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without order themselves, proceeded first on the south end of the fort. But remarkable it was to many of us. Men that run before they are sent, most commonly have an ill reward. Worthy reader, let me entreat you to have a more charitable opinion of me (though unworthy to be better thought of) than is reported in the other book.* You may remember there is a passage unjustly laid upon me, that when we should come to the entrance, I should put forth this question, Shall we enter? Others should * answer again, What came we hither for else? It is well known to many, it was never my practice, in time of my command, when we are in garrison, much to consult with a private soldier, or to ask his advice in point of war; much less in a matter of so great a moment as that was, which experience had often taught me was not a time to put forth such a question; and therefore pardon him that hath given the wrong information. Having our swords in our right hand, our carbines or muskets in our left hand, we approached the fort, Master Hedge being shot through both arms, and more wounded. Though it be not commendable for a man to make mention of anything that might tend to his own honor, yet became I would have the providence of God observed, and his name magnified, as well for myself as others, I dare not omit, but let the world know, that deliverance was given to us that command, as well as to private soldiers. Captain Mason and myself entering into the wigwams, he was shot, and received many arrows against his head-piece. God preserved him from many wounds. Myself received a shot in the left hip, through a sufficient buff coat, that if ■ I had not been supplied with such a garment, the arrow would have pierced through me. Another I received between neck and shoulders, hanging in the linen of my headpiece. Others of our soldiers were shot, some through the shoulders, some in the face, some in the head, some in the legs, Captain Mason and myself losing each of us a man, and had near twenty wounded. Most courageously these Pequeats behaved themselves. But seeing the fort was too hot for us, we devised a way how we might save ourselves and prejudice them. Captain Mason entering
[* The other book here referred to, containing the charge of which Underbill complains, is Vincent's Relation of the Pequot War, which is printed in this volume immediately after Underhill's account. Publishing Committee.]
into a wigwam, brought out a firebrand, after he had wounded many in the house. Then he set fire on the west side, where he entered; myself set fire on the south end with a train of powder. The fires of both meeting in the centre of the fort, blazed most terribly, and burnt all in the space of half an hour. Many courageous fellows were unwilling to come out, and fought most desperately through the palisadoes, so as they were scorched and burnt with the very flame, and were deprived of their arms—in regard the fire burnt their very bowstrings—and so perished valiantly. Mercy they did deserve for their valor, could we have had opportunity to have bestowed it. Many were burnt in the fort, both men, women, and children. Others forced out, and came in troops to the Indians, twenty and thirty at a time, which our soldiers received and entertained with the point of the sword. Down.fell men, women, and children; those that scaped us, fell into the hands of the Indians that were in the rear of us. It is reported by themselves, that there were about four hundred souls in this fort, and not above five of them escaped out of our hands. Great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of young soldiers that never had been in war, to see so many souls lie gasping on the ground, so thick, in some places, that you could hardly pass along. It may be demanded, Why should you be so furious? (assome have said). Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion? But I would refer you to David's war. When a people is grown to such a height of blood, and sin against God and man, and all confederates in the action, there he hath no respect to persons, but harrows them, and saws them, and puts them to the sword, and the most terriblest death that may be. Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents. Sometimes the case alters; but we will not dispute it now. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.
Having ended this service, we drew our forces together to battalia. Being ordered, the Pequeats came upon us with their prime men, and let fly at us; myself fell on scarce with twelve or fourteen men to encounter with them ; but they finding our bullets to outreach their arrows, forced themselves often to retreat. When we saw we could have no advantage against them in the open field, we requested our Indians for to entertain fight with them. Our end was that we might see the nature of the Indian war ; which they granted us, and fell out, the Pequeats, Narragansets, and Mohigeners changing a few arrows together after such a manner, as I dare boldly affirm, they might fight seven years and not kill seven men. They came not near one another, but shot remote, and not point-blank, as we often do with our bullets, but at rovers, and then they gaze up in the sky to see where the arrow falls, and not until it is fallen do they shoot again. This fight is more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies. But spending a little time this way, we were forced to cast our eyes upon our poor maimed soldiers, many of them lying upon the ground, wanting food and such nourishable things as might refresh them in this faint state. But we were not supplied with any such things whereby we might relieve them, but only were constrained to look up to God, and to entreat him for mercy towards them. Most were thirsty, but could find no water. The provision we had for food was very little. Many distractions seized upon us at the present. A chirurgeon we wanted; our chirurgeon, not accustomed to war, durst not hazard himself where we ventured our lives, but, like a fresh water soldier, kept aboard, and by this means our poor maimed soldiers were brought to a great strait and faintness, some of them swounding away for want of speedy help; but yet God was pleased to preserve the lives of them, though not without great misery and pain to themselves for the present. Distractions multiplying, strength and courage began to fail with many. Our Indians, that had stood close to us hitherto, were fallen into consultation, and were resolved for to leave us in a land we knew not which way to get out. Suddenly after their resolution, fifty of the Narraganset Indians fell off from the rest, returning home. The Pequeats spying them, pursued after them. Then came the Narragansets to Captain Mason and myself, crying, Oh, help us now, or our men will be all slain. We answered, How dare you crave aid of us, when you are leaving of us in this distressed condition, not knowing which way to m^rch oyt of the country? But yet you shall see it is not the nature of Englishmen to deal like heathens, to requite evil for evil, but we will succor you. Myself falling on with thirty men, in the space of an hour rescued their men, and in our retreat to the body, slew and wounded above a hundred Pequeats, all fighting men, that charged us both in rear and flanks. Having overtaken the body, we were resolved to march to a certain neck of land that lay by the sea-side, where we intended to quarter that night, because we knew not how to get our maimed men to Pequeat river. As yet we saw not our pinnaces sail along, but feared the Lord had crossed them, which also the master of the barque much feared. We gave them order to set sail on the Narraganset Bay, about midnight, as we were to fall upon the fort in the morning, so that they might meet us in Pequeat river in the afternoon; but the wind being cross, bred in them a great perplexity what would become of us, knowing that we were but slenderly provided, both with munition and provision. But they being in a distracted condition, lifted up their hearts to God for help. About twelve of the clock the wind turned about and became fair; it brought them along in sight of us, and about ten o'clock in the morning carried them into Pequeat river. Coming to an anchor at the place appointed, the wind turned as full against them as ever it could blow. How remarkable, this • providence of God was, I leave to a Christian eye to judge. Our Indians came to us, and much rejoiced at our victories, and greatly admired the manner of Englishmen's fight, but cried Mach it, mach it; that is, It is naught, it is naught, because it is too furious, and slays too many men. Having received their desires, they freely promised, and gave up themselves to march along with us, wherever we would go. God having eased us from that oppression that lay upon us, thinking we should have been left in great misery for want of our vessels, we diverted our thoughts from going to that neck of land, and faced about, marching to the river where our vessels lay at anchor. One remarkable passage. The Pequeats playing upon our flanks, one Sergeant Davis, a pretty courageous soldier, spying something black upon the top of a rock, stepped forth from the body with a carbine of three feet long, and, at a venture, gave fire, supposing it to be an Indian's head, turning him over with his heels upward. The Indians observed this, and greatly admired that a man should shoot so directly. The Pequeats were much daunted at the shot, and forbore approaching so near upon us. Being come to the Pequeat river we met with Captain Patrick, who under his command had forty able soldiers,, who was ready to begin a second attempt. But many of our men being maimed and much wearied, we forbore that night, and embarked ourselves, myself setting sail for Seabrooke fort. Captain Mason and Captain Patrick marching over land, burned and spoiled the country between the Pequeat and Conetticot river, where we received them. The Pequeats having received so terrible a blow, and being much affrighted with the destruction of so many, the next day fell into consultation. Assembling their most ablest men together, propounded these three things. First, whether they would set upon a sudden revenge upon the Narragansets, or attempt an enterprise upon the English, or fly. They were in great dispute one amongst another. Sasachus, their chief commander, was all for blood; the rest for flight, Alleging these arguments: We are a people bereaved of courage, our hearts are sadded with the death of so many of our dear friends; we see upon what advantage the English lie; what sudden and deadly blows they strike; what advantage they have of their pieces to us, which are not able to reach them with our arrows at distance. They are supplied with everything necessary; they are flote and heartened in their victory. To what end shall we stand it out with them? We are not able; therefore let us rather save some than lose all. This prevailed. Suddenly after, they spoiled all those goods they could not carry with them, broke up their tents and wigwams, and betook themselves to flight. Sasachus, flying towards Conetticot plantation, quartered by the river side; there he met with a shallop sent down to Seabrooke fort, which had in it three men; they let fly upon them, shot many arrows into them. Courageous were the English, and died in their hands, but with a great deal of valor. The forces which were prepared in the Bay were ready for to set forth. Myself being taken on but for three months, and the soldiers willing to return to the Bay, we embarked ourselves, and set to sail. In our journey we met with certain pinnaces, in them a hundred able and well appointed soldiers, under the conduct of one Captain Stoughton, and other inferior officers ; and in company with them one Mr. John Wilson, who was sent to instruct the company. These falling into Pequeat river, met with many of the distressed Indians. Some they slew, others they took prisoners.