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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 7
by Bodge, George M.


On July 18th the combined forces arrived at the Pocasset swamp and made a resolute attack upon the enemy concealed in the thick underbrush from whence at the first volley they killed five and wounded seven of our men. After this volley the enemy retreated deeper into the swamp, where it was impossible, night coming on, to follow them. The commanders in council concluded that they had the enemy now enclosed securely within the swamp, whence it was impossible to escape, if a suitable guard were left to watch. Major Savage and the Massachusetts men returned to Boston, except Capt. Henchman's company of one hundred men, who with the Plymouth forces remained at Pocasset. Capt. Henchman began to build a fort there, which might serve as a stronghold for the English and might guard the entrance to the great swamp.

The English were deceived by the apparent easy conquest of both the Wampanoags and Narragansets, and believed they had over-awed them and set their hostility at rest, and now might take their own time in crushing Philip and thus finishing the war.

Plymouth Colony had been engaged from the first in seeking to conciliate the tribes, in their bounds, which were related to Philip. Through the efforts of Mr. Benjamin Church, a resident of Seconet, who was acquainted on pleasant terms with nearly all the tribes in the colony, negotiations were held with Awashonks the squaw sachem of the Seconet Indians and Weetamoo the squaw sachem or "queen" of the Pocasset tribe. Awashonks and most of her people passed over into the Narraganset country at the opening of active hostilities and thus avoided joining Philip, but Weetamoo and her people were swept along with him in his retreat towards the Nipmuck country. Plymouth companies were abroad too, scouting the country in the effort to protect their settlements, exposed like Dartmouth, Middleboro, etc. They also established a garrison at Mount Hope after Philip retreated to Pocasset, to prevent his return. The entrance of Philip into the Pocasset swamps compelled the cooperation of the hesitating Weetamoo and afforded him a safe hiding place to recruit and prepare for his flight northward.

In the meantime the Massachusetts authorities had begun negotiations with the various Nipmuck Indians. Seven of the principal towns had been visited and treaties made with each. On July 16th Ephraim Curtis returned to Boston and reported the Quahaugs gathered at a great island in a swamp beyond Brookfield and showing a defiant and hostile spirit. The Council immediately sent Capt. Edward Hutchinson, escorted by Capt. Thomas Wheeler and his mounted company, with Curtis as guide, to find the Indians and bring them to terms. The company, accompanied by some friendly Naticks, arrived at Brookfield on August 1st, and immediately sent Curtis with the guides to arrange for a meeting next day. The Quahaugs, whose leader was the famous Muttaump, agreed to come next day to a plain some three miles from Brookfield to meet the

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