Saturday I took a trip to Union Mills Cemetery near New Sharon to visit the graves of my parents. Then I continued my trip further to the south and east to visit the grave site of one of Iowa’s most famous veterans.
It was over here somewhere.
Black Hawk never fought on the side of the United States, yet we have named counties, parks, and military aircraft after him.
The Annals of Iowa Vol. XII, No.2 reprints a letter from D. C. Beaman that gives the legal description of where Chief Black Hawk was buried. With that amount of detail, I had one of my friends with GPS experience determine the location on Google maps. The location is currently either a corn field or a sand and gravel pit–it is a little hard to tell from the ground.
Black Hawk lived his final days in a little cabin (wickiup) near the Des Moines River, east of the current town of Eldon. He died and was buried there in a sitting position. The grave was not filled with dirt, but was covered with logs and sticks. Then his grave was desecrated, and his bones and his skull were stolen. Where they ended up is not known for sure–some of the suggestions can be found at the Lucas Countyan blog.
One of the possible locations for the final resting place of Black Hawk’s bones is at the Iowaville cemetery.
This grave may or may not be the final resting place of at least part of Black Hawk’s body.
I have written about Black Hawk on my Poweshiek Skipper web site.
But you might want to read about him on the beautifully written Black Hawk Journey website.