Thursday, September 17, 2015

Left for Dead at Bloody Brook

"Bloody Brook Monument. South Deerfield, MA" by Tom Walsh - Own work.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 
On September 17, 1675, a band of Indians attacked a train of wagons traveling from Deerfield to Hadley and loaded up with the wheat and corn harvest. This attack was part of King Philip's War. The colonists were led by Capt. Thomas Lothrop. When the news reached Deerfield, Capt. Mosely rushed to the scene with reinforcements and they engaged the Indians for about five hours with little progress. Only the arrival of Major Treat from Connecticut with his force of 100 men and 50 Mohicans turned the tide. 

From The History of Deerfield, George Sheldon, 1895:
"The soldiers crossed the brook and halted, while the teams should slowly drag their heavy loads through the mire; 'many of them,' says Mather, 'having been so foolish and secure as to put their arms in the cart and step aside to gather grapes, which proved dear and deadly grapes to them' ... 'This was a black and fatal day, wherein there was eight persons made widows, and six and twenty children made orphans, all in one little Plantation.'  Of the seventeen men of Pocumtuck who went out in the morning as teamsters, not one returned to tell the tale." 

The battle actually resulted in the deaths of between sixty and seventy men. Many were buried in a mass grave and a memorial marker was erected in Deerfield. The stream which was previously unnamed became known as Bloody Brook. 

Only a handful of men survived the attack at Bloody Brook. One of the survivors was Robert Dutch, son of Osmond Dutch and my 9X great-granduncle. 

Robert Dutch - only surviving child of Osmond Dutch's first marriage 
"As Mosely came upon the Indians in the Morning, he found them stripping the Slain, amongst whom was one Robert Dutch of Ipswich having been sorely wounded by a bullet that rased to his Skull and then mauled by the Indian Hatchets, was left for dead by the Salvages, and stript by them of all but his skin..."

In 1838, after confirming the location of the remains, a flagstone with Lothrop's name was put in place to mark the mass grave and a monument was erected nearby. Killed in the battle was my 8X great-granduncle, Joseph Balch. 

Osmond Dutch - father of Robert                         Osmond Dutch - father of Robert
Esther Dutch - half sister of Robert                     Grace Dutch - half sister of Robert
Robert Elwell                                                            Samuel Hodgkins
John Elwell                                                               Jonathan Hodgkins
Rhoda Elwell                                                             Rachel Hodgkins
Thomas Edgecomb                                                  Elizabeth Moody
Mary Edgecomb                                                       William Ackley
Benjamin Perley Philbrick                                     Sarah Ackley
Lizzie Philbrick                                                         Mary Jane Abbott
Ray Everett Cotton                                                  Fannie May Capen
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother              Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

John Balch
Benjamin Balch - father of Joseph Balch
Mary (Balch) Stone - sister of Joseph Balch
Ruth (Stone) Morgan
Luke Morgan
Samuel Morgan
Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses Yates
Gilbert W. Yates
Estes G. Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

1 comment:

  1. So interesting how we share so many ancestors and historical events in our family histories! I descend from Mary (Balch) Stone, too, and so Joseph Balch was also my 8th great grand uncle. My 9th great grandfather, Robert Wilson of Salem Village, was also killed at Bloody Brook.