters, except two companies of the 4th regiment of artillery, which remain to garrison Fort Gratiot, on Lake Huron.
The Search for Black Hawk.
Sunday, July 1, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 75°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 85°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 83°
"The army [in search of Black Hawk] by order of [Brigadier] Genl. [Henry] Atkinson marched from Fort Wilburn on the Illinois river to Dixon's
"The other division of the army with myself [Illinois Governor John Reynolds] and staff marched on the south east side of Rock River towards the same point. The horse men packed on their horses fifteen days provision, and the same number of day's supply was conveyed for the [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] Infantry."
"Marching with fifteen days provisions given to be packed by the volunteers, eighteen on Pack horses for the [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry] regulars, sixty head of cattle, and a few days of Bacon and flour in light Waggons & on Pack horses,
8I [General Henry Atkinson] expected to have been enabled to operate for eighteen or twenty days, when other supplies would have have reached me...."
"Brigadier-General Henry [Atkinson?] having marched north to form a junction with Col. [Henry] Dodge, who had raised a mounted battalion of the miners, the 1st and part of the 2d division of the army were put in march before the end of June, and ascended the left bank of Rock River.
"A day or two after, we passed the ground of Stillman's defeat and race [on May 14]; we saw parts of the scattered garments of the slain; in front of the creek on which the Indians had been posted, the ground was boggy; a circumstance peculiarly unfavorable to the action of horsemen; but militia, or Western and Southern militia, though they never become cavalry, will never turn out, it would seem, otherwise than mounted. The horse is an incumbrance in warfare,
"The army marched northward about a week over a fine prairie country, intersected by many bold streams, skirted with woods; crossing many well-worn old Indian trails, and passing the ruins of several ancient villages; seeking, I suppose, the fastnesses of the enemy, without any very definite information of his actual situation; although the mounted men were scattered far and wide by the General, in efforts to make discoveries.
"At one time, indeed, some of the staff seemed to believe that they knew the exact position of the enemy; and on the information of certain guides, actually sketched a map of his stronghold, intrenched among swamps and morasses, the approach through which marvellously resembled the schoolboy puzzle of the walls of Troy."
"The inclosed sketch is rapidly made up from a Winnebagoes description of a fortress that he says cannot be approached by man or beast for an impassable swamp only at one point towards Winnebeggoe Lake, it is called the Island and has 15 or 20 acres of high hard Prairie in the middle called the Island. He said Inds: think it is [blot] of safety when the neck or road which is as high & hard [blot] Island is guarded. The Winnebeagoes say the Sacs & Foxes are making for that place to secure women & children in it."
--Joseph M. Street to William Clark
June 7, 1832
From their June 30 encampment on the east bank of Rock river four miles north of Sycamore Creek, the 1,462 troops with Atkinson (composed of Brigadier General James D. Henry's Third Brigade, 14 companies of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry, and a scouting party of 95 friendly Pottowatomie Indians) "Marched this morning 7 miles from the last encampment came to Rock river which is scarcely one hundred yards wide at this point there is in the bluff a remarkably fine spring thickly shaded with Cedar trees the first I [Atkinson's Aide Albert Sidney Johnston
"...we passed through the Turtle village,
"July 1st. We marched this day 4 miles above Turtle Village and encamped in the plain."
1st July Marched to Turtle creek today and encamped on the plain between Rock river and the creek"
"encamped this evening in the fork of Turtle creek and Rock river above the mouth of turtle creek."
"General Atkinson believed we were close to them, and apprehended an attack that night. The sentinels fired several times, and we were as often paraded, and prepared to receive the enemy, but they never came. But from what the sentinels gave into the officers of the day, there was no doubt that Indians had been prowling about the camp."
Lincoln marker in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Lincoln marker at the corner of Riverside Drive and Lawton Avenue, in Beloit, Wisconsin. The date is wrong by one day.
12General Atkinson this day had crossed from Illinois into Michigan Territory (Wisconsin) in his search for Black Hawk and the elusive band of some 1,200 Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Indian men, women, children, and warriors, whose May 14 attempt to surrender and to go home in peace had failed completely.
--2d Lt. Philip St. George Cooke, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry
Monday, July 2, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 81°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 89°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 77°
General Henry Atkinson's troops in search of Black Hawk broke camp in the fork of Turtle creek and Rock river
"...we had not marched but two or three miles before an Indian was seen across Rock river at some distance off in a very high prairie, which no doubt was a spy, and likely was one that had been prowling about our encampment the night before.
"We proceeded a few miles further and came to the place where the Indians who had taken the two Miss Halls prisoners had stayed several days.
Lincoln Historical Marker
Lincoln historical marker on Highway 51 between Beloit and Janesville, Wisconsin.
"Marched early on the morning of the 2d July and marched till 2 O clock without water, when the troops halted and refreshed themselves for an hour at some springs where the enemy had some time previously had an encampment and at the point where the females [Sylvia and Rachel Hall] captured at the massacre on Indian Creek [on May 21] were delivered up
"Black Hawk camped a little above Turtle Village, & then danced the scalp dance around a pole surrounded with straw which looks like it had been burnt. at a tree near there was a dance around the two young women. we saw where it appeared they had been tied. at another tree the young white dog was hung up and tobacco &c tied to his tail we saw his carcase &c."
"We had not marched but a few miles from this place, before one of our front scouts came back meeting the army in great haste, and stated that they had discovered a fresh trail of Indians where they had just gone along in front of us."
"...at the noonday halt, the General called an informal council of war; having received information that Black Hawk and his warriors were strongly posted some eight or nine miles in our front; he proposed, we understood, this question: whether the army should then advance in the expectation of arriving much fatigued before the enemy, and near nightfall; or encamp, and advance the attack very early next morning?"
"Major [William Lee D.] Ewing
18the Spy Battalion of Brigadier General James D. Henry's Third Brigade], who was in front of the main army some distance, immediately formed his [two companies totalling 115] men in line of battle and marched in that order in advance of the main army about three quarters of a mile. We marched in abreast in this order about two miles, not stopping for the unevenness of the ground or any thing else, but keeping in a line of battle all the time, until we found the Indians had scattered, then we resumed our common line of march, which was in three divisions."
"The army advanced; and performed a march of near ten miles, without passing water on the prairies; the sun was fast sinking, when we approached an extensive wood: and so soon as the advance had struck it, we heard and saw an irregular discharge of fire-arms; our pack-horses were immediately picketed in a body, and left under a guard; and the [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] infantry hastened to advance in column, while we all were in the very pleasant belief that we were marching into a decisive combat: never were troops in better spirits, when it is considered that a minute before many seemed exhausted by fatigue and thirst;--on entering the woods under these circumstances, it became known that the fire had proceeded from a body of irregulars--chiefly Indians, in front of whom a deer had run a kind of gauntlet."
"Soon after we had formed into three divisions, the friendly [Pottowatomie] Indians that were with us raised an alarm by seven or eight of them shooting at a deer some little in advance of the army. The whole army here formed for action; but it was soon ascertained that these children of the forest, had been at what their whole race seems to have been born for, tradesmen to shooting at the beasts of the forest."
"Every circumstance had conspired to assure us of an approaching action; and slowly and unwillingly were all convinced of the truth; so that in the dispositions for the night-camp--which was established very soon after near a pond--some, in the blind obedience which discipline exacts of the most eager, only recognized the preparations for battle; and when I [Philip St. George Cooke] assigned to a company commander of the 6th [Infantry of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] his camp ground, he inquired of me the position of the enemy!"
1832 army trail through Rock County, Wisconsin.
"Continued the march over a country without water till after sunset and encamped on the edge of a large pond discovered by our scouts who were ordered to search for water."
"After a severe march & considerable suffering for want of water, the troops encamped (opposite) above and near the mouth of the river of the four lakes
"I [General Atkinson] arrived on the 2nd Inst: with Henry's Brigade and the Regular Troops, within Three miles of the ground at the foot of Lake Cosconong, occupied only two days before by the enemy, He having fled precipitately on our approach in detached parties."
"We were afterwards strongly confirmed in a belief then held, that the Sacs and Foxes were that night encamped within two or three miles of us: in fact, two of us on this occasion offered our services to the General, to proceed on foot and endeavor to discover his position; but this was not approved of."
"Here this night a very bad accident happened."
"In this camp one of the militia sentinels was so nervously vigilant as to shoot a friend. This is not a very uncommon occurence among them; and they are supposed by some ill-natured persons to be generally more dangerous to their friends than to their enemies."
Storrs Lake historical marker
Storrs Lake historical marker in Milton, Wisconsin. The July 2 chapter of this book was read at its 1976 dedication.
"One of the sentinels mistaking another that was on post with a blanket wrapped around him for an Indian, he shot him
"Here General Atkinson had on this night breast works thrown up which was easy done; as we were encamped in thick heavy timber; this was a precaution which he was always after famous for, which went to show that he set a great deal by the lives of his men, and by no means was any marks of cowardice;--for generalship consists more in good management than anything else."
--2d Lt. Albert Sidney Johnston, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry
Tuesday, July 3, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 87°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 93°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 78°
"The 3d. was employed in taking a position some 5 miles in advance..."
"Our march was continued with energy up the left bank of Rock river and on the morning of the 3d of July reached the foot of Lake Koshkonong...."
"Being near the enemy, and in the vicinity of his favorite retreats, the infantry...moved to better position, which was near at hand, and the volunteers were detached in different directions to seek him out..."
"We started this morning at the usual time, but went but a few miles, before Major [William Lee D.] Ewing, who was still in front with his [Spy] battalion [of Henry's Third Brigade], espied a very fresh trail, making off at a left angle. He detached ten men from the battalion, in company with Captain George Walker, and a few [Pottowatomie] Indians, to pursue it and see if possible where it went to."
"...the Scouts about 10 oclock in the morning came to the deserted encampment of the Sacs"
George Ogden's claim
George Ogden's claim (section 7, shown above in lower left corner) included Lake Koshkonong shore line at the point where the Rock River exits from the lake. The claim is dated April 18, 1840, on the Rock County Registrar of Deeds map, as shown.
"We here found ourselves by the march on the morning of the 3d to have been within 3 miles of the foot of Lake Kas-ka-nong, where the enemy had taken a position on the river where whence they detached their war parties to depradate on our frontiers. This position he had abandoned, on the 2d of July on our approach."
Meriwether Lewis Clark,
"After sending Captain George Walker off with some of the Pottowatomie Indians to explore Black Hawk's trail from the foot of Lake Koshkonong, Major William Lee D. Ewing "moved on in front of his battalion a small distance further, when he came on the main trail of Black Hawk's whole army; which appeared to be about two days old. Captain [Jacob M.] Early, who commanded a volunteer independent company [that included Abraham Lincoln], called a halt, so did Major Ewing with his battalion.
"The Major Ewing sent back one of his staff officers for the main army to call a halt a few minutes."
"The division halted here during the day, while Scouts were sent in every direction to ascertain the position of the enemy."
"The troops took a position on the high ground on the east side of the Lake and scouts were sent in every direction to ascertain the position of the enemy."
"He [Major Ewing] with Major [Robert] Anderson
"Major Ewing went himself and informed General Atkinson what discovery was made, and requested General Atkinson to let him take his [Spy] battalion [of 115 men]
30round through a narrow defile
"By this time our scouts, who had taken the trail that led off on our left, returned, bringing with them five white men's scalps."
"At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 3d our scouts came in, bringing with them several white scalps found at the indian encampment. They found there also two or three human sculls, one supposed to be St. Vrain's the [Sac and Fox Indian] Agent. 5 Indians who had apparently died of wounds were found buried here.
"The loss of our [Dement's] troops were five killed, and three wounded; that of the enemy nine killed that were found on the ground, and it is supposed five others fell in the engagement, as that number of the enemy's horses came into camp without their riders."
Among the Indian dead were Che-co-lau-ko, sixth war chief of Black Hawk's band, and Me-ke-sin-nau-nie, a warrior.
Major William Lee D. Ewing
Major William D. Ewing, Commander of Spy Battalion, Third Brigade, Illinois Militia
Trails through Milton
Trails through Milton, Wisconsin, are shown on this first survey map of Township 4 North, Range 13 East, 4th Meridian. Dotted lines in upper right (in sections 1 and 12) is Indian trail to Burnt Village.
...killed or who fell into their power.
"it appeared from the signs that they had been gone about three days, the encampment of the Sacs appeared to have been occupied about 3 weeks. 5 indians who had apparently died of wounds were found buried in the camp, they left several scalps and some ornaments"
"...the scalps were sticking up against some of their wigwams;--some of them were identified, but I do not recollect the names of any, except one, which was said to be an old gentleman by the name of Hale."
"Major Ewing then marched his battalion about one mile, where the pass on the side of the lake appeared so narrow, that he dismounted his men, and had the horses all tied, and a few men left to guard them, and the rest of us marched on foot about one mile through a narrow defile on the bank of Kushkanong lake. This was considered a dangerous procedure, but Col. [Major] Ewing, who was in front with Major Anderson, would have been first in danger.
"We now found that we were getting too far in advance of our horses; so Major Ewing sent a party of the men back for them. When we mounted our horses, we were joined by Captain Early and his independent corps [including Lincoln]. We then marched some distance around the lake, and went in between two of them, in a narrow defile, until we found another deserted encampment.
"We now saw clearly that the Indians were gone from the Kushkanong lake. So the next thing to be done was to find which direction they had steered their course."
"we found the enemy had the day previously decamped and struck off in various trails on both sides of the Lake, up the country."
"Fresh signs of small parties were discovered while greater trails showed that they had passed on both sides of the lake towards the head of Rock river."
About this time John Whistler finally caught up with Atkinson to deliver letters from Green Bay (and a letter from Henry Dodge which Whistler had picked up on route at Hamilton's):
"U: State Indian Agency. Green Bay, June 23rd. 1832.
"Sir, It becomes my duty to inclose to you herewith the Copy of a Talk had with the Menomonie head men and Warriors this day [June 22], in relation to their unsettled difficulties with the Socs & Foxes--as well as to endeavor to discover the precise position of the latter, and the danger to be apprehended, of their
35sudden advance upon this unprotected settlement
"With these objects in view Messrs. Whistler & Grignion, both of them young men of very respectable standing and connections, have been selected by Colonel [Robert] Irwin [Jr.] of this place and myself to convey this communication to your Head Quarters, if practicable--and to await your decision and advice in this emergency. Should an addition of two hundred Menomonie Warriors, to your present force, be required, you will find them not only ready to repair to your Standard without a moment's unnecessary delay, but rejoiced at the opportunity thus afforded them, of avenging, in part, by their own hands, the Blood of their murdered Women and Children.
"With every respect & Consideration, I have the Honor to be Sir,
"Your Mo Obedt St. George Boyd. U&DOT;S&DOT; Ind. Agent.
"To Brigr. General Atkinson Commanding
36Right Wing of the West: Dept. U: States Army, Ottowa."
Enclosed was a copy of the speech of Grizzly Bear, Menomonie leader and outstanding orator:
"In Council June 22d. 1832.
"The Grisly Bears Talk
"Father when I speak to you--I have no Blanket on. I have nothing on but my shirt. A nation has hurt us. I now ask for revenge upon a people who has injured us. But you know we cannot go & fight them with our fists. We have no guns, no arms, or scarcely any implements of War. I wish to go and fight them, at least for a short heat, or two days. Here is the Black Wolf, a Winnebago, a friend of the Menomonies, who wishes to join us in a march against our enemies, and I am glad of it. I have another favor to ask-- here is our friend Colo. [Samuel C.] Stambaugh-- who has been kind to us--and we wish him to stay with us while these troubles last, and head us. Colo. S. Who will state to you all our wishes. He knows our wants. He has been all over the U: States with us [including to Washington in the winter of 1830-31]--and with your permission, will make known our wishes--many things I have forgotten.
"Colo. Boyd in reply to the Grisly-Bear, said he was willing to hear what their friend Colo. Stambaugh had to say from them.
"Colo. S. then stated the general stipulations made at different times since the difficulty on the Mississippi last fall, with the Menomonies.
"Colo. Boyd replied to them in general--and at once refused them permission to avenge themselves, contrary to the orders of their Great Father the President, or without a direct call for their services, by General Atkinson, thro' their Agent.
"The Grisly Bear--spoke again as follows. We come here, Father, to know your opinion. We now know it. We think we had better return to our fields & hoe them--as the Government will not give us wherewithal to subsist our families, during the ensuing Winter.
"Our Enemies have taken the heads of our men women & children--carried them to their lodges and danced the war dance over them. We ask revenge."
General Henry Dodge took advantage of the express going by Fort Hamilton
"Fort Hamilton June 30th 1832
"Genl. Henry Atkinson
"Dear Sir I had the honor to receive your favour of the 28th of this inst a few minutes after my arrival at this place at about 12 O'clock. I immediately waited on General [Alexander] Posey, presented him your letter & directed him to make a report of the strength and condition of his command. He is scarce of powder. I will, however, be able to procure for his Brigade 150 pounds of powder. I had returned a few days since from Sugar Creek within ten miles of the ‘Four Lakes.’ I made a forced march in the night of about twenty miles to prevent the Enemy from discovering me from the points of timber. I passed in the night one of the Two men who had been killed near the Mound, returned the next day & buried him:
38two men returned to the Rock River between Sugar Creek & the four lakes. From all the information I am able to collect they are concentrated near the entrance of the Four Lakes into Rock River.
"The mounted companies of the Mineral District are about twenty-five miles from this place. I will return to this place early to-morrow morning with part of the mounted men, leaving the balance to guard the positions of the Mining Country & will leave a party of Posey's Brigade to range the country with suitable pilots.
"I will take up the line of march you directed immediately. A heavy rain fell last night which may impede my crossing the Peckatonica.
"Mr. Whistler goes to Head Quarters with an exp[r]ess from Green Bay on the subject of the Menomonees co-operating with you. I think it would have a good effect should they even reach the country after the battle they would help to hunt the Enemy & shew the rest of the Indians that their own people could be braught to bear on them and should the Enemy retire to the swamps & scatter they would be the best kind of Troops to hunt them up.
"I am, with sentiments of great regard & esteem, your friend & Obt Servt.
"H. Dodge; Col Commandig
"Brigadier Genl. Atkinson Commander in Chief. Head Quarters."
On the night of July 3, "the troops [with Atkinson] encamped on the ground on which they had halted during the day it is 1 1/2 miles to the lake from the encampment and 5 miles to the head of the lake."
"Capts [William] Gordon and [Pierre] Menard [Jr.] arrived [in the] evening from Gen [Milton K.] Alexanders command--"
"2 Brig. Ill. m. vols on the march Sugar river July 3, 1832.
"General-- Agreeably to your order I marched and met the express to you from Genl. Posey &c at the forks of the road 18 miles from Rock river
"These men about 30 are forted and have no other support, destitute of a horse to carry the news-- they had not heard of Major Demint's [Dement's] rencounter with the Indians.
"Having examined the country as to trails &c I was of opinion that the Indians had not passed towards the Mississippi and on the 28th. turned my direction for Kellog's grove and by 1 o clock P&DOT;M&DOT;I received a line from Genl. Posey informing me of your order No. 42. June 26th. [Order 44] and a request from him to pass on without delay to Col. Hamilton's.
class="ARTFL-figure-missing"I continued my march and on the 29th. arrived at Col. Hamilton's having through the course of the day received from Genl. Posey your order No. 42 above stated. "On the 29th. of June, in the evening, I received your directions under date 28th. by Capt. [William] Gordon to march and meet you with my [Second] Brig. at the mouth of Pekitoliki river, or at some point below that place--from my position at the time I received your communication I could not conveniently, or advantageously to effect your object by a junction join at that point and upon consultation with Col. Davenport [Lieutenant Colonel William Davenport] and others it was agreed that another point higher up should be designated by me and accordingly name a point 3 miles above the Turtle vilage on Rock river, where I trust I shall meet you this evening or early tomorrow. "I have no news that the Indians have removed from their position on Cat fish [Yahara river] known to you. On yesturday we saw two trails one passing on south and the other returning near this river, the first was made some 8 or 10 days since the other since or fresher-- these must have been the Indians who attacked Major Demint [Dement]. Capt. Gordon has detained some to ascertain our progress and how we got across this stream. I must apoligise to you for omitting sending an express sooner but my dependance was on Capt. Gordon and other circumstances connected rendered it necessary that he should wait. "Yours &c M. K. Alexander Brig Genl. Ill. M 2 Brig [Illinois Militia Second Brigade] "Brig. Genl. Atkinson" "the facility of conveying information in this open country is so great especially to those perfectly acquainted with it, that we almost dispair of bringing the indians to battle unless they choose to do So with great advantage." "Two or three thousand soldiers under arms, and nothing done, caused reflections in the breasts of the officers, and many privates, that were extremely mortifying and painful. But what could be done? we were almost hunting a shadow." --Illinois Governor John Reynolds
Wednesday, July 4, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 80°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 91°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 79°
On the 4th of July the main army lay on the banks of lake Koskanong, which is an enlargement of Rock river, and experienced a melancholy and sadness of feeling indescribable. The provisions wasting away, almost gone, and the enemy not chastised. Two or three thousand soldiers under arms, and nothing done, caused reflections in the breasts of the officers, and many privates, that were extremely mortifying and painful. But what could be done? we were almost hunting a shadow."
"The 4th. was taken up for the same purpose [of searching for Black Hawk] by sending out Detachments in various directions, and to receive a junction of [Milton K.] Alexanders [Second] Brigade, that had been detached to march through the Mineral District & up the Right bank of Rock river."
"Col [Jacob] Fry's [Second] regiment [of Brigadier General James D. Henry's Third Brigade] and other strong detachments were sent out today to renew the search for the enemy on both sides of the river."
2d Lt. Albert Sidney Johnston
2d Lt. Albert Sidney Johnston, Acting Assistant Adjutant General and Aide de Camp to Atkinson
"On the morning of the 4th Col Frys Regt [composed of six companies totalling 292 men] and other detachments were sent to renew the search for the enemy on both sides of the Lake. One Large trail passed from their old encampment directly east for several miles then turned up to the north, crossed white water [Bark river] and then entered a heavy timbered swamp about 12 miles above the lake.
"The trail on the [west?] of the lake, the larger of the two, crossed Rock river at the old encampment passed up the lake and crossed the river into the same wood that the other trail had entered...."
"Major [William Lee D.] Ewing and his spy battalion [of two companies totaling 115 men], with Colonel [James] Collins [and his Fourth Regiment totaling 232 men in five companies] and Colonel [Gabriel] Jones [with five of the six companies in the Third Regiment, totaling 238 of his 287 men], were sent up the river in the way the trail of the Indians seemed to be making, to see what discoveries could be made."
"An order was dispatched by [the sixth company of Col. Jones's Third Regiment under] Captn [Josiah S.] Briggs to Genl Alexander supposed to be 15 or 20 miles below to lose no time in joining Gnl Atkinson at this place."
"Liut: Albt. S. Johnston. A D Camp & A.A.A.G.
To Genl Alexander
"Head Qrs: Army of the Frontier
‘The Lake we live on’
Sir, I am instructed by the Commanding Genl.
46[Henry Atkinson] to inform you, that the 2nd division of the Army of the frontier arrived at this place yesterday morning: since which time the country has been scoured in every direction to ascertain if possible the Position of the enemy. This morning the General directed that The search should be renewed on both sides of the River--and strong detachments are engaged in the examination, so far the signs indicate that the enemy has dispersed & Gone in considerable bodies towards Lake Michigan.
"The General acknowledges the receipt of your communication [of July 3] by Capt [William] Gordon & Mr. [Pierre] Menard [Jr.] He desires that you will lose no time in joining him at this place
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A D Camp & A..A.Genl."
The troops of Alexander Posey, Milton K. Alexander, and Henry Dodge, which had been sent by General Henry Atkinson to search for Black Hawk in the Mineral District, were all together at Fort Hamilton on the morning of June 30,1832.
In response to orders to rejoin the troops with General Atkinson, they set out cross-country toward Rock river by two separate routes. Alexander's troops headed southeast on June 30 after it had "raind extreme hard all wet"
On June 30, Brigadier General Milton K. Alexander's Second Brigade left Fort Hamilton and "Marched to pikatolica [river's] east fork 6 miles & encamped for the night."
On July 1, Alexander's Brigade, composed of three Regiments under Colonels James M. Blackburn, Samuel Adams, and Hosea Pierce, plus the Spy Battalion under Major William McHenry, "Marched 6 miles to a Prairie & encamped for the night. Marched through a beautiful Grove
47of White oak timber came into a Prairie encamped. Hogs killed this night."
On July 2, Alexander's Second Brigade "Marched 15 miles, to Sugar Creek & encamped for the night."
"Captain Gordon has detained some to ascertain our progress and how we got across this stream [Sugar river]."
On July 3, Alexander's mounted troops "Marched 20 miles to Rock River & from thence two miles up the river & encamped for the night."
"Marched to Rock river, calculate to head Atkinson found he had went on. we march up the river two miles & encamped, a frenchman & ten friendly Indians come to us."
"Land good larg grov of timber the best I seen."
On July 4, "The Indians [with Oliver Emmell] pilot the army [Alexander's Brigade] cross the [Rock] rive[r] large Prarie come to the camps of Black Hawk
"Marched a cross Rock River & went twenty miles & came up to Atkinson & the army"
"One of Capt. [Josiah S.] Briggs  men returned at one oclock & reported that they had found an old Sac in the deserted camp of the indians, the Sac was brought we do not rely on the information he gives"
"On the 4th of July, some of our scouts had taken an old Sac Indian a prisoner, which in their flight, the rest of the Indians had run off and left.
Lewis dark wrote his father later, "There an old decripid prisoner was taken he could give no information however & we turned him loose. he was foolish, blind, and a skeleton"
"An old blind Indian found in one of their deserted camps, stated that the majority were anxious to return across the Mississippi, and that their only food was roots, bark of trees, some little fish, with now and then a bird they killed."
"An old Sac was found in the deserted camp of the indians and brought in, no reliance can be placed on the
49information he gives, he is perfectly imbecile, from age and suffering--"
"a thorough investigation was made for many miles in the vicinity of the ‘lake we live on’ the indian trails bend to
"They [the scouts] at last saw that they [Black Hawk's Indians] were still making up the river on the east side. We returned to camp in the evening."
While scouting during the day, Private Isaac D. Talbee [Taulby] of Captain Andrew Bankson's Company had his "horse lost at Mud Lake [Koshkanong] by ham being cut 4" July"
Also from Henry's Third Brigade, Private Thomas Plaster was placed "on detached Service by [Illinois] Governor [John Reynolds] from 4th of July 1832"
Alexander arrived this evening, and information was brought that Dodge and Posey were near us on their march from the mineral district."
"Genl. Alexanders brigade arrived & encamped near [Brigadier General Hugh] Bradys division [of U&DOT;S&DOT; Army infantry regulars and Henry's Third Brigade of Illinois volunteers]--"
In addition, Private "Miles Morris [not only] lost his Saddle in service on the 4th day of July on R. River"
50Solomon Hunter's company of Colonel Hosea Pierce's Third Regiment.
In Captain John F. Richardson's Company of Major William McHenry's Spy Battalion, Private "Franklin Cooper lost his Horse in service 3d. of July near Rock River"
Captain John Barns's "Horse Died [?] in service the 4 of July 1832"
Ninevah Shaw, Adjutant to Major William McHenry's Spy Battalion in Alexander's Brigade, noted with interest, "80 friendly [Pottowatomie] Indians with us"
Atkinson's troops were coming together for the first time.
After about six weeks of camping in the vicinity of Lake Koshkonong without being bothered by the military, Black Hawk and his people were again moving on to save their lives.
--Peter Parkinson, Jr.
Meanwhile, Back in the Mineral District.
"About the 28th of June, all the forces under Col. [Henry] Dodge's command, rendezvoused at Fort Hamilton,
"...Gen. Dodge sent his Adjutant, W. [William] W. Woodbridge, and his oldest son, Henry L. Dodge, to my log cabin to ask me [George Wallace Jones] to be his aid-decamp."
"...he sent his valiant son, Henry L., and his adjutant, W. W. Woodbridge, to my residence and fort at Sinsinawa Mound, to request me to become his aid-de-camp, he having been ordered by the Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Atkinson, to take command of Gen. Posey's brigade of Illinois Volunteers, then encamped near Hamilton's fort."
Colonel Henry Dodge
Colonel Henry Dodge, Commander of the Iowa County (Michigan Territory) Militia
On June 28, "...his son, Captain
"Capt [Lieutenant] H. L. Dodge and Adjutant Woodbridge reached my house in the night, after a hard day's ride from Dodgeville. The next morning [June 29] at daylight I gladly went off with them, accoutred as before, to accept the highest and most responsible office that I had ever expected to fill, and under him whom I had loved from my childhood."
"The next morning we started for Dodgeville on horseback."
"On reaching Gen. Dodge's house, he received us cordially, saying he had received an order from Gen. Henry Atkinson of the United States Army, to take command of Gen. Posey's Brigade of 1600
"Col. Dodge was waiting for me to accompany him to take command of some 1,500 volunteers from Southern Illinois. He was in his buckskin, sassafras tanned, hunting shirt, and Kentucky jeans pants, just like my own."
"He received me most cordially and said: ‘I have received an order from General Henry Atkinson, commander of the Army, to take command of General Posey's brigade of Illinois Militia, and I want a man upon whom I can rely to act as my aid-de-camp.’"
"As soon as I entered his log cabin residence, having but one window, and no plank but a dirt floor, he welcomed me heartily, and said: ‘I have sent for you to become my aid-decamp, because I have unbounded confidence in your friendship, bravery and honor, as I had in your learned and brave father, your brothers, and your brothers-in-law, Hon. John and Judge Andrew Scott, all of whom served under me in the war with Great Britain and their Indian allies, in and on the frontiers of Missouri Territory, in the war of 1812.’"
"He said: ‘Your brothers John and Augustus, and your two brothers-in-law, John and Andrew Scott, served under me in the War of 1812.’"
Dodge homestead marker south of Dodgeville
Dodge homestead marker south of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, identifies site of Dodge's residence and lead-mining operations, which became Fort Union during the war.
"We were brother officials and friends at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, where I [Jones] was the Clerk of the United States Court, and he [Dodge] the Marshal of the State."
Dodge said, "Your venturing alone through the wilderness in search of Mr. St. Vrain
"The next morning [June 30] we set out together for the encampment of General Posey's brigade."
"As Col. Dodge and I rode up to Posey's encampment, he pointed out to me the clump of hazle and other bushes in which those thirteen [Kickapoo] Indians [of Black Hawk's party] were concealed, waiting for him, as he rode alone on his way to Fort Hamilton, a short time before.
"he pointed out to me the place where Mr. Auber
"As we rode together [on June 30] I saw a man run into Colonel [William S.] Hamilton's house and fort, and soon saw Hamilton (son of Alex. Hamilton who was killed [in July, 1804] by [Vice President] Aaron Burr) emerge and run after us, hallooing to us to stop."
"The day of the election [for the command of the First Brigade], as we rode past Fort Hamilton, Col. Dodge was hailed by Capt. Hamilton."
"I told General Dodge that Hamilton was following us and beckoning us to stop.
"He said: ‘Damn him, I do not care about seeing him.’
"But I advised him to stop and he halted, but did not turn his horse."
"The Colonel, at my thrice repeated request, stopped his horse (Big Black) and, as Hamilton approached, sprang off, and presented Hamilton with the butt ends of his two pistols, and entreated him to take choice, that the question might be settled there and then which was to be commander. Hamilton at once threw up both hands, and sitting down on the hill-side declined to fight."
"Colonel Hamilton came up and spoke to the General, who threw his leg over his horse, and drawing out his two pistols and marching up to Hamilton, offered him the butt ends of
59George W. Jones, temporary Aide de Camp to Dodge
60his pistols, saying, ‘Take your choice, sir, take your choice’, and advancing all the time as Hamilton walked back and holding up his hands said, ‘General, I do not want to fight.’
"The General then said, ‘Damn you, obey my orders hereafter’, and then jumped on his splendid horse (Big Black), and we rode up to the encampment of General Posey's Brigade and to the General's head quarters."
"I urged the Colonel to remount, which he did, and we rode on to the encampment of Gen. Posey."
"I [Henry Dodge] had the honor to receive your [Atkinson's] favour of the 28th of this inst [June] a few minutes after my arrival at this place at about 12 O'Clock [on June 30th].
"I immediately waited on General Posey, presented him your [Atkinson's ] letter & directed him to make a report of the strength and condition of his command. He is scarce of powder. I will, however, be able to procure for his Brigade 150 pounds of powder."
"The mounted companies of the Mineral District are about twenty five miles from this place. I will return to this place early to-morrow morning with part of the mounted men, leaving the balance to guard the positions of the Mining Country & will leave a part of Posey's Brigade to range the country with suitable pilots.
"I will take up the line of march you directed immediately. A heavy rain fell last night [June 29] which may impede my crossing the Peckatonica."
"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. [Lieutenant Colonel William] Davenport of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army, was present, under orders from Gen. Atkinson to make the transfer or substitution in the command."
"He [Dodge] told General Posey of the order he had received from General Atkinson through Colonel Davenport of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army, to transfer Posey's Brigade to him; but he said: ‘I will not take the command of your troops unless they will voluntarily elect me over you as their commander. Have
61your brigade drawn up in a hollow square that I may address them.’
"The hollow square was formed and Generals Dodge and Posey addressed them.
"General Dodge said: ‘If you choose to elect me as your commander, I will lead you to victory, if we can overtake Black Hawk and his army.’"
"Maj. [John] Dement's [Spy] battalion and some others of Posey's [First] brigade, were anxious that Gen. Dodge should take the command of all the forces in that division of the army...."
"He will lead us to victory," Dement said, "and retrieve for us the honors we have lost at Stillman's Run and at Kellogg's Grove."
"All of the volunteers were entire strangers to Col. Dodge. At his request they were drawn up into a hollow square, when he addressed them, and was followed by Gen. Posey, who appealed to his old neighbors not to desert and disgrace him."
"General Posey made a pathetic
"His entreaties had the desired effect."
"...an election was held, but the Illinois volunteers, as a matter of State pride, still preferred Gen. Posey, who was elected by a small majority."
"The voting resulted, by one company majority of Major John Dement's battalion, in favor of General Posey's remaining as their commander.
"After the election was over, I [George W. Jones] saw an officer on horseback making a speech to his men and I rode up to see and hear what was going on. It was Major John Dement, a stranger to me, upbraiding his company or [Spy] battalion, for not voting for General Dodge, who would lead
62Major John Dement, Commander of Spy Battalion, First Brigade, Illinois Militia
63them on to victory and retrieve the honor which a short time before they had lost in an Indian fight under Posey.
"He said; ‘I am ashamed of you and have a mind to resign my command.’
"Some man sung out: ‘Do, do.’
"He took off his cap and taking out his commission as their Major, tore it into pieces, threw it down, and spat on it."
"Here Major Dement resigned his command."
Before the troops set out to join General Atkinson, several personnel changes and desertions took place. In Colonel Willis Hargrave's First Regiment of Posey's First Brigade, 3d Corporal E. B. Puckett of Joel Holliday's Company was "Absent on furlough July 1st 1832"
In Colonel John Ewing's Second Regiment, staff Quarter Master Byrd T. Ryburn "Resigned 1st July 1832 and returned to his Compy. Cap Holeman [Armstead Hoalman]"
First Corporal James F. Johnston of Captain Charles Dunn's Company in the Second Regiment was "Promoted to Reg. Q. Master 1st July 1832"
Seven deserters from Captain Joel Holliday's Company of Colonel Hargrave's First Regiment of Posey's First Brigade "refused to march with the company to Koskanon": 1. Arnold B. Dake, 2. Philip Edwards, 3. Jonathan Hughston, 4. Jonathan Keeny, 5. William Lafferty, 6. Jos L. Reynolds, and 7. Amos Tally.
"Audited accounts of men who were deserters from Captn Hollidays Company who were endebted to the Sutler
|Cornelius [?] Lafferty||
|Jos. L. Reynolds||
"We Certify upon honor that we have examined the above a/cs. of Six men belonging to Captn. Holliday's Company and find them justly endebted to the Sutler W. P. Tilton in the Several amounts placed opposite their names in all forty six dollars 25/100.
John Ewing Colo.
2nd Re[Regiment] 1st Brigad[e]
John Dement Major of Spy Battalon
1st Brigade Ills M V s [Mounted Volunteers]
James Bowman Capt.
My appointment as Sutler by Genl Atkinson was confirmed by the Secretary at War.
W. P. Tilton"
"About the first of July. 1832, the army commanded by Gen. Atkinson, operating against Black Hawk and his warriors, moved up the valley of Rock River. The right wing, composed of the United States regular soldiers and Henry's brigade of Illinois volunteers, commanded by Gen. Atkinson in person [actually through Brigadier General Hugh Brady], marched on the east side of the river. Gen. Alexander's brigade formed the centre; and the left wing, consisting of Posey's brigade and the miners under Gen. Henry Dodge, rendezvoused at Wiota, and marched from that place about the same time for Kosh-ko-nong Lake."
"All of Dodges command were ordered to get them selves
65in marching order immediately. In fact the hurry was so great that we Started verry illy prepared such a campaign.
"We onley took Scant rations for two or three days, expecting to get plenty when we got to Atkinsons Command, In Short we went altogether more prepared for a quick and active March than for comfort."
"The division was then put in motion for the point of
"We came to a creek
"As we were about to go in, a little squaw, wife or daughter of some of the friendly Indians, complained that she could not swim.
"I [George W. Jones] called to her, put her on my back and took her safely over.
"And then Gen. Dodge cried out: ‘Well, George, ladies' man to the last!’"
"We camped the first night, at the East Pecatonica, which we had much difficulty in crossing, having to swim our horses, and raft over our baggage."
Captain George P. Bower's Company of Ewing's Second Regiment had particular trouble. First Corporal William Fleming reported a "Bridle & Tomahaw lost--swimming Pec-a-ton-o-ke-- value $1.50"
Private John Scribner had a "Frying-pan & tin-Bucket lost in swiming Pec-a-ton-o-ke-value $1.00"
Private Evan Cleavland reported a "Saddle-Blanket, unavoidably lost, swiming Pec-a-ton-o-ke value $2.50"
Private Henry Bowyer reported a "Bridle value $2.00 unavoidably lost in swiming the Pic-a-tol-i-ca"
In Captain Arden Biggerstaff's Company of Colonel Samuel Leech's Third Regiment, Private William Drew "Also lost on route to Mud Lake [Lake Koshkonong], one Jackson Coat valued at $5.00 the exact time, or the manner lossed, not able to ascertain. Though unavoidably."
The wagon carrying medical supplies for Colonel Willis Hargrave's First Regiment had to turn back. "...on the march of the brigade to which he [Regimental Surgeon Tarlton Dunn] belonged, from Hamilton's diggings, in Michigan Territory, to White, or Clear, Water river [Bark river], at the river Peketoleka, the stream being impassable for wagons, they were ordered back, and thier being no other means of transportation provided this deponent [Tarlton Dunn] was obliged at his own risk, and at his own expense to convey the medicine and other stores belonging to this department, from that place thence forward to the expiration of the campaign. The brigade marched, and these medicines and stores were thus at the deponent's expense
In our march, men and officers of Posey's brigade told me [George W. Jones] that they voted against Dodge, and for their old neighbor and friend, because they were assured Col Dodge would put them in the front, in places of danger; an honor I told them Col. Dodge would not deprive his command of."
"Our camping-places, while on the expedition against Black Hawk, in the upper Rock river country, I [Peter Parkinson, Jr.] will give as nearly as I can fix them. The first night at Wiota; the next [July 2] at Argyle; the third [July 3] at [Deviese's] Sugar river Diggings, at or near what is now called Exeter; the next night [July 4] at some point in the wilderness between Exeter and Rock river--apparently in the present township of Oregon-where White Crow and his party joined us. The next night [July 5] we encamped on a sandy ridge, about twelve or fifteen miles in a westerly direction from Fort Atkinson...."
"The left wing marched by way of the Pecatonica Battleground, Shuck's Prairie, and Sugar River to the first of the
67Four Lakes [Kegonsa]; at Sugar River they were joined by the Galena company...."
"The second night our encampment was at Devee's [Deviese's] old smelting establishment, on Sugar River, where Capt. Stephenson's company joined us."
"On the march, near Sugar River, he [Dodge] was joined by Capt. James W. Stephenson's company
"On the 1st inst. [of July] Col. [James M.] Strode [at Galena] ordered Maj. J. W. Stephenson, with sixty Mounted Volunteers, to join the command of Gen. H. [Henry] Dodge, unless ordered by the Commander-in-chief to attach his command to that of some general officer; since which time, we are happy to learn that Maj. Stephenson has joined the command of Gen. Dodge, and been elected Lieut. Colonel in the same expedition."
"Capt. Stephenson, in the meantime, had been elected Major of Col. Dodge's command; and the Colonel's staff consisted, at this time, of Maj. R. [Richard] H. Kirkpatrick as aid, W. [William] W. Woodbridge, Adjutant, and James P. Cox, Sergeant-Major."
"Col. Dodge's command then consisted of five companies, numbering about two hundred men, including Capt. Stephenson's Galena company."
"Gen. Dodge's command consisted of five companies of mounted men, commanded by Captains [James H.] Gentry, [Benjamin W.] Clark, [Joseph] Dickson, [Daniel M.] Parkinson and [James] Jones, and about twenty Menomonee Indians and eight or ten white men, commanded by Col. W. S. Hamilton."
Colonel William S. Hamilton
Colonel William S. Hamilton, Commander of a Company of Militia and Indians
"Col. W. S. Hamilton had joined us...with some Indians and some white volunteers, who were designated as the scouting party of Col. Dodge's command."
"Roll of Menomonee Indians brought to head Qrs.
Ne-ton E kak (war chief)
O-shaw-wa-nong. (yellow south star)
No-wan-e-quis or Wah-nach-co
Me ma qui at
"With us were some Sac [?] and Winnebago Indians and some friendly Indians from Green Bay, acting as scouts for the Army."
"We then proceeded by way of the Four Lakes, where we were joined by the Winnebago chief White Crow. Col. W. S. Hamilton had joined us the night before, with some Indians and some white volunteers, who were designated as the scouting party of Col. Dodge's command."
"We crossed the river of the lakes [Yahara river] at its entrance from the Lake [Kegonsa]...."
"Near the Four Lakes, the White Crow, or Blind, a Winnebago chief, also joined him [Dodge] with some thirty warriors."
The diary of Henry Gratiot, Sub Agent for the Winnebago Indians, says, "This day [July 5] was joined by White Breast
"Col. Dodge's battalion marched across the country to join Gen. Atkinson on Rock river. It was on this route, between now Exeter, in Green County, and Rock river-some say near First or Kegonsa Lake-but it was nearer Lake Kosh-ko-nong, at our encampment, early in the morning, that White Crow, with six of his warriors, joined us, tendering his services to pilot the troops to the locality of Black Hawk.
"The White Crow proffered to conduct us to Black Hawk's encampment, which, he said, was on Rock River, near the Kosh-ko-nong."
"His conduct at and near Lake Kosh-ko-nong was this: He had said to Col. Dodge and others that he knew where Black Hawk was encamped, and would be our guide there, if desired. His proposal was at once accepted...."
--John Robb, Acting Secretary of War
Thurday, July 5, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 87°
12 Noon - 97°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 80°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 70°
Black Hawk, with about 1,200 men, women, and children (including some 500 warriors) had crossed the Mississippi river back into Illinois on April 5, three months ago today, and the Army of the Frontier under Brigadier General Henry Atkinson was still trying to find them.
The Division of troops commanded by Brigadier General Hugh Brady (the United States Army Infantry regulars and James D. Henry's Third Brigade of Illinois mounted militia) "...went on our march untill we landed at the Indian Encampment near mud lake [Lake Koshkonong] which place the Indians had but just left we staid there the 4 & 5 days of July...."
"The 4th and 5th. were consumed in ascertaining the route of the main body of the enemy...."
"General Atkinson lay by this day with the main army; but Col. [Jacob] Fry, who was always a man that wished to be actively engaged for the welfare of his country, marched across Rock river on this day, to see if there was any sign of the enemy passing up on the west side."
"Cols. Fry and [Gabriel] Jones were detached on the morning of the 5th to the West bank of the lake to make further discoveries if practicable."
"Col. Fry's & Col Jones Regiments
Colonel Gabriel Jones
Colonel Gabriel Jones, Commander of the 3d Regiment, Third Brigade, Illinois Militia
Atkinson issued the following order and warning to the troops:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier
"Camp on Lake Cooshkeweink 5th July 1832
"Order No. 48
"The Comdg Genl. has been disappointed in not finding on his arrival at this place (day before yesterday) the enemy who had occupied a strong position in the immediate neighborhood for the last Six weeks & 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 favourable point not far remote from us where he will make a stand on the defensive hence it is necessary that the greatest vigilance should be observed; & the Comdg. Genl. therefore calls upon the officers & men composing his command to observe & enforce the strictest obedience of orders and discipline, & he admonishes every soldier against the smallest waste of the provisions issued to him as a contrary course will certainly subject him to suffering & 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 & more particularly if they advance upon the enemy success is inevitable
"The several Corps & Brigades will be in readiness to move tomorrow morning
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson (Signed) M. L. Clark A.D. Camp"
Colonel Jacob Fry
Colonel Jacob Fry, Commander of the 2d Regiment, Third Brigade, Illinois Militia
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Alexander Posey reported the position of his First Brigade and asked if he should fight the Indians:
"Head Quarters 1 Brig 111 M Volenteers
"6 miles east of the river of the 4 lakes July 5, 1832
"Sir We crossed the river of the lakes [Yahara river] at its entrance from the Lake [Kegonsa], about 2 hours since & suppose ourselves 12 miles north west of you. we are told that the hostile Indians are near you I suppose should you desire it we might probably throw ourselves in his rear if so I would be glad to have your orders. Genl. Dodge is with us the amount of numbers we have is about 900
"I sent 3 companies to Fort Dickson [Dixon's Ferry] including Dements dismounted men. I also left 2 companies in the mening [mining] country.
"your obt Sert A. Posey Brig Genl Comg Ill M V [Commanding Illinois Mounted Volunteers]
"NB. we suppose Genl Alexander to be south of us, or with you
"Colonel [Jacob] Fry did not return [with his Second Regiment of Henry's Third Brigade] until late in the evening. He reported, he had seen another Indian trail on the opposite side from us [West side of Rock river], and that he had followed it until it went into a tremendous thicket, such as his horses could not penetrate."
The scouting parties "being satisfied that the indians had moved up rock river and that the movement was made in concert the Command returned and in returning met Genl Poseys brigade and Gen Dodges Michigan [Territory] volunteers which is encamped 10 miles from this place [Atkinson's headquarters] on the West Side of the lake."
"Posey with part of his Brigade and Genl Dodge with a Battalion of Michigan [Territory] and Galena volunteers arrived on the right bank of Lake Koskenong on the evening of the 5th."
"Dodge and Posey reached the West bank of the lake this evening and took up a position 5 miles from us for the night."
"...they set out from Fort Hamilton and struck Rock river at the mouth of the Catfish.
"Before arriving at Koshk-ko-nong, the officers and men of Dodge's command became dissatisfied with Posey's brigade. No one questioned Gen. Posey's courage, and all admitted him to be a gentleman, yet he did not possess the firmness requisite to command volunteers; and though he had under his command many intelligent and brave men and good officers, yet his want of decision rendered his men insubordinate and disorderly.
"Fearful if we should encounter the enemy, that they would desert us and leave us to be overpowered by numbers, the miners to a man insisted on exchanging them for either Henry's or Alexander's brigade.
"This was effected on our arrival at Lake Kosh-ko-nong. After we had pitched our camp for the night at that place, Gen. Dodge repaired to Atkinson's camp, which was about six miles distant, at the outlet of the lake and procured an exchange of Posey's for Alexander's brigade."
In the evening, an express to Atkinson arrived from Fort Dearborn, Chicago, with a jolting reprimand from the Commander-in-Chief, President Andrew Jackson, the old Indians fighter. It was contained in a letter written over three weeks earlier in Washington City by John Robb, Acting Secretary of War:
Rough Sketch of encampment
The above sketch (from the field notebook of the first government suveyor) shows "Encampment of army June [actually July] 1832" in Township 4 North, Range 13 East. Original notebooks are in the office of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, Madison, Wisconsin
"Department of War, June 12th, 1832.
"Sir, Information has reached the Department, from Dixons Ferry, Hennepin, Rock Island, Chicago, Detroit, Galena, Prairie du Chien, and St. Louis, of the movements, depredations, and murders, committed by the hostile Indians upon the frontiers, but nothing has been received from you, upon the subject of your movements with the regular and military forces under your command, since the 10th of May, when you report your force to be 340 regular 165 foot volunteers, and 1500 mounted men. If you have written subsequently, your communications have not been received.
"I am directed by the President to say, that he views with utter astonishment, and deep regret, this state of things. Orders were forwarded to you on the 5th of May to call upon the Governor of Illinois for such a force as you might deem necessary, to drive the Indians across the river, and if they would not surrender the murderers of the Menomonies, or assumed a hostile attitude, after having recrossed, to forthwith attack, and chastise them.
"If the information received at the Department is to be relied upon, (and your report of the 10th of May in which you state your numerical force to be 2000, corroborates the statements) a force sufficient, has been acting with you in the field for some days past, to have effected the object of your expedition. From the instructions given, and the measures adopted by the Department, and the Governor of Illinois, the President had a right to anticipate promptness and decision of action, and a speedy and effectual termination of Indian hostilities, and the capture, or death of Black Hawk, the principal agent in the work of death, and desolation. Some one is to blame in this matter, but upon whom it is to fall, is at present unknown to the Department.
"It is expected that you would have despatched expresses daily, from your Head Quarters, to the
81President Andrew Jackson
82nearest, and safest point of communication, and have kept the Department advised of your movements, and the state of affairs in the region of country where you were called to act.
"The President is at a loss to account for this remissness, especially, as letters from the seat of war, and its vicinity are almost daily received, from the agents of the Government, and others, one of which, dated the 21st of May, at Prairie du Chien, contains this remarkable sentence, ‘Is it not strange that no official communication has reached this post from Genl. A: or Govr. R. since the battle near Dixons Ferry--all is rumour and report.’
Before mailing his letter, Robb sent it to President Jackson for approval: "Mr. Robb, has the honor to send the President, the letter prepared by him, for Gen. Atkinson. If the President approves it, Mr. R. will have it despatchd by the way of St. Louis, and a copy sent to Gen Clark, to be forwarded, if the original should not reach him.
"Depart of War June 12, 1832"
President Jackson replied to Robb, "Sir, you will by way of postscript say to Genl Atki[n]son, that the black Hawk & his party must be chastised and a speedy & honorable termination put to this war, which will hereafter deter others from the like unprovoked hostilities by Indians on our frontier
"Yrs., A. J. June 12th. 1832.
"with this your letter is approved. A.J."
Robb concluded his letter:
"The President directs your particular attention to the subject of this communication, and instructs me to say that Black Hawk, and his party, must be chastised, and a speedy and honorable termination put to this war, which will hereafter deter others from the like unprovoked hostilities by Indians upon our frontiers.
"I have &c, &c (Signed) John Robb Actg. Secretary of War.
"Genl. H. Atkinson, Illinois, Via St. Louis."
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Friday, July 6, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 86°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 91°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 73°
"Troops [in search of Black Hawk] are ordered to be in readiness to move--
Richard Mauzy, Sergeons Mate of Colonel Samuel Adam's Second Regiment of Milton K. Alexander's Second Brigade of Illinois mounted volunteers "July 6 resigned & returned home"
In Captain Earl Peirce's Company, Private James H. Ralston was "Detached to act as Adjadent of the 2d. Regt. [of Colonel Jacob Fry in James D. Henry's Third Brigade] on the 6th day of July & continued to act as such till 25th. July."
"On the morning of the 6th Alexanders Brigade was ordered to cross Rock river at the foot of the lake, and join [Henry] Dodge and march in the direction of the enemy up Rock river...."
"Gen [Alexander] Posey was ordered to join Gen [Hugh] Brady."
"On the morning of the 6th, Gen. A. [Henry Atkinson] ordered Alexander and Dodge to march up on the west bank of the lake and river while Brady's division [composed of Henry's Brigade and the regulars] were ordered to march up on the east bank."
"Posey was ordered to join Brady's division in the morning."
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier on Lake Cosknong 6th. July 1832
"Order No 49
"Genl. Alexander will move with his [Second] Brigade this morning across Rock river & join Genl. Dodge & co-operate with him & the troops under his command against the enemy above the Lake. On Genl. Alexander' joining the troops on the opposite side of the Lake Genl Posey will march with his command across Rock river below the Lake & join the Comdg. Genl. above this point. General Alexander will call on the Comdg. Genl. for special instructions
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
(Signed) A.S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A. Genl."
The "special instructions" which Atkinson gave to General Alexander probably included an explanation of the distrust which Dodge and his men had for Posey's troops, and instructions to deliver the above order to Posey.
Troops of Alexander's Second Brigade "March across Rock River & went 11 miles..." and "See Indian sign plenty."
Gen [Alexander] having joined us [Dodge's Battalion] early the next morning, we moved up the west side of Rock river..."
6th July Gen Alexanders brigade marched with Dodges battalion up the West bank of Rock river."
Genl Alexanders brigade marched with Dodge's battalion up the west bank of Rock river--"
87‘White Crow’ and his band, who professed to guide them to Black Hawk's camp."
"...whilst the Regulars and Henry's Brigade marched up the east bank under Genl. Brady, Posey had been ordered to join this division of the Army with his detachment...."
Posey's troops came across Cau-kee-ca-mac, the old Sac prisoner who had been given "plenty to eat" and was left behind "to kill himself in that pleasant manner."
"Posey was ordered to join Genl Bradys division, which marched to White Water River [Bark river] 5 miles from Rock river--"
"Gen Brady's Division marched up the east bank"
"...the army marched by Lake Koshkonong, and took up a strong position beyond on the bank of Clearwater Creek [Bark river], not far from its junction with Rock River. Opposite was a very extensive and almost impenetrable tamarisk swamp..."
"On the 6th of July, we reached a deep and muddy stream called most inaptly White Water, beyond which we
88were informed by the Winnebagoes we should find the enemy."
"General Atkinson on this day took up the line of march, still up Rock river, on the east side. We this day reached a Winnebago village called Burnt Village, on White Water [Bark river], a small stream running into Rock river, but one that was almost impassable, as it was a perfect swamp on each bank, and very deep in the middle of the channel."
In Captain John F. Richardson's Spy Company of Alexander's Second Brigade, Private "George Johnson lost his Mare in service 6th of July on Rock River"
In Captain Solomon Hunter's Company of Colonel Hosea Pierce's Regiment of Alexander's Second Brigade, four Privates were "Ordered to Dixons July 6": Miles Morris who "lost a Grey mare near Mudy Lake [on July 4], George Morris, who "lost a black horse same place [Mudy Lake, i.e. Lake Koshkonong], William Miflin and Josiah Vincent.
From Captain Alexander M. Houston's Company of Colonel Samuel Adams's Second Regiment of Alexander's Second Brigade, Private John Horine "absented himself July 6th, 1832"
"Genl. Brady's division encamped on White Water [Bark river] four miles from its mouth."
When the troops were settled down, Meriwether Lewis Clark started writing a letter home:
"My Dear Father We are now about 5 miles above the mouth of White Water creek upon
89which we are now encamped & ready to break into the swamps of what is called ‘The Shaking Ground’ situated between this creek and Rock River."
General Atkinson composed a letter to Lewis Cass, the Secretary of War:
"Head Qrs: of the Army of the Frontier
"Camp, on White Water 6th July 1832.
"I had The honour of receiving by express last evening, a communication from the Acting Secretary of War Mr. Robb, bearing date the 12th. June ulto' stating that no communication had been received from me at the Dept: of War, as to the movements of the forces under my command since my letter of the 10th May. I have to state in answer that I wrote to the Comg General of the Army on the 16th. 19th. 23rd. 25th. & 30th. May and on the 15th and 23rd. June and to the Sec. of War also on the 23rd. June giving an account of my operations against the enemy. I regret that my letters should have been delayed on their passage, as well on account of information they contained to the Dept. of War, as that it should have given the President dissatisfaction and cause of censuring my conduct.
"I have written, altho' not daily, as often as I had anything to communicate that I thought would be of any interest to the Dept of War.
"I have now the honour to state that my movements and disposition of force, has corresponded genreally with the views I presented on the 23rd. to the General in chief.
"I arrived on the 2nd. Inst: with Henry's [Third] Brigade [of Illinois mounted volunteers] and the [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] Regular [Infantry] Troops [under the command of General Hugh Brady], within Three miles of the ground at the foot of Lake Cosconong, occupied only two days before by the enemy, He having fled precipitately on our
90approach in detached parties. The 3rd. was employed in taking a position some 5 miles in advance and looking around to ascertain the course the main body of the enemy had taken. The 4th. was taken up for the same purpose by sending out Detachments in various directions, and to receive a junction of Alexanders [Second] Brigade [of Illinois mounted volunteers], that had been detached to march through the Mineral District & up the Right bank of Rock river. Its condition was such as to make a delay of one day necessary. This morning I detached Alexanders Brigade to operate in conjunction with a small force of volunteers and [Winnebago] Indians under Genl. [Henry] Dodge (that arrived the evening before) on the right Bank of the river, moving myself with the Regulars and Henry's Brigade up the left bank, and from the Trails I think I am in a short distance of the main body of the enemy. They are in the fork of this creek [Bark river] and rock river, a position represented to be almost impervious, from the extensive and difficult swamps it contains.
"I shall enter upon it in the morning & if possible with the cooperation of Alexander and Dodge come up with the enemy."
"the troops will concentrate between this stream & Rock river tomorrow"
"...the two commands will join in the forks tomorrow."
Dodge and Alexander "encamped on the night of the 6th above the lake, and Brady's division opposite on White Water [Bark river], four miles from its mouth."
Dodge and Alexander set up "camp on Muddy creek" where "The friendly Indians had a war dance".
--Secretary of War Lewis Cass
Saturday, July 7.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 78°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 87°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
The ground fog hung low over Bark river. Quietly and unobserved, five Rock river Winnebagoe Indians, who were among those serving as guides to Atkinson's troops, slipped into the Bark river. Houk-me-nunk-kaw (Sitting chief),
A regular soldier from Captain Thomas F. Smith's detachment of the First Regiment of U&DOT;S&DOT; Infantry out of Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien and an Illinois militia volunteer walked down the slope from the army encampment at Burnt Village to the edge of Bark river to try their luck at fishing.
Illinois Governor John Reynolds met with some of his staff in his tent. He and Theophilus W. Smith, his Assistant Adjutant General, and Benjamin F. Hickman and Alexander F. Grant, his Aides de Camp, discussed whether or not to give up the pursuit because there was no indication that they would ever come up against Black Hawk.
General Atkinson was reading jolting letters from Lewis Cass, Secretary of War. The letters had arrived by express after Atkinson had written his letter to Cass last night:
"War Department June 16, 1832
"Sir, During my absence of a few days from the department, your letters of May 25th and 30th were received.
"I appreciate the embarrassments, under which you labour, in consequence of the discharge of the Illinois militia, and the present inadequacy of your force. The strength of the hostile Indians and their plan of operations are unknown here; but it is obvious, that the frontier is in a state of danger and much alarm. The president is determined, that the most vigorous measure shall be taken to terminate the existing difficulties, and with this view Maj. Gen. [Winfield] Scott has been ordered to repair to Chicago, with a considerable body of regular troops, and to assume the general command of the operations against the hostile Indians. By a combined movement from that place and from your position, with the means now provided, I trust this warfare will soon end. I transmit you herewith a copy of the instructions, given to Gen. Scott, and so far as respects any arrangement with the Indians, which circumstances may require you to make, before his arrival, you will please to be guided by the views therein stated. The accompanying order of the Adjutant General will shew you the accession, which has been ordered to your own force, as well as the general outlines of the plan.
"With much respect, I am, Sir, Your ob Servt. Lew Cass
"Brig. Gen. Henry Atkinson U&DOT;S&DOT; Army, Illinois"
So - Atkinson was fired as commanding officer in the Black Hawk war by President Andrew Jackson on June 15, and he learned about it on the south bank of Bark river on July 7.
The position of the government was spelled out in one of the enclosures, a copy of a letter from the Secretary of War, Lewis Cass, to Major General Winfield Scott:
"Department of War June 15th 1832
"Sir, You will proceed without delay to Chicago, & assume the command of the regular troops & militia in the service of the United States, operating upon the frontiers of Illinois, Indiana & Michigan [Territory], against the hostile Indians.
"A disaffected band of the Sacs & Foxes, now probably increased by individuals from other tribes, have engaged in hostilities against the United States, & are spreading alarm & devastation over the frontiers of Illinois & the adjacent country. Gen. Atkinson, with the regular troops at his disposal, was ordered some time since to Rock river, where he was stationed at the last advices. Gov. Reynolds, of Ills, had called out a considerable detachment of the militia of that State, which had repaired to the scene of operations, but had claimed & received their discharge, with a small exception, before any impression had been made upon the enemy. You will perceive, by the copies of letters herewith enclosed, that Gov. Reynolds had ordered out a farther detachment of 3000 men, to rendezvous upon the frontier, on the 10th ins. [of June]. Gen. Atkinson has probably, at this time, upwards of 400 regular troops, & it is hoped, that with this combined force, he will be able to subdue the enemy without loss of time. But as the theatre of this warfare is remote, & the accounts of the force & operations of the Indians are various & conflicting, it is difficult for the Department to form a correct estimate of the amount of troops, which may be necessary to
98effect the objects of the government. The nature of the warfare is so distressing to the whole frontier, that every principle of policy & humanity requires, it should be brought to a termination without delay. As little should be left to the contingencies of such a campaign as possible, & the President is desirous of guarding against any reverses, which tho' they are not anticipated, may yet happen.
"The orders, which will be transmitted to you from the Adjutant General's office, will shew you the amount of the regular force, which will be placed at your disposal, & the stations, from which they will be withdrawn. The various staff departments have been instructed to communicate to you the arrangements which have been made, for the transportation & subsistence of the troops, & generally, for all the facilities, which your operations may require.
"It is hoped, that the force already upon that frontier, & that which is now ordered, will be found sufficient to subdue & chastise the Indians. In addition to this, a bill has just passed Congress, providing for raising 600 mounted men, to serve one year. This corps will be enlisted & organised without delay, & ordered to the scene of action. Should circumstances, however, require any additional force, you are authorised to call upon the Governors of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana & Michigan for such an amount as you may find necessary. The Executives of these States & the Executive of Michigan [Territory] have been requested to supply any call you may make. But no militia will be received into service, for a shorter period than three months from the time of their arrival at the place of rendezvous, to be disbanded previously, if their services should be no longer required. The enormous expense & the utter inefficiency of the troops, when shorter periods are permitted, render this regulation indispensable.
Chap. CXXXI.--An Act to authorize the President to raise mounted volunteers for the defence of the frontier. June 15, 1832.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to raise, either by the acceptance of volunteers, or enlistment for one year, unless sooner discharged, six hundred mounted rangers, to be armed, equipt, mounted, and organized in such manner, and to be under such regulations and restrictions as the nature of the service may, in his opinion, make necessary.
Sec. 2 And be it further enacted, That each of the said companies of rangers shall consist of one captain, one first, one second, and one third lieutenant; five sergeants, five corporals, and one hundred privates; the whole to form a battalion, and be commanded by a major.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said non-commissioned officers and privates shall arm and equip themselves, unless otherwise ordered by the President, and provide their own horses, and shall be allowed each one dollar per day as a full compensation for their services and the use of their arms and horses. The commissioned officers shall receive the same pay and emoluments as officers of the same grade in the army of the United States, and the officers shall be allowed forage for their horses, and be entitled to the same rations as those of the same grade in the army of the United States, respectively.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates raised pusuant to this act, shall be entitled to the like compensation, in case of disability by wounds or otherwise, incurred in the service, as has heretofore been allowed to officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates in the military establishment of the United States; and shall be subject to the rules and articles of war, and such regulations as have been or shall be established according to law for the government of the army of the United States, as far as the same may be applicable to the said rangers within the intent and meaning of this act, for the protection and defence of the north-western frontier of the United States.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, is hereby authorized to appoint all the officers proper to be appointed under this act; which appointments may be made during the recess of the Senate, but shall be submitted to the Senate at their next session, for their advice and consent; and that the sum of fifty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated for the purpose of carrying this act into effect.
Approved, June 15, 1832.
On your arrival at Chicago, should you find peace not established, you will take the control of all the operations against the Indians, & pursue & subdue them. In the discharge of the duties, enjoined by these instructions, you will not regard the boundary line of your department, but will carry on your operations, wherever necessary, whether in the Eastern or Western department. You will communicate immediately with Gen. Atkinson, & give him such orders as you may find necessary.
"The Indians, at the last accounts, have sought refuge in the swamps & fastnesses of Rock river, whence they were issuing probably in small parties, & spreading alarm & devastation over the frontiers. As they will be enclosed between the forces under your immediate command, & those under the command of Gen. Atkinson, a combined movement will be necessary, which is more dreaded by the Indians, than any attack upon a single point can be. The frontier also will be better protected, & these murderous incursions prevented.
"It is the desire of the President, that you march against & attack them, wherever they may be. Nor will you suspend your operations, till they are effectually subdued. Let no truce be granted, till the Black Hawk is surrendered, if he survive the contest, together with some of the principal warriors, & such a number of the murderers of the Menomonees, as may be sufficient for the purposes of example & justice. The murderers will be surrendered to the civil authorities of the proper district in Michigan, & the other persons will be confined at one of the military posts, as hostages for the conduct of their friends.
"If the main body of any of the tribes, possessing the country east of the Mississippi, have joined in these hostilities, no peace will be
101granted to them, but upon the condition of their abandoning all claim to such country, & removing to any district, west of that river, which may be assigned to them by the government. And this stipulation will form the basis of any arrangement, you may make with them. If however, disaffected individuals only, living in this region, should be found engaged in hostilities, you will not interfere with the possessory right of the tribe, to which such individuals belong. But these persons will not be suffered to remain in their present places of residence. They must migrate west of the Mississippi, to such districts as may be selected for them. It is indispensable to the future security of the frontier, & to a just & proper influence over the Indians, that not an individual, who has participated in these outrages, should be permitted to remain, east of the Mississippi. On the termination of hostilities, arrangements will be immediately made for their departure, & hostages for the faithful performance of the condition will be required.
"It is very desirable, that the whole country between Lake Michigan & the Mississippi, & south of the Ouisconsin, should be freed from the Indians; & with this view, you will endeavor to prevail upon the friendly or neutral Chiefs of those tribes, if such there be, who have not principally been engaged in these hostilities, to cede their claims, & to remove west of the Mississippi. Reasonable stipulations, respecting temporary annuities, subsistence &c, similar to those recently made in the treaties with the South western Indians, may be granted to them. If any considerable proportion, tho' not a majority, of the tribes east of the Mississippi, & west of Lake Michigan, should have taken up arms against the United States, the same proportion of the country possessed by them will be required; the boundaries to be amicably arranged with those who have not engaged in
102this warfare. This measure is not only just in itself, as the United States agree to provide them another country, but is required by a due regard to the future. If their government is so weak, that the disaffected cannot be restrained, the tribe has no right to object to a division of interest, for the purposes of peace, which was allowed, if not created by themselves, for the purposes of war. Besides, if this aggression passes by without some effectual preventive, our frontiers will be still exposed to the same calamity, & the spirit of disaffection will extend to the other tribes.
"This Department cannot judge what proportion of the Sacs & Foxes is engaged in this conflict; but whatever it may be, the principles above stated will apply to them. If the principal authorities of these tribes are in arms, no peace will be made, till they are entirely cut off from the Mississippi river, by a strip of from 50 to 100 miles in width, as the country, belonging to them, may allow. Taking into view their numbers, & the advantages for cultivation & hunting, so as not to distress them for the means of subsistence. You can however, if necessary from the nature of the country, give them an assurance that the Government will, on being satisfied of its inadequacy, add to it, either by giving them an adjoining district, or land in some other quarter. But any rate, the hostile party will be removed from the Mississippi, & their just proportion of the country transferred to the United States. Neither annuities nor any other favorable stipulation will be granted to the hostile Indians, with the exception of the assurance of a country, sufficient for their support. The friendly Indians will be treated with great kindness, & where stipulations with them are necessary, they will be made in a spirit of humanity & just liberality. But, if possible, it would be desirable to induce Keokuk & the other friendly Sacs & Foxes to relinquish their right to any of the country upon the Mississippi. By this measure, the probability
103of future difficulties would be removed, & the frontier greatly strengthened.
"Should you find, on your arrival at Chicago, that the difficulties in that quarter are over, & no farther operations are required, you will give the necessary orders for the troops to resume the several stations, whence they have been taken. Should you think, that a display of the force under your command would be useful in its effects upon the Indians, you will continue there with the regular troops, & report the circumstances to this Department.
"You will be careful, that the militia are regularly mustered into service, & that there is not an undue proportion of officers to men. The preservation of the public property will require the most vigilant attention, & the President has entire confidence, that your operations will be conducted with every regard to economy, which the great objects of peace & security, committed to you, will permit.
"I am Sir, Very respectfully Your Obt Svt.
Signed Lewis Cass.
"Maj. Gen. Scott U&DOT;S&DOT; Army New York
"P.S. It is essential, that the places of rendezvous of the militia should be near the frontier as possible."
The other enclosure to General Atkinson was Order No. 51 to General Scott from the Adjutant General. It enumerated all of the companies being sent from the east coast and from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to participate in the Black Hawk war. The concluding sentence was this:
"General Scott will repair to Chicago, assume command of the forces, & direct the operations against the hostile Indians. By order: R. [Roger] Jones Adjutant General."
Atkinson made no comment upon his change of fortune. He simply acknowledged receipt of the information by adding a paragraph to the letter he had written last night:
2d Lt. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Aide de camp to Atkinson
"7th. July. Since writing last night an express has arrived with your communication of the 16th June with a copy of a letter to Genl Scott & one of a Genl Order of the same date.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr. Genl. US Army"
Later Atkinson told members of his staff about Scott's coming with additional troops, but apparently said nothing about his being replaced by Scott. At least Meriwether Lewis Clark, Atkinson's Aide de Camp, didn't mention Atkinson's being fired when he wrote to his father. He simply said, "We have just heard that the Government has ordered out 21 Companies of Regular Troops, to rendezvous at Chicago, under Genl Scott to cooperated with Genl. A."
Wau-kee-aun-skaw's son, with his four companions on the other side of Bark river, raised his gun and took aim through the fog at a figure on the south bank.
Suddenly - -
"The indians fired on the camp & wounded a soldier--"
John Wakefield reported, "... on the 7th of July, one of the regulars went to this stream, which was not more than one hundred and twenty yards from our encampment, to fish. While fishing three Indians fired on him from the opposite side of the river and wounded him badly with two balls."
"On the morning of the 7th the Indians (since ascertained to be Winnebagoes) fired upon our camp and wounded a soldier, immediately making their escape into the swamp on the opposite side of the creek from us."
Governor Reynolds thought at first that it was just another camp accident: "... after sun-up, two Indians shot across the stream at a regular soldier who was fishing. I was in my tent, with my staff, near the scene, and we supposed the guns were discharged by accident. The soldier was wounded, but not mortally. The Indians dashed off in a moment, and could not be reached."
In the resulting confusion, several horses ran off--again--and Lewis Clark was unsuccessful in finding his.
2d Lt. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Aide de camp to Atkinson
Meriwether Clark's map of Lake Koshkonong.
Meriwether Lewis Clark's map sent to his father shows several army campsites in the area of Lake Koshkonong.
General Atkinson added a postscript to his letter to Cass:
"P.S. A Soldier has this moment been shot down by some Indians on the edge of our Camp"
The attitude of the troops was expressed by Wakefield: "This was a hard case, for the enemy to come within one hundred and twenty yards of our encampment, and wound one of our men, and we not able to help ourselves, for this dismal stream."
With an express in camp to carry the mail, and knowing the troops would move out shortly, Lewis Clark quickly finished writing the letter to his father:
Head Qrs Army of the Frontier July 6 1832.
"My Dear Father We are now about 5 miles above the mouth of White Water creek [Bark river] upon which we are now encamped & ready to break into the swamps of what is called ‘The Shaking Ground’ situated between this creek and Rock River. 7th Early in the morning--The Indians are near us for they have just shot but not killed a man of Capt T Smith's company of the 1st. Infantry. we have had some firing near the creek, in a thick fog, and where the horses were grazing. my horse cannot be found & I fear the poor fellow is sacrificed well it will only make me add one to the few scalps I am going to take from Black Hawk, Napope &c We passed the Coshkononk Lake above, 10 miles, and are up white water about 5. the Lake is about 20 miles above turtle village [Beloit, Wisconsin], 20 from the lower of the 4 lakes, 17 above the northern line of Illinois & about 100 from Dixon's ferry, 90 from Chicago, 50 from Hamilton's diggings, and forty to Winnebago Fort. The Lake is an expansion of the Rock River, about 4 miles wide & 6 or 8 long having two strong positions in it, but not so strong as I supposed, the map on the other side will show best. Black Hawk camped a little above Turtle Village, & then danced the scalp dance around a pole surrounded with straw
108which looks like it had been burnt. at a tree near there was a dance around the two young women
Alexander's "2d Brigade and 200 of the Militia of galena were on the West side of Rock River and the Regulars and 3d Reg. [Brigade of Henry] and part of the 1st [Brigade of Posey] were on the East going up so as to cooperate"
But Atkinson wanted closer cooperation. He advised "Alexander and Dodge by express on the morning of the 7th of my intention to make a stroke upon the enemy that morning if possible. He being reported to be but a few miles in advance, covered by the river and swamp that lay between us, requiring their cooperation."
On July 5, "The White Crow proffered to conduct us [Alexander's and Dodge's Troops] to Black Hawk's encampment, which, he said, was on Rock River, near the Kosh-ko-nong. Under his guidance, we advanced for several days over almost impassable swamps, until within a short distance of the locality described by White Crow...."
After the war, James Justice wrote, "I suppose it will not be amiss here to mention that on the morning we left the Burnt village two or three of the young Winebagoes that were with us crossed over white water [Bark river] before the fog had disapated and fired on one of the Regulars & one of the militia and wounded the former and then by some way Recrossed the River and got in among the other Indians while the fog covered them This was supposed at that time to have been a party of the sacks and was consequently the cause of the days March up white water [Bark river]...."
This morning, the mounted troops of Alexander and Dodge had "Marched 10 miles" through "principal timber land spoke of at home as the big woods". Shaw's journal also reported "land more thin" and "a great many boggy Prairies". He said the troops saw "Indian sign plenty" and "find mats kettles steel traps",
"The march was continued until they struck Rock River a short distance above the mouth of Bark River; here, the White Crow wished the commanders, Alexander and Dodge, to turn up Rock River, and urged them to do so;..."
"... on the march that day, we were met by an express from Gen. Atkinson, ordering Col. Dodge and Gen. Alexander, who were then together, to march directly to him, which threw us off the route we were pursuing under the guidance of White Crow. When the chief learned of these orders he refused to accompany us, saying he did not agree to conduct us to Gen. Atkinson. It was only by the used of severe language on the part of Col. Dodge, that White Crow was prevailed on to continue with us."
"On the second day's march, an express, borne by an Indian, arrived from General Atkinson, informing Alexander and Dodge that a sentinel
"... we were met by an express from Gen. Atkinson,
110ordering us to proceed immediately to his encampment on Bark River. Col. Dodge felt somewhat vexed to be thus thwarted in his purpose, and remarked, that he was crippled in every movement he wished to make, by untimely expresses. In obedience to orders, we proceeded to headquarters. The night previously [that morning], a volunteer had been killed, and Gen. Atkinson thinking the enemy near at hand, was desirous of concentrating all his forces, prepatory to a general engagement, which he contemplated bringing on the next day."
"... in consequence of the orders received by the express, the command went back, and crossed Rock River immediately below the mouth of Bark River...."
The troops "get news from Atkinson that he expected to have a battle that afternoon, we was within three miles of the Indians, & would have came up with them in one hour, Dodge having command, turned off the trail went three miles down the [Rock] River & Cross"
Alexander and Dodge "get on Atkinson's trail where he had went up above the swamp..." and "Come to the place where the Indians had taken a stan[d] to great adva[n]tage",
Meanwhile, Atkinson's "troops were put in motion and moved up the [Bark] river over a difficult and almost impassable route"
"The troops marched at 9 oclock, crossed a deep boggy creek [Whitewater creek near Cold Spring, Wisconsin] one mile above the encampment...."
"The troops making the ford passable for the Baggage wagons, crossed at 9 o'clock, a deep boggy creek one mile above the encampment...."
"Soon after the Indians shot the regular, General Atkinson took up the line of march, still up the river, and made shift to cross one branch [Whitewater] of this dismal stream, White Water [Bark river]; but it was with much difficulty, as many a horse mired down, and threw his rider into the water, where he and his gun were literally buried in mud and water; but all made a shift to get out."
"Here we expected to be fired upon by the enemy. Major [William Lee D.] Ewing, still in advance of the main army some distance [with his Spy Battalion of Henry's Third Brigade] got over first. He then formed his men in battle order, and stood as a front guard, until the main army could cross this dismal stream; which they had to bridge with grass
"One day was spent in camp on Clear Creek [Bark river]; but the bridge was not quite finished
"With much difficulty we forded or swam this stream, or rather the first of three branches...."
"... hundreds of the army were frequently compelled to dismount, during their march, and wade through mud and water, to keep their horses from miring in the swamps.
"To see the Governor of a State, and nearly all her official agents, wading thro' mire and water, sometimes as deep as the arm-pits, in the ranks of an army, in pursuit of an enemy, present a spectacle altogether new to us, & to the citizens of our sister states. Such conduct, by men filling such stations, affords an honorable example, and is worthy alike of commendation and imitation."
"I observed to-day a fair specimen of the great advantage the front holds over the rear of a column of march; we passed some remarkable springs;--little grassy mounds in a savanna; the first comers drank of crystal and very cold water bubbling over the rim of something very like an immense emerald bowl; but before the last arrived, they had become mere mud-holes.
"Riding that day alone in a wood, a little distance in advance of a column, my discipline was sorely tried; a noble buck approached me and stood several moments within pistol-shot; my hand, almost before I knew it, had grasped a holster pistol; but I resisted the temptation, only to hear, immediately after, some of the irregulars popping away at him as he ran past."
The troops "reached a branch of White Water [Bark river] at 12 oclock examined the river for a ford, decided that it would save time to go up 9 miles and cross the creek [ford] said to be there."
"...reached the White Water again at 12 O'clock, examined for a ford but was unsuccessful. It was said that the creek could be crossed 9 miles above, in which direction the troops continued their march 4 miles and encamped for night."
"We marched on this day about fifteen miles up the river."
113of the tamarisk swamp. Our camp was pitched on a slight elevation near the Clearwater [Bark river]."
"Alexander, Dodge and Posey came up and encamped on the same ground."
"... the forces under Posey Alexander & Dodge came up and encamped at the same place"
"At this place the old blind chief [White Crow], a Winnebago Indian, came up with General Dodge's corps."
"... and after a perplexing march of twelve or fifteen miles, we arrived where the friendly Indians assured the General with one voice, that further advance was impossible, having arrived, as they said and as it appeared, at a wilderness of that description of morass called by the French terre tremblante."
"The friendly Indians tell us the [Black Hawk] Indians were in the swamp"
"The night we got here, (to White Water) General [Alexander's] brigade, in company with Col. Dodge's squadron, came up to us. They were out of provisions, and in a state of suffering, and were compelled to push on to where we were to get something to sustain nature. Colonel John Ewing and his regiment did not reach us that night, and encamped about one mile and a half off from the main army."
The official "RETURN of Illinois Mounted Volunteers engaged in the Indian War for the month of June 1832 Commanded by Brevet Brig Genl. H. Atkinson" noted, "The Regulars, and the 1st. 2d. & 3d Brigades and a Battalion of Michigan [Territory] volunteers under the command of Genl [Henry] Dodge, were concentrated on the 7th July 15 miles above the mouth of a small stream which empties into Rock river 6 miles above the head of Lake Cos-co-nong."
The same report shows 962 troops present in Posey's First Brigade, 959 present in Alexander's Second Brigade, and 940 present in Henry's Third Brigade for a total of 2,825 Illinois mounted volunteers. In addition there were about 550 U&DOT;S&DOT; Infantry regulars under General Brady, about 200
114Michigan Territory volunteers under Dodge (including Stephenson's Galena company), 95 Pottowatomies under Billy Caldwell, 20 Menomonies and eight to 10 whites under Col. William S. Hamilton, about 20 Winnebagoes with White Crow, and 11 Winnebagoes with Oliver Emmell.
John A. Wakefield, an Illinois volunteer in Major William Lee D. Ewing's Spy Battalion of Henry's Third Brigade, was impressed with the sight of over 3,500 troops camping together for the only time during the entire Black Hawk war: "On this evening," he wrote, "the whole forces got together, and camped together for the first time. Our forces looked like they were able to whip all the Indians in the north western territories."
"The General fortified our camp every night, to guard against a night attack."
"Here an awful accident happened."
"That night Capt. Charles Dunn...was accidentally wounded."
"Col. Dunn, who was a Captain of a company, was here what is generally called the officer of the day, whose duty it is to visit the sentinels once or more through the course of the night. Captain Dunn in performing this duty, just before day in the morning, was fired upon by one of the sentinels, and severely wounded; he was shot in the groin, a place that generally proved mortal."
An entry in Shaw's journal brackets the busy day: "one regular fired on and wounded Dunn fired on by a sentinel & wounded"
Captain Charles Dunn
Captain Charles Dunn
2d Regiment, 1st Brigade
Illinois Mounted Volunteers
--White Crow, Winnebago guide
Sunday, July 8, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 73°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 66°
Henry Gratiot, Indian Sub Agent for the Winnebagoes, who had arrived last night with Henry Dodge, "Joined Genl [Henry] Atkinson
"General Atkinson on the next morning, July the 8th, had a talk with him [White Crow], in order if possible to find out where Black Hawk was with his forces.
"The old blind or one eyed chief, told him that the Indians that we were in pursuit of, were still down on the Island opposite the Burnt Village, where they shot the regular, and stated that if we did not find them there he would give General Atkinson leave to take his life."
"The indian guides represented that it was impossible to reach the camp of the enemy by turning White Water creek"
"Morning of the 8th, our guides, Winebago Inds. reported that it was impossible to reach the enemy by turning White Water creek [Bark river]. Where upon Gen. A. called a council of war consisting of Gove. [John] Reynolds, Genl. [Hugh] Brady, [Alexander] Posey, Alexander, [James D.] Henry and Dodge & Col. [Zachary] Taylor of the regular troops, and submitted to them the posture of things and requested they would examine the guides and that they would, under all the circumstances of the case, give them their advice as to the best mode of operations."
"A council of War was held"
"The council, after examining the guides and the difficulties of the country as also our scanty supply of provisions, was unanimous in opinion that the troops should be marched back to the mouth of White Water [Bark river] and operate from that point against the enemy."
"Finding here that we were deceived (as has since been ascertained intentionally) by our Winnebago guides as to the position of the enemy--The difficulties presented by the swamps and muddy creeks, and two of the Brigades having consumed their provisions it became, by the advice of a council of war, necessary to halt for a further supply."
"...a Council of War was held in which it was unanimously resolved to return to the mouth of Rock River
"Accordingly, ...a countermarch was made; and the army retracing its steps, passed beyond the mouth of Clearwater [Bark] ...."
"Upon this General Atkinson made a retrograde movement, and measured the ground and fathomed the muddy branches of the celebrated White Water, that we crossed the day before."
The troops had to "go back cross the worst bogs I ever crossed with a horse", the Shaw diarist wrote. They "Marched back 15 miles. the Bat[talion of Alexander] and Dogs [Dodge's] men go to the [Rock] river wait for the army"
Henry Gratiot, Sub Agent for Winnebago Indians
"We...returned the next day to Whitewater near where Black Hawk was encamped."
"...the troops retraced their steps and encamped on the ground occupied on the night of the 6th."
"The troops marched from their encampment on their return to the mouth of White Water [Bark] &"
"We [Posey's Brigade, Henry's Brigade, the regulars, Governor Reynolds, and the Pottowatomie Indian guides] took up our abode that night on the same ground that we left before at the Burnt Village."
Illinois Governor John Reynolds wrote later, "On the 8th the one eyed Winnebago chief, Decori [actually White Crow], told General Atkinson that Black Hawk was lower down the river, and the army marched down by the counsel of this wicked savage, who stated an untruth to save Black Hawk. This movement, on the information of the one eyed chief, delayed us one or two days. If we had pushed on up the river, by forced marches for a day or two, the Indians would have been reached, and the war ended. Gen. Atkinson would not move without the regulars, with the cannon, and they marched so slow that the Indians could not be overtaken."
In addition to all of his other responsibilities, General Atkinson had to contend with the bickering of the militia:
"Head Qrs. of the Army of the Frontier Camp on Clear Water [Bark river] 8th. July 1832
"Order No. 50
"Whereas Col. [James] Collins of the 4th Regt. [of Henry's] 3d. Brigade Illinois Volunteers has complained to the Comdg. General that a horse has been forceably taken from a private of Capt Nowlands [Bennet Nowlen's] Company of said Regt. by a private of Col. Leeches [Samuel Leech's Third] Regt. [of Posey's] 1st brigade of Volunteers--It is hereby ordered that said Horse be turned over to Qr. Mr. [Quarter Master Cornelius] Hook till an investigation as to the right of property shall take place. Brig. Genl.
121Posey is charged with causing this order to be carried into effect.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A.S. [Albert Sidney] Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
At Burnt Village camp, "An express
"Fort Dearborn July 4, 1832
"Sir I have the honor of enclosing to You Dispatches from Genl. [Winfield] Scott, also a Copy of Genl. Scott letter to me, which will give all the necessary information, that he wishes to receive from You. There has been no murders nea[r] this Post. Any information You may think Proper to communicate to Genl. Scott who will arrive at this place about the 10t. Mr. Clarke is employ'd as Express for that purpose.
"I am Sir Respectfully Your Most Obt. Servant
"Wm. Whistler Majr. 2d Reg Inf Comg "
Brigadier Genl. Atkinson."
One enclosure was a copy of General Scott's letter to Whistler:
"Head Quarters Eastn. Dept. Detroit, June 30, 1832
"Sir Eighteen companies of regular troops from the Atlantic, Forts Niagara, Gratiot, Brady and Mackinac will be at Chicago, by Steam Boats, before the 15th. of the next month (July) and part of them by the 10th. I shall be personally with the
122headmost detachment in the Steam-Boat Henry Clay.
"The moment you receive this letter, which I send by express, you will employ all the energies of yourself and Garrison in accomplishing the following objects:
"To prepare all the public buildings, suitable for the purpose as Store-houses, to receive the Ordnance, Quartermaster's and other supplies which are on their way to Chicago.
"To effect this you will select a suitable piece of ground for encamping the whole force mentioned above, pitch tents for the Garrison of Fort Dearborn, and occupy them.
"You will direct the Commissary of Subsistence with you, to erect ovens, sufficient with the one already in use, to bake bread daily, for, say, 1000 men, and give him any aid and assistance in the execution of the work. Take care also that there be fresh bread ready for issue to the troops as they may successively arrive -say, between the 10th. and 16th. of July. As your detachment belongs to the 2d. Infantry, you will leave room to your right, in the Camp, for nine companies, of Artillery.
"I shall expect to find you prepared to give me good information of the relative numbers and positions of General Atkinson and the hostile Indians, and the general state of the war between them. If that information be not likely to be sufficient to enable me to determine upon a plan of operations, or rather of co-operation, you will instantly, on the receipt of this letter, put in activity any means you can command to obtain it for me, by the time of my arrival, or in a short time thereafter. For this purpose you are authorized to employ one or more expresses, and one or more spies; as may be deemed expedient and desirable.
"With this letter I send a communication for Brigadier General Atkinson, informing him of the approach of the troops from this department, and requesting him to advise me, as early as practicable, of the general state of the war, his relative position to the enemy &c; but as you may obtain much information for me, before I can receive General Atkinson's reply, I shall look to you to exert yourself accordingly. On this point you will consult with the [Pottawatomie] Indian Agent Mr. [Thomas Jefferson Vance] Owen, who, judging from his correspondence with the Governor of this Territory, I suppose to be active and intelligent, and no doubt disposed to give any facilities in his way.
"I remain With respect Yr obt. servt. Signed/Winfield Scott
"Major Whistler U&DOT;S&DOT;A. Comdg. &c &c."
Whistler's other enclosure was the letter from General Scott to General Atkinson:
"Head Qrs. Eastern Dept. Detroit, June 30, 1832.
"Sir, I arrived here but a few minutes since on my way to Chicago, where I shall have assembled, by the 15th of the next month (July) twenty companies of regular troops, to take part in the war against the Indians in hostilities with the United States--if, indeed, they be not previously subdued by the forces under your immediate command. This I sincerely hope may prove to be the case, not only for the good of the country, but for your own personal glory. That you will have accomplished all that a brave & skilful commander could have performed, under the circumstances, I cannot doubt; but you may not have had sufficient time, or sufficient numbers to terminate the war before my arrival, or the quality of your forces may have been inadequate.
"The troops of this department will arrive at Chicago, successively, in steamboats, between the 9th & 16th of July. I shall be, personally, with the headmost detachment.
"I am, notwithstanding late letters & rumours (as late as the 20th instant) from Chicago, not sufficiently advised of your position amp; numbers, in respect to those of the enemy, to frame, at this time, any plan of operations with you, & may not, probably, get, at Chicago, sufficient information before I shall hear from you. Hence I now write to you by express.
"You will, perhaps, have received, before this reaches you, the orders from the adjutant general's office dated, respectively, the 16th & 18th instant. Under these, & the special instructions of the Secretary of war, I am on my way to the theatre of hostilities, to assume the general command; to prosecute the war to a termination, & conclude treaties &c. If the second object be not before accomplished, I need not tell you of my great confidence in your zeal & abilities in the way of co-operation--of your better knowledge of the localities, & of the Indian character.
"You will, therefore, if any thing remains to be done, in the way of active hostilities, on the receipt of this letter, go on with your operations, which, however, may be so modified as the knowledge of the force under my immediate command, & the disposition I shall make of it, may render advisable.
"The twenty companies to be assembled at Chicago will give an effective force of about 950 men, well armed & appointed. I shall have there, & propose, if necessary, to take with me in the field, two six pounders, & one howitzer, with caissons, ammunition wagons, a travelling forge & a detachment of artillerists. The remainder of the force will be armed as infantry & riflemen.
"We shall have with us an abundance of supplies, of every description, for a much larger force, & say, from sixty to seventy days, by the 20th of July; but ample means of transportation, beyond, Chicago, may not be collected before the 25th. If,necessary, however, I shall march upon the enemy with such wagons & pack-horses as I may hastily command, & trust to the staff to forward general supplies after me.
"The first great object, however, is--early intelligence of the general state of the war from you. You will, therefore, give me at once, & afterwards, from time to time, your relative position & numbers in respect to those of the enemy, the temper of other neighbouring tribes, the direction & particular objects of the movements you are making, or may make-- together with suggestions as to the routes which it may be best for me to pursue.
"What means you may command for communicating with me I can only conjecture, at this time; but that you will exert yourself to find prompt means for conveying frequent letters, I confidently rely.
"As I write in haste, & hope soon to meet & congratulate you on the success of your operations, I will now merely add, that
"I am, with high respect, Ymost Obt. Sert. Winfield Scott
"P.S. Tho' I have ample powers to call militia I do not expect to make a call. Infantry, on foot, I do not want, beyond the regulars that I shall have with me; & should I require mounted militia before we meet, I may, as we approximate, derive them from you. As you are well acquainted with the theatre of the war, & of the probable circumstances under which I shall find myself, beyond Chicago, I leave it to your discretion to anticipate my wants under this head--if you can, with safety detach a portion of your mounted force. W.S."
Bark river near Burnt Village.
Atkinson then interviewed John Kinzie Clark, who knew the territory. "...from the information received of Mr. Clark who had just arrived from Chicago on express and who is well acquainted with this Part of the Rock river country having been thro' it several times it was believed to be entirely practicable to cross the creek there and to penetrate through the country lying in the forks of these two streams"
"an examination was made of the creek & further & better information was received of Mr. Clark of Chicago who had been across White Water [Bark] and in the forks of the two rivers he stated that this country was not difficult the General resolved to cross at this Point--"
"the Regulars commenced a bridge across Peel Bark, for the army to cross and make an attack on the enemy."
"...Returned to the Burnt village & there commenced to throw a Bridge across white water [Bark river] in order to cross the troops over into the fork where it was supposed the Indians were"
Meanwhile Dodge and Alexander, who were waiting at the junction of the Bark and Rock rivers, had "an alarm", which was false, but caused them to "form for battle". Later they received an "express to go back to the army where they were encamped":
"Genl Atkinson--To--Genl Dodge
"Camp, on White Water old Ind: Village July 8th. 1832 5. O7dot;C. PM
"General, Upon a full view of my situation I have come to the determination to throw a light bridge across the creek at this place & cross over in the morning with a strong force & beat up the enemy if he is to be found.
"I feel upon reflection that I cannot nor ought not to suspend my operations, till I Know where the enemy is & his strength & make a stroke upon him if practicable.
"I shall probably cross over by 8 O.C. in the morning and if the ground will admit, take some mounted men & a six pounder. if it will not we must go on foot. I presume you have not crossed rock river; & of course can return and join in the excursion I must request you to do so. If you have crossed over, return, across Rock river & cooperate with us upon reflection it is best you should return, because I want your Winebago's to guide us to the position occupied by the Sacs.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr. Genl U&DOT; S&DOT; Army"
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Monday, July 9, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 64°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 65°
"this morning before day the Indians leave their stronghold friendly Indians hear their confusion give the alarm thinking [they] may be going to fight horses take a flight and run"
"Next morning, July the 9th, Colonel [Jacob] Fry undertook to make a bridge across the almost impassable gulf. He was furnished with a number of regulars, who were always ready for such undertakings. A strong guard was placed on the bank of the stream on the opposite side, for fear of those suffering who passed over on a raft."
"Reconnoitering parties crossed the White Water [Bark river] from this encampment and advanced some miles a party of indians also penetrated between White Water [Bark river] & Rock river"
"On the morning of the 9th, scouting parties were thrown across Whitewater [Bark river] and examined the country between that and
132miles up. The country was difficult to penetrate by reason of underwood and swamp."
"Captain [Jacob M.] Early, in the course of the day, took a part of his men
"reconnoitering Parties were sent in every Direction between the forks of White Water [Bark river] and Rock river A Party of indians penetrated 9 or 10 miles"
"Colonel William S. Hamilton, who had a small band of Menominie Indians under his command, took them and went clear through the Island and hunted it out thoroughly."
"The next morning [July 9], a reconnaissance of Black Hawk's encampment was made--Black Hawk's Island, at the upper end of Lake Kosh-ko-nong -by Col. W. S. Hamilton, who at that time commanded a small company of rangers and spies made up of friendly Menomonees and some whites."
Early this morning, Brigadier General Henry Atkinson issued the following special order:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier Camp on white water [Bark river] 9th. July 1832
"Spl. Order No. 32
"A Board of Officers to consist of Majr [William] Eubanks 3d Regt. [of Alexander's] 2d Brigade Ill. mounted Volunteers President, Capt. Hugh Smith [William Highsmith]
133convene this morning at 10 o'clock to try the right of property in a Horse, between a private of Genl. Posey's Brigade Ill. mounted Volunteers & one of Genl. Henry's. The Board will given an impartial hearing to both parties & make a decision thereon
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
General Atkinson then reported his situation to General Winfield Scott, who was en route to Chicago to assume command of the troops in the Black Hawk war:
"Genl; Atkinson to Genl Scott
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river Camp, On White Water July 9th. 1832
"Sir, I had the honour of receiving your letter of instructions of the 30th, Ult'o from Detroit, forwarded by express by the way of Chicago.
"I had been advised by the Secr of War of your approach with a large body of Troops to put an end to this perplexing and difficult Indian War. I am gratified at the measure adopted by the government in this instance and particularly as you are placed in the General command.
"As yet the hostile Indians have eluded my pursuit, altho' I have been for several days in a few miles of a part or the whole of them. The country is so cut up with Prairie, wood and swamp, that it is extremely difficult to approach them. Indeed many parts of the country for miles is entirely unpassable, even on foot. We are engaged at this moment in throwing a Bridge
134across this creek (White Water) [Bark river] with a view of getting up with the enemy, who is represented to be only five or six miles before us. Yet if he chooses he can easily elude us, by changing his position over ground our Mounted Troops cannot pass.
"The Indians are between this creek & Rock river about ten miles above lake Goosh-Ke-hawn, or more properly speaking the lake we live on agreeably to Farmers map. I send you herewith a scetch of the country.
"Your march, if the enemy continues in this swampy region of country, should be across the country from Chicago to the head of the lake we live on, as there are fords both above and below it. Mr [John Kinzie] Clark the express man can lead you correctly, being well acquainted with the country.
"The enemy are represented to be from seven to eight hundred strong, well armed and provided with Powder and ball. My own force consists of four hundred and fifty regular Troops, and about Twenty one hundred Mounted Volunteers, under Generals Dodge, Posey, Alexander and Henry, but all fresh from their homes except the two hundred and fifty under Dodge who have in part had a little experience
"I must try and come up with the enemy by Tomorrow if possible or I shall have to suspend operations for several days as I have not three days provisions on hand & I must march the mounted men to the nearest Depots, Fort Winebago Thirty five miles & Hamilton's, forty five.
Brigadier General Henry Atkinson, Commander of the Right Wing of the Western Department of the U&DOT; S&DOT; Army
136Major General Alexander Macomb
137This is an unfortunate circumstance. I shall however hold the enemy in check by taking a position on the river with the regular Troops Till a supply arrives--& I shall not press matters unnecessarily before your arrival.
"I have Depots of Provisions at Fort Wilbourne near the Foot of the Rapids of Illinois, Fort Hamilton on Peketollica river, Dixons ferry on rock river and at Galena.
"I have about 100 Pottowattomies, and a few Menomonies and Winebagoes: they seem to be sincere in their friendships, and it is not probable that many disaffected of the first or last named tribes have joined the enemey indeed I have no positive information that any have Yet, if the number of the enemy is as much as eight hundred some must have joined. The surrounding tribes seem more disposed to be neutral than taking part with us.
"I found it necessary to urge the Pottowattomies to take sides not that I wanted their strength, but to Know where to find them."
That evening the troops returned to the Burnt Village encampment with conflicting reports:
"...it was found by the spies that crossed and Reconoitered the woods before the Bridge was completed that Black Hawk and has [his] Band were Not in that quarter The Inteligence Brout by the spies caused the work of the Bridge to stop"
"...found the Indians had left the swamp."
"They [Captain Early's men] brought back word that they had seen a good deal of fresh sign, and were of opinion that the Indians were there."
Colonel Hamilton and the Menomonies "returned in the evening, bringing the news that the Indians had left this Island."
"...when Col. Hamilton and his scouts reconnoitered Black Hawk's camp,....it was ascertained that he had decamped, with his whole force. It was discovered that he had occupied a most advantageous position for defense--a high declivity sloping to the river, which at that point was
139full of large boulders
"It appeared afterward, by discovery of the Indian trail, and other evidences, by the scouting parties, that a considerable ambush had been formed on the bank of Rock River, on the east side, at a point where the army would have to cross, at a very rocky ford, consequently dangerous for horses; it was with some reason supposed that the ‘Blind’ [White Crow] was acting in concert with Black Hawk, and was treacherously guiding the army to this dangerous ford."
"It was found that Black Hawk had, during the preceeding night, abandoned his encampment. It proved to be a very advantageous position for him, in case he had been attacked from the opposite or west side of the river, which was thought to have been the pre-arranged plan between him and White Crow; and it was believed by many, that in case Dodge and Alexander had, under the guidance of White Crow, attacked Black Hawk, in this almost unapproachable position, they would have been defeated. It was in this view of the case, that suspicions of treachery were entertained against White Crow. His village, I think, was on the western side of Kosh-ko-nong Lake; but the troops did not pass in sight of it."
"The White Crow had been suspected by Colonel Dodge when he was [ransoming the Hall girls in June] at Blue Mounds: he had at that time promised to cross the Wisconsin, but had not complied."
"Whether White Crow was justly chargeable with intended treachery may be a debatable question; I think, however, he was--not, perhaps, in trying to mislead the army to Black Hawk, but in pretending friendship to the whites, when, in fact, it was quite clear that his sympathies were for Black Hawk."
"General Atkinson was again deceived by those treacherous Winnebagoes, but in place of putting the old one eyed chief [White Crow] to death,
"We now found that there was no dependence to be placed in those treacherous Winnebagoes. The men now had been marching through swamps for a considerable length of time without success; and no execution done, only what General Posey's men had done by killing the old blind Indian [Cau-kee-ca-mac, on July 6]. We now plainly saw that Black Hawk knew we were in his neighborhood. He knew all the passes between those swamps, and could evade our pursuit for some time; which discouraged our men very much."
Atkinson added a paragraph to his morning letter to General Scott:
"Since writing this morning the several parties sent out to discover where the enemy is posted have returned and we find that he has advanced further up the country probably twelve miles. I expect in six days to be enabled to march in pursuit, of this however I will advise you
"(signed) H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
"We here were in another bad box. We were in a manner out of provision; and the nearest point to us, where we could get a supply was Fort Winnebago, which was about eighty miles distant from us...."
"...the enemy had again disappeared at the approach of our force. They appeared to have recently decamped from a point between & near the junction of White [Bark] & Rock Rivers. Where they now are is not known. It is believed however they are still in the Swamps of that Section of the country [and] will attempt to make their way to the chippeways if they cannot succeed in crossing the Mississippi, which Genl. Atkinson is endeavoring to prevent by Detaching a portion of his force to Fort Winnebago, for the purpose of obtaining provisions & to prevent their retreat in that direction."
The situation of Dodge's troops was explained by John Ryan of Captain Clark's company from White Oak Springs:
"We onley took Scant rations for two or three days,
"General Dodge told him that he did not come there to build forts, that he had come to fight Indians, and flatly refused to employ his men in building forts, much to the Indignation of Atkinson who in turn refused to furnish Dodge with any provisions, a thing that looked to us almost inhuman."
"The Volunteers having been for several days in great need of provisions, and not knowing when supplies would arrive, the Commanding General ordered [Milton K.] Alexander, & [James D.] Henry's Brigades & Dodges battalion to march to Fort Winnebago & [Alexander] Posey to Fort Hamilton, he directed Gen Posey to remain with his brigade at Fort Hamilton--Alexander, Henry & Dodge were to return to Fort Cosconong as soon as provisions were procured, he gave verbal instructions to those officers to pursue the trail of the enemy if it was met with in going to returning--"
"Posey Alexander & Dodge having lost their provisions in swimming the Pik-a-tol-i-ka and other streams, and the surplus on hand being nearly exhausted, and our train of wagons with provisions that were ordered from Galena and Dixon's not having been heard from, Gen. A. deemed it advisable to detach Henry, Alexander & Dodge to Fort Winnebago, and a train of baggage pack horses under Capt. [Gideon] Lowe of the U&DOT;S&DOT;A. (which was supposed to be not more than 35 miles off) for 12 days supply.
"Posey was ordered back to Fort Hamilton to cover that part of the country and give escort and security to our supplies that were ordered by that route"
"Orders were issued this evening for Genl Henry & Gnl Alexanders Brigades to go to Fort Winebago for provisions Genl Poseys brigade to march to the Mineral district & remain at Fort Hamilton--"
"Henry, Alexander and Dodge were ordered to Fort Winnebago with instructions to draw twelve days rations, and Posey to Fort Hamilton to occupy that point, Dodgeville and Kellogg's with his corps, and to intercept the march of the enemy should he break from the swamp and move in that direction- Henry, Alexander and Dodge were instructed to pursue the enemy should they fall upon his trail in either going or returning from Fort Winnebago, and to inform me by express--"
The written orders were less explicit:
"Head Qrs. of the Army of the Frontier
"Camp on White water [Bark] river 9th July 1832
"Order No. 51
"Brig. Genl. Alexanders [Second] & Brig. Genl. Henry' [Third] Brigade of Illinois mounted Volunteers will march tomorrow morning to Fort Winnebago, & draw twelve days rations of Provisions (exclusive of the Subsistence of their respective commands during their stay at the Fort) & return to these Head Qrs. without delay.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
General Posey's troops were sent to today's Wiota, Wisconsin:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier Camp on Whitewater [Bark] river 9th July 1832
"Order Nodot; 52
"Brig Genl. Posey will march his Brigade of
144mounted Volunteers to Fort Hamilton in the mineral district, and remain there till further orders. Brig. Genl. Posey will furnish from his command such escorts as may be required for the safety of supplies destined for the Army of the Frontier.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
Atkinson also sent word to Colonel Enoch C. March, Quarter Master General, at Fort Hamilton to forward provisions fast:
"Liut: Albt. S. Johnston. A.A. Genl. To Col March. Qr M Genl
"Head Qrs: Army of the frontier, Camp on White Water, (Bark) 5 Miles above its Junction of Rock river 9th. July. 1832
"Sir, The Commanding General directs that you will immediately on the receipt, of this letter, cause as much provisions to be forwarded to the upper end of Lake Casconong on Rock river as you can speedily procure Transportation for, under as strong an escort as can be spared from Fort Hamilton or the neighboring country, which escort will be met and relieved by a detachment which will march from this place to day.
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A. De Camp & A A A Genl"
In preparation for the dispersal of the troops, some personnel changes were made before they left.
In Alexander's Second Brigade, several changes were made on the staff of Colonel Samuel Adams's Second Regiment. Colonel Adams's Adjutant, Isaac Parmenter, "while on duty placing the guard [before they joined Atkinson July 4]...was accidentally shot through the leg by a soldier"
The other staff changes in Adams's Regiment were these: "John C. Alexander Sergeon Crawford Co Ill Lost horse Furloughed 9 July",
In Captain Hiram Rountree's Company of Colonel Jacob Fry's Second Regiment of Henry's Third Brigade, three men were released. Third Sergeant Samuel Jackson and Privates John Brown and James Cardwell were "Sent home Sick from Koskenong July 9th. 1832."
Also on this day, Abraham Lincoln, as company clerk, wrote the order which mustered Captain Jacob M. Early's independent spy battallion out of service. George M. Harrison recalled, "Our company was disbanded at Whitewater Wisconsin, a short time before the massacre at Bad Axe by Gen. Henry, and most of our men started for home on the following morning [July 10], but it so happened that the night previous to starting on this long trip, Lincoln's horse and mine were stolen, probably by soldiers of our own army...."
--Illinois Governor John Reynolds
Tuesday, July 10, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 68°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 61°
"The provisions of the army were very nearly exhausted, and the consequence was a temporary suspension of operations, until a further supply could be drawn from the nearest depot; this was Fort Winnebago, distant about sixty miles. The division of mounted volunteers was ordered to march thither and draw fifteen days' rations, which they were to transport on their horses: whilst a convoy was to be despatched to our camp.
"I [Second Lieutenant Philip St. George Cooke, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry] do not attempt to give more than a mere sketch of the actual operations of this campaign: for, not having been on the General's staff, I was not ‘in the secrets of the cabinet:’ I did not harass myself in seeking by cross questions, scraps of intelligence; or, in eternally discussing and criticising operations founded on intelligence and exigencies of which the critics were generally in profound ignorance; or, in volunteering advice to any of supposed influence who would listen, as some one or a few officers did, and seemed to suffer as much uneasiness as if they had borne a load of responsibility equal to that with which many adverse circumstances seemed to overload our commanding General.
"It was, however, impossible to mistake the causes of this delay, when a prudent General and an able staff were evidently blameless. It was generally reported, and not contradicted, that the volunteers had been improvident and wasteful to the degree of leaving in certain camps rations that had been issued, by the barrel in unbroken bulk! And again, the militia convoys were incredibly timid and unmanageable; provision trains could not be got on; one was abandoned by guards and drivers, within two or three miles of our position here, in consequence of their having imagined that they had seen an Indians or two: thus were good plans thwarted in despite of the great exertions of the quarter-master department; which was indebted to the militia for an active and energetic head [Enoch March]."
"Here Gov. Reynolds who had accompanied the army from the point of the rendezvous on Illinois river, left the army to return to his official state duties. He was accompanied by several officers of the state troops."
Illinois Governor John Reynolds wrote, "On the 10th of July, in the midst of a considerable wilderness, the provisions were exhausted, and the army forced to abandon the pursuit of the enemy for a short time-seeing the difficulties to reach the enemy, and knowing the extreme uncertainty of ever reaching Black Hawk by these slow movements, caused most of the army to believe we would never overtake the enemy. This condition of affairs forced on all reflecting men much mortification, and regret that this campaign also would do nothing. Under these circumstances, a great many worthy and respectable individuals who were not particularly operating in the service, returned to their homes. My staff and myself left the army at the burnt village, on Rock [Bark] river, above lake Koskanong, and returned by Galena to the frontiers and home."
"I have in my Staff Judge [Theophilus W.] Smith [as Assistant Adjutant General], Cols. [Alexander F.] Grant and [Benjamin F.] Hickman [as Aides de Camp]."
Theophilus Smith explained, "I was anxious to have remained until the end of the Campaigm but upon enquiry of Genl. Atkinson, I learnt that my services were not important
149the Genl having no particular employment for me and the prospect of finding the enemy so uncertain, that I determined to accept the furlough."
"Head Qr. army of the frontier. 10th July 1832
"Col T. W. Smith of the 3d Regt. 3d Brigade of Volunteers, is furloughed 'till the 26th August next.
"H [Henry] Atkinson Brigd. Genl. Comming [Commanding]"
In preparation for the march to Fort Winnebago, seven personnel changes were made in Brigadier General Milton K. Alexander's Second Brigade:
In Colonel James M. Blackburn's First Regiment, Private Abraham Davis of Captain Isaac Sandford's Company was "Left sick at fort Cosconong 10th. July 1832."
Colonel Samuel Adams rebuilt the staff of his Second Regiment by replacing his Surgeon, Quarter Master, and Quarter Master Sergeant (who either resigned or were furloughed on July 9) as follows:
George Flanagan, surgeon for Major William McHenry's Spy Battallion was put "on Detached Service"
Private John T. Hunter of Captain John Barns's Company
Private John A. Hackett of Captain Alexander M. Houston's Company was "appointed Qr. Mastr. Sergt. 10th. July 1832"
In Captain Alexander M. Houston's Company, First Sergeant O. F. D. Hampton
Many personnel changes were made in the Third Brigade of Brigadier General James D. Henry before the troops left to get provisions at Fort Winnebago:
A. P. Field, General Henry's Aide de Camp, was "Furloughed 10th July 60 days"
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier
"Camp on White Water [Bark] river 10th July 1832
"Spl. [Special] Order No. 34.
"A furlough for Sixty days, is hereby granted to Alexander P. Field Aid-de-Camp to Brig Genl. Henry of the Illinois mounted Volunteers.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A D.C. A.A A Genl [Aide de Camp Acting Assistant Adjutant General]"
Nelson H. Johnston, Henry's Assistant Aide de Camp, took over Field's duties.
Colonel Samuel T. Matthews's First Regiment had been left on duty at Dixon's Ferry, but Captain William Gordon's Company had delivered messages from Atkinson to Posey and Alexander and then rejoined Atkinson. From Gordon's Company, Second Sergeant William York and Privates Orville E. Kellogg
In Colonel Jacob Fry's Second Regiment, Third
151Corporal Gideon B. Gilmore was "Furloughed July 10th at Fort Kuskinon"
In Colonel Gabriel Jones's Third Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Sidney Breese was "Furloughed on the 10th July for 60 Days"
In addition, Jones's Staff Surgeon, Will H. Terrill, was "Left at Kushkanon on Detached Service 10th July 1832"
From Captain Andrew Bankson's Company of Jones's Third Regiment, Privates John M. O'Harnett and Presley Phelps were "Dis. [Discharged] on Surgeon's Certif. 10" July".
In Colonel James Collins's Fourth Regiment of General Henry's Third Brigade, three personnel changes were made in Captain Bennet Nowlen's company: First Lieutenant Jesse Scott "Resigned 10 July 1832"
In Captain Jesse Claywell's Company, First Lieutenant Sawyel Cox "Resigned July 10 1832"
Seven personnel changes occurred in Captain Thomas Moffett's Company, as follows:
First Lieutenant David Black "Resigned & went home July 10th"
Thomas Epperson "Served as 2nd Sergt from 29th June to the 10th. July"
Armsted Ables, trumpeter, was "Discharged by Genl Atkinson July 10th"
And Private Thomas Crain was "Discharged July 10th by Genl Atkinson".
Four staff changes were made in William Lee D. Ewing's Spy Battalion of General Henry's Third Brigade. James
152Wyatt, Pay Master, and William H. Parmer, Surgeons Mate, were "Discharged by Gen. Atkinson on the 10th of July 1832"
"Head Qrs. of the Army of the Frontier
"Camp on white water [Bark] river 10th. July 1832
"Spl. [Special] Order No 33
"Wm. H Palmer [Parmer] Surgeons mate & James Wyatt paymaster of the battalion of Spies of the 3rd Brigade of Ill. mounted Volunteers, are this day discharged from the service of the U. States on their own application.
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson "(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A. D. C A. A. A Genl"
John A. Wakefield, a Private in Captain Samuel Houston's Spy Company
Frederick Remann, also a Private in Houston's Company,
In the ranks, Privates Lewis Hinton and Zechariah Harris were "Furlowed on the 10th of July"
General Atkinson learned of the Pottowatomies that "they eat highly"
|Principal Chf.||B. Caldwell|
|2nd Chief||A. Robinson|
|2nd War chief.||Shaw-we-nesse||southe Fog.|
|1. War Chief.||Wau bon E see|
|Chief||Me tai wa||Fish Hawk|
|Chief||Sha tee||wolf's tail|
|Ke wai o nock||Returning|
|[Chief]||Wa ba kai||Looking on--|
|As ke witt||Muddy|
|Mon ta niss||Sheep|
|She na ge win.|
|Pay co je bai|
|Wau kai so|
|Me kai ta be nee||Black Turkey|
|Mes Kee suck||down on Earth|
|Pee way tan||Crumbs of any thing|
|Perish Le Clair|
|Mex E ke ne bee|
|Che chalk goes||
Alexander Robinson, Pottawatomie Chief
All other Pottowattomie Indians "returned to Chicago on the 9th. 10th. & llth. July."
General Atkinson also dismissed the Menominee Indians under their war chief Ne-ton E kak, who had come into camp on July 4 with Colonel William S. Hamilton. "All left on the 10th. except. ‘We-kan’--‘Ska-ah’
John Marsh accompanied the Prairie du Chien Menominees as far as Galena.
Also, "In consequence of the scarcity of provisions Genl Atkinson discharged all of the Winnebagoes except White Crow and his son, who are retained for guides for Genl Dodge to Fort Winnebagoe."
Chamblee, Shabbona, Pottawatomie Chief
As the next step in resolving the food shortage problem, Atkinson issued orders affecting three of his storage depots. The first order was to Fort Winnebago:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier Camp on White water [Bark] river 10th. July 1832.
"Order No. 53.
"The Comdg Officer of Fort Winnebago [Captain Joseph Plympton] will issue twelve days rations of Provisions to Brig Genl Alexanders & Henry' Brigades of Ill. mounted Volunteers & Genl Dodge' Michigan [Territory] Volunteers. While they are detained in receiving them, their commands will be subsisted from the depot at that place. The Comdg. Officer will load the train of Waggons in charge of the Volunteers with provisions for this place taking care to leave a supply of fifty or sixty days for the post.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
Atkinson's second order concerning provisions was sent to Dixon's Ferry:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier Camp on White Water [Bark] river 10th. July 1832
"Order No 54
"Capt Z. [Zalmon] C. Palmer comdg. at Dixon's Ferry will cause the train of Waggons employed in transporting provisions from the rapids of Illinois to Dixon's to be loaded with provisions & sent to the head of Lake Cosconong, escorted by Capt [Henry L.] Webbs company of Illinois mounted Volunteers
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A. S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
Atkinson's third order concerned supplies to Fort Hamilton:
"Liut: A. S. Johnston. A.D. Camp & A.A.A. G. To-Liut [Reuben] Holmes A. C. S. [Assistant Commissary of Subsistence]
"Head Qrs: Army of the Frontier Camp on White Water [Bark] river
10th July 1832
"Sir, The com'g General directs that you will cause to be placed in Depot at Fort Hamilton in the Mineral district Thirty or forty days Provisions for Three thousand men and that you will immediately forward as large a quantity of it as you can procure transportation for to the Troops in this section of country. It is desirable that an extra quantity of salt should be sent with the Provisions. Brigr. Genl Posey has been directed to furnish from his command an escort of such strength as maybe deemed sufficient. You will instruct the Escort to conduct the provisions to the head of Lake Cosconong by way of the north bank of rock river. should the Army have marched they will follow its movement on that route until they overtake it.
(Signed) Albt: S Johnston A D Camp & A.A.A. Genl"
Atkinson also ordered General Dodge's command to move out:
"Head Qrs Army of the Frontier Camp on White Water [Bark] river 10th July 1832
"Order No. 55
"Genl. [Henry] Dodge' command of Michigan [Territory] & Galena Volunteers will proceed to Fort Winnebago, draw twelve days rations of provisions & return to these Head qrs. without delay. His command will be subsisted from the depot at that place during their stay
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A. S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl."
"The troops marched this morning for the several points designated in orders yesterday".
"10th. The troops moved this morning for the points of destination given in orders yesterday."
"General Posey with the rest of his brigade, was sent to Fort Hamilton, as a guard to that frontier part of the country, which was in a very exposed situation, on account of General Dodge having the troops from there with him."
"General Henry and his brigade, Gen. Alexander's brigade and General Dodge's squadron, were all this day sent to Fort Winnebago after provisions."
"The brigades of Henry and Alexander, and the battalion of Major Dodge were ordered to Fort Winnebago for provisions. This fort was situated at the Portage, between the Fox river of lake Michigan, and the Wisconsin river, and was about one hundred miles from the Burnt Village."
Captain Charles Dunn, who had been shot in the groin by a sentinel just before dawn on the night of July 7, "was so disabled, as to be compelled to return home, being conveyed to Dixon by an escort."
"July 10. General Atkinson this morning sent Col. [John] Ewing with his [Second] regiment [of Posey's First Brigade] down Rock river to Dixon's with Colonel Dunn, who was supposed to be mortally wounded."
Isaac Parmenter, who had also been shot by his own sentinel, was in charge of a detachment going to Dixon's Ferry at the same time.
And Jacob M. Early's Independent Spy Company also headed South. George M. Harrison explained how he and Abraham Lincoln (whose horses had been stolen last night) were able to keep up with the mounted men:
"...it so happened that the night previous to starting out on this long trip, Lincoln's horse and mine were stolen, probably by soldiers of our own army. We were thus compelled to start out side the calvacade; but I laughed at our fate, and he joked about it, and we all started off merrily. But the generous men of our Company walked and rode by turns with us, and we fared about equal with the rest. But for this generosity, our legs would have had to do the better work; for
159Lincoln Historical Marker
Lincoln Historical Marker in Cold Spring, Wisconsin, notes the stealing of his horse
in that day this then dreary route furnished no horses to buy or to steal. And whether on horse or afoot we always had company, for many of their backs were too sore for constant riding."
"‘At an old Winnebago town called Turtle Village,’ [Beloit, Wisconsin] narrates a member of the company, ‘after stretching our rations over nearly four days, one of our mess, an old acquaintance of Lincoln, G.B. Fanchier, shot a dove, and having a gill of flour left we made a gallon and a half of delicious soup in an old tin bucket that had been lost by Indians. This soup we divided among several messes that were hungrier than we were and our own mess, by pouring in each man's cup a portion of the esculent.’"
"In the mean time the regular force took position at a ford or rather a ferrying place on Rock River 6 miles above the Lake [Koshkonong] to hold the enemy in check till the
160return of the mounted troops from fort Winebago which it was expected they would be able to do in 4 days at farthest."
"The Brigade of regular troops encamped near the mouth of White Water [Bark river]."
Here Atkinson modified his original order to Fort Winnebago:
"Liut. Albt. S. Johnston. To Capt [Joseph] Plympton Comg Ft Winebago
"Head Qrs: Army of the Frontier Mouth of White Water [Bark river] On Rock river 10th. July 1832
"Sir, The Commanding General has concluded to detain a portion of the Train of Waggons, Ordered to Fort Winnebago to receive provisions. instead thereof, he send ninety or one hundred Pack horses, for wheich, he desires that you will furnish a sufficient quantity of Provisions to load them.
"The General desires that you will send an extra quantity of Salt in the Waggons, say 8 or 10 Bushells.
"(signed) Albt. S. Johnston Aid De. Camp & A A A genl"
"The brigade of U&DOT;S&DOT; Infantry encamped near the mouth of White Water [Bark river] if the first stream above lake cosco-nong on the east side be the White Water creek"
Atkinson then reported his new situation to Major General Alexander Macomb, Commanding General of the Army:
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock River Camp on White Water 10th July 1832
"Genl, I informed the Honbl Sect'y of War on the 6th Inst that I should take up my line of march on the next day in pursuit of the enemy. this I did, and after being baffled on his trail through swamps for the last three days, I have been compelled to suspend my operations for the want of supplies The Mounted Troops move to day for
161the nearest depot for provisions, Whilst the regular Troops take post on Rock river till their return, some five days hence when I shall again move after the enemy.
"I find upon search that the enemy, instead of halting in the first swamp above us, seem to have fled precipitately up through the swamps on Rock river. it will be extremely difficult to overtake them but whatever the description of force under my command can do, shall, as far as my judgement will enable me be accomplished.
"I have a difficult and perplexing task before me, [for] which I must be duly considered.
"(Sign'd) H. Atkinson Brigr. Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Wednesday, July 11, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 75°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 79°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; -66°
"Capt [William S.] Harney of the 1st [Regiment of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] Infy was dispatched up Rock river to ascertain & examine the position of the enemy--":
"llth. Capt. Harney of the 1st Inft. with about 30 active men were detached this morning on the West of Rock river to fall upon the main trail of the enemy and to make such discoveries of their position as were practicable."
"Genl Atkinson--To Capt Harney
"Camp on Rock river July 11th. 1832.
"Capt: I intend that the party under your command should act as a party of observation to ascertain the route of the enemy, & if prudent their probable position.
"Run no risk that will lay you liable to be cut off--send scouts ahead & feel your way. do not go into conflict with a superior number of the enemy
"(Signed) H Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
Captain Harney's scouting party of eighty
"A slight breastwork was thrown up around this camp
General Atkinson issued the following order:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier Camp on White water river "
Spl. [Special] Order No. 35 11 July 1832
"Lieut. F. J. Brooke 6th Regt. Infy. will perform the duties of Asst. Comy [Commissary] of Subsistence
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A.S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl. [Aide de Camp Assistant Acting Adjutant General]"
With the volunteers gone and with the regulars under Colonel Zachary Taylor busy building the breastwork and stockade, Atkinson reported his situation to General Winfield Scott:
"Genl: Atkinson--To--Genl. Scott
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river
"Camp on Rock river, Mouth of White Water [Bark], July 11th, 1832
Colonel Zachary Taylor, Commander of the U&DOT; S&DOT; Army Units, Army of the Frontier
"General, I moved from my encampment when I wrote you yesterday [actually July 9], and Took up a position at this point four miles distant from the former. I immediately despatched Henry's and Alexander's Brigades and Dodge's Battallion and a Train of Pack horses to Fort Winebago, distant about 35  miles, for a supply of Provisions, they will return in three days from this time. I have sent the part of Posey's Brigade that was with me to Hamiltons in the Mineral District where there is a Depot of Provisions, for the purpose of sustaining that part of the Country & to furnish escorts for supplies that I have ordered on. As soon as the Mounted Men and Train of Pack horses return from Winebago, I shall move up on the right bank [facing down stream] of this river after the enemy. I am now sending out a light party of Regular Troops & Indians of about eighty in number under Capt Harney to proceed up up the swamp on the Trail of the enemy to ascertain if possible where he may be found
"I am, however, now under the impression that he has advanced to a distance of some thirty or forty miles and the greatest difficulty in subduing him will be to come up with him, which is extremely doubtful unless he should stop to give us battle, & I look more to a defeat by his flight than any other apprehension. This, as I have before observed to you, is the most difficult country to operate in imaginable and the enemy the most uncertain to find. He has no home or resting place. every part of the Country, from the Mississippi to the Lakes is equally familliar and habitual to him and his mode, and speed of Travelling such as to elude apprehension, as the openess of the Country affords his spies an opportunity of discovering us, before we can get within a day or two's journey of him. Hence a probably protraction of the War till the Winter season. nevertheless I shall strain every nerve to
167do something at once, particularly as it will be difficult to Keep the Militia Together unless actively employed. Besides, prosecuting our march upon him will have the tendency of ascertaining his route, by which means I shall be enabled to advise you upon what point you should march. Upon the information I now have, this would be the point but it is altogether probable to day's search may change my opinion.
"You will my dear Sir, find a prosecution of this War the most perplexing of all things of the sort, particularly as the Govt: expects it to be brought to a successful close at once.
"I have too many Militia in the field, to get along without great difficulty. they must be fed and supplies are difficult to be carried to the remote points we have to traverse. were you not coming to command and may have made your calculations on this description of force, I would at once discharge at least a third or one half of them.
"You will have it in your power to bring with you a body of Pottowattomies, should you want them. they will be faithful I have no doubt, but they eat highly, and will be of service only as guides, and probably to fight beside of you they will not go alone any distance ahead. I speak, not however in disparagement of them.
"It will be well that you should come well supplied with provisions, as my Depots are at a distance, and if you bring with you an auxilliary force of Indians, beef cattle should be driven along for their Subsistance. "
(Signed) H Atkinson Brigr. Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
"Our indian Scouts returned this evening & informed the commanding General of the movements of the indians up Rock river"
--2d Lt. Albert Sidney Johnston, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army
Thursday, July 12, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 75°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 78°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 70°
"Three soldiers and 2 indians went down to lake cosconong today in a canoe"
Construction of a stockade
"Capt. [William S.] Harney [who left on a scouting mission yesterday] returned with his party today the indians have continued their flight far into the recesses of the Swamps of Rock River."
170have passed two or three days."
"He [Captain Harney] returned on the 12th, after following the trail about 20 miles. They had crossed Rock river and passed up between it and White water [Bark river] a heavily [?] swampy [?] piece of ground covered with heavy timber and under brush, difficult to penetrate."
"...Capt. Harney, of U&DOT;S&DOT;A. had found and pursued, the trail of the Indians for 30 miles, passing in that distance, four of their encampments.--He says he found many signs of their want of provisions; such as where they had killed and butchered horses, dug for roots and scraped the trees for bark.
General Henry Atkinson now took time to evaluate the messages he had received "a few days ago" [See July 3] from Green Bay and the Menominees there. The Grizzly Bear, in council at the Indian Agency on June 22 had spoken for his people, "Our Enemies have taken the heads of our men women & children--carried them to their lodges and danced the war dance over them. We ask revenge."
George Boyd, U&DOT;S&DOT; Indian Agent at Green Bay, had
171Map of the Search Area By Meriwether Lewis Clark
172written to Atkinson, "Should an addition of two hundred Menomonie Warriors, to your present force, be required, you will find them not only ready to repair to your Standard without a moment's unnecessary delay, but rejoice at the opportunity...."
Colonel Henry Dodge, in his June 30 letter, had encouraged Atkinson to accept the offer: "I think it would have a good effect should they even reach the country after the battle they would help to hunt the Enemy & shew the rest of the Indians that their own people could be braught to bear on them and should the Enemy retire to the swamps & scatter they would be the best kind of Troops to hunt them up."
After evaluating the request and the two opinions, Atkinson took action to use the Menominees against Black Hawk;
"General Atkinson To Col [William] Hamilton
"Head Qrs: Army on Rock river,
Camp at the Mouth of White Water [Bark]
12th. July 1832
"Sir, You will proceed with as little delay as practicable to Green Bay and deliver communication to Geo Boyd Esqr and one to the officer in command at that place.
"The object of your journey to Green Bay is to have assembled through the Agent there some two hundred Menomonie Indians to move and cooperate with the Army against the hostile Sacs who are now moving up Rock river.
"I have advised that you be placed in command of the Menomonies. should it be confided to you I leave it to your discretion in what mode the Menomonies should move, but they are to operate against the enemy in front, & not throw themselves upon me in his rear. Provisions will be furnished the Menomonies at Green Bay by the Commanding Officer to last them on the proposed excursion.
"Capt. [William] Gordon will accompany you
173to Green Bay and act with you during the time you may be employed on the duty assigned you.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr Genl US Army"
Atkinson confirmed his decision with the Menominee Indian Agent:
"Genl Atkinson--To Geo: Boyd Esqr Ind: Agt: Green Bay
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river,
Camp White Water
12th July 1832
"Sir, Your letter of the 23rd ulto: was brougt me a few days ago by an express across the country from [Ottowa] to a point I then occupied a few miles below this. The sacs fled on my approach to their encampment below Lake Casconong scattering in several directions, but have concentrated some eighteen or twenty miles above us, after passing bog and swamp & thick wood-land. I am compelled to pause here for three or four days to get a fresh supply of Provisions. as soon as they are procured I shall march upon the enemy, and as he seems to indicate a disposition to pass the head Waters [of Rock] river & probably towards Winebago Lake, and perhaps with a view of crossing Fox river, I have sent Col [William] Hamilton accompanied by Capt [William] Gordon to Green bay to confer with you as relates to employing the Menomonie Indians to prevent the Sacs from progressing further on their present route
"I deem it advisable under existing circumstances to accept of the services of some two or three hundred of them, for this object I do not wish them to join me, but to act against the Sacs in front. parties sent out to annoy the enemy in front, and Pick off their horses would have a salutary effect.
"It is so difficult to get provisions brought to so great a distance in advance of our Depot as I
174am now situated that I could not supply an auxilliary force of Indians to any extent in number.
If the Menomonies agree to assemble and cooperate with us, I have to request that they be furnished with Provisions for the Campaign from the Magazines at Green Bay, to which purpose I write to the Officer in Command there. An early movement on the part of the Menomonies is altogether important.
"I will confide to your discretion to whom the command of the Menomonies may be given. Col Hamilton is capable and willing to take the command.
"You are perhaps advised that Genl Scott has been ordered to Chicago with a thousand Regular Troops from the sea coast, and some points on the Lakes, to take the General Command and cooperate with this Army to put a speedy end to this difficult & perplexing war.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
Atkinson also sent an express to Nathan Clark, acting commanding officer at Fort Howard, Green Bay, requesting supplies for the Menomonees:
"Genl Atkinson To Capt Clarke.
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river, Camp
"Mouth of White Water [Bark], 12th. July 1832
"Sir, I have sent over Col Hamilton accompanied by Capt Gordon as an express with this & a communication to Geo: Boyd Esqr. Ind Agent. As the hostile sacs have as [yet] eluded pursuit and prosecute their route through the Swamps up Rock river indicating a disposition to cross Fox river, or fall down into the Swamps on
175Winebago Lake, I have thought it advisable to send to Mr. Boyd to Assemble some two hundred of the Menomonies and send them to oppose the progress of the Sacs, should I not be able to come up with and subdue them in the mean time, an object I shall strain every nerve to effect. I have to request that you will furnish from the Depot at Green Bay such a quantity of Provisions as may be deemed necessary by Col Hamilton or other person put in command of the Menomonies as may be sufficient for the excursion proposed.
"You are advised I presume of Genl Scott being ordered to Chicago with a thousand regular Troops and to assume the General Command for the Purpose of putting an end to this perplexing War.
"I commend Col Hamilton to your particular notice and refer you to him for particulars relative to our movements.
"Signed H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
"Three soldiers and 2 indians went down to lake cosconong to day in a canoe they found a small indian camp which they plundered, they were pursued by the indians & compelled to abandon their canoe & plunder."
"3 soldiers & two indians went down to lake Cosconong today in a canoe, they found a small indian camp which they robbed, in a short time they were pursued & compelled to abandon their own canoe & the spoils of war"
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Friday, July 13, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 82°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 67°
"Capt McKee [Samuel MacRee] with 50 men [of Light Infantry Company B of the 1st Regiment U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry] was sent [by Brigadier General Henry Atkinson] to look for the indians who were seen yesterday at the head of the lake
"The regular [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry] troops in the absence of the [Illinois and Michigan Territory mounted] volunteers threw up a stockade and temporary block houses
Atkinson and his staff made use of this waiting time at the junction of the Bark and Rock rivers to catch up on postponed paper work, as Robert Anderson's letter to Colonel Roger Jones, Adjutant General of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army, indicates:
"Head Qrs. of the Army on Rock River Mouth of White Water July 13th. 1832
"Sir Herewith are enclosed Muster Rolls of Companies of Illinois Militia mustered into service by me on the Illinois River. They are not made out in conformity with our own forms, to accomplish which great pains were taken, nor are they made out with that neatness which would be expected from troops in garrison, but being made by raw militia in camp they give a tolerably clear statement of the situations of the companies. They could not be forwarded sooner, as no good opportunity was offered when I could devote sufficient time to preparing them.
"Respectfully Youre obt. Servt. Robt. Anderson Asst. Inr. Genl. [Assistant Inspector General]
"No Indiarubber in Camp to clean rolls with R.A.
"Colo R. Jones, Adjt. Genl. Washington, DC."
General Atkinson used this waiting time to send along to Washington 12 military messages which he had received during the campaign. He wrote to Alexander Macomb, General of the Army:
"Genl Atkinson--To--Genl Macomb
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river
"Camp, Mouth of White Water [Bark], 13th. July 1832
"General, I take ocasion to enclose herewith the several reports made to me on various recontres between the volunteer Troops & the hostile Indians, also reports of murders by the enemy on the frontier.
"I have also the honor to enclose copies of my letters to you on the 19th. & 23rd. May
"The volunteers & train of Pack horses sent out for provisions are expected to return tomorrow when we shall again take up our line of March.
"The hostile Indians are making their way through the swamps up rock river, probably for the bad grounds about Winebago Lake, or further south towards Milwalke. I find it extremely difficult to get along over the country the Indians have crossed over as far [as] this. that before us is infinitely more difficult how we shall take along a supply of provisions further than a few days, packed by the Men seems as yet impracticable.
"I am in communication by express with Genl Scott, shall Keep him constantly advised of the movements of the enemy, that he may better judge of the point he should ma[r]ch to from Chicago.
"I am much in doubt whether it will be possible to come up with the enemy whilst he is enabled to subsist on roots and fish taken from the Swamps & Lakes.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr. Genl: U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
A copy of this letter in the National Archives of the General Services Administration (Military Archives Division, Old Army Branch) in Washington, D.C. contains the following postscript:
"PS About one thousand regular troops are arriving at Chicago under General Scott to act against the hostile Indians.
Atkinson also sent a note to Captain Gustavus Loomis, Commander of Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien while Colonel Zachary Taylor was on field duty with Atkinson:
"Genl Atkinson To Capt Loomis
"Head Qrs: Army on Rock river, Camp on White Water [Bark] 13th July. 1832
"Sir, We are progressing slowly in pursuit of the enemy through the swamps of rock river. It is difficult to say whether we shall be able to come up with him, owing to the badness of the grounds and the difficulty of bringing up supplies. He is now bearing towards Winebago Lake or Mille Wa Ke.
"A rumor has reached us that the Winebagos of the Ouisconsin have made some Theats [threats] against the Garrison under your Command [Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien]. I can but doubt the report. should however any danger menace you, you will immediately inform me by express.
"(Signed) H. Atkinson. Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
"Col. [Enoch] March arrived to-day, having left some 30 miles behind, a train of 36 wagons loaded with provisions."
"Col. [Enoch] March arrived from the Blue Mounds today, he reports 36 waggons loaded with provisions are on their way for this Point"
"Capt McRee with a detachment of 50 men, went down the lake today to look for the indians who were seen Yesterday--They returned late in the evening have mad[e] no discoveries--
"Capt. W. McRee was sent today with 50 men to look for some indians discovered on the Lake below us who had pursued a corporal and a small party sent down to try to pick up some canoes.
"He returned in the evening and reported that he had found on a narrow peninsula stretching out into the lake
181where the party of indians had been encamped and where it appeared they had been well supplied with fish and venison. There were some 12 or 15 in number. They had fled on his approach and concealed themselves in the rice grass in their canoes. A grass covering all the shoal water of the lake, producing for the support of the Indians a vast quantity of grain in autumn, the harvest season"
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Saturday, July 14, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 77°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 86°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 70°
Three or four families of Winebagoes came to our Camp this morning much in want of provisions--"
After conferring with Quarter Master General Enoch C. March about the 36 wagonloads of provisions en route to the camp, Atkinson issued the following order:
"Head Qrs. Army of the Frontier
"Camp at the mouth of White water [Bark] river 14th July 1832
"Order No. 56
"2nd Lieut [E.G.] Mitchell [of Captain Harney's Company K of the] 1st Regt. of [U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] Infy, is designated to take command of a party of regulars & Volunteers and march this morning towards the river of the Four Lake [Yahara river] to meet the train of waggons from the Blue Mounds loaded with provisions for the troops
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A.S. Johnston A D.C. A A A Genl."
Captain William S. Harney, Commander of Company K, 1st Infantry Regiment, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army
--Captain Zalmon C. Palmer, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry
Sunday, July 15, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 82°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 89°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 74°
Henry Gratiot, Sub Agent for the Winnebago Indians, was still in camp on Rock river at the mouth of the Bark river with General Henry Atkinson. In his journal he wrote, "At Fort Kush que non was visited by 41 men women and children, headed by Bad Alligator belonging to White Crows band- Gave them flour. Genl Atkinson required the use of their canoes and they remained three days, and were fed by me."
Atkinson questioned the friendly Pottowatomie Indians still with him and interviewed the new arrivals to get an insight into Black Hawk's intentions. Atkinson surmised that the enemy "may scatter and throw his forces into the swamps & elude detection, or, what is suggested by some of the friendly Pottowattomies, from declarations made by the enemy that he will try by all possible means to pass one of our flanks unobserved and throw himself across the Mississippi.
"We have now in our camp some families of Winebagoes who left the Sac camp only [two] days ago. information
188derived from these generally and more particularly from an inteligant lad (a half breed), confirms the above suggestions."
Captain Zalmon C. Palmer notified Atkinson's Aide de Camp, Albert Sidney Johnston, that the troops who left Atkinson on July 10 had arrived at Dixon's Ferry on the night of July 12:
"Dixons Ferry July 13th. 1832
"Sir, Your order of the 10th. Inst. to supply Adjt Parminter [Isaac Parmenter, Adjutant of Colonel Adams's Second Regiment of Alexander's Second Brigade] and the Men under his command with Provisions, and to load the Waggons with Provisions for the Army, including six or eight bushels of salt was communicated to me last evening. Presuming that you have sufficient experience to estimate the difficulties of getting a Militia force to March, I shall make no comment on that subject.
"Three only of the Teams from the Army are in any condition to return. They are loaded with flour & two Teams of Oxen are loaded with Pork & flour these Teams of oxen are made up one from the cattle of Messrs. [Oliver N.] Kellogg and [his brother-in-law, John] Dixon, the other is one of the Teams employed in transporting provision from Illinois river to this place and whose oxen were strayed when the other Teams left here for Fort Wilburn. Fifteen Waggons of the Fort Wilburn train left here on the 10th. inst. for Fort Hamilton. Fifteen of the same train are expected from Fort Wilburn some time the 15th. Inst. which will be forwarded under convoy of Capt [Henry L.] Webbs [Spy] Compy. of Volunteers in pursuance of Order No 53  of the 10th. Inst.
"Lts [Reuben] Holmes & [George H.] Crosman are now at Gallena they left here the 11th. Inst. and were to return the 15th. or 16th. Inst There is but one Bushel of Salt in Store which I have
189ordered to be sent. The teamsters are subsisted for fifteen days from this date and the Troops for two days.
"I am Sir Verry respectfully your Mo. ob Servt Z C Palmer Capt. 6. Infy
"To/ Lt. A. S. Johnston Actg A. A. Genl. Army of the Frontier"
--Major General Winfield Scott
Monday, July 16, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 80°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 90°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 74°
The finishing touches were being made to the stockade by the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry regulars under the command of Colonel Zachary Taylor. "There were no buildings or cabins erected...."
"The logs for these barracks were cut in two, then split lengthwise and driven into a deep ditch, extending up from the ground about eight feet."
Governor John Reynolds, on his way home, sent Atkinson a note expressing a concern which had crossed his mind:
"Fort Hamilton 13th. July 1832
"Dear Sir We reached here in three days hard travel. It is 80 miles from the Clear water Camp [Burnt Village of Bark river] to this place.
"I would respectfully suggest to you: that the State of Illinois has in the hands of the militia now in the field under your command a number of arms, and that when you have closed the war, those arms might be deposited in some place, places, so the State can regain them. If the volunteers disperse with them in their possession, it may be difficult to collect them.
"May God prosper you in the war is the prayer of John Reynolds"
Also from Fort Hamilton, Alexander Posey reported that he had found no food at that depot:
"Head Quarters 1 Brigade Ill M [Mounted] Volunteers Fort Hamilton July 15th. 1832
"Sir I arrived here on the 12th. inst at night after three days severe march, & found no provisions for this Brigade, or the Army. Maj. [Enoch] March with a large train ofwa[gons] had left here two days previous, by the [way] of the Blue Mounds. I sent immediately to Ca[ptain Joel] Holiday who was stationed at Genl Dodges to proceed & overtake Maj March, & shall supply his place tomorrow. I have no recent information of hostile Indians being in this quarter. I now send Capt Onstot [John Onstott] & company to escort waggons under charge of Col [Hugh] McGill. On the 16th. or 17 I expect to send an escort of 100 men with waggons which will be on from Galena.
"I am requested by my officers to ask you if the pay & rations will be continued beyond the ninety days, should the men be detained & thereby not reach home within that time. I have about 300 men & officers with me the horses are much worn down, & the men are getting sick, as I am informed by their officers, the balance of the Brigade except those at Fort Dickson [Dixon's Ferry] are at the blue mounds Genl Dodges & on the march to the main army
"I have the honor to be &c your obt Sert
"A Posey Brig Gnl Comg Ill. M. Vol. [Commanding Illinois Mounted Volunteers]
"Genl H Atkinson Rock river"
Posey's other letter to Atkinson, with its enclosure, gave evidence that Posey was still having trouble controlling his troops:
"Head Quarters 1 Brigade Ill M Vol Fort Hamilton July 15th. 1832
"Sir Enclose I send you by the request of Col [Samuel] Leech [Commander of Posey's Third Regiment] a paper from himself & officers, other officers have sent me similar papers tho Col [Willis] Hargrave [commander of Posey's First Regiment] says he has no doubt he can get 100 men of his [First] regt to go on with the waggons that will be on today or tomorrow from Galena
"I have the honor to be &c your obt Sert
"A. Posey Brig Genl Comg Ill M Vol [Commanding Illinois Mounted Volunteers]
The enclosure contained a misspelling of the "untied States" and Joseph Campbell's name incorrectly forged by Joseph Shelton:
"Camp Near Fort Hamilton M T [Michigan Territory]. 14th July 1832.
"Sir Several Companies Composing the Regiment under our Command being enrolled &
194Musterered into service for a tower [tour] of three months Commencing the 12th day of May & ending the 12th day of August 1832, Which Being expressed in the Muster Rolls & the troops being Mustered into service & the Muster Rolls Received in that Way Makes the Contract between the General Government & the men binding on both Parties, and of Course it Cannot be Changed by one Without the Consent of the other, and from the distance we are now from our Place of Residence it Will Require the Balance of the three Months allowing 15 Miles for a days travel to Perform the Journey home, and Should We be detained longer in the service Without entering into a new Contract the government Will not be Bound to Pay us for more than the time expressed in the Original Contract. Under these Circumstances the Men contend that they are entitled to a discharge, and Believing that We can no Longer be useful to our Country in this expedition as there are now More troops in the field than can be Profitably Employed against the enemy in this quarter, and in fact more than can be supplied with rations, We therefore under a deep sense of duty to our Country as Well as to ourselves Wish to be Honorably discharged from the service of the untied States and desire you to make our Wishes Known to Genl. Atkinson. We have the Honor to be Verry Respectfully yours &c
"Saml. Leech Col. 3rd Regt 1 Brig
"Joseph Campell Leut Col
"Joseph Shelton Major
"Jeffrey Robinson Adjt"
Atkinson, in his reply, answered the questions raised by Posey's officers, but also reminded Posey of his responsibilities:
"Genl Atkinson--To Brig. Genl Posey
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river,
"Mouth of White Water [Bark], 16th. July 1832
"Sir, Your letter of yesterday by express has been recieved. I regret that you found no provisions in Depot at Hamiltons as you expected--you can however easily supply your self from the public Depot at Galena of which you will avail your self. You are charged with the command and defence of the Mineral District and will so dispose your forces as to meet that object.
‘I[n] answer to the enquiry made by Col [Samuel] Leech and others, of the 3rd Regt. 1st Brigade, as to their receiving pay and Rations should they not reach home before their term of service expires, I have to observe that they will receive pay till they are mustered out of service, although it may be longer than the period for which they [enrolled] and pay for the time necessary for them to Travel home after they are discharged & Travelling expences for the distance traveled according to Law.’
"I do hope and beleive that we shall not be much longer in bringing the war to a close. The hostile Indians are still about thirty miles [above us].
"(Signed) H Atkinson. Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
Hugh McGill arrived in camp with a letter from Lieutenant Reuben Holmes, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence at Dixon, which showed that Holmes had already done exactly what Atkinson had ordered in his July 10 letter. Holmes's letter was written nearly a week before:
"Camp Dixon's Ferry July 10th. 1832
"General Two or three expresses have arrived without bringing any letters or information relative to the movements of the
196army by which I could govern myself, or even form a conjecture beyond the probability that it was marching on the waters of Rock River, and that it must soon be in want of subsistence stores. Somewhat in doubt in consequence of the want of official intelligence, I have this day caused to be loaded & started fifteen teams for the army from this point; I shall start for Galena again tomorrow at which place I shall also start some twenty teams by the way of Hamilton's [lead smelting] furnace for the army; all these supplies, including those taken by Col. [Enoch] March, making about 60,000 rations forwarded for the arny since it marched from this point.
"I have sent the balance of the teams employed between this & Fort Wilburn back to the latter place to supply the quantity taken by the teams now starting that the amount in depot here may be what you directed.
"I added fifty barrels of flour & some small rations to the quantity you directed to come from Fort Crawford which is now in Galena excepting what little was taken from that lot to load Col. March's teams.
"I have directed Mr. McGill to consult you and either come here by the way of Galena or write me that I may know to what point I can send the stores so as to advance the interests of the service, meet your wishes and keep the troops supplied--please have the goodness, if you do not write, to direct him what to do. By the latest accounts the indians seem to have left this country. Hoping that ere this reaches you the indians have stood a fight, been whipped without loss & the campaign nearly closed I remain
"With great respect your Mo. obt. Servt R. Holmes A.C.S. [Assistant Commissary of Subsistence]
"Brigd. Genl. H. Atkinson Comdg. Army of operation Near Rock River"
After consultation with Quarter Master Hugh McGill, Atkinson confirmed the situation with the following directive:
"Liut Johnston A. D. Camp & A A A Genl to A Qr Mr. [Quarter Master Hugh] McGill
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river
"Mouth of White Water [Bark] 16th. July 1832
"Sir, Brigr Genl Atkinson directs that you will send forward the 15 Waggons loaded with provisions for the Troops now at Fort Hamilton, and the 20 that are on their way from Galena, to the head of Lake Cosconong on Rock river. You will forward no more supplies until you receive an order to that effect
(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A D Camp & A A A Genl [Aide de Camp & Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
Atkinson also conferred again with Colonel Enoch C. March, who had arrived in camp on July 13. The resulting order was designed to keep the wagon trains rolling...and to obtain additional hospital supplies for the sick, including 64 year old Brigadier General Hugh Brady, who "became here, too much indisposed of dysentery, to perform duty".
"Head Qrs. 1st. Army Corps, North Westn Army
"On Rock river Mouth of White Water [Bark] 16th. July 1832
"Order No. 57
"Col. E. C. March Qr. Master Genl. of the Illinois mounted Volunteers will proceed to Galena, & hasten forward the supplies for the use of the Army now on the route to this point, (Cosconong) he will purchase at Galena Hospital Stores for the Troops agreeably to the requisition of Surgeon Delany [Dr. William H. Dulaney], & an additional supply of Salt, all of which he will have forwarded to the Troops
198under a strong escort which will be furnished by Brig. Genl. Posey.
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
(Signed) Alb S. Johnston A.D.C. A.A.A. Genl"
Meanwhile, during the lull in military activity, Atkinson was catching up on paper work. To overcome the government's complaint about poor communications from the front, he had his Aide Lieutenant Albert Sidney Johnston dispatch to Adjutant General Roger Jones over 79 orders and letters which Atkinson had either sent or received during the course of the campaign:
"Head Qrs. Mouth of white Water [Bark] on Rock river, 16th. July 1832.
"Sir, I have the honour to transmit by the direction of Brigr Genl: Atkinson a copy of all orders issued to the Army of the frontier during the time he had the honor to command, & a copy of all letters written since last transmitted, in relation to the object of the expedition, and a return of the several Brigades of Mounted volunteers Mustered into the se[r]vice of the U States under the command of the General.
"He instructs me to say that Maj Genl Scott has assumed command of the Troops on this Frontier.
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A. D. Camp & A.A.A. Genl"
And then two Frenchmen from Fort Dearborn came riding into camp with a letter for Atkinson containing bad news from General Winfield Scott:
"Head Qrs North Western Army Chicago, July 12,1832.
"Sir: By the return of the Express which went from this place, I have your letter of the 9th instant. It reached me last night, & I am endeavouring to find another man to go with this communication as soon as practicable.
"I have the worst news to give you. Four companies of artillery arrived here, with me, the night before last, & out of about 190 men, 80 have been affected with Asiastic cholera. Twenty odd have already died, the greatest number onboard the Steamer, The Sheldon Thompson, & we shall lose many more. In short the well men are only sufficient to attend the sick & bury the dead. No officer has yet perished, tho' several have had the disease badly, & one, lieutenant McDuffie, a graduate of this year, is in great danger. The two companies, under Major Whistler, had not, on our arrival, encamped themselves, as I had directed, for the want of tents. They are now two miles towards the head of the Lake, & I hope may not take the infection. Fort Dearborn is one entire hospital.
"The three other steamers, with troops, from below, have not arrived, altho' one of them, The Henry Clay, should have been here, yesterday, at the latest. We passed her, at anchor, two miles above Detroit, whither she had been ordered by the Board of health, as she arrived there, the 4th, with one case of cholera on board. After taking in wood & other supplies, she was ordered to stand on, & land her sick as I should direct, by letter, in passing Forts Gratiot and Mackinaw. On passing The Clay, two miles above Detroit, I learned that three new cases of cholera had occurred on board of her, & now I am driven to the most painful conjectures to account for her non-appearance. There were, on leaving Detroit, on the morning of the 5th instant, six companies of artillery on board (from Fort Monroe) The Sheldon Thompson, under Col. Eustis & Lieutenant colonel Crane--all in fine health & spirits. Between these troops, & those on board The Clay, there had been no communication. The Thompson, however, being comparatively a small boat, the weather then hot & having some fear of cholera, I landed two of the companies at
200Fort Gratiot, to be taken up by the 3rd or 4th steamer engaged to transport troops & supplies, to this place. This was a lucky decision for us, who remained. Before reaching Mackinaw four suspicious cases occurred on board of The Thompson; but as, at the end of 20 hours, they did not get worse we landed them at Mackinaw, & stood on. All the 8th instant we were again in high spirits, & began to hope that the cholera had not appeared on board The Clay; but on the morning of the 9th, we awoke to the conviction that it was rapidly developing itself among ourselves.
"The superior and The Wm. Penn ought to be here tomorrow & the next day, with the remainder of the troops from below; but judging from the non-appearance of The Clay, & our own sad experience, what may we not fear! In these boats were to come, the garrisons of Forts Niagara & Gratiot, & one company from each of the Forts, Brady & Mackinaw, besides the two companies from Fort Monroe, left at Fort Gratiot, together with all the tents, general supplies for hospitals &c, &c, &c. Of the latter there is yet no want; but in a week or two we may be exhausted.
"You will perceive that our prospects are deplorable. Should all the Steamers arrive, I may, in ten days, after separating the sick from the well, & assuring myself that the latter have no infection among them & incapable of imparting infection to the forces with you, find myself at the head of a small effective force for the field. This may be the case; but even, in that event, there would be grounds to fear, if we were to approach you, your volunteers might take a panic, & quit the field. Thus I might make myself a curse to you & the country, as the disease is a scourge to us. This thought afflicts me much. I am however, doing all in my power to disinfect my person, clothes &c, so as to take the field with any
201force that may be in the same state of health, & for this purpose keep major Whistler's command at a proper distance from Fort Dearborn, the Hospital, & am quartered, myself, with a portion of the staff a little beyond the region of immediate infection.
"From the foregoing you will perceive that it would be improper to detach any portion of your mounted force to meet me.
"The only certain benefit which I may have it in my power to render you has been rendered this morning. One of the schooners which we found anchored here with subsistence for troops sails immediately for Green Bay & carries orders to the commanding officer at Fort Howard to hasten her provisions to Fort Winnebago. The same directions are given in respect to the cargo of another schooner which must have reached Green Bay by this time. These vessels, I learn from the Commissary [Edwin Vose Sumner]with me, will take about 300 barrels of pork; 359 of flour, 28 barrels (84 bushels) of lied
"I regret greatly the vexations you have experienced in prosecuting the war arising from causes which, if you cannot overcome, I know no one who can. Again it is my greatest grief that I am not likely to be able to cooperate, effectively,
"I have the honour to remain With the highest respect Ymost Obt. Sert.
"Brig. Genl. Atkinson Comg. &c.&c.&c"
So, having just written to Roger Jones, Adjutant General, that "Maj Genl Scott has assumed command of the Troops on this Frontier", Atkinson was now on his own again in his search for Black Hawk.
"Here we learned by despatches from Major Gen. Scott to our 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 command had received of the existence of this disease on this continent. We also received other disagreeable and mortifying intelligence through the public prints and from other sources--the censure conveyed in insinuations and inuendoes by certain prints; the information from private letters; and perhaps the tone of official despatches, all gave us too clearly to understand, that thus far our toil, exposure, and exertions, we had received nothing but censure; how unjustly, every individual of the army knew and felt."
"Whilst the infantry lay here under these circumstances, I [Philip St. George Cooke] well remember
203reading in a National Intelligencer [newspaper, published in Washington, D.C.]--which some express-man had brought to camp--a speech made by a Western senator, who branded the regular army as the ‘sweepings of cities,’
The Pottowatomie Indians with Atkinson helped a little bit. They "brought in an old Sakee this evening"
"36 waggons loaded with provisions arrived this evening from Blue Mounds & the Pack horses from fort Winebago--"
"On the 16th a train of 36 wagons arrived with provisions by the way of the Blue Mounds from Dixons and Galena".
"Owing to the timidity of the teamsters and small escort accompanying the wagons, they were prevented from arriving several days sooner. These wagons had crossed
204Pikatolica at Hamiltons & were moving to fall on Rock River where getting in view thereof, a party of volunteer troops were ordered down to Dixons, whose horses were disabled were discovered and taken for indians, whencefrom the wagons were turned about and moved to the Blue Mounds where they made their way to our position above Kaskanong, on the 16th. Their arrival a few days sooner would have saved the army much fatigue & the Gen. much anxiety."
"On this day arrived also Capt. [Gideon] Lowe with the train of pack horses from Fort Winebago."
The detachment of U&DOT; S&DOT; Army Infantry troops sent to Fort Winnebago for provisions got back one day ahead of the Illinois militia volunteers, many of whom were on foot after the July 12 stampede of horses at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers.
"It is but just to remark here, that but for the waste of provisions by the volunteers, and unavoidable losses in swimming rivers and miring down horses in creeks and swamps the supply would have been ample 'till the train of wagons arrived, although they were delayed several days", according to Atkinson.
From the troops which accompanied the pack horses back from Fort Winnebago, Atkinson learned that "Gens Henry & Dodge have directed their march to the rapids of Rock river /upp rapids/"
--The Galenian newspaper
Tuesday, July 17, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 72°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 86°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 76°
Brigadier General Henry Atkinson wrote to General Winfield Scott in Chicago and expressed his concern about the Asiatic cholera infecting Scott's troops:
"Head Qrs: of the division of the North West Army
"On Rock river Mouth of White Water, July 17th, 1832
"General, I have had the honor of receiving your letter of the 12th. Inst by express, communicating the distressing intelligence of the existance of the Cholera among the Troops at, and on their way to Chicago. I fear that in consequence they will [not] be able to take the field for some time, not at least until an entire disapearance of the disease. I feel that it would be truly unfortunate to the Troops under my immediate command, to be compelled to act with those among whom the infection does, or has existed, and will it not be prudent to so limit and guard the communication between this and the
208other division of your Army as to prevent if possible the introduction of the malady into this division by such a precaution we may escape the contagion
"The volunteer Troops despatched to Fort Winnebago for provisions, have not yet returned. Alexanders Brigade will be here by twelve to day. Henry's Brigade & Dodge's Battalion will, on their return, cross rock river and attempt to get in front of the enemy, who are about thirty miles above us, whilst the regular Troops and Aleexander's Brigade will be put in motion to press him in the rear. I am greatly in hopes by this maneuver to bring him to action, and the war to a
209close, unless as may be apprehended he may scatter and throw his forces into the swamps & elude detection, or, what is suggested by some of the friendly Pottowattomies, from declarations made by the enemy that he will try by all possible means to pass one of our flanks unobserved and throw himself across the Mississippi.
"We have now in our camp some families of Winebagoes who left the Sac camp only four days ago. information derived from these generally & more particularly from an inteligant lad (a half breed), confirms the above suggestions. The necessity [of] my pause here has been unfortunate. under more favorable circumstances a decided impression would have been made, some days since.
"Marching with fifteen days provisions given to be packed by the volunteers, eigthteen on Pack horses for the regulars, sixty head of cattle, and a few days of Bacon and flour in light Waggons & on Pack horses, I expected to have been enabled to operate for eighteen or twenty days, when other supplies would have have reached me, but the waste of Provisions by two of the Brigades exhausted my resources. The result has been a halt.
"The provisions I expected up arrived last evening. with these amounting to 30,000 rations & 30,000 more on the way from Galena and about 30,000 drawn from Fort Winebago, I expect, with your advice to be enabled to close the campaign successfully, or mayhap otherwise
"Two or three days March will probably give a decided cast to the state of things in relation to the war, which when ascertained shall be at once communicated to you, upon which you may make your final dispositions.
"Whilst lying here we have thrown up a strong stockade work flanked by four block houses, for the security of our supplies and the accomodation of the sick.
"I shall garrison it with a few regulars (sick) & 150 to 200 volunteer Troops under an Army Officer [Captain Gideon Low, 5th Regiment of the U.S. Army Infantry].
"The health of my command is, & has been unusually good. I regret however to state that Genl Brady is quite indisposed, and will not probably be able to march Tomorrow"
"At two o'clock, "Genl [Milton K.] Alexanders [Second] brigade arrived from Fort Winnebago-- Many men were dismounted of his & [Brigadier General James D.] Henrys [Third] brigade-- Many men were dismounted Their horses having run off or became exhausted
"17th Alexander returned to day from Fort Winebago, horses much fatigued and many of the men of his brigade were dismounted by the loss of horses at Fort Winebago a frightful stampede having taken place there the night after their (Alex. Henry & Dodges) arrival, when many horses were disabled and others ran off & were not again recovered."
Burley Follett accompanied a supply train to Fort Cosconong and returned alone to Fort Winnebago. Juliette Kinzie, wife of the Indian sub agent, reported his arrival home as follows: "Another bearer of news was a young gentleman named Follett, whose eyes had become so protruded and set from keeping an anxious look-out for the enemy, that it was many days after his arrival at a place of safety before they resumed their accustomed limits and expression".
"Dodge & Henry having heard from the Winebago Inds. at Fort Winebago, that the Sack enemy were at the point on Rock river about a mile distant between that post and our
211Historical marker in Fort Atkinson
Historical marker in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, (on East Milwaukee Avenue) identifies the site of the original stockade, Fort Cosconong.
212position of Kaskenong determined to put themselves in his front, whilst the Regulars & Alexs. Brigade might be enabled to press him in the rear advising Gen. A. of their intentions by express. This movement was in accordance with the spirit of verbal instructions given the commanders when they set out for Fort Winnebago, on the morning of the 10th, which was, should they fall upon the trail of the enemy in going or returning, to pursue with all speed and inform Gen. A. by express."
Atkinson added a final note to his letter to General Winfield Scott:
"2. O.C. P.M.
"Alexanders Brigade has just arrived.
"I have detained the express that I might be enabled to give you a just view of our situation & of the movements I contemplate.
(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U S Army"
Atkinson sent his letter to Chicago by the same two Frenchmen whom Scott had hired as express. They headed back to Fort Dearborn on their two-night trip.
"...previous to his [Enoch March's] leaving Gen. Atkinson's head quarters, ... Gen. Alexander arrived from Fort Winnebago, with provisions, who bro't information of the course Generals Henry and Dodge, with their command, would take.... A party of Winnebagoes who had been out as spies, came in directly after, and stated, that the encampments of the Indians were about 35 miles off, and
213immediately on the route Gens. Henry and Dodge were to come. Gen. Atkinson, with his army, were to proceed immediately in pursuit; and should the Indians be found where the Winnebagoes say they are, they will be completely surrounded, and, perhaps, all killed."
First Lieutenant William Scott of Captain Allen F. Lindsey's Company of Major William Lee D. Ewing's Spy Battalion of Henry's Third Brigade reported "the invalids and foot to you [Atkinson] by order of Gen. Henry"
Lieutenant Scott may have also delivered the letter from Major Ewing, written at Fort Winnebago about July 14, which explained the situation:
"To Brigadier Gen.. H. Atkinson
Commander in Chief of the Army
of the Frontier now at the Mouth
of White Water of Rock river
"Sir. It is a duty which I regret most sincerely to apprise you that my ballation [battalion] is rendered utterly unfit for service by reason of sickness, lost and disabled horses. During the night succeeding our arrival at this place, the horses of the two Brigades took flight. Thirteen of those belonging to my Battalion are (I apprehend) irrecoverably lost. Those that were recovered from the flight are more unfit for service than such as refused to join it, although it is well understood that the best horses generally are the first to take fright & run. I was dismounted before I reached this place by reason of my horse becoming lame. It however ran with the rest and is lost after the most vigilant search of a day & a half. The horses which refused, or did not join in the flight were generally unable from disability. In a word, I regard the Corps as useless to the service. The highest gratification that my ambition aspires to, is the assurance of the approbation of my Commander in Chief, and other superior officers. Whatever of service that myself & corps have performed I believe, is approved by them.
214"These and other considerations induce me to solicit their and my discharge. Since I have been writing this note my horse and two others belonging to the Corps have been brought in, but unfit for service.
"We have received our provisions and are compelled to pack them or the most of them on our horses--the consequence is that the greater part of the Corps are compelled to walk--at least Two thirds.
"I am anxious to engage in the ranging service
"I would not make the request I do unless it were for reasons of an incontrollable character. If I know myself, I believe I would disobey no order nor avoid any service which a Commander in whose ability I have so much confidence, would prescribe or direct.
"I am aware of the great & unforeseen difficulties which has been encountered and of the unceasing efforts made by you to overtake and whip the enemy, and properly appreciate them.
"As it regards myself, altho I remain at great personal sacrifice, I do not wish or ask for a discharge or furlough without the whole corps is, or such as wish to be.
"Entertaining for you the highest respect & consideration I have the honor to be your obt. Servt.
215"Wm. Lee D. Ewing Maj. Spy Bat. 3rd Brig. Ill. M.V. [Mounted Volunteers]
"N.B. Mr. Scott Lieut. in Capt. Lindsey's company of my command will report the invalids and foot to you by order of Gen. Henry W L D Ewing Maj &c."
During the day, Atkinson replied to the letter from Lieutenant Reuben Holmes, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence at Dixon, which Hugh McGill had delivered to Atkinson yesterday:
"Genl. Atkinson to Liut Holmes, A. C. S.
"Head Qrs: of the Army on Rock river
"Camp Mouth of White Water July 17. 1832
"Dr Sir, I have received your letter of the 10th. Inst from Galena [Dixon]. I approve of the measures you have taken to supply the Troops with provisions. The sixty thousand rations you have ordered to this post (of which the first train of Waggons have arrived) will be sufficient for the present, therefore suspend forwarding any more further than Hamiltons till further ordered. Let Posey's command, stationed at Hamilton's Dodgeville &c be supplied.
"I have been compeled to suspend operations for a few days for the want of Provisions, twelve days drawn from Fort Winebago, with what I have received from you, puts me fully upon my feet, and we will move against the enemy forthwith, & I think with a prospect of success. He is now only about 30 Miles above us. Henry's Brigade and Dodge's Battalion will endeavour to take him in front in returning from Fort Winebago, whilst with the regulars and Alexanders Brigade we must press him in the rear.
"I have received intelligence from Genl Scott giving me the distressing intelligence that the regular Troops at, and on their way to, Chicago,
216have been attacked with asiatic Cholera, many of whom had died. several of his officers had been attacked but had and were on the recovery.
(Signed) H Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
About this time Atkinson also received a letter from Illinois Governor John Reynolds, who was on his way home:
"Galena July 14th. 1832
"Dear Sir Permit me to lay before you the case of Mr. [John] Atchison of this place
"This Gentleman has furnished provisions to the Troops who were employed in the defence of the mining country to a considerable extent. If the provisions were not furnished, the Troops could not have been retained in the service and consequently the country would have been abandoned by the citizens.
"Mr. Atchison was compelled to purchase these provisions at a high price and for money down so that he has advanced large sums of money for the public
"The receipts of furnishing these supplies to support the mode of defence which was agreed on by the citizens of this place is made evident by the general consent of the citizens to the means adopted. It is not the policy of an individual alone; but the almost unanimous consent of the whole community of this place
"Taking all these things into consideration I hope the Government of the United States will ratify the proceedings and adjust the accounts of Mr Atchison and others who advanced their money and time for the good of the public
"I have the honor to be yr obt Servt & friend John Reynolds"
In the evening, "Col [Enoch] March [Quartermaster General] started [for] Galena"
--The Galenian newspaper
Wednesday, July 18, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 80°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 90°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 82°
Fort Cosconong! Today the completed stockade on Rock river just below the mouth of Bark river was referred to for
the first time:
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn. Army
"Fort Cosconong Mouth of White Water 18th. July 1832.
"Spl. [Special] Order No. 36
"Asst. Surgeons [Levi D.] Boon[e] and [William H.] Terrell will remain at this post in the exercise of their professional duties until further Orders
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnson [Johnston] A.D. Camp & A.A.A. Genl. [Aide de Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
"On the arrival of the provisions [White Crow] who had guided troops to Fort Winnebago and back...offered to conduct the army to the enemy's camp; his services were gladly accepted..."
220would result in the troops' marching back over the swampy route that had so frustrated the entire army on July 7 and 8:
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn Army
"Mouth of White Water 18th July 1832
"Order No. 58
"The 2nd [Alexander's] Brigade of Ill. mounted Volunteers & the Brigade of U. States Infy. under the command of Col [Zachary] Taylor
"The A.C. Sub. [Assistant Commissary of Subsistence Lieutenant Francis J. Brooke of the 6th Infantry, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army] in supplying the Ill. mounted Volunteers with rations to complete the number of rations ordered, will issue Bacon instead of Pork.
"The Garrison of this Post (Cosconong) will consist of 150 of the dismounted Volunteers under the command of an officer of the regular troops. The Sick and unfit for duty will be left at this Post.
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A.A.A. Genl."
About this time, two letters arrived in camp from Lieutenant Reuben Holmes, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, who had the over-all responsibility of supplying Atkinson's army with provisions. The first was to Atkinson's Aide de Camp, Albert Sidney Johnston, in reply to Johnston's July 9 letter to Enoch March, of which Holmes had received a copy. The copy had been delivered to Holmes by John Dixon, who had just driven beef cattle from Dixon to Galena.
"Galena 14th. July 1832
"Sir I have received your communication of the 9th inst by the hand of Mr. Dixon.
"I have already in part complied with the order in anticipation. By Sunday night (15th inst) 60000 rations will have arrived at and past Hamilton's [Wiota, Wisconsin], the remaining amount required by the order I shall immediately forward to place in Depot for future disposition.
"Genl. Posey has sent in notice that he has troops for escorts at my disposal and the escorts will, through their commanding officers, be instructed to act in obedience to the order relative to the route & following the movements of the army.
"I have the honor to be very Respectfully Your mo. Obt. Servt.
"R. Holmes, A.C.S.
"For/ Lt. A.S. Johnston a. d. c & a. a. adjt. Genl. operating army"
Lieutenant Holmes's second letter was addressed to Atkinson:
"Galena 14th. July 1832
"General Yours of the 10th. [written by Johnston, actually] has been recieved--previous to its receipt I had started from this point and from Dixon's 65 teams containing provisions enough to make at least 60,000 rations. Col. [Enoch] March left this place for the army by way of Hamilton's on the 5th. of the present month with 30,000 rations. By some strange mistake, want of guides or correct information, he has, I am told, gone considerably out of his way,
222causing a delay of three, four or more days in the arrival of the provisions.
"I am the more surprized at the situation of Col March than I possibly could be, did I not know his boldness and energy on all occasions and I am still convinced that he adopted the only course, which, from existing circumstances, then appeared to promise the desired result. I have started Mr. [John] Dixon with some beeves, (as many as he could collect in one day) for the immediate use of the army and despatched some men to drive from 60 to 80 head (surplus cattle) from prairie du chien to the army by way of Hamilton's, that being the only route in which they could be protected by an escort.
"Agreeably to your order I will cause to be placed 60,000 rations in Depot at Hamilton's to be forwarded as required to the army. The amount called for by the order [I.e. Johnston's July 10 letter] (40 days for 3000 men is 120,000, 60,000 already on its way, all to be at Hamilton's by Sunday night [July 15] the time named as
224Dixon's arrival there with the beeves added to what I shall place in depot there will complete the order. You will percieve that, by my letter of the 11th. [10th], I have accidentally adopted the measurs pointed out in the order and the only rule of conduct I acted on was to send provisions from every point, more perhaps than was necessary, in order to ensure the safe & speedy arrival of some at least.
"I believe the route on this side of the [Rock] river is worse & perhaps longer than from Dixon's on the trail of the Head Quartrs, but my fear that the Ills. [Illinois river] was too low for navigation induced me to act from this quarter.
"I am very glad to find with all the disappointment felt at the present state of affairs (increased by the various reports in circulation that the army was within a few moments of moving to the attack) that the army and all reasonable people still express themselves satisfied with what has been done & what will be done by the Commanding General. There are few who can, unless present, know the difficulties you have to encounter, indeed, all who come in are uniform & universal in naming your embarrassments & the manner in which you are
"Genl. Posey's [First] Brigade recieved provisions last night I suppose from those sent from Dixon's to the army as they were to arrive at Hamilton's last evening.
"My best wishes & feelings attend your exertions. May they result in triumph.
"I have the honor to be very truly your friend & obt Sevt "R. Holmes A.C.S.
"Bridgd. Genl. H. Atkinson Comdg Army"
Meanwhile, Major William Davenport, named Adjutant General to the First Brigade, reported to Atkinson from today's Wiota, Wisconsin, that things were normal with Alexander Posey's troops:
"Hamilton's Station July 16th. 1832
"Sir I have the honor to inform that for good cause I am more convinced than ever that the position I hold with the Malitia disables me from rendering you any profitable aid. I am so disgusted with their disobedience that I cannot longer consent to remain with them. I hope you will do me the justice to believe that this declaration is not made from the persuasion that it will have any influence with you in permitting my return to St. Louis, though I wish to do so for the reason, among others no less cogent, already given you.
"With great respect I have the honor to be yr obt Servt.
"Wm. Davenport Major 6th Infy.
"To Genl. H. Atkinson Comdg Army of the frontir near the mouth of white water" [Bark river]
--2d Lt. Philip St. George Cooke, U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry
Thursday, July 19, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 83°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 82°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 75°
"Camp near Rock river and fort Cosconong 19. July 1832.
"It being interesting to those who loose horses and other property in the service of the United States and important that the value thereof be secured to the owner and inasmuch as the forms be strictly observed &c It is ordered that the commandants of companies be careful to note down in a book to be kept for the purpose the discription time when and place where the property is lost and other remarks, the circumstances attending the same and the names of the witnesses present or knowing to the fact-and at the termination of the campaign or as soon thereafter as possible to return to the Brigade Inspector or aid to the Genl. a"
The preceeding general order by Brigadier General Milton K. Alexander to his Second Brigade was never
230completed. Perhaps the troops were moved out to renew the search for Black Hawk in the swamps of Bark river before Alexander's Aide de Camp William B. Archer got it all written down for Alexander's signature.
Before they left, several personnel changes took place in the Brigade. In Colonel James M. Blackburn's First Regiment, 3rd Sergeant Silas M. Parker and Private Samuel Kellogg of Captain Thomas B. Ross's Company were "Discharged from ft. Cosconong July 19th. 1832 on Surgeon's certificate".
From Captain Jonathan Mayo's Company of the First Regiment, "William Whittey [Whitley] served till the 19th of July when he was engag[ed] in the wagon train. He is entitled to pay til July 19, 1832".
In Major William McHenry's Spy Battalion of Alexander's Second Brigade, Captain Abner Greer had nine personnel changes in his Company. Private John Williams was "Discharged 19th, July". Privates E. P. Fyffe, James Neel and Lowami Pumfrey were "Left sick 19th, July". Private John O. Lackey "Laust Horse & [was] left on duty 19th. July", and Privates George Dickerson, Thomas Lackey, and John Williams were left "On duty 19th. July".
Before moving up Bark river again, General Henry Atkinson left orders behind in case Henry Dodge and James D. Henry showed up with their troops:
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn Army
"Fort Cosonong 19th July 1832
"Order No. 59
"Should the troops under the command of Brig. Genl. Henry or Genl. Dodge arrive at this Post after the departure of the 2nd Brigade Ill. Volunteers & the regulars [under] Col. [Zachary] Taylor for the head water of white water [Bark]
231river, they will proceed on with their respective commands join, and report to the Comdg. General
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D.C. & A.A.A. Genl."
Next, Atkinson placed Captain Low in command of the new fort, and charged Colonel Sharp with its defence:
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn Army
"Fort Cosconong Mouth of White Water 19th.
"Order No. 60
"Capt. [Gideon] Low 5th. Regt. U&DOT;S&DOT; Infy. [from Fort Winnebago] will take command of Fort Cosconong. The safety & Preservation of the public supplies deposited in the Fort are entrusted to the care of Capt Low.
"Lt. Col. [Powell] Sharp will encamp his Battalion of Ill. mounted Volunteers in the vicinity of the Fort, should the Fort be threatened with an attack by the enemy, Lt. Col. Sharp will assume command & be held responsible for the defence of the Post.
"By Order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Alb. S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A&DOT; A&DOT; A&DOT; Genl"
Finally, Atkinson arranged for the ailing 64-year-old General Hugh Brady to leave the search for Black Hawk:
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn Army
"Fort Cosconong Mouth of White Water 19th July 1832
Spl. [Special] Order no 37
"1st Liut. John Hansford, Private Thomas McDonnell, Abraham Cackner, Abner Piles, Enoch Winn, Wm. Parks, Resin Keeth, Bowen
232Brigadier General Hugh Brady
Brigadier General Hugh Brady, Commander of 2d division, Army of the Frontier
233Keeth, John Willhegen, Breyant B. Jonegan, Alfred Rules, James Lackman, Jno. Jones, Hiram Casey, James Hart, John F Hart, Jordan Smith, Henry Smith, John Beasly, George Terry, Bartley Anderson, Peter Sroner, James Higgins, Peyton Brown, & Nicholas J. Woodnew, of Lt. Col Sharpes Battalion Ill. mounted Volunteers, are designated to accompany Brig. Genl. Brady U&DOT;S&DOT; Army to Fort Winnebago.
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) A.S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A&DOT; A&DOT; A&DOT; Genl."
About this time Atkinson may have received another express from Lieutenant Reuben Holmes, Assistant Commissary of Subsistence:
"Galena 15th. July 1832
"General Mr. [John] Atchison of this place has sent an account containing an abstract of issues to Genl. Dodge for his certificate of its truth & accuracy and which Genl. Dodge probably will present to you for Your approval. The issues were made agreeably to a contract between Genl. Dodge & Mr. Atchison with the places to which the rations were sent. Enclosed
234you will find a list
"I have the honor to be very Respectfully your Mo Obt Servt
"R. Holmes A.C.S.
"Brigd. Genl. H. Atkinson Comg oper[at]ing Army of the frontier"
White Crow had "offered to conduct the army to the enemy's camp; his services were gladly accepted, and the army once more advanced through the swamps in the direction of the foe".
"Alexander having reposed a day while Gen A. was waiting for advices from Dodge & Henry, The regular troops and his Brigade were put in motion on the morning of the 19 and marched in pursuit of the enemy. After advancing about 15 miles a position was taken up for the night where the troops suffered from as violent storm as ever came from the heavens; and to add to the distress the horses became frightened and broke into a stampede, rushing over wagons tents and men."
"on the morning of the 19th the regular troops, and Alexander's Brigade were put in motion," Atkinson wrote,
235"and moved up the Rock
"Heard the Indians were encamped 30 miles up the river Marched 12 miles & encamped for the night."
Ninevah Shaw, Adjutant to Major William McHenry's Spy Company of Alexander's Second Brigade, wrote in his Journal, "the 2 Brig & Regulars go up the river in pursuit the Indians rained thundred very hard all very wet in time of the rain cross a very bad swamp
"...the army marched once more-in a heavy rain--over the same ground to its former march and countermarch. At night we had not advanced so far as on the first occasion, and we were forced to encamp on a piece of ground of slight elevation--a sort of island--amid the creeks and their swamp and overflowed bottom. We were soaked to the skin; the rain still fell,--and fuel was scarce: I [Second Lieutenant Philip St. George Cooke, Acting Adjutant] was in a small tent with the commanding officer,
236their masters; many of whom came boldly among them. They had been picketed in the other end of an inclosed parallelogram:--Indian yells had been heard, when they took fright, and rushed in the direction of our regiment, which, at the first alarm, had formed their line,--and as they came thundering on, had faced inward among their fires, which glittering on their arms, had served to arrest their course, which had not acquired its full momentum; they were thus thrown round our tent, which, mistaken for a more solid barrier, they had managed to avoid in their first career, and we were saved. It was the custom in like cases to spring to a wagon or tree; neither was near us on this night: but an officer told me that he had sprung up one of the latter just in time to save himself, as the horses rushed under him and against his legs as they hung down."
But Captain Henry Smith of the 6th Regiment U&DOT;S&DOT; Infantry detachment remembered the weather: "When again within a few hours of them [the enemy], the night set in with the most tremendous storm of rain, wind, thunder and lightening that I ever witnessed."
--Major General Winfield Scott
Friday, July 20, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 74°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 89°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 77°
"Next morning [after the stampede] many horses were missing, and others injured. In the course of the night, an express, which had pushed through under its cover from the depot at Koshkonong [Fort Cosconong], brought to the General [Henry Atkinson] important information"
Two letters from General James D. Henry were delivered by his Adjutant Dr. Elias H. Merriman, and three letters from Henry Dodge were delivered by Dodge's Adjutant, William W. Woodbridge
The packets included July 14 letters from Henry and Dodge and a July 18 letter from Dodge (which were not delivered earlier because the officers had not been able to find an express to deliver them), plus two letters dated July 19.
Dodge's first letter written at Fort Winnebago on July 14, explained why he and General Henry had failed to "return to these Head Qrs. without delay":
"Fort Winnabago July 14th. 1832 7 Oclock AM.
"Dear General we arrive here on the 11th. Late in the evening I found the distance at least sixty miles the white Crow our pilot stated the direct rout would be covered with swamps on the day after our arrival we engaged the Bakers to prepare our Bread in the evening Generals Hen[r]y and Alexander arrive their men complaineed much of Hunger we gave them the Bread prepared for ourselves
"Finding the men of my squadron unwilling to return by the rout we came and that I was in danger of Lossing them I determined to return by the rapids of Rock River
"General Alexander has drawn his provisions yesterday and General Henry is Drawing his rations this day if the enemy
241continues to retreat in the direction of Lake Michigan might we not fall on him and if Hard pushed get a supply of provisions at Chicago or green Bay. these are suggestions of mine submitted to your better Judgement.
"it will take at least two months Before the Mounted Battallion can take the field for the present I will accept the command selected for me by the President it becomes my Duty to report myself to Genl Scott or yourself commanding the army of the Frontier for duty
"I am with great regard your friend & Obedient Servant H. Dodge
"Genl Henry Atkinson Commander in Chief of the army of the Frontier"
General Henry's letter told of the July 12 stampede of horses at Fort Winnebago and of the return of dismounted men:
"Fort Winnebago July 14th 1832
"Brig Genl Atkinson
"Sir I arrived here on the evening of the 12th after passing over some Verry bad road [between the mouth of Bark river and Fort Winnebago] and traveling sixty miles or more
"After encamping the Horses took fright and great numbers ran away but we have succeeded in getting all but ninety One and Hunters are still out
"I have drawn 14 days Rations and intend starting in the morning in company With General Dodge for the Rapids of Rock River, which movement I hope will meet your entire approbation, as information Respecting said rout has been Recd from Responsible source and will be communicated to you by Gnl Dodge
"My men that are afoot will return with my baggage train in company with Brig Gnl Alexander on the Rout we came under command
242of an Officer who will Report himself to you on his arrival at your camp
"Any Orders from you I will expect to Receive at the Rapids of Rock River which said to be Twenty miles
I have the Honor to be Sir your Most Obt Servt
"James D Henry Brig Gnl comdg 3r Brig M V. [Mounted Volunteers]"
On the back of the sealed letter, Henry penciled a note when he got to Rock river at today's Hustisford, Wisconsin:
"Rock River July 18, 1832
"Brig Genl Atkinson You will perceive that this Letter is dated 15 July
"J D Henry B Gnl Comg 3d Brig"
Dodge's July 18 letter informs Atkinson that the Winnebagoes at the Rock river rapids report Black Hawk to be at Cranberry Lake (Horicon Marsh):
"Rapids of Rock River. July 18th 1832
"Dear General Before my arrival at Fort Winnebago I had ascertained if I returned to Rock River by by the same rout I marched to that place I would Loose the greater part of my
243men Col. Hamilton
"With sentiment of Esteem & Regard I am your Obedient servant
"H. Dodge Col. Commanding Iowa [County, Michigan Territory] Militia
"Genl Henry Atkinson"
But the key letters delivered by Merriman and Woodbridge were those announcing that Black Hawk's trail had been discovered:
"July 19t 1832
"Brig Genl Atkinson
"Sir You will find enclosed a Letter which was designed to be forwarded to you by Express but a carrier Could not be found (--from fort Winebago)
244"Haveing pursued our march to the Rapids of Rock River which place we arrived Yesterday and started an Express to you which after traveling 10 or 12 miles discovered Large trails makeing S.W. [South West] supposed to have beem made yesterday
"I accordingly Issued a General Order this morning after a consultation with the Cols & Maj Spy B. to the commandents of Corps to be ready to march at an early Hour in pursuit of the enemy and Leave all the waggons Harnuss and Heavy and cumbersome articles which was implicitly Obeyed
"This movement I hope will meet your entire approbation and the distruction of the enemy
"We will continue our pursuit untill prudence dictates Otherwise
"We are now on the trail
"James D Henry Brig Genrl con 3rd Brig M V [Mounted Volunteers]
"Dr. Merriman will hand you the Letter"
Dodge's letter to Atkinson gives insight into the desperate situation of Black Hawk's starving band of men, women, and children:
"July 19th 1832
"Dear General I yesterday addressed you from the rapids of Rock River my adjt [adjutant William W. Woodbridge] directed by an Indian Guide [Little Thunder] after travelling about 12 miles fell in with Two Large Trails no doubt the greater part of the Socks from the appearance of the Trails it must be the Main Body of the Enemy the direction is about a South West Course they have peeled the Bark of the Oaks and have Dug in different places in search of Wild Potatoes Genl. Henry who is acquainted with the trail of the socks having followed it from the
245mouth of Rock River believes it to be the Main Body of the Enemy also
"Your friend in great Hast [haste] H. Dodge
"P. S Genl Henry and myself will pursue the trail as fast as our Horses will carry us ys, H.D."
"hear that 3d Brigad & Doges men on persuit towards the Wisconsin"
"20th at an early hour this morning Lt.[William W.] Woodbridge & Doct[or Elias H.] Merryman arrived express from Dodge & Henry...informing Gen. A. that the Sauks had debouched from their swamp and appeared to be bearing for the Mississippi by the route of the river of the 4 lakes & that they would, with a select body of mounted men take up the pursuit.
"Gen. A. immediately retraced his steps to Fort Koskenong after first despatching by McHenry with his light Battallion to ascertain that the Indians had all abandoned the position we had been marching upon."
"To guard against being deceived on receiving the information from Genl's Henry and Dodge of the movement of the enemy, I [Atkinson] detached [Major William] McHenry's light [Spy] Battalion [of Alexander's Second Brigade] with a small body of Pottowattomies and two Winebago Guides accompanied by Maj [Alexander] Morgan
Atkinson's order was directed to Major William McHenry, whose Spy Battalion was composed of three companies under Captains Abner Greer, John McCown, and John F. Richardson:
"Head Qrs. 1st Division North Westn Army
"Camp 12 miles above the mouth of white water July 20th./1832.
246"Order No. 61
"Major McHenry with his [Spy] Battalion of mounted Volunteers will proceed this morning & ascertain if practicable, whether the enemy occupies the position he maintained a few days since, he will call on the General for particular instructions relative to his command.
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson (Signed) M. L. Clark A. de Camp"
When McHenry called on Atkinson for the particular instructions relative to his command, Atkinson probably clarified the relationship and responsibility between the Spy Battalion and the Indian scouts under Colonel Morgan who were to preceed them:
"Genl Atkinson To Liut Harland [Second Lieutenant Justin M. Harlan of Captain Richardson's company]
"Camp, 20th. July 1832.
"Sir, You will proceed in advanc of Maj McHenry's Battalion this morning in company with some Indian guides & Maj [Alexander] Morgan [of the U&DOT; S&DOT; Army Infantry], and if possible ascertain whether the hostile Indians still occupy the position they did a few days since. If you are manaced by a stronger force then [than] yours fall back on Maj. McHenry.
(Signed H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U&DOT;S&DOT; Army"
Ninevah Shaw, Adjutant of McHenry's Spy Battalion, noted in his Journal, "The spy Battalion and some Indians go to see if the Indians were gone"
"...Adjutants Woodbridge and Merryman, still with the same pilot [Little Thunder], started back to General Henry, with an express from General Atkinson",
"Genl Atkinson. To Genl's Henry & Dodge
"Head Qrs 1st. division of the North westn Army
"Camp 12 Miles above the Mouth of White Water July 20, 1832.
"To Genls Henry & Dodge, I have received by express your letters of yesterday, informing me of your having discovered a Trail indicating the movement of the main body of the enemy S. W. of your purpose of pursuing with a view [of] overtaking & subduing them. I have to urge and direct that you will press on with all haste and never lose sight of the object till the enemy is overtaken, defeated & if possible captured
"I was on my march to dislodge the enemy should he have been found in the position he occupied a few days since. I shall now fall back to the mouth of White Water [Bark river] with the Regulars and part of Allexanders Brigade, sending however two hundred mounted men & some Indians to ascertain whether all the enemy's force have crossed Rock river.
"If I can possibly come up with you in the pursuit I shall do so with the regulars & some mounted Troops
"Signed H Atkinson Brigr Genl US Arny"
Atkinson then "...ordered the remainder of the troops to march back to Fort Cosconong".
"Encamped at Fort Kos-kenong this evening, Brigadier Gen [Hugh] Brady, who had much to the injury of the service become severly indisposed and unable to continue longer in the field, was compelled to give up his command and seek relief under the cover of the temporary work thrown up here, where medical aid could be obtained."
"The sick foot and cripled horses sent to Dixons"
At Fort Cosconong that evening, "...Genl A [Atkinson]
248recd [received] an express from Gnl Scott his command is entirely inefficient and incapable of taking the field from their being attacked [by] the Asiatic Cholera, they are scattered from Detroit to Chicago, all vessels refuse to transport them"
"I have heard from Detroit that three of the detachments of troops which were to have followed me, in Steam Boats, have been greatly afflicted with Cholera, & that the Boats had refused to bring to this place the infected troops. I may receive from Mackina one uninfected detachment in a day or two, & my baggage train (wagons & pack horses) are expected about the 25th.
"The moment I can collect a small regular force free from infection, I shall march to the theatre of active operations--say about the 25th. instant."
"It remains for me to say what, under my melancholy circumstances, I may do, or attempt.
"The war, against the enemy, actually in the field, is not over, and may not be concluded in many weeks-- perhaps months. Other tribes, too, may, if a decisive blow be not soon struck, take
249part against us. The Pottawatimies are beleived to be friendly, and a part, at least, of the Winnebagoes. The [Pottawattomie] Indian Agent [at Chicago], Mr. [Thomas Jefferson Vance] Owen, having fled from the cholera, I have but very imperfect means of judging the temper and dispositions of those tribes. I suppose, however, neither may be expected to join in hostilities against us in a short time.
"I have written to General Atkinson to pursue his own plans according to his own discretion, and upon his own responsibility, till I can join or approach him--that is, be in a situation to take upon myself the chief direction within the immediate theatre of active operations. It would be manifestly improper for me, at this distance & with my inferior knowledge of the country and the enemy, to take upon myself the direction of his [Atkinson's] movements. And here I am bound, in candour, to say, that my confidence in that officer's zeal, talents and judgement, tho' heretofore high, has not been, in the least, abated by the protraction of the campaign he is engaged in. The character of the country and the enemy, have lengthened out the war, together with the nature of the principal part of the force under his command. These considerations being taken into view, I do not know--1 cannot flatter myself that I might have done better. Neverthless, as a new General may, for the moment, inspire more zeal and confidence, I am most anxious to make the trial."
John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois
John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois, now back in Belleville, Illinois, rough-drafted a letter to Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, in Washington, which summarizes the situation he had experienced personally while serving with Atkinson and the troops:
"Belleville, (Illinois) July 20th. 1832
"Sir It may be serviceable to the Government of the United States to be informed of the situation of the army, and the country in relation to the Indian war.
"The army by order of Genl. Atkinson marched from Fort Wilburn [LaSalle] on the Illinois river to Dixon's on Rock River. At which place, one division of it, consisting of two brigades of mounted volunteers, marched in the country between Rock River and the Wisconsin, towards the four Lakes, or the Quaskeenon [Koshkonong] Lake, where it was reported the enemy had fortified and would fight.
"The other division of the army with myself and staff marched on the south east side of Rock River towards the same point. The horse men packed on their horses fifteen days provision, and the same number of day's supply was conveyed for the Infantry.
"The Indian enemy left their encampment some days before the army reached it, and continued their march up Rock River in a north east direction.
"The provisions being exhausted, the army were compeled to suspend active operations, and to encamp on Rock River at the mouth of White Water [Bark river] about one hundred and thirty miles north east of Galena. Two brigades were ordered to Fort Winebago, and one to Fort Hamilton, for supplies.
"In this situation of the army, when it had ceased active operations, on the 10th inst. I left the camp and returned to the frontiers of the State to see; if that necessary protection was given to the Inhabitants, which was contemplated. And I have the satisfaction to inform you: that the defence of the frontier is as complete, as the nature and extent of our border will admit.
"On the whole extent of our frontier and in the mining district of the country, there are forts erected, and the intermediate country ranged over and guarded by mounted men. Yet it is impossible to prevent all depredations, which may be commited on so extensive a frontier, as that which surrounds the settlements of this State.
"On my return, I passed thro' the mining country, and saw the distresses of the people in that section. They are all forted, and are not able to raise crops to support themselves, nor can they work in the mining business.
"I fear, many of them will be compeled to abandon the country for the want of provisions: so that the mining district is in a situation; that claims the attention of the Government.
"The same thing may be said in some degree of all the frontiers of the State. Many citizens on the Illinois river have been compeled to leave their plantations and seek shelter in forts.
"These privations and sufferings of the citizens I know: as I have been nearly all the time, on the frontier, or marching with the army, since the middle part of April last.
"In some cases, I ordered provisions to be issued to families, who were driven off from their homes in distress by the Indians. And I do sincerely recommend to the Government to issue provisions to certain citizens, who are in want of support, occassioned by the enemy. This done in a
253John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois
254proper manner would do much good and not much to the loss of the U.S.
"I would further suggest for your consideration the propriety of erecting forts for tempor[ar]y purposes in the country where the hostil Indians were located. These forts would prevent the Indians from again locating themselves in such positions from which they could annoy the settlements.
"The country, where the army is encamped is partly covered with swamps, which are almost impossible [impassable] for man or beast. The enemy in this country will have a descided advantage: so that it will be extremely difficult to overtake him. All exertion, which was in the power of the army, was used to accomplish this desirable object: but to no purpose. I have been in the persuit since the early spring, and will continue to contribute all in my power to bring the war to an honorable close with all possible speed.
"I had the honor of receiving your two letters of the 6th. inst. and will after attending to some official business at the Seat of the Government, repair to the frontier, and to the army again in order to associate myself with Genl. Scott in executing the views of the Government in regard to negotiating with the Indians, should that opportunity occur."
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Saturday, July 21, 1832.
7 A&DOT;M&DOT; - 71°
2 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 68°
9 P&DOT;M&DOT; - 64°
"On the morning of the 21st, Gen. A. [Henry Atkinson] with the regular troops [of the U&DOT;S&DOT; Army Infantry] under Col. [Zachary] Taylor, and [Milton K.] Alexanders [Second] Brigade of [Illinois] volunteers, took up his march for the Blue Mounds leaving Capt. [Gideon] Lowe with his company in command of the Fort [Cosconong]
Before heading west in his search for Black Hawk, Atkinson diverted the excess rations back to Dixon:
Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn. Army
"Fort Cosconong 21st. July 1832.
"Order No. 62
"The officer in Command of the escort to the train of Waggons loaded with provisions for the Troops at this place, will on receipt of this order, conduct the train of Waggons back to Dixon's
258Captain Gideon Low
Captain Gideon Low, Commander of Company D, 5th Infantry Regiment, U&DOT; S&DOT; Army.
259Ferry, where the provisions will be placed in Store.
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Abbt. S. Johnston A. D. Camp & A. A. A. Genl."
"The regulars and Alexander's Brigade--on the morning of the 21st moved in the direction of the Blue Mounds, to cooperate in pursuit of the enemy. Capt. Lowe of the 5th with his company, was left in charge of the supplies and
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North. Westn. Army
"Fort Cosconong 21st. July 1832
"Order No. 63
"Capt [Gideon] Low 5th. Regt. U&DOT; S&DOT; Infy. is charged with the command of this Post, which will be garrisoned with his Company "D" 5th Infy.
"2nd Lieut. Davis [Camillus C. Davies] Act. A. C. S. [Acting Assistant Commissary of Subsistence] will receive from Lt. [Francis J.] Brooke the provisions & public property in his possession and receipt for the same
"Lieut Col. [Powell] Sharps Battalion of the 3d Brigade of Ill. mounted Volunteers, will remain encamped near the Fort till further Orders.
"The dismounted men, & those who have disabled horses, and the Sick and unfit for duty of 2s Brigade Ill. mounted volunteers, who may be designated to remain behind, will be marched under the command of the senior officer to Dixon's Ferry, & remain there till further Orders
"By order of Brig Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A. D. Camp & A. A. A. Genl."
Captain Low and his Company D of the 5th Regiment of the U.S. Army Infantry thus became the first long-term white residents of today's Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin:
1. Captain Gideon Low
2. 1st Lt. William E. Cengers Adjnt 5th Inftry, at head qrs. Fort Mackinac
3. 2nd Lt. Alexander Samuel Hooe on furlough on order of Maj Genl Macomb Dec. 1, 1831 Returned to Fort Winnebago July 12, 1832
1. Sergt. William H. Mosely
2. Sergt. Dennis Lappin
3. Sergt. John C. Wilkinson
1. Corpl. David H. Carter
2. Corpl. Simeon Reynolds
3. Corpl. James Gardner
1. Muss [Musician] Antonias Lantine on det. Service at Fort Winebago by order of Captain Plympton May 30,
2. Muss John H. Barns
1. Prvte James C. Aldrich
2. Prvte John Aiken
3. Prvte William Boyd
4. Prvte Henry Bell On Det. Service at Dixons Ferry Rock River by order of Col. Taylor June 27, 1832
5. Prvte Ezekiel Bashead At Ft. Winebago on Extra duty by order of Capt. Plympton May 30, 1832
6. Prvte Leonard Britewell At Ft. Winebago on Extra duty by order of Capt. Plympton May 30, 1832
7. Prvte James F. Cutter
8. Prvte William Davies At Ft. Winebago on Extra duty by order of Capt. Plympton May 30, 1832
9. Prvte John De Cantillon
10. Prvte Moses L. Dunham deserted 20. Oct 1831-
Apprehended Oct. 25 1831 & ten dollars paid for his apprehension, --Six months pay stopped by sentence by genl Ct. martial 3. Feby 1832
11. Prvte Samuel B. Elithorp
12. Prvte John Hamm Resigned from sergt 27 May, 1832.
Temporary Attached to Compy ‘F’ 5th Inftry by order of Capt Low June 3, 1832
26113. Prvte Henry Hamm in confinement at Ft. Winebago
14. Prvte Joseph Leavitt
15. Prvte Stephen McKinney
16. Prvte Martin T. Myers
17. Prvte John Mouso
18. Prvte William Morgan
19. Prvte Patrick Mahers
20. Prvte Del Nichols
21. Prvte Joseph Phelps
22. Prvte Oliver Perry
23. Prvte Josiah Rice
24. Prvte James Rice
25. Prvte John H. Renard deserted 20 Oct. 1831. Apprehended Oct. 25, 1831 & ten dolls paid for his apprehension. Six months pay stopped by sentence of Genl Court Martial 3 Feby 1832
26. Prvte George Sheldon
27. Prvte Henry Sneddan
28. Prvte Lemuel Tyler
29. Prvte Evert P. Terwilliger
30. Prvte Thomas Tool
31. Prvte Martin Thompson At Ft. Winebago on Extra duty by order of Capt. Plympton May 30, 1832
32. Prvte Thomas Williams At Fort Winebago on Extra duty by order of Capt. Plympton May 30, 1832
33. Prvte Richard Williams
34. Prvte John Wood
"The following named officers & soldiers belonging to ‘C’ compy. 5 Inftry. were temporary attached to ‘D’ compy 5th Inftry. by order of Capt. Plympton at Fort Winebago May 30,1832, without either Muster Roll or Descriptive List accompanying them.
"Camillus C. Davies - Bt. [Brevet] 2nd Lt.
Cushman Bernard - private
Demick Nathan - private
Edgele Isicaiah - private
Hackett Richard - private
Holmes Thomas - private
McLoughlan Daniel - private
McKibbin Joseph - private
262Mulkern William J. - private
Morning-Star George - private
West Wiseman - private"
"Capt Low's Co D and 14 Soldiers of the 1 & 6th Infantry at Cos-co-Nong"
Privates James Brown and David W. Dobbs of Captain R. B. Mason's Grenadier Company A of the First Regiment, U. S. Army Infantry.
Privates Silas Brooks, William C. Howard, and Benjamin Luttrule of Captain Samuel MacRee's Company B of the First Regiment, U. S. Army Infantry.
Privates Thomas Cleary and Daniel E. Spear of Captain T. F. Smith's Battalion Company G of the First Regiment, U.S. Army Infantry.
"The sick foot and crippled horses sent to Dixons"
The sick soldiers and those without horses (primarily because of the July 12 stampede of horses of Fort Winnebago) from Brigadier General Milton K. Alexander's Second Brigade of Illinois Mounted Volunteers returned to Dixon's Ferry in three detachments:
Troops from Colonel James M. Blackburn's First Regiment returned in Captain Samuel Brimberry's detachment. This included 24 men from his own company, 22 from Captain Isaac Sanford's Company, 7 from Captain Jonathan Mayo's Company, 16 from Captain Thomas B. Ross's Company, 14 from Captain Royal A. Nott's Company, 21 from Captain Robert Griffin's Company, and 8 from Captain John F. Richardson's Spy Company.
Troops from Colonel Samuel Adams's Second Regiment returned in Captain William Highsmith's detachment. This included 25 men from his own company, 12 from Captain Alexanders M. Houston's Company, 25 from Captain John
263Barns's Company, and 10 from Captain Abner Greer's Spy Company.
Troops from Colonel Hosea Pierce's Third Regiment returned in the detachment of Captain Elias Jordan of the Second Regiment. This detachment included 24 of his own men, 18 from Captain Champion S. Mading's Company, 15 from Captain Solomon Hunter's Company, 8 from Captain William Thomas's Company, 16 from Captain John Haynes's Company, and 8 from Captain John McCown's Spy Company.
The stragglers from Brigadier General James D. Henry's Third Brigade, who had returned to Fort Cosconong from Fort Winnebago on July 17 with Alexander's Brigade, did not get to go to Dixon's Ferry. They remained as a detachment under Lieutenant Colonel Powell Sharpe to protect the stockade.
Private Henry R. Reel of Captain John Arnold's Company of Colonel Samuel Adams's Second Regiment of Alexander's Second Brigade "lost his hors and riggin on the 21st day of July at Rock River"
"21st July The regulars & mounted Volunteers marched from Fort Cosconong today in the direction of the Blue Mounds."
"Marched for the blue mounds, crossed Rock River & encamped for the night."
Second Lieutenant Philip Cooke, Acting Adjutant for the 6th Regiment, U. S. Army Infantry, wrote, "This day we
264passed Fort Koshkonong, in a cold and beating rain, and forded Rock River below the lake,--it was nearly swimming,--and half dead with cold and fatigue, encamped on the right bank.
"This encamping after a weary march,--particularly in a rain, or when it is late,-- is the most trying part of a soldier's life; the day's labors would seem but then commenced; every earthly comfort has to be worked for, as much as if they had never been obtained before; and one's labors are retarded and depend upon the will and motions of other;--details are to be furnished; guards mounted; camps laid out; baggage unloaded,--and how often is it to be waited for!--delaying everything; tents are to be pitched; wood to be cut; water to be brought, frequently from a great distance; rations to be distributed, then cooked; arms to be cleaned; inspections made; but, above all,--with cavalry,--forage to be procured, issued, and fed; and horses to be groomed, and watered often in almost inaccessible places.
"After urging my poor horse over all kinds of obstacles--assigning their ground to the companies--communicating orders to their commanders, and hearing the snarls of an occasional grumbler--I had still before me the duties of the regimental and grand guard parades. What wealth is there in a cheerful spirit! A good soldier never grumbles (if he can help it);--when his rights are invaded, he pursues the most quiet, firm, and effectual mode of redress."
Johnston, Atkinson's Aide, wrote in his journal, "This was a disagreeable march as it had rained constantly during the latter part of the day"
When Atkinson got settled in his camp on the west bank of Rock river
"Genl Atkinson To Genl Scott
"Head Qrs of the Division of the Army on Rock River
"Camp, below Lake Cosconong (21st. July 1832.)
"Sir, I had the honour of receiving your letter of the 18th. inst: last night by express. I had just Returned from an excursion up the swamp with the regular Troops and Allexander's Brigade, whither I had been with a view of cooperating with Henry and Dodge who were on the opposite side of Rock river seeking the enemy. at day break yesterday morning I received letters from them stating that the whole body of the enemy had left the swamps and were making their way towards the Mississippi, that they were on on the enemy's trail and would pursue with all speed and with an expectation of overtaking and subduing them
"I am now on the march with the regulars and part of Alexander's Brigade following the same direction, and although I shall not get up to participate in the first conflict, I may be in time to close the affair.
"Besides should the enemy contrary to expectation elude pursuit and cross the Mississippi, I shall be in place to act. In the latter event I shall so dispose of the regular Troops and Militia as may seem best calculated to prevent any act of hostility on the river frontier till your arrival or advice.
"In the mean time I will discharge such part of the Volunteers as may seem least efficient
"I can hardly think it Possible the enemy can reach & cross the river before he is overtaken.
266distance of 100 Miles or five days ordinary march yet for him to make.
"To guard against being deceived on receiving the information from Genl's Henry and Dodge of the movement of the enemy, I detached McHenry's light Battallion with a small body of Pottowattomies and two Winebago Guides accompanied by Maj Morgan, to ascertain with certainty if he had moved off entirely. The Winebago guides have overtaken us and report the enemy to have disappeared.
"I think you may calculate with a certainty of having nothing to do on this side of the Mississippi, as the enemy has crossed over, or will be subdued before he reaches that point. The result I shall probably Know to day, and will communicate with you by express immediately.
"I mentioned in my last that I had thrown up a stockade and Block houses on Rock river at the mouth of White Water creek [Bark river] six miles above Lake Cosconong, for the security of the sick and our supplies.
"I have left it Garrisoned by one company of the 5th. Regmt. under Capt Lowe & for the present a Batallion of [Third Brigade] volunteers is encamped near it. there is in Depot there about 17,000 rations.
"Genl Brady is still to much indisposed to perform duty. He will repair under a safe escort to Fort Winebago, as soon as the weather will admit of his removal with safety.
"I enclose to you a copy of my last communication & copies of Letters from Genls Dodge & Henry.
"You will, as I retain some of the Pottowattomies, hear from me the first or second day after receiving this
"(Signed) H. Atkinson Brigr Genl U. S. Arny"
Meanwhile, Major William McHenry's Spy "Battalian goes 15 miles towards the Indian encampment [of Black Hawk]."
"One large trail passed from their [Black Hawk's] old encampment [at the foot of Lake Koshkonong] directly east for several miles then turned up to the north, crossed white water [Bark river] and then entered a heavy timbered swamp about 12 miles above the lake. The trail on the [west?] of the lake, the larger of the two, crossed Rock river at the old encampment passed up the lake and crossed the river into the same wood that the other trail had entered, and it was afterwards ascertained [by Major William McHenry's Spy Battalion] that they made their way through this difficult country 16 or 18 miles higher up where they took a position covered in the rear by a small lake and their front by a creek and an impervious swamp.
"He [McHenry] came to the point after a march of some 15 or 18 miles which could be approached after crossing White Water [Bark river] only by men on foot, through a morass up to the waist."
--Brigadier General Henry Atkinson
Sunday, July 22, 1832.
7 A.M. - 66°
2 P.M. - 78°
9 P.M. - 68°
On the morning of July 22, General Henry Atkinson added a private note to the letter he wrote last night. Brigadier General Winfield Scott had been prevented from assuming command of the Black Hawk war by the plague of Asiatic Cholera. Scott refers to Atkinson's private note in his July 24 progress report to Lewis Cass, Secretary of War:
Head Qrs. N.W. Army--Chicago. July 24, 1832
"Sir--An express came to me at 2 o'clock PM. from General Atkinson. In a private note dated the morning of the 22d, he says-- ‘I have nothing to add to my official letter of last evening, of a public nature;’ --but in making up the package, his staff officer, by mistake no doubt, omitted to put in the official letter. This is most embarassing, for I learn by unofficial letters addressed to officers here, and by the express rider, that the hostile Indians had succeeded in passing be between the left flank of our army, and the Wisconsin, with a near prospect of escaping across the Mississippi, tho' pursued by generals Henry and Dodge at the head of about 900
270mounted men. The Indians were said to be a day ahead of the pursuit, well-mounted--warriors, women, and children.
"In the next sentence to the one quoted above, general atkinson says--‘I may hint however, that your future operations, if the enemy has not been brought to action by Henry and Dodge, will be on the other side of the Mississippi, and I admonish you, that you will have nothing but perplexity and difficulty in bringing the war to a close. The enemy cannot be brought to action without he chooses, except by the merest accident, and he will not fight unless he have the greatest advantage.’ ‘The horses of the present volunteer force are so much worn down that they cannot act beyond the Mississippi, untill they are revived by a rest of some weeks, and that will bring them towards the close of their term of service. Governor [John] Miller [of Missouri] has ordered out 1200 militia. You had better depend on this, than the force we have of the same description under present circumstances.’
"The express rider supposes the Indians have passed the night of the 19th at the head of the first [Kegonsa] of the Four Lakes, and would endeavour to pass the Mississippi, at, or about the mouth of the Wisconsin. I learn from persons here, acquainted with their habits, that they would have no difficulty in constructing canoes, in number sufficient for that purpose in less than a day.
"As general Atkinson concludes his private note by saying-- ‘As I can write with some certainty in a day or two, what will have to be done,’ and as he probably will write the sooner when he finds his public letter was left behind, I shall wait only some twenty or thirty hours before setting out with two staff officers and a light wagon to join the troops nearest in pursuit of the enemy. I think I shall go by Fort Hamilton
271in the mineral country--perhaps direct to Galena. I should not wait a minute, after finishing this letter, but for the necessity of knowing general Atkinson's probable route or position, and also for the purpose of giving a route to the troops which I shall leave behind here.
"Colonel Eustis shall be instructed to follow me as early as practicable with all the forces which shall have arrived, leaving only the sick & invalids."
Most of the Potawatomi Indians serving as guides and scouts for Atkinson's troops had "returned to Chicago on the 9th. 10th. & 11th. July."
Me tai wa Fish Hawk
Sha tee wolf's tail
Ke wai o nock--Returning
Wab-me-mic White Pigeon
Wa ba kai Looking on--Chief.
As ke witt Muddy
Me kess Wampum
Mon ta niss Sheep
She na ge win.
Pay co je bai
Wau kai so
Me Kai ta be nee Black Turkey
Mes Kee such down on Earth
Pee way tan Crumbs of any thing
Mex E ke ne bee
Che chalk goes--Young Crane
The only Potawatomi Indians remaining with the troops were Billy Caldwell, Wau-bon-esee, Chamblee, and Perish Le Clair.
"The troops marched 8 miles south of the river of the Four Lakes/Goosh-ke-hawn/ and encamped"
272First Lieutenant William Curtis of Captain Champion S. Mading's Company of Colonel Hosea Pierce's Third Regiment of Alexander's Second Brigade had "1 Bay horse left 22 of July Broke down & left $55.00"
"22d July. Marched 8 miles south of the River of the Four Lake [Yahara river] & encamped"
A "convoy of provision waggons was met and turned back."
Head Qrs 1st. Army Corps North Westn Army
4 miles below Fort Cosconong 22d. July 1832
"Spl. Order No. 38
"Capt. John Oustell [Onstott] 3d Regt. 1st Brigade. Ill. mounted Volunteers will with his command continue to escort the Train of Waggons [which left Fort Hamilton on July 15] loaded with provisions for the Troops until further Orders
"Signed Albt. S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A.A.A. Genel." [Aide de Camp & Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
Several recruits joined Companies of the 6th Regiment of the U.S. Army Infantry today. They "Joined from Regt. Rect [Regimental Recruiting] Depot 22 July 1832 at N. port Ky [Newport, Kentucky] by Regt order No. 58 of 22d July 1832"
Privates Peter Flannagan and Stewart Holmes joined Captain Henry Smith's Company C.
Privates William H. Ailes, Lawrence Ackle, John Baker, Richard S. Cooper and Andrew Scott joined Captain Jason Rogers's Company D.
Privates Henry Milnar, William D. Rue, and Eaton Tina joined Captain Jacob Brown's Company E, 1st Lt. Asa Richardson commanding in the absence of Brown who was "superintending the removal of Choctaw Indians".
Privates James Bigley and Joseph Curtis joined Captain George C. Hutter's Company G.
Privates John Ellis, Frederick Hane, and Mathias
273Timmerman joined Captain Thomas Noel's Company K.
"22 marched early this morning and crossed the river of 4 lakes [Yahara river] and encamped 8 miles west of it. McHenry came up & joined today"
"The Spy Battlian pursued the army across Rock river & encamped on catfish [Yahara river] 25 miles
"The Battalian pursues the army across Rock River & encamped on Catfish. Wm. Archer [General Alexander's Aide de Camp] found missing this night"
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North West Army
8 miles South of the river of four lakes 22d. July 1832.
"SPL. Order No. 39
"Lieut Col. [William] Davenport is relieved from duty
"By order of Brig. Genl. Atkinson
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A.A.A. Genl. [Aide de Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
Atkinson also informed Posey at Fort Hamilton that Black Hawk had broken out of hiding, and was making a dash for home:
"Liut: Albt. S. Johnston A D C --To Genl Posey
"Head Qrs: 1st Army Corps, North West Army
8 Miles south of the river of four Lakes 22nd. July 1832.
"Sir, I am instructed by the Commanding General [Atkinson] to inform you that on the 19th. Inst: the enemy debouched from the swamps of Rock river and took the route for the Mississippi, by the way of the Blue Mounds & Head of the four lakes closely pursued by Genls Henry and Dodge with 900 Ill mounted volunteers. The General enjoins upon you to have the country warned of their approach immediately and to move with your Brigade to oppose their March and and if possible to prevent the movement of the enemy in that direction.
"The General confidently expects that you will leave no means unemployed to Thwart the designs of the enemy.
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A.D. Camp & A. A. A. Genl."
Monday, July 23, 1832.
7 A.M. - 70°
2 P.M. - 84°
9 P.M. - 70°
Major William McHenry's Spy Battalion of Brigadier General Alexander's Second Brigade "Came up with the army [of regular U. S. Army Infantry troops and Alexander's Second Brigade] at Sugar Creek 12 miles"
"23d July [Atkinson's army] Marched to 2 miles west of Devits [Deviese's
They "Encamped after a forced march on the night of the 23d two miles west of Devits [Deviese's]"
"Sugar creek is a very handsome stream in the evening came to the diggings in the mining Region hilly land this day my horse got lame camp between two hills"
--2d Lt. Philip St. George Cooke, U.S. Army Infantry
Tuesday, July 24, 1832.
7 A.M. - 76°
2 P.M. - 80°
9 P.M. - 67°
"24th July [troops with General Henry Atkinson] Marched to the Blue Mounds"
"Next forenoon we met expresses, who bore the news of an action on the banks of the Wisconsin, where the enemy was overtaken, and said to have been roughly handled; a gallant fight it was represented to have been."
"Blue Mounds July 24th 1832
"To Brig Gen'l Atkinson
"Sir In pursuance to your order I pursued the enemy at quick time and overtook them near the Ouisconsin and completely routed them from their positions in the hills and Owing to the near approach of night withdrew the troops from the charge
My Official Report I will send you as soon as I can have it made Out
280"Suffice it to say for the present that we Overtook & Routed the enemy Lost but one man had 4 in my Brig & 4 in the Squadron [of Henry Dodge] wounded none mortally
"Between 30 and 40 of the enemy has been found on the field
"I have moved my Brigade to the Blue mounds where I will draw 5 days Rations and take up the pursuit again
"I have the honor to be Sir With great Respect your most Obt
"James D Henry Brig Gnl Comd 3rd Brig M V. [Brigadier General Commanding the 3rd Brigade of Mounted Volunteers]
"Genl Dodge will send you his official Roport to which I Refer you for particulars"
"troops suffered much for Water today having marched 20 miles without any"
"Gen. Atkinson, who had broken up his encampment on Bark River, soon arrived with his troops...."
"After a forced march of four days we reached the Blue Mounds on the 24th where Henry had fallen back for
281supplies and was encamped. Dodge had gone to Dodgeville to recruit the strength of his Battalion."
"Henry, on our arrival was encamped at Blue Mounds. Dodge had gone to Dodgeville to recruit [h]is men and horses"
"We here found a part of General Posey's brigade, who had been sent from Fort Hamilton, to assist in guarding this frontier place."
"...and late in the evening General Atkinson and General Alexander arrived with their brigades; leaving Colonel [Powell] Sharp, with those who had lost their horses, still at Fort Kushkanong; also Captain [Gideon] Low, with one company of regulars."
Atkinson's Aide, Meriwether Lewis Clark, wrote to his father, William Clark, Superintendant of Indian Affairs, "We reached here last night [July 24] much fatigued after a march of 20 miles without water, which for footmen, is, as you know, very difficult. The General [Atkinson] was on a march to drive out the Enemy from Cranberry Lake
Second Lieutenant Philip St. George Cooke, 6th Regiment, U. S. Army Infantry, got in the last word on the search for Black Hawk:
"That evening we formed a junction with the brigade and battallion of spies, at the Blue Mounds; whither they had retired, after their glorious victory, to meet us. It would be difficult to give a full idea of the proud, but modest complacency with which they all agreed--for they must tell the truth--in extolling the intrepidity and coolness exhibited in the battle; how they had, for example, cried out in the midst of it, ‘Come forward, boys, and draw your ponies!’ by which they had playfully expressed their intention of appropriating to themselves those little animals; (which the Indians found so useful that we could not learn they had
282been persuaded actually to part with any of them.) ‘Wisconsin Heights’ fairly promised to prove a watchword, before which ‘Tippecanoe,’&c., might hang its head;--‘Pity it was, we had not been there;--but they could not help it,--how could they, if the Sacs would allow themselves to be used up?’
"After all their boasting, the simple fact was, that Black Hawk, although encumbered with the women, children, and baggage of his whole band, covering himself by a small party, had accomplished the most difficult of military operations,--to wit, the passage of ariver,--in the presence of three regiments of American volunteers! And they were now gone--the victors could not tell us whither."
Monday, August 6, 1832.
7 A.M. - 75°
2 P.M. - 83°
9 P.M. - 72°
"Henry Atkinson: Orders
"Head Qrs. 1st Army Corps, North Westn. Army
"Prairie du Chien 6th Augt. 1832.
"Order No. 68
"The Ill. mounted Volunteers stationed at Fort Cosconong M. T. will immediately on the receipt of this order be marched to Dixon's Ferry, & remain there till they are mustered out of the service of the U. States.
"By order of Brig Genl Atkinson
"(Signed) A. S. [Albert Sidney] Johnston A.D.C. & A.A.A. Genl" [Aide de Camp Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
Albert S. Johnston to Gideon Low
"Liut A.S. Johnston. A.D. Camp & A A A. G To Capt Lowe
"Head Qrs: 1st Army Corps North West Army
"Prairie du chien 6th August, 1832.
"Sir, I am directed by Brigr Genl Atkinson to say to you, that your company will continue to occupy Fort Cosconong until further orders, which you may soon expect to receive unless our Indians relations should assume a more unfavorable aspect
"(Signed) Albt. S. Johnston A D Camp & A.A.A. Genl."
Friday, August 10, 1832.
7 A.M. - 61°
2 P.M. - 82°
9 P.M. - 65°
Gideon Low to Henry Atkinson
"Fort Cosconong M.T.[Michigan Territory] Augt. 10, 1832.
"Dear Genl-- I have received your order this morning at 7 Oclock, dated the 6th Inst. in regard to the Illinois Militia, mounted volunteers, & on receipt of which I reported the same to Col Sharpe, who commands the Noble Suckers
"I have my command in good order & in tolerably good police.
"I have had a great many of the hungry Winebagoes here for the last week--& agreeably to your instructions have given them a small quantity of Flour & pork.
"The old Sac prisoner I buried on the 3rd Inst.
"The Winebagoes appear to be friendly, & in order to prove themselves so, a party of five brought me three Sac scalps, a girl, from appearance of about 12 years of age. I have her now in the Fort, & think it best to keep her as a prisoner until I have further instructions from you--as her life has been threatened by several of the Winebago nation. It appears that this was a small part of a war party, who left the Soux [Sauk] camp before Black Hawk left this river. The party of Winebagoes overtook them near your old camp, three miles above this place at the crossing of White Water, where we had so much difficulty of crossing on the 8th Inst. They killed them all at the first fire & fortunately saved the child. I had them all buried the next morning. I have some reason to believe there may perhaps be three or four still remaining of the same gang--those I expect to use
"Please to accept of my best regard for your good success in killing off the enemy who has caused yourself & friends so much trouble, & particularly when higher command was so near.
"Genl Scott's express arrived here on the 8th in the evening & started the next morning. I had to procure an Indian guide for them. I hope this may meet your approbation, & further flatter myself that when there will be no farther use for me in this quarter & by your judgement I will visit Fort
293Winebago. I should be thankful by the first oppurtunity [to know] what my situation on [or] Stations may be this winter, as many things must be done before the winter should set in. I am destitute of all kinds of mechanical Tools with the exception of a few axes. There are 78 Barrels of Flour, & 51 Barrels of Pork on hand. I should like to be informed whether it will be discretionary with me to issue to the friendly Indians as usual.
"I have the honor to be Very respectfully Your obedt Servt
"G. Low. Capt. 5th Inftry Commg. post.
"Brig. Genl. H Atkinson Commg. North Wn. Army."
Saturday, August 11, 1832.
7 A.M. - 67°
2 P.M. - 87°
9 P.M. - 69°
"Abraham Eustis to Winfield Scott
"Camp on Turtle River, one mile from Rock River 11". August, 1832.
"General, Having reached this point with the Troops under my command, I have thought it proper to send forward an express to Galena, to notify you of my movement, & of the condition of the troops & also to receive from the Post office such instructions as you may have left there for me. The Post Master, at Galena [Samuel Smoker] will be requested to forward these despatches to you, wherever you may be, by Express.
"You are so perfectly acquainted with the condition of the troops, when you left Chicago, that it is not necessary further to allude to it. Two days afterwards I detached Captain McCabe with the two companies of the 5". Regiment, to establish a camp at Laughtons. On the succeeding day Major Thompson with the Battalion of the 2d marched to the same camp, & on the 2d instant, Captain [John] Munroe, with the Battalion of Artillery, having completed the unloading of the transports & the storage of all the public supplies, joined the advanced Battalions at Laughton's. I ought to have premised that a few hours after your departure, I received, under cover from Lt. Col. Crane, a certificate signed by the three assistant Surgeons, [Drs. Clement A. Finley, Edward Macomb, and Samuel G.I. De Camp] of his inability to endure field service. Whereupon, I ordered him to return to New York.
"On the second instant the remnant of the garrison of Fort Niagara, together with thirteen recruits, commanded by Adjutant [John] Clitz (Lt. Colonel Cummings having been left sick on the march) reached Chicago, & the next day joined the Battalion of the 2d. Regiment at Laughton's. On the same evening I completed all necessary arrangements in Chicago, & assumed the immediate command of the troops in camp. After remaining there two days, & finding some few cases of cholera still occurring, though of somewhat mitigated type, & the men generally in good health & spirits, I determined to take up the line of march by slow & easy movements. Accordingly, on the 6". instant, after sending back to the general hospital fifteen sick (of whom four have since joined me) I marched to Flag
299creek, 10 miles. On the 7". we reached the head waters of du Page, 13 miles. On the 8", we encamped on a small run 5 miles west of Fox river, making our march 11 miles. On the 9" we encamped on Sycamore creek, 18 miles. Yesterday we encamped on Dog creek, 16 miles-- & today we have marched through a drenching rain 14 miles.
"When we left Chicago, the cholera patients in hospital were nearly all convalescent, & there had been no death for four successive days. But I am sorry to inform you, that the disease still hangs about our camp. We have had three deaths since we have been on the march, & there are nearly a dosen cases still existing, though none are considered immediately dangerous. The officers are all in good health. Lt. Col. Cummings joined me at the end of our second days march in good health. The disease is principally confined to Captain McCabes command. Our route from Chicago has been good, & I have not seen a single Indian, though I have kept the guides in search of them, wishing to obtain information of the route from this place to Galena.
"I send with this copies of my instructions to Major Payne & others--also copies of all my orders, & a Field Report of the Troops. You will also receive some private letters for yourself, which reached Chicago by the mail the day on which I left it. The arms for the Rangers have been sent to Danville & Dixon's Ferry.
"Two of General Atkinsons volunteers have Just passed through our camp bearing despatches for Rock Island. They give us information of a second & more considerable action with the Indians, in which they say nearly three hundred were destroyed, in & on the bank of the Mississippi. They say they were informed that
300you were still at Galena & that General Atkinson was about to descend the river.
"I propose to rest here tomorrow, to wash & refresh the men, & then to continue our route to Colonel Hamiltons, where I presume the express rider may meet us on his return with your orders. So that if you think proper to direct my route higher up the river, then a march of a day or two may be saved by diverging from that point.
"I have with me a baggage train of 41 two horse wagons, & two four horse wagons, containing about 40,000 musket cartridges. Also a traveling forge which has been found eminently useful. The asst. Quartermaster informs me that he has not one spare wagon.
"I am, General, with great respect, your humble servant
"(Signed) Abm. Eustis Colo. Commg &c &c
"The original of this letter was lost on Rock River on the 12th. Augt. together with the accompanying documents.
"E. Kirby Paymr. U.S.A.
"Maj. Gen Scott, Commg. N. Western Army Galena"
Sunday, August 12, 1832.
south west wind, cloudy
7 A.M. - 71°
2 P.M. - 81°
9 P.M. - 72°
"Abraham Eustis to Winfield Scott
"Camp on Turtle near Rock River--12th Augt.1832
"General, I have this evening received your two letters of the 6th & 8th. inst. from Galena & Prairie du Chien.
"We reached this point by easy marches yesterday; & last evening I completed a bundle of despatches for you detailing all my movements, since you left us at Chicago, with copies of my instructions to Major Payne & others, & of all the orders I have issued. The documents were entrusted to the care of Brevt. Lieut. [James Henry] Prentiss, who volunteered to accompany the express rider--Mr. Le Fromboi--to Galena. They started for that place before sunrise this morning, & returned here again about sunset, when Lieut. Prentiss reported to me that after riding 20 miles he discovered that he had lost his
304despatches. I regret this accident more particularly, because with the publick documents I enclosed five or six private letters for you several of which, were, I believe, from Mrs. Scott. I had also forwarded for the Post Office private letters of my own & of other officers with me. The publick letters can be recopied, & in time, will reach you. But the private ones are I fear lost forever.
"I halted here to-day to wash & refresh the soldiers, having marched all yesterday thro' a drenching rain. We have still a few cases of cholera, tho' of a decidely mitigated type, & the Surgeons speak confidently of all doing well. The men generally are in fine marching order.
"I shall take up the route for Dixon's Ferry early tomorrow morning, & if my information prove correct, hope to reach there by Thursday noon & perhaps earlier.
"I send Laughton to Chicago with instructions to Major Payne to direct his march to Dixon's,--& shall send this by express to the latter place to be forwarded to you. I have not time to enter into any detail, but enclose with this the Morning Report of my command, begging you to understand that, of the number reported sick, Å¾ are of trifling complaints, incidental to a fatigueing march in a rainy day.
"The arms for the Rangers have reached Dixon's Ferry.
"I am General--with great respect your humble servt
"Abrm. Eustis Col. Comg. &c &c
"To Major Genl. Scott. Comg North Western Army"
To the Winnebagoes.
Saturday, August 18, 1832.
south east wind, cloudy
7 A.M. - 64°
2 P.M. - 79°
9 P.M. - 68°
"Winfield Scott to the Winnebago Indians
"Hd. Qrs. North Western Army Fort Armstrong, Rock Island
"August 18th, 1832
"Major General Scott, of the United States Army, commanding all the troops on the Mississippi River, Lake Michigan, the Fox and Wisconsin &c &c sends this talk--
"To The Chiefs, headmen and Warriors of the Winnebago nation.
"You all know, or have have heard, that Black Hawk's lawless band of Sacs, Foxes, Kickapoos &c have been driven up the Rock River to Lake Kosh-ke-nong; thence to the Wis-consin River where they were overtaken, and a great number killed or captured; thence again across the
310country to the Mississippi, where they were, a second time, defeated with great loss in killed and prisoners. Only a small body escaped across the Mississippi, all of whom will, in a few days, be destroyed by our friends, the Sioux, or brought in and surrendered by the friendly bands of Sacs and Foxes, who are now in pursuit of them. We have, already, a great body of prisoners, consisting of men, women and children, under guard at this place.
"The War, so far, has been well conducted by our General [Henry] Atkinson. It is for me, with his assistance, to conclude it. For this purpose, the President of the United States has sent me from the far East, with a strong body of fresh troops, which will soon be on the Mississippi or the Wis-consin.
"I have heard, with great regret, that many Winnebagoes have been engaged in this lawless war against the Americans. I have heard that the Winnebagos have murdered several Americans; that they have, with the scalps, danced the war dance with Black Hawk's band; that Winnebagos conducted him from Lake Kosh-kenong to the Wis-consin, and again to the Mississippi; that, after the battle of the Wis- consin, Winnebagos gave canoes to the enemy; and finally, that Winnebagos endeavoured to prevent our friends, the Menominees, from joining General Atkinson, by threating [threatening] to attack the families of the Menominees, and saying that Black Hawk had killed a thousand Americans in the battle of the Wis-consin, and would, finally be victorious. All this, I have good reason to beleive, is true.
"For these causes, I demand that the Chiefs, head men and principal Warriors of the Winnebago nation, who are under the agencies of prairie du Chien, Fort Winnebago and Rock River, meet me in council, at this place, without delay--say by the 10th day of next month; that the Winnebagos bring with them all Sacs, Foxes, Kicapoos and others of Black Hawk's band, who have taken refuge in the Winnebago country, and bring, also, to this place, such individuals of the Winnebago nation, as have taken part in the War against the United State.
"(Signed) Winfield Scott.
"(True Copy) Wm. Maynadier Lt & A.D.C."
Sunday, August 26, 1832.
south wind, clear
7 A.M. - 70°
2 P.M. - 84°
9 P.M. - 69°
"Gideon Low to Winfield Scott
"Fort Coscanong M.T. August 26, 1832.
"Dear Gen. I received your instructions respecting this post & Indians bearing date of the 17th Inst by Mr. Gratiott & every thing in my power that has not already been done, shall be attended to immediately.
"I have no doubt but you have received information through Genl Atkinson, that three of our enemy has been killed within three miles of this place--as well as one girl taken prisoner. Two of those men from what I can learn of the Winebagoes, were men of some considerable note among their nation. I also understood there were two lodges of the enemy within Twenty five or thirty miles of this place, consisting of Five men with several women & children. Those I have had
316pursued but unfortunately the pursuers, were discovered by the enemy & fled. My men found all their cooking utensils hanging over the fire. They followed them until their provision gave out & were obliged to return--but fortunately they met with a body of Potowatamies--who have followed them & are to report the circumstance to Major Whistler at Chicago. It appears they are laying their course round the lake. I had yesterday an opportunity by Col Eustice's guide, a Mr. [Stephen] Mack who was on his return to Chicago to send a full description of their Manouver. I believe those are all the Straglers of this nation, as near as can be obtained by the people. There is no doubt in my mind but a number of the winibagoos have been engaged with the Sacs & Foxes, & no doubt but you will collect all the information if they can be prevailed on to come & see you. This the agent appears endeavouring to affect.
"I am Dear General well satisfied with your instructions for my command to leave here soon, for Fort Winebago. I have several men here of different Regiments who were left sick & now fit for duty. They are barefooted & without clothing. It is also the case with the men of my company, they are without shoes--& in a manner destitute of clothing--have not even so much as to cover them with decency. This has occurred by an order to leave their clothing at Galena & Dicksons Ferry to make their baggage as light as possible--
"Many of my command are taken ill very Suddenly, something similar to the complaint at Chicago, But fortunately for me I have a surgeon who I believe removes the complaint in the course of Twenty four hours--& I may say that he has been so far successful with the exception of one case.
"I have several public horses here which I have receipted for. I should be thankful for your instructions what & how I am to manage with them--also what disposition I will make of the men of different Regiments under my command.
"I also wish your instructions respecting the issue to Indians. They appear to be all in a manner in a state of Starvation. Our pork is good, but most of the flour is bad--which I believe one cause of so much Sickness.
"I should be much pleased to obtain your order to go to Galena & Dickson's Ferry after my return to Fort Winebago, to obtain my company back-clothing & such other articles as are belonging to my company at the latter place where I left Eight men of my command by order.
"I have the Honor to be Dear Genl respectfully Your Obedt Servt G. Low.
"Maj. Genl. Winfield Scott Fort Armstrong.
"P.S. My company Books, papers &c were left in Galena for the want of Transportation. Any instruction that you may deem proper to order shall be punctually attended to"
Monday, August 27, 1832.
south west wind, cloudy, rain in the evening.
7 A.M. - 73°
2 P.M. - 84°
9 P.M. - 73°
"William H. Terrill to Winfield Scott
"Fort Cos-Kenong August 27th 1832
"Maj Genl. Scott.
"Sir I feelt it a duty incumbent upon me to address you, that you may be acquainted with our situation as it regards the Health of the troops under Cap [Gideon] Low when I was ordered by Genl. [Henry] Atkinson to remain at this post I was almost destitute, of medicine, &c and sent to Fort Winebago, but owing to a deficiency at that Post was unable to get all the articles for which I sent, in consiquence of which I have laboured under great disadvantage.
"I must now say to you my opinion is that sooner Capt. Lows command is removed from
320this place the better; the men have nothing, but Pork, and indiferent Flour to subsist on, nor have they had for several months, they are now dayly becoming sick and unless they have a change in diet must suffer.
"If this Post is to be kept up, for any time, you must have a supply of necessarys: if not I can not be accountable for the health and treatment of sick under my charge, for my Medical & Hospital Stores are almost exhausted. I will wait for your orders and remain your &c,
"William H. Terrill Surgn. 3rd Regt. 3rd Brigde. Ill. M.V.
"To Maj. Genl. Scott"
Monday, September 3, 1832.
7 A.M. - 68°
2 P.M. - 80°
9 P.M. - 66°
"Gideon Low to Winfield Scott
"Fort Kosh-ke-nong--Sept 3, 1832.
"Dear Genl. An opportunity offering itself by a band of Winebago Indians to meet you in Council at Rock Island, under the command of Three principal Chiefs, the Whirling Thunder, White Crow & the little priest--They all appear well satisfied as yet. I have no doubt but you will find by strict examination that many of those Bands of Rock River have been concerned with the Sacs, particularly their young men. There are many of them related by marriage & no doubt but those have aided their friends in the conflict.
"In my last I stated, that I had a young girl--‘a prisoner’, & expected to have waited your answer what I should do with her. I find it impossible for me to keep her, without a great deal of trouble. Her relations have stolen her once & with much trouble & difficulty [I] have received her again & have therefore thought proper to send her to you by the Whirling Thunder. I consider him one of the best chiefs among the nation & commands more respect than any one among them & sincerely hope it may meet with your approbation for so doing.
"I have had no further [information?] of any other unfriendly Indians in this part of the country. The party I sent after, those I spoke of in my last--have left the country. They were so closely pursued--that their last encampment was found with all their Cooking Utensils--Their Kettles found hanging over the fire. The party in pursuit were nearly exhausted & destitute of provisions & were obliged to quit the pursuit. However they obtained a Potowatemie Indian & sent him with instructions to Chicago to be on the look out, as those Indians were supposed to be on their way to Canada. Their last trail was seen near the Lake Shore. These were supposed to be Five Buck Indians, & several women & children. I have no doubt but they must be taken before this.
"I have nothing of importance to communicate. This post is much healthier than when I last wrote. I have been very sick for some days, but now able to be about my usual duties.
"My men's situation as regard clothing gets worse--some nearly naked. There is now left in store fifty five Barrels of Flour, & thirty five Barrels of Pork. The Small Rations are nearly
325exhausted. I have by the request of the Indian agent [Henry Gratiot] furnished the above number of Indians with Six days provision to supply their wants down the river. It will be also necessary for me to supply their families with a Small quantity during their absence I hope it may meet with your approbation as I should be sorry to do anything contrary to your orders, or wishes.
"I hope the gen'l. will not forget to send me word how I am to dispose of the men under my command, of the 1st & 6th Regts. They are also in a bad way as respects their clothing-also the men of the fifth Regt under my command, who I left at Dickson's Ferry, Rock River by order.
"All of which I humbly submit for your further instructions.
"I have the honor to be Very respectfully Your obedt Servt
"G. Low. Capt. 5th Inftry.
"Major genl. Winfield Scott Fort Armstrong."
Friday, September 7, 1832.
north west wind, clear
7 A.M. - 61°
2 P.M. - 75°
9 P.M. - 58°
"Richard Bache to Gideon Low
"Asst Ad. Genls Office N.W. Army Rock Island Sept 7" 1832.
"Sir. The General, since writing to you yesterday, has directed that when you evacuate Fort Cosh-ke-nong, you will give possession of it to the chief Waponce, who commanded the Indians under Genl Atkinson in his late expedition.
"I have the hon. to be Sir Yr mo obt st Rd. Bache AAAd Gl.
"Capt. G. Lowe 5" Inf. Commd. Ft. Cush-ke-nong. M.T. [Michigan Territory]
"Ass. Ad. Genl's office NW Army
"Rock Isl[and, Illinois] Sep 7" 1832
"I am directed by Majr Genl Scott to inform you that he has ordered the Commanding officer at Fort Cush-ke-nong to evacuate that post and surrender its possession to the Chief Wa-pon-ce, who commanded the friendly Indians under Genl Atkinson.
"Lest you should not informed, it may be well to apprise you that The Black Hawk and sons, the Prophet, the Slatting
"I have &c--
"Lt. B [Bache] AAAG.
[Acting Assistant Adjutant General]
In. A. [Indian Agent]
Thursday, September 27, 1832.
south east wind, cloudy, rain in the evening.
7 A.M. - 62°
2 P.M. - 78°
9 P.M. - 64°
"Compy ‘D’ returned" [from Fort Cosconong to Fort Winnebago].
Whilst lying here we have thrown up a strong stockade work flanked by four block houses, for the security of our supplies and the accommodation of the sick.
"I shall garrison it with a few regulars (sick) & 150 to 200 volunteer Troops under an Army Officer [Captain Gideon Low, 5th Infantry]."
July 17, 1832
"I mentioned in my last that I had thrown up a stockade and Block houses on Rock river at the mouth of White Water creek [Bark river] six miles above Lake Cosconong, for the security of the sick and our supplies
"I have left it Garrisoned by one company of the 5th Regmt. under Capt. Lowe & for the present a Batallion of volunteers is encamped near it. there is in Depot there about 17,000 rations."
July 21, 1832
"The regular troops in the absence of the volunteers threw up a stockade and temporary block houses for the protection of supplies that were hourly expected, and for the accommodation of the sick who were accumulating on our hands."
November 19, 1832
"I may add, that Fort Atkinson was constructed of log pickets, with loop-holes for musketry, with block houses on the southeast and northwest corners, with about an acre of ground within the enclosure."
Black Hawk war messenger.
"A slight breastwork was thrown up round this camp; and the troops were also employed in building two block houses and a connecting picket-work to serve for a depot."
Acting Adjutant 6th Regiment, U.S. Army Infantry.
"To enable a company to guard our provisions and sick, when we should again advance, a stockade was erected which was called Fort Kosh-ko-nong."
U.S. Army Infantry.
"There were many Winnebagoes encamped close to the Sacs, and among them. On several occasions she knew the Winnebagoes to offer their services, and spur on the Sacs against the Americans. Once they urged on the Sacs to go with them and attack the fort at Cosh-ke-nong--the Sacs said they could not stop and starve, they must go on."
"The stockade (or fort) was made of trunks of trees, the larger of which were split in half; a trench, or ditch, was dug 3 or 4 feet deep around the entire enclosure. The tree trunks were then stood up on end, in the ditch, close together, the dirt shoveled back into the ditch and tramped down, leaving the tree trunks, or pickets, sticking up about 8 feet above the ground. The stockade enclosure probably contained 5 or 6 acres. There were no buildings or cabins erected; but at the bank of the river, they had erected a very substantial slaughter house, and it was in very good condition when I first saw it."
"Mr. L. M. Roberts, who came here, a small boy, in 1840 factually in October, 1839, at the age of eight], says that at that time nothing was standing of the old fort but the corner posts, the rest having been built into a fence. He says the windlass mentioned by Prof. Mayne [quoting Aaron Rankin with reference to a substantial slaughter house] was not there until after 1854 and was part of the equipment of a slaughter house, built and owned by Richard Manning."
November, 1915, meeting, D. A. R.
"The Black Hawk war was in 1832, and the Fort, or more properly speaking, stockade, from which this place derives its name, was built of burr oak logs cut in half, one end of which was set in the ground, so as to stand about 8 feet high. It was located a little east of north of where the residence of E. P. May, now stands."
brought into Jefferson County, Wisconsin.
"There were three barracks just northwest of Eli May at the time I came [in October, 1839, at the age of eight]. The logs for these barracks were cut in two, then split lengthwise and driven into a deep ditch, extending up from the ground about eight feet. These barracks were to protect the soldiers from being attacked by the Indians who were across the river."
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
"Eli May once told Charles B. Rogers that there were still parts of the stockade standing, but he did not say where, when he bought the place and Mr. [Marvin] Roberts told [his son] Dean that parts of the old barracks which were inside the stockade and built to house the soldiers, were still there when he came here as a boy [in October, 1839, at the age of eigth] with his father, _____ Roberts."
"Cora Manning tells that her mother spoke of the logs of the stockade that stood south of Mil.[waukee] ave. which they saw as they rode into town from their home in the Country. The logs were in the low area which must have been east of the Rogers' home [at 412 East Milwaukee Avenue]."
"The construction was a stockade of posts set in the ground two or three inches apart forming an inclosure for defense.
"The outlines of the fort were as follows: Commencing at a point on the river bank near the creamery running south to Milwaukee avenue, thence south east, curving north to a point on the 1/4 (one fourth sec. line; a little west of the brick yard, thence north to river bank to place of beginning.
"An earthwork was constructed for artillery, commencing at the northeast corner of the stockade, thence east on river bank to brow of the descent to the lowland; thence south near Mr. Haumerson's house (518 E. Milwaukee ave.,) about 40 rods in length. This covered the range of all the bottom land each side of the river by artillery.
"All the timber was cut about the enclosure for its construction. One large white oak was left standing in the enclosure near the place of Mr. Wigdale's house (now, 1955, C. B. Rogers' property at 412 Milwaukee ave. E.)."
"There was another army relief, south from the Fort on what was afterwards known as the Muzzy farm. It was not a stockade, nor could it be called a corral, for stock could go through it anywhere; it was made of limbs of trees--we could see where they had been cut off. These limbs were placed so that each limb would touch each other forming a complete circle and enclosing probably ten acres.
"After due deliberation, Dwight [Foster] and I concluded
339that the army, or a portion of it, had camped there; that in case they were attacked by night and these soldiers should scatter or get bewildered when they came to this brush line they would understand they must go no further. It was to keep the soldiers in the corral.
"Many of the pickets, along the river side, had been removed. This was principally done by travelers passing through the country; there being no means of ferrying across the river, they would pull up these pickets, convert them into a raft and pole themselves across, leaving the raft to float off down the river. I know a young man who converted some of these pickets into a raft and I swa-an! I thought, for a spell, I would bring up in Lake Koshkonong before I reached shore.
"...For fuel, we burned the pickets of the old stockade. At first they were close at hand, but as time passed on the distance increased until Dwight thought he would take the oxen and snake some of them up to the cabin."
Eli P. May told me that part of the stockade was standing when he bought the place where the May house is now located, that the posts, were sharpened at the upper end and sunk into the ground, and that he pulled up some of them and burned them for firewood."
"Saturday June 20th 1840--Having the offer of Mr. A. B. Weed's horse to ride I accepted it & rode to Fort Atkinson this afternoon, which is 8 or 9 miles distant. At the fort (which is now demolished, & never was anything more than a few pickets occupied by Gen. Atkinson during the Black-hawk war,) there is but one house owned by a Mr. [Dwight] Foster who keeps the Ferry. Returned by way of Finch's who lives on sec. 30 Town 5 R 14 The River land is mostly openings on which some fine improvements have been made, & some comfortable locations may be found. In consequence of the lowland near the mouth of Bark River & the great quantity
340Plan of Area
341of water grass &c. in Rock river it proves to be rather Fever & aguish about & below the Fort. From Finche's to White Water Prairie it is nearly all rolling openings. Was overtaken and well sprinkled by a shower from the Southwest which continued till near sun-set & was succeeded by an unusually bright & well-defined rainbow."
"Dean [Roberts] is letting me take, temporarily, a drawing, verified by Ives [Roberts], showing the location of the stockade at the time the original Fort was built. This is based strictly on what Stephen A. Rice and L. Marvin Roberts agreed was the original location of the stockade.
"It starts just east of where Roland [street] meets the [Rock] river and runs south to a point almost west of a line halfway between the north end of the May place and an old brick smoke house that used to stand there which was between 15 and 20 feet north of the May place and it ran between those to the east to a point about where the east part of the present driveway is located. That driveway led back to the old barn and shop. It now curves around and comes back just east of the May house and from there it ran almost straight north to the river striking the river nearly two rods east of a live spring at the river bank which is now dry and which not only Dean Roberts, but Charles B. Rogers and others can remember.
"When Dean was a boy there were some of the posts of the old stockade still standing in the river. They had rotted, above the water line, except in low water mark, and they were exposed and he used to stand on them to fish for minnows."
"The Stockade at Fort Atkinson--Most of us have heard more or less of the ‘military works’ at Fort Atkinson, in Jefferson county, erected during the Black Hawk war, which, at times, was carried on over a considerable portion of Wisconsin. While Col. THOMAS HENDRICKSON--of whom we gave a brief sketch last week--was here, we took occasion to ‘interview’ him on this subject, as he was present and helped to do what was done in the matter. We now propose to relate what he said to us about the operations in this vicinity.
"The truth is, there was never any fort built at all at Fort Atkinson, nor was any such permanent or extensive work attempted. While in pursuit of the uncertain and flying Indians in the summer of 1832, Gen. HENRY ATKINSON reached that place, with about two regiments, Col. Dodge's mounted volunteers being in advance. This was sometime in July. Having no wagon trains, all provisions had to be transported on pack mules and horses. After looking over the situation, the General determined to establish a supply depot where the village of Fort Atkinson now stands. For this purpose, he enclosed a small space of ground within a stockade--dug trenches, and set posts f[i]rmly in the earth close together, and some eight or ten feet in height, sharpened at the upper end. The spot selected was a point of land where a small stream, which Col. HENDRICKSON thinks was called White Creek, entered Rock River. In the centre of the square a log building was put up for a store house.
"After completing this arrangement, the General marched away with his forces, except two companies regular troops, left behind to guard his munitions. The remained but a short time, the restless Indians having fled to the western parts of the then territory, near the Mississippi.
"...These are the facts, as he remembers them, after so many years."
-- Watertown Democrat newspaper
The Soldier's Grave.
"...I dug up a number of bones and finally a skull, which was that of John Dobbs."
"At the head of the grave, carved on a barrel-head was the following inscription: LIEUT. DANIEL DOBBS".
-- Mrs. Celeste Foster Southwell
"On it was written in chalk the following: ‘Peter Dobbs’."
"Local records indicate that the white man killed here by the Indians during the Black Hawk war was not a soldier, but a civilian by the name of Bennett who was fishing and hunting along the river, and the date was 1832."
--Jefferson County Union
"While occupying the fort, a few Indians came in as friends, and remained a long time. One of them professing to be very friendly, proposed to go and spy on the Indians and come back and report.
"One of the soldiers was sent with a boat to land him on the opposite side of Bark river. When the soldier landed him he turned and shot him dead, then ran and escaped. This soldier was buried on the hill near the Lutheran church."
--Thomas Crane, early settler
"Another place of interest to me when a child was what was known as the ‘Soldier's Grave’ on the hill a little northeast of the Lutheran church; it was like the Fort, picketed with half-logs, and the grave was covered with beautiful pebbles, taken from the river bank.
"At the head of the grave, carved on a barrel-head was the following inscription:
Shot by the Indians in the year
-- Celeste Foster South well, first white child brought into Jefferson County, Wisconsin.
"While the army occupied Fort Atkinson, there was one soldier killed by an Indian. The soldier was fishing in the river in front of the stockade; an Indian, concealed in the grass, on the opposite side of the river, shot him.
"He was buried in the brow of the hill south west from the stockade and only a short distance from it. Around the edge of the grave barrel staves had been stuck into the ground. To protect the grave, a trench had been dug and pickets set in similar to the stockade.
"If you were to ask a resident in Fort Atkinson to give you the name of this soldier and he happened to know that soldier had been killed, he would probably say ‘Daniel D. Dobbs’.
"I knew Daniel D. Dobbs in his life time. He lived near Aztalan and was quite prominent in county affairs in the early days.
"One day in looking around in Barber's shelter, I noticed a band stave in under a pole in the roof; out of curiosity I took it down and looked it over. On it was written in chalk the following: ‘Peter Dobbs’. There was more writing on the stave giving the company, regiment, age and date of death, all of which I have forgotten but the name ‘Peter Dobbs’ is firmly impressed upon my mind.
"To satisfy myself that this stave had been taken from the soldiers grave, I took it up to the grave and compared it with the others. I had some trouble in getting through the stockade but finally succeeded with a very tight squeeze.
"I found that two or three staves were missing from one end of the grave and that the one I had in my hand corresponded with the others. Satisfying myself, as to the name of the soldier, I replaced the stave in Barber's shelter as I found it."
--Aaron Rankin, pioneer settler
"The Jefferson County Union, still on the trail of the grave containing the bones of the pioneer soldier, killed by the Indians on the Bark river bank in the year 1832, this week discovered the disposition of the skull, even if the disposition of the remaining bones are [is] still a mystery.
"Dean Roberts well remembers the discovery of the grave on the hillside near the present Lutheran church site because his father, Lemuel M. Roberts, owned the land and levelled the hill so that the sand might be available for his brick yard. Mr. Robert's uncle, Stephen Rice, was instrumental in the excavation during which the bones of the long-dead soldier were discovered.
" ‘I was 13 or 14 years old at the time, which would make the discovery about 63 years ago ,’ said Mr. Roberts. ‘I heard the news of the bones just as school was dismissed, and hurried over to the hill, much excited. The bones of the soldier were discovered in a shallow grave, about 4 1/2 ft. deep. The skeleton was intact, and so were the army buttons.’
"‘My uncle and the spectators didn't know what should be properly done with the skeleton. But among the spectators was a Universalist preacher, Somers by name, who lived here at the time. The Rev. Somers' hobby was archaeology, and he was quite interested in the skull, in which the bullet hole was clearly visible all the way through. No one objected, and he took the skull. I don't think I ever knew what was done with the rest of the bones, although I am sure they were given a proper burial.’
"The remains were identified as those of Lt. Daniel Dobbs, Mr. Roberts heard the old timers tell the story of Dobbs' death. ‘Lt. Dobbs was one of the soldiers stationed at the Fort under the command of Gen. Atkinson. He was seated on the river bank one day [July 25, 1832] when a bullet, apparently from the gun of a wandering Indian--Possibly one of Chief Black Hawk's warriors from cross the river--whizzed through his skull’."
Fort Atkinson War Memorial, Evergreen Cemetery
"One of the soldiers, John Dobbs, was shot by the Indians while on duty.
"While I am working in the gravel hill I dug up a number of bones and finally a skull, which was that of John Dobbs. I took this skull home and afterwards gave it to Dr. Cross."
-L. Marvin Roberts, early settler
"I am presenting to the Hoard Historical Museum a U.S. army buckle, the history of which has been told to me many times by my father, Ives Roberts, and confirmed by his older brother, Dean E. Roberts. There existed a gravel pit or hill some 30 or 40 feet in height located north of the present Lutheran High School. My father, at the time this buckle was found, was a student in the grammar school situated in the block south of the gravel pit and they ran across some bones, together with a human skull, this buckle and various brass buttons. The bones, buttons and the buckle were kept by the boys and, I suppose, were taken to their homes, but what became of the skull my father did not know. His brother, Dean, had some of the buttons which have since disappeared or cannot now be found.
"This hill was never used as a burying ground, except that on it was buried one Lieut. Daniel Dobbs, a soldier in the Black Hawk War who was shot by Indians from the north shore of Rock River at the time Lieut. Dobbs was stationed here as as soldier in 1832. The story of his death and burial are found in the Jefferson County History [published by the Western Historical Society, Chicago, in 1879] referred to on pages 498-499, containing a letter written by Mrs. C. A. Southwell. She was a daughter of Dwight Foster, our first settler, and she was the first white child to be brought to Fort Atkinson. She even gives the inscription carved on a barrel-head at the head of his grave, the grave being on the top of the gravel hill; the inscription was as follows:
Shot by the Indians in the year
"This gravel pit has long since disappeared, the gravel having been used to build streets and perhaps for other purposes, so that the place where it was located is now flat, with houses built on it, but the street which is immediately east of the pit is still called Bluff Street, because of the original bluff."
--Roberta Roberts Ninedorf
First Regiment, U.S. Army Infantry, Grenadier Company A from Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, Michigan Territory, Captain R. B. Mason, included Private David W. Dobbs.
U.S. Army Enlistments for 1831:
Dobbs, David W., age 31, dark complexion, brown hair, 6'-0" tall, Patrick County, Virginia. Enlisted as a soldier on January 10, 1831, at Prairie du Chien, by Lt. Abercrombie for 5 years in 1st Regiment, Company A. Died 25th July '32 at Coskonong Mouth of White [Water] River [i.e. Bark river].
Muster Roll for 1st Regiment, Company A, August 31, 1832:
"Died 2. David W. Dobbs Private [Enlistment date] 10 Jan'y 1831 [By whom] Lieut. Abercrombie [Where] Prairie due Chien [To What Time Last Paid] 30 Apr. 1832 [Bounty paid] 12 [Dollars] Died 25 July, 1832; (at Coskonong, Mouth of White Water River.) M. T. [Michigan Territory].
Dedication of Storrs Lake Historical Marker.
by Robert Gallagher, Chairman
Milton, Wisconsin, Bicentennial Committee
"While talking to Dr. Rachel Salisbury last night, I came to the conclusion that she didn't particularly care what I said as long as I didn't say very much.
"Keeping this admonition in mind, I nevertheless do want to take about four or five minutes of your time and make some remarks that I feel are appropriate on an occasion such as this.
"Histories concerning wars are generally written by the winners, or perhaps, descendents of the winners, and I think the same thing holds true for historical markers commemorating wars. They are generally erected by the winners or by the descendent of the winners.
"I think it would be a good exercise at this time to look at this thing from the other perspective, to look at it from the perspective of perhaps one of Black Hawk's followers, to practice a little empathy, and put ourselves in the shoes of one...the mocassins of one of Black Hawk's followers. And what would we put in a history if we were to write a history of the Black Hawk war? What would be in this history?
"Perhaps we would talk about promises made by the white man and promises broken by the white man.
"We might tell about Black Hawk and his followers crossing the Mississippi river from the west bank to the east bank in order to recover land that he had formerly owned.
"We would also probably vividly describe Black Hawk flight from superior, numerically superior, forces of soldiers and the great difficulties encountered in transporting a high percentage of women and children.
"We would do a little bragging about the Battle of Wisconsin Heights in which Black Hawk and a few warriors fought a delaying action which enabled the Indians to cross the Wisconsin river.
"Perhaps we would describe the Battle of Bad Axe river as a useless and needless slaughter of men, women and children when they were trying to surrender to soldiers with vastly superior fire power and artillery pieces at their disposal.
"This part of history is not really a glorious epoch in American history. However, I question if we should try to sweep such things under the rug. I don't think so. I am glad to see a marker at Storrs Lake, commemorating the Black Hawk war.
"Such a marker may stimulate wider interest in this particular period in our history. It may stimulate read and research concerning the Black Hawk War.
"There are lessons to be learned from this war. Certainly any person with an open mind and reading about the Black Hawk war will realize that there is a great deal to learn about man's inhumanity to man.
"Perhaps there is something to be learned about the excesses caused by racism and hate.
"Something else that can be learned is that we shouldn't be too chauvenistic concerning our attitude relative to other countries because we in this country also have a few things we can be humble about.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor on behalf of the [Milton, Wisconsin,] Bicentennial Committee to accept this historical marker."
Thieme Song: "Rock River Valley."
I will sing you one song
of the place I once called home,
where white water flowed
past the fields of blackest loam.
How my heart returns
to the fields I once did roam
in the green and flowing Rock river valley,
where Black Hawk of old
he brought his starving band,
young Abe Lincoln came to fight
and grew to be a man,
where the dreams of a boy
soar high above the land
in the green and flowing Rock River valley.
It was there I lay in my warm bed
on starry winter's nights
with goblins all around me
and my head pulled in so tight,
and I heard the screaming, squealing freights
running westward in their flight
through the green and flowing Rock River valley,
where Black Hawk of old
he brought his starving band,
young Abe Lincoln came to fight
and grew to be a man,
where the dreams of a boy
soar high above the land
in the green and flowing Rock River valley.
Well, when I am far away
from Koshkonong's green tide,
I'll think of all those pretty gals
who walked there by my side
and the summer bee-buzz pollen days
of memory that glide
through the green and flowing Rock River valley,
where Black Hawk of old
he brought his starving band,
young Abe Lincoln came to fight
and grew to be a man,
where the dreams of a boy
soar high above the land
in the green and flowing Rock River valley.
Black Hawk, Black Hawk: an autobiography, edited by Donald Jackson, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1964, p. 52.
Wisconsin, State Historical Society of, Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume X (1888), Anderson, Robert, "Reminiscences of the Black Hawk War", p. 170.
BHW, Volume I, "Illinois Volunteers", Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1970, p. 375.
Wakefield, p. 78.
BHW, Volume I, "Illinois Volunteers", Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1970, p. 576.
BHW, Volume II, Part I, April 30,1831, through June 23, 1832, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1973, p. 398, note 3.
"My claim included the campground of Black Hawk, and, from indications, the Indian must have remained several weeks, living on clams, fish, wild rice and game. We found heaps of clam-shells, three or four feet across and a foot deep, and even at the present day I frequently run my plow through these heaps of shells. This old camp-ground covered nearly two acres. His tent-poles were then standing, together with his flag-staff, painted in a fantastic manner. These poles remained standing several years. Here were several recent graves, also one skeleton, placed in a wooden trough, with another turned over it, inside of a small pen, laid up of poles, all on the surface of the ground."
The skeleton was not seen by the soldiers. It was possibly that of Cau-kee-ca-mac, whom Posey's men shot on July 6. Burial ceremonies may have been conducted later by the Winnebagoes living in the area.
Ogden, George, recollections in History of Rock County and Transactions of the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute, edited and compiled by Orrin Guernsey & Josiah F. Willard, published by the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute, Janesville, Wis.: Wm. M. Doty and Brother, Printers, 1856, p. 42.
Johnston, William Preston, The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, New York: Appleton, 1878, p. 36, cited in BHW II:628.
Perhaps John Wakefield, author of this paragraph, made a mistake.
Pugh had served in the First Army as a private in Captain John Dawson's company of Major James D. Henry's Spy Battalion of Samuel Whiteside's Brigade. He was mustered out of service on May 28, 1832.
Pugh was a state representative from Sangamon county and a commissioner of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The July 18, 1832, issue of The Galenian newspaper reported, "We are authorized to announce JONATHAN H. PUGH, Esq., as a candidate to represent this District [Galena, Illinois] in the next Congress of the U. States."
The Index of BHW:I ("Illinois Volunteers") indicates no military connection for Jonathan Pugh at this time.
BHW I:204 and 205.
BHW II:109, note.
"...it is the commanding Generals intention to concentrate against the enemys force situated near Coshkonong Lake. This Lake is stated to be about five miles in length & three in width, it has in it two Islands or peninsulas with narrow passes to the main land, which are described as mirey & impassable. It is Genl. Atkinsons intention however, to give the enemy a trial at that place."
Two peninsulas in Lake Koshkonong today are named Thibeau Point and Bingham Point.
William Clark to John Robb, June 26, 1832, The National Archives of the United States, Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, Prairie du Chien Agency, 1824-1833.
"We were told that the Americans were determined shortly to lay hands on all our males both old and young, and deprive them of those parts which are said to be essential to courage; then a horde of negro men were to be brought from the South, to whom our wives, sisters, and daughters were to be given, for the purpose of raising a stock of Slaves to supply the demand in this country where negroes are scarce.
"We assure you, father, [William Clark, Superintendant of Indian Affairs in St. Louis] that this and many other similar stories have a great influence on the minds of all or at least of most of that unfortunate band [Black Hawk's], which seems now abandoned from heaven and humanity:-for the evidence of this fact. I will refer you to the enthusiastic madness with which our women urged their husbands to this desperate resort; and secondly, influenced by a belief of the above fables, they have uniformly treated the dead bodies of the unfortunate white men who have fallen into their hands with the same indignities which they themselves so much dreaded."
Taimah and Apenose to William Clark, July 22, 1832, BHW II:852.
James M. Strode to Henry Atkinson, May 26,1832, BHW II:450, and The Galenian, newspaper, Volume 1, Number 5, May 30, 1832, Galena, Illinois.
BHW II:1133 and 1155.
"The lodges were in a piece of lands subject to inundation between the lower & middle Village. Most of the Menominees were drunk, & all unarmed but one man who says he shot & killed two of the assailants & then escaped after seeing all his family killed. Out of thirty or forty Menominees in the lodges, twenty five were killed & 7 or 8 wounded, who I hope will recover. The killed were 8 Men, 6 Women & 11 Children.
"The whole affair was over and the assailants in full retreat down the River in front of the Fort, within ten minutes from the first attact."
Joseph M. Street to the Secretary of War, August 1,1831, BHW II:116-117.
Report of Oliver Emmell, BHW II:694.
Ibid., p. 695.
Russell, John, skeleton history, Russell Family Papers, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois. Hereafter referred to as Russell manuscript.
Minutes of an Examination of Prisoners, Fort Armstrong, August 19, 1832, BHW II:1028.
Ibid., p. 81.
Parkinson, Daniel M., WHC II:337.
Whitney, Ellen M., The Black Hawk War 1831-1832, Volume I, "Illinois Volunteers", Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1970, p. 572. Hereafter referrred to as BHW.
Parish, p. 122.
The Galenian newspaper, Volume 1, Number 10, Wednesday, July 4, 1832, Galena, Illinois.
Bicentennial History of Milton, The Milton Bicentennial Committee, Milton, Wisconsin, 1977, p. 11.
Peter Parkinson, Jr., serving with Dodge, later said, "I have no recollection of the locality of the Burnt Village, said to have been on White-water. None of our troops could have burned it, or, I think I should have remembered the circumstance."
History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Chicago, Western Historical Company, 1879, p. 322.
WHC, Volume X (1888), Parkinson, Peter, Jr., "Notes on the Black Hawk War", p. 207.
the State Senate...."
Dunn's daughter, Katherine, married Nelson Dewey 20 years later and became the first "First Lady" of the State of Wisconsin.
Parkinson, Daniel M., WHC II:354.
Ellen Whitney's note 2 to letter of William Whistler to Henry Atkinson, BHW II:740.
Alexander Macomb to Andrew Jackson, July 24, 1832, BHW II:754, notes. Spelling corrected here.
Wakefield, p. 84.
BHW I:354 & 358.
"After due deliberation, Dwight [Foster, first settler of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin] and I concluded that the army, or a portion of it, had camped there; that in case they were attacked by night and these soldiers should scatter or get bewildered when they came to this brush line they would understand they must go no farther. It was to keep the soldiers in the corral."
Rankin, Aaron, "My First Trip West", as told to E. J. Foster in 1900, manuscript in the Hoard Museum of the Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Historical Society.
Black Hawk's band were "the most miserable looking poor creatures you can imagine. Wasted to mere skeletons, clothed in rags scarcely sufficient to hide their nakedness, some of the children look as if they had starved so long they could not be restored."
Black Hawk, Black Hawk: an autobiography, edited by Donald Jackson, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1964, pp. 132-133.
Joseph M&DOT; Street to William Clark, August 1, 1832, BHW II:913, spelling corrected.
Council with the Rock River Winnebago, September 11, 1832, BHW II:1133 and also BHW II:1131 and 1155.
Rankin, Aaron, "My First Trip West", as told to E. J. Foster in 1900. This manuscript is in the Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Historical Society archives in the Hoard Museum. Rankin settled in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, with Dwight Foster in 1836. Accession number C1847B.
However, "Mr. L. M. [Lemuel Marvin] Roberts, who came here [to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin], a small boy, in 1840, says that at that time nothing was standing of the old fort but the corner posts, the rest having been built into a fence. He says the windlass mentioned by Prof. Mayne [in a speech to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin] was not there until after 1854 and was a part of the equipment of a slaughter house, built and owned by Richard Manning."
Jefferson County Union newspaper, December 3,1915, in the newspaper archives of the Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Historical Society in Hoard Museum.
Mr. Grennel said on the House floor, "The gentleman from Rhode Island wished to take this force from the regular army, because the soldiers loved fighting. That was Mr. G's reason for not employing them in this service. They consisted of the dregs and outcasts of society, collected at the rendezvous in our seaport towns, men of evil habits and ferocious passions; why should such men not love fighting? But Mr. G. apprehended that they loved fighting too much, and when discharged, they would, from their fighting tempers and habits of dissipation, becomes a nuisance in the community; a fungus on the body politic, which would need excision."
Mr. Sevier asked, "What were the garrison troops? They consisted generally of the refuse of society, collected in the cities and seaport towns; many of them broken down with years and infirmities; none of them used to ride, nor in anywise fit for the service to be assigned them...."
Mr. Wickliffe "had rather have two hundred mounted volunteers upon their own horses, and with their own officers, than one thousand of the dilapidated, worn out garrison troops of the United States, put on horses furnished by the Government. What was wanting in this service was woodsmen, young, active, and strong, and accustomed to horsemanship from their infancy. Where would the government get such a force? By taking the old men that were in their forts, men from forty-five to fifty and sixty years of age, scraped together from the refuse of our cities and towns? It was a matter of fact, and but true, that not one in ten of our regular troops could ride a horse fifty yards; they would roll off like so many bags of cotton."
Mr. Carr, of Indiana, asked, "Who ever heard of such a thing as mounting one of those regulars on horseback. There was not one in twenty of them that could ride a horse fifty
*National Intelligencer newspaper, June, 1832, Washington, D.C.
"It appears to me, Sir, that a crisis has arrived, which if not promptly and gallantly met by all entrusted with authority for the public good-will cause this fair and infant portion of the Union to mourn for devastations by the Scalping-knife, scarcely inferior to those about to be poured upon us by the scourging hand of an Almighty Providence. My fears are more than realized by putting to myself the following questions--
"Will it be prudent, if practicable, for General Scott to hazard a conjunction of any portion of his diseased command, with the healthy part of the Army already in the field under Genl. Atkinson?
"Would not the very rumor of Cholera, under such circumstances, drive every militia man, from the side of Atkinson?
"Is it not within human probability, that Indian Tribes, at present lukewarm and indifferent as to the fate of this War--such as the Pottawattamies & Winnebagoes, both partially allied to the hostile Indians by intermarriages--may not, by witnessing the ravages made by disease among our troops, --at once and to a man, join the Sacs & Foxes, and raise the Tomahawk against us?"*
*George Boyd to George Porter, July 23, 1832, in Whitney Ellen M&DOT;, The Black Hawk War 1831-1832, Volume II, "Letters and Papers", Part II, June 24, 1832, through October 14, 1834, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1975, p. 855. Hereafter referred to as BHW.
*Winfield Scott to Joseph Orr, July 22,1832, BHW II:851.
*Henry Atkinson to Winfield Scott, July 17, 1832, BHW II:815.
The July 18 issue reported, "In consequence of the interruption received by Col. March in his first route towards the army with the teams, the troops are now, or have been, delayed for want of provisions. Mr. [John] Marsh states, that he met the 30 teams under Col. [Enoch] March's immediate superintendence, three days and a half since, about 50 miles from the main body of the army; it is but reasonable then, to suppose, that the train has reached head quarters by this time.
"60,000 rations have been sent from this point to the army, we understand, since the 5th inst. the time when Col. March left, and 60,000 more are, it is said, to be placed in depot at Hamilton's"
Nathaniel J. Eaton to Henry Atkinson, July 20, 1832, BHW II:836.
* William Davenport to Henry Atkinson, June 28, 1832, BHW II:703.
*Winfield Scott to Lewis Cass, July 26-27, 1832, BHW II:887.
* Wakefield, John Allen, History of the War between the United States and the Sac and Fox Nations of Indians, Calvin Goudy, Jacksonville, Illinois, 1834. Because this is a rare book, all citations refer to a reprint edited by Frank Everett Stevens. Chicago: Caxton Club, 1908. Hereafter referred to as Wakefield. This quote is from pp. 116-117.
* Martin, Lawrence, The Physical Geography of Wisconsin, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1965, p. 60.
only of Eye-Witness Sources used in this book. For a more complete bibliography, see Ellen M. Whitney's The Black Hawk War 1831-1832, Volume II, Part III, "Appendices and Index", Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1978.
Abraham Lincoln Association Papers, Herndon Manuscripts, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield.
American State Papers. See United States Congress.
Anderson, Robert. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume X (1888). "Reminiscences of the Black Hawk War", pp. 167-176.
Barret, Mrs. Mason, Collection, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bicentennial History of Milton. The Bicentennial Committee. Milton, Wisconsin. 1977.
[Black Hawk] Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, Black Hawk: An Autobiography. Ed. Donald Jackson. 1st ed., 1833; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1955.
Black Hawk War Collection, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield.
Black Hawk War Collection, Hoard Museum, Fort Atkinson Historical Society, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Bracken, Charles. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume II (1856). "Further Strictures on Ford's Black Hawk War", pp. 402-414.
Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois.... Philadelphia: J. L. McDonough & Co. 1883.
Cooke, Philip St. George. Scenes and Adventures in the Army: Or Romance of Military Life. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1857.
Farmer, John. Map of the Territories of Michigan and Ouisconsin.... Albany, N. Y.: Rawdon Clark & Co., 1830.
Galenian, The. Newspaper. Galena, Illinois.
Gallagher, Robert. Storrs Lake Marker Acceptance Speech. Milton, Wisconsin. Tape recording. Hoard Museum, Fort Atkinsons, Wisconsin, Historical Society.
Hagan, William Thomas. "Black Hawk's Route through Wisconsin." Mimeo. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1949.
---------. "The Dodge-Henry Controversy", Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Volume 50 (1957), Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1957, pp. 377-384.
History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Chicago. Western Historical Company. 1879.
History of Rock County and Transactions of the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute. Ed. Orrin Guernsey and Josiah F. Willard. Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute, Janesville, Wisconsin. Wm. M. Doty and Brother, Printers. 1856.
Iles, Elijah. Sketches of Early Life and Times in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois. Springfield, Ill.: Springfield Printing Co., 1883.
Iowa, State Historical Society of. Iowa Historical Record. Volume I (1885). Salter, William. "Henry Dodge, II In the Black Hawk War, 1832", pp. 391-422.
Johnston, Albert Sidney. "April 1-August 2 Johnston Edited Journal". Tulane University Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Mrs. Mason Barret Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana.
-------. "June 12- August 16 Johnston Field Journal", Tulane University Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Mrs. Mason Barret Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana.
-------. "April 1- August 2 Johnston Public Journal", Tulane University Library, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Mrs. Mason Barret Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana.
-------. "April 1 - August 2 Johnston Public Journal", Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois.
Johnston, William Preston. The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston... New York: Appleton, 1878.
Kinzie, Juliette M. Wau-Bun, The "Early Day" in the Northwest. Ed. Louise Phelps Kellogg. The National Society of Colonial Dames in Wisconsin, Menasha, 1968, Wisconsin.
Lyman, George D. John Marsh, Pioneer: The Life Story of a Trail-Blazer on Six Frontiers. New York: Scribner's, 1930.
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, Prairie du Chien.
Record Group 94, Adjutant General's Office, Returns from U. S. Military Posts.
Military Service Records.
National Intelligencer. Newspaper. Washington, D. C.
Parish, John Carl. George Wallace Jones. Iowa Biographical Series. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1912.
Parkinson, Daniel M. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume II (1856). "Pioneer Life in Wisconsin", pp. 326-364.
Parkinson, Peter, Jr. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume II (1856). "Strictures upon Ford's Black Hawk War", pp. 393-401.
-----------. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume X (1888). "Notes on the Black Hawk War", pp. 184-212.
Pelzer, Louis. Henry Dodge. Iowa Biographical Series. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1911.
Reynolds, John. Reynolds' History of Illinois: My Own Times: Embracing Also the History of My Life, 1855; Chicago: Chicago Historical Society: Fergus Printing Co., 1879.
Russell, John. Papers. Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield.
Ryan, John. Letter. Evelyn Weiskircher, Shullsburg, Wisconsin, and Fort Atkinson Historical Society, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Salisbury, Albert. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume VI (1872). "Green County Pioneers", pp. 401-415.
Salter, William. The Life of Henry Dodge, from 1782 to 1833. Burlington, Iowa: n.p., 1890.
Scanlan, Peter Lawrence. Prairie du Chien: French, British, American. Menasha, Wis: George Banta Pub. Co., 1938.
Smith, Henry. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Volume X (1888). "Indian Campaign of 1832", pp. 150-166.
------. Diary, extracts from newspaper article in Notebook 501B. Fort Atkinson Historical Society. Hoard Museum. Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
------. The Expedition against the Sauk and Fox Indians, 1832. The Follwing Narrative of the Expedition against the Sauk and Fox Indians, Last Year, Has Been Kindly Furnished to the Military and Naval Magazine by an Officer Who Served in General Atkinson's Brigade. New York: n.p., 1914.
Smith, William R. The History of Wisconsin. In Three Parts, Historical, Documentary, and Descriptive.... Madison, Wis.: Beriah Brown, 1854. (Volumes 1 and 3 only printed.)
Starin, Frederick J. The Wisconsin Magazine of History. Volume 6 (1922-1923) "Diary of a Journey to Wisconsin in 1840", pp. 207-232.
Thieme, Art. "Rock River Valley". Kicking Mule Record Company. Berkeley, California.
United States Congress. American State Papers: Indian Affairs, Volume I, Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1832.
------------. Congressional Documents (Serial Set 233). 22nd Congress, 2d Session.
Wakefield, John Allen. History of the War between the United States and the Sac and Fox Nations of Indians. Calvin Goudy. Jacksonville, Illinois, 1834.
---------. Wakefield's History of the Black Hawk War: A Reprint of the 1st Edition by John A. Wakefield, Esquire, from the Press of Calvin Goudy, Jacksonville, Illinois, 1834. Ed. Frank Everett Stevens. Chicago: Caxton Club, 1908.
Whitney, Ellen M. The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 Volume I, "Illinois Volunteers". Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1970. Published as Volume XXXV of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library.
---------. The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 Volume I, "Letters and Papers," Part I, April 30, 1831, through June 23, 1832. Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1970. Published as Volume XXXVI of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library.
----------. The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 Volume II, "Letters and Papers," Part II, June 24, 1832, through October 14, 1834. Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1975. Published as Volume XXXVII of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library.
----------. The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 Volume II, "Letters and Papers," Part III, Appendices and Index. Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 1975. Published as Volume XXXVIII of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library.
Wisconsin, State Historical Society of. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.