The Ghost of the Blackhawk War, Final Part

Read Parts One, Two, and Three

By Dan Norvell

I made it back to the Indian camp. The Indians were getting ready to gather their men, and march toward Dixon’s Ferry. I knew that Captain Lincoln and his men would be heading back there by now, and that they would at least stand a better chance at Dixon’s Ferry than they would have at Old Man’s Creek. I had to think quickly.

I tried to talk to some of the warriors, but it proved to be a fruitless effort. They were ready for war. I made my way to where Chief Blackhawk himself was sitting by the morning fire. I sat down next to him as he looked into the dying flames, and I could tell he was not really willing to take these men to war. I knew he wished that a negotiation could have happened instead of the slaughter at Old Man’s Creek. I could see the look of bewilderment on his face.

I decided to try and talk to the Chief. “Chief Blackhawk, there has been enough death for now. The forces at Dixon’s Ferry will cut your men apart. Move north, live to fight another day.” I kept saying this over and over to the Chief. I said it one last time, and I placed my face into the smoke that was coming off of the dwindling fire.

The Chief stood up with a complete look of astonishment. I heard him say, “What is this?” He stood there for a moment, and he spoke, “Oh spirit of the dead, I have heard, and will heed your warning. We will not fight this day.” I was amazed and relieved to know that he would not be moving toward Dixon’s Ferry.

The Chief stood in front of his band of warriors and spoke to them. “I have seen through the smoke of my morning fire, a spirit of the dead. He has warned us not to attack the forces on the great river today. We will instead move North, and take refuge for a bit with the Ho-Chunk Nation that have offered to speak with us. These are my wishes.”

I could see that the warriors were disappointed, but they would follow the orders of the great Chief. They moved north later that day. There were many more skirmishes, and many more deaths during the Blackhawk War. I was witness to the battle in Kellogg’s Grove, and I once again watched the men under close supervision and assistance of Captain Lincoln, bury the soldiers that fought for the State of Illinois. The Chief finally was defeated and imprisoned.

I returned home, and I watched and waited for the Lord to show me the way home. I still walk the site of the battle of Old Man’s Creek. A memorial was erected there with gravestones to mark the names of the men that stood and died there. I will never forget the men that died with me that night, and I still wait for the bugle to sound that will signal their return to take me home with them.


Dan Norvell is 40 years old and has a strong desire to help people in the paranormal field that comes from his time spent in the Fire Service. He is enjoying his time as a writer, and he hopes to continue to bring his readers stories from a ghost’s point of view.

Think you are ready to write for E-mail us your ideas at Stories about Illinois are preferred.



  1. I enjoyed the style of writing…caught my interest right away. Different angle of perspective. I will be looking forewawd to reading the other three parts.


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