Winter Lyceum #3: The Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition of 1834
April 21 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Join local journalist and historian Kenyon Bennett to learn more about the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition at 2:30 at Orchard Lawn . A donation bucket for MPHS will be available.
More info from Kenyon Bennett:
The Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition of 1834, composed largely of the U.S. Dragoons,
was the U.S. military’s attempt to reduce animosities between different Native American nations
who warred against each other on the Great Plains and to promote safer passage for white traders
and others using the Santa Fe Trail or various feeder routes for commerce in the Midwest and
Southwest. Brigadier General Henry Leavenworth and Colonel Henry Dodge, whose name is
recognized locally today and was widely recognized in the 1830s and ‘40s in what is now known
as Wisconsin’s Lead Region, played pivotal roles as leaders during the expedition.
Learn about the expedition and its outcome during the final presentation of the Mineral
Point Historical Society’s Lyceum 2024 series April 21, 2:30 p.m.
The U.S. Mounted Rangers, the forerunner to the Dragoons, was formed during the Black
Hawk War of 1832. Dodge received a commission as major June 21, 1832, to lead his men.
Following the short war’s aftermath, Dodge and three of his six companies were stationed at Fort
Armstrong, Illinois, where some frontiersmen members developed unsavory reputations as being
drunken and disorderly. Congress quelled that and disbanded the Rangers in 1833.
Congress established the Dragoons March 2, 1833, and commissioned Dodge as colonel
and some of his select officers as part of the elitist group, destined to be a showpiece depicting
military power and prestige on the Great Plains. A partial intent was to intimidate Plains tribes
who might foster rebellion against the U.S.
The expedition experienced great adversity during summer 1834, including extended
weeks of blistering heat, unsanitary drinking water, and high rates of sickness and death among
the soldiers. Although Leavenworth died during the expedition, Dodge completed the mission.