Black Hawk War Tour


The Black Hawk War was the last “War” east of the Mississippi River fought between the United States and the Native Americans. This action ultimately pushed all Native Americans west of the Mighty Mississippi, leaving the lands to the east for the White American.

In 1804, Sauk and Meskwaki “leaders” signed a Treaty with the Americans, giving the US all their lands east of the Mississippi River. However, the Native Americans claimed that the “leaders” who actually signed the Treaty did not have any authorization to do so from the actual tribes of Sauk and Meskwaki. So these Native Americans continued to do what they have always done for ages, winter in Iowa and summer in Illinois, at Saukenuk a village at the Rock River and the Mississippi River. Eventually, in 1828 the Americans finally started to pressure the Native Americans to honor the Treaty and leave. The Sauk were divided, with the majority siding with Keokuk, who advocated leaving their lands east of the Mighty River. There was a small band of Sauk who was led by Black Hawk, that decided to re-occupy Saukenuk in the spring, past the Americans deadline for complete removal. Black Hawk was not a true chief, but he was much respected.

The Black Hawk War was not so much of a war as it was a massacre. The Sauk went up the Rock River and were harassed by Militia. At Stillman’s Run, a small group of Sauk approached a troop of cavalry numbering over 200. The sight of Native Americans caused the Militia to panic, especially as it was after the time these troops had received their rum rations for the day. The Militia fled all the way back to Dixon, a distance of over 30 miles. This was the only time the Sauk came out on top.

Eventually, Federal Troops were called for, but it took time for the logistics of the day to work.

Black Hawk War Tour Maps

Black Hawk War Tour Map -> Google Maps

Black Hawk War Tour Information

Black Hawk War Tour Information -> PDF files

Black Hawk War Tour Links