Black Hawk War

Black Hawk War

Overview
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832
1832 in the United States
-Incumbents:* President: Andrew Jackson * Vice President: John C. Calhoun , vacant * Chief Justice: John Marshall...

 between the United States and Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwaki
Meskwaki
The Meskwaki are a Native American people often known to outsiders as the Fox tribe. They have often been closely linked to the Sauk people. In their own language, the Meskwaki call themselves Meshkwahkihaki, which means "the Red-Earths." Historically their homelands were in the Great Lakes region...

s, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band
British Band
The British Band was a group of Native Americans which fought against Illinois and Michigan Territory militia units during the 1832 Black Hawk War. The band was composed of about 1,500 men, women, and children from the Sauk, Meskwaki, Fox, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Ottawa nations;...

" crossed the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 into the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but he was apparently hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on land that had been ceded to the United States in a disputed 1804 treaty.

American officials, convinced that the British Band was hostile, mobilized a frontier army.
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Encyclopedia
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832
1832 in the United States
-Incumbents:* President: Andrew Jackson * Vice President: John C. Calhoun , vacant * Chief Justice: John Marshall...

 between the United States and Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwaki
Meskwaki
The Meskwaki are a Native American people often known to outsiders as the Fox tribe. They have often been closely linked to the Sauk people. In their own language, the Meskwaki call themselves Meshkwahkihaki, which means "the Red-Earths." Historically their homelands were in the Great Lakes region...

s, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band
British Band
The British Band was a group of Native Americans which fought against Illinois and Michigan Territory militia units during the 1832 Black Hawk War. The band was composed of about 1,500 men, women, and children from the Sauk, Meskwaki, Fox, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Ottawa nations;...

" crossed the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 into the U.S. state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but he was apparently hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on land that had been ceded to the United States in a disputed 1804 treaty.

American officials, convinced that the British Band was hostile, mobilized a frontier army. With few U.S. Army soldiers in the region, most American troops were part-time, poorly trained militiamen. Hostilities began on May 14, 1832, when the militia opened fire on a delegation from the British Band. Black Hawk responded by attacking the militia force, soundly thrashing them at the Battle of Stillman's Run
Battle of Stillman's Run
The Battle of Stillman's Run, also known as the Battle of Sycamore Creek or the Battle of Old Man's Creek, occurred on May 14, 1832. The battle was named for Major Isaiah Stillman and his detachment of 275 Illinois militia which fled in a panic from a large number of Sauk warriors. According to...

. He led his band to a secure location in what is now southern Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. As American forces pursued Black Hawk's band, Native Americans conducted raids against American forts and settlements. Some Ho-Chunk
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

 and Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

 warriors with grievances against Americans took part in these raids, although most members of those tribes tried to avoid the conflict. The Menominee
Menominee
Some placenames use other spellings, see also Menomonee and Menomonie.The Menominee are a nation of Native Americans living in Wisconsin. The Menominee, along with the Ho-Chunk, are the only tribes that are indigenous to what is now Wisconsin...

 and Dakota
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

 tribes, already at odds with the Sauks and Meskwakis, supported the Americans.

Commanded by General Henry Atkinson, the US troops tried to track down the British Band. Militia under Colonel Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Territorial Governor of Wisconsin and a veteran of the Black Hawk War. His son was Augustus C. Dodge with whom he served in the U.S. Senate, the first, and so far only, father-son pair to serve concurrently....

 caught up with the British Band on July 21 and defeated them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights
Battle of Wisconsin Heights
The Battle of Wisconsin Heights was the penultimate engagement of the 1832 Black Hawk War, fought between the United States state militia and allies, and the Sauk and Fox tribes, led by Black Hawk. The battle took place in what is now Dane County, near present-day Sauk City, Wisconsin...

. Black Hawk's band, weakened by hunger, death, and desertion, retreated towards the Mississippi. On August 2, American soldiers attacked the remnants of the British Band at the Battle of Bad Axe
Battle of Bad Axe
The Battle of Bad Axe, also known as the Bad Axe Massacre, occurred 1–2 August 1832, between Sauk and Fox Indians and United States Army regulars and militia. This final battle of the Black Hawk War took place near present-day Victory, Wisconsin in the United States...

, killing or capturing most of them. Black Hawk and other leaders escaped, but later surrendered and were imprisoned for a year.

The Black Hawk War is now often remembered as the conflict that gave young Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 his brief military service
Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War
Abraham Lincoln served as a volunteer in the Illinois Militia from April 21, 1832-July 10, 1832 during the Black Hawk War. Lincoln never saw combat during his tour but was elected captain of his first company. He was also present in the aftermath of two of the war's battles, where he helped to bury...

. Other notable American participants included Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

, Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

, and Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

. The war gave impetus to the US policy of Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

, in which Native American tribes were pressured to sell their lands and move west of the Mississippi River.

Background


In the 18th century, the Sauk and Meskwaki
Meskwaki
The Meskwaki are a Native American people often known to outsiders as the Fox tribe. They have often been closely linked to the Sauk people. In their own language, the Meskwaki call themselves Meshkwahkihaki, which means "the Red-Earths." Historically their homelands were in the Great Lakes region...

 (or Fox) Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes lived along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 in what is now the U.S. states of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 and Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

. The two tribes had become closely connected after having been displaced from the Great Lakes region
Great Lakes region (North America)
The Great Lakes region of North America, occasionally known as the Third Coast or the Fresh Coast , includes the eight U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as the Canadian province of Ontario...

 in conflicts with New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 and other Native American tribes, particularly after the so-called Fox Wars
Fox Wars
The Fox Wars were two 18th-century wars between the Fox Indians and the French , which occurred in territories that are now the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, U.S.A.. The First Fox War broke out with the French when the Fox numbered some 3,500. After the Second Fox War , the remaining 1,500...

 ended in the 1730s. By the time of the Black Hawk War, the population of the two tribes was about 6,000 people.

Disputed treaty


As the United States expanded westward in the early 19th century, government officials sought to buy as much Native American land as possible. In 1804, territorial governor
Indiana Territory
The Territory of Indiana was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1800, until November 7, 1816, when the southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Indiana....

 William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

 negotiated a treaty in St. Louis
Treaty of St. Louis
The Treaty of St. Louis is one of many treaties signed between the United States and various Native American tribes.-1804 - Sauk and Fox :...

 in which a group of Sauk and Meskwaki leaders sold their lands east of the Mississippi for more than $2,200 in goods and annual payments of $1,000 in goods. The treaty became controversial because the Native leaders had not been authorized by their tribal councils to cede lands. Historian Robert Owens argued that the chiefs probably did not intend to give up ownership of the land, and that they would not have sold so much valuable territory for such a modest price. Historian Patrick Jung concluded that the Sauk and Meskwaki chiefs intended to cede a little land, but that the Americans included more territory in the treaty's language than the Natives realized. According to Jung, the Sauks and Meskwakis did not learn the true extent of the cession until years later.

The 1804 treaty allowed the tribes to continue using the ceded land until it was sold to American settlers by the U.S. government. For the next two decades, Sauks continued to live at Saukenuk, their primary village, which was located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. In 1828, the U.S. government finally began to have the ceded land surveyed for white settlement. Indian agent
Indian agent
In United States history, an Indian agent was an individual authorized to interact with Native American tribes on behalf of the U.S. government.-Indian agents:*Leander Clark was agent for the Sac and Fox in Iowa beginning in 1866....

 Thomas Forsyth
Thomas Forsyth (Indian Agent)
Major Thomas Forsyth was a 19th-century American frontiersman and trader who served as a U.S. Indian agent to the Sauk and Fox during the 1820s and was replaced by Felix St. Vrain prior to the Black Hawk War...

 informed the Sauks that they should vacate Saukenuk and their other settlements east of the Mississippi.

Sauks divided


The Sauks were divided about whether to resist implementation of the disputed 1804 treaty. Most Sauks decided to relocate west of the Mississippi rather than become involved in a confrontation with the United States. The leader of this group was Keokuk, who had helped defend Saukenuk against the Americans during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. Keokuk was not a chief, but as a skilled orator, he often spoke on behalf of the Sauk civil chiefs in negotiations with the Americans. Keokuk regarded the 1804 treaty as a fraud, but after having seen the size of American cities on the east coast in 1824, he did not think the Sauks could successfully oppose the United States.

Although the majority of the tribe decided to follow Keokuk's lead, about 800 Sauks—roughly one-sixth of the tribe—chose instead to resist American expansion. Black Hawk, a war captain who had fought against the United States in the War of 1812 and was now in his 60s, emerged as the leader of this faction in 1829. Like Keokuk, Black Hawk was not a civil chief, but he became Keokuk's primary rival for influence within the tribe. Black Hawk had actually signed a treaty in May 1816 that affirmed the disputed 1804 land cession, but he insisted that what had been written down was different from what had been spoken at the treaty conference. According to Black Hawk, the "whites were in the habit of saying one thing to the Indians and putting another thing down on paper."

Black Hawk was determined to hold onto Saukenuk, where he lived and had been born. When the Sauks returned to the village in 1829 after their annual winter hunt in the west, they found that it had been occupied by white squatters who were anticipating the sale of land. After months of clashes with the squatters, the Sauks left in September 1829 for the next winter hunt. Hoping to avoid further confrontations, Keokuk told Forsyth that he and his followers would not return to Saukenuk.

Against the advice of Keokuk and Forsyth, Black Hawk's faction returned to Saukenuk in the spring of 1830. This time, they were joined by more than 200 Kickapoos, a people who had often allied with the Sauks. Black Hawk and his followers became known as the "British Band
British Band
The British Band was a group of Native Americans which fought against Illinois and Michigan Territory militia units during the 1832 Black Hawk War. The band was composed of about 1,500 men, women, and children from the Sauk, Meskwaki, Fox, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Ottawa nations;...

" because they sometimes flew a British flag to defy claims of U.S. sovereignty, and because they hoped to gain the support of the British at Fort Malden
Fort Malden
Fort Malden is a fort that stands on the remains of Fort Amherstburg in Amherstburg, Ontario. The original fort was abandoned by the British/Canadians in 1813 when Southwest Ontario fell into American hands. The Americans began building a smaller replacement fort on the same site, but this was...

 in Canada.

When the British Band once again returned to Saukenuk in 1831, Black Hawk's following had grown to about 1,500 people, and now included some Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

s, a people with close ties to the Sauks and Meskwakis. American officials determined to force the British Band out of the state. General Edmund P. Gaines
Edmund P. Gaines
Edmund Pendleton Gaines was a United States army officer who served with distinction during the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and the Black Hawk War.-Early life:...

, commander of the Western Department of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, assembled troops with the hope of intimidating Black Hawk into leaving. The army had no cavalry to pursue the Sauks should they flee further into Illinois on horseback, and so on June 5 Gaines requested that the state militia provide a mounted battalion. Illinois governor John Reynolds
John Reynolds (U.S. politician)
John Reynolds was a United States politician from the state of Illinois. He was one of the original four justices of the Illinois Supreme Court, 1818–1825, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826–1830, 1846–1848, and 1852–1854 , and the 4th Illinois Governor from 1830–1834...

 had already alerted the militia; about 1,500 volunteers turned out. Meanwhile, Keokuk convinced many of Black Hawk's followers to leave Illinois.

On June 26, 1831, Gaines launched an assault against Saukenuk, only to find that Black Hawk and his followers had abandoned the village and recrossed the Mississippi. On June 30, Black Hawk, Quashquame
Quashquame
Quashquame was a Sauk chief; he was the principal signer of the 1804 treaty that ceded Sauk land to the United States government...

, and other Sauk leaders met with Gaines and signed an agreement in which the Sauks promised to remain west of the Mississippi and to break off further contact with the British in Canada.

Black Hawk's return


Black Hawk did not remain west of the Mississippi for long. In late 1831, Neapope
Neapope
Neapope was a spiritual leader of the Sauk tribe and advisor to Black Hawk during the Black Hawk War.-Biography:...

, a Sauk civil chief, returned from Fort Malden and told Black Hawk that the British and the other Illinois tribes were prepared to support the Sauks against the United States. Why Neapope made these claims, which would prove to be unfounded, is unclear. Historians have described Neapope's report to Black Hawk as "wishful thinking" and the product of a "fertile imagination". Black Hawk welcomed the information, though he would later criticize Neapope for misleading him. He spent the winter in an unsuccessful attempt to recruit additional allies from other tribes and from Keokuk's followers.

According to Neapope's erroneous report, Wabokieshiek
Wabokieshiek
Wabokieshiek was an important Native American of the Ho-Chunk and Sauk tribes in 19th century Illinois, playing a key role in the Black Hawk War of 1832...

 ("White Cloud"), a shaman known to Americans as the "Winnebago Prophet", had claimed that other tribes were ready to support Black Hawk. Wabokieshiek's mother was a Ho-Chunk
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

 (Winnebago), but his father had belonged to a Sauk clan that provided the tribe's civil leaders. When Wabokieshiek joined the British Band in 1832, he would become the ranking Sauk civil chief in the group. His village, Prophetstown
Prophetstown, Illinois
Prophetstown is a city in Whiteside County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,080 at the 2010 census, up from 2,023 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Prophetstown is located at ....

, was about thirty-five miles up the Rock River from Saukenuk. The village was inhabited by about 200 Ho-Chunks, Sauks, Meskwakis, Kickapoos, and Potawatomis who were dissatisfied with tribal leaders who refused to stand up to American expansion. Although some Americans would later characterize Wabokieshiek as a primary instigator of the Black Hawk War, the Winnebago Prophet, according to historian John Hall, "actually discouraged his followers from resorting to armed conflict with the whites".

On April 5, 1832, the British Band entered Illinois once again. Numbering about 500 warriors and 600 non-combatants, they crossed near the mouth of the Iowa River
Iowa River
The Iowa River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the state of Iowa in the United States. It is about long and is open to small river craft to Iowa City, about from its mouth...

 over to Yellow Banks (present-day Oquawka, Illinois
Oquawka, Illinois
Oquawka is a village in Henderson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,539 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Henderson County.Oquawka is part of the Burlington, IA–IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

), and then headed north. Black Hawk's intentions upon reentering Illinois are not entirely clear, since reports from both white and Indian sources are conflicting. Some said that the British Band intended to reoccupy Saukenuk, while others said that the destination was Prophetstown. According to historian Kerry Trask, "even Black Hawk may not have been sure where they were going and what they intended to do".

As the British Band moved into Illinois, American officials urged Wabokieshiek to advise Black Hawk to turn back. Previously, the Winnebago Prophet had encouraged Black Hawk to come to Prophetstown, arguing that the 1831 agreement made with General Gaines prohibited a return to Saukenuk, but did not forbid the Sauks from moving to Prophetstown. Now, instead of telling Black Hawk to turn back, Wabokieshiek told him that, as long as the British Band remained peaceful, the Americans would have no choice but to let them settle at Prophetstown, especially if the British and the area tribes supported the band. Although the British Band traveled with armed guards as a security precaution, Black Hawk was probably hoping to avoid a war when he reentered Illinois. The presence of women, children, and the elderly indicated that the band was not a war party.

Intertribal war and American policy


Although the return of Black Hawk's band worried U.S. officials, they were at the time more concerned about the possibility of a war among the Native American tribes in the region. Most accounts of the Black Hawk War focus on the conflict between Black Hawk and the United States, but historian John Hall argues that this overlooks the perspective of many Native American participants. According to Hall, "the Black Hawk War also involved an intertribal conflict that had smoldered for decades". Tribes along the Upper Mississippi had long fought for control of diminishing hunting grounds, and the Black Hawk War provided an opportunity for some Natives to resume a war that had nothing to do with Black Hawk.

After having displaced the British as the dominant outside power following the War of 1812, the United States had assumed the role of mediator in intertribal disputes. Before the Black Hawk War, U.S. policy discouraged intertribal warfare. This was not strictly for humanitarian reasons: intertribal warfare made it more difficult for the United States to acquire Indian land and move the tribes to the West, a policy known as Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

, which had become the primary goal by the late 1820s. U.S. efforts at mediation included multi-tribal treaty
Treaty of Prairie du Chien
The Treaty of Prairie du Chien may refer to any of several treaties made and signed in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin between the United States, representatives from the Sioux, Sac and Fox, Menominee, Ioway, Winnebago and the Anishinaabeg Native American peoples.-1825:The first treaty of Prairie du...

 councils at Prairie du Chien in 1825 and 1830, in which tribal boundaries were drawn. Native Americans sometimes resented American mediation, especially young men, for whom warfare was an important avenue of social advancement.

The situation was complicated by the American spoils system
Spoils system
In the politics of the United States, a spoil system is a practice where a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as opposed to a system of awarding offices on the...

. After Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 assumed the U.S. presidency
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 in March 1829, many competent Indian agents were replaced by unqualified Jackson loyalists, argues historian John Hall. Men like Thomas Forsyth
Thomas Forsyth (Indian Agent)
Major Thomas Forsyth was a 19th-century American frontiersman and trader who served as a U.S. Indian agent to the Sauk and Fox during the 1820s and was replaced by Felix St. Vrain prior to the Black Hawk War...

, John Marsh
John Marsh (pioneer)
“Doctor” John Marsh was born in 1799 in South Danvers, Massachusetts and died in Pacheco, California in 1856. He was an early pioneer and settler in California, and although he did not have a medical degree, is often regarded as the first person to practice medicine in California.-Early life:Marsh...

, and Thomas McKenney were replaced by less qualified men such as Felix St. Vrain
Felix St. Vrain
Felix St. Vrain was a United States Indian agent who was killed during the Black Hawk War. St. Vrain died along with three companions while on a mission to deliver dispatches from Dixon's Ferry, Illinois to Fort Armstrong. The incident has become known as the St. Vrain massacre.-Early life:Felix...

. In the 19th century, historian Lyman Draper
Lyman Draper
Lyman Copeland Draper, was a librarian and historian who served as secretary for the Wisconsin Historical Society at Madison, Wisconsin. Draper also served as Superintendent of Public Instruction of Wisconsin 1858-1860....

 argued that the Black Hawk War could have been avoided had Forsyth remained as the agent to the Sauks.

In 1830, violence threatened to undo American attempts at preventing intertribal warfare. In May, Dakotas (Santee Sioux) and Menominee
Menominee
Some placenames use other spellings, see also Menomonee and Menomonie.The Menominee are a nation of Native Americans living in Wisconsin. The Menominee, along with the Ho-Chunk, are the only tribes that are indigenous to what is now Wisconsin...

s killed fifteen Meskwakis attending a treaty conference at Prairie du Chien. In retaliation, a party of Meskwakis and Sauks killed twenty-six Menominees, including women and children, at Prairie du Chien in July 1831. American officials discouraged the Menominees from seeking revenge, but the western bands of the tribe formed a coalition with the Dakotas to strike at the Sauks and Meskwakis.

Hoping to prevent the outbreak of a wider war, American officials ordered the U.S. Army to arrest the Meskwakis who massacred the Menominees. General Gaines was ill, and so his subordinate, Brigadier General Henry Atkinson, received the assignment. Atkinson was a middle-aged officer who had ably handled administrative and diplomatic tasks, most notably during the 1827 Winnebago War
Winnebago War
The Winnebago War was a brief conflict that took place in 1827 in the Upper Mississippi River region of the United States, primarily in what is now the state of Wisconsin. Not quite a war, the hostilities were limited to a few attacks on American civilians by a portion of the Winnebago Native...

, but he had never seen combat. On April 8, he set out from Jefferson Barracks in Missouri, moving up the Mississippi River by steamboat with about 220 soldiers. By chance, Black Hawk and his British Band had just crossed into Illinois. Although Atkinson did not realize it, his boats passed Black Hawk's band.

When Atkinson arrived at Fort Armstrong
Fort Armstrong
Fort Armstrong , was one of a chain of western frontier defenses which the United States erected after the War of 1812. It was located at the foot of Rock Island, Illinois, in the Mississippi River between present-day Illinois and Iowa. It was five miles from the principal Sac and Fox village on...

 on Rock Island
Rock Island Arsenal
The Rock Island Arsenal comprises , located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. It lies within the state of Illinois. The island was originally established as a government site in 1816, with...

 on April 12, he learned that the British Band was in Illinois, and that most of the Meskwakis he wanted to arrest were now with the band. Like other American officials, Atkinson was convinced that the British Band intended to start a war. Because he had few troops at his disposal, Atkinson hoped to get support from the Illinois state militia. He wrote to Governor Reynolds on April 13, describing—and perhaps purposely exaggerating—the threat that the British Band posed. Reynolds, who was eager for a war to drive the Indians out of the state, responded as Atkinson had hoped: he called for militia volunteers to assemble at Beardstown
Beardstown, Illinois
Beardstown is a city in Cass County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,123 at the 2010 census. The public schools are in Beardstown Community Unit School District 15.-Geography:Beardstown is located at...

 by April 22 to begin a thirty-day enlistment. The 2,100 men who volunteered were organized into a brigade of five regiments under Brigadier General Samuel Whiteside
Samuel Whiteside
Samuel Whiteside was an Illinois pioneer, political figure and military leader. He is not the same person as the Major Samuel Whitside who participated in the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.-Biography:...

. Among the militiamen was 23-year-old Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War
Abraham Lincoln served as a volunteer in the Illinois Militia from April 21, 1832-July 10, 1832 during the Black Hawk War. Lincoln never saw combat during his tour but was elected captain of his first company. He was also present in the aftermath of two of the war's battles, where he helped to bury...

, who was elected captain of his company.

Initial diplomacy


After Atkinson's arrival at Rock Island on April 12, 1832, he, Keokuk, and Meskwaki chief Wapello
Wapello (chief)
Wapello was a Native American chief of the Meskwaki tribe.-Early life:Wapello was born in 1787 at Prairie du Chien, in what is now the state of Wisconsin...

 sent emissaries to the British Band, which was now ascending the Rock River. Black Hawk rejected the messages advising him to turn back. Colonel Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

, a regular army officer who served under Atkinson, later stated that Atkinson should have made an attempt to stop the British Band by force. Some historians have agreed, arguing that Atkinson could have prevented the outbreak of war with more decisive action or astute diplomacy. Cecil Eby charged that "Atkinson was a paper general, unwilling to proceed until all risk had been eliminated". Kerry Trask, however, argued that Atkinson was correct in believing that he did not yet have enough troops to stop the British Band. According to Patrick Jung, leaders on both sides had little chance of avoiding bloodshed at this point, because the militiamen and some of Black Hawk's warriors were spoiling for a fight.

Meanwhile, Black Hawk learned that the Ho-Chunk
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

 and Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

 tribes were less supportive than anticipated. As in other tribes, different bands of these tribes often pursued different policies. The Ho-Chunks who lived along the Rock River in Illinois had family ties to the Sauks; they cautiously supported the British Band while trying not to provoke the Americans. Ho-Chunks in Wisconsin were more divided. Some bands, remembering their loss to the Americans in the 1827 Winnebago War
Winnebago War
The Winnebago War was a brief conflict that took place in 1827 in the Upper Mississippi River region of the United States, primarily in what is now the state of Wisconsin. Not quite a war, the hostilities were limited to a few attacks on American civilians by a portion of the Winnebago Native...

, decided to stay clear of the conflict. Other Ho-Chunks with ties to the Dakotas and Menominees, most notably Waukon Decorah and his brothers, were eager to fight against the British Band.

Most Potawatomis wanted to remain neutral in the conflict, but found it difficult to do so. Many white settlers, recalling the Fort Dearborn massacre
Fort Dearborn massacre
The Battle of Fort Dearborn occurred on August 15, 1812, near Fort Dearborn, Illinois Territory during the War of 1812. The engagement followed the evacuation of the fort as ordered by the U.S. General William Hull...

 of 1812, distrusted the Potawatomis and assumed that they would join Black Hawk's uprising. Potawatomi leaders worried that the tribe as a whole would be punished if any Potawatomis supported Black Hawk. At a council outside Chicago on May 1, 1832, Potawatomi leaders including Billy Caldwell "passed a resolution declaring any Potawatomi who supported Black Hawk a traitor to his tribe". In mid May, Potawatomi chiefs Shabonna and Waubonsie
Waubonsie
Waubonsie was a leader of the Potawatomi Native American people. His name has been spelled in a variety of ways, including Wabaunsee, Wah-bahn-se, Waubonsee, Waabaansii in the contemporary Ojibwe language, and Wabansi in the contemporary Potawatomi language.-Biography:The documentary record of...

 told Black Hawk that neither they nor the British would come to his aid.

Without British supplies, adequate provisions, or Native allies, Black Hawk realized that his band was in serious trouble. By some accounts, he was ready to negotiate with Atkinson to end the crisis, but an ill-fated encounter with Illinois militiamen would end all possibility of a peaceful resolution.

Stillman's Run


On May 8, General Whiteside's militia brigade was mustered into federal service under Atkinson. Two days later, the militia and regulars began marching up the Rock River in pursuit of the British Band, with Governor Reynolds accompanying the expedition as a major general of militia. Atkinson allowed Reynolds, Whiteside, and the militiamen to take the lead while he brought up the rear with the regular soldiers. In what historian Patrick Jung calls a "serious lapse in judgment", Atkinson directed the militia—his least trained and disciplined men—to "move upon the Indians should they be within striking distance without waiting for my arrival". On May 12, the militiamen learned that Black Hawk's band was only twenty-five miles away. Reynolds wanted to send out a scouting force, but the cautious Whiteside insisted on waiting for Atkinson. Because most of the militia were now under U.S. Army command, Reynolds could not give them orders, but he did have two battalions of mounted militia under Major Isaiah Stillman
Isaiah Stillman
Cavalry Major Isaiah Stillman led Illinois militia in the first armed confrontation of the Black Hawk War against Black Hawk’s Sauk Indian Band...

 that had not been federalized. In what would prove to be a controversial decision, Reynolds sent these 260 amateur citizen-soldiers forward to reconnoiter the British Band.

In what became known as the Battle of Stillman's Run
Battle of Stillman's Run
The Battle of Stillman's Run, also known as the Battle of Sycamore Creek or the Battle of Old Man's Creek, occurred on May 14, 1832. The battle was named for Major Isaiah Stillman and his detachment of 275 Illinois militia which fled in a panic from a large number of Sauk warriors. According to...

, the two battalions of militia came into contact with Black Hawk and his warriors on May 14, near present-day Stillman Valley
Stillman Valley, Illinois
Stillman Valley is a village in Marion Township, Ogle County, Illinois, United States. It lies east of Byron, south of Rockford, and west of Davis Junction. The population was 1,120 at the 2010 census, up from 1,048 at the 2000 census. The village is located on the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern...

. Accounts of how the battle began are varied. Black Hawk later stated that he sent three men under a white flag to parley, but the Americans imprisoned them and opened fire on a second group of observers who followed. Some militiamen never reported seeing a white flag; others believed that the flag was a ruse the Indians used to set an ambush. All accounts agree that Black Hawk's warriors attacked the militia camp at dusk. To Black Hawk's surprise, his forty warriors completely routed the much larger militia force. Twelve Illinois militiamen were killed in the humiliating defeat; the British Band suffered only three fatalities.

The Battle of Stillman's run was a turning point. Prior to this battle, Black Hawk had not been committed to war. Now he determined to avenge what he saw as the treacherous killing of his warriors under a flag of truce. After Stillman's defeat, American leaders like President Jackson and Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass was an American military officer and politician. During his long political career, Cass served as a governor of the Michigan Territory, an American ambassador, a U.S. Senator representing Michigan, and co-founder as well as first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan...

 would not consider a diplomatic solution; they wanted a resounding victory over Black Hawk to serve as an example to other Native Americans who might consider similar uprisings.

Initial raids

Map of Black Hawk War sites
Battle (with name)
Fort / settlement
Native village
Symbols are wikilinked to article


With hostilities now underway, and few allies to depend upon, Black Hawk sought a place of refuge for the women, children, and elderly in his band. Accepting an offer from the Rock River Ho-Chunks, the band traveled further upriver to Lake Koshkonong
Lake Koshkonong
Lake Koshkonong is a reservoir in southern Wisconsin. It lies along the Rock River, . down-river from Fort Atkinson, primarily in southwestern Jefferson County, although small portions of the lake extend into southeastern Dane and northern Rock counties....

 in the Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
The Territory of Michigan was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 30, 1805, until January 26, 1837, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Michigan...

 and camped in an isolated place known as the "Island". With the non-combatants secure, members the British Band, with a number of Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi allies, began raiding white settlers. Not all Native Americans in the region supported this turn of events; most notably, Potawatomi chief Shabonna rode throughout the settlements, warning whites of the impending attacks.

The initial raiding parties consisted primarily of Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi warriors. The first attack came on May 19, 1832, when Ho-Chunks ambushed six men
Buffalo Grove ambush
The Buffalo Grove ambush was an ambush that occurred on May 19, 1832 as part of the Black Hawk War. A six-man detail carrying dispatches from United States Colonel James M. Strode at Galena, Illinois to General Henry Atkinson at Dixon's Ferry was ambushed by Native Americans during the attack....

 near Buffalo Grove, Illinois, killing a man named William Durley. Durley's scalped
Scalping
Scalping is the act of removing another person's scalp or a portion of their scalp, either from a dead body or from a living person. The initial purpose of scalping was to provide a trophy of battle or portable proof of a combatant's prowess in war...

 and mutilated body was found by Indian agent Felix St. Vrain
Felix St. Vrain
Felix St. Vrain was a United States Indian agent who was killed during the Black Hawk War. St. Vrain died along with three companions while on a mission to deliver dispatches from Dixon's Ferry, Illinois to Fort Armstrong. The incident has become known as the St. Vrain massacre.-Early life:Felix...

. The Indian agent was himself killed and mutilated
St. Vrain massacre
The St. Vrain massacre was an incident in the Black Hawk War. It occurred near present-day Pearl City, Illinois in Kellogg's Grove on May 24, 1832. The massacre was most likely committed by Ho-Chunk warriors who were unaffiliated with Black Hawk's band of warriors. It is also unlikely that the...

, along with three other men, several days later at Kellogg's Grove
Kellogg's Grove
Kellogg's Grove is an area in western Stephenson County, Illinois, United States near the present-day unincorporated town of Kent. The grove is considered historically significant because it was the site of two minor skirmishes during the Black Hawk War in 1832. Today, most of the grove is...

.

The Ho-Chunks and Potawatomis who took part in the war were sometimes motivated by grievances not directly related to Black Hawk's objectives. One such incident was the Indian Creek massacre
Indian Creek massacre
The Indian Creek massacre occurred on May 21, 1832, when a group of United States settlers in LaSalle County, Illinois, were attacked by a party of Native Americans. The massacre was sparked by the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, but it was not directly related to Sauk leader Black Hawk's conflict...

. In the spring of 1832, Potawatomis living along Indian Creek were upset that a settler named William Davis had dammed the creek, preventing fish from reaching their village. Davis ignored the protests, and assaulted a Potawatomi man who tried to dismantle the dam. The Black Hawk War provided the Indian Creek Potawatomis with an opportunity for revenge. On May 21, about fifty Potawatomis and three Sauks from the British Band attacked Davis's settlement, killing, scalping, and mutilating fifteen men, women, and children. Two teenage girls from the settlement were kidnapped and taken to Black Hawk's camp. A Ho-Chunk chief named White Crow negotiated their release two weeks later. Like other Rock River Ho-Chunks, White Crow was trying to placate the Americans while clandestinely aiding the British Band.

American reorganization


News of Stillman's defeat, the Indian Creek massacre, and other smaller attacks triggered panic among the white population. Many settlers fled to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, then a small town, which became overcrowded with hungry refugees. Many Potawatomis also fled towards Chicago, not wanting to get caught in the conflict nor be mistaken for hostiles. Throughout the region, settlers hurriedly organized militia units and built small forts.

After Stillman's defeat on May 14, the regulars and militia continued up the Rock River to search for Black Hawk. The militiamen became discouraged at not being able to find the British Band. When they heard about the Indian raids, many deserted so that they could return home to defend their families. As morale plummeted, Governor Reynolds asked his militia officers to vote on whether to continue the campaign. General Whiteside, disgusted with the performance of his men, cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of disbanding. Most of Whiteside's brigade disbanded at Ottawa, Illinois
Ottawa, Illinois
Ottawa is a city located at the confluence of the Illinois River and Fox River in LaSalle County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,786...

, on May 28. About 300 men, including Abraham Lincoln, agreed to remain in the field for twenty more days until a new militia force could be organized.

As Whiteside's brigade disbanded, Atkinson organized a new force in June 1832 that he dubbed the "Army of the Frontier". The army consisted of 629 regular army infantrymen and 3,196 mounted militia volunteers. The militia was divided into three brigades commanded by Brigadier Generals Alexander Posey
Alexander Posey (general)
Alexander Posey was an American militia officer who served as a brigadier general under General Henry Atkinson during the Black Hawk War, specifically in the later stages of the second campaign as one of the commanders present at the Battle of Bad Axe.-Biography:Born in Orange County, Virginia to...

, Milton Alexander
Milton Alexander
Milton K. Alexander was an American politician and militia officer who served during the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and, most notably, as a brigadier general during the Black Hawk War.-Early life:...

, and James D. Henry
James D. Henry
James D. Henry was a militia officer from the U.S. state of Illinois who rose to the rank of general during the Black Hawk War. Henry was born in Pennsylvania in 1797, and moved to Edwardsville, Illinois in 1822. In 1825, while living in Edwardsville, he was indicted with two other men for the...

. Since many men were assigned to local patrols and guard duties, Atkinson had only 450 regulars and 2,100 militiamen available for campaigning. Many more militiamen served in units that were not part of the Army of the Frontier's three brigades. Abraham Lincoln, for example, reenlisted as a private in an independent company that was taken into federal service. Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Territorial Governor of Wisconsin and a veteran of the Black Hawk War. His son was Augustus C. Dodge with whom he served in the U.S. Senate, the first, and so far only, father-son pair to serve concurrently....

, a Michigan territorial militia colonel who would prove to be one of the best commanders in the war, fielded a battalion of mounted volunteers that numbered 250 men at its strongest. The overall number of militiamen who took part in the war is not precisely known; the total from Illinois alone has been estimated at six to seven thousand.

In addition to organizing a new militia army, Atkinson also began to recruit Native American allies, reversing the previous American policy of trying to prevent intertribal warfare. Menominees, Dakotas, and some Ho-Chunks bands were eager to go to war against the British Band. By June 6, agent Joseph M. Street
Joseph M. Street
General Joseph Montfort Street was a 19th-century American pioneer, trader and US Army officer. During the 1820s and 1830s, he was also a U.S. Indian Agent to the Winnebago and later to the Sauk and Fox tribes after the Black Hawk War. His eldest son was Joseph H.D...

 had assembled about 225 Natives at Prairie du Chien. This force included about eighty Dakotas under Wabasha
Wapasha II
Wapasha was the name of a Mdewakanton Sioux chief.The son of Wapasha , Wapasha took the place of his noble father as a mighty war chief, in present day Minnesota....

 and L'Arc, forty Menominees, and several bands of Ho Chunks. Although the Indian warriors followed their own leaders, Atkinson placed the force under the nominal command of William S. Hamilton
William S. Hamilton
William Stephen Hamilton , a son of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was a politician and miner who lived much of his life in the U.S. state of Illinois and territorial Wisconsin. Hamilton was born in New York, where he attended the United States Military Academy before he...

, a militia colonel and a son of Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

. Hamilton would prove to be an unfortunate choice to lead the force; historian John Hall characterized him as "pretentious and unqualified". Before long, the Indians became frustrated with marching around under Hamilton and not seeing any action. Some Menominee scouts remained, but most of the Natives eventually left Hamilton and fought the war on their own terms.

June raids


In June 1832, after hearing that Atkinson was forming a new army, Black Hawk began sending out raiding parties. Perhaps hoping to lead the Americans away from his camp at Lake Koshkonong, he targeted areas to the west. The first major attack occurred on June 14 near present-day South Wayne, Wisconsin
South Wayne, Wisconsin
South Wayne is a village in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 484 at the 2000 census.-Geography:South Wayne is located at ....

, when a band of about 30 warriors attacked a group of farmers, killing and scalping four
Spafford Farm massacre
The Spafford Farm massacre, also referred to as the Wayne massacre, was an attack upon U.S. militia and civilians that occurred as part of the Black Hawk War near present day South Wayne, Wisconsin. Spafford Farm was settled in 1830 by Omri Spafford and his partner Francis Spencer.Before the war...

.

Responding to this attack, militia Colonel Henry Dodge gathered a force of twenty-nine mounted volunteers and set out in pursuit of the attackers. On June 16, Dodge and his men cornered about eleven of the raiders at a bend in the Pecatonica River
Pecatonica River
The Pecatonica River is a tributary of the Rock River, long, in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the United States.The word Pecatonica is an anglicization of two Algonquian language words: Bekaa , which means "slow", and niba, which means "water", forming the conjunction Bekaaniba or...

. In a brief battle, the Americans killed and scalped all of the Natives. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend
Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1832)
The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, also referred to as the Battle of Pecatonica and the Battle of Bloody Lake, was fought on June 16, 1832 in present-day Wisconsin at an oxbow lake known as "Horseshoe Bend", which was formed by a change in course of the Pecatonica River. The battle was a major turning...

 (or Battle of Pecatonica) was the first real American victory in the war, and helped restore public confidence in the volunteer militia force.

On the same day of Dodge's victory, another skirmish took place at Kellogg's Grove
Kellogg's Grove
Kellogg's Grove is an area in western Stephenson County, Illinois, United States near the present-day unincorporated town of Kent. The grove is considered historically significant because it was the site of two minor skirmishes during the Black Hawk War in 1832. Today, most of the grove is...

 in present-day Stephenson County, Illinois
Stephenson County, Illinois
As of the census of 2000, there were 48,979 people, 19,785 households, and 13,473 families residing in the county. The population density was 87 people per square mile . There were 21,713 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile...

. American forces had occupied Kellogg's Grove in an effort to intercept war parties raiding to the west. In the First Battle of Kellogg's Grove, militia commanded by Adam W. Snyder
Adam W. Snyder
Adam Wilson Snyder was a U.S. Representative from Illinois as well as a member of the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War.-Early life:...

 pursued a British Band raiding party of about thirty warriors. Three Illinois militiamen and six Native warriors died in the fighting. Two days later, on June 18, militia under James W. Stephenson
James W. Stephenson
James W. Stephenson was an American militia officer and politician from the state of Illinois. He was born in Virginia but spent most of his youth in Edwardsville, Illinois. In 1825 he was indicted for the murder of a family acquaintance, but never went to trial...

 encountered what was probably the same war party near Yellow Creek
Yellow Creek (Illinois)
Yellow Creek is a tributary of the Pecatonica River in Stephenson County, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The 50 mile stream also flows through a small part of Jo Daviess County...

. The Battle of Waddams Grove
Battle of Waddams Grove
The Battle of Waddams Grove, also known as the Battle of Yellow Creek was part of the Black Hawk War. It took place in present-day Stephenson County, Illinois on June 18, 1832. After several incidents of Sauk Indian raids on settlers along the Apple River, Captain James W. Stephenson left Galena...

 became a hard fought, hand-to-hand melee. Three militiamen and five or six Indians were killed in the action.

Back on June 6, when a civilian miner was killed by raiders near the village of Blue Mounds
Blue Mounds, Wisconsin
Blue Mounds is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2000 census, the village had a population of 708. The population was estimated at 766 in 2009. The village is adjacent to the Town of Blue Mounds and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Blue...

 in the Michigan Territory, residents began to fear that the Rock River Ho-Chunks were joining the war. On June 20, a Ho-Chunk raiding party estimated by one eyewitness to be as large as 100 warriors attacked the settler fort
Attacks at Fort Blue Mounds
The attacks at Fort Blue Mounds were two separate incidents which occurred on June 6 and 20, 1832, as part of the Black Hawk War. In the first incident, area residents attributed the killing of a miner to a band of Ho-Chunk warriors, and concluded that more Ho-Chunk planned to join Black Hawk in...

 at Blue Mounds. Two militiamen were killed in the attack, one of whom was badly mutilated.

On June 24, 1832, Black Hawk and about 200 warriors attacked at the hastily constructed Apple River Fort
Apple River Fort
Apple River Fort, today known as Apple River Fort State Historic Site, was one of many frontier forts hastily completed by settlers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin following the onset of the 1832 Black Hawk War. Located in present-day Elizabeth, Illinois, United States, the fort at the...

, near present-day Elizabeth, Illinois
Elizabeth, Illinois
Elizabeth is a village in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States. The population was 761 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Elizabeth is located at ....

. Local settlers, warned of Black Hawk's approach, took refuge in the fort, which was defended by about 20 to 35 militiamen. The Battle of Apple River Fort
Battle of Apple River Fort
The Battle of Apple River Fort, also known as the Siege of Apple River Fort, occurred on June 24, 1832 at the hastily constructed Apple River Fort, in present-day Elizabeth, Illinois, when Black Hawk and his "British Band" of Sauk and Fox stumbled across a group of messengers en route from Galena,...

 lasted about forty-five minutes. The women and girls inside the fort, under the direction of Elizabeth Armstrong
Elizabeth Armstrong (settler)
Elizabeth Armstrong was a settler at the site of the Apple River Fort in present-day Elizabeth, Illinois. She was praised for her bravery during the Battle of Apple River Fort in the 1832 Black Hawk War.-Early life:...

, loaded muskets and molded bullets. After losing several men, Black Hawk broke off the siege, looted the nearby homes, and headed back towards his camp.

The next day, June 25, Black Hawk's party encountered a militia battalion commanded by Major John Dement
John Dement
John Dement was a politician and militia commander from the U.S. state of Illinois.Born in Tennessee, he migrated with his family to Illinois when he was in his early teens. His first political office was as county sheriff and he later served multiple terms in the Illinois House of Representatives...

. In the Second Battle of Kellogg's Grove, Black Hawk's warriors drove the militiamen inside their fort and commenced a two-hour siege. After losing nine warriors and killing five militiamen, Black Hawk broke off the siege and returned to his main camp at Lake Koshkonong. This would prove to be Black Hawk's last military success in the war. With his band running low on food, he decided to take them back across the Mississippi.

Final campaign


On June 15, 1832, President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

, displeased with Atkinson's handling of the war, appointed General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 to take command. Scott gathered about 950 troops from eastern army posts just as a cholera pandemic
Second cholera pandemic
The second cholera pandemic also known as the Asiatic Cholera Pandemic was a Cholera pandemic from 1829-1849.-History:This pandemic began, like the first, with outbreaks along the Ganges River delta. From there the disease spread along trade routes to cover most of India. By 1828 the disease had...

 had spread to eastern North America. As Scott's troops traveled by steamboat from Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, across the Great Lakes towards Chicago, his men started getting sick from cholera, with many of them dying. At each place the vessels landed, the sick were deposited and soldiers deserted. By the time the last steamboat landed in Chicago, Scott had only about 350 effective soldiers left. On July 29, Scott began a hurried journey west, ahead of his troops, eager to take command of what was certain to be the war's final campaign, but he would be too late to see any combat.

General Atkinson, who learned in early July that Scott would be taking command, hoped to bring the war to a successful conclusion before Scott's arrival. The Americans had difficulty locating the British Band, however, thanks in part to false intelligence given to them by area Native Americans. Potawatomis and Ho-Chunks in Illinois, many of whom had sought to remain neutral in the war, decided to cooperate with the Americans. Tribal leaders knew that some of their warriors had aided the British Band, and so they hoped that a highly visible show of support for the Americans would dissuade U.S. officials from punishing the tribes after the conflict was over. Wearing white headbands to distinguish themselves from hostile Natives, Ho-Chunks and Potawatomis served as guides for Atkinson's army. Ho-Chunks sympathetic to the plight of Black Hawk's people misled Atkinson into thinking that the British Band was still at Lake Koshkonong. While Atkinson's men were trudging through the swaps and running low on provisions, the British Band had in fact relocated miles to the north. Potawatomis under Billy Caldwell also managed to demonstrate support for the Americans while avoiding battle.

In mid-July, Colonel Dodge learned from métis trader Pierre Paquette that the British Band was camped near the Rock River rapids, at present Hustisford, Wisconsin
Hustisford, Wisconsin
Hustisford is a village in Dodge County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,135 at the 2000 census. The village is located within the Town of Hustisford.-Geography:Hustisford is located at ....

. Dodge and James D. Henry
James D. Henry
James D. Henry was a militia officer from the U.S. state of Illinois who rose to the rank of general during the Black Hawk War. Henry was born in Pennsylvania in 1797, and moved to Edwardsville, Illinois in 1822. In 1825, while living in Edwardsville, he was indicted with two other men for the...

 set out in pursuit from Fort Winnebago
Fort Winnebago
This article is about the U.S. Army fort. For the civil township of the same name, see Fort Winnebago, WisconsinFort Winnebago was a 19th century fortification of the United States Army located on a hill between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers in Portage, Wisconsin...

 on July 15. The British Band, reduced to fewer than 600 people due to death and desertion, headed for the Mississippi River as the militia approached. The Americans pursued them, killing and scalping several Native stragglers along the way.

Wisconsin Heights


On July 21, 1832, the militiamen caught up with the British Band near present-day Sauk City, Wisconsin
Sauk City, Wisconsin
Sauk City is a village in Sauk County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,109 at the 2000 census. The first incorporated village in the state, the community was founded by Agoston Haraszthy and his business partner, Robert Bryant...

. To buy time for the noncombatants to cross the Wisconsin River, Black Hawk and Neapope confronted the Americans in a rear guard action that became known as the Battle of Wisconsin Heights
Battle of Wisconsin Heights
The Battle of Wisconsin Heights was the penultimate engagement of the 1832 Black Hawk War, fought between the United States state militia and allies, and the Sauk and Fox tribes, led by Black Hawk. The battle took place in what is now Dane County, near present-day Sauk City, Wisconsin...

. Black Hawk was desperately outnumbered, leading about 50 Sauks and 60 to 70 Kickapoos against 750 militiamen. The battle was a lopsided victory for the militiamen, who lost only one man while killing as many as 68 of Black Hawk's warriors. Despite the high casualties, the battle allowed much of the British Band, including many women and children, to escape across the river. Black Hawk had managed to hold off a much larger force while allowing most of his people to escape, a difficult military operation that impressed some U.S. Army officers when they learned of it.

The Battle of Wisconsin Heights had been a victory for the militia; no regular soldiers of the U.S. Army had been present. Atkinson and the regulars joined up with the volunteers several days after the battle. With a force of about 400 regulars and 900 militiamen, the Americans crossed the Wisconsin River on July 27 and resumed the pursuit of the British Band. The British Band was moving slow, encumbered with wounded warriors and people dying of starvation. The Americans followed the trail of dead bodies, cast off equipment, and the remains of horses the hungry Natives had eaten.

Bad Axe


After the Battle of Wisconsin Heights, a messenger from Black Hawk had shouted to the militiamen that the starving British Band was going back across the Mississippi and would fight no more. No one in the American camp understood the message, however, since their Ho-Chunk guides were not present to interpret. Black Hawk may have believed that the Americans had gotten the message, and that they had not pursued him after the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. He apparently expected that the Americans were going to let his band recross the Mississippi unmolested.

The Americans, however, had no intentions of letting the British Band escape. The Warrior
Warrior (steamboat)
Warrior was a privately owned and constructed steamboat that was pressed into service by the U.S. government during the Black Hawk War to assist with military operations. Warrior was constructed and launched in 1832 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Joseph Throckmorton who also served as the vessel's...

, a steamboat outfitted with an artillery piece, patrolled the Mississippi River, while American allied-Dakotas, Menominees, and Ho-Chunks watched the banks. On August 1, the Warrior arrived at the mouth of the Bad Axe River
Bad Axe River
The Bad Axe River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in southwestern Wisconsin in the United States. "Bad axe" is a translation from the French, "la mauvaise hache", but the origin of the name is unknown. The river's mouth at the Mississippi was the site of the Battle of Bad Axe, an 1832 U.S...

, where the Dakotas told the Americans that they would find Black Hawk's people. Black Hawk raised a white flag in an attempt to surrender, but his intentions may have been garbled in translation. The Americans, in no mood to accept a surrender anyway, thought that the Indians were using the white flag to set an ambush. When they became certain that the Natives on land were the British Band, they opened fire. Twenty-three Natives were killed in the exchange of gunfire, while just one soldier on the Warrior was injured.

After the Warrior left, Black Hawk decided to seek refuge in the north with the Ojibwes. Only about 50 people, including Wabokieshiek, agreed to go with him; the others remained, determined to cross the Mississippi and return to Sauk territory. The next morning, on August 2, Black Hawk was heading north when he learned that the American army had closed in on the members of the British Band who were trying to cross the Mississippi. He tried to rejoin the main body, but after a skirmish with American troops near present-day Victory, Wisconsin
Victory, Wisconsin
Victory, Wisconsin is a small unincorporated community in the Town of Wheatland in Vernon County, Wisconsin. It is located 4.5 miles north of De Soto and 6.2 miles south of Genoa on the Mississippi River along the Great River Road . The Battle of Bad Axe, the final battle of the Black Hawk War of...

, he gave up the attempt. Sauk chief Weesheet later criticized Black Hawk and Wabokieshiek for abandoning the people during the final battle of the war.

The Battle of Bad Axe
Battle of Bad Axe
The Battle of Bad Axe, also known as the Bad Axe Massacre, occurred 1–2 August 1832, between Sauk and Fox Indians and United States Army regulars and militia. This final battle of the Black Hawk War took place near present-day Victory, Wisconsin in the United States...

 began at about 9:00 am on August 2 after the Americans caught up with the remnants of the British Band a few miles downstream from the mouth of the Bad Axe River. The British Band was reduced to roughly 500 people by this time, including about 150 warriors. The warriors fought with the Americans while the Native noncombatants frantically tried to cross the river. Many made it to one of the two nearby islands, but were dislodged after the steamboat Warrior returned at noon, carrying regulars and Menominees allied with the Americans.

The battle was another lopsided victory for the Americans, who lost just 14 men, including one Menominee who died by friendly fire
Friendly fire
Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. A death resulting from a negligent discharge is not considered friendly fire...

 and was buried with honors alongside the white soldiers. At least 260 members of the British Band were killed, including about 110 who drowned while trying to cross the river. Although the regular soldiers of the U.S. Army generally tried to avoid needless bloodshed, many of the militiamen intentionally killed Native noncombatants, sometimes in cold blood. The encounter was, in the words of historian Patrick Jung, "less of a battle and more of a massacre".

Menominees from Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

, who had mobilized a battalion of nearly 300 men, arrived too late for the battle. They were upset at having missed the chance to fight their old enemies, and so on August 10, General Scott sent 100 of them after a part of the British Band that had escaped. Indian agent Samuel C. Stambaugh, who accompanied them, urged the Menominees not to take any scalps, but Chief Grizzly Bear insisted that such a prohibition could not be enforced. The group tracked down about ten Sauks, only two of whom were warriors. The Menominees killed and scalped the warriors, but spared the women and children.

The Dakotas, who had volunteered 150 warriors to fight against the Sauks and Meskwakis, also arrived too late to participate in the Battle of Bad Axe, but they pursued the members of the British Band who made it across the Mississippi into Iowa. On about August 9, in the final engagement of the war, they attacked the remnants of the British Band along the Cedar River, killing 68 and taking 22 prisoners. Ho-Chunks also hunted survivors of the British Band, taking between fifty and sixty scalps.

Aftermath


The Black Hawk War resulted in the deaths of 77 white settlers, militiamen, and regular soldiers. This figure does not included the deaths from cholera suffered by the relief force under General Winfield Scott. Estimates of how many members of the British Band died during the conflict range from about 450 to 600, or about half of the 1,100 people who entered Illinois with Black Hawk in 1832.

A number of American men with political ambitions fought in the Black Hawk War. At least seven future U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

s took part, as did four future Illinois governors, as well as future governors of Michigan, Nebraska, and the Wisconsin Territory
Wisconsin Territory
The Territory of Wisconsin was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 3, 1836, until May 29, 1848, when an eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Wisconsin...

. The Black Hawk War demonstrated to American officials the need for mounted troops to fight a mounted foe. During the war, the U.S. Army did not have cavalry; the only mounted soldiers were part-time volunteers. After the war, Congress created the Mounted Ranger Battalion under the command of Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge
Henry Dodge was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Territorial Governor of Wisconsin and a veteran of the Black Hawk War. His son was Augustus C. Dodge with whom he served in the U.S. Senate, the first, and so far only, father-son pair to serve concurrently....

, which was expanded to the 1st Cavalry Regiment in 1833.

Black Hawk's imprisonment and legacy


After the Battle of Bad Axe, Black Hawk, Wabokieshiek, and their followers traveled northeast to seek refuge with the Ojibwes. American officials offered a reward of $100 and forty horses for Black Hawk's capture. While camping near present-day Tomah, Wisconsin
Tomah, Wisconsin
Tomah is a city in Monroe County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,093. The city is located partially within the Town of Tomah.-Education:...

, Black Hawk's party was seen by a passing Ho-Chunk man, who alerted his village chief. The village council sent a delegation to Black Hawk's camp and convinced him to surrender to the Americans. On August 27, 1832, Black Hawk and Wabokieshiek surrendered at Prairie du Chien to Indian agent Joseph Street. Colonel Zachary Taylor took custody of the prisoners and sent them by steamboat to Jefferson Barracks, escorted by Lieutenants Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 and Robert Anderson.

By war's end, Black Hawk and nineteen other leaders of the British Band were incarcerated at Jefferson Barracks. Most of the prisoners were released in the succeeding months, but in April 1833, Black Hawk, Wabokieshiek, Neapope, and three others were transferred to Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

 in Virginia, which was better equipped to hold prisoners. The American public was eager to catch a glimpse of the captured Indians. Large crowds gathered in Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

 and Cincinnati to watch them pass. On April 26, the prisoners met briefly with President Jackson in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, before being taken to Fort Monroe. Even in prison they were treated as celebrities: they posed for portraits by artists such as Charles Bird King
Charles Bird King
Charles Bird King is a United States artist who is best known for his portraiture. In particular, the artist is notable for the portraits he painted of Native American delegates coming to Washington D.C., which were commissioned by government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.-Biography:Charles Bird King...

 and John Wesley Jarvis
John Wesley Jarvis
John Wesley Jarvis , American painter-Biography:Jarvis was nephew of Methodist leader John Wesley, was born at South Shields, England, and was taken to the United States at the age of five....

, and a dinner was held in their honor before they left.

American officials decided to release the prisoners after a few weeks. First, however, the Natives were required to visit several large U.S. cities on the east coast. This was a tactic often used when Native American leaders came to the East, because it was thought that a demonstration of the size and power of the United States would discourage future resistance to U.S. expansion. Beginning on June 4, 1833, Black Hawk and his companions were taken on a tour of Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Philadelphia, and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. They attended dinners and plays, and were shown a battleship, various public buildings, and a military parade. Huge crowds gathered to see them. Black Hawk's handsome son Nasheweskaska (Whirling Thunder) was a particular favorite. Reaction in the west, however, was less welcoming. When the prisoners traveled through Detroit on their way home, one crowd burned and hanged effigies of the Indians.

According to historian Kerry Trask, Black Hawk and his fellow prisoners were treated like celebrities because the Indians served as a living embodiment of the noble savage
Noble savage
The term noble savage , expresses the concept an idealized indigene, outsider , and refers to the literary stock character of the same...

 myth that had become popular in the eastern United States. Then and later, argues Trask, white Americans absolved themselves of complicity in the dispossession of Native Americans by expressing admiration or sympathy for defeated Indians like Black Hawk. The mythologizing of Black Hawk continued, argues Trask, with the many plaques and memorials that were later erected in his honor. "Indeed," writes Trask, "most of the reconstructed memory of the Black Hawk War has been designed to make white people feel good about themselves." Black Hawk also became an admired symbol of resistance among Native Americans, even among descendants of those who had opposed him.

Treaties and removals


The Black Hawk War marked the end of Native armed resistance to U.S. expansion in the Old Northwest
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

 until the 1862 Dakota War. The war provided an opportunity for American officials such as Andrew Jackson, Lewis Cass, and John Reynolds to compel Native American tribes to sell their lands east of the Mississippi River and move to the West, a policy known as Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

. Officials conducted a number of treaties after the war to purchase the remaining Native American land claims in the Old Northwest. The Dakotas and Menominees, who won approval from American officials for their role in the war, largely avoided postwar removal pressure until later decades.

After the war, American officials learned that some Ho-Chunks had aided Black Hawk more than had been previously known. Eight Ho-Chunks were briefly imprisoned at Fort Winnebago for their role in the war, but charges against them were eventually dropped due to a lack of witnesses. In September 1832, General Scott and Governor Reynolds conducted a treaty with the Ho-Chunks at Rock Island. The Ho-Chunks ceded all their land south of the Wisconsin River in exchange for a forty-mile strip of land in Iowa and annual payments of $10,000 for twenty-seven years. The land in Iowa was known as the "Neutral Ground" because it had been designated in 1830 as a buffer zone between the Dakotas and their enemies to the south, the Sauks and Meskwakis. Scott hoped that the settlement of the Ho-Chunks in the Neutral Ground would help keep the peace. Ho-Chunks remaining in Wisconsin were pressured to sign a removal treaty in 1837, even though leaders such as Waukon Decorah had been U.S. allies during the Black Hawk War. General Atkinson was assigned to use the army to forcibly relocate those Ho-Chunks who refused to move to Iowa.

Following the September 1832 treaty with the Ho-Chunks, Scott and Reynolds conducted another with the Sauks and Meskwakis, with Keokuk and Wapello serving as the primary representatives of their tribes. Scott told the assembled chiefs that "if a particular part of a nation goes out of their country, and makes war, the whole nation is responsible". The tribes sold about 6 million acres (24,000 km²) of land in eastern Iowa
Black Hawk Purchase
The Black Hawk Purchase, sometimes called the Forty-Mile Strip or Scott's Purchase, was a land acquisition made in what is now Iowa by the United States federal government. The land, originally owned by the Sauk, Meskwaki , and Ho-Chunk Native American people, was acquired by treaty following...

 to the United States for payments of $20,000 per year for thirty years, among other provisions. Keokuk was granted a reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 within the cession and recognized by the Americans as the primary chief of the Sauks and Meskwakis. The tribes sold the reservation to the United States in 1836, and additional land in Iowa the following year. Their last lands in Iowa were sold in 1842, and most of the Natives moved to a reservation in Kansas.

Thanks to the decision of Potawatomi leaders to aid the U.S. during the war, American officials did not seize tribal land as war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

. Instead, only three individuals accused of leading the Indian Creek massacre were tried in court; they were acquitted. Nevertheless, the drive to purchase Potawatomi land west of the Mississippi began in October 1832, when commissioners in Indiana
Treaty of Tippecanoe
The Treaty of Tippecanoe was an agreement between the United States government and Native American tribes in Indiana on October 26, 1832.-Treaty:...

 bought a large amount of Potawatomi land, even though not all Potawatomi bands were represented at the treaty. The tribe was compelled to sell their remaining land west of the Mississippi in a treaty held in Chicago
Treaty of Chicago
The Treaty of Chicago may refer to either of two treaties made and signed in Chicago, Illinois between the United States and the Ottawa, Ojibwe , and Potawatomi Native American peoples.-1821 Treaty of Chicago:...

 in September 1833.

See also


  • Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War
    Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War
    Abraham Lincoln served as a volunteer in the Illinois Militia from April 21, 1832-July 10, 1832 during the Black Hawk War. Lincoln never saw combat during his tour but was elected captain of his first company. He was also present in the aftermath of two of the war's battles, where he helped to bury...

  • American Indian Wars
  • Sixty Years' War
    Sixty Years' War
    The Sixty Years' War was a military struggle for control of the Great Lakes region in North America, encompassing a number of wars over several generations. The term Sixty Years' War is not widely known, and is used primarily by academic historians who specialize in various aspects of the conflict...


External links