The War of Indian Tribes against White Soldiers

by Stella Stacey

Hocąk Interlinear Text

The first translation is that of Richard Dieterle, based on the reading of Shiela Shigley. It follows the Hōcąk text very closely after the fashion of Oliver LaMère. It assumes that the soldiers referred to at 08:01.6 are Hōcąk. For a different interpretation and a freer translation, see that of Shiela below.

01:21.5This one, a man, was saying that when Warbundles were made in the beginning, how it would be done, that, that was the sort of thing he was saying. 01:26.9There he worked, and a boy made it with him, and you fasted, and you were hungry, and you were thirsting yourselves to death, and there they made this, this Warbundle. 01:45.4This came from the Thunderbirds, thus, "These Warbundles, these [are] very powerful instruments here, thus, anyone who genuinely tries, if they are involved in a great battle, 02:1.4and during a great battle, then, if they also have a Warbundle, and there they did it, and there they did much, then you will not be wounded by sharp weapons," he said, that’s what this one said. 02:17.7So that way they did, and because they really tried, and so they did it in that manner. 02:24Hohó, then it was not the Hōcą́gᵋra only who did it that way.

02:28.4He lived there affiliated with them, many living together, and that one, that one there, they were fighting spirit soldiers. 02:41.5They went against that same kind when they were about to go to war. 02:45They taught this matter to their own, and how they were to proceed, thus they counseled all of their own. 02:49.4There he was this lead man, lead warrior, this Dog Head (Šų́gépága) they called him, and another one whom they called Big Sandbar, and another one they call Black Otter, and then another one — (long pause) wait, there's another one they say as well, but this gentleman I can usually replicate (but can't now recall). 03:22.1So four men, that's all of them, were named. 03:24.7These war braves were for a very long time repeatedly spoken of, so, so it is these very ones whom they mean.

03:32.5So that's the sort of thing that they did. 03:35.3There he went to fight these, the Big Knife soldiers. 03:42.4So, so they have said. This one, Dog Head himself, traveled in the lead with those men, and said, 03:54.4"They said that they had given me a little white bird. 03:58.7If you see something like this, do not kill it. We want to take this one home," he said. 04.12.2So now there they started. Also those soldiers disappeared from view, but initially it had become a habit to return, but if they (the enemy) would come there, he was going to go towards them. 04:23.6And so they did if any of these should see them.

04:32.7But, ų́sge, a man whom they called "White Otter," thus he was. 04:41.2There, sitting there in the brush, when something there seemed to move about, there in their midst a man was coming. 04:50.7They used to always say that at the brush he wazą́zą́'ed the it. 04:54.9They have always said that the enemy walks through the midst of the brush. 04:58.3He was leading a white horse, and he was coming there. And so he looked back, and the man was a Big Knife. 05:03.2When he looked back, this man also, and, well, there he laid on the ground and concealed himself, prostrate in order to lie in wait. 05:18.4And so then looking back there, this one just like that, turned around to get up. 05:26.3And so he ran, but he turned around, and next he (Black Otter) walked, extending his arms to catch him. 05:32And then he said, "Hoooo, Dog Head, something was given us, as it was said, a man, and I have captured him for you!" he said. 05:42.7And so it was done like this, and virtually everyone started to run, running there. 05:48.7So they arrived one by one, and everyone struck him repeatedly. 05:54.1They repeatedly struck him in order to honą́k the man, as they call it, so they were implacably angry, it is said. 05:58.8While taking one of them prisoner, they took revenge by repeatedly striking him. 06:03.2They have always told how they called out their own names and he, he, this one, the man had coup counted upon him, that's the kind of thing it was. 06:11They started their war hoops, then, 06:14.5"Well hąąą, to Dog Head, wherever the Battle Master is, we will be taking him there," they said.

06:24.2So thus it was, there they took this spirit man. 06:30.3Then Dog Head said, "The Big Knives, they say, will always communicate with each other with their documents as well. 06:39.3We must search, guessing with our hands, if a single paper of paper is seen anywhere, it is to be seized. 06:49.1The seized paper, if it is also a narrative (orders), it might be the accounts that he took with him, so we must search him," he said, so that's the way they were (proceeding). 06:57.5When they searched, they could not find anything. 07:01Again, they took off his coat and waistcoat (vest), but they couldn't find anything. 07:04And then, not finding it in his clothes, so then taking off that hat of his, he grabbed ahold of it. 07:11"There must have been something about that hat," they remarked, and so therefore, because he told them, they took the hat, as it had to be examined. 07:18And it transpired that at the edge of the hat he had lain this paper inside there and then sewed up each side.

07:24.8Then, "Ąhooo!" This was information ("a story") for the Prophet, also some of them understood writing. 07:33.1"We are doing what he himself called for. 07:35.2It's also incredible that he has something to say to us," they said. 07:39.3The lead warrior, that's who he was. When they saw him, these went forward, so he said, 07:47.2"Hócą́ks, as they are members of a foreign tribe, we will annihilate them. 07:56.5We will beat them and I will kill them by hand. We will annihilate them." 08:01.6When morning arrived, he himself was going to do it. 08:05.8"And thus it was said, and then these cooperated, then there these soldiers (said), "Then in the morning we shall fight. We choose in the morning tomorrow it will be done," those soldiers said. 08:20.2And these men said, "Hą́," and "alright."

08:23.8However, they said that these war-chiefs were to be in charge: the four leading men, they said. 08:33.8"There, ho, is what we will do." 08:34.8There were many weapons, in this case, but we do not have an abundance of weapons. When they are sleeping, then right away we will do it. 08:44.5We will do whatever is hard. Let is be so that we immediately make our own move. They dispersed. 08:49.7So that's how they proceeded. At night when were sleeping, they jumped them, killing many of them. 08:59.5There, somewhere, somewhere they [became sort of trapped?], they killed many. 09:04.4Many Big Knife soldiers, many were killed. They did not wait for the morning. 09:10I heard that this was the sort of thing it was, it was exactly like that. That's all I (have to) say.1 || 09:15

This is the free translation of Shiela Shigley. She takes the soldiers refered to at 08:01.6 to be those of the U. S. Army, and that what is being said is by the captured white soldier.

There was a man who used to give talks, including about when they would put together those Sacred Bundles in the past, describing it like this: By keeping a vigil (going on a fast), by hungering as well as by doing well at thirsting yourself to death, that is how those bundles are made. They come from the Thunders, thus, these Sacred Bundles, this very powerful tool here, thus, anyone who genuinely tries, if they are involved in a great battle, during a great battle, then, if they also have a Sacred Bundle, then you will not be wounded by sharp weapons," he said, that’s what this one said. So, that's the way in which they did it, and because they truly tried and did it in that manner, then it was not the Hocąks only who did it. Other tribes, grouped with them, many together, specifically to fight those white soldiers, that’s how they battled (i.e by relying on those bundles). That’s how they proceeded then when they were going to fight.

That something they exerted some kind of effort and, how they would act that’s how they exerted their effort, that there leading man, the leading warrior, that one was called Šųgepaga and, yet another was called Big Sand(bar) and, yet another was called Black Otter and, yet another one…the other one isn’t yet named but in discussing it, they used to give it to me (i.e. they used to tell me the name). So, in total those four men they were named. That there, battle warrior a long, long time ago when they used to tell of them, that’s what they used to say. So, they acted in that manner. The white man, soldier, when it would be time to battle (them) they would proceed there. So, they would tell of, those men, that there Šųgepa to those leaders with him he said, "It is said they will give me a little white bird. So then, if you such a one as that, do not kill it. Such a one, we will bring home," he said. Thus, there then, they departed.

Also way over there (to) those soldiers, too, at the place where they had planned to go, thither they were going. So, when they were to meet that one, when it was to be, then, well, that man there, it was the one who was called Tóšą́nąksgaga, there, there sitting in the at that moment, something was sort of itchy (or moving about), there a man came, in the brush, wazązą-ing (in the) brush, as they used to call it, amidst the brush as he was walking, that’s what they used to call it. [Sheila note: maybe smething like "brushwalking?"] And leading a white horse, there he came. So looking back as he went along, then that man, it was a white man, looking back there that man, too, lay down, waiting. Then, well, there looking back, in that way turned suddenly, leapt up, that one. Then as he was running, they wheeled around, arms bound flat. And here he spoke, "Hoooo, Šųgepaga, that thing which it was said would be given, a man, well, I have captured! (??)

So doing like this, then absolutely all of them ran, they ran there. So one by one (or "each and every one") they arrived and then all repeatedly struck him. They repeatedly struck him, counting coup as they call it, that is how they repeatedly did to him, it is said. When one was being taken revenge upon, as it is called, once he was captured he would be repeatedly beaten. They called out their names and, the man against whom they were counting coup, they would tell him, this is how they acted, and they started up war whoops as well. Then, "Alright, so now, Doghead, the battlemaster wherever he might be [or, "the battle headquarters, wherever that might be"?], that’s where we are going to take you," they said. So they did thus, here this man, the waxopini, they brought him there.

And so, he spoke, Doghead, "Those Longknives, they use paper to be in regular communication with one another, it is said. Dig ye (through it), in pawing (through the papers) something might also be seen, even one paper, were one to have it (were it to be had), even just one paper, were there to be one communiqué, (as the result of) hunting such papers. "Dig ye," he said, and so that's what they did. Having dug, they didn't find a thing. Again the jacket, and even the shirt, they took off of him. But (having done so) they found not a thing. Ho then (that?) hat when they took it off of him, he grabbed hold of it. There must have been something about that hat, they remarked, and therefore, then, they took that hat and upon looking, inside of the hat, inside the stitching, there a paper lay.

Thus, "Ąhooo, it is in fact a written communique such as some of those Žawanų stories foretold." [?] They said this having looked at it. "Look at it and see what it says. Perhaps you must be telling us something," they said, "That lead warrior." And so they acted accordingly, when they had read it, and as a result (te’e howarera) the captive spoke. "Various Hocąk bands, as it were, let us annihilate these Indians. Let us cause them to be dried out [euphemism?]. Let us annihilate them. In the morning, it shall come to pass." "In that case, having said thus, therefore then they are plotting, those soldiers there. And when it be morning we shall fight, in the morning we will molest you, they said, those soldiers." And those Indians replied, "Hą," and "Hojia."

But, saying it, that there battle chief, the boss, the four leaders, they said: "There, ho, whatever shall we do, most of them have sharp weapons, yet we have nothing sharp (we have no weapons.) When they sleep therefore it shall come to pass. Whatever we can hit let us do. Immediately begging (demanding?), let it be so," they said. (??) And so they did thus, in the night, while they slept, they jumped them. There, they killed many. There, whevever they were bound up, they killed them, many white men, many soldiers, they killed. They didn’t wait until morning. That’s how it was, just like that, I heard. That’s all I (have to) say.


  BAE 37: Pl. 57
  The Contents of the Thunderbird Warbundle

"the Thunderbirds" — this is a Thunderbird Warbundle. As we can plainly see, this was not handed down from the Thunders. but was rather a product of the blessings bestowed by the Thunders that enabled them to find the correct contents and assemble them according to ancient protocol. The inset shows the contents of such a bundle. Besides the skins of various animals and birds, we also see a miniature Thunderbird Warclub, as well as four flutes, used to make the whistling sound of birds.

"spirit soldiers" — the word waxópı̨́nį here, "spirits," is a short-hand rendering of waxopínisgága, "white spirits," a term originally given to the French, the first white men encountered by the Hōcągara, who initially mistook them for spirit beings. The white soldiers here are the white Americans, and the context is the period around the War of 1812.

   J. O. Lewis
Dog Head (Sarcel, Teal, Little Duck)

"Dog Head"Šųgépaga whose name we encountered above. A famous warrior and chief, he quickly became legendary, as we see from semi-mythological accounts of his life in the stories Great Walker's Medicine, The Warbundle Maker, and The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara. "The Warbundle Maker" says, "There was a man named Šųgépaga, who belonged to the Eagle Clan."2 The name "Dog Head" is clearly not an Eagle Clan name, and must be a nickname. Prior to the War of 1812, he was known to the French by this same name, Tête de Chien. So what was his Eagle Clan name? The French also knew him by his clan name, which they rendered as Sarcelle, which means "Teal." George recorded the word for teal as being hunašizka, which is for hunašiske, from huna, "to come hither"; šis, "to shoot"; and -ke, a suffix indicating a kind of thing. So a teal is "the kind of thing that comes hither to be shot." So it appears that his Eagle Clan name was Hunašiskega. The Anglos rendered his clan name as "Sarcel," "Teal," or "Little Duck." Col. McDouall in writing to Gen. Drummond in 1814, says of him,

the Susell or tete de Chien, [is] a distinguished Chief of the Winnebago Nation (who came to supplicate assistance) ... The solemn & impressive eloquence of the tete de Chien, excited a general enthusiasm, & never was more zeal or unanimity shown amongst them, this chief is scarcely inferior to Tecumseth, & I doubt not will act a distinguished part in the campaign ...3

Brisbois remarks that, "One of the Carimaunee family of Winnebagoes was known as Tête de Chien, or Dog's Head. He lived in 1827, at English Prairie, now Muscoda (ca. 43.210370, -90.30401). He was a prominent man, of considerable good sense, and very honest. The Indians cultivated some fields there, and lived there as one of their changeable localities."4 This means that he was related in some way to the famous chief Nąga (Wood), known as the "Elder Keramąnį," who was standing next to Tecumseh when the latter was struck dead by a stray bullet. Lurie's informants told her that the Keramąnįs were originally of Fox or Sauk extraction. Foreign captives who are spared are always put into the Thunderbird Clan, or may enter it through marriage. Mrs. Kinzie said that this name meant, "Walking Rain." This is due to the fact that the name has a double meaning in Hocąk: Ke-ra-mąnį means literally, "The Turtle Walking," where -ra is the definite article. On the face of it, this name is rather peculiar, since the -ga attached to the end of it to indicate that it's a personal name is also a definite article. This leads to the rather stilted translation, "The Walking One Who is the Turtle." However, the same name differently parsed, Kera-mąnį, means "Walking Cloud," where kera, like the more common mąxí, means both "cloud" and "sky." It could be that Kera-mąnį-ga was originally a Thunderbird Clan name for the ancestor of the lineage, but members of that family liked the mystical association that the double meaning gave them to the God of War. Sometime before 1832, Dog Head had moved to Big Green Lake (43.813354, -88.934092), where he lived in a large lodge with three other men, five women, and six children.5 Grignon says, "Sarcel, or The Teal, resided at the Winnebago village at Green Lake, in Marquette county; in his younger days his reputation was not good, but he afterwards became a very good Indian. I have already adverted to his war services. I think he died at Green Lake, before the emigration of his people west of the Mississippi."6

"Big Sandbar" — (Pų́zágᵋxə́tega) the older brother of Black Otter, also known as "Big Sand." His family is likely a member of the Waterspirit Clan, as Waterspirits are said to be particularly fond of sunning themselves on sandbars. His family was, in any case, a member of the Lower Moiety, as his brother-in-law was named "Thunderbird." Big Sandbar's wife was barren, so the couple raised his younger brother Black Otter. Big Sandbar was a respected warrior and was invited on a small warpath when his brother was too young to accompany him.7

"Black Otter" — (Tóšą́nąksépka) an historical figure. However, much of his life has been made legendary. It is likely that his family was originally of the Waterspirit Clan. This fact is expressed in their names: "Black Otter" denotes an aquatic animal having no associations with the Thunders; and his brother's name, "Big Sandbar," references the habit of Waterspirits to sun themselves by lying on sandbars. However, it was said that Black Otter had come from the Thunderbirds, the enemies of the Waterspirits, and was miraculously born to a woman past her climacteric. She died in childbirth. When a little boy, he was sent to fetch water, but fell through the hole in the ice. He went a very great distance underwater, and came out a distant ice hole, where the people did not know him. When he made his way back, he was treated thereafter as being holy.8 In his first combat, an attack on a Missouria village, Black Otter captured two children, a boy and a girl. Big Sandbar's brother-in-law, Thunderbird, took the girl away, then came back and tried to take the boy, but Black Otter would not give him up. Black Otter was the first to take a captive to the Warleader, Dog Head (Little Duck), and thereby won the First War Honor.9 Soon after this battle, Black Otter created a Warbundle. When the adoption of Anglo names became a practical necessity, Black Otter's male descendants chose the name "Green." Today, Monte Green is the master of the Warbundle created by Black Otter. His father, Abel Green, who affiliated with the Bear Clan, says, "Tōšą́nąksépka (Black Otter), my ancestor, paternal great-grandfather, originally was from the Thunderbirds, and he came to live among the people, and he told this story himself." It was by virtue of this fact that he was able to create a Thunderbird Warbundle.

"another one" — the only other warrior subsequently mentioned is Xatápmı̨́ną́ka, Perched Upon the Brush. He is not said to be a leader of any kind, however. Other sources tell us that the famous Great Walker (Mąnįxetega) was at the Battle of Tippecanoe along with Dog Head. Great Walker, also known as Smoke Walker, in some accounts, was the leader of Hōcąk forces. Unfortunately, Great Walker was killed in action there. For Great Walker, see: Great Walker and the Ojibwe Witches, Great Walker's Medicine, Great Walker's Warpath, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga. Great Walker's son, who was later famous in his own right, was known as Little Snake or Small Snake, but in later times as Waukawn (Waką, "Snake"). Waką himself was lightly wounded at Tippecanoe.   Audubon  
Infantry Officer
with Big Knife

"Big Knife"Mą́įxəte, a term for white Americans on account of their cavalry and dragoons being armed with sabers, a strange weapon from the viewpoint of the Indian armory. The experience of most of the tribes with the Federal forces was with officers of the Army who had swords as part of their standard uniform. As that was the only weapon that they typically carried, the whole of the Army, and eventually whites generally came to be known as Long Knives, or as among the Hōcągara, Big Knives. The illustration at the left is of an Army captain of this time period (the War of 1812) with his mą́įxəte drawn.

"a little white bird"Wanı̨́ksgánįk. White is the color of holiness. That this bird was "given" to Dog Head references his fasting experience when preparing to lead this expedition. We may infer that the Spirits blessed him with this bird which they foretold would be encountered on his expedition. The term Wanı̨́ksgánįk is the standard word for the Snowbird (Snowbunting). Snowbirds are also called Mą̄nį́wanį́k, "Winter Birds" (Miner), and Wizésake, a term of unknown meaning.10 The month that falls around October/November is also called the Snowbird Moon (Wizésakewina).11 That moon was in the sky from 17 Ocober to 15 November of 1811, and was 55.3% full during the early morning of 7 November when the Battle of Tippecanoe was fought.

The Sky at Sunrise on 7 November 1811

Flocks of these birds often fly before winter storm fronts, a habit that makes them good predictors of forthcoming snow. Snowbirds seem to be the favorite dice of the Giants, who are always engaging people in contests in which lives are wagered on the outcome.12 Once a Giant who sat down to gamble, pounded his chest and coughed up eight snowbirds which he tossed about as dice, ordering them to land all right side up, or all upside down.13 That snowbirds should come from the center of the Giant's being is not surprising, since it is the ice permanently lodging in the stomachs of Giants that makes them Wángerúcge, "Man-eaters," in the first place.14 The gambling between Giants and men is symbolic of the gamble of war, an activity normally pursued only in winter. Thus, the snowbird is a symbol of the imminence of the approach of enemy warparties, devourers of human life, who come with the snows of winter. Was this Snowbird to have been a messenger of the approach of Gen. Harrison's Big Knife force? Its role in the battle is never explained, and nothing further is said of this bird.

"White Otter"Tóšą́nąk-sgá-ga, where sgá means "white." Since rare white animals are considered holy, as in the paradigmatic case of the white buffalo, the natural tendency would be to name someone after a white, holy animal; but as it happens, this person was named after the black otter. Since Stella was 75 years old at the time, it is not surprising that she made this natural slip.

"wazą́zą́" — an unknown word. This seems to be an emphatic reduplication of ža, "to shoot, chop, wreck (to direct force downward ?)," with the object wa-, "it, them." So this naive white soldier is hacking his way through the brush, rather like what we do today with a machete. This, perhaps needless to say, creates a lot of noise, making his approach obvious to his more experienced and stealthy opponents.

"a Big Knife" — the story of the encounter with a single Big Knife before the battle fits the events that immediately preceded the Battle of Tippecanoe. This man, named "Ben," was a wagon master in the Army, and defected to the Shawnee, as it says here:

During the evening, Tenskwatawa consulted with the spirits and decided that sending a party to murder Harrison in his tent was the best way to avoid a battle. ... Ben, an African-American wagon driver traveling with Harrison's army, had deserted to the Shawnee during the expedition. He agreed to lead a small group of warriors through the line to Harrison's tent. During the late night hours, he was captured by the camp sentries, taken back to the camp and bound. He was later convicted of treason but pardoned by Harrison.15

More details are found here:

The Prophetstown forces hoped to decapitate the Americans by killing Harrison, and to that end, they had arranged a bitter harvest, given the governor’s energetic pursuit of the expansion of slavery. They had contacted one of Harrison's ex-slaves, a wagon driver named Ben, who led a contingent of Indian warriors in a strike against Harrison’s tent. Ben’s unit thought they had spotted the governor on his usual gray horse, and shot the rider. But Harrison rode a black horse that day; he had given his gray horse to Abraham Owen, his aide-de-camp, who died in Harrison’s place. The assassination squad became confused and were caught. It was, Harrison later wrote, “providential interference.”16

In our story, Ben's defection has been recast as the capture of a Big Knife soldier who was out to ambush them. What is preserved is the notion that he had valuable intelligence, but given the recasting, he could not have it in oral form, but must have had concealed orders.

"extending" — in Hōcąk this is expressed by saying that he "flattened" (rusták) his arms.

"given us" — the Warleader, in preparation for an expedition, will fast and seek blessings from the Spirits. He may receive a vision ("dream") in which he will be granted a captive by the Spirit who blesses him with the Warpath. Thus the captive will have been "given" to the warparty by the Spirit(s).

"honą́k" — "to count coup on." The first to touch an enemy won the First War Honor. The lowest honor was to have killed an enemy. He was probably struck with the non-spiked side of the warclub, which would have bashed him up considerably. Apart from the first four blows to establish War Honors, the rest were mainly in the spirit of animosity, although some value was attached to striking an enemy.

US Dept. of Defense   HistoricalHatLady   US Dept. of Defense
Army Uniform Jacket   Army Uniform Vest   Army Hat

"coat and waistcoat" — here's a description of these articles of the standard uniform in the War of 1812:

Soldiers wore a single-breasted “coatee” which had 10 metal button closures and a high standing collar trimmed with white lace. The regulation color was dark blue, but due to dye shortages, gray, brown, and green wools were used as well. Underneath the coatee would be a waistcoat, or vest, with a standing collar that went over the shirt. A summer waistcoat was made of linen and the winter version was made of wool.17

"hat" — as seen above.

The “tombstone” shako cap was a tall, black, flat-top cap with a slight extension at the top. Initially made of felt, it was changed to leather for better weather protection. A cap plate bore the unit insignia and a white wool plume. A braided cord with tassels was yellow or white: Yellow represented artillery, and white was for infantry.18


"Prophet" — in Hōcąk, Žawanų — according to Helmbrecht-Lehmann, žawąnų means, "medicine person, healer, fortune-teller, prophet (whoever has to do with medicine)." Žawąnų, a variant of Šawáno[ra], "Shawnee, 'Glad Ones' [a pseudo-etymology]," (McKern). It is reasonable to conclude that the prophet of this story is the Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa, the brother of Tecumseh. Owing to this prophet's fame, "Shawnee" (Žawąnų) came to be a word for "prophet." This is a familiar process: the words Kaiser and czar come from Cæsar, for instance. The Hōcągara had a great many stories about the Shawnee Prophet, for which see Stories below.

"what we will do" — the scene has changed. The Hōcągara are now off by themselves. Their four Warleaders are now about to countermand the plan of the Prophet to attack in the morning.

It should be pointed out, therefore, that the incidents herein related, took place prior to a military defeat, as the warriors found it necessary to return by dispersal. This too is consistent with the battle in question being that of Tippecanoe. It is said of this battle, "The Indians had scattered in every direction and no one knew who was alive."19

"they did not wait for the morning" — it appears that the initiative was seized by the Hōcągara themselves:

Tenskwatawa told Michigan Governor Lewis Cass in 1816 that he did not order his warriors to attack Harrison, and he blamed the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) warriors in his camp for launching the attack. Not long after the battle a Kickapoo chief told British Indian agent Matthew Elliot, that the shooting of two Winnebago warriors by the sentries "aroused the indignation of the Indians and they determined to be revenged and accordingly commenced the attack."20

The shooting of two Hōcąk soldiers no doubt occurred the day before on 6 November 1811, when Harrison's ex-slave Ben tried to lead them to the general's tent. It should be mentioned here that killing an enemy chief in his own lodge won the warrior a white eagle feather, which was equivalent to today's Medal of Honor. This is because the chance of success is slim and the chance of escape afterwards slimmer still.

Kurtz & Allison, Library of Congress
The Battle of Tippecanoe
7 November 1811

Comparative Material. ...

Links: Thunderbirds, Bird Spirits, Snowbirds.

Stories: mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧábᵉra, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Twins Disobey Their Father, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, Heną́ga and Star Girl, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hocąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Black Otter's Warpath, Aracgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Ciwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; about Bird Spirits: Crane and His Brothers, The King Bird, Bird Origin Myth, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Wears White Feather on His Head, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, The Thunderbird, Owl Goes Hunting, The Boy Who Became a Robin, Partridge's Older Brother, The Woman who Loved Her Half-Brother, The Foolish Hunter, Ocean Duck, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Quail Hunter, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Hocąk Arrival Myth, Trickster Gets Pregnant, Trickster and the Geese, Holy One and His Brother (kaǧi, woodpeckers, hawks), Porcupine and His Brothers (Ocean Sucker), Turtle's Warparty (Thunderbirds, eagles, kaǧi, pelicans, sparrows), Kaǧiga and Lone Man (kaǧi), The Old Man and the Giants (kaǧi, bluebirds), The Bungling Host (snipe, woodpecker), The Red Feather, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Waruǧábᵉra, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Black and White Moons, The Markings on the Moon, The Creation Council, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, Earthmaker Blesses Wagíšega (Wešgíšega), The Man Who Would Dream of Mą’ųna (chicken hawk), Hare Acquires His Arrows, Keramaniš’aka's Blessing (black hawk, owl), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), Heną́ga and Star Girl (black hawk), The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth (black hawk, kaǧi), Worúxega (eagle), The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men (eagle), The Gift of Shooting (eagle), Hocąk Clans Origin Myth, Hawk Clan Origin Myth, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Blue Jay, The Baldness of the Buzzard, The Abduction and Rescue of Trickster (buzzards), The Shaggy Man (kaǧi), The Healing Blessing (kaǧi), The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth (kaǧi), Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Įcorúšika and His Brothers (Loon), Great Walker's Medicine (loon), Roaster (woodsplitter), The Spirit of Gambling, The Big Stone (a partridge), Trickster's Anus Guards the Ducks, The Story of the Medicine Rite (loons, cranes, turkeys), The Fleetfooted Man, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), — see also Thunderbirds, and the sources cited there; mentioning snowbirds: Redhorn's Sons, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, Redhorn Contests the Giants; relating to dogs or wolves: The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, A Man and His Three Dogs, White Wolf, Wolves and Humans, The Wolf Clan Origin Myth, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, Worúxega, The Dogs of the Chief's Son, The Dog that became a Panther, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Wild Rose, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, The Canine Warrior, The Dog Who Saved His Master, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, The Big Eater, Why Dogs Sniff One Another, The Healing Blessing, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Trickster Loses His Meal, Sun and the Big Eater, Redhorn's Sons, Trickster, the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Meadow Lark, Hog's Adventures, Holy One and His Brother, The Messengers of Hare, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Grandmother's Gifts, The Hocąk Migration Myth, Bladder and His Brothers, The Stench-Earth Medicine Origin Myth, The Old Man and the Giants, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, Kunu's Warpath, Morning Star and His Friend, Black Otter's Warpath, Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder, Chief Wave and the Big Drunk; Peace of Mind Regained (?); mentioning white wolves or dogs: White Wolf, The Gray Wolf Origin Myth, The Old Man and His Four Dogs, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Worúxega, The Messengers of Hare, Wolf Clan Origin Myth (vv. 1, 2), Wolves and Humans, A Man and His Three Dogs, Grandmother's Gifts, Peace of Mind Regained (?); about the (post-Columbian) history of the Hōcągara: The Cosmic Ages of the Hocągara, The Hocągara Migrate South, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, Annihilation of the Hocągara II, First Contact, Origin of the Decorah Family, The Glory of the Morning, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Fox-Hocąk War, The Masaxe War, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara, Black Otter's Warpath, Great Walker's Medicine, Great Walker's Warpath, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, The Spanish Fight, The Man who Fought against Forty, The Origin of Big Canoe's Name, Jarrot's Aborted Raid, They Owe a Bullet, Origin of the Name "Milwaukee," A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Origin of the Hocąk Name for "Chicago"; mentioning the Battle of Tippecanoe: The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, Great Walker's Medicine; about famous Hocąk warriors and warleaders: How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, The Masaxe War (Hogimasąga), Wazųka, Great Walker's Warpath (Great Walker), Great Walker's Medicine (Great Walker, Smoke Walker, Dog Head, Small Snake), Šųgepaga (Dog Head), The Warbundle Maker (Dog Head), Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder, Black Otter's Warpath (Dog Head, Black Otter), The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara (Smoke Walker, Dog Head, Small Snake), Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath (Big Thunder, Cap’ósgaga), The Osage Massacre (Big Thunder, Cap’ósgaga), The Fox-Hocąk War (Cap’ósgaga), The Origin of Big Canoe's Name, White Thunder's Warpath, Four Legs, The Man who Fought against Forty (Mącosepka), Yellow Thunder and the Lore of Lost Canyon, The Hills of La Crosse (Yellow Thunder), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, Fighting Retreat, Mitchell Red Cloud, jr. Wins the Medal of Honor (Mitchell Red Cloud, jr.), How Jarrot Got His Name, Jerrot's Temperance Pledge — A Poem, Jarrot's Aborted Raid, Jarrot and His Friends Saved from Starvation, They Owe a Bullet (Pawnee Shooter); mentioning Black Otter: Black Otter's Warpath, Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder; mentioning Big Sandbar: Black Otter's Warpath, Black Otter’s Sacrifice to a Thunder; about Šųgépaga (Dog Head = Sarcel = Teal = Little Duck): Šųgepaga, The Warbundle Maker, Black Otter's Warpath, Great Walker's Medicine, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara – see also Kinzie's Receipt Roll; mentioning the Big Knives (white Americans): The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hocągara, Brawl in Omro, The Scalping Knife of Wakąšucka, Little Priest's Game, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, A Prophecy, The Chief Who Shot His Own Daughter, The First Fox and Sauk War, The Cosmic Ages of the Hocągara, Turtle and the Merchant, The Hocągara Migrate South, Neenah, Run for Your Life, The Glory of the Morning, First Contact, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store, Migistéga’s Magic, Yellow Thunder and the Lore of Lost Canyon, Mighty Thunder, The Beginning of the Winnebago, Soldiers Catch Two Boys, a Black One and a White One; mentioning Warbundles: Waruǧábᵉra (Thunderbird), The Adventures of Redhorn's Sons (Thunderbird), Redhorn's Sons (Thunderbird), The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty (Thunderbird), The Warbundle of the Eight Generations (Thunderbird), Wanihéga Becomes a Sak’į (Thunderbird), Šųgepaga (Eagle), The Warbundle Maker (Eagle), The Masaxe War (Eagle?), Black Otter's Warpath (Bear?), The Blessing of a Bear Clansman (Bear), The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits (Buffalo), Paint Medicine Origin Myth (Hit’énųk’e Paint), The Blessing of Kerexųsaka (Sauk), Yellow Thunder and the Lore of Lost Canyon, Mijistéga’s Powwow Magic and How He Won the Trader's Store (Potawatomi), A Man's Revenge (enemy).

Themes: something is of a (symbolic) pure white color: White Bear, Deer Spirits, The Journey to Spiritland (v. 4), White Flower, Big Eagle Cave Mystery, The Fleetfooted Man, Thunderbird and White Horse, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Worúxega, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket (white spirits), Skunk Origin Myth, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, White Wolf, A Man and His Three Dogs, The Messengers of Hare, The Brown Squirrel, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Bladder and His Brothers, White Thunder's Warpath, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth, The Dipper, Great Walker's Medicine (v. 2), Creation of the World (v. 12), Hare Secures the Creation Lodge, The Descent of the Drum, Tobacco Origin Myth (v. 5), The Diving Contest, Otter Comes to the Medicine Rite, The Arrows of the Medicine Rite Men, The Animal Spirit Aids of the Medicine Rite, Grandmother's Gifts, Four Steps of the Cougar, The Completion Song Origin, North Shakes His Gourd, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, Thunder Cloud is Blessed, Peace of Mind Regained; spirits bless someone with the right to kill a man ("give him a man"): White Thunder's Warpath, Šųgepaga, A Man's Revenge, Great Walker's Warpath, The Masaxe War, Little Fox and the Ghost, Thunderbird and White Horse; descriptions of human warfare: Black Otter's Warpath, Annihilation of the Hocągara II, The Warbundle Maker, The First Fox and Sauk War, Great Walker's Medicine, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Wazųka, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Fox-Hocąk War, Great Walker's Warpath, White Fisher, The Lame Friend, White Thunder's Warpath, The Osage Massacre, A Man's Revenge, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, They Owe a Bullet, The Spanish Fight, Origin of the Name "Milwaukee," The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), Tobacco Man and Married Man, The Scalping Knife of Wakąšucka; someone is abducted and led off into captivity: The Captive Boys, A Man's Revenge, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Lost Child, Wears White Feather on His Head, Įcorúšika and His Brothers, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Man Whose Wife was Captured, Bladder and His Brothers, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Bluehorn Rescues His Sister, Black Otter's Warpath, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Green Man, Brave Man, The Chief of the Heroka, Šųgepaga, Hare Gets Swallowed, Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Raccoon Coat, Wojijé, Wolves and Humans, The Woman Who Became an Ant, Thunderbird and White Horse, Heną́ga and Star Girl, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Traveler and the Thunderbird War (v. 5), The Boy who Flew, Testing the Slave, Soldiers Catch Two Boys, a Black One and a White One.


1 Stella Stacy, "War of Indian tribes against white soldiers" (formerly, "The red man's plaint against the white man about white supremacy"), reading by Sheila Shigley, from audio tapes in the American Philosophical Society. Fraenkel, Gerd. Mss.Rec. 29, recorded 11 July 1959, 1 .mp3; 00:01:21.5 - 00:09:15. Copy made by Gerd Fraenkel of an original tape held at the Archives of Languages of the World, Indiana University. This program comes from original tape 524. APS accession number 7256; APSdigrec_0940; Recording Number: 02; Program Number: 01.
2 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 167-174 [167].
3 Douglas Brymner, "The Capture of Fort M'Kay, Prairie du Chien, in 1814," Wisconsin Historical Collections, 11 (1888) 254-270 [260, 263].
4 B. W. Brisbois, "Recollections of Prairie du Chien," Wisconsin Historical Collections, IX (1882/1909): 282-302 [300].
5 See Kinzie's Rolls for Big Green Lake.
6 Augustin Grignon, "Seventy-two Years' Recollections of Wisconsin," Wisconsin Historical Collections, 3 (1857) 197-295 [288].
7 Thomas A. Sebeok, "Two Winnebago Texts," International Journal of American Linguistics, 13 (1947): 167-170; Text I — Vision Quest, 168-169. Forrest and Monty Green, "Origin of Black Otter's War-Bundle" (December 14, 2001). Presented to the Hocak Encyclopedia by Frank Weinhold, June 6, 2020.
8 Sebeok, "Two Winnebago Texts," 167-170; Text I — Vision Quest, 168-169.
9 Forrest and Monty Green, "Origin of Black Otter's War-Bundle."
10 Charles C. Trowbridge, "Manners, Customs, and International Laws of the Win-nee-baa-goa Nation," (1823), Winnebago Manuscripts, in MS/14ME, Trowbridge Papers, Burton Historical Collection.
11 Trowbridge, "Manners, Customs, and International Laws of the Win-nee-baa-goa Nation."
12 Paul Radin, Winnebago Hero Cycles: A Study in Aboriginal Literature (Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1948) 123-129; Paul Radin, "Spear Shaft and Lacrosse," Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) #36: 1-81.
13 Radin, "Spear Shaft and Lacrosse," Notebook #36: 1-81.
14 Young Man Shoots for Them Often, in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Winnebago IV, #8, Freeman #3861 [3891] (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, pre-1930) Story 8s: 1-23.
15 Indiana. History & Government, ed. by Wikipedians, 28. "Battle of Tippecanoe," Wikipedia (electronic text) viewed: June 8, 2024. Robert M. Owens, Mr. Jefferson's Hammer: William Henry Harrison and the Origins of American Indian Policy (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007) 219.
16 Adam Jortner, The Gods of Prophetstown: The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) 195.
17 Pritzker Military Museum & Library > Soldier Dress & Uniform in the War of 1812. Electronic text, viewed 6/5/2024.
18 Pritzker Military Museum & Library > Soldier Dress & Uniform in the War of 1812 > Headgear. Electronic text, viewed 6/6/2024.
19 Paul Radin, The Winnebago Tribe (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1923]) 24.
20 Alfred A. Cave, Prophets of the Great Spirit (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006) 120–121.