Durbin, Elizabeth (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 25, Number 4 (September 1979)
Goff, Charles D.
Captain Whiting's journal, pp. 3-10
guides took off their or- naments, and cast tobacco towards it as they passed. The Little Kakalin rapids below Kaukauna were º4 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
Copyright 1979 by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright