Deerfield — Old French War

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      After a brave defense by Sergt. John Hawks, Fort Massachusetts fell into the hands of the enemy, Aug. 20, 1746. About fifty of the assailants at once came over the mountain and down the Pocomptuck in search of scalps and plunder. On Sunday, the 24th, they arrived in this vicinity, and reconnoitred to lay an ambush. Seeing some new-mown hay in Stebbins' meadow, they rightly judged the haymakers would come to take care of it the next day, so placed themselves in the woods near by. As they were stealing down the hill, intending to get between their victims and their arms, surround and capture the whole party, they met Eleazer Hawks, who was out hunting with his gun. Supposing they were discovered and about to be attacked, they shot him, and the alarm was given. Quickly discovering their mistake, the Indians rushed out after the flying settlers. Simeon Amsden was the first victim. Adonijah Gillet and John Sadler made a stand under the river-bank near the mill. Gillet fell, and Sadler escaped across the stream. Samuel Allen, bidding his three children fly for life, turned upon the pursuers, killed the foremost, and checked the rest. It was but for a moment, however, and the heroic father fell riddled with bullets and gashed with knives. Of his children, Caleb escaped, Samuel was taken, and Eunice was tomahawked and left for dead. She revived and lived to old age, but never fully recovered. Oliver Amsden was overtaken and seized. He made a gallant defense, but was cut to pieces. The guns being heard in town, the guard, under Capt. Hopkins, the Minute-Men, under Capt. Clesson and Lieut. Hoyt, hurried to the scene of blood. The enemy had fled up the river. Capt. Clesson followed their trail toward Charlemont, but could not overtake them.
      Along the cordon of forts the irruptions of the enemy had been frequent, and the loss of the English very serious. Frequent "'larrums" reached the town, upon which our men marched to the threatened point. Lieut. Jona. Hoyt led a party to Shattuck's Fort, March 31, 1747. May, 1748, Sergt. John Hawks led a party over to Hosack. Capt. John Catlin had command at Fort Shirley; Capt. Samuel Childs, at Fort Pelham; Lieut. Daniel Severance, at Coleraine; Elijah Williams was captain of the snow-shoe men, and commissary on the death of Col. Stoddard. Sergt. John Hawks and Elisha Nims were wounded near Fort Massachusetts.
      The following were some of the soldiers serving in this war:

      Edward Allen, John Allen, Zebediah Allis, Daniel Arms, Thomas Arms, Adonijah Atherton, Shubel Atherton, Oliver Avery, Gideon Bardwell, John Barnard, Joseph Barnard, Samuel Bernard, Benj. Barrett, John Beaman, Samuel Belding, Josiah Burnham, Jona. Burt, Reuben Carry, Ceazer, Asa Childs, David Childs, Samuel Childs, Joseph Clessen, Mathew Clesson, Charles Coats, James Corse, Aaron Denio, Richard Ellis, David Field, Ezekiel Foster, Jacob Foster, John Foster, Joseph Gillet, Daniel Graves, Benj. Hastings, John Hawks, Joshua Hawks, Ebenezer Hinsdale, David Hoyt, Jonathan Hoyt, Ebenezer Meacham, John Munn, Daniel Nash, Phineas Nash, Azariah Nims, Thomas Nims, Abraham Parker, Abijah Prince, John Sadler, Jona. Severance, Ebenezer Smead, William Smead, Samuel Stebbins, Othniel Taylor, Samuel Taylor, Jona. Wells, Joshua Wells, Elijah Williams, Thomas Williams, Asahel Wright.

      This war closed by a treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle, Oct. 7, 1748.

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