Historic Trail Markers: Head of Battle Isle

© Photographed April 7, 2017
Erected by Vernon County Historical Society, Wisconsin Humanities
Committee, Wisconsin State Dept. of Transportation,
and Vernon County Highway Department
43° 27.31′ N, 91° 13.59′ W
De Soto, Vernon County, Wisconsin
Google Map

Disaster struck as the Indians were frantically building rafts and canoes hoping to get across the river before the troops arrived or the battleship returned. Their hopes were not realized and in spite of offering a flag of truce, they were fired upon by guns from the battleship Warrior and sharp shooters on shore. Most of the band was annihilated in what has been called "The Black Hawk Massacre".

Grateful appreciation is given to Dr. C.V. Porter whose hard work and dedication preserved this segment of history for all.

Vernon County Historical Society
Wisconsin Humanities Committee
Wisconsin State Dept. of Transportation
Vernon County Highway Department
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Black Hawk Park

The State of Wisconsin recognizes Dr. Porter's markers as part of Vernon County history but does not condone the language or prejudicial inferences used on some of the markers. Dr. Porter used descriptive, interpretative language which he researched and felt was acceptable for his time.
The marker is located at Blackhawk Park on Battle Island, south of the West Loop Camp Area, on an unnamed road near County Road B1, a couple of miles west southbound State Highway 35 / Great River Road, De Soto, Wisconsin 54624.

Blackhawk Park Map (PDF)

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

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

Use the "black hawk war" label, below, to locate all markers in this series included on the Wisconsin Historical Markers website.
See also, Head of Battle Isle (No. 6 CVP), also at this location.

 With the Mississippi River in the distance . . .

The marker is adjacent to a huge parking lot.

An illustration of Sauk Chief Makataimeshekiakiah, or Black Hawk, 1837,
This media file is in the public domain;

At the Battle (Massacre) of Bad Axe, the end of the journey.

Follow the signs to the marker location:

 The marker is visible in the distance, in the center of the photo.

 At the entrance to Blackhawk Park . . .

The marker is located at Blackhawk Park.

 The marker is located in DeSoto, Wisconsin.

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