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The Black Hawk War took place in 1832 and pitted a British group against the United States defense force and mercenaries drawn from Illinois and the Wisconsin region, at the time referred to as the Michigan Territory (Howe, 1857, p. 22).
The bone of contention was the ownership of lands in the region mid-west of the United States, and this was where much of the war was fought. The fighting got its name from a battle ruler of the Sauk, Fox and Algonquian indigenous Americans, all who were behind the British.
The Governor to Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, had in the year 1804 settled on an agreement with Sauk and Fox leadership. The Sauk and Fox leadership surrendered ground lying to the eastern part of Mississippi River everlastingly to the Indiana people (Howe, 1857, p. 22).
Conversely, the Sauk and Fox delegation had not sought advice from their clannish councils, and principals of these councils opposed their decision to cede land to Indiana.
The white populace of the area expanded at a high rate in the period following the War of 1812. The immediate impact of this was ever-escalating tensions between the indigenous Americans and those perceived as outsiders (Jung, 2007, p. 7).
Black Hawk directed a troop of indigenous Americans to the earlier surrendered expanse for the period of both winters of 1830 and 1831.
Central troops were pulled in, and the group of Black Hawk directed to pull out. They refused, and the high octane aggressions set off on the fourteenth day of May 1832, a time when Black Hawk’s group overcame militia at the Battle of Stillman’s Run.
This battle for most of the part involved a progression of small wars and clashes. A cholera breakout ruthlessly trimmed down the workforce of the American troops.
The war came to an end with a significant conquest for the militia at the Battle of Bad Axe. This was on the period between 1st and 2nd August in 1832.
Even as a lot of indigenous Americans continued staying in the region, a majority of their leaders escaped. Only Black Hawk and other indigenous American chiefs were put in prison (Jung, 2007, p. 7).
The war can be looked at in three distinct phases. The foremost stage took place from April fifth to May fourteenth of that year. During this period, Black Hawk’s troops crossed Mississippi River and made way toward the Winnebago prophet’s rural community on the Rock.
In a quick rejoinder, central forces marshaled in opposition to this invasion (Cole, 1918, p.13). Black Hawk’s group realized that they were doomed to failure at the time and had to retract and cross the Mississippi in the opposite direction.
In the process of orchestrating a systematic drawback, though, they got into a brawl with a private army unit, and this militia looked as if they were to make a nonviolent return down the Rock unworkable.
The second phase took off with a let pass chance for a diplomatic decision to the predicament on May 14 of the same year and ended on the eve of the initial main encounter of the war on July the twenty-first. In this stage, there occurred quite several attacks and conflicts.
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A portion of them was raided by Black Hawk’s troops against white occupations; others were started on by the army or mercenaries in opposition to indigenous war organizations (Butterfield, 1881, p. 5).
Even as pitched encounters were lacking between the major forces on each side, the chasers made progress as they gained lots of ground.
The final stage began on July twenty-first when the chase caught up with Black Hawk’s group. This took place at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights.
With their might of up to seven hundred and fifty mercenaries, General James Henry and Colonel Henry Dodge at the end caught up with Black Hawk’s group.
This stage came to an end with Black Hawk’s surrender on eighth August (Butterfield, 1881, p. 5). His troops attempted to cross the Mississippi but in vain as they were destroyed on the river’s banks.
The aftermath of the war
It is imperative to find out the impact that this war had on a number of its white partakers, on the Sauks and Foxes as an entire group, on Black Hawk’s group and Black Hawk as a person.
Even though this war was short-lived, it implicated some men who would get into key national political and armed forces professions (Cole, 1918, p.15). A total of three future heads of state played roles in the happenings of the spring and summer seasons of 1832.
Abraham Lincoln began as a commander in the Illinois band of soldiers and came back twice as a secretive after his first tenure of service came to an end. He was never at the thick of things, though. He was aged twenty-three when he joined the army.
Another future head of state was Jefferson Davis who oversaw the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. During a better part of the Black Hawk War, he was on leave (Cole, 191,8, p.15). He was, however, responsible for turning in Black Hawk and White Cloud to St. Louis in September of 1832.
Notable veterans of war whose profiles grew as a result of their involvement were General Winnfield Scott and Colonel Zachary Taylor. Gen. Winfield Scott neared becoming president as he was given a nomination by the Whig Party in 1852. Col. Zachary Taylor led all regular parades in the control of General Atkinson as the war took place.
Another colonel, Henry Dodge, was later to be signed up as an administrator for Wisconsin sin Territory in 1836 (Beaouchard, 1908, p. 22).
In the same way, as many of border li, no wars, Black Hawk War offered a shot in the arm to several political jobs. A total of four future Illinois administrators partook in the war (Cole, 1918, p.16).
These were Thomas Ford, John Wood, Joseph Duncan, and Thomas Carlin. Future administrators of Nebraska and Michigan also arose from the war.
As others went on to succeed after the war, a few did not. One of them was General Atkinson, who led all troops in the course of this eventually victorious clash. He spent the rest of his life at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.
The general belief by both his subordinates and superiors was that he had made a mess of the battle (Hurt, 2002, p. 1763). The accusations were that he tolerated it to turn bloody and failed to end it at once on realizing it had got messy.
Only a small number of indigenous Americans gained from the Black Hawk War in any way. Even the Sauks and Foxes who were responsive and had stuck to western Mississippi disowning any liability for Black Hawk and in the end gave in Black Hawk’s backers to the authorities went through severe consequences.
These people found themselves landless and dependent both financially and politically in the United States. Towards the end of September 1832, General Scott and Illinois Governor John Reynolds had a meeting with Sauk and Fox leadership.
General Scott and Reynolds at first insisted on their part being given much of eastern Iowa as restitution for the battle, offer putting forward a yearly disbursement of twenty thousand dollars for the following thirty years (Hurt, 2002, p. 1765).
Given that the government wanted close to six million acres, this proffer turned out to around ten cents for an acre for particularly important farmland. Keokuk, one of the Sauk and Fox leadership members, recommended an increase of the annuity from twenty to thirty thousand dollars.
He also proposed that they reserve two ten-mile square pieces of farmland out of the particular coding. The Sauks and the Foxes were to get one of these parcels of land each. Scott and Reynolds could not see eye to eye with this proposal but granted a four-hundred-square-mile.
This meant that the Sauks and Foxes were to get twice over what Keokuk had bargained for. However, this was on condition that the two communities vacate from the surrendered land by June 1, the following year.
Scott and Reynolds also pronounced Keokuk as the prime leader of the two communities, a position the tribes viewed as hereditary.
The war was overwhelming for the Sauks, Foxes, and Kickapoos who went back to Illinois with Black Hawk. The same was the case for the Potawatomis and Winnebagoes who also settled for Illinois (Cole, 1918, p. 21).
The number of those who lost their lives was high throughout this period. Lives were lost in the battlefields, through hunger in the process of hiding or escaping from pursuers and drowning as they tried to swim across rivers like the Mississippi and get away from the enemy.
There are others who lived on. A large number of Potawatomis and Winnebagoes just returned to their villages in the eastern Mississippi. It was however not easy for the Sauks, Foxes, and Kickapoos who had by then been forced to move to western Mississippi.
Most of the survivors were detained for a short time. Towards the end of August, most were let free, and the major reason was the cholera outbreak that had occurred.
General Scott feared that as a result of the congested camps, the infection would stretch quickly through detainees and soldiers alike.
Legacy of Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War is a fundamental occurrence in the white occupation of much of the central United States. In most of the times, this war is seen as unnecessarily blood-spattered and probably stoppable.
Even as this was the final Indian war taking place in Illinois and Wisconsin, it was not the last one occurring in the region east of the Mississippi River (Hurt, 2002, p. 1844).
Another war was fought between 1835 and 1842, and this indicated that antagonism among the indigenous Americans in opposition to American expansionism had not come to an end yet.
Black Hawk devoted his memoirs to General Atkinson, and it was because of the form of handling the general had offered to him in the time of his incarceration.
In his message, he warned Atkinson that the course to magnificence is usually rough. But he wished him well in his endeavors (Hurt, 2002, p. 1846).
The Black Hawk State Historic Site, Black Hawk Township and the University of Wisconsin are some of the memories in place which remind the people of this historical occurrence.
Beaouchard, Edward. 1908. Edward D. Beaouchard’s Vindication in Draper, Lyman Copeland. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society. Web.
Butterfield, Consul. 1881. History of LaFayette County, Wisconsin. Rochester, Illinois: Western Historical Co. Web.
Cole, Harry. 1918. A Standard History of Sauk County, Wisconsin: Volume I. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. Web.
Howe, Henry. 1857. Historical collections of the Great West. Web.
Hurt, Douglas. 2002. The Indian Frontier: 1763 – 1846. Web.
Jung, Patrick. 2007. The Black Hawk War of 1832. Web.