After leaving Apple River Fort, being well supplied with provisions, the Indians moved leisurely toward the fort at Kellogg’s Grove, with the intention of taking it, as scouts had come in and reported that it was not very strongly garrisoned on the day previous to their arrival on the 23d of June. At this time the Illinois troops were rendezvoused at a place known as Fort Wilbourn on the Illinois river, at or near where now stands the city of LaSalle. What was then called the new levy, after Stillman’s defeat, were assembled there, numbering about three thousand men, being formed into military organizations consisting of three brigades. The first brigade was commanded by Gen. Alexander Posey. The second by Gen. M. K. Alexander, and the third by Gen. James D. Henry. Major John Dement, of Vandalia, was elected to the command of a spy battalion composed of three companies. Gen. Atkinson, of the United States Regulars, commanding, while these organizations were progressing.
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The Indians had made a raid on Bureau creek, situated between the Illinois and Rock rivers. John Dement had been chosen major by the members of three companies of Gen. Posey’s brigade, which was a spy battalion. The Major’s battalion being ready for duty when the news reached the fort of the attack upon the settles on Bureau creek, it was ordered to march at once to the scene of danger for protection of the settlers, and to discover and watch the movements of the Indians, if possible. The Major was ordered to scour the country through to Rock river, and then to report to Col. Zackary Taylor, who commanded a small force of United States troops at a small fortification at Dixon’s Ferry on Rock river.
On the 22d of June, 1832, Major Dement reached Colonel Taylor’s command, having performed the duties to which he was assigned by General Atkinson. On his arrival Colonel Taylor informed the Major that he had arrived at an opportune time, as he wished him to take his command, swim their horses across the river, and promptly occupy the country between his position and the Lead Mines at Galena, a distance of about sixty miles, with headquarters at Kellogg’s Grove, thirty-seven miles in the direction of Galena and Apple River Fort. There had been stationed at the grove two companies of Regulars, commanded by Major Riley, and three companies of Volunteers that had abandoned this position the day before the arrival of Major Dement, and left the country without protection and entirely unguarded. These troops had been engaged in two or three skirmishes with the Indians, and according to the reports of the soldiers, had been worsted in each. Major Dement’s command numbered one hundred and forty men, all told, not one of whom had ever seen any military experience, but they were men to be relied upon. They were citizen soldiers, brave and intelligent, equal to any emergency, and had no superiors in the service. This being an odd battalion, Major Dement was entitled to the staff of a Colonel. His staff was composed of Zadoc Casey, Paymaster; —— Anderson, Colonel Hicks, and others. The Captains of the companies, and the staff officers, were leading citizens, who had, at short warning, left their several avocations to engage in defending the country against the attacks of the Indians.