Lovewell’s Fight: War, Death, and Memory in Borderland New by Robert E. Cray

By Robert E. Cray

In could 1725, in the course of a three-year clash among English colonists and the japanese Abenaki state, a thirty-four-man excursion led via Captain John Lovewell got down to ambush their adversaries, collect a few scalp bounties, and hasten the tip of the struggle. in its place, the Abenakis staged a shock assault in their personal at Pigwacket, Maine, that left greater than a 3rd of the recent Englanders useless or seriously wounded. even if Lovewell himself was once slain within the battling, he emerged a martyred hero, celebrated in renowned reminiscence for status his flooring opposed to a great enemy strength.

In this ebook, Robert E. Cray revisits the conflict referred to as "Lovewell's struggle" and makes use of it to light up the topics of struggle, dying, and reminiscence in early New England. He exhibits how an army operation plagued from the outset through terrible decision-making, and additional marred via 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 saved 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 genuine tale of "Lovewell's struggle" receded into obscurity―a bloody skirmish in a mostly forgotten war―it remained a part of New England lore, a kind of infrequent army encounters within which defeat transcends an opponent's victory to imagine the mantle of legend.

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Additional info for Lovewell’s Fight: War, Death, and Memory in Borderland New England

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None of the men except for Farwell and Robbins had served under Lovewell before. Indeed, although John Grenier claimed the volunteers were Bostonians, these men were actually rural villagers drawn to the party by Lovewell’s record of success. For some, scalp hunting resembled a family affair, as seen by David and Eleazer Melvin, half-brothers separated by over a dozen years, or the Johnson cousins Noah, Josiah, and Ichabod, clustered within four years of one another. Others followed their neighbors and enlisted.

Whether Josiah Farwell or Jonathan Robbins, the ranking officers, or the energetic Wyman took charge is unstated. Rank may have been meaningless in any event; the survivors first needed to count their casualties. Nine men lay dead: John Lovewell headed the list, followed by Ensign John Harwood from Captain John Lovewell’s Fatal Expedition Z 25 Dunstable. Ichabod Johnson from Woburn, Josiah Davis and Sergeant Jacob Fullam of Weston, John Jefts and Jonathan Kitteredge of Billerica, and Daniel Woods and Thomas Woods, cousins from Groton, rounded out the fatalities.

23 Lovewell’s success became imprinted on the popular memory. That he had dispatched the Indians in a night raid without a single casualty became fodder for tale telling. ” New Englanders had many battles to recall, with recent Revolutionary battles such as Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill instilling patriotic pride in the citizens of the early republic. ”24 Lovewell’s second expedition suggests remarkable luck, decided expertise, or more likely some combination of the two. He erred on the side of caution: when a man injured himself, he provided an escort; when provisions ran short, he sent men home.

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