By Robert E. Cray
In could 1725, in the course of a three-year clash among English colonists and the jap Abenaki country, a thirty-four-man day trip led by way of Captain John Lovewell got down to ambush their adversaries, collect a few scalp bounties, and hasten the tip of the battle. as a substitute, the Abenakis staged a shock assault in their personal at Pigwacket, Maine, that left greater than a 3rd of the recent Englanders useless or critically wounded. even supposing Lovewell himself was once slain within the battling, he emerged a martyred hero, celebrated in well known reminiscence for status his floor opposed to an exceptional enemy strength.
In this publication, 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 indicates how an army operation plagued from the outset via bad decision-making, and extra marred through 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 stored the tale alive for later generations. even though 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 during 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
Nor could the men—in whatever group they were—convince Barrow to stay. Such fragmentation after battle, at least in early Anglo-American history, has rarely been examined aside from isolated episodes of individuals trying to regroup after fighting. Cabeza de Vaca’s sixteenth-century account of a disaster-ridden Spanish expedition along the Gulf of Mexico constitutes a classic exception. Three hundred would-be conquistadors suffered sickness, starvation, desertion, and disintegration after coming ashore on Florida in the spring of 1528.
That it took Davis so long to reach it may reflect uncertain directions or his slow rate of travel. Indeed, either or both reasons may explain why Davis ended up in Berwick, one of the northernmost settlements in New England, instead of Dunstable. From there he was sent to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where a “skillful Surgeon” tended his belly wound and blown-away thumb. 56 Josiah Jones might have wished he stayed with his comrades; at least with Captain John Lovewell’s Fatal Expedition Z 29 Davis he would have gained the fort and provisions.
Fear was an understandable emotion. Threats of attack often led settlers to petition for military protection; at other times settlers fled homesteads, afraid of attack. Captain John Lovewell’s Fatal Expedition Z 21 Now these settlers/soldiers were away from home with only a small rear guard for assistance, and their nerves started to fray. Clerics safely ensconced in a meetinghouse pulpit would have stressed Christian resolve and performance of duty. Yet such words were hard to remember in the woods.