After holding off his pursuers at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights (about 1½ miles south of present Sauk City) Black Hawk led his people over unfamiliar country toward the Mississippi. In the meantime, the Army alerted Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien. When the Indians reached the Mississippi, they found an armed steamboat blocking escape. The Battle of Bad Axe fought near here August 1-2, 1832 ended the Black Hawk War. Driven into the water by their pursuers, the Indians - warriors, old people, women and children - were shot down or drowned as they tried to escape. Black Hawk succeeded in getting away, but was soon taken prisoner. Later, when asked about his ill-fated venture, he said simply: "Rock River was a beautiful country; I loved my towns, my cornfields, and the home of my people. I fought for it."