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for entering into the fort. They accordingly marched up to the fort, having first recommended themselves and the affair to God for success. It would be too tedious to relate every particular circumstance in this undertaking; it may therefore be sufficient to acquaint my reader that this Wequash, before named, being perfectly acquainted with the then state and situation of the fort, having so lately deserted from them, viz. the Pequots, directed the Captain to the easiest and safest parts of access and entrance into it. Here we have a further instance of the directing and overruling hand of divine sovereignty, in fetching one out of the fortress of the enemy to lead his people to enter into and possess it.
Accordingly, early in the morning Captain Mason roused up his men, both English and the Indians with him, far greater in number than the former; having also commended themselves and the affair they were on, to God, as apprehending it a very dangerous attempt, marched forward with all possible despatch, dividing their small, force into two columns. Captain Mason with his followers advanced to the northeast entrance, and Captain Underhill to the southwest, answerable to the descriptions Wequash had given them, and with the utmost secrecy, as the Indians in the fort were in a profound sleep, and their watch also, until Captain Mason came within a rod of the walls, when a dog barked in the fort, at which the watch awoke and cried out, "Owannux! Qwannux!" i. e. Englishmen ! Englishmen! However, Captain Mason immediately entered the fort, and called on his men to follow with all expedition, and Captain Underhill soon after entered on the other side. By this time the Indians, many of them, were awakened, but in much confusion, we may conceive. Captain Mason, seeing no Indians, entered into a wigwam, where were several of them, who seemed to wait an opportunity to lay hands on him; but were not permitted. About sixteen of his men soon followed him. The Captain, going out of the wigwam, saw a number of Indians in their lane or street. He making towards them, they fled, but were pursued to the end of the lane, between their wigwams, where they were met by Edward Pattison and Thomas Barber, who, as they said, killed seven of them. The Indians fled, some endeavoring to hide themselves under their beds and other ways. In this time, as the Captain was walking, and coming near the place where he
first entered, he espied two of his soldiers standing without the palisadoes with their swords' points on the ground. The Captain with a reprimand told them that they should never kill the enemy after that manner; and withal said, "We must burn them." Immediately stepping into a wigwam, he brought out a brand of fire, and thrust it into the mats which were the coverings of their houses. Others also, being industriously active in like manner, the wind suiting their design, their dwellings one after another, being compact, soon took fire, so that the flames and smoke soon became so violent that our people were constrained to quit the fort, which, as it was said, was not long after Captain Underhill and his party had entered into it. The reason of which was, Captain Underhill met with some obstructions at the southwest entrance, which occasioned a delay. At length a valiant and resolute gentleman, one Mr. Hedge, stepping toward the gate, saying, "If we may not enter, wherefore came we here?" and immediately endeavored to enter, but was opposed by a sturdy Indian fellow. But the Indian being slain by himself and Sergeant Davis, he entered; but the smoke and flames, as before is noted, constrained them to retire.
Thus these Indians, that had lorded and tyrannized over their neighbor tribes of Indians, and plotted the utter destruction of the English, were driven, those that survived, into the greatest consternation, as though they had been void of reason, for now the mischief they purposed and had so violently pursued, God had turned upon their own heads; and as it were in an hour, or perhaps not above two, they and the whole pride of their power was destroyed, and their fort made desolate, where doubtless many cruelties were committed. It was concluded that 700 were killed in this action, either by force of the English arms, or that perished in the flames of their houses, and 300, according to the account of the Indians, that died of their wounds afterwards. The English had but two men killed in this surprising conflict and victorious event, which will remain as a standing monument of glory to God, in the annals of New-England, and renown annexed to the names and memory of the actors, especially Captain Mason, commander in this truly admirable expedition. There were about 20 of our men wounded; but, by all I can now find, they recov
ered. It might have been remarked, that when the flames of the wigwams prevailed, these miserable savages were struck with such consternation and amazement, that, as a 'terror from on high had fallen on them, some climbed to the top of the palisadoes, others running into the flames as though they aimed to extinguish it, and there instantly perished. About 40 stout fellows rushed out, who fell by the sword. When they had thus prevailed, orders were given by the commander to withdraw to the outside of the fort, and surround it, that none might escape; which was immediately obeyed. But one Arthur Smith was so badly wounded that he could not move out of the place where he lay, and must there have perished, had not Lieutenant Bull by accident espied him, and got him out of the fort. "Thus did God judge among the heathen, filling their place with dead bodies."
All this while and whole time of action, the Indians, even the whole body of Captain Mason's auxiliaries, remained at a distance from the fort, but only as spectators to see the issue and how the game would go, laboring in their perplexed minds between hope and fear, as they all wanted to take revenge on the Pequots for their usurpations and tyranny ́ over them, which they of themselves were never able to effect; therefore hoped for success on the part of the English, that by them they might have their revengeful desires gratified. On the other hand it may be concluded, they were struggling under a flow of panic fears, well knowing that if the English were defeated, with whom they had now taken part, they should all soon be destroyed. Nor did they, as we learn, any other service in the action, as they were at a distance from the fort, more than to seize those that escaped out of it, and deliver them up to the English.
The Pequots had another fort, more southward, where Sassacus, their grand sagamore, or sachem, had his usual residence; and when our men were drawn off, in their march, about a quarter of a mile, there came running up from the other fort about 300 Indians, or more, as they conceived; and when they came to see the destruction made on the fort, they stamped, and tore their hair, and then with the utmost fury followed our army, pelting them with their arrows, who were now reduced to a very small number, by reason of some being wounded. These they prevailed
with the Indians in their company to carry; others fainted under the fatigue of their march and in destroying the fort, in which they had in a manner exhausted their powers, and rendered scarce able to travel, and their provision near spent. So that they had but 20 men left, able to face about and stand the force of their furious arrows, flying like hail against them. Yet it pleased God to protect them, or so direct them in their flight, as to prevent the mischief intended by the enemy, and wonderfully working deliverance for them in this, as foregoing instances. There were indeed but 20 men, as was said, who are to be understood exclusive - of the parties of the Mohegan and Narragansett tribes of Indians, their allies, that joined and continued with them in the whole of this memorable expedition.
The Indians continued following, in the manner above related, until they came on a high hill which overlooked the Pequot river, as then called, now New London harbor; where, to their great joy and satisfaction, they saw their vessels they had left at Narragansett Bay, riding at anchor. Upon this discovery, which the enemy also might probably make at the same time, they gathered together, and returned to their remaining fort, with such fury and rage against Sassacus, their chief sachem, threatening to kill him and all that belonged to him, alleging that he had been the only instrument of bringing all this calamity upon them; which doubtless in their madness they would soon have effected, had not his counsellors interposed and prevented it, that his life was spared.
Upon Captain Mason's return, with his men and the parties of the Mohegan and Narragansett Indians, their assistants, on board their vessels, there were mighty rejoicings, with thankful praises to God for the many smiles of heaven on them in the adventure, and finally in crowning their endeavors with victorious success, and with the loss of but
It was said, that in this expedition the whole army, though truly very small, consisting only of 90 men besides their allied Indians, had but one pint of spirituous liquor, as they termed it. We may suppose it to be rum, which then, through the scarcity of it, was not known by that name; but now, to the shame and wound of the country, in its wonderful flow, we are brought, to our cost, to know not only the
name and nature, but also its destructive effects on multitudes among us, not only in times past, but even unto this day. But to return. It was remarkable, that in our men's retreat, and the Indians from their fort following them, as was noted, with the violence of their bows and arrows, none of our people were hurt. But when a shot was made on the enemy, and any of them were seen to fall, our Indians would make a great shout, and then take so much courage as to run and cut off their heads, and bring them to the English with triumph.
The Pequots had some notice, it seems, of the armament the English were at that time raising against them; and seeing the fleet off against their borders, they expected them to land, as the Indians after reported, therefore kept a strict guard and look-out upon their seacoast; but seeing no more of them, concluded they were afraid and durst not encounter them. Under this pleasing notion, after they had waited the time of our force's landing and travels from the Narragansett Bay, the evening before Captain Mason made the attack, there came from the other fort 150 men of their company to this fort, in triumph, and boasting that the English were returned, therefore now they had nothing to fear from that quarter; and thereupon set to singing and dancing, which our people heard, where they were encamped the night before,-in which revel they continued until midnight or past, to that degree that they soon fell into that profound sleep, before noted, wherein so many slept their sleep outright, and "the stout-hearted were spoiled, and none of the men of might have found their hands. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." Our men took but seven prisoners; and but about seven of the whole number that were then in the fort escaped,-so great and memorable was the victory.
When they came to their vessels, Captain Patrick was there, with 40 men, sent from the Massachusetts, to treat with the Indians on Block Island on the murder of Captain Oldham, as they said. However, we have no account of this, or their proceedings, or that mentioned before under the command of Captain Endicott.*
[* An account of Endicott's expedition to Block Island and the Pequot territory is contained in Underhill's Narrative, pp. 4-11 of this volume. Pub. Com.]