Battle of Smoky Hill
In Wisconsin, United States
How Geocaching Works
This is a new cache because an earlier cache has been archived.
I believe the area and history are too important to be excluded.
Smoky Hill is a hill only comparatively to the surrounding wetlands.
It has a heavy cover of prairie plants.
There is parking near stage 1.
.......FTF is bigjim60 ... good going!
Stage 1 is a camoed micro
Stage 2 is an ammo box
The Battle of Smoky Hill, as it came to be called, is said to have taken place in 1748, when this was still part of New France. The story came down by word of mouth until 1906, when the first printed version appeared in a Marshfield paper, the News.
The battlers were Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Indians on one side and Chippewas on the other, reinforced by French troops.
The valley of the Little Eau Pleine River was a desirable place long before it became the Mead Wildlife Area. It was a hunting ground and more for the tribes. In the spring of 1748, Chippewas who had an encampment on Smoky Hill went down the river, either to collect maple sap or to take their furs to a trading post.
In their absence Ho-Chunks took possession of the hill. The elevated ground and the surrounding swamps made an attack difficult, and the Chippewas realized an unaided assault would fail, so they sent a message to the French in Green Bay asking for help. The French responded with 10 or 12 armed men and two small field pieces.
The Chippewas and French headed down the Wisconsin River from the present site of Wausau. Instead of paddling up the Little Eau Pleine, where the Ho-Chunks would have been watching, they turned instead at the Big Eau Pleine, landed and went cross-country toward Smoky Hill.
The adversaries were evenly matched in numbers but the French and Chippewas were better armed. Finally the Ho-Chunks fell back and then headed downriver, only to meet one of the French cannons, which had been placed there to strike any Ho-Chunks who might have been waiting in ambush.
The newspaper described, in the florid language of the day, what happened next:
"The last stand was made as a wolf fights for life. The desperation of the conquered can no longer be measured by muscle; but with the thought of what capture meant to them - torture over fires - they sprang into the center of death. Flight had weakened them; their arrows were almost gone. With a short struggle all was over."
Other History of the Mead Wildlife Area....
?Paleo-Indian artifacts dating from as far back as 12,000 years ago have been found on what is now the Mead Wildlife Area. Archaeic Indian Hunters, Gatherers, and Fishermen, and Woodland Indians all used this area because of the abundance of wildlife and availability of plant foods.
In the 1600's, European fashion demanded furs. The Native Americans eagerly engaged in trade with new France in exchange for goods that transformed their lives. Little Eau Pleine trappers traded under the flags of three nations: France, (1650 to 1763), Englang, (1763 to 1816), and the United States, (1816 to 1850).
Soon after statehood in 1848, every stream and river north of what is now Stevens Point became a highway to the "pinery". White pines were floated to mills on the Wisconsin River. In 1870, railroads ushered in a forty-year logging boom on the Little Eau Pleine.
In 1933, with dreams of giant reservoirs in both the Big and Little Eau Pleine valleys, the Consolidated Water Power and Paper Company acquired the bottomlands. The Big Eau Pleine dam was built in 1936, but, because of opposition from conservationists and local residents, the Little Eau Pleine dam was never built. The Little Eau Plaine Reservoir would have covered 27,500 acres, making it the second largest lake in Wisconsin.
On April 10, 1959, Stanton Mead, President of Consolidated Paper Company, gifted 20,000 acres to the state of Wisconsin to be used for a wildlife refuge. It was named for his father, George W. Mead. The dedication was held on Teal Flowage, one mile north of Mead's education building.
The Geocache Notification Form 2500-118 has been submitted to Mead Wildlife Area
DNR Project Manager,
S 2148 County Highway S
Milladore, WI 54454
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Last Updated: on 10/6/2012 8:40:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time (3:40 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum