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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County

Dohr, Raymond P.
"To arms!",   pp. 232-249 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 232

        "TO ARMS!"
By Raymond P. Dohr, Lt. Col., Infantry
  With the fall of Fort Sumter, the actual
military history of the county might
be considered as beginning. Records and
books about the county do not mention
any participation of its inhabitants in
the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812,
although men who participated in both
wars settled in the county.
  The first invading force in the state of
Wisconsin followed the Fox waterway
when in 1716 the French, with a force
of 200 soldiers and 1,000 Indians under
Louis de Louvigny, waged war against the
Fox Indians. Although none of the actual
fighting of the several Fox wars occurred
in the county, the various French expedi-
tions against these people came through
the lower Fox Valley in order to reach the
Fox village and fort at Butte des Morts.
  During the War of 1812, Outagamie
County also was the route of march of the
British under Colonel William McKay,
who captured by surrender the American
held fort at Prairie du Chien. This expedi-
tion of 400 Indians and about 100 whites
traveled the Fox and Wisconsin rivers,
undoubtedly camping along the banks of
the river in this county. Pierre Grignon
served as a Captain for the mission and
two early settlers of Outagamie County
were commissioned lieutenants, Augustin
Grignon and J. J. Porlier. According to
Grignon's Recollections, Augustin Grignon
with Michael Brisbois, a Sioux and a
Winnebago, advanced ahead of the force
to make contact at night with a loyal
French settler at the fort while the force
organized for a surprise morning attack
at the old deserted Fox village 21 miles
from Prairie du Chien.
  In 1845, Outagamie County, as a part
of Brown County, was designated in the
5th and 6th military districts and Com-
panies E and F were assigned to this
area. The districts were commanded by
Colonel Samuel Ryan, a veteran of the
War of 1812, with George I. Wallace as
his Adjutant. All efforts to organize these
companies came to naught. After Wis-
consin became a state about 1,856 military
companies were forming but it wasn't
until 1858 that a militia force of 437 men
was reported by the city of Appleton to
the Adjutant General of the state. At this
same time the Town of Center was form-
ing a company of light infantry. These
were all organizations on paper and only
existed because it was required that the

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