Deerfield — Lothrop's Massacre
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Peter Barron, John Oates, and one other of Mosely's men were killed, and John Stevens, of Newbury, and several others wounded. Of Lothrop's company, Henry Bodwell, of Newbury; Robert Dutch, of Ipswich; Richard Russ, of Weymouth; John Tappan, of Newbury, were wounded. John Stebbins, of Muddy River, is the only one of this company known to have escaped unharmed.
While Treat and Mosely were rendering the last offices to their dead comrades at Bloody Brook, a body of Indians appeared here, threatening the small garrison of 22 men with an assault. The officer in command made a deceptive show of force, and sounded his trumpet as if to call more troops. Their spies having relaxed their vigilance, the enemy were ignorant of the condition of affairs, and so the people were saved from an otherwise certain destruction. About September 21st the troops had orders to abandon the town and bring off the inhabitants. These were scattered in the towns below, and the Pocomptuck valley was restored to the wilderness.
Here Philip established his headquarters, and, sending out small parties, harassed the towns below. Two men were killed at Northampton, September 28th; Springfield was nearly destroyed, October 5th, and on the 19th he beset Hatfield, but was beaten off after burning a few buildings and killing 7 or 8 men; October 27th there were 7 killed at Westfield, and 3 at Northampton a day or two after. With these depredations the campaign for the season closed.
Early in the winter, Philip and his immediate followers, with the Pocomptucks, visited the Mohicans, and intrigued in vain with the Mohawks to engage in the war. In the spring the baffled diplomat met the Nipmucks at Squakheag, and on the 14th of March sent a large force to attack Northampton, with the expectation of finding it an easy prey.
Capt. Turner at Peskcompskut.—The plan of the confederate chieftains was to destroy all the English towns in the valley, that they might plant and fish in safety, and their wives and children here find shelter while the war was pushed at the east. With their partial success, only Pocomptuck and Squakheag could be so occupied. In these meadows large areas were planted with corn and beans; a great number of the natives were engaged in taking shad and salmon at Peskcompskut (Turner's Falls) for the summer supply, and the savages were now rioting in plenty and fancied security. Escaped prisoners revealing this state of affairs, the English determined to attack them before the close of the fishing season, when it was supposed they would scatter and begin their murderous campaign for the summer. Accordingly, by the decision of a council of war at Hadley, a force was assembled at Hatfield for that purpose, consisting of about 75 garrison soldiers, under Lieut. Josiah Fay, of Boston, with about 80 men of the neighboring towns, under Capt. Samuel Holyoke, of Springfield, Lieut. John Lyman, of Northampton, and Sergts. John Dickinson and Joseph Kellogg, of Hadley, with Rev. Hope Atherton as chaplain; the whole under Capt. William Turner, of Boston.
These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 2005, all rights reserved
and cannot be reproduced in any format without permission
This page was last updated on
03 Aug 2005