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  • Col. William S. Hamilton (1797 - 1850)
    William Steven Hamilton, born in New York city, 4 August, 1797; died in Sacramento, California, 7 August, 1850, entered the United States military academy in 1814, but left before his graduation. He ...
  • General Henry Atkinson (1782 - 1842)
    Henry Atkinson (1782 – June 14, 1842) was a United States army officer. He was a native of Person County, North Carolina. He entered the army in 1808 as a captain in the infantry, serving at var...
  • Major David Bailey (deceased)
    David Bailey was an American militia officer in the Illinois Militia who fought during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War, most notably serving at the Battle of Stillman's Run where he and Lt. Col....
  • Captain John Giles Adams (1792 - 1832)
    John Giles Adams (December 2, 1792 – May 14, 1832) was a cavalry officer in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War of 1832. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee and came to Illinois in 18...
  • Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA (1809 - 1865)
    For more information and photos of his burial place, click on : Abraham Lincoln Overview Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President Born: 12 February 1809 Birthplace: Near Hodgenville, Kentucky Died: ...

The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S. state of Illinois in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but he was apparently hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on land that had been ceded to the United States in a disputed 1804 treaty.


American officials, convinced that the British Band was hostile, mobilized a frontier army. With few U.S. Army soldiers in the region, most American troops were part-time, poorly trained militiamen. Hostilities began on May 14, 1832, when the militia opened fire on a delegation from the British Band. Black Hawk responded by attacking the militia force, soundly thrashing them at the Battle of Stillman's Run. He led his band to a secure location in what is now southern Wisconsin. As American forces pursued Black Hawk's band, Native Americans conducted raids against American forts and settlements. Some Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi warriors with grievances against Americans took part in these raids, although most members of those tribes tried to avoid the conflict. The Menominee and Dakota tribes, already at odds with the Sauks and Meskwakis, supported the Americans.


Commanded by General Henry Atkinson, the US troops tried to track down the British Band. Militia under Colonel Henry Dodge caught up with the British Band on July 21 and defeated them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. Black Hawk's band, weakened by hunger, death, and desertion, retreated towards the Mississippi. On August 2, American soldiers attacked the remnants of the British Band at the Battle of Bad Axe, killing or capturing most of them. Black Hawk and other leaders escaped, but later surrendered and were imprisoned for a year.


The Black Hawk War is now often remembered as the conflict that gave young Abraham Lincoln his brief military service. Other notable American participants included Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and Jefferson Davis. The war gave impetus to the US policy of Indian removal, in which Native American tribes were pressured to sell their lands and move west of the Mississippi River.

Battle of Stillman's Run