Cherokee Phoenix


Published May, 26, 1832

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From the Illinois Advocate-Extra

To the Militia of the North Western of Illinois.

FELLOW CITIZENS:--Your country requires your service. The Indians has assumed a hostile attitude, and have invaded the State, in violation of the Treaty of last summer. The British band of Sacs and other hostile Indians headed by the BLACK HAWK, are in possession of Rock River country, to the great terror of the frontier inhabitants. I consider the settlers on the frontier in imminent danger.

I am in possession of the above information, from gentlemen of respectable standing, and from Gen. Atkinson whose character stands so high in all classes.

Extract of a letter dated


April 13, 1832

Dear Sir:- The band of Sacs under BLACK HAWK, joined by about one hundred Kickapoos, and a few Pottawatamies amounting in all to about five hundred men, have assumed a hostile attitude. They crossed the Mississippi at the Yellow Banks, on the 5th inst. and are now moving up on the east side of Rock River, towards the Prophet's Village.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The regular force under my command is too small to justify me in pursuing the hostile party. To make an unsuccessful attempt to coerce them, would only irritate them to acts of hostility on the frontier, sooner than they probably contemplate.

Your own knowledge of the character of these Indians, with the information herewith submitted, will enable you to judge of the course proper to be pursued. I think the frontier is in great danger, and I will use all the means at my disposal to co-operate with you in its protection and defense.

With great respect,

Your most obedient servant,


Brig. Gen. U. S. Army

His Excellency Gov. Reynolds,

Belleville, Illinois.

Extract of a letter from Gen. Hughes Sub Indian Agent to Gen. Atkinson dated Rock Island, 13th April, 1832.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 'My opinion is, that the squaws and old men have gone to the Prophet's Town, on Rock River-and the warriors are now only a few miles below the mouth of Rock River, within the limits of the State of Illinois. That these Indians are hostile to the whites, there is no doubt; that they have invaded the State of Illinois, to the great injury of our citizens, is true; hence it is that the public good requires that strong as well as speedy measures should be taken against Black Hawk and his followers.


I have the honor to be,

Your obedient servant.


To Brig. Gen. Atkinson,

United States' Army'

Extract of a letter from George Davenport, Esq. to Brig. Gen. Atkinson, dated Rock Island, 13th April, 1832

'Dear Sir: In reply to your inquiries of this morning respecting the Indians, I have to state that I have been informed by the man I have had wintering with the Indians, that the British band of Sac Indians is determined to make war upon the frontier settlements.'

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

'The British band of Sac Indians did rendezvous at old Fort Madison, and induced a great many of the young men to join them at their arrival at the Yellow Banks. They crossed about 500 horses into the State of Illinois, and sent about seventy horses through the country towards Rock River; the remainder, some on horseback, the others in canoes, in fighting order, advanced up the Mississippi, and were encamped yesterday, five or six miles below Rock River, and will no doubt endeavor to reach their stronghold in the Rock River swamps if they are not interrupted. From every information that I have received I am of opinion that the intentions of the British band of Sac Indians is to commit depredations on the inhabitants of the frontiers.'


Your obedient servant,


To Brig. Gen. Atkinson.

In possession of the foregoing facts and information, I hesitated not as to the course I should pursue. No citizens ought to remain quiet when his country is invaded, and the helpless part of the community is in danger.

I have called out a strong detachment of the militia to rendezvous at Bairdstown on the 22d inst. Provisions for the men and corn for the horses, will be furnished in abundance.

I hope my countrymen will realize any expectations, and offer their services as heretofore, with promptitude and cheerfulness, in defence of their country.


Commander in Chief

April 17, 1832.


To Col. Buckmaster:

You are hereby commanded to cause your Regiment of Militia to convene at some central point in the Regiment, and if one hundred men will not volunteer to be mounted, you will draft that number; said militia be formed into companies of fifty each, and to elect their own officers-to meet without fail at Beardstown, on the 22d inst. to repel an invasion of the Indians.


Com. in Chief.

April 16, 1832


Note the two different spellings of Bairdstown and Beardstown.