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on the enemy, causing him to retire obliquely to the right and concentrate in front of the battalion of Major Dodge, who was then ordered to advance upon the foe, but considering his force inadequate and requesting assistance, Col. Fry's regiment was sent to his aid, when a vigorous charge was made from one end of the line to the other. Fry's regiment and Dodge's battalion entered the timber and tall grass, exposed to the fierce fire of the Indians, who maintained their ground till their adversaries could reach them with their bayonets, when they fled and took a new position in the head of a ravine farther westward, and leading to the lowlands of the river. Here they made a more stubborn resistance, but a handsome charge by Collins' and Jones' regiments and Ewing's battalion, forced some of them down the hollow, and others farther westward along the bluffs, whence they escaped to the bottom bordering on the stream. This was about a mile wide and next to the river, covered with heavy timber, while near the bluff it was swampy and overgrown with grass so tall as to be above the heads of the men on horseback. It was now near sun down, and Gen. Henry concluded it would be too hazardous to dis. lodge the enemy during the night, and accordingly remained on the battle ground.
The battle of the Winconsin was the first important victory obtained over the enemy during the war. The Indians had with them their women and children, and fully alive to the disastrous consequences which would attend defeat, fought with great determination. During the engagement Naopope, their commander, posted himself on an elevation near his warriors and gave his orders in a voice of thunder, which could be distinctly heard above the din of battle. It was said that of all men he had the loudest voice, but it ceased to be heard when his braves were driven from their position. Great praise was due the entire army, the officers having discharged their duties with great efficiency and the privates exhibited unusual bravery in the different charges made upon the enemy. Gen. Henry was young and inexperienced, yet in his coolness and the judgment displayed in the disposition of his forces acted the part of a veteran commander. He now concluded that if the Indians intended to continue the contest they would make an attack during the night, and as a precaution he increased the strength of the guard and caused fires to be built in front of the camp and kept burning till morning. Orders were given that the men should sleep on their arms, and they had not long been wrapt in slumber when they were aroused by the tramping
of horses. It was supposed that the latter had been frightened by the approaching enemy, and the men were ordered to hold themselves during the remainder of the night in readiness for an attack. About 3 o'clock in the morning Naopope took a stand on the same elevation he had occupied during the battle, and spoke with a loud voice, in the Winnebago tongue, which in the calm of the night reverberated from hill to bill. It was ascertained when the war was over that he was suing for peace. He stated that his countrymen were in a starving condition and unable to fight the Americans, and that if they were permitted to peaceably return west of the Mississippi with their families they would do no further mischief. As the Indian guides had Aed at the commence. ment of the battle there was no person in the camp who understood his language, and it was supposed he was giving commands to his warriors. The Americans expecting every moment to be attacked, Gen. Henry made a spirited speech in which he told them they were about to meet the savages who had butchered in cold blood so many of their helpless and unoffending citizens, reminded them of the obstacles which they had encountered and overcome during the campaign, and urged them not to tarnish the reputation they had gained in the battle of the preceding day. Every man then took his position and remained in it till early dawn, when Ewing's battalion proceeded to the top of the hill whence the voice proceeded, but only found the foot-prints of a few horsemen. The army then marched to the river and discov. ered that the Indians had crossed and made their escape among the mountains between it and the Mississippi. One hundred and sixty-eight of their fallen comrades were found dead on the field of battle, and the number of the wounded was perhaps proportionately large, as 25 of them were subsequenly found dead along the track of their departing trail. Gen. Henry had one man killed and 8 wounded. The great disparity in the loss of the Americans, and that of the enemy was accounted for on the supposition that the Indians had been taught to fire at men on horseback and consequently aimed too high to hit their adversaries, who dismounted before entering battle.
Pursuit of the Indians—Battle of Bad-Axe-Arrival of Gen.
Scott-Treaties with the Indians-Eastern Tour of the PrisonersDeath of Black Hawk.
It will be remembered that Adjutants Woodbridge and Merry. man, piloted by Little Thunder, were sent the second time to Gen. Atkinson's headquarters. They arrived safely, and after conferring with him, they were ordered to return with_instructions authorizing Gen. Henry to pursue the trail of Black Hawk, and if possible orertake and capture his force, and that when his provisions were exhausted he should go to the Blue Mounds for supplies, where he and his army would meet him. The messengers reached Gen. Henry during the recent battle, and the next day, as the army was without food and the means of rendering the wounded comfortable, it was determined to visit the Mounds for this purpose and replenish their stores. No one in the brigade, however, understood the topography of the country sufficiently well to act as guide. They had now penetrated 100 miles into an unexplored wilderness, and the Winnebagoes who had accompanied the expedition' fled at the commencement of the battle and had not returned. A council was called to consider the means of overcoming the difficulty, and while in session a white flag was seen approaching, borne by a number of friendly Winnebagoes, who agreed to act as guides. Litters were constructed for the wounded, and on the 23d of July the army was again in motion, and after encountering a number of muddy creeks and a large extent of rough roads, they reached the Blue Mounds in safety. Here, as they had been advised, they found Gen. Atkinson, with the regular and volunteer forces under his immediate command, and a number of inhabitants, whose kind treatment made the wounded forget the bardships they had suffered in the journey thither.
It was now evident that Gen. Atkinson and other officers of the regular army were greatly mortified at the success of Gen. Henry, as they did not intend that the militia should acquire any renown in the war. Gen. Atkinson relying mostly on the regulars, had always kept them in front, but unexpectedly while they were snugly ensconced at Lake Kushkanong, Gen. Henry discovered and vanquished the enemy as effectually as if the veterans had participated in the engagement. This unmanly jealousy was further intensified by the fact, that the victory had been obtained in opposition to the council and orders of those who arrogated to 26
themselves superior courage and knowledge in the practice and art of war.
All the generals were now together, but not all the men. Gen. Posey's brigade contained only 200 effective men; Gen. Alexander's 350, and Gei. Henry's being also greatly reduced, the three brigades combined were not much stronger than one at the commencement of the campaign. In addition to the volun. teer force, there were now 400 regulars under the command of Gen. Brady and his subordinate officers, Col. Taylor and Majors Riley and Morgan. After spending 2 days at the Mounds, on the 25th of July the whole army, under direction of Gen. Atkinson, again started after the Indians. The regulars marched in front, Posey's and Alexander's brigades and Dodge's battalion came next, and lastly Henry's brigade in charge of the baggage brought up the rear. The position assigned Gen. Henry, the bero of the battle of Wisconsin, showed too plainly the ungenerous feeling that rankled in the breast of the commanding general. The whole army noticed the insult, and the brave men who were thus degraded knew they deserved better treatment, and justly claim. ed the post of honor and of danger. It was now evident that if other laurels were to be won they would decorate other brows. Gen. Henry and his men, were too true to their duties as soldiers to suffer this injustice to interfere with the success of the expedition, and therefore quietly trudged along in the rear, doing the drudg. ery of the army and taking charge of the baggage. On the 26th they arrived at Helena, with a view to crossing the Wisconsin at that place.
This village, formerly a promising town, was now abandoned by its inhabitants, and the houses were pulled down and converted into rafts on which to cross the river. During the construction of the rafts, scouts were sent up the river to the battle ground to ascertain if the Indians had returned thither as the course they had taken in their flight after the battle. A day was spent in making explorations, but no trace of the enemy being discovered the party returned. On the 28th the whole army had gained the opposite bank of the river, and after marching a distance of 5 miles fell in with the trail of the retreating fugitives. Before the discovery, the army was greatly disheartened, the distance to the Mississippi was supposed to be 80 miles, and it was seriously feared that ere the enemy could again be overtaken they would make their escape west of this stream. The men had become weary in hunting trails, but now it was found, the hope of again falling in with the Indians was revived and all murmurs ceased. The trail at first followed the course of the river, but soon turned north ward among huge mountains, which never before had echoed with the tread of civilized men. Three weary days were consumed in scaling these precipitous elevations and crossing the intervening gorges, the one being covered with heavy timber and a dense undergrowth of briers and vines, and the other filled with swamps of deep black mud. The men were well supplied with provisions, and bore their labors with cheerfulness, but it was difficult for the horses to find grass, and many of them becoming debilitated by hunger were left to perish in these pastureless solitudes. The con. dition of the Indians was extremely deplorable. They were compelled to subsist on roots, bark and the flesh of horses, and their trail could be readily traced by blankets, kettles and other articles abandoned to hasten their flight. Death, too, had marked their course with the bodies of those who had been wounded, most of whom had died more for the want of proper medical treatment than from the fatal nature of their injuries.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 2d of August, the army reached the bluffs of the Mississippi, which at this point were soine distance from the stream. The Indians having reached the margin of the river some time before the arrival of the Americans, were busily engaged in preparations to cross. Some had already reached the opposite shore, and some of the women had been put in canoes and started down to Prairie du Chien, but part of the latter were drowned, and those who reached the town were found in a starving condition. While thus employed they were attacked by the steamboat Warrior, which had been chartered for the purpose of conveying supplies to the army. On the 1st of August she was sent up the river to notify some friendly Indians that the Sacs were approaching, and to take them down to Prairie du Chien. On his way, Captain Throckmorton heard that Black Hawk was already encamped on the banks of the river, and he immediately made preparations for an attack. As the steamboat neared the camp of the Indians, they raised a white fag, which the captain affecting to believe was only used as a mask to cover their real designs, ordered them to send a canoe alongside his boat. The order being declined, they were allowed 15 minutes to remove their women and children, when a six-pounder, loaded with cannister, was discharged into their midst, followed by a severe fire of musketry. The battle continued about an hour, during which the enemy had 23 men killed and a proportionate number wounded. The fuel of the steamer now began to fail, and night coming on, she fell down the river to Prairie du Chien, intending to return the next day.
The captain of the Warrior, even if his surmises were correet respecting the perfidy of the Indians, was still liable to censure for the precipitancy with which he brought on the engagement. He and his men were beyond the reach of harm, and consequently both humanity and the rules of war required that he should have taken more than 15 minutes to discover the real motive of the Indiaus in hoisting the symbol of peace. Black Hawk bimself asserted that he directed his braves not to fire on the Warrior, as he intended going on board in order to save his women and children, and that he raised a white flag and called to the captain of the boat for the purpose of effecting this object. His condition was now hopeless, his warriors, reduced in numbers, were exhausted by fatigue and hunger, while an overwhelming force ready to move against him, was just in his rear. It is therefore bighly probable that he was sincere and anxious to end the contest, in which so many of his people had been slanghtered ; and had the captain of the Warrior properly respected the flag of truce, which all civilized warfare bolds sacreil, the campaign would have terminiated without the further effusion of blood.
Before the Warrior could return to the Indian encampment, which was on the Mississippi below the mouth of the Bad Axe, Gen. Atkinson arrived and commenced a general battle. Black Hawk, aware that the American force was in close proximity, to