Fort Cosconong

© Photographed May 7, 2017
Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
42.925666, -88.857550
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"Whilst laying here we have thrown up a strong
stockade work flanked by four block houses, for the
security of our supplies and the accommodation of
the sick. I shall garrison it with a few regulars
(sick) [sic] and 150 to 200 volunteer troops under an
Army Officer."
General Henry Atkinson's July 17, 1832 report to General Winfield Scott thus explains the origin of Fort Cosconong as it was then called. In July 1832, General Atkinson and his army of 4,000 men were trying to catch up with Chief  Black Hawk and his Sauk followers who were moving up the Rock Rover -- a chase which has gone down in history as "the Black Hawk War." Frustrated with his inability to locate Black Hawk, Atkinson was forced to halt his pursuit in order to resupply his troops. While waiting for the return of the troops sent out for supplies, he had 400 of his regular army troops construct Fort Cosconong near the confluence of the Bark and the Root Rivers. An historical marker on Milwaukee Ave. marks the approximate site of the original Fort.
On September 7, 1832, with the war now over, the commander of Fort Cosconong, Captain Gideon Low, was ordered to evacuate the Fort and hand it over to Chief Waponce, the Potawatomi chief who had commanded the friendly Indians serving as guides for General Atkinson. Waponce's possession of the Fort did not last long since in September 1833, the Potawatomi sold all their lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S. in exchange for western land. The Fort was abandoned after 1833 and was slowly dismantled by the weather and, after 1836, by the early settlers who used the wood for buildings and firewood. In 1841, the village growing up around the disappearing Fort was named "Fort Atkinson" in honor of the General who had the Fort built.
This replica of the Fort was constructed during the years 1966-1968 thanks entirely to the determination and dedication of historic-minded community leaders and large numbers of volunteers. For more information on Fort Cosconong and the history of the area, visit the nearby Hoard Historical Museum located on Hwy 12 East.
The replica of Fort Cosconong is located inside Rock River Park, on a park road between Rock River Park / Lillian Street (to the north) and Riverside Drive / Wisconsin Highway 106, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53528.

Click here to view Marker 152: Fort Koshkonong, the referenced historical marker at a nearby location.

Hoard Historical Museum

See also, Avenue of the Trees, also at this location.

A very scenic location . . .

See also, Avenue of the Trees, also at this location.

Information about the Black Hawk War:

Sauk Chief Makataimeshekiakiah, or Black Hawk (1837)
This media file is in the public domain.

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.

Gaggles of geese!

Fort Cosconong is located at Fort Atkinson Rock River Park.

Fort Cosconong is located in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

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