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965 > Page 965 of Annals of the West : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories, from the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six.

1882. MAJOR STILLMAN DEFEATED. 965 rises in White Rock Grove, in Ogle count}', and falls into the river near Bloomingville. Here they encamped just before night; and in a short time a party of Indians on horseback were discovered on a rising ground, about one mile distant from tbe encampment. A party of Stillman's men mounted their horses without orders or commander, and were soon followed by others, stringing along for a quarter of a mile, to pursue the Indians and attack them. The Indians retreated, after displaying a red flag, the emblem of defiance and war, but were overtaken, and three of them slain. Black Hawk was near by with his main force, and being prompt to repel an assault, soon rallied his men, amounting then to several hundred warriors, and moved down upon Major Stillman's camp, driving the disorderly rabble, the recent pursuers, before him. These valorous gentlemen, lately so hot in pursuit, when the enemy were few, were no less hasty in their retreat, when coming in contact with superior numbers. They came with their horses in a full run, aud in this manner broke through the camp of Major Stillman, spreading dismay and terror among the rest of his men, who immediately began to join in the flight, so that no effort to rally them could possibly have succeeded. Major Stillman, now that it was too late to remedy the evils of insubordination and disorder in his command, did all that was practicable, by ordering his men to fall back in order, and form on higher ground; but as the prairie rose behind them for more than a mile, the ground for a rally was never discovered; aud besides this, when the men once got their backs to the enemy, they commenced a retreat, without one thought of making a further stand. A retreat of undisciplined militia from the attack of a superior force, is apt to be a disorderly and inglorious flight, and so it was here; each man sought his own individual safety, and in the twinkling of an eye, the whole detachment was in utter confusion. They were pursued in their flight by thirty or forty Indians, for ten or twelve miles, the fugitives in the rear keeping up a flying fire as they ran, until the Indians ceased pursuing. "Major Stillman and his men were for along time afterward the subject of thoughtless merriment and ridicule, which were as undeserved as their battle, if so it may be called, had been unfortunate. The party was raw militia; it had been but a few days in the field; the men were wholly without discipline, and, as yet, without confidence in each other, or in their officers. "This confidence they had not been long enough together to-acquire. Any other body of men, under the same circumstances,