The Powhatan - Worry about Casualties?

(Documentary Support for Powhatan Reluctance to take Losses on 22 March, 1622)

There are numerous instances recorded of the Indians of 22 March giving up rather than suffer even the slightest casualties, well knowing the danger of fighting the English on their own terms and by no means eager to make their victory a Pyrrhic one.

According to John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia (1624):

Another of the old company of Captaine Smith, called Nathaniel Causie, being cruelly wounded, and the Salvages about him, with an axe did cleave one of their heads, whereby the rest fled and he escaped: for they hurt not any that did either fight or stand upon their guard. In one place, where there was but two men that had warning of it, [they] defended the house against sixty or more that assaulted it. M. Baldwin of Warraskoyack, his wife being so wounded, she lay for dead; yet by his oft discharging of his peece, saved her, his house, himselfe, and divers others… (A Generall Historie, 360).

Also at Wariscoyack, Smith continues, "Harisons Boy finding his Masters peece loaded, discharged it at randome, at which bare report the Salvages all fled," while nearby Captain Ralph Hamor "retired to his new house then a building from whence he came; there onely armed with spades, axes, and brickbats, he defended himselfe and his Company till the Salvages departed" (A Generall Historie, 361).

Indeed, Waterhouse lamented of the colonists,

never griefe and shame possessed any people more than themselves, to be thus butchered by so naked and cowardly a people, who dare not stand the presentment of a staffe in manner of a Peece, nor an uncharged Peece in the hands of a woman, from which they flye as as so many Hares (Kingsbury 556)[.]

However Captain Smith, who copied so much of Waterhouse's report for his Generall Historie, warily adds, "But I must tell those Authors, though some might be thus cowardly, there were many of them had better spirits" (A Generall Historie, 364).

Hence for this game, the Powhatan suffer not only from their usual 50% break point rule, but from additional penalties in the victory conditions.

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Last updated 16 August, 2004.
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