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The life of the american war leader black hawk

Black Hawk was leader of a group of Fox and Sauk Indians. He was born in the Virginia Colony in 1767. His father was the tribal medicine man and named Pyesa.

As a young man he established himself as a war leader while on many different raids of neighboring villages. When is father passed from wounds Black Hawk inherited the medicine bundle his father carried. Black Hawk moved west as a young man. American government officials tried to make peace with a rival of Black Hawk, but many of the Native Americans were not pleased with the negotiations that inevitably led to the loss of more land, and they appealed to Black Hawk to take a stance.

Tensions remained strong between the Native Americans and the Americans. Despite an oral agreement that gave the United States government control of a large tract of land in Illinois along the Rock River, Black Hawk refused to obey the treaty and moved onto the fertile land. Black Hawk and his people numbered more than a thousand, but this number was made up of men, women, and children. The Illinois militia began attacking Black Hawk and his people in 1832, and Black Hawk was taken prisoner the following year.

The war was so brutal that the remaining Native Americans essentially abandoned the land and went west. Smith The militia surgeon was terrified. All around him the night flickered and danced with muzzle flashes, and the darkness rang with terrifying war whoops and screams of terror.

Desperately he kneed his rearing horse, but could not pull away from the grim, dark form holding tightly to his mount.

He leaned forward into the gloom and held the life of the american war leader black hawk his sword. Please accept my sword. Slashing the tether, the surgeon fled madly into the night.

Few of them ever actually saw an Indian or fired at anything other than shadows. Their officers, with few exceptions, were in the van of the retreat, led by Colonel James Strode, commander of the 27th Illinois Regiment, notable, until then, for a large mouth and a bellicose air.

The general rout had begun on May 14, 1832, when 275 Illinois militiamen, commanded by Major Isaiah Stillman, were spooked by about 40 Sauk warriors, who were as surprised as anybody at the chaotic panic they created.

  • In April, 1832, Black Hawk and about 1500 followers 500 warriors and 1000 women, children, and old people crossed the Mississippi to its eastern bank;
  • Desperately he kneed his rearing horse, but could not pull away from the grim, dark form holding tightly to his mount;
  • They apparently remained on good terms as Black Hawk rose in importance and Quashquame faded;
  • Nevertheless, Black Hawk's and his female fans' identities were created through sexualized rhetoric circulated in the newspapers.

The defeat was more humiliating than serious, though the Indians mutilated the bodies of the 12 white men they killed and a good many more militiamen subsequently deserted for good. The Sauk had lost three braves, one of whom had been murdered before the fight began, as he had tried to negotiate for peace.

Later there would be a good deal of pious bragging and invention about a gallant defense against as many as 2,000 Indians. But the militia knew it had been whipped — whipped badly and nearly frightened to death.

One officer spoke for most of them in a letter to his wife: What had started as a wonderful, drunken Indian-killing party was getting serious and, what was worse, downright dangerous. But the war would go on. It was mid-May 1832, and a fundamental question still had to be decided that spring.

Was the Sauk and Fox nation to be allowed to return to its ancestral lands near Rock Island, east of the Mississippi River, or was it to be forever confined to its new home west of that river, to which it had been exiled by a scandalous treaty signed in 1804? The Indian signatories to the treaty had had no authority to speak for the entire tribe. Only one was a legitimate chief, and even he was a noted alcoholic.

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But hordes of settlers had promptly squatted on the land, making the treaty unenforceable. It was too much for proud men to bear. And so, in the spring of 1831, a band of Sauk crossed the Mississippi and moved into the ancient tribal territories around Rock Island.

Their hearts were there, and so was their chief village, a well-laid-out town called Saukenuk. The Indian invasion produced a small amount of bloodshed — and a large amount of unmitigated panic on the part of the squatters, who promptly appealed to the United States Government for help.

Infantry and part of the 3rd, and asked the Illinois governor for added militia assistance. War was averted when still another treaty was thrashed out with the Sauk, who promised never again to cross to the east bank of the Mississippi without the consent of both the U. Within four months, however, a Sauk band was back across the river, and was said to have killed a couple of dozen Menominee Indians, their hereditary enemies.

The panic-stricken squatters again appealed for government aid. It was, after all, less than 20 years since the horrors of the War of 1812, when most of the northwestern Indians had joined the British. Many Indians still fondly remembered those days, times of victory over the Americans.

  • Louis in Jefferson Barracks;
  • The Sauk had lost three braves, one of whom had been murdered before the fight began, as he had tried to negotiate for peace;
  • Keep it as we did— it will produce you good crops.

One of them spoke for all: They made fair promises, but never fulfilled them! Whilst the British made but few — but we could always rely upon their word! He was not a great chief, but a respected warrior who had killed his first man when he was 15 and was credited with 30 by the time he was 45.

He was also a consummate tactician. His name, Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, roughly translates as Black Sparrow Hawk, but he was more widely known simply as Black Hawk. They moved smoothly upriver in the burgeoning spring, under the command of bumbling Brig. Henry Atkinson, and arrived at Rock Island on the 8th. There were said to be 600 to 800 well-armed braves, more than half of them mounted. And, because they intended to reoccupy their old lands, many of them had brought their families with them.

Atkinson sensibly decided he needed cavalry to catch a mounted enemy. The regular army had no mounted troops because a cheese-paring Congress would not appropriate enough money for it. Infantrymen were cheaper, and dollars were far more important on Capital Hill than military preparedness. Any mounted men would have to come from the local militia, and Atkinson asked Illinois Governor John Reynolds for help. Reynolds, a pompous bumpkin, jumped at the chance.

Black Hawk Articles

Militia troops had long been the bane of the regular U. Although they had fought well at times, they had also done a shameful amount of running away. It was not so long since the Bladensburg Races, that dismal day in August 1814 outside Washington when a whole army of militia had skedaddled before a thin line of British bayonets and the whooshing of wildly inaccurate Congreve rockets.

The ensuing war would bring nobody glory, except maybe the Indians. A raw-boned former militia captain named Abraham Lincoln would seldom mention his participation except to comment drolly on the size of the mosquitoes that preyed on him and his men.

Other participants — especially officers of the regular army — bluntly called the campaign what it was. The militiamen showed up at Rock Island in droves, a couple of thousand of them by early May. The men were furnished food, equipment and arms by the government, and produced prodigious quantities of both hot air and whiskey, without which no movement apparently could be attempted.

The Suckers poked fun at the regular troops they saw, in part because the regulars had to walk. The militia could ride in some comport, and pursue its Indian quarry with much greater dispatch.

As it turned out, it was also better able to run away from a fight, a thing it was to do often. Militiamen would kill many horses during the campaign, galloping madly away from danger, real or imagined. Most of them would kill nothing else. Still, the militiamen were loud and boastful, singularly dedicated to their constant companion John Barleycorn and wholly without discipline.

Part of this chronic indiscipline was frontier orneriness, part of it, maybe most, was whiskey. One soldier wrote of hearing officers shout at their men: Gentlemen, will you please some away from that damned whiskey barrel!

Life of Black Hawk, or Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak

They rightly considered them buffoons, ill-disciplined, noisy and all too likely to desert the battlefield. The evening before, the Suckers had decided to abandon their supply wagons and each man took what he needed — especially whiskey.

On the morning of May 14, he was at a council with Potawatomi chiefs, which was also to prove unproductive. He sent three messengers under a white flag of truce to request a parley, with the intention of peacefully leading his band back across the Mississippi.

He also sent five warriors to back up his envoys and observe how they were received. What followed was a tragicomic farce. While the parties tried to communicate, a militiaman noticed the five warriors watching the proceedings from a ridge and assumed that they were being drawn into a trap. A militiaman shot one of the Sauk negotiators dead on the spot and others rode off in pursuit of the fleeing braves, killing two of them. At least one reached Black Hawk, however, and the enraged war chief assembled 40 braves — all he had available, since the others were foraging for food and organized a skirmish line.

Those 40 men were angry and aggressive, not at all what the Suckers were used to, and upon running headlong into that war party they promptly dashed back toward camp as fast as they had come.

The the life of the american war leader black hawk had enlisted for only 30 days, and as the fourth week approached they could think of all kinds of reasons why they had to go home. The regulars were so contemptuous of the militia that Atkinson put the Rock River between his men and the Suckers to avoid collision.

Meanwhile, Black Hawk found himself with the very war that he had tried to avoid fully on his hands. Instead of quitting while he was ahead and withdrawing as planned just days before, Black Hawk took up the warpath. Atkinson did what he could to get the expedition going again. Before anything more could be done, word came of the massacre of 15 white settlers on Indian Creek and the kidnapping of two teenage girls by the raiders. Frightful news of other killings and burnings caused mass flight along the frontier, with fugitives pouring into havens as far away as Chicago.

Not all the raiders were Sauk; there were Winnebago, too, but winged rumors made no distinction. At one settlement two shots fired at a flock of wild turkeys were enough to stampede everybody in the entire area into a wild flight for shelter at the local fort.

Meanwhile, orators and newspapers all along the frontier screamed for bloody revenge. By the end of May, much of the Illinois Militia had disbanded, with only 250 heeding frantic appeals form the Old Ranger to re-enlist. There was a new levy coming, but nobody knew just how large it could be. Men were unenthusiastic about the war. They were organized into there brigades of about 1,000 men each, still as loud, brawling, hard-drinking and undisciplined as ever.