By John Easton, N. S., Richard Hutchinson, Mary White Rowlandson, Cotton Mather
Harm Watch’d and Catch’d by the Indians, and several Rare Instances of Mortal wounds upon the English, not proving Mortal.
That memorable Tygre, Hope-Hood, (called also Wohawa,) finding the Coast hereabouts too hot for him, went away with his Crew, a great way to the West-ward, with a Design to Bewitch another Crew at Aquadocta into his Assistance. Here a party of French Indians, by a strange Mistake, supposing Hope-Hood and his Wretches to have been the Indians, who had lately done some Spoil upon them at Canada, furiously fell upon them, and in their Blind Fury slew him, and a considerable part of his Company. So we have now done with him! In the meantime, some other Indians came upon an Helpless place, called Spruce Creek, and kill’d an old man, and carried a Woman into Captivity; but tho’ Captain Converse pursued ‘em Three Days, they were too Nimble for him.
On July 4, Eight or Nine persons working in a Field, at a place call’d Lamperell River (1), the Scythe of Death unhappily mow’d them down, in that Field of Blood: The Indians by Surprize kill’d ‘em all, and carried a Lad Captive.
About this Time a Council of War was called at Portsmouth, by which ‘twas thought adviseable to send out Captain Wiswel, with a considerable Scout, for to Scour the Woods as far as Casco; and it being Resolved, that one of the other Captains with about Fourscore Stout men should accompany Captain Wiswel in this Action, they all with such a Generous Emulation offered it, that it was necessary to determine it by a Lot, which fell upon Captain Floyd.
On July 4, assisted with Lieut. Andrews, and a Detachment of Twenty-two men from Wells, they took their March from Quochecho into the Woods. But the Day following, the Enemy set upon Captain Hilton’s Garrison in Exeter, which Lieutenant Bancroft, then posted at Exeter, with the loss of a few of his men Relieved. At this Time there happened a Remarkable Thing. I know not whether the Story told by Plato be true, That one Herus Armenius (whom Clemens will have to be Zoroaster) being Slain in War, lay Ten Days among the Dead, and then being brought away, and on the Twelfth Day laid on the funeral pile, he came to Life again. But it is true, that one Simon Stone being here wounded with Shot, in Nine several places, lay for Dead (as it was Time!) among the Dead. The Indians coming to Strip him, attempted with Two several Blows of an Hatchet at his Neck, to cut off his Head, which Blows added, you may be sure, more Enormous wounds unto those Port-holes of Death, at which the Life of the poor man, was already running out, as fast as it could. Being charged hard by Lieut. Bancroft, they left the man, without Scalping him; and the English now coming to Bury the Dead, one of the Soldiers perceived this poor man to fetch a gasp: whereupon an Irish Fellow then present, advised ‘em to give him another Dab with an Hatchet, and so Bury him with the rest. The English detesting this Barbarous Advice, lifted up the wounded man, and poured a little Fair Water into his Mouth, at which he Coughed; then they poured a little Strong Water after it, at which he opened his Eyes. The Irish Fellow was ordered now to hale a Canoo ashore, to carry the wounded men up the River unto a Chirurgeon; and as Teague was foolishly pulling the Canoo ashore, with the Cock of his Gun, while he held the Muzzle in his Hand, his Gun went off, and broke his Arm, whereof he remains a Cripple to this Day: But Simon Stone was thoroughly cured, and is at this Day a very lusty man; and as he was Born with Two Thumbs on one Hand, his Neighbours have thought him to have at least as many Hearts as Thumbs!
Reader, Let us Leave it now unto the Sons of Esculapius, to Dispute out the Problem, What Wounds are to be Judged Mortal? The Sovereign Arbiter of Life and Death, seems to have determined it, That no Wounds are Mortal, but such as He shall in his Holy Providence Actually make so. On the one side, let it be Remembered, That a Scratch of a Comb has proved Mortal; That the Incomparable Anatomist Spigelius, at the Wedding of his Daughter, gathering up the Reliques of a Broken Glass, a Fragment of it scratched one of his Fingers; and all his Exquisite Skill in Anatomy, could not prevent its producing an Empyema, that Killed him: That Colonel Rossiter, cracking a Plumb-stone with his Teeth, broke his Tooth, and Lost his Life; That the Lord Fairfax, cutting a Corn in his Foot, Cut asunder the Thread of his Life; That Mr. Fowler, a Vintner, playing with his Child, received a little scratch of a Pin, which turn’d unto a Gangrene, that Cost him his Life. And, Reader, Let the Remembrance of such Things, cause thee to Live, preparing for Death continually. But then, on the other side, That nothing may be Despaired of, Remember Simon Stone. And, besides him, I call to Remembrance, That the Indians making an Assault upon Deerfield, in this Present War, they struck an Hatchet some inches into the Scull of a Boy there, even so deep, that the Boy felt the Force of a Wrench used by ‘em to get it out. There he lay a long while Weltring in his Blood; they found him, they Dress’d him, considerable Quantities of his Brain came out from time to time, when they opened the Wound; yet the Lad Recovered, and is now a Living Monument of the Power and Goodness of God. And in our Former War, there was one Jabez Musgrove, who tho’ he were Shot by the Indians, with a Bullet, that went in at his Ear, and went out at his Eye on the other side of his head; and a Brace of Bullets, that went into his Right Side, a little above his Hip, and passing thro’ his Body within the Back-Bone, went out at his Left Side; yet he Recovered, and Lived many years after it.
A Worthy Captain Dying in the Bed of Honour
On July 6. Lord’s-Day, Captain Floyd, and Captain Wiswel, sent out their Scouts before their Breakfast, who immediately returned, with Tidings of Breakfast enough provided for those, who had their Stomach sharp set for Fighting: Tidings of a considerable Track of the Enemy, going to the Westward. Our Forces vigorously followed the Track, till they came up with the Enemy, at a place call’d Wheelwright’s Pond; where they engaged ‘em in a Bloody Action for several Hours. And here, the Worthy Captain Wiswel, a man worthy to have been Shot (if he must have been Shot), with no Gun inferior to that at Florence, the Barrel whereof is all pure Gold, behaving himself with much Bravery, Sold his Life as dear as he could; and his Lieutenant Flag, and Sergeant Walker, who were Valient in their Lives, in their Death were not divided. [Fifteen of ours were Slain, and more Wounded; but how many of the Enemy ‘twas not exactly known, because of a singular care used by them in all their Battels to carry off their Dead, tho’ they were forced now to Leave a good Number of them on the Spot. Captain Floyd maintained the Fight, after the Death of Captain Wiswel, several Hours, until so many of his Tired and Wounded men Drew off, that it was Time for him to Draw off also; for which he was blamed perhaps, by some that would not have continued at it so long as he. Hereupon Captain Converse repaired with about a score Hands to look after the Wounded men, and finding seven yet Alive, he brought ‘em to the Hospital by Sun-rise the next morning.
He then Returned with more Hands, to Bury the Dead, which was done immediately; and Plunder left by the Enemy at their going off, was then also taken by them. But the same Week, these Rovers made their Descent as far as Amesbury, where Captain Foot being Ensnared by them, they Tortured him to Death; which Disaster of the Captain, was an Alarum to the Town, and an Effectual Word of Command, causing ‘em to fly out of their Beds into their Garrisons; otherwise they had all undoubtedly before next morning Slept their last; their Beds would have been their Graves. However, the enemy Kill’d Three Persons, Burnt Three Houses, Butchered many Cattel; and so, that Scene of the Tragedy being over, away they went.
In fine, From the First Mischief done, at Lampereel River, to the Last at Amesbury, all belong’d unto one Indian Expedition, in which, though no English Places were taken, yet Forty English People were cut off.
(1) Now Newmarket, New Hampshire., Republic, X. 614.
Above selection taken from “Narratives of the Indian wars, 1675-1699, Volume 15” By John Easton, N. S., Richard Hutchinson, Mary White Rowlandson, Cotton Mather
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