Black Hawk Indian War

On the 12th of April, 1832, soon after our arrival at Rock Island on a visit to relatives, (the family of Col. Geo. Davenport) a steamboat came down from Galena with officers to Fort Armstrong, for the purpose of laying in supplies and medical stores for a brigade then being formed at that place. One regiment, composed principally of miners, who had abandoned their mines and came in to offer their services as soldiers in the field, were unanimous in the election of Henry Dodge as Colonel. They had long known him as a worthy, brave and accomplished gentleman, the soul of honor, and hence would be an intrepid soldier.

Among the officers on this trip was Dr. A. K. Philleo, well known to Col. Dodge as a social gentleman, a skilled physician and an accomplished surgeon, who had accepted the position of surgeon at his urgent request, with a proviso: Being editor of the “Galenian,” (the only paper printed in the town) he considered the position a very important one, as it was the only paper within hundreds of miles of the seat of war, and the only one on the Mississippi above Alton, Ill.; hence he must procure a substitute or decline the appointment of surgeon. Having made his acquaintance after he had learned that we had been engaged in newspaper life, he insisted that we should take a position on the “Galenian” for a few weeks, or until the close of the war, so that he could accept the offer of Col. Dodge, and seeing that he was a great favorite among the officers, and anxious to go to the field, we accepted the position and accompanied him to Galena the same evening.

Here we found an infantry regiment, commanded by Col. J. M. Strode, composed principally of miners and citizens of Galena, which had been hurriedly organized for home protection, whilst that of Col. Dodge, being well mounted, were making preparations to take the field. After taking charge of the “Galenian” we made the acquaintance of Col. Strode, and found him to be a whole-souled Kentuckian, who advised us to enroll our name on the company list of Capt. M. M. Maughs, and as our time would mostly be devoted to the paper, he would detail us “Printer to the Regiment,” by virtue of which appointment we would become an honorary member of his staff. We retained our position on the paper and that on the staff of the Colonel throughout the war, and was made the recipient of dispatches of the regular movement of the army, its skirmishes and battles from officers of the regular army as well as that of the volunteers, from which we made our weekly report, and from these data we have made up most of our history of the war.

Black Hawk, Patterson, J. B., editor, Leclair, Atoine, interpreter  Autobiography of Black Hawk or Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, Self Published by J. B. Patterson, 1882.

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