INDIAN MASSACRE NEAR OTTAWA.
would have acted no better. They were as good material for an army, if properly drilled and disciplined, as could be found elsewhere.
"In the night, after the arrival at Dixon, the trumpet sounded a Bignal for the officers to assemble at the tent of General Whiteside. A council of war was held, in which it was agreed to march early the next morning to the fatal field of that evening's disaster. When the volunteers arrived there, the Indians were gone. They had scattered out all over the country, some of them further up Rock river, and others toward the nearest settlements of white people.
"A party of about seventy Indians made a descent upon the small settlement of Indian creek, a tributary of Fox river, and there, within fifteen miles of Ottawa, they massacred fifteen persons, men, women, and children, and took two young women prisoners the one about seventeen, and the others about fifteen years old.
"This party of Indians immediately retreated into the Winnebago country, up Rock river, carrying the scalps of their slain, and their prisoners with them.
"The young women prisoners were hurried by forced marches beyond the reach of pursuit. After a long and fatiguing journey, with their Indian conductors, through a wilderness country, with but little to eat, and being subjected to a variety of fortune, they were at last purchased by the chiefs of the Winnebagoes, employed by Mr. Gratiot for the purpose, wdth two thousand dollars, in horses, wampum, and trinkets, and were safely returned to their friends.
"The army now amounted to twenty-four hundred, aud had the men been willing to serve longer, the war could have been ended in less than a mouth, by the capture or destruction of all Black Hawk's forces. But the volunteers were anxious to be discharged. Their term of service had nearly expired. Many of them had left their business in such a condition as to require their presence at home; and besides this, there was much dissatisfaction with the commanding general. To require further service from unwilling men was worse than useless, for a militia force will never do any good unless their hearts prompt them to a cheerful alacrity in performing their duty. The militia can never be forced to fight against their will. Their hearts as well as their bodies must be in the service; and to do any good, they must feel the utmost confidence in their officers. They were first marched back to the battle-field