- Sinsinawa Mound raid
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Sinsinawa Mound raid
Black Hawk War
date=June 29, 1832
place= Sinsinawa Mound settlement (present day
Grant County, Wisconsin)
combatant1= United States
Saukand Fox of Black Hawk's "British Band"
James W. Stephenson
casualties2=0|The Sinsinawa Mound raid occurred on June 29, 1832, near the Sinsinawa mining settlement in
Michigan Territory(present-day Grant County, Wisconsinin the United States). This incident, part of the Black Hawk War, resulted in the deaths of two men; a third man survived by seeking cover in a nearby blockhouse. In the aftermath of the raid, Captain James W. Stephensonset out to pursue the attackers—a straggling band of SaukNative Americans—but lost their trail at the Mississippi River. The attack occurred in the same week as other skirmishes and raids, and as a result helped contribute to the growing fear in the region. The raid caused the residents of nearby Platteville to consider fleeing their settlement.
As a consequence of an 1804 treaty between the
governorof Indiana Territoryand a group of Saukand Fox leaders regarding land settlement, the tribes vacated their lands in Illinoisand moved west of the Mississippiin 1828. However, Sauk Chief Black Hawk and others disputed the treaty, claiming that the full tribal councils had not been consulted, nor did those representing the tribes have authorization to cede lands. Angered by the loss of his birthplace, between 1830–31 Black Hawk led a number of incursions across the Mississippi River into Illinois, but was persuaded each time to return west without bloodshed. In April 1832, encouraged by promises of alliance with other tribes and the British, he again moved his so-called " British Band" of around 1,000 warriors and non-combatants into Illinois.Lewis, James. " [http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/blackhawk/page2c.html The Black Hawk War of 1832] ," Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, "Northern Illinois University". Retrieved August 1, 2007.] Finding no allies, he attempted to return across the Mississippi (to present-day Iowa), but the undisciplined Illinois Militia's actions led to the Battle of Stillman's Run." [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002795.asp May 14: Black Hawk's Victory at the Battle of Stillman's Run] ," Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin State Historical Society". Retrieved August 6, 2007.] A number of other engagements followed, and the militia of Michigan Territory and the state of Illinois were mobilized to hunt down Black Hawk's band. The conflict became known as the Black Hawk War.
The period between Stillman's Run and the raid at Sinsinawa Mound was filled with war-related activity. A series of attacks at Buffalo Grove, the Plum River settlement,
Fort Blue Moundsand the war's most famous incident, the Indian Creek massacre, all took place between mid-May and late June 1832." [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002816.asp May 21, Indian Creek, Ill.: Abduction of the Hall Sisters] ," Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin State Historical Society". Retrieved September 21, 2007.] The week before the Battle of Apple River Fort(on June 24) was an important turning point for the settlers: between June 16 and 18 two key battles, one at Waddams Grove and the other at Horseshoe Bend, played a role in changing public perception about the militia after its defeat at Stillman's Run." [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002869.asp James Stephenson Describes the Battle at Yellow Creek] , Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved September 21, 2007.] " [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002865.asp June 16: Henry Dodge Describes The Battle of the Pecatonica] ," Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin State Historical Society". Retrieved September 21, 2007.] " [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002874.asp June 16: Peter Parkinson Recalls the Battle of the Pecatonica] ," Historic Diaries: The Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin State Historical Society". Retrieved September 21, 2007.] The Battle of Apple River Fort occurred five days before the Sinsinawa Mound raid; the fight was a 45 minute gun battle between defenders garrisoned inside Apple River Fortand Sauk and Fox warriors led by Chief Black Hawk himself.Harmet, A. Richard. " [http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/hargis/PDFs/201095.pdf Apple River Fort Site] , (
George W. Jones, who would later become a U.S. Senatorfrom Iowa, arrived in the Sinsinawa Mound area in 1827, and in 1828 established a mining settlement there. The first structure at the settlement was Jones's own log cabin, built during the spring of 1828 in two days. The cabin measured 49 feet (14.9 m) by 17 feet (5.2 m) and each room had one door and one window.Sharp, Mildred J. " [http://iagenweb.org/history/palimpsest/jan1921.htm Lost in an Iowa Blizzard] ," "The Palimpsest", Vol. 11, No. 1, January 1921, transcribed at iagenweb.org. Retrieved September 27, 2007.] When the Black Hawk War began four years later he also built a small fort at the site.Tri-State Old Settlers' Association. "Impromptu Speech of George W. Jones," "Report of the Organization and First Reunion of the Tri-State Old Settlers", ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=MxfJf00jFcUC&pg=PA43&dq=Sinsinawa+Mound+Black+Hawk&ie=ISO-8859-1#PPA43,M1 Google Books] ), Tri-State Printing Co.: 1884, pp. 43–44. Retrieved September 25, 2007.] The remains of the fort, one of many constructed in the region to protect local residents, are said to still stand at the entrance to the Sinsinawa Dominican complex.Koch, Kevin. " [http://www6.semo.edu/universitypress/bigmuddy/NF/Manitoumie_Sinsinawa.htm Manitoumie. Sinsinawa.] " "Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley", undated, Issue 6.1, via Southeast Missouri State University. Retrieved September 27, 2007.] One of the men who assisted Jones in building the fort's blockhousewas Enoch Robinson, a soldier who later helped bury the victims of the Sinsinawa Mound raid." [http://www.rootsweb.com/~wigrant/Robinson_Enoch.htm Enoch Robinson] ," "History of Grant County, Wisconsin", 1881, p. 919, transcribe at rootsweb.com. Retrieved September 27, 2007.] At the time of the attack Jones was with Henry Dodge's militia volunteers, on the way to meet overall commander General Henry Atkinsonat Lake Koshkonong, then a marsh region.
On June 29, 1832, what was probably a small band of Sauk attacked three men working in a cornfield at the Jones mining settlement near Sinsinawa Mound."Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin", ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=kCQLAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA280&dq=Sinsinawa+Mounds+Black+Hawk Google Books] ), State Historical Society of Wisconsin: 1908, p. 280. Retrieved August 13, 2007.] The Sauk took up a position directly between the settlers and their weapons.Braun, Robert A. " [http://www.geocities.com/old_lead/bhwchron2.htm Black Hawk
's War April 5 - August 2, 1832: A Chronology] ," September 2001, "Old Lead Historical Society", p. 2. Retrieved August 13, 2007.] Two of the men—James Boxley and John Thompson—were killed by the raiding party; their badly mutilated bodies were later recovered.Trask, Kerry A. "Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America", ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=8ZIXkMBBLw0C&pg=PP1&ots=jRiFSxlvrb&dq=trask+black+hawk&sig=nSjlUFPdozq5Pa4BZ_xxnI2XDnU Google Books] ), Henry Holt and Company, New York: 2006, p. 223, (ISBN 0805077588). Retrieved August 13, 2007.] The third, an unidentified man, made a run for Jones blockhouseand survived the attack. The raiders were most likely a group of stragglers from the main body of the British Band, which was moving toward the Rock River with Chief Black Hawk.Strong, Moses McCure. "History of the Territory of Wisconsin, from 1836 to 1848", ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=6XkFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA144&dq=%22Sinsinawa+Mound%22+Black+Hawk&ie=ISO-8859-1 Google Books] ), Democrat Printing Co.: 1885, p. 144. Retrieved September 27, 2007.]
When news of the raid reached
Galena, Illinois, Captain James W. Stephensonset out with thirty soldiers to pursue the raiding party. Arriving at Sinsinawa Mound, they buried the two "most shockingly mutilated" settlers there; both Thompson and Boxley had been scalped and Thompson's heart had been removed. Stephenson then followed the Sauk trail to the Mississippi River where it went cold, the raiders having apparently crossed the river. Stephenson's party returned to Galena empty handed. Henry Dodgeordered the various elements of the militia to rendezvous at Fort Hamilton to eventually join General Henry Atkinson near present-day Madison, Wisconsin. When word of the attack at Sinsinawa Mound reached George W. Jones he left the volunteers under the command of Dodge and returned to the settlement at the mound.
The attack at Sinsinawa Mound, compounded by other incidents around the region, helped contribute to the fear gripping the settlers. The people of Platteville, in present-day
Wisconsin, contemplated fleeing to Galena, about 25 miles (40 km) south, as a direct result of the Sinsinawa Mound raid.Wilgus, James A. " [http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/wmh&CISOPTR=15598&CISOMODE=print History of Old Platteville] ," ( Ho-Chunktribesmen were friendly. This and the subsequent delivery of promised supplies from Galena further placated Platteville's residents, and the threatened exodus was called off.
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