Marker 547: Battle of Pecatonica

© Photographed April 27, 2018
Erected 2013 by 2013 by Wisconsin Historical Society,
Friends of Woodford Park,
Lafayette County Sportsman’s Alliance, Lafayette County
Argyle, Lafayette County, Wisconsin
Google Map

Blackhawk Memorial Park is on the site of the Battle of Pecatonica, the first of three military engagements fought in present-day Wisconsin during the American-Indian conflict of 1832, known as the Black Hawk War. On June 16, 1832, following attacks on settlers and miners at Fort Blue Mounds and Spafford’s Farm near Wiota, Colonel Henry Dodge led a group of frontier militia across the open prairie to this site in pursuit of a band of Kickapoo followers of Chief Black Hawk. Crossing the deep stream, the Indians took a defensive position along the steep banks of an oxbow lake near a bend in the Pecatonica River. Dodge and twenty-nine mounted militiamen soon arrived, fording the river to the north. Dodge sent four men to observe movement from high points along the river (at the east side of the park); four stayed with the horses.
(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)
The others moved through swamps to some timber, getting within thirty yards before the Kickapoo reportedly commenced firing. At Dodge’s command, the militia charged and engaged in hand-to-hand combat. After only a few minutes, all seventeen Kickapoo perished. Three frontiersmen were mortally wounded, and one was slightly injured. Dodge’s decisive victory at this brief skirmish boosted morale among settlers in the Lead Mining Region nd U.S. soldiers in pursuit of Black Hawk’s band of Sac, Fox, and Kickapoo. The war ended forty-seven days later following the Battles of Wisconsin Heights (Dane County) and Bad Axe (Vernon County). The end of the conflict opened southern Wisconsin to increased settlement by farmers and miners. The Pecatonica battlefield site was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2011.

The marker is located at the entrance to Black Hawk Memorial County Park, at the intersection of southbound County Highway Y and Sand Road, 3 miles north of its intersection with County Highway M, near 2929 County Highway Y, Argyle, Wisconsin 53504.

Republican Journal: Dedication of Pecatonica Battlefield well attended on Fathers Day (June 20, 2013)
An historical event took place on Sunday, June 16 at Black Hawk Memorial Park in Woodford that those who attended will not soon forget. The Pecatonica Battlefield, at the site of the park, was dedicated as a [sic] historical place.
The Battle of "Bloody Lake" (or "Horseshoe Bend" or "Peactonica") / June 16, 1932 (A Virtual Tour!)

This area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Wisconsin: Lafayette County and the State Register of Historic Places.

This marker is included in the "black hawk war" marker series. Use the "black hawk war" label, below, to locate all markers in this series included on the Wisconsin Historical Markers website.

The Black Hawk War of 1832

Wikipedia: Black Hawk War

Education for Liberation: Black Hawk: Chief of the Sauk Nation

Side two of the marker.

 Nearby Bloody Lake.

See also, The Battle of the Pecatonica, also at this location.

 Photo op at the park.

The marker is located at Black Hawk Memorial Park.
Chief Black Hawk (1837)
This media file is in the public domain;
click here for more information.

To Brigadier General H. Atkinson:
SIR—The changes of fortune and vicissitudes of war made you my conqueror. When my last resources were exhausted, my warriors worn down with long and toilsome marches, we yielded, and I became your prisoner.
The story of my life is told in the following pages: it is intimately connected, and in some measure, identified, with a part of the history of your own: I have, therefore, dedicated it to you.
The changes of many summers have brought old age upon me, and I can not expect to survive many moons. Before I set out on my journey to the land of my fathers, I have determined to give my motives and reasons for my former hostilities to the whites, and to vindicate my character from misrepresentation. The kindness I received from you whilst a prisoner of war assures me that you will vouch for the facts contained in my narrative, so far as they came under your observation.
I am now an obscure member of a nation that formerly honored and respected my opinions. The pathway to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on yours, and that you may never experience the humility that the power of the American government has reduced me to, is the wish of him, who, in his native forests, was once as proud and bold as yourself.
10th Moon, 1833.
Black Hawk State Historic Site, Rock Island, Illinois

Plenty of signage leading to the marker location.

This marker and site are featured in the Little Wisconsin
community of Wiota.

Little Wisconsin will be available May 7, 2019.

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