Battle of the Sink Hole

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Battle of the Sink Hole
Part of American Indian Wars and War of 1812
Map of Missouri highlighting Lincoln County.png
Site of the battle was in Lincoln County, Missouri
Date May 24, 1815
Result Indian tactical victory
Sauk  United States
Missouri Rangers
Commanders and leaders
Black Hawk  United States
Peter Craig
Band Company
Casualties and losses
1 killed 8 killed
5 wounded
1 missing
Black Hawk led the Sauk Indians against the Missouri Rangers in the Battle of the Sink Hole on May 24, 1815 from a painting by artist George Catlin
The Upper Mississippi River during the War of 1812. 1: Fort Bellefontaine U.S. headquarters; 2: Fort Osage, abandoned 1813; 3: Fort Madison, defeated 1813; 4: Fort Shelby, defeated 1814; 5: Battle of Rock Island Rapids, July 1814 and the Battle of Credit Island, Sept. 1814; 6: Fort Johnson, abandoned 1814; 7: Fort Cap au Gris and the Battle of the Sink Hole, May 1815.

The Battle of the Sink Hole was fought on May 24, 1815, after the official end of the War of 1812, between Missouri Rangers and Sauk Indians led by Black Hawk. According to Robert McDouall, the British commander in the area, the Sauk had not received official word from the British that the Treaty of Ghent had ended the war with the U.S.

The battle was fought in a low spot near the mouth of the Cuivre River in Missouri, site of the present-day city of Old Monroe in what is now Lincoln County near Fort Howard and Fort Cap au Gris. An ambush by Sauk of a company of rangers led to a prolonged siege: seven Rangers (including their commander, Cpt. Peter Craig) and one Sauk were killed. Conflicting accounts of the action were given by John Shaw[1] and by Black Hawk.[2]

After the battle, in 1816 Black Hawk entered into negotiations with the US government, ultimately reaffirming the Treaty of St. Louis.[3]


  1. ^ Stevens, Walter B. (1921). Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State) /One Hundred Years in the Union. St. Louis: S. J. Clarke.
  2. ^ Black Hawk (1916) [1834]. Milo M. Quaife, ed. Life of Black Hawk, Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak. Chicago: Lakeside Press. pp. 66–68.
  3. ^ "Black Hawk: Resisting American Expansion". Eighteen Twelve (Canada).

External links

  • Geology of the War of 1812: Terrain Influences on the Battle of the Sink Hole, Missouri Territory
  • Michael Dickey, "The Forgotten War: Missouri from 1812-1815", Friends of Arrow Rock website, September 2013

Coordinates: 38°56′00″N 90°41′13″W / 38.933384°N 90.687068°W / 38.933384; -90.687068

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