Here is an interesting note from the Indian agent at Fort Armstrong (Rock Island), detailing the results of a Sauk war party that attacked a band of Sioux. They got the best of them at first, but their fortune soon changed and the Sauk warriors barely made it away with their lives. (From The Wilmingtonian and Delaware Register. October 21, 1824.)
“A war party of Sauk Indians returned to their village in this vicinity, on the 8th, instant, from an expedition against the Sioux. They were all mounted and had been absent about thirty days. They report that they discovered on the 27th of August a large party of Sioux Indians, which they followed two days; that on the evening of the second day, they passed several large pits which had been dug by these Indians for defense; that on proceeding further, they found a great number of cattle which had been killed with arrows, and also one horse, and they soon after heard the sound of drums which apprised them of being in the neighborhood of their enemies; that the drums ceased beating about 12 o’clock at night, and that the party, which consisted of forty-five young men attacked the Sioux camp an hour or two before daybreak, and killed fifteen of their number; and took one prisoner, a girl of ten or twelve year of age, and then retreated without the loss of a man; but they had not proceeded far, before they found themselves surrounded by a numerous party of the Sioux, and having no other alternative, they fought their way through them, and, in doing this lost their prisoner, and had eight of their number and two wounded. The wounded have returned with the party, but the dead were left in possession of the enemy.
They were so closely pursued by the Sioux that they lost several of their horses, and most of their blankets, and returned nearly naked, and in a state of starvation. The Sauks suppose that the Sioux belong to the Sussitong or Sussitoah band and that the cattle which they found dead, are the same that crossed Des Moines, about six days since; several of the war party who saw them at the time they crossed the river, say, that the drove consisted of nearly one hundred head, and that it was in charge of five Americans and that they had along with them, ten horses and mules, and that they presumed they were bound to St. Peter’s. They further say, that they saw a horse and a mule that belonged to the drovers in the possession of the Sioux, on the morning of the action, and that it is their opinion that the drovers have been massacred by them.
Fort Armstrong - Sept. 9.