Journey to LaCrosse-BlackHawk War

Continuing our journey from the Scheckel farm near Seneca to La Crosse, a trip we took twice a year when I was a boy, in the early 1950s.

A few miles north of De Soto was Battle Hollow and the little community of Victory. Dad stopped the car so we could read the stone tablet markers put up to commemorate the Black Hawk War.

At that time, the big wooden markers that we now have in Wisconsin didn’t exist. Most roadside markers were white marble slabs that were identical to the grave markers prevalent in cemeteries. We got out of the car and walked up to the stone tablet. It read:

HEAD OF BATTLE ISLE. ON THE EVE OF AUG. 1, 1832, BLACKHAWK AND HIS MEN WITH A FLAG OF TRUCE WENT TO THE HEAD OF THIS ISLAND TO SURRENDER TO THE CAPTAIN OF STEAMER WARRIOR. WHITES ON BOAT ASKED ARE YOU WINNEBAGO OR SACS? SACS REPLIED BLACKHAWK. A LOAD OF CANISTER WAS AT ONCE FIRED, KILLING 28 INDIANS SUING FOR PEACE.

I recall being very impressed by these markers. I liked standing where a famous war had been fought. The U.S. Army pursued the Indians from below Madison, all the way up through Wisconsin Heights, Soldiers Grove, across the Highway 27 and down into the valley.

I later learned that the stone markers do not tell the whole story or accurate rendition of the Black Hawk War.

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