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A Brief History of King Philip's War
Page 15
by Bodge, George M.


they struck such a terrible blow, and so close to Boston, too, they seem to have retired to their several camps, and soon to have gathered to their great fishing-places in order to take the run of fish. Capt. Turner was still in command of the garrisons at the west. From captives who had escaped, and scouts here and there, came rumors of a great company of Indians fishing at the "Upper Falls" of the Connecticut. Capt. Turner and his officers were anxious to strike a blow against the enemy and Connecticut authorities were applied to and promised speedy reinforcements. On May 12th the Indians made a raid into Deerfield meadows and stamped some seventy head of cattle belonging to the English. Roused by this fresh outrage, the people urged retaliation and Capt. Turner and his officers determined to attack the Indians at their great fishing place at once. On May 18th the whole company of soldiers and volunteers, about one hundred and fifty, mustered at Hatfield, and marched out at evening towards the "Falls". They included the outposts of the enemy, and at daylight arrived undiscovered at the camp of the Indians at the fishing-place. The savages were asleep in their wigwams and the English rushed down upon them and shot them by the scores, pointing their muskets in through the wigwam doors. No resistance was possible and those who escaped the first fire fled in terror to the river, pursued by the soldiers and were cut down or driven into the water without mercy; many were drowned attempting to cross the river.

But it soon found that there were several other great bodies of the Indians, above and below the Falls on either side of the river, and these began to swarm towards the fight. Capt. Turner now prudently began a retreat, having struck his blow. As the soldiers retired, the enemy gathered in great numbers upon rear and flanks seeking to force the English into narrow defiles. Capt. Holyoke commanded the rearguard, and checked the enemy by stout fighting, but for which, it is likely, the whole command would have been lost. Capt. Turner led the advance, and while crossing Green River was shot down by the Indians lying in wait. Capt. Holyoke then led the company back to Hatfield, fighting nearly the whole way. There the killed and missing numbered forty-five. A few came in afterwards, reducing the number of the lost to about forty. It is estimated that some two hundred Indians must have been destroyed.

The blow struck by Capt. Turner greatly intimidated the enemy, though the retreat was so disastrous to the English. The tribes became divided and demoralized. They seem to have broken up into small wandering parties. Philip with large numbers of his adherents went down towards Plymouth. Massachusetts sent troops to the western frontiers again, and also to aid Plymouth. The operations in the field were mostly the pursuit of non-combatants, the aged, and women and children. Large numbers of the Wampa-

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