Term: Battle of Bad Axe (Historic Marker Erected 1955)
Hwy. 35, 2.5 mi. N of DeSoto, Vernon County
After holding off his pursuers at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights (about 11/2 miles east of present Sauk City), Black Hawk led his people over unfamiliar country toward the Mississippi. In the meantime, the Army alerted Ft. Crawford at Prairie du Chien. When the Indians reached the Mississippi, they found an armed steam-boat blocking escape. The Battle of Bad Axe, fought near here Aug. 1-2, 1832, ended the Black Hawk War. Driven into the water by their pursuers, the Indians-warriors, old people, women, and children, were shot down or drowned as they tried to escape. Black Hawk succeeded in getting away but was soon taken prisoner. Later, when asked about his ill-fated venture, he said simply "Rock River was a beautiful country; I loved my towns, my cornfields, and the home of my people. I fought for it."
[Source: Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]