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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 11
by Bodge, George M.


the colonies. The English troops, hitherto despising the Indians in war, now seemed helpless before them. On Sept. 26th the Indians assaulted Springfield, west of the river, burning the houses and barns. On October 5th, having made some demonstrations against Hadley, soldiers were drawn from Springfield to strengthen the garrison; the Indians fell upon the latter village and destroyed it, before the companies could return to save it. After this blow, Major Pynchon begged the Court to appoint a commander of the forces on the river in his place, and Major Samuel Appleton was appointed and by the advice of the Council garrisoned the various towns not abandoned and then withdrew the other troops to Boston. The Connecticut troops helped to garrison Northampton and Westfield, and the Indians withdrew to their winter camps. Philip had long since gone into winter quarters above Albany.

But now the colonies determined to strike the Narragansetts in their own country before they should be able to join the hostiles. A great muster was made in three colonies and an army of one thousand men was raised and equipped, half of which was sent from Massachusetts. The Narragansets were entrenched in a very strong position in a great swamp in what is now South Kingstown, R.I. It was claimed that great numbers of Wampanoags and other hostiles were among them finding refuge, and they were defiant and threatening. The English forces under command of General Winslow of Plymouth gathered at Wickford and on Dec. 19th 1675, marched some twenty miles through intense cold and a heavy snow storm, to the swamp; the waters being frozen by the severe cold, and this fact made it possible for the English to reach the rude fortifications. Without waiting for any organized attack, the Massachusetts troops, being at the front in the march, rushed forward across the ice in an impetuous charge, and into the entrance, where the Indians had constructed rude flankers, and placed a strong blockhouse in front, so that the first to enter were met with a terrible enfilading fire from front and flanks, and were forced back for a time; but others coming on pressed into the breach, and though suffering severe losses, at last stormed all the fortifications, drove the enemy from every line of entrenchments within the fort, and out into the woods and swamps beyond. They set fire to the wigwams and storehouses of the savages, in which were burned many of the aged, and women and children. Then taking their wounded, the English took up their march back through the deep snow to Wickford, where they arrived the next morning.

The details of this fight as well as the subsequent movements of this campaign, are given at length in the articles of which this pamphlet is the compendium, and are briefly passed here. The Narragansetts kept well out of the way of the English army, and made many pretences of negotiating peace, but at last, about January 26th having made several raids into the settlements, and captured

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