Published on February 10, 2013 by Carol
A faction of Sac and Fox Indians, living in eastern Iowa and led by Black Hawk, threatened to go on the warpath in 1832 when squatters began to preempt Illinois lands formerly occupied by the two tribes. The faction held that cession of these lands to the Federal Government in 1804 had been illegal. Black Hawk asserted he would remove the squatters forcibly and attempted without success to organize a confederacy and make an alliance with the British. Finally, when Black Hawk’s followers, including some 500 warriors, crossed the Mississippi into Illinois in early 1832 and refused to return, the 1st and 6th Infantry under Brigadier General Henry Atkinson, together with Illinois militia, set out in pursuit up the Rock River. A volunteer detachment suffered heavy losses in a skirmish on May 14, 1832 near present-day Dixon, Illinois, and Atkinson had to pause to recruit new militia. On July 21st a volunteer force severely chastised Black Hawk’s band at Madison, Wisconsin, and Atkinson completely defeated what remained of it at the confluence of the Mississippi and Bad Axe on August 2, 1832, capturing Black Hawk and killing 150 of his braves.
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