King Phillip's War part 3

Blue Gray Line

Brief History of King Philip's War by George M. Bodge (George Madison) 1841 to 1914
Printed Privately at Boston, 1891

Part 3    p. 5 to 6

The trial was in March, 1675 and the principal actor,
Tobias and his accomplice, Mattashunannamoo were execut-
ed as murderers, June 8, 1675; while Tobias's son, who
was present but took no part in the crime, was reprieved
for one month and then shot.  After the execution of the
two in June, Philip threw off all disguise as to his plan,
and pushed his preparations as diligently as possible.
The plan had been to complete preparations as and in-
clude all the tribes in New England, so that a simultan-
eous assault could be made upon all the settlements at
once.  This plan was spoiled, and probably the settle-
ments saved from destruction, by the impatience of the
leader's vengeance.  While Philip's preparations went
forward, the authorities thought best not to make any
immediate military demonstration further than the placing
of a guard by the various settlements to prevent a sur-
prise.  They thought Philip would soon tire of holding
his men in arms and training, so that they could get him
in their power.  But his company increased and the
younger warriors began to demand some open act of hostil-

At last they began not only to insult the English settlers
in the nearest settlements, by their words of insolence
and threats, but to shoot their cattle and plunder their
houses.  The Indians increased greatly in numbers from
the neighboring tribes, many "strange Indians" appearing
among them, and most of their women and children being
sent away to the Narraganset country.  At Swansy they
appeared in considerable numbers and used all their ways
of provocation to induce some act of resistance from the
settlers; and at last, upon June 24th one man was so
enraged at the shooting of his cattle and the attempt
to rifle his house that he shot at an Indian, wounding
him.  Upon this the Indians began open and indiscrimin-
ate hostility and on that day eight or nine of the Eng-
lish at Swansy were killed and others wounded.  Two men
were sent for a surgeon, but were waylaid and slain, and
their bodies left upon the road.  Messengers sent from
the English authorities to treat with Philip and prevent
an outbreak came upon the bodies of the men slain in the
highway and speedily turned back.  The colonies awoke
to the fact that an Indian war was upon them, but
supposed that a few companies sent down to Swansy would
at least overawe the savages and reduce them to sub-
mission.  A speedy muster was made both at Plymouth and
Boston and on the afternoon of June 26th five companies
were mustering or on the march from the two colonies.

The details of the account of the war will be found in
the body of the preceding chapters. Here only a brief
outline of the current events can be given.  The first
company of infantry from Boston was made up from the
regular military companies of the town.  A company of
cavalry, or "troopers" was gathered from the regular
organizations in three counties.  A third company of
"volunteers" was raised about the town and vicinity,
from all sorts of adventurers, sea-faring men and
stangers, with a number of prisoners who had been con-
victed of piracy and condemned to death, but were now
released to engage in fighting the Indians.  Capt.
Daniel Henchman commanded the first company; Capt. Thomas
Prentice the troopers, and Capt. Samuel Mosely the
"volunteers".   These three companies marched out of
Boston on the 26th and 27th and arrived at Swansy on the
28th, having formed a junction with the Plymouth forces
under Major James Cudworth and Capt. Fuller.  The forces
quartered about the house of Rev. John Miles, the minist-
er at Swansy, whose place was nearest the bridge leading
over the river into Philip's dominions.  Some of the
troopers that evening rode across the bridge and had a
slight skirmish with the enemy.  On the 29th Major Thomas
Savage arrived with another company of foot with Capt.
Nicholas Paige's troop.  Major Savage took command of
the Massachusetts forces; while, according to the custom
in the United Colonies, the senior officer of the colony
in which the forces were engaged at the time became
commander-in-chief.  The present seat of war being in
Plymouth colony, Major Cudworth was thus the commander
of the whole army.  On June 30th the troopers, supported
by Mosely's company, charged across the bridge for a
mile into the woods, driving the enemy before them into
swamps, with a loss of five or six.  Ensign Perez Savage
being severely wounded on the English side.  This charge
so frightened the Indians that they fled in the night,
out of their peninsula of Mount Hope, across the channel
to Pocasset, now Tiverton, R.I. so that on the next day
when the whole force marched over into Mount Hope, and
marched back and forth sweeping the country with their
lines, they found no enemy.  The forces wer engaged
several days in scouting the neighboring country in
search of the Indians, not yet knowing that the main
body were in Pocasset.

Then orders came from Boston for Major Savage's forces
to march into Narraganset to enforce a treaty with that
powerful tribe, and prevent their junction with Philip.
They found the country apparently deserted, few except
the very aged being left in any of the villages.  Neither
Canonchet nor any of his leading Sachems could be found.
The officers, however, spent several days completing
a very ceremonious treaty with some of the old men whom
they were able to bring together.  Canonchet afterwards
treated the whole matter with scorn as being a farce.

In the meantime, the Plymouth forces passed over to
Pocasset and found a body of Indians and had a skirmish
with them. Capt. Fuller was in command and Benjamin
Church conducted a part of the force, which became en-
gaged with a much larger force, and after hard fighting
were drawn off with difficulty by the tact and courage
of Mr. Church, after inflicting serious injury upon the
enemy, and suffering little loss themselves.  After this
the Indians retired into the swamps about Pocasset and
were held at bay until the return of the Massachusetts
forces; when all marched together for concerted action
against their enemies.

To be continued  Part 4  p. 7 to 8 

Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
Blue Gray Line

Rod Bigelow

8 Prospect Circle
Massena, N.Y. 13662 Rod Bigelow at SLIC 
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