The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S. state of Illinois 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 Native Americans. Black Hawk responded by attacking the militia force, soundly thrashing them at the Battle of Stillman's Run. He led his band to a secure location in what is now southern Wisconsin. As U.S. forces pursued Black Hawk's band, Native Americans conducted raids against forts and settlements. Some Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi warriors with grievances against Americans took part in these raids, although most members of those tribes tried to avoid the conflict. The Menominee and Dakota tribes, already at odds with the Sauks and Meskwakis, supported the Americans.
Commanded by General Henry Atkinson, the U.S. troops tried to track down the British Band. Militia under Colonel Henry Dodge caught up with the British Band on July 21 and defeated them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. 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, 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 his brief military service. Other notable American participants included Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and Jefferson Davis. The war gave impetus to the US policy of Indian removal, in which Native American tribes were pressured to sell their lands and move west of the Mississippi River.
Read more about Black Hawk War: Background, Black Hawk's Return, Intertribal War and American Policy, Initial Diplomacy, Stillman's Run, Initial Raids, American Reorganization, June Raids, Final Campaign, Aftermath
... On April 5, 1832 Sauk Chief Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois, the move triggered a war in Illinois and present-day southern Wisconsin ... During the first phase of the Black Hawk War Shabbona met with Black Hawk at Saukenuk, a Sauk village, where he warned Black Hawk not to resist white settlement ... During the short war, he also acted as a guide for the white militia in its many marches across Illinois ...
... The Black Hawk War marked the end of Native armed resistance to U.S ... expansion in the Old Northwest 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 ...
... Henry caught up with Black Hawk's British Band near present-day Sauk City, Wisconsin ... Militarily, the battle was devastating for Black Hawk's band of warriors including those who drowned during the melee, casualty estimates climbed as high as 70 ... regrouped at Fort Blue Mounds and picked up Black Hawk's trail again on 28 July near Spring Green, Wisconsin ...
... In the Black Hawk War, Sac, Fox, and Kickapoo Native Americans, led by Chief Black Hawk, who had been relocated from Illinois to Iowa, attempted to resettle in their Illinois homeland on April 5, 1832 ... On May 10 Chief Black Hawk decided to go back to Iowa ... On May 14, Black Hawk's forces met with a group of militia men led by Isaiah Stillman ...
... Elizabeth, Illinois for protection during the 1832 Black Hawk War ... At the onset of the Black Hawk War, settlers in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois constructed a series of hastily built forts Apple River Fort was one of the forts erected after the Illinois Militia's ... complete later descriptions is found in the 1878 post-Black Hawk War text The History of Jo Daviess County Trees were felled, split, and about one hundred feet square of ground was enclosed by driving ...
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