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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 12
by Bodge, George M.


numbers of cattle and horses, Canonchet with his strong rear-guard took up his line of retreat for the north, and two days afterwards the army, some twelve hundred strong, marched in pursuit. The Mohegans and Pequots, among the Connecticut forces, led the pursuit and had several sharp skirmishes with the enemy, always retreating northward. This running fight was kept up for several days, until provisions having failed and no base of supplies possible, the General abandoned the pursuit and marched his troops to Marlborough and thence to Boston. The men suffered severely in this march, from hunger, and it was known for several generations as the "hungry march."

The Connecticut forces separated from the others on Feb. 3rd, and the main body of the army arrived in Boston on the 8th. Wadsworth was left at Marlborough to guard the frontiers and neighboring towns. Canonchet and his great and warlike Narraganset tribe, maddened by what they believed their wrongs, and thirsting for vengeance, were now joined with Philip and the other hostile tribes and all within an easy day's call, except Philip and his band who still remained in their retreat beyond Albany. The time was critical for the settlements; prompt action was necessary on the part of the Indian leaders to keep their young men in courage and training. Upon Feb. 10th the Indians in great force fell upon Lancaster and nearly destroyed the town. They killed or took captive fifty of the people. Among the captives was Mrs. Rowlandson, wife of the minister. One garrison-house was saved by the arrival of Capt. Wadsworth, and his company from Marlborough. On Feb. 21st a strong body of the enemy surprised Medfield, although a large force of soldiers was then in the town. There were no guards set, nor other precautions taken. The soldiers were scattered about in the houses and the Indians placed ambuscades in front of each house, and shot them down as they rushed out upon the alarm. The enemy were frightened away by the firing of a cannon and crossed the river, burning the bridge behind them. Another army was now raised and sent out to the Connecticut River towns to protect them and try to bring the enemy to battle. There were said to be two great fortified camps; one near the "Wachusett Hill," and the other at Menameset, beyond Brookfield. The army was under command of Major Thomas Savage and consisted of three foot companies and a troop of horse from Massachusetts. Connecticut sent several companies of English and friendly Indians. A number of Christian Indians from the Naticks went with Major Savage. The army marched to Menameset on March 2nd to March 4th to find the enemy gone. They pursued them to Miller's River, across which they escaped. It was thought that this great body of the enemy would now fall upon the western towns, so that the army marched thither, abandoning the design upon "Wachusett Hill" encampment. Major Savage dis-

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