Three American gunboats were heading up the Mississippi River with military supplies for Fort Shelby at present day Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. One of the boats had 42 people in it, including soldiers of the 1st U.S. Infantry regiment and their families. The other two had 66 United States Rangers.
The Indians attacked and forced the Americans to turn back. The Americans lost eight killed in the 1st U.S. Infantry and sixteen wounded. Four Rangers were killed and eight wounded.
This defeat helped the Sauk Indians to maintain control over the Quad City area (Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois) for almost twenty more years.
The Campbell's Island State Memorial was dedicated in 1908.