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faith, and were not the names of honest Sacs. No: he would go over the river, he would have his own; the voice of the Great Spirit was in the air wherever he went; it was in his lodge through all the night-time, and it said "Go;" and Black Hawk must needs rise up and tell the people what the voice said.
It was by such arguments as these that Black Hawk easily persuaded the Sacs. But hostilities by the Sacs alone would be a hopeless adventure. He must find allies. He looked first to their kindred, the Foxes, who had precisely the same cause of war with the Sacs, and after them to the Winnebagoes, Sioux, Kickapoos, and many others. That Black Hawk was a wise and valiant leader, all the Indians conceded; and his proposals were heard by some of the tribes with eagerness, and by all of them with respect. At one time his confederacy embraced nine tribes, the most formidable in the North-west, if we exclude the Sioux and the Chippewas, who were themselves inclined to accede. Early in 1831, the first chief of the Chippewas exhibited a miniature tomahawk, red with vermilion, which, having been accepted from Black Hawk, signified an alliance between them; and away up at Leech Lake, an obscure but numerous band showed some whites a few British medals painted in imitation of blood, which meant that they were to follow the war-paths of Black Hawk.
In 1831 Black Hawk had crossed the river in small force, but had retired before the advance of Gen. Gaines, commanding the United States post at Rock Island. He then promised to remain on the other side, and to keep quiet for the future. But early in the spring of 1832 he re-appeared with greater numbers, pushed straight into the Rock-river Valley, and said he had "come to plant corn." He was now sixty-seven years of age: he thought his great plots were all ripe, and his allies fast and true. They would fight a few bloody battles, and then he would sit down in his old age and see the corn grow where he had seen it in his youth. But the old chief reckoned too much upon Indian fidelity: he committed the fatal error
of trusting to their patriotism instead of their interests. Gen. Atkinson, now in command at Rock Island, set the troops in motion: the governor issued his call for volunteers; and, as the Indians by this time had committed some frightful barbarities, the blood of the settlers was boiling, and the regiments were almost instantly filled with the best possible material. So soon as these facts became known, the allies of Black Hawk, both the secret and the open, fell away from him, and left him, with the Sacs and the Foxes, to meet his fate.
In the mean time Lincoln had enlisted in a company from Sangamon. He had not been out in the campaign of the previous year, but told his friend Row Herndon, that, if he had not been down the river with Offutt, he would certainly have been with the boys in the field. But, notwithstanding his want of military experience, his popularity was so great, that he had been elected captain of a militia company on the occasion of a muster at Clary's Grove the fall before. He was absent at the time, but thankfully accepted and served. Very much to his surprise, his friends put him up for the captaincy of this company about to enter active service. They did not organize at home, however, but marched first to Beardstown, and then to Rushville in Schuyler County, where the election took place. Bill Kirkpatrick was a candidate against Lincoln, but made a very sorry showing. It has been said that Lincoln once worked for Kirkpatrick as a common laborer, and suffered some indignities at his hands; but the story as a whole is supported by no credible testimony. It is certain, however, that the planks for the boat built by Abe and his friends at the mouth of Spring Creek were sawed at the mill of a Mr. Kirkpatrick. It was then, likely enough, that Abe fell in the way of this man, and learned to dislike him. At all events, when he had distanced Kirkpatrick, and was chosen his captain by the suffrages of men who had been intimate with Kirkpatrick long before they had ever heard of Abe, he spoke of him spitefully, and referred in no gentle terms to some old dispute. "Damn him," said he to Green, "I've
beat him he used me badly in our settlement for my toil."
Capt. Lincoln now made a very modest speech to his comrades, reciting the exceeding gratification their partiality afforded him, how undeserved he thought it, and how wholly unexpected it was. In conclusion, "he promised very plainly that he would do the best he could to prove himself worthy of that confidence."
The troops rendezvoused at Beardstown and Rushville were formed into four regiments and a spy battalion. Capt. Lincoln's company was attached to the regiment of Col. Samuel Thompson. The whole force was placed under the command of Gen. Whiteside, who was accompanied throughout the campaign by the governor in person.
On the 27th of April, the army marched toward the mouth of Rock River, by way of Oquaka on the Mississippi. The route was one of difficulty and danger, a great part of it lying through a country largely occupied by the enemy. The men were raw, and restive under discipline. In the beginning they had no more respect for the "rules and regulations" than for Solomon's Proverbs, or the Westminster Confession. Capt. Lincoln's company is said to have been a particularly "hard set of men," who recognized no power but his. They were fighting men, and but for his personal authority would have kept the camp in a perpetual uproar.
At the crossing of Henderson River, a stream about fifty yards wide, and eight or ten feet deep, with very precipitous banks, they were compelled to make a bridge or causeway with timbers cut by the troops, and a filling-in of bushes, earth, or any other available material. This was the work of a day and night. Upon its completion, the horses and oxen were taken from the wagons, and the latter taken over by hand. But, when the horses came to cross, many of them were killed in sliding down the steep banks. "While in camp here, says a private in Capt. Lincoln's company, "a general order was issued prohibiting the discharge of fire-arms within fifty steps of the camp. Capt. Lincoln disobeyed the order by
firing his pistol within ten steps of the camp, and for this violation of orders was put under arrest for that day, and his sword taken from him; but the next day his sword was restored, and nothing more was done in the matter."
From Henderson River the troops marched to Yellow Banks, on the Mississippi. "While at this place," Mr. Ben F. Irwin says, "a considerable body of Indians of the Cherokee tribe came across the river from the Iowa side, with the white flag hoisted. These were the first Indians we saw. They were very friendly, and gave us a general war-dance. We, in return, gave them a Sucker ho-down. All enjoyed the sport, and it is safe to say no man enjoyed it more than Capt. Lincoln."
From Yellow Banks, a rapid and exhaustive march of a few days brought the volunteers to the mouth of Rock River, where "it was agreed between Gen. Whiteside and Gen. Atkinson of the regulars, that the volunteers should march up Rock River, about fifty miles, to the Prophet's Town, and there encamp, to feed and rest their horses, and await the arrival of the regular troops, in keel-boats, with provisions. Judge William Thomas, who again acted as quartermaster to the volunteers, made an estimate of the amount of provisions required until the boats could arrive, which was supplied; and then Gen. Whiteside took up his line of march." But Capt. Lincoln's company did not march on the present occasion with the alacrity which distinguished their comrades of other corps. The orderly sergeant attempted to "form company," but the company declined to be formed; the men, oblivious of wars and rumors of wars, mocked at the word of command, and remained between their blankets in a state of serene repose. For an explanation of these signs of passive mutiny, we must resort again to the manuscript of the private who gave the story of Capt. Lincoln's first arrest. "About the of April,
we reached the mouth of Rock River. About three or four nights afterwards, a man named Rial P. Green, commonly called Pot Green,' belonging to a Green-county company,
1 Ford's History of Illinois, chap. iv.
came to our company, and waked up the men, and proposed to them, that, if they would furnish him with a tomahawk and four buckets, he would get into the officers' liquors, and supply the men with wines and brandies. The desired articles were furnished him; and, with the assistance of one of our company, he procured the liquors. All this was entirely unknown to Capt. Lincoln. In the morning, Capt. Lincoln ordered his orderly to form company for parade; but when the orderly called the men to 'parade,' they called ' parade,' too, but couldn't fall into line. The most of the men were unmistakably drunk. The rest of the forces marched off, and left Capt. Lincoln's company behind. The company didn't make a start until about ten o'clock, and then, after marching about two miles, the drunken ones lay down and slept their drunk off. They overtook the forces that night. Capt. Lincoln was again put under arrest, and was obliged to carry a wooden sword for two days, and this although Capt. Lincoln was entirely blameless in the matter."
When Gen. Whiteside reached Prophetstown, where he was to rest until the arrival of the regulars and the supplies, he disregarded the plan of operations concerted between him and Atkinson, and, burning the village to the ground, pushed on towards Dixon's Ferry, forty miles farther up the river. Nearing that place, he left his baggage-wagons behind: the men threw away their allotments of provisions, or left them with the wagons; and in that condition a forced march was made to Dixon. There Whiteside found two battalions of mounted men under Majors Stillman and Bailey, who clamored to be thrown forward, where they might get up an independent but glorious "brush" with the enemy on comparatively private account. The general had it not in his heart to deny these adventurous spirits, and they were promptly advanced to feel and disclose the Indian force supposed to be near at hand. Stillman accordingly moved up the bank of "Old Man's Creek" (since called "Stillman's Run"), to a point about twenty miles from Dixon, where, just before nightfall, he went into camp, or was about to do so,