Puslapio vaizdai

out scouting parties to ascertain the position and condition of the enemy. Here two battalions of mounted volunteers, num. bering two hundred and seventy-five men, joined them from McLean, Peoria, and other counties, eager to distingish themselves by participating in the war. Some of these fiery spirits, advancing without orders, and having no other duty assigned them than that of scouts, had a little skirmish on the 12th of May, a mile distant from their encampment, in Ogle county, with a number of mounted Indians, in which three of the latter were killed. Black-Hawk and his principal forces were not far off, and rallying seven hundred men, he promptly repelled the assaults of these scouts, pursuing them in a disorderly condition, to their camp. These rash adventurers now showed greater eagerness in flight, than they had before to gain distinction in battle, and ran helter-skelter over the prairie, producing such confusion and dismay as to render it difficult to prevent the most serious effects from their insubordinate conduct. As it was, eleven of the men were killed, the confidence of the Indians was greatly raised, and the survivors, who came straggling into the camp of General Whiteside, were full of panic, anticipating an immediate and general attack from their pursuers. Such was "Stillman's defeat."


The consequence of this affair was a council of war at the tent of the commander-in-chief, and a decision to march, early next morning, to the scene of that evening's misadvenThe great battle which Capt. Lincoln and his fellowvolunteers had come so far to participate in, seemed now on the point of becoming a reality. Notwithstanding the premature advance of Whiteside from Prophetstown had left them without the necessary supplies, and subjected them to the privations so well known to experienced soldiers, yet seldom encountered so early in a campaign, they made up for the absence of their regular provisions as best they might, and were ready, with the dawn, for the day's undertaking. But their enemy did not await their coming. Arrived at the scene of yesterday's skirmish and flight, they found not a straggler of all the savage forces. They had partly gone further up the river, and partly dispersed, to commit depredations in the


surrounding country. One party of them came suddenly upon a settlement near Ottawa, and massacred fifteen persons, carrying two young women into captivity. This circumstance alone is sufficient to show how utterly unfounded was the tense of some that Black-Hawk had no hostile purpose, in this repudiation of his treaty engagements, and to remove any ground for the mistaken sympathy which many have expended upon him.

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After this energetic but vain attempt to fall in with the enemy and give him battle, Gen. Whiteside, having buried the dead of the day before, returned to camp, where he was joined, next day, by Gen. Atkinson, with his troops and supplies. The numbers of the army were thus increased to twenty-four hundred, and a few weeks more would have enabled this force to bring the war to a successful close. But many of the volunteers, whose time had nearly expired, were eager to be discharged. They had seen quite enough of the hardships of a campaign, which, without bringing as yet any glory, had turned out in reality quite different from what their imaginations had foretold. With the prevailing discontents, but one course was possible. The volunteers were marched to Ottawa, where they were discharged by Gov. Reynolds, on the 27th and 28th of May.

This sudden disbanding, without a battle, and with no results accomplished, was a disappointment to the young captain from Menard county. Gov. Reynolds had previously issued a call for two thousand new volunteers, to assemble at Beardstown and Hennepin. In accordance with the wishes of Lincoln, and others, who were still ready to bear their share of the campaign, to its close, the Governor also asked for the formation of a volunteer regiment from those just discharged. Lincoln promptly enrolled himself as a private, as did also General Whiteside.

Before the arrival of the other levies, a skirmishing fight with the Indians was had at Burr Oak Grove, on the 18th of June, in which the enemy was defeated, with considerable loss, and on the side of the volunteers, two killed and one wounded.

The Winnebagoes and Pottawatomies now showed a decidedly hostile disposition toward the whites, and an inclination to join the movement of Black-Hawk. Accordingly, with the appearance of the new levies, which had been divided into three regiments, and their junction with the regular and volunteer forces already in the field-the whole number of volunteers alone being thirty-two hundred-the army was placed in a formidable and effective attitude for offensive warfare. Meantime the Indian atrocities continued, their acts of signal treachery and cruelty rendering an efficient prosecution of the war, to its termination, indispensable. Galena, then a village. of about four hundred inhabitants, was surrounded by the desperate enemy, and in imminent danger of attack. Apple River Fort, twelve miles from Galena, had already been made the object of a fierce and persevering attack, by Black-Hawk himself and a hundred and fifty of his warriors, and obstinately defended by twenty-five men, during fifteen hours of constant fighting, ending with the retreat of the Indians, with no slight loss. Within the fort, one man was killed and another wounded. Straggling parties of Indians, at various points, made attacks upon the whites, producing constant alarm and excitement through that part of the country.

The new forces, under command of Gen. Atkinson, of the regular army, were at length put in motion, detachments being sent out in different directions. A severe fight was had at Kellogg's Grove, in the midst of the Indian country, on the 25th of June, resulting in the retreat of the Indians, with much loss. Five whites were killed, and three wounded. A detachment under Gen. Alexander was stationed in a position to intercept the Indians, should they attempt to re-cross the Mississippi.

Meanwhile, it was understood that Black-Hawk had concentrated his forces, in a fortified position, at the Four Lakes, awaiting the issue of a general battle. Gen. Atkinson moved in that direction, with all possible celerity, and encamped a mile above Turtle Village, on the open prairie, not far from Rock river, on the 30th of June. The appearance of hostile Indians, prowling around his encampment, showed that their

progress was watched, but they were not attacked. Next day, with numerous re-enforcements, Gen. Atkinson's troops reached Burnt Village, a Winnebago town on the Whitewater river. They were now in a strange country, in which, for want of correct information, they were obliged to advance slowly and cautiously. There were traces of hostile Indians in the vicinity, and next day two soldiers, at a little distance from the camp, were fired upon by them, and one seriously wounded. But from this point it was difficult to discover the trail of the enemy.

Nearly two months had now passed since the opening of the campaign, and its purpose seemed as remote from accomplishment as ever. The new volunteers had many of them become discontented, like the former ones. Their number had in fact become reduced one-half. The wearisome marches, the delays, the privations and exposures, had proved to them that this service was no pastime, and that its romance was not what it seemed in the distance. They sickened of such service, and were glad to escape from its restraints. Not so, however, with Lincoln, who had found in reality the kind of exciting adventure which his spirit craved. While others murmured, and took their departure, he remained true and persistent, no less eager for the fray, or ambitious to play a genuine soldier's part, than at the beginning. Hardship was not new to him, and he had a physical energy and endurance that would not be wearied into untimely discouragement.

It was not destined, however, that he should be actively engaged in any battle more serious than those encounters already mentioned. The forces were divided and dispersed in different directions, on the 10th of July, with a view to obtaining supplies. Two days later, news was received that BlackHawk was thirty-five miles above Gen. Atkinson, on Rock river. A plan of Generals Alexander, Henry, and others, to take him by surprise, without awaiting orders, was frustrated by their troops refusing to follow them. Gen. Henry finally set out in pursuit of the Indians, on the 15th of July, but was misled by treachery. He continued on for several days,

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