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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 Willage, 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 Willage, 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, acquiring better information, passing the beautiful country around the Four Lakes, the present site of Madison, Wisconsin, and after another day's hard march came close upon the retreating Indians, and finally overtook them on the 21st. They were immediately charged upon, and driven along the high bluffs of the Wisconsin, and down upon the river bottom. The Indians lost sixty-eight killed, and of the large number wounded, twenty-five were afterward found dead on their trail leading to the Mississippi. The regulars, in this engagement on the Wisconsin, were commanded by Gen. (then Colonel) ZACHARY TAYLoR, afterward President of the United States. Gen. Henry, of Illinois, and Col. Dodge (afterward United States Senator), were chief commanders of the volunteers. Waiting two days at the Blue Mounds, the forces still in the field were all united, and a hard pursuit resumed through the forest, down the Wisconsin. On the fourth day, they reached the Mississippi, which some of the Indians had already crossed, while the others were preparing to do so. The battle of the Bad-Axe here brought the war to a close, with the capture of Black-Hawk and his surviving warriors. Mr. Lincoln, as yet a youth of but twenty-three, faithfully discharged his duty to his country, as a soldier, persevering amid peculiar hardships, and against the influences of older men around him, during the three months' service of this his first and last military campaign. Sarcastically commenting on the efforts of Gen. Cass' biog. raphers to render him conspicuous as a military hero, Mr. Lincoln, in a Congressional speech, delivered during the canvass of 1848, made a humorous and characteristic reference to his own experience as a soldier. We give his language on this occasion, as a suitable pendent to our sketch of this period of Mr. Lincoln's youth: “By the way, Mr. Speaker, did you know I am a military hero? Yes, sir, in the days of the Black-Hawk war, I fought, bled, and came away. Speaking of Gen. Cass' career, reminds me of my own. I was not at Stillman's defeat, but I was about as near it as Cass to Hull's surrender; and like him, I saw the place very soon afterward. It is quite certain I did not break my word, for I had none to break; but I bent a musket pretty badly on one occasion. If Cass broke his sword, the idea is, he broke it in desperation; I bent the musket by accident. If Gen. Cass went in advance of me in picking whortleberries, I guess I surpassed him in charges upon the wild onions. If he saw any live, fighting Indians, it was more than I did, but I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes; and although I never fainted from loss of blood, I can truly say I was often very hungry. “Mr. Speaker, if I should ever conclude to doff whatever our Democratic friends may suppose there is of black-cockade Federalism about me, and, thereupon, they should take me up as their candidate for the Presidency, I protest they shall not make fun of me as they have of Gen. Cass, by attempting to write me into a military hero.”
EIGHT YEARS IN THE LEGISLATURE OF ILLINois—1834–41.
A New Period in Mr. Lincoln's Life.—His Political Opinions.—Clay and Jackson.—Mr. Lincoln a Candidate for Representative.—His Election in 1834.—Illinois Strongly Democratic.—Mr. Lincoln as a Surveyor.—Land Speculation Mania.-Mr. Lincoln's First Appearance in the Legislature.—Banks and Internal Improvements.-Whig Measures Democratically Botched.—First Meeting of Lincoln with Douglas-The Latter Seeks an Office of the Legislature and Gets it.— Mr. Lincoln Re-elected in 1836.-Mr. Douglas also a Member of the House.—Distinguished Associates.—Internal Improvements Again.—Mr Lincoln's Views on Slavery.—The Capital Removed to Springfield.—The New Metropolis.-The Revulsion of 1837.—Mr. Lincoln Chosen for a Third Term.—John Calhoun of Lecompton Memory.—Lincoln the Whig Leader, and Candidate for Speaker.— Close Vote.—First Session at Springfield.—Lincoln Re-elected in 1840.-Partisan Remodeling of the Supreme Court.—Lincoln Declines Further Service in the Legislature.—His Position as a Statesman at the Close of this Period.—A Tribune of the People.
WE now approach the period of Mr. Lincoln's transition to the more natural position in which, as a professional man and a statesman, he was to attain that success and eminence for which his rare endowments fitted him. Hitherto, he had been unconsciously undergoing a varied training, the whole tendency of which, if rightly subjected afterward to a high purpose in life, could not fail to be advantageous. He had learned much of the world, and of men, and gained some true knowledge of himself. The discipline of those hard years of toil and penury, so manfully and cheerfully gone through with, was of more value to him, as time was to prove, than any heritage of wealth or of ancestral eminence could have been. Still the conflict with an adverse fortune was to continue; but from this time