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On This Day: June 16

1832 - Battle of the Pecatonica

On this date the Battle of Pecatonica took place between a band of Kickapoo Indians and troops led by Henry Dodge. Dodge, along with two others were on their way to Fort Hamilton in Wiota, WI when they passed a white settler named Henry Appel. As the men reached the fort, rifle shots rang; the settler had been ambushed and killed by a group of Indians. Dodge and 29 men went in pursuit of the Kickapoo Indians who concealed themselves under the river bank of the Pecatonica. As Dodge and his men approached, the Indians opened fire, injuring four and killing three. Dodge ordered his men to attack. The Indians, unable to reload quickly enough, were fired at point-blank. Nine died immediately and two others were shot as they tried to escape. This battle was the military's first victory in the Black Hawk War. [Source: The Black Hawk War by Frank E. Stevens and Along the Black Hawk Trail by William F. Stark]

1845 - First Free Public School Opened in Wisconsin

On this date the first free public school in Wisconsin was opened in Southport (now Kenosha). Michael Frank, a member of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, introduced bills authorizing the establishment of a Wisconsin public school system in 1843, 1844, and 1845. These attempts were failures so Frank sponsored a bill authorizing Southport to establish a public school supported by property tax dollars. [Source: Wisconsin Mosaic]

1864 - (Civil War) Second day at Petersburg, Virginia

The Union assault on Petersburg, Virginia, continued on this day. The 4th Wisconsin Light Artillery and 5th, 6th, 7th, 19th, 36th, 37th and 38th Wisconsin Infantry regiments took part in this four-day battle. The 2nd, 6th and 7th Infantry regiments arrived on June 16 and spent this day and the next erecting temporary fortifications.