KING PHILIP'S WAR
Chapter 2, Part III
In old Boston Tax-lists, 1674, the names Austin, Hands, Horton, Decro and Woodmott appear as Alliston, Hams, Hortman, Splandy decro, Woodnet. A petition of John Stevens (Archives, vol. 67) states that he was "shot in the arm" in this service.
In the Archives, vol. 68, page 198, there is a petition from Samuel Holman saying that his servant Edward Sampson went out to Mt. Hope under Captain Mosely, and complains that , "instruments of chirurgery of his have been prest for the use of Moseley's chirurgeon, and afterwards a whole box of the same for Doctor Wells when he went to Narragansett, which are now delivered to Dr. Gerrish." Then himself prest to go out under Capt. Wadsworth, had to send his said servant, costing him ś14, and then his servant was put under Capt. Turner.
I find that several of the names are credited with service under other captains. Thus, John Cross has credit under Henchman, September 14, George Burkback (Burbeck, Berbeck), September 3 and October 19, under Lieut. Brattle. William Brooks under Prentice, August 27. Several are credited as "guards," and may have been in service as scouts and guides, and so credited under the captains with whom each service was rendered. With these exceptions I think the above, together with some others whose names are now lost, undoubtedly made up the motley company of "Volunteers" with which Capt. Mosely marched out of Boston, probably early in the morning of June 27th, and overtook the troops of Henchman and Prentice, waiting for them at "Woodcock's," in the afternoon; and then all marched on and arrived at Swanzy, and quartered at Mr. Miles's Garrison-House close to the bridge leading to Mount Hope. Gen. Cudworth of the Plymouth forces was commander-in-chief. The reports of the events immediately following their arrival are somewhat conflicting. Some account of the general movement of the troops has been given in the former chapter.
If any one reads only the "Old Indian Chronicle" aforesaid, it will seem as if Capt. Mosely was the only officer engaged, and that his men did all the fighting; but the accounts therein were the first undigested rumors that came back from the army, and are not confirmed by Hubbard, or Church, or Mather. The action of the troopers on the afternoon of the 28th belongs to the next chapter. on Capt. Prentice. The repulse they received greatly elated the Indians, who appeared next morning shouting their defiant challenge to ours to come across the bridge and fight them. Taking the several accounts, the following is probably near the truth: Capt. Mosely with his volunteers charged across the bridge and pursued the Indians to the woods. The regular troops followed and formed in line to sweep the neck by marching with both wings of the line extended. This, Church says, was so clumsily performed that the two wings encountered and fired upon each other, and Perez Savage, Capt. Henchman's ensign, was wounded. Philip fled before our troops, and with his people escaped across the Mattapoisett River to Pocasset. The volunteers took a prominent part in the scouting movements of the next few days, then marched, July 5th, with the Massachusetts forces, to the Narragansett country, and returned back with them on July 15th to Rehoboth, and when on the 18th it was decided to withdraw all the Massachusetts troops except Capt. Henchman's, they returned to Boston and were disbanded, probably about July 20th.
No further credits appear under Capt. Mosely until December 10, yet during all the time from his return from Mt. Hope he had been in almost constant service, which it may be well for us to follow, as it is probable that most of his men credited on that date had served with him to the time. On August 7, with 60 dragoons he met Capt. Henchman's tired troops marching towards Mendon, having been sent to them with supplies. (Capt. Thomas's letter in Mather's Brief History says, "We met Capt. Mosely marching from Providence up after us.") When Capt. Henchman went next day to Boston for orders, Mosely was left in command at Mendon, and most of Henchman's men were left with him. Within a few days he was ordered to march to Quaboag (Brookfield), where he continued awhile scouting, etc. In a note endorsing a bill of William Locke, chirurgeon of the Massachusetts forces in the Mount Hope campaign, Mosely says that after Capt. Henchman went to Boston, "he took sd Locke into his company, and from Mendon marched to Malbury and thence to Quaboag." Capt. Lathrop being senior officer, withdrew Locke to his forces; and I find a Court Order (vol. 67, Archives) to Dr. William Hawkins, August 17, 1675, "to join Mosely at Malbrow."
On August 16th he wrote a letter to the Governor, which explains his movements, situation, etc.
from Nashowah Allies Lankestor 16th August 1675.
Between Aug. 9th and 16th he had marched from Mendon to Brookfield, where he distributed his men as above. On the 17th he probably marched towards Chelmsford as proposed, but on the 22d some of the Nipmuck Indians fell upon Lancaster and killed seven or nine inhabitants, and the next day the people sent for Capt. Mosely and told him of their suspicions of the Hassanemesit Indians (friendly or Praying Indians) then living under supervision in a sort of fort at Marlborough. Capt. Mosely hastily marched to the fort and seized eleven (or according to Major Gookin's account fifteen) of the Indians, "pinioned" them and bound them neck to neck and sent them down to Boston for trial. Of the fifteen only eleven were accused; all were finally found innocent & acquitted, and Capt. Mosely's proceeding severely criticised by the Court and his superior officers. Majr Gookin believed that the people instigated suspicions "in order to secure the land of the Indians." After sending these prisoners down on August 30th, Capt. Mosely marched up the Merrimac as far as Pennacook (Concord, N.H.) to the home of the peaceful Wannalancet, where he was prepared to repeat the late transaction; but the Pennacooks had quietly withdrawn and eluded him. He burnt their village and stores of food, and marched back. Capt. Mosely's course was not approved, and the Court immediately sent messengers to win back the friendship of Wannalancet.
The next we hear of Capt. Mosely is on September 14, when he marched into Hadley with sixty Bay soldiers, and thence to Deerfield, where he was quartered and scouting on the 18th, when hearing the guns of the attack on Capt. Lathrop at Bloody Brook, he hurried with seventy men to join the fight, and though too late to prevent the terrible disaster, he and his men attacked the great body and "charged them through and through" several times, chasing them seven miles or more. Lieutenants Savage and Pickering especially distinguished themselves for their daring. Finally, after long and severe fighting, but strangely enough, with a loss of only two killed and eight or nine wounded, they were being forced slowly backward by great numbers, when Major Treat with a force of Connecticut troops and Indians came up and joined them, and before these united forces Philip retreated in haste.
In regard to the killed and wounded I have the names. John Oates, and Peter Barron. The will of the latter shows that he was the servant of Elias Hendly of Marblehead, and was pressed to go against the Indians. Will was probated Nov. 26, 1675. A petition of Richard Russ, in the Mass. Archives, declares, "I was just out in the Country's Service under Capt. Mosely, when Captn Lawtrop was slayne, and in that fight received a shott in ye bottom of my belly, the bullet carryin in with it ye ring of my Bandoleer."
The English retired to Deerfield for the night, and next morning returned to the battlefield and buried their dead.
It was thought best to abandon the garrison at Deerfield, and so all removed to Hatfield, and Capt. Mosely was garrisoning that town on October 5th, when he writes the Governor. Major Pynchon, with Capts. Appleton and Sill, were on the opposite side of the river at Hadley.
This letter is in another hand, but dictated and signed by Mosely.
Hadfield ye 5. of 8ber 1675
Sr your Most Humble & Ready Servant
Hatfield, 16th October 1675
I have skarse aney strang news to acquaint yr Honnr withall at present yesterday wee thought to go in pursuit of ye Enemies at Hadly side of the river and as wee marched out from Hadly Some Theinge better than a mile, the Skoutes yt was send from this towne Did Speye some Indians and thereupon we came this side of the river and did march out last night ye whole body or strenght of men that we have heare; but at Last we took it to Consideration that it was very Dangerous to leave the townes impteye without any Souldiers. This day being a very blusterous and very high winds, I have sent out some skoutes and they discover some Indians, some three miles off. And last night I have send of my men 4 to Deerfield and some two miles from the towne wheare thare was some railes ye enemy have weaged them up and made them very fast. I know not whether it be to trapann the skoutes or else to faight there if we go in pursueth of them; but I intend to bourn all their rails up, please God to grant me life and health.
Wee are told by an Indian that was taken at Springfeeld yt they intended to set upon these 3 townes in one Day. The body of them yt waites this exploite to do is about 600 Indians, as wee are informed by the aforesaid Indian; and farther wee are informed that they are making a fort some 60 miles from this Place up in the woods, Pray sir be pleased to present my humble service to your lady and all the rest of the family.
I make no question but the enemys will make an tempt within a short space of Time upon those Tounes, having nothing else skarse worth your reading I remaine
Sir yr most Humble &
HTML by Debbie
Special thanks to Fred for his wonderful graphics.
You are the 3253rd Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since April, 2001.
[King Philip's War Index Index][NY][VT]