The Battle of Apple River Fort--June 24, 1832
A Story of the Women of the Fort.
The settlers had just made up a gooseberrying party, when 4 messengers from Galena arrived. They were attacked when they left, triggering the battle. All hastened within the fort.
On that fateful day, about 22 men and 23 women and children were in the fort when Blackhawk and 200 Braves attacked. Inside the men kept up a steady stream of fire, aided by the women, who molded musket balls and loaded weapons.
Of the women, three bore the name of Elizabeth. They were Elizabeth Von Volkenburg, Elizabeth Armstrong and Elizabeth Winters. During the entire fight the three Elizabeths kept busy running load. At a critical point, two of the women volunteered to creep away from the fort in the middle of the night to secure a chuck of lead from the vast store that nature in the neighborhood had provided. This daring feat was safely accomplished by Elizabeth Von Volkenburg and Rebecca Hitt, the young wife of Thaddeus Hitt. Delinda Boone, a grandaughter of Daniel Boone, was also in the fort during the battle.
After about an hour, Blackhawk, thinking the Fort heavily armed, abandoned the battle and moved on with the supplies they needed.
It is in honor of one of these Elizabeths that the village, a famous lead mining town with a history as old as that of Galena, is named. The Village of Elizabeth occupies one of the most beautiful locations in northern Illinois. It rests in a basin at the crest of hilltops and in turn is surrounded by other hills that tower to considerable heights. From some of the peaks of the hills the finest views of Illinois are seen.
What's in a name?
The Three Elizabeths Guest House is named in honor of several brave women, who fought in the Battle at Apple River Fort. As the story goes, there were three women named Elizabeth in the Fort that wet Sunday afternoon in 1832. Hence, each Guest Room bears the name of one of these Elizabeths: The Elizabeth Armstrong Suite, The Elizabeth Winters Guest Room and the Elizabeth Von Volkenburg Guest Room.
The story isn't complete without celebrating another hero on that fateful day. My Great, Great, Great Grandmother Rebecca had a unique contribution to the course of the story! In her honor, The Guest House's unique main floor space, Rebecca's Gathering Space, is available for special events.
Cheryl Rife, Proprietor
"God grant that America may never have greater cowards in her Armies than the ladies of the Apple River Fort."
From the Galenian July 4, 1832