The Battle of Bloody Brook (1675)

Experiencing increasing encroachment and pressure by the expanding colonists, the Wampanoag, Anawon, Tuspaquin, Nipmuc, and Pocumtuc indian tribes joined together under the leadership of King Phillip, chief of the Wampanoags. In late June, 1675 a Wampanoag was killed near the English settement as Swansea, and the King Philip's War began. The Wampanoag attacked Swansea and ambushed and English relief column. Other raids struck near Taunton, Tiverton, and Dartmouth. Drawing from virtually every tribe in New England, Philip commanded more thatn 1,000 warriors.

The English assembled an army at Plymouth in July and marched on Phillip's village at Mount Hope (near Bristol, Rhode Island) burning every Wampanoag village enroute. Philip moved west into the Nipmuc country of central Massachusetts. From Philp's new location in the west, the war then resumed at an even more furious pace. The Nipmuc raided Brookfield and Worcester and then combined with the Pocumtuc to attack settlements in the Connecticut River Valley. After a raid at Northfield, a relief force under Captain Beers was ambushed south of town and more than half were killed. Three survivors were captured and burned at the stake.

In September, the towns of Deerfield and Hadley were attacked forcing the colonist to abandon their homes and fort-up in Deerfield. Facing a winter without food, 80 soldiers under Captain Thomas Lothrop were dispatched with 18 teamsters to gather the abandonded crops near Hadley. All went well until the return journey, when the expedition spotted some grapes along the trail just South of Deerfield. Many of the men laid down their rifles and began to pick the grapes. Then the expedition was ambushed by 700 Pocumtuc indians. Only seven or eight escaped. Another English force with 60 Mogegan warriors arrived too late and found only seven survivors. Sixty-four were buried in one grave.

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Contact: bodwell@onramp.net December 26,1996
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 Donald J. Bodwell. All rights reserved.