black hawk war
MAY - AUGUST 1832
2 DEATH IN SERVICE (Recorded).
Native American allies in the U.S Army:
150 Santee Sioux
157 Ho Chunks
The Black Hawk War is a brief conflict that took place in 1832 between the United States and North American Indians led by Black Hawk, a Sauk chief. The war broke out shortly after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Fox, and Kickapoos known as the British Band crossed the Mississippi River towards the US state of Illinois in April 1832. The motives of Black Hawk are ambiguous, but he apparently hoped to avoid bloodshed as they relocated to lands that had been ceded to the United States in a disputed treaty of 1804.
The American authorities, convinced that the British Band is hostile, mobilize a border army. With few US Army soldiers in the area, the bulk of US troops are untrained and part-time militia. Hostilities begin May 14, 1832, when the militia opened fire on a delegation Amerindian. Black Hawk responds by attacking the militia, completely crushing them at the battle of Stillman's Run.
Black Hawk (1767-1838) is a Native American leader of the Sauk and Fox tribe. His original name is Ma-ka-ta-i-me-she-kia-kiak.
He was born in the vicinity of the current Rockford, Illinois. He was an ally of the British during the War of 1812 and rival of the United States supporter Keokuk.
The Menominee, Santee Sioux, Potawatomi and Ho Chunks, already in disagreement with the Sauks and Meskwakis, support the Americans by providing a total of 752 soldiers.
The militia under the command of Colonel Henry Dodge surprises the British Band on July 21 and defeats them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. Black Hawk's group, diminished by hunger, death and desertions, retreats to Mississippi.
On August 2, US soldiers attack the rest of the British Band at the Battle of Bad Ax, killing or capturing most of them.
The British Band is reduced to almost 500 people at this time, including about 150 warriors. Warriors fight against Americans while non-combatants frantically try to cross the river. Many arrive at one of the two neighboring islands, but are dislodged after the steamboat Warrior returned at noon, carrying regulars and Menominees allied with the Americans.
At least 260 members of the British Band were killed, including about 110 who drowned trying to cross the river.
The Menominees of Green Bay, arrive too late for the battle of Bad Ax. They are upset at having missed the opportunity to face their old enemies, and on August 10, General Scott sends 100 of them after part of the British Band that escaped. Indian agent Samuel C. Stambaugh, who accompanies them, urges the Menomines not to take any scalp, but Chief Grizzly Bear maintains that such a ban could not be imposed. The group found about ten Sauks, only two of whom are warriors. Menomines kill and scalel warriors, but save women and children.
The Dakotas, who hired 150 warriors to fight the Sauks and Meskwakis, are also arriving too late to take part in the Battle of Bad Ax, but they are chasing British Band members who have crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa. Around 9 August, in what is the last battle of the conflict, they attack what remains of the British Band along the Cedar River, killing 68 people and making 22 prisoners.
The Ho Chunks are also looking for survivors of the British Band , taking between fifty and sixty scalps.
After the Battle of Bad Ax, Black Hawk, Wabokieshiek and their followers head north-east to seek refuge among the Ojibwe. US officials offer a $ 100 reward and forty horses for the capture of Black Hawk. While camping near the current Tomah in Wisconsin, Black Hawk's group is spotted by a Winnebago who then warns his village chief. The village council sends a delegation to the Black Hawk camp and convinces him to surrender to the Americans. On August 27, 1832, Black Hawk and Wabokieshiek surrender to Indian Agent Joseph Street at Prairie du Chien.
At the end of the war, Black Hawk and nineteen other leaders of the British Band were incarcerated at Jefferson Barracks. Most of the prisoners were released in the following months, but in April 1833 Black Hawk, Wabokieshiek, Neapope and three others were moved to Fort Monroe, Virginia. On April 26, the prisoners briefly meet with President Jackson in Washington, DC, before being taken to Fort Monroe. Even in prison they are treated like celebrities: they pose for portraits in front of artists like Charles Bird King and John Wesley Jarvis, and a dinner is held in their honor before their departure.
US officials decide to release the prisoners after a few weeks. First and foremost, however, Amerindians are required to visit several major American cities on the East Coast. This was a tactic often used when Indian leaders came to the East, because it was considered that a demonstration of the size and power of the United States could deter future resistance to the expansion of the United States.
According to the historian Kerry Trask, Black Hawk and his prisoner men are treated as celebrities because the Native Americans serve as a living embodiment of the myth of the good savage who became popular in the eastern United States. The myth of Black Hawk continued, says Trask, with the many plaques and memorials that were later erected in his honor. Black Hawk also deflects a symbol of resistance admired among the Amerindians, even among the descendants of those who opposed him.