Fort Blue Mounds | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Fort Blue Mounds

Fort Blue Mounds | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.


Fort Blue Mounds was a temporary fortification built near the town of Blue Mounds during the Black Hawk War of 1832. The fort sheltered white families and provided an organizing point for U.S. Army soldiers.

From Increase Lapham's 1844 "Geographical and Topographical Description of Wisconsin":

"Near the Mounds are the remains of a Fort, built during the Black Hawk war, in which several families were protected from the savage foes. The stranger is here shown the grave of Lieutenant Force, who was killed by an Indian hid in the tall grass, in a small ravine, near the place where the grave is now seen. This Indian was afterwards killed, near the Four lakes, in a skirmish with General Dodge's volunteers, and a gold watch belonging to Lieutenant Force, was taken from the pouch of the Indian, and restored to his family."

The site of Fort Blue Mounds was excavated by Society archaeologists and volunteers in the 1990s.

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[Sources: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986);  Birmingham, Robert A. "Uncovering the story of Fort Blue Mounds" Wisconsin Magazine Of History. Volume: 86, Issue: 4 (2002-2003).]