KING PHILIP'S WAR
Chapter 4, Part III
The first nine in the above list I presume to have been the master and crew of the "Sloope Swanne;" the rest were probably on the "Brigandine" Joseph. Edward Winslow was master we know, and Samuel Winslow was of the crew of this vessel, as I find by this order of the Council, July 24th (Archives, vol. 67, page 226): "Ordered that Edward & Samuel Winslow, now on board the Brigandine be released to come home." By the letter of Capt. Henchman, published heretofore, it appears that he left this vessel at Pocasset on July 31st, when he went in pursuit of Philip, leaving five files of his men at Fort Leverett. And I infer that the vessel had left that place before August 9, when he was ordered by Gen. Denison to return and draw off the men, since he was to leave there such provisions and ammunition as "for want of carriage" he could not bring with him.
In regard to other matters referred to in the above letters, it will be seen that the statement, in the letter of July 5th, of forces sent, is simply a restatement of that in the former letter, and not, as might appear at first, additional forces sent to Taunton. No such additional forces and no other vessels were sent at that time.
Capt. Edward Hutchinson was despatched to the forces at Mount Hope on
July 3d, and paid œ5.00.00 on that day by the Court's order. There went
with him, as appears by the Journal credits, the following men:
The explanation of the passage in the letter of July 10th, relating that Capt. Hutchinson with about one hundred men went from our headquarters to the Narragansets, etc., is probably this: In their orders to Major Savage by Hutchinson, the Court doubtless left the details of the embassy to the discretion of the officers at Mount Hope, and they determined to march in full force. Hubbard relates that Capt. Mosely crossed over by water to attend Capt. Hutchinson in his despatch, the others going around. It is likely that Capt. Hutchinson sent back some of his own men with the message of his departure, and from this the Court made their report to Connecticut Colony.
The negotiations with the Mohegans, of whom Uncas was chief sachem, are of peculiar interest, but must be deferred to a separate chapter, with only brief allusion here. On the return of the six Indians referred to in the letter, Ephraim Curtis was sent to conduct them, taking along three Natick Indians, who volunteered to accompany him. They went by way of Marlborough, where, at the Indian fort, they were warned of the danger of the journey by the friendly Indians gathered there, and Curtis heard of the plundering of his own house at "Quansigamug" (Worcester) and was shown some of the plunder which the marauders, the Nipmucks, had brought thither, and thereupon the Naticks declined to go on unless more men were added to their force. Upon his application to the constables of Marlborough, two men with horses and arms were pressed for this service. These were John and James Barnard, who receive credit in the Journal under date of Sept. 14th, 1675. With this party he conducted the Mohegans safely home, and on his return sought out the Quabang sachems and had a romantic interview with them. A full account of this journey may be found in his long and interesting letter, of July 16th, to the Court, preserved in Mass. Archives, vol. 67, page 215. The result of the negotiations with Uncas was that he sent two of his sons to Boston as hostages, and his eldest son and successor, Oneko, with fifty men, to assist the English against Philip. These were sent to Plymouth Colony under the conduct of "Quartermaster Swift and a ply of horse," as Major Gookin relates. Their subsequent proceedings, joining with the Rehoboth men in the pursuit and battle with Philip, their brief service with Capt. Henchman and return home, have been related in a former article. The Mohegans got as wages the plunder they seized from Philip. Swift and his "ply of horse" were credited as follows, Sept. 16th, 1675:
Thomas Swift was the son of Thomas the Emigrant, from Yorkshire, Eng., who settled in that part of Dorchester which is now Milton. Married Elizabeth Vose, daughter of Robert, 9th Dec. 1657, and had Thomas, Elizabeth, William, John, and Samuel. He died 31st Jan., 1718.
The other company of Indians that went out in this campaign was enlisted by Major Gookin from the various friendly tribes about Boston, agreeably to an order of the Court of July 2d, and to the number of fifty-two marched out of Boston on July 6th, under the conduct of Capt. Isaac Johnson, who delivered them to Major Savage at Mt. Hope, and then "returned back." Seventeen of these were with Capt. Henchman when he crossed from Pocasset to Providence, July 31st, in pursuit of Philip. Others were credited, as we have seen, under Capt. Prentice, the rest returned to their homes "after 25 days," according to Major Gookin. The popular prejudice against these Praying Indians seems to have extended to our early historians, who, except Gookin, seldom mention them or their service; and since they were not generally credited on the treasurer's book, it is extremely difficult to give a correct account of them. According to the testimony of Major Savage, Capts. Henchman and Prentice, "most of them acquitted themselves courageously and faithfully," and we know that the Mohegans, in company with the Rehoboth men, did the most effective fighting of the whole campaign.
We have noted the various elements that made up this expedition under Major Savage, and now, counting the regular forces that went out at first under Henchman, Prentice and Mosely as 250 men, and under Paige 35, we have but 285 men, 95 less than the number stated in the letter of June 28th. This seems a large number to allow as guards and attendants, but I think that some twenty-five or thirty men besides Paige's troop went out with Major Savage and joined the companies already there. It will be remembered that 121 men were credited under Capt. Henchman, nearly all of whom, after a diligent comparison of their credits and subsequent service, I conclude must have joined him as early as July 1st. And this reckoning still leaves a large margin for attendants and guards. The round number of "about 400" in the letter of July 5th may have included the men of Capt. Johnson, who conducted the 52 "Gookin" Indians, but not, I think, the Indians themselves. It is barely possible that the crews of the two vessels were counted, making about twenty men additional. The reference to "dragoons" is explained by the fact that Capt. Henchman's company was furnished with horses.
The "Guards and Carriage" account does not show an amount of expense corresponding to the large number apparently employed for that service, the total amount for the several campaigns up to January 25, 1675-6, being but œ16.10.00. Some of the guards in his first expedition were charged directly to Plymouth Colony, those evidently who guarded the carts sent with ammunition, etc., to supply their wants. The following were thus charged at œ00. 03s. 00d. apiece for guarding their ammunition: Richard Smith, Thomas Lawrence, James Hoxly, James Montt, Ebenezer Hill.
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