The Governor’s Proclamation
April 16, Governor Reynolds received General Atkinson’s letter, asking the assistance of the state militia. Promptly on the same day the Governor issued the following proclamation: “TO THE MILITIA OF THE NORTHWESTERN SECTION OF THE STATE. “Fellow Citizens : “Your country requires your services. The Indians have assumed a hostile attitude and have invaded the state in violation of the treaty of last summer. The British band of Sacs and other hostile Indians, headed by Black Hawk, are in possession of the Rock River country to the great terror of the frontier inhabitants. I consider the settlers on the frontier to be in imminent danger. I am in possession of the above information from gentlemen of respectable standing, and also from General Atkinson, whose character stands high with all classes. In possession of the above facts and information, I have not hesitated as to the course I should pursue. No citizen ought to remain inactive when his country is invaded, and the helpless part of the community are in danger. I have called out a strong detachment of militia to rendezvous at Beardstown on the 22d inst. Provisions for the men and food for the horses will be furnished in abundance. I hope my countrymen will realize my expectations and offer their services, as hereto-fore, with promptitude and cheerfulness, in defence of their country.” The season was wet and backward, and the farmers had been delayed in their work but, as in the year 1831, volunteers were eager and willing to offer their services, many of the most influential men in the state en-listing and many who neither had horses or could procure them, marching on foot. April 27, the militia left Rushville and marched to Yellow Banks (Oquawka) from whence they marched up the Mississippi to the mouth of Rock River which they reached May 7. General Atkinson mustered the troops into the service of the United States, and May 9 they commenced their march up Rock River. Before marching Governor Reynolds engaged the services of Thomas Kinney, a Rock Island settler as a guide, Mr. Kinney being able to understand a little of the Sac language. In the march up the river, General Whiteside with the Illinois Volunteers marched on the east side. While General Atkinson, with four hundred regulars came, some on the west side and some in boats with the supplies. With Atkinson was Colonel Zachary Taylor.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908