Sunday, July 06, 2014


((First posted on 21Jul 2009. I'm reposting it since today is the 324 anniversary
of the Battle of Wheelwright Pond)) 

My 9x great grandfather Gershom Flagg was born in Watertown, Ma. in 1641 but
by 1689 he was residing in Woburn, Middlesex, Ma. That year he was appointed
Lieutenant in a company commanded by Captain Noah Wiswall(Wiswell) which
was sent off to Maine as part of the expedition under the joint command of Benjamin
Church and my ancestor Jeremiah Swain.

There are two different accounts of what sort of company made up Captain Wiswall's
command. One says it was comprised of militiamen infantry, but the other version
says it was made up of friendly Indians hostile to the Maine tribes. Apparently, there
were some who were not all that hostile, as this story from Daniel Neal's "History 
ofNew-England Vol 2" (p80) relates:

"Befides, their Motions were difcovered to the Enemy by fome Indian Auxiliaries, 
whobeing fent out with Lieutenant Flag to get Intelligence of the Enemy, confulted
togetherin their wn Language at Winnopiffeag, and obliging the Lieutenant to 
return with buttwo Indians, nineteen of them ftaid in thofe Parts eleven Days 
without an Englifhman in their Company ; in which Time they found out the Enemy, 
lay with them two Nights,and told them every thing they knew of the Numbers, 
Motions and Defigns of the Englifh: Upon which they retired into their inacceffible 
Woods and Swamps, and appeared no more in a Body while the Army was in thofe 
Parts... "

It was perhaps then inevitable that matters turned out as they did on 6Jul 1690 at
Wheelwright Pond near Lee, New Hampshire (pp95-96) :

"All the open Country was fo infefted with Parties of the Enemy at this Time, that 
it was hardly fafe for a Man to ftir out of his Houfe, or follow his Bufinels in the 
Field. A Council of War was therefore called at Portfmoutb, which ordered Captain 
Wifwel and CaptainFloyd with a large Body of Men to fcour the Woods as far as 
Cafco. They marched out of Quochecho on the 4th of July, withe above 100 Men, 
and on the 6th came up with a large Party of the Enemy at Wheelwright-Pond.
It was obferved, that there were feveral French Soldiers mix'd with thefe Indians, 
to difcipline and inftruct them in a regular Way of Fighting .The Engagement
lafted feveral Hours, but Victory declared at laft for the Enemy, Captain Wifwel, 
Lieutenant Flag, Serjeant Walker, with fifteen of their Men, being killed, and a 
great many more wounded. When Wifwel fell, Captain Floyd retreated with the 
Remainder of the Army, in the beft Manner he could, leaving his wounded Men
behind him-, but next Morning Captain Convers, with twenty Men, being fent 
out towardsthe Place of Battle, found feven of the wounded Englifh yet alive, 
and brought them back to the Camp. The Indians flufhed with this Victory, 
made a Defcent upon Amefbury, furprized Captain Foot, and tortured him to 
death ; but the Townfmen taking the Alarm, fecured themfelves in their Fort: 
However, the Enemy killed three Perfons, burnt three or four Houies, deftroyed 
their Cattle, and then retired..."

July seems not to have been the best month for many of my ancestors..

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