University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Chapter III,   pp. 353-370 PDF (8.9 MB)


Page 354


HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.
one of our front scouts came back, meeting the army in great haste, and stated
that he had
discovered a fresh trail of Indians, where they had just gone along in front
of us. Maj. Ewing,
who was in front of the main army some distance, immediately formed his men
in line of battle,
and marched in that order in advance of the main army about three-quarters
of a mile. We
had a very thick wood to march through, where the undergrowth stood very
high and thick.
The signs looked very fresh, and we expected every step to be fired upon
from the thickets.
We marched in this order about two miles, not stopping for the unevenness
of the ground or
anything else, but keeping in line of battle all the time, until we found
the Indians had scat-
tered; then we resumed our common line of march, which was in three divisions.
Soon after
we had formed into three divisions, the friendly Indians that were with us
raised an alarm by
seven or eight of them shooting at a deer-some .-little'in advance of the
army. The whole
army here formed for action, but it was soon ascertained that these children
of the forest had
been at what their whole race seems to have been born for-shooting at the
beasts of the forest.
     "We here camped by a small lake [Storr's] this night, and had to
drink the water,
which was very bad, but it was all that could be found. Here a very bad accident
happened.
One of the sentinels, mistaking another that was on post, with a blanket
wrapped around him,
for an Indian, shot him just below the groin in the thick of the thigh. At
first the wound
was thought mortal. I understood, before I left the army, that-the man was
nearly well.
Here Gen. Atkinson had on this night breastworks thrown up, which was easily
done, as we
were encamped in thick, heavy timber. This was a precaiition which went to
show that he set
a great deal by the lives of his men, and by no means was any mark of cowardice
; for general-
ship consists more in good management than anything else.
     "July 2. We started this morning at the usual time, but went only
a few miles before
Maj. Ewing, who was still in front with his battalion, espied a very fresh
trail, making off at
about a left angle. He dispatched ten men from the battalion, in company
with Capt. George
Walker and a few Indians, to pursue it, and see, if possible, where it went
to. He moved on
in firont of his battalion a short distance further, when we came on the
main Sac trail of Black
Hawk's whole army, which appeared to be about two days old. Capt. Early,
who commanded
a volunteer independent company, and had got in advance, this morning called
a halt; so did
Maj. Ewing with his battalion.   Then Maj. Ewing sent back one of his staff
officers for the
main army to call a halt *for a few minutes. He, with Maj. Anderson, of the
infantry, Capt.
Early and Jonathan H. Pugh, went a little in advance, when Maj. Anderson,
with a telescope,
took a view across the lake, as we had now got to Lake Koshkonong. [The army
entered what
is now Jefferson County, very nearly where, in going north, its south line
is crossed by the
Chicago & Northwestern Railway. The trail, after leaving the southeast
quarter of Section 35,
in Township 5 north, of Range 13 east, ran nearly due north to the southeast
corner of Section
26, in the same township and range, where the army reached the lake, in what
is now the town
of Koshkonong.]     They then discovered three Indians apparently in their
canoes. Maj.
Ewing went himself and informed Gen. Atkinson what discovery was made, and
requested
Gen. Atkinson to let him take his battalion round through a narrow defile
that was between
two of those lakes, where we supposed the Indians were. By this time our
scouts, who had
taken the trail that led off on our left, returned, bringing with them five
white men's scalps.
They followed the Indian trail until it took them to a large Indian encampment
that they had
left a few days before. They reachedit; the scalps were sticking up against
some of their wig-
wams; some of th-em were identified, butI do not recollect the names of any
except one, which
was said to be an old gentleman of the name of Hall. Maj. Ewing then marched
his battalion
abcut a mile, where the pass on the side of the lake appeared so narrow that
he dismounted
his men and had his horses all tied, and a few men left to guard them. The
rest of us marched
on foot about one mile through a narrow defile on the [east] bank of Koshkonong
Lake. This
was considered a dangerous procedure; but Maj. Ewing, who Was in front with
Maj. Ander-
son, would have been first in danger. We now found that we were getting too
far in advance of
our horses, so Maj. Ewing sent a part of the men back for them. When we mounted
our
354


Go up to Top of Page