Term: Battle of Wisconsin Heights (Historic Marker Erected 1998)
Black Hawk Unit, Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Hwy. 78, 2 mi. S of Sauk City, Dane County
On July 21, 1832, during a persistent rainstorm, the 65-year old Sac Indian leader, Black Hawk, led 60 of his Sac and Fox and Kickapoo warriors in a holding action against 700 United States militia at this location. The conflict, known as the Battle of Wisconsin Heights, was the turning point in the Black Hawk War. Here commanders General James D. Henry and Colonel Henry Dodge and their troops over-took Black Hawk and his followers after pursuing them for weeks over the marshy areas and rough terrain of south central Wisconsin. Yet because of Black Hawk's superb military strategy, the steady rain and nightfall, approximately 700 Indians, including children and the aged, escaped down or across the Wisconsin River about one mile west of here. Their success was short-lived. The war ended just 12 days later at the Battle of Bad Axe when many of Black I Iawk's followers drowned or were slain in their attempt to cross the Mississippi River.
View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.
[Source: Source: Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]