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; about 500 of that number were warriors. The alliance of Black Hawk with the British dated back to the War of 1812, giving them their colloquial name. The band crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois in an attempt to reclaim their homeland and in violation of several treaties. Subsequently, both the Illinois and Michigan Territory militia were called up and the Black Hawk War ensued.
Following a surprising British Band victory at the Battle of Stillman's Run, several small massacres and skirmishes followed. Most of the engagements were militarily insignificant until the final two encounters at Wisconsin Heights and the Bad Axe River. Members of the Band who were not killed in the war were either captured or returned home. Those taken prisoner during the decisive battle and the weeks afterward were released at the end of August 1832 by Winfield Scott. Black Hawk was himself taken east, where in 1833 he dictated his autobiography, the first Native American autobiography published in the United States.
Famous quotes containing the words british and/or band:
“They have to prove their superiority every day. Its their one tremendous weakness.”
—Edmund H. North, British screenwriter, and Lewis Gilbert. Captain Shepard (Kenneth More)
“What passes for identity in America is a series of myths about ones heroic ancestors. Its astounding to me, for example, that so many people really seem to believe that the country was founded by a band of heroes who wanted to be free. That happens not to be true. What happened was that some people left Europe because they couldnt stay there any longer and had to go someplace else to make it. They were hungry, they were poor, they were convicts.”
—James Baldwin (19241987)