Captain Abraham Lincoln

Captain Abraham Lincoln (HM134C)

Location: Beardstown, IL 62618 Cass County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 1.282', W 90° 25.717'

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Rejecting a treaty, Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk and Fox, led his hungry people back into Illinois from Iowa in early 1832, intending to plant corn. Black Hawk also hoped to form an alliance with the Winnebago and Pottawatomie. Alarmed, Gov. John Reynolds issued a call for volunteers. Lincoln was elected captain of his company in the 31st Regiment of Illinois Militia. Twenty-seven years later, Lincoln recalled his election as "a success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had since." Lincoln and his men arrived in Beardstown from New Salem on April 22. While in camp, Lincoln tried to instill a degree of discipline in his rowdy company. He never managed, however, to master the more complicated commands. One famous story recalls how Lincoln realized his men were marching headlong into a fence. There was a gate, but he could not remember the order that would allow them to march two-by-two through it.. Ingeniously, he ordered the men to halt. He then dismissed them, commanding that they reassemble in two minutes on the other side of the fence. The soldiers broke camp on April 29, heading north.

Captain Lincoln of the Illinois Militia Volunteers had many new responsibilities including discipline and drawing supplies. Accounting for supplies was an old military tradition. Lincoln drew supplies for his men including thirty muskets and thirty bayonets. Quatermaster records show Lincoln returned 26 muskets and many less bayonets. Military issued weapons were valuable and traceable due to serial numbers. Bayonets, often considered fancy knives were not numbered and represented metal which was a rare commodity on the Illinois frontier. No records exist of efforts to hold Lincoln accountable for this loss or discrepancy.

In 1805, the Sauk and Fox tribes ceded fifty million acres in northwestern Illinois for a $1,000 annuity. The tribes were forced into Iowa. However, Black Hawk did not believe land could be sold and felt his people could return to Illinois at will. In 1831 Black Hawk crossed into Illinois to plant corn. Gov. John Reynolds called for a 700-man volunteer army, which assembled at Beardstown and marched to Rock Island. Black Hawk withdrew. A new treaty was signed, stipulating the tribes would not return to Illinois without permission, but the winter hunt of 1831-32 was a failure, and the Iowa prairie had not been broken to allow the planting of corn. Hungry and desperate, the sixty-five-year-old Black Hawk led 450 warriors and 1,500 women and children back into Illinois at Yellow Banks (Oquawka) in early 1832, thus igniting the Black Hawk War.

HM NumberHM134C
Series This marker is part of the Black Hawk War series, and the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 1:21am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 719436 N 4433296
Decimal Degrees40.02136667, -90.42861667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 1.282', W 90° 25.717'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 1' 16.92" N, 90° 25' 43.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3081 Sangamon St, Beardstown IL 62618, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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