Captain Daniel Boultinghouse’s eyes scanned the horizon for any movement. The prairie grass was tall, and sometimes obscured his view. He was cautious. He had met this enemy before.
It was September, 1814. America was at war with Britain and with their allies. He and his company had been called up by the executive order of Governor Edwards. They were to protect the settlers from Indian raiders. Daniel had another conflict with this issue: his son Joseph had been murdered by the Indians a year earlier.
Born in Pennsylvania, Daniel had moved across the territories of the Scioto River Valley (Ohio), across Indiana, and finally into the Illinois territory. In Edwards County, he could set up farming and making a home for his large family. Having livestock in the vast pasture land was part of his homestead. He placed his son Joseph in charge of the herd. Later, Indians killed him and mutilated his body which his father found after his dog came home without the son. Such conflict ravished his heart and soul…avenge the death or peacefully run off the natives. The decision would be made by executive order of the Governor to form a military company. So, Daniel and his company patrolled the prairies until December of 1814. They kept settlers safe. The War was over.
Three years later in 1817, Daniel came across a band of natives and spied his son’s horse among the others. Would he exact his revenge, or be a man of peace? His decision and actions left no native witnesses. The conflict was finally over.
Ferguson, Gilliam. Illinois in the War of 1812. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2012.
History of White County, Illinois; page 453, Daniel Boultinghouse