There was consternation in the settlements down the valley at the news (which rumor did not fail to exaggerate) and Mather says that the people of Hadley were driven from a holy service by a most violent and sudden alarm.
It was this alarm which gave rise to one of those romantic legends with which history abounds for, in the midst of the panic-stricken people, a man, venerable and unknown, with long white beard, is said to have appeared and led them against the foe. It was the fugitive regicide, General Goffe.1
Historians have credited the legend because of the sanction it obtained from Governor Hutchinson,2 on the strength of some papers that were destroyed by a Boston mob just before the Revolution. Romantic as the story is it is certainly a myth, and arose from the fact that Goffe was in the village at that time, hiding in the house p104 of the Reverend Mr. Russell,3 but no record of this dramatic appearance exists in any contemporary letters or narratives. The alleged furious attack on Hadley, which made it necessary for Goffe to take command of the panic-stricken settlers, never occurred.4 No Indians were near, and when the town was actually attacked in the following spring it contained, unknown to the Indians, a force of nearly five hundred troops.
A few miles north of Deerfield, on the far frontier, lay the little settlement of Northfield.5 Some seventeen thatched cabins, a palisade of rough logs •eight feet high set upright in the ground and pierced with loopholes, and a log fort and church, composed this infant settlement born but three years before. A small garrison had been left here, but both settlers and troopers seem to have been careless of danger.
On the day following the attack on Deerfield, while the settlers and the troopers, ignorant of what had occurred down the valley, were working in the meadows, the Pocumtucks, reinforced by a band of Nashaways under Sagamore Sam and Monoco or "One-Eyed John," fell upon them. Some were killed in their houses, and a party p105 of men retreating at the alarm from the meadows, were shot down as they made their way toward the settlement. Women and children rushed to the stockaded inclosure and the surviving men held it safe against the rush of Indians, but the anxious people, more affected than those in Deerfield, had not only to contemplate the flames destroying their homes, but to mourn the loss of eight of their number.6
Even before this attack the commanders at Hadley, alarmed for the safety of the town, had determined to succor it and Captain Beers,7 in ignorance of the condition of affairs, left Hadley on the third day with thirty-six mounted men and an ox-team loaded with supplies, intending to make a forced march and enter the town at night. Progress was, however, slow, and the night fell while the little force was struggling through the woods, some four miles from its destination. Vague rumors of the attack or of the presence of Indians must have reached them, for at dawn the main guard left the horses under a small guard and pushed on.
Their way lay for some distance along the plateau until they reached what is now known as Sawmill Brook. Disregarding the lesson of Wenimisset and Wequomps, carelessly, without flankers or scouts thrown out, they turned and followed it as it fell away toward the valley. The leaves were thick upon the trees, the ground was covered p106 with rank growth of grass and bush, while the trees shut out the sunlight and cast the trail in deep shadow. Following the left bank of the brook they came finally to where the path following a depression offered a fordable crossing.
Here, concealed in front and along the steep bank above the stream the Indians had laid their ambuscade, and into it, unconscious of danger, marched Beers and his men. They were in the act of crossing the brook when a murderous volley smote them in van and rear. Thrown at first into confusion they finally rallied and fought their way out of the ravine and up to the high ground. The Indians were pressing them hard and many of their number were down, but the rest fought desperately on, and, after an ineffectual stand upon the plain, the remnant finally gained a position in a small ravine •three-quarters of a mile away. Here, upon the southern spur of what is now known as Beers' Mountain, fell Beers and most of his men.8 That evening, the guard left with the horses, and the survivors of the main body, staggered wearily into Hadley.9 Hubbard gives the number of Indians in the fight as many hundreds; Temple and Sheldon with more accuracy place them at about one hundred and forty.
The Indians, replenishing their ammunition from the cart, got drunk from the keg of rum which was one of p107 the spoils of their victory. The ox-cart abandoned in the retreat is said to have remained upon the field for many years thereafter, and one hundred and fifty years later two Northfield men digging by a rough stone where Beers was said to have been buried came upon the crumbled remnants of his body.
Several of Beers' men were captured, one of whom, Robert Pepper10 of Roxbury, was succored by Sagamore Sam and accompanied him on a visit to Philip near Albany in the winter. He fell in with Mrs. Rowlandson during her captivity and finally made his way home having been not unkindly treated.
Major Treat11 with ninety mounted troopers marching up the valley by way of Westfield with instructions to use his own good judgment and to press forward to such towns where he might be directed to quarter,12 had reached Northampton when the reports of the refugees from Beers' defeat and the dark fate which seemed about to threaten the frontier towns caused him to set out early the next morning, Sunday, September 6th, with one hundred men. Darkness fell upon them before they could reach their destination and they camped in the woods, p108 probably on the site of Beers' camp. The trail led them across the line of Beers' retreat and they saw with horror, stuck up on poles along the traveled path, the heads of many of the slain. Treat found the Northfield people safe within the stockade but worn out with constant anxiety. No Indians had been seen along the way, but as the settlers were burying the body of one of their number killed on the second, they were fired upon by lurking foes, and Treat himself was wounded.
Place of Beers'º Defeat, Northfield, Massachusetts
The service of burying the dead was given over and it was determined to abandon Northfield immediately.13 That night, accompanied by the settlers, the whole force marched away leaving the standing crops and all their belongings save horses and a few cattle, at the mercy of the Indians, and fire soon wiped out the once flourishing settlement. Treat's troopers, convoying the settlers, made their toilsome way down the valley, but though strongly reinforced on the march by Appleton, who urged Treat to return with him and make some spoil upon the enemy, the retreat was continued, the forces entering Hadley in a state of demoralization.14 The fear of ambush, into which almost every force had walked and suffered, the constant strain of watching for lurking foes, the sight of those ghastly heads along the way and the decomposing bodies in the meadow, had completely unnerved them. Under these conditions a council of war held at Hadley on the 8th decided to give up operations in the field and garrison the towns. Treat also received orders from the p109 Connecticut Council to return, scouring both banks of the river on his way down.15
With the abandonment of Northfield the plan of operations had fallen through and the fertile lands and fishing grounds in the upper valley came into possession of the Indians. The bad news made clear to the authorities both in Connecticut and Massachusetts that all the towns along the frontier were in serious danger. The settlers were ordered not to go into the fields to harvest except in companies. Patrols were sent out along the roads and all able-bodied men not in the field were organized into companies "to keep watch and ward by night and day." Henchman and Brattle were sent from Boston to protect the country around Chelmsford, Groton and Lancaster, and preparations were made to reorganize the forces in the valley and increase their numbers. Appleton was sent to garrison Deerfield, but the Connecticut Council, on the decision of the council of war to give up active operations in the field, recalled all the Connecticut contingent with the exception of small garrisons at Westfield and Springfield. They were urgent for active preparations and their views finally prevailed. The Commissioners of the United Colonies on the 16th of September recalled the former orders and ordered new forces to be levied.16 Major Pynchon was appointed commander-in‑chief and Connecticut named Treat for second in command. Bolder council had prevailed at Hadley in the meantime. Captain John Mason17 of Connecticut with p110 a large body of Mohegans was already on the march, and Pynchon at Hadley was preparing to move when the Indians assumed the offensive.
Deerfield was greatly exposed and from the neighboring hills every movement in the village could be seen. On the 12th as some twenty men of the garrison were passing from one garrison house to another to attend meeting, they were attacked from ambuscade, but repelled the attack without loss. The north fort, however, was plundered and a sentinel, one Nathaniel Cornbury, on duty, was captured and never heard from. Two houses were burnt and a large quantity of pork and beef fell into the hands of the Pocumtucks.18
The next night volunteers from Northampton and Hadley reinforced Captain Appleton,19 who was in command, and the whole force marched to the Indian encampment on Pine Hill but found it deserted. Reinforcements were marching into the valley in the meantime, for Captain Moseley had arrived at Deerfield on his return from the east, and on the same day Major Treat, with the Connecticut p111 forces and a body of Mohegans, reached Northampton.
The ripened corn in the Deerfield north meadows had been stacked, but still offered as it stood in the field a tempting prize to the Indians, with whom winter was ever a season of more or less semi-starvation. The troops now pouring into Hadley from all directions would need a large supply of food, and Major Pynchon, September 15th, ordered Captain Lathrop, who was scouting around Deerfield in company with Moseley, to load the grain in sacks and convey it down the valley. Moseley had been beating the country for several days and had discovered no considerable force of Indians, and the road seemed clear when in the early morning of the 18th, Lathrop with his company of young men from Essex County, accompanied by seventeen Deerfield settlers as teamsters, set out for Hadley.
Down the street of the village, across the south meadows, up Bars' long hill and over the plain, they took their way, marching but slowly, for the heavy laden teams moved with difficulty over the rough road. The day was warm, and Lathrop without interference saw many of his men cast their arms upon the carts and stop to pluck the bunches of ripe wild grapes that grew abundantly along the way. No scouts marched in front of the force, no flankers searched the woods that lay on either side; careless of danger, unmindful of the lessons taught so constantly throughout the last two months, they marched at their ease. Little did they suspect that while they had slept the night before, a large body of warriors, Pocumtucks, Nonatucks, Nashaways and Squakheags, under Sagamore Sam, Monoco, Muttaump and possibly Philip, p112 had crossed the river and now lay waiting for the careless English along the edge of a morass six miles south of Deerfield, where the road with a gentle fall passes over a marsh made by the waters of Muddy (ever since called Bloody) Brook.
Deerfield North Meadows
Lathrop and the main body came carelessly on, straggled across the brook and halted on the farther side20 to wait for the teams to drag their heavy loads through the mire. Then the bushes burst into flame and a volley smote them. Many fell, Lathrop probably among the first. Some of the survivors rushed back to the wagons for their arms, while others, paralyzed with fear and surprise, stood still and were immediately shot down. The whole force was deep in the toils and retreat or advance were alike impossible.
Henry Bodwell of Andover, a man of great strength and courage, clubbing his musket, fought his way out, and John Tappan of Newbury, wounded in the leg, threw himself into the bed of the brook and, pulling the bushes over him, escaped the notice of the savages, though more than one of them stepped upon him as he lay hid. For the greater number there was no escape. The seventeen teamsters died to a man among their sacks, and the whole escort, save for a few stragglers in the rear, was destroyed.21
It was the saddest day in the early history of New England. Fifty-four young men "the flower of Essex p113 County," and nearly half of the male population of Deerfield, had been wiped out.
Moseley, with some sixty men, was scouting near Deerfield when the sound of the heavy firing fell upon his ear. He pushed on rapidly only to see the victorious warriors ripping open the grain sacks and plundering the dead. "Come on, Moseley, come on. You want Indians. Here are enough Indians for you," they shouted;22 and it is said he recognized many Christian Indians among them. Keeping his force well together he charged through them, but several of his men fell and he could not drive them from their plunder. His force in turn would have fared ill had not Major Treat, with one hundred Connecticut men and sixty Mohegans, marching toward Northfield, been attracted by the firing and relieved him as evening fell.
The Indians were driven from the field, but darkness was now settling down, and Treat and Moseley, leaving the dead where they had fallen, took up their wounded and retired sadly to Deerfield. On the following day, Sunday, returning to the battlefield, they drove off the Indians, who had returned to strip the slain, and buried the bodies of the seventy-one victims of Lathrop's ill-fated force and Moseley's men who had fallen, to the south of the morass.
Hubbard eulogizes Moseley's course in keeping his men together instead of stationing them behind trees, and blames Lathrop for not having led his men in the same way. The real faults, however, of the English commanders p114 lay in their continual neglect of the simplest precautions against surprise. It was not because of Moseley's dispositions that he escaped the fate of Lathrop but because circumstances rendered an ambuscade in his case impossible. With the natural exaggeration of a defeated party the loss of the Indians was placed at ninety. The figure is purely fanciful.
Bloody Brook, South Deerfield, Massachusetts
The defeat of the 18th sealed the fate of Deerfield. Amidst the anxiety and depression caused by the annihilation of Lathrop's command came the disheartening news that the northern tribes, provoked by harsh treatment and encouraged by the successes of the southern Indians, were harrying the remote settlements from the Merrimac to Pemaquid with fire and sword. On that remote frontier, where the enforcement of law was weakened by divided claims to ownership, and the rough character of many of the population, the Indians had much to complain of. Their people had been kidnapped and sold into slavery, they had been plundered and abused, while Moseley's conduct and the actions of the English settlers had convinced them that it was as dangerous to be a friend as a foe since the same punishment was meted out to both. Squando, sachem of the Saco Indians, had once been a friend of the English, but a brutal outrage committed against his wife and child had made him an implacable enemy who had long bided his time. It had come now, and the day that witnessed Lathrop's defeat saw also the murder of English settlers and the destruction of their homes at Casco.
At Deerfield, the victorious Indians flaunted from across the river, in the faces of the garrison, the garments of the slain at Bloody Brook, and soon its remaining inhabitants p115 were scattered in the towns to the south; the Indian's torch wiped out the empty dwellings and the fertile valley was left in desolation. The defeat meant more than the mere abandonment of a thriving hamlet; it brought the frontier down to Hatfield and Hadley and completely upset the plan to make Northfield the headquarters of the Connecticut troops for active operations down the valley in co-operation with the force assembled at Hadley. The Indians, flushed with success, were threatening all the settlements in the valley with destruction. Expedition after expedition had been lured into ambush and defeated with heavy loss, and no effective blow had been struck in return.
The commissioners of the colonies at Boston acted vigorously and a new levy of men was ordered. Major Pynchon23 of Springfield, as commander-in‑chief in the valley, wished to garrison the towns by a force sufficient to insure their safety, while a considerable force of mounted men and Indian scouts should strike at the hostiles wherever they could be found. "The English are awkward and fearful in scouting," he wrote to the Council, but "they would do the best they could. We have no Indian friends here to help us."24
p116 The commissioners bade him denude the towns of their garrisons and send every available man to active service in the field. In issuing hampering orders to the captains in the field they bent to popular prejudice against the employment of friendly Indians. This was their fatal error; without Indian auxiliaries the troops were well-nigh helpless and no aggressive campaign possible.
No better opportunity could have been afforded the fast-moving tribesmen. Avoiding the columns in search of them and refusing all open conflict, they hovered near the settlements, shooting the unwary settlers who ventured out to till their fields, or lay in wait around the columns to cut off stragglers and scouts. A house and mill of Major Pynchon on the west side of the river25 at Springfield, were burned on the 26th, and two days later two Northampton settlers were killed while cutting wood.26 "The Indians cut off their scalps, took their arms, and were gone in a trice."
Site of Pynchon's Mill and House
On Stony Brook, Suffield, Connecticut
It was not until the 4th of October that Major Pynchon, having assembled a large force at Springfield, set out to join the troops already at Hadley. It was his intention, having collected the army at that point, to leave before daybreak on the following morning and attack a large force of Indians who were reported encamped about five miles to the north. The sachems, however, had their p117 own plans and the fact that Springfield was denuded of troops was well known among them.
On Long Hill, just below the town, near the river bank, there had been for many years a village of the Agawams. It had existed when the first settlers of Springfield selected the site for their town, and its inhabitants had lived on friendly terms with the settlers for forty years. The disquiet and suspicions of the other tribes had, however, not failed of an effect upon these old neighbors, and Major Pynchon had informed the Connecticut Council that he intended to disarm them, but the Council suggested hostages,27 whose delivery the Indians delayed. The departure of the troops from Springfield gave them an opportunity of which they were not slow to take advantage. They had been harboring now for some time wandering parties of hostiles, and a deadly blow might have been inflicted upon the unsuspicious settlement had not the plot been revealed by Toto, an Indian employed by an English settler at Windsor.28 Noticing his uneasiness during the evening they pressed him for the cause and finally wrung the secret from him. The night was already far spent and the fate of Springfield hung on the minutes. Messengers riding in hot haste sped to Springfield, knocking fiercely in the darkness at the doors of the silent houses to awake the sleeping inmates. The settlers at once took shelter in the three fortified houses,29 and messengers p118 were sent in haste to the forces at Hadley for reinforcements.
The night passed without attack, confidence revived, and some of the people returned to their homes. Lieutenant Cooper, who was well known to the Indians, and put little faith in the reports of the hostile attitude of the Agawams, determined to go down to the Indian fort with constable Miller30 and investigate. They had gone but a short distance toward their destination, however, when they were shot at from the woods near Mill River "by those bloody and deceitful monsters." Miller was instantly killed, but Cooper, shot through the body, managed to keep his saddle until he reached the nearest garrison house, where he fell from his horse dead. The Indians p119 following closely behind, tried to rush the garrisons. One savage advanced, sheltering himself behind a large pewter plate, but two bullets pierced it and he fell.31 Several others were shot, and, finding their attempt at a surprise a failure, the rest withdrew. A woman and two settlers had been killed,32 and thirty-two houses (including "saddest to behold the house of Rev. Peletiah Glover furnished with a brave library newly brought back from the garrison and now made fit for a bonfire for the proud insulting enemy") and "not even a bible saved," these and twenty-five barns were in flames by the time Major Treat, marching from Westfield, reached the west bank of the river which he was prevented from crossing by the fierce fire of the Indians.
Late in the afternoon came Major Pynchon and the companies of Captains Sill33 and Appleton, who, hearing in the early morning that an attack was contemplated, had ridden furiously from Hadley to the relief with two hundred men. The enemy, however, had retired to Indian Orchard34 and escaped punishment, all save an old p120 squaw taken prisoner, who, if we are to believe Moseley, "was ordered to be torn in pieces by doggs and was so dealt withall." The number of Indians concerned in the attack was variously estimated at from 100 to 500. Rev. John Russell of Hadley gives the former figure which, if correct, is evidence that few beside the Agawam or Springfield Indians were concerned.
Discouragement and gloom settled heavily upon men's minds when the news from Springfield became known. Large quantities of provisions had been destroyed; a town, the most important and the most removed from danger in the upper valley had been devastated, and its inhabitants, but for a warning at the eleventh hour, had been massacred. "The Lord will have us in the dust before him," wrote Pynchon sadly to Rev. John Russell. Months of warfare, the sacrifice of valuable lives, the levying of large bodies of troops, and the expenditure of considerable sums of money, all seemed to have been in vain. The field of operations was spreading over a wider area, while the Indians, their numbers augmented by wandering bands from the northern tribes and from villages formerly neutral, were encouraged by their successes to fiercer aggressions.
Men sought to evade military service and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up the companies in the field to their full complement,35 and the reports sent to the Connecticut Council of the captures of old men, women and children by the Mohegans operating from Norwich, offered but little compensation for the disasters elsewhere.
p121 Major Pynchon had, as before noticed, taken issue with the plan of campaign worked out by the commissioners at Boston. He had repeatedly urged upon them the danger of leaving the towns ungarrisoned while the troops followed the fast-moving warriors into the thickets. "To speak my thoughts all these ought to be garrisoned. To go out after the Indians unless we know where they keep is to hazard our men," he wrote.36 He urgently asked again to be relieved of his command, which he had never desired. "I would not," he had written some time before, "willingly sin against God nor offend you, and I entreat you to ease me of my (trust)." "Pursue and destroy," they had replied, expressing their confidence in him.
The attack on Springfield strengthened Pynchon's dissatisfaction with the plan of the commissioners. An estimable man and magistrate he was fitted neither by nature nor training for a military command. He felt helpless and worried over the conduct of the campaign, the loss inflicted upon Springfield and the care of its destitute people weighed heavily upon his mind; and now, p122 for the third time, he requested that he be relieved from command. He wrote that he was still opposed to the policy of the commissioners, felt his own unfitness for command and must devolve the command to Appleton unless Treat, who had been summoned away to Connecticut by the report of a body of Indians having been seen near Wethersfield, returned.
The request conveyed in his former letter had already been granted and Captain Appleton had been appointed October 4th to succeed him. He, too, shared Pynchon's view as to the need of garrisoning the towns and urged upon the Council the advisability of leaving the question discretionary with the commander, and complained of Treat's long absence,37 but the Council held firm to their original plan and Appleton reached Hadley on the night of the 12th to begin operations in the field, having left small garrisons in certain of the towns despite the orders of the Council. A few days later he again writes to the Massachusetts authorities. He knows not when Treat will return, the scouts are timorous and accomplish little and he finds it difficult to know what to do. He realizes, too, both the strength and weakness of the commissioners' position in regard to active operations. "To leave no garrisons and concentrate all for active service in the field, is to expose the towns to manifest hazard. To sit still and do nothing is to tire us and spoil our soldiers and ruin the country by the unsupportable burden and charge."38
p123 Dissatisfaction and dissension made his task difficult from the start, for a conflict of opinions had existed for some time between the Massachusetts and Connecticut officers. Summoning Moseley and Seeley from their posts at Hartford and Northampton, October 15th, in order to concentrate his troops for the offensive, the latter came tardily and alone and, pleading lack of orders, was with difficulty persuaded to bring in his troops. On his return to Northampton, finding orders from Treat not to leave the town, he notified Appleton, who felt himself powerless to enforce his commands, for, though the commissioners of the United Colonies had made the Connecticut force part of the confederate army and taken it out of the control of the Connecticut authorities, the commissioners were not present and Appleton lacked the strength of character to arbitrarily enforce their decrees.
Alarmed by the report of Indians having been seen near Glastonbury, the Connecticut Council had recalled Treat and the greater part of the Connecticut forces to Hartford, and information from Governor Andros of New York that an Indian, pretending to be friendly, had warned him that the hostiles intended to attack Hartford "this light moon,"39 caused them to retain the troops until the middle of the month. "We have news of the recalling of Major Treat from you with a great part of the Connecticut men, and the disobedience of those who were left behind," wrote the Council of Massachusetts to Appleton, and they bade him organize garrisons and security for the towns and prepare the force for return, p124 for the burden of providing for so many men, lack of provisions and the need of men elsewhere were heavy upon them.40
1 Major-General William Goffe was the son of Rev. Stephen Goffe of Stammer, County Sussex, England. He was a member of the pretended High Court of Justice selected by a minority of the Long Parliament to sentence Charles I to death. Compelled to flee for safety he arrived at Boston, July 27, 1660, and in February following went to New Haven in company with his fellow judge and father-in‑law, Lieutenant-General Edward Whalley. They lived in concealment in and near New Haven for some time, but in October, 1664, they took up their residence with the Rev. Mr. Russell at Hadley; Goffe outlived Whalley a number of years and died probably in Hartford, Conn., about 1679.
2 Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, Vol. I, page 219.
3 Rev. John Russell graduated from Harvard College in 1645, and was ordained about 1649 as pastor of the church in Wethersfield, Conn., where he remained until the settlement of Hadley, 1659 or 1660, when he removed thither and was pastor of the church there until his death December 10, 1692. — Judd's History of Hadley.
4 New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. XXVIIII, page 379. Researches of the well-known antiquarian of the Connecticut Valley, Honorable George Sheldon.
5 The original settlement of Northfield lay, as does the present village, on the plateau separated from the Connecticut River by a broad stretch of fertile meadow. The stockade and fort were at the south end of the village and their site is marked by a monument.
6 Rev. Solomon Stoddard to Rev. Increase Mather. — Mather's Brief History.
7 Captain Richard Beers was made freeman at Watertown, March 9, 1637. He served in the Pequot war. He was representative to the General Court from Watertown from 1663 to 1675, and was for thirty-one years selectman of the town, holding both offices at the time of the breaking out of Philip s war. — Bodge, page 127. Savage.
8 Sawmill Brook crossed the path or trail to the southward about a mile from the stockade, while the level plain on which Beers made his desperate stand, borders the brook on the south. The point at which the stand was made is indicated by a suitable monument and is little more than half a mile south of the brook, near the foot of what is now known as Beer'sº Mountain.
9 Temple and Sheldon's History of Northfield, pages 73‑77.
10 James Quannapohit's Relation. A full copy may be found in the Connecticut Archives, War Doc. 35b.
11 Major Robert Treat settled in Milford, Conn., when a young man, going thither from Wethersfield. He early became captain of the trainband of Milford. In 1672 he was placed in command of the New Haven colony forces. In September, after the outbreak of Philip's war, he was commissioned as commander-in‑chief of the Connecticut military forces and served actively until after the death of Philip. On his return home he was elected Deputy Governor and afterwards Governor. He died in Milford, July 13, 1710. — Genealogy of the Treat Family, by J. Harvey Treat.
12 Connecticut Records, Vol. II, page 357.
13 Letter of Rev. Solomon Stoddard to Rev. Increase Mather. — Mather's Brief History.
14 Hubbard says the majority of Treat's force decided against Appleton's proposal. — Vol. I, page 112.
15 Connecticut Records, Vol. II, page 359.
16 Connecticut Records, Vol. II, page 367. Letter from Commissioners of the United Colonies to Governor and Council of Connecticut.
17 Captain John Mason of Norwich, son of the famous Major John, was freeman 1671, representative 1672 and 1674. He was a merchant. Served as a captain in Philip's war and was severely wounded at the Narragansett Swamp fight, December 19, 1675. He was chosen an assistant in May, 1676, but the 18th of September following, died of his wounds. — Savage.
18 Sheldon's History of Deerfield, Vol. I, page 99.
19 Samuel Appleton was born in Waddingfield, England, in 1624. At eleven years of age he came with his father and settled in Ipswich. He was many times chosen representative to the General Court before and after the war. His commission as captain was issued September 24, 1675, although at that time he had been in active duty in the Connecticut Valley several weeks. Soon after the Narragansett fight he retired from the military service and assumed his duties as deputy until 1681, when he was chosen an assistant and remained in that office until the coming of Andros in 1686. He died May 15, 1696. — Bodge, page 142.
20 Hoyt's Indian Wars, page 106.
21 A letter of the Massachusetts Council to Richard Smith gives the loss as, teamsters, 17, Lathrop's company, 41, and Moseley's men, 11. — Massachusetts Archives, Vol. LXVII, page 262.
The Rev. John Russell says 71.
22 Drake's Book of the Indians, Vol. III, page 216.
23 Major John Pynchon was born in England in 1621. He was the only son of William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, and when the father returned to England in 1652, succeeded to his affairs and was elected in his place as magistrate. He was an officer of the trainband and later major of the local cavalry troop. He took an active part in King Philip's war, having the command of the entire army in the valley, until after the destruction of Springfield, when his request to be relieved of his command was granted. He died January 17, 1703. — First Century of the History of Springfield, by Henry M. Burt, page 625.
24 Letter of Major Pynchon to Governor and Council. — Massachusetts Archives (September 30), vol. 67, page 274.
25 The house and mill of Major Pynchon "on the west side of the river," were located on Stony Brook in what is now Suffield, Conn., but then a part of Springfield territory, about half a mile above its entrance into the Connecticut River.
26 Praisever Turner and Unzakaby Shakspere were cutting wood just back of Turner's house when attacked, near what is now the corner of Elm Street and Paradise Road.
27 Connecticut Records, Vol. II, page 356.
28 Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, Vol. I, page 295.
29 It is generally thought that the well-known brick house of Major John Pynchon, which stood until 1831 on the corner of what is now known as Main and Fort Streets, was the principal fortified house of the town, but there is reason for doubting this. The common belief that the brick house was erected in 1661 appears to be based upon the record of an order from John Pynchon to Francis Hacklington of Northampton for 50,000 bricks, but what seems to be good proof of a later date for the building of the house appears in the records where, on June 3, 1678, a period of more than wish after the destruction of the town, Pynchon desires leave of the selectmen "to set up a flanker in the street at the east end of his new house now building, on the north side of his home lot." As it is known that Pynchon built no house subsequent to the erection of the brick edifice, it leaves little room for doubt that the fortified house used as a refuge during the war, was the frame dwelling built in the earliest days by William Pynchon, inherited and occupied by his son, Major John. See Selectmen's Records (MSS.), Vol. II, page 131.
Of the other fortified houses one was the house of Jonathan Burt which stood near the southwest corner of the present Main and Broad Streets, and the third was the well-known "Ely Tavern," built about 1665 and then located on Main a little south of Bliss Street. This was removed about 1843 to Dwight Street a few rods west of State, where it remained until 1900 when it was pulled down on account of its unsafe condition. See Bi-Centennial Address by Hon. Oliver B. Morris, 1836.
30 Thomas Miller was constable and surveyor of highways. His son Thomas took part in the Falls fight the next spring, May 19th, and the John Miller who was killed in the same fight was probably his son.
31 Hoyt's Indian Wars, page 110.
32 Pentecost Matthews, the wife of John, was killed at her home •a quarter of a mile north of the Burt garrison. Edmund Pryngrydays and Nathaniel Brown were severely wounded and both died soon afterwards.
33 Captain Joseph Sill was born in Cambridge about 1639. He was called into military life early in King Philip's war and served almost continually in important times and places, in the campaign of 1675 in the Connecticut Valley. He was removed by the General Court of Massachusetts from his command, in October, for offensive conduct; later he was conspicuous in the eastern towns. Some time after the close of the war he removed to Lyme, Conn., where he died August 6, 1696.
34 A locality on the Chicopee River six miles east of Springfield. Now a busy manufacturing village in the Eighth Ward of Springfield.
35 Secretary Rawson to Major Pynchon, September 30.
36 Letter of Pynchon to Governor and Council October 8. — Massachusetts Archives, Vol. LXVII, page 287.
Note.— The correspondence in regard to the attack on Springfield and events in the valley during the last of September and early October will be found in the Massachusetts Archives:
|Maj. Pynchon to Gov. and Council,||Sept.||30||Vol. 67, page 274.|
|Gov. and Council to Maj. Pynchon,||Sept.||30||Vol. 67, page 270.|
|Gov. and Council to Maj. Pynchon,||Oct.||4||Vol. 67, page 280.|
|Maj. Pynchon to Rev. John Russell,||Oct.||5||Vol. 67, page 283.|
|Rev. John Russell to Gov. Leverett,||Oct.||6||Vol. 67, page 289.|
|Letters of Maj. Pynchon To Gov. Leverett,||Oct.||8‑12||Vol. 67, page 287‑290.|
|Capt. Moseley to Gov. Leverett,||Oct.||5||Vol. 68, page 17.|
37 Appleton to Governor Leverett, October 12. — Massachusetts Archives, Vol. LXVIII, page 3.
38 Appleton to Governor Leverett, October 17. — Massachusetts Archives, Vol. LXVIII, page 23.
39 Connecticut Records, Vol. II, page 377. — Governor Andros to Connecticut Council.
40 Massachusetts Colony Records, Vol. V, page 53.
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King Philip's War
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