The Battle of Stillman’s Run was named for the first engagement between Illinois militia led by Major Isaiah Stillman (1793-1861) and Sauk warriors during the short, storied Black Hawk War in 1832. Maj. Stillman, who was born in Massachusetts, had settled in Illinois and joined its newly-formed militia in 1827. On that perilous Monday, May 14, 1832, in present-day Stillman Valley, a town in north-central Illinois, Maj. Stillman’s 275 Illinois militia were attacked by Sauk warriors of Black Hawk’s British Band. The numbers of Native American warriors is unknown but is placed somewhere between 50 and 200 fighters. The Black Hawk War began when Sauk chief Black Hawk (1767-1838) recrossed the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois on April 5, 1832 to re-settle with around 1,000 warriors and women, children and elders. Black Hawk believed that the Treaty of St. Louis dated from 1804 that ceded land of his birthplace was invalid. Though a state since 1818, Illinois was on the edge of wilderness awaiting an influx of settlers and the return by Black Hawk was viewed as antithetical to that immediate objective according to the U.S. Government. During the Battle of Stillman’s Run, a name characterized by a nearby creek as well as the militia’s desperate foot-race in defeat, 12 militiamen had been killed by Band warriors as they made a stand on a small hill. In the retreat, the militia fled back 30 miles south to the fort along the Rock River at Dixon’s Ferry (present-day Dixon, IL). Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), future 16th president of the United States, was stationed at Dixon’s Ferry and may have been present at the Battle of Stillman’s Run though it is not yet known. Recent scholarship does put Lincoln at the Battle of Kellogg’s Grove in Illinois in June 1832 nearly 50 miles farther west. Lincoln was also present for the formal burials of the 12 militiamen who were killed at the Battle of Stillman’s Run. It was reported by Black Hawk that just 5 or less of his Sauk warriors were lost in that first day of battle. The Black Hawk War ended on August 2, 1832 with the military defeat of Black Hawk’s by then starving band that had retreated towards the Mississippi River near present-day Victory, Wisconsin, where the state lines of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota meet.