« PreviousContinue »
these Pequots had lately done unto the English ; and that we were now come, God assisting, to Avenge our selves upon them; and that we did only desire free Passage through his Country.' Who returned us this Answer, “That he did accept of our coming, and did also approve of our Design ; only he thought our Numbers were too weak to deal with the Enemy, who were (as he said) very great Captains and Men skilful in War.' Thus he spake somewhat slighting of us.
On the Wednesday Morning, we Marched from thence co a Place called Nayanticke, it being about eighteen or twenty miles distant, where another of those Narragansett Sachems lived in a Fort; it being a Frontier to the Pequots. They carryed very proudly towards us; not permitting any of us to come into their Fort.
We beholding their Carriage and the Falsehood of Indians, and fearing least they might discover us to the Enemy, especially they having many times some of their near Relations among their greatest Foes; we therefore caused a strong Guard to be set about their Fort, giving Charge that no Indian should be suffered to pass in or out: We also informed the Indians, that none of them should stir out of the Fort upon peril of their Lives: so as they would not suffer any of us to come into their Fort, so we would not suffer any of them to go out of the Fort.
There we quartered that Night, the Indians not offering to stir out all the while.
In the Morning there came to us several of Miantomo* his Men, who told us, they were come to assist us in our Expedition, which encouraged divers Indians of that Place to Engage also ; who suddenly gathering into a Ring, one by one, making solemn Protestations how galliantly they would demean themselves, and how many Men they would Kill.
On the Thursday about eight of the clock in the Morning, we Marched thence towards Pequot, with about five hundred Indians : But through the Heat of the
* He was usually called Miantonimo the Great Sachem of the Narragansett Indians.
Weather and want of Provisions some of our Men fainted: And having Marched about twelve Miles, we came to Pawcatuck River, at a Ford where our Indians told us the Pequots did usually Fish; there making an Alta, we stayed some small time : The Narragansett Indians manifesting great Fear, in so much that many of them returned, although they had frequently despised us, saying, That we durst not look upon a Pequot, but themselves would perform great Things; though we had often told them that we came on purpose and were resolved, God assisting, to see the Pequots, and to fight with them, before we returned, though we perished. I then enquired of Onkos, what he thought the Indians would do? Who said, The Narragansetts would all leave us, but as for Himself He would never leave us : and so it proved : For which Expressions and some other Speeches of his, I shall never forget him. Indeed he was a great Friend, and did great Service.
And after we had refreshed our selves with our mean Commons, we Marched about three Miles, and came to a Field which had lately been planted with Indian Corn: There we made another Alt, and called our Council, supposing we drew near to the Enemy: and being informed by the Indians that the Enemy had two Forts almost impregnable ; but we were not at all Discouraged, but rather Animated, in so much that we were resolved to Assault both their forts at once. But understanding that one of them was so remote that we could not come up with it before Midnight, though we Marched hard ; whereat we were much grieved, chiefly because the greatest and bloodiest Sachem there resided, whose name was Sassacous: We were then constrained, being exceedingly spent in our March with extream Heat and want of Necessaries, to accept of the nearest.
We then Marching on in a silent Manner, the Indians that remained fell all into the Rear, who formerly kept the Van; (being possessed with great Fear) we continued our March till about one Hour in the Night: and coming to a little Swamp between two Hills, there we pitched our little Camp; much wearied with hard
Travel, keeping great Silence, supposing we were very near the Fort'; as our Indians informed us ; which proved otherwise : The Rocks were our Pillows; yet Rest was pleasant: The Night proved Comfortable, being clear and Moon Light : We appointed our Guards and placed our Sentinels at some distance ; who heard the Enemy Singing at the Fort, who continued that Straia until Midnight, with great Insulting and Rejoycing, as we were afterwards informed: They seeing our Pinnaces sail by them some Days before, concluded we were afraid of them and durst not come near them; the Burthen of their Song tending to that purpose.
In the Morning, we awaking and seeing it very light, supposing it had been day, and so we might have lost our Opportunity, having purposed to make our Assault before Day ; rowsed the Men with all expedition, and briefly commended ourselves and Design to God, thinking immediately to go to the Assault ; the Indians shewing us a Path, told us that it led directly to the Fort. We held on our March about two Miles, wondering that we came not to the Fort, and fearing we might be deluded: But seeing Corn newly planted at the Foot of a great Hill, supposing the Fort was not far off, a Champion Country being round about us ; then making a stand, gave the Word for some of the Indians to come up: At length Onkos and one Wequash appeared ; We demanded of them, Where was the Fort? They answered On the Top of that Hill : Then we demanded, Where were the Rest of the Indians ? They answered, Behind, exceedingly afraid : We wished them to tell the rest of their Fellows, That they should by no means Fly, but stand at what distance they pleased, and see whether English Men would now Fight or not. Then Capt. Underbill came up, who Marched in the Rear; and commending ourselves to God, divided our Men: There being two Entrances into the Fort, intending to enter both at once: Captain Mason leading up to that on the North East Side; who approaching within one Rod, heard a Dog bark and an Indian crying Owanux! Owanux! which is Englishmen! Englishınen! We called up our
Forces with all expedition, gave Fire upon them through the Pallizado; the Indians being in a dead indeed their last Sleep: Then we wheeling off fell upon the main Entrance, which was blocked up with Bushes about Breast high, over which the Captain, passed, intending to make good the Entrance, encouraging the rest to follow. Lieutenant Seeley endeavoured to enter ; but being somewhat cumbred, stepped back and pulled out the Bushes and so entred, and with him about sixteen Men: We had formerly concluded to destroy them by the Sword and save the Plunder.
Whereupon Captain Mason seeing no Indians, entred a Wigwam ; where he was beset with many Indians, waiting all opportunities to lay Hands on him, but could not prevail. At length William Heydon espying the Breach in the Wigwam, supposing some English might be there, entred; but in his Entrance fell over a dead Indian ; but speedily recovering himself, the Indians some fled, others crept under their Beds: The Captain going out of the Wigwam saw many Indians in the Lane or Street; he making towards them, they fled, were pursued to the End of the Lane, where they were met by Edward Pattison, Thomas Barber, with some others; where seven of them were Slain, as they said. The Captain facing about, Marched a slow Pace up the Lane he came down, perceiving himself very much out of Breath ; and coming to the other End near the Place where he first entred, saw two Soldiers standing close to the Pallizado with their Swords pointed to the Ground: The Captain told them that We should never kill them after that manner : The Captain also said, We must Burn them; and immediately stepping into the Wigwam where he had been before, brought out a Firebrand, and putting it into the Matts with which they were covered, set the Wigwams on Fire. Lieutenant Thomas Bull and Nicholas Omsted beholding, came up; and when it was thoroughly kindled, the Indians ran as Men most dreadfully Amazed.
And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits, that they would fly from us
and run into the very Flames, where many of them perished. And when the Fort was thoroughly Fired, Command was given, that all should fall off and surround the Fort; which was readily attended by all; only one Arthur Smith being so wounded that he could not move out of the Place, who was happily espied by Lieutenant
, Bull, and by him rescued.
The Fire was kindled on the North East Side to windward; which did swiftly over-run the Fort, to the extream Amazement of the Enemy, and great Rejoycing of our selves. Some of them climbing to the Top of the Pallizado; others of them running into the very Flames; many of them gathering to windward, lay pelting at us with their Arrows; and we repayed them with our small Shot: Others of the Stoutest issued forth, as we did guess, to the Number of Forty, who perished by the Sword.
What I have formerly said, is according to my own Knowledge, there being sufficient living Testimony to every Particular.
But in reference to Captain Underhill and bis Parties acting in this Assault, I can only intimate as we were informed by some of themselves immediately after the Fight, Thus They Marching up to the Entrance on the South West Side, there made some Pause; a valiant, resolute Gentleman, one Mr. Hedge, stepping towards the Gate, saying, If we may not Enter, wherefore came we here; and immediately endeavoured to Enter; but was opposed by a sturdy Indian which did impede his Entrance ; but the Indian being slain by himself and Sergeant Davis, Mr. Hedge Entred the Fort with some others; but the Fort being on Fire, the Smoak and Flames were so violent that they were constrained to desert the Fort.
Thus were they now at their Wits End, who not many Hours before exalted themselves in their great Pride, threatning and resolving the utter Ruin and Destruction of all the English, Exulting and Rejoycing with Songs and Dances : But God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven: Thus were the