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Durbin, Elizabeth (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 25, Number 4 (September 1979)

Goff, Charles D.
Captain Whiting's journal,   pp. 3-10


Page 7


  guides took off their or-
  naments, and cast tobacco
  towards it as they passed.
  The Little Kakalin rapids below
Kaukauna were ยบ4 of a mile in
length but were ascended "with
much difficulty with 6 oars and 2
setting poles," although where the
current was too strong for the use
of oars, "the boats were moved up
with a tow line drawn by 3 or 4
men." Four miles farther and above
a creek which comes in on the
right:
  The right bank of the Fox river is
  here very low, while the left
  bank is a 100 feet high, ascend-
  ing gradually from the water's
  edge like a hanging garden,
  crowned as below with scatter-
  ing oaks and occasionally cut by
  deep ravines. The soil of these
  banks is generally of red loam
  .... There is a singular differ-
  ence between the two sides of the
  river. The left bank is almost in-
  variably high, and characterized
  by two distinct banks 30 or 40
  feet high . .. while the right bank
  appears to be low and without
  any graduations. These
  peculiarities of appearance seem
  to favor an opinion that the left
  bank was once the boundary of
  Lake Michigan, when the interja-
  cent country might have been
  overflowed.
  On the ninth of June the Fifth
Regiment encountered the Great
Kakalin rapids, the most difficult
rapids to be encountered in their
entire voyage. According to
Whiting:
   These rapids are very severe and
   formidable. They are about a
   mile in length, descending in that
   distance 30 or 40 feet, oc-
   casionally with great violence
   and always with an impetuosity
   that renders them extremely dif-
   ficult to stem.... After the boats
   are unloaded [of the baggage] a
   tow line of 20 fathoms is at-
   tached to them, the rest at the
   bow of the boat, take it up in
   about half an hour. It is with
   great labor, and not without
   some hazard that this task is ac-
   complished. The current is so
furious as often to sweep a man
off his feet and bring him down
with considerable [danger] to his
life. Nothing but their adhesion
and mutuality of support enables
the men to breast the torrent, and
it is more by a skillful advantage
taken of the projecting points,
rocks and eddies, than by
strength, that the boats are
drawn up.... The rapids are
two or three feet deep excepting
  over the rocks, where the sheet
  of water is not more than 10 or
  12 inches.
  Most of the tenth of June was
consumed in "getting up the boats,
transporting the baggage and
reloading," the regiment batteaux
"coming to" and encamping two
miles above the Grand Kakalin and
about 300 yards below La Petite
Chute, i.e. Little Chute. On the
1ith of June they rested but again
September 1979/Wisconsin Academy Review/7


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