Investigating the Painted Past
Painted by Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892) and Thomas H. Stevenson.
Oil on canvas, 1857.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object #1942.509.
On the morning of June 16, 1832, Colonel Henry Dodge led a party of volunteer militia on horseback in pursuit of a group of thirteen Kickapoo Indians. The militia cornered the party at a bend in the Pecatonica River in present-day eastern Lafayette County. In the quick and fierce battle that ensued, all thirteen Native Americans were killed and three militiamen wounded. This small engagement of the 1832 Black Hawk War marked an early success against Black Hawk's band and served to enhance the reputation of Dodge, who became Wisconsin's first territorial governor four years later. The event is also known as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and the Battle of Bloody Lake.
This landscape painting of the Pecatonica battleground was the last of three Black Hawk War battlefield scenes commissioned by the Historical Society and painted by Samuel Marsden Brookes and Thomas H. Stevenson from sketches made on location in 1856 and 1857.
Investigate this painting by clicking on an image below.