Black Hawk War

Black Hawk
Makataimeshekiakiah, Or Black Hawk,
Original name Black Sparrow
A Saukie Brave (Sauk)
1767 – 1838

The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict in 1832 between the United States Army and frontier militia units and Native Americans led by Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, otherwise known as Black Hawk. The war erupted after Black Hawk and a group of Kickapoo, Fox, and Sauks, crossed the Mississippi River, into the U.S. state of Illinois, from Iowa Indian Territory in April 1832. A series of skirmishes then occurred between them and the militia and settlers around what would become Rock County Illinois.

Early in April, 1832, Brig. General Atkinson, with about three hundred troops, was ordered to Fort Armstrong to prevent a threatened war between the Menominee and Fox Indians, on account of a massacre, committed by a band of the latter on a small band of drunken Menominee the previous summer at a point near Fort Crawford. To prevent bloodshed he was directed to demand the murderers of the Foxes; but on arriving at Rock Island he soon learned that there was imminent danger of a war of a different character–that Black Hawk, with his entire band, was then on his way to invade the State of Illinois and would probably be joined by the Pottawatomie and Winnebago. In order to ascertain the facts in the case, he called upon the Indian Agent and Col. George Davenport, both located there, and requested them to furnish, in writing, all the information they had in relation to the movements and intentions of Black Hawk in coming to the State of Illinois.

Below is a series of posts on Black Hawk and the Black Hawk war which come from several sources. It’s important to get all sides of the story, so don’t forget to read Black Hawk’s autobiography.

See Further on the History of the Black Hawk War

Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War

Iowa and Wisconsin Soldiers in the Black Hawk War

Wisconsin Soldiers in the Black Hawk War


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