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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 8
by Bodge, George M.

English. The next morning, the company, with three of the chief men of Brookfield, rode out to the appointed place but found no Indians. Urged by the Brookfield men, but against the earnest remonstrance of the Naticks, they rode forward towards the place where Curtis met them the day before. But coming to a narrow defile between a high rocky hill and an impenetrable swamp, and riding single file they found themselves caught in a great ambuscade of the Indians, who let them pass along until they were able to surround them, and then rose together and fired into their column at close range. They killed eight men outright and wounded five, including Capts. Hutchinson and Wheeler, the former mortally. The English were forced to retreat, fighting, up the hill; and under the skillful conduct of their Indian guides were able to make a safe retreat to Brookfield where they gathered the people and fortified a house just before the Indians came sweeping furiously down upon the village. Here they defended themselves against great numbers for several days, till Major Willard and Capt. Parker came with a company and reinforced the garrison, when the enemy retired.

At Pocasset Capt. Henchman continued building his fort, and Philip was making ready for his fight. The English seem not to have contemplated the possibility of a general war, nor to have at all appreciated the gravity of the present situation in the colonies. Philip with all his fighting-men and the greater part of his own and Weetamoo's people, escaped across the river and passed through the open plain in Rehoboth, where they were discovered by some of the settlers. A scouting party from Taunton made the discovery that it was Philip's Indians who were thus escaping. The situation of affairs may be briefly stated. Capt. Henchman was guarding the swamp wherein Philip and his people were supposed to be securely trapped. Major Cudworth and Capt. Fuller were at Dartmouth with a company of one hundred and twelve men. Lieut. Nathaniel Thomas of Marshfield was at the Mount Hope garrison with twenty men. At Rehoboth a company of Mohegan Indians under Oneko, under convoy of Corporal Thomas Swift, arrived from Boston on the 30th on their way to Capt. Henchman at Pocasset. Upon the alarm, Rev. Mr. Newman of Rehoboth began to organize a company of volunteers for the pursuit of the Indians. Lieut. Thomas with a small detachment, happened to come to Rehoboth on the 30th and hearing of the escape, hastened back to carry the news to Capt. Henchman, and urge his cooperation. Lieut Thomas then, on the 31st, took eleven men of his Mount Hope garrison and being joined by Lieut James Brown of Swansy, with twelve men, marched in the pursuit. The Rehoboth men, with some volunteers from Providence and Taunton, led by the Mohegans, had started earlier upon the trail of the enemy. Lieut Thomas and his party overtook the others at sunset and after a brief council-of-war, sent out their scouts, Indian and English, to discover the movements of the fugi-


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