By Robert E. Cray
In may well 1725, in the course of a three-year clash among English colonists and the jap Abenaki state, a thirty-four-man day trip led by means of Captain John Lovewell got down to ambush their adversaries, collect a few scalp bounties, and hasten the tip of the struggle. as an alternative, the Abenakis staged a shock assault in their personal at Pigwacket, Maine, that left greater than a 3rd of the hot Englanders lifeless or critically wounded. even supposing Lovewell himself was once slain within the battling, he emerged a martyred hero, celebrated in renowned reminiscence for status his floor opposed to a solid enemy strength.
In this booklet, Robert E. Cray revisits the conflict referred to as "Lovewell's struggle" and makes use of it to light up the topics of warfare, loss of life, and reminiscence in early New England. He exhibits how an army operation plagued from the outset via bad decision-making, and additional marred by way of less-than-heroic battlefield habit, got here to be remembered as early America's model of the Alamo. the govt of Massachusetts bestowed payouts, pensions, and land on survivors and widows of the conflict, whereas early chroniclers drafted a grasp narrative for later generations to emboss. William Henry Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau saved the tale alive for later generations. even if a few nineteenth-century New Englanders disapproved of Lovewell's notoriety as a scalp hunter, it didn't hinder the commitment of a monument in his honor on the Fryeburg, Maine, battlesite in 1904.
Even because the real tale of "Lovewell's struggle" receded into obscurity―a bloody skirmish in a principally forgotten war―it remained a part of New England lore, a type of infrequent army encounters within which defeat transcends an opponent's victory to imagine the mantle of legend.
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Additional resources for Lovewell’s Fight: War, Death, and Memory in Borderland New England
They quickly left for home. Others were too frightened to go farther as well: Hassell, the deserter, refused to return to Pigwacket, claiming illness, although fear may explain his decision. Lieutenant Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire felt compelled to defend the men’s action in a report to Dummer. He emphasized that the troop had found the fort shut, observed several Indians in the vicinity, and heard dogs barking, prompting them to leave, “least they meet with the same fate as Capt. 61 At this juncture, the details of sepulture become murky.
People recalled the “great snow” in February and March of 1717, in which eight-foot drifts had accumulated and forced people to descend from chamber windows. Snow could stay on the ground for weeks. One account claimed that a giant snowstorm had erupted in April that year. Moreover, winter still gripped northern New England in April 1725: while trekking north of Dunstable in early April, Colonel Eleazer Tyng encountered rain and snow that forced him to halt. The same weather thwarted Lovewell. ”28 Recruits from Dunstable, Woburn, Concord, Groton, Haverhill, Weston, Nutfield, Andover, and Billerica joined Lovewell’s scouting party.
Sergeant Nathaniel Woods, commander of the Ossipee Fort, bemoaned the rear guard’s quick departure and refusal to search for survivors. ” Reformed Christian clerics who had warned about the dangers of cowardice could have seen their prophecies come true. 58 Samuel Sewall heard Tyng’s accounts on May 13 in council, “which made us fear that Capt. ” Newspapers added to the details. By May 20 the Boston News Letter claimed that between twenty and thirty Indians had been slain. The next issue, based largely upon Wyman’s testimony and “others,” asserted that just twenty of the eighty Indians had survived.
Lovewell’s Fight: War, Death, and Memory in Borderland New England by Robert E. Cray