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On This Day: August 2

1832 - Black Hawk War Ends

On this date the defeat of Black Hawk and his followers at the Battle of Bad Axe, ended the Black Hawk War. Black Hawk led the American troops northward while the rest of the Indians constructed rafts and canoes to facilitate an escape over the Mississippi river. The plan was successful initially but eventually General Atkinson realized the ruse. In the battle, women, children and the elderly hid behind rocks and logs and American soldiers often could not or did not differentiate between warriors and the women and children. Atkinson sent Wabasha and his Sioux warriors, enemies of the Sauk, after the approximately 150 members of the British Band that made it to the Western bank of the Mississippi. The Sauk, "escaped the best they could, and dispersed", but only 22 women and childern were spared. Black Hawk escaped, but the Battle of Bad Axe marked the end of the war. [Source: Along the Black Hawk Trail by William F. Stark, p.142-153]

1862 - (Civil War) Assault on Cumberland Gap, Tennessee

Union forces, including the 1st Wisconsin Light Artillery, assaulted the Cumberland Gap in Tennessee. This strategic pass through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia into Kentucky and Tennessee was a natural route for the South to invade the North and vice-versa. Confederate forces fortified it in 1861 and Union troops approached it in the spring of 1862. The Confederates abandoned it temporarily in June but took possession of it again in September 1862.

1961 - Lone Ranger Appears at Rock County Fair

On this date, with a cloud of dust and a mighty "Hi-ho, Silver," the Lone Ranger and his horse, Silver, appeared at the Rock County 4-H Fair. Played by actor Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger, "masked horseman, champion of law and order," was a big hit playing in two shows to a packed grandstand. Besides Silver, "the idol of boys and girls," the Lone Ranger also performed with a second steed, Victor. [Source: Janesville Gazette]