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over it. The Indians and Canadians were excluded: on which some of the Indians pulled out several of the stones that formed the foundation of the wall, crawled through, opened the gate, and let in the whole crew. They raised a yell when they saw the blood of Thomas Knowlton trickling from the watchtower where he had been shot, then rushed up to where the corpse lay, brought it down, scalped it, and cut off the head and arms. The fort was then plundered, set on fire, and burned to the ground. The prisoners were led to the French camp; and here the chaplain was presently accosted by one Doty, Rigaud's interpreter, who begged him to persuade some of the prisoners to go with the Indians. Norton replied that it had been agreed that they should all remain with the French; and that to give up any of them to the Indians would be a breach of the capitulation. Doty then appealed to the men themselves, who all insisted on being left with the French, according to the terms stipulated. Some of them, however, were given to the Indians, who, after Rigaud's promise to them, could have been pacified in no other way. His fault was in making a stipulation that he could not keep. Hawks and Norton, with all the women and children, remained in the French camp. Hearing that men were expected from Deerfield to take the places of the sick, Rigaud sent sixty Indians to cut them off. They lay in wait for the English reinforcement, which consisted of nineteen men, gave them a close fire, shot down fifteen of them, and captured the rest.” This or another party of Rigaud's Indians pushed as far as Deerfield and tried to waylay the farmers as they went to their work on a Monday morning. The Indians hid in a growth of alder-bushes along the edge of a meadow where men were making hay, accompanied by some children. One Ebenezer Hawks, shooting partridges, came so near the ambushed warriors that they could not resist the temptation of killing and scalping him. This alarmed the haymakers and the children, who ran for their lives towards a mill on a brook that entered Deerfield River, fiercely pursued by about fifty Indians, who caught and scalped a boy named Amsden. Three men, Allen, Sadler, and Gillet, got under the bank of the river and fired on the pursuers. Allen and Gillet were soon killed, but Sadler escaped unhurt to an island. Three children of Allen — Eunice, Samuel, and Caleb — were also chased by the Indians, who knocked down Eunice with a tomahawk, but were in too much haste to stop and scalp her, and she lived to a good old age. Her brother Samuel was caught and dragged off, but Caleb ran into a field of tall maize, and escaped. The firing was heard in the village, and a few armed men, under Lieutenant Clesson, hastened to the rescue; but when they reached the spot the Indians were gone, carrying the boy Samuel Allen
1 One French account says that the Indians failed to meet the English party. N. Y. Col. Docs. X. 35.
with them, and leaving two of their own number dead. Clesson, with such men as he had, followed their trail up Deerfield River, but could not overtake the light-footed savages. Meanwhile, the prisoners at Fort Massachusetts spent the first night, well guarded, in the French and Indian camps. In the morning, Norton, accompanied by a Frenchman and several Indians, was permitted to nail to one of the charred posts of the fort a note to tell what had happened to him and his companions.” The victors then marched back as they had come, along the Hoosac road. They moved slowly, encumbered as they were by the sick and wounded. Rigaud gave the Indians presents, to induce them to treat their prisoners with humanity. Norton was in charge of De Muy, and after walking four miles sat down with him to rest in Williamstown valley. There was a yell from the Indians in the rear. “I trembled,” writes Norton, “thinking they had murdered some of our people, but was filled with admiration when I saw all our prisoners come up with us, and John Aldrich carried on the back of his Indian master.” Aldrich had been shot in the foot, and could not walk. “We set out again, and
1 The note was as follows: “August 20 [31, new style], 1746. These are to inform you that yesterday, about 9 of the clock, we were besieged by, as they say, seven hundred French and Indians. They have wounded two men and killed one Knowlton. The Gen. eral de Vaudreuil desired capitulations, and we were so distressed that we complied with his terms. We are the French's prisoners, and have it under the general's hand that every man, woman, and child shall be exchanged for French prisoners.”
had gone but a little way before we came up with Josiah Reed.” Reed was extremely ill, and could go no farther. Norton thought that the Indians would kill him, instead of which one of them carried him on his back. They were said to have killed him soon after, but there is good reason to think that he died of disease. “I saw John Perry's wife,” pursues the chaplain; "she complained that she was almost ready to give out.” The Indians threatened her, but Hawks spoke in her behalf to Rigaud, who remonstrated with them, and they afterwards treated her well. The wife of another soldier, John Smead, was near her time, and had lingered behind. The French showed her great kindness. “Some of them made a seat for her to sit upon, and brought her to the camp, where, about ten o'clock, she was graciously delivered of a daughter, and was remarkably well. . .. Friday: this morning I baptized John Smead's child. He called its name Captivity." The French made a litter of poles, spread over it a deerskin and a bear-skin, on which they placed the mother and child, and so carried them forward.
Three days after, there was a heavy rain, and the mother was completely drenched, but suffered no harm, though “Miriam, the wife of Moses Scott, hereby catched a grievous cold.” John Perry was relieved of his pack, so that he might help his wife and carry her when her strength failed. Several horses were found at the farms along the way, and the sick Benjamin Simons and the wounded John Aldrich were allowed to use two of them. Rarely, indeed, in these dismal border-raids were prisoners treated so humanely; and the credit seems chiefly due to the efforts of Rigaud and his officers. The hardships of the march were shared by the victors, some of whom were sorely wounded; and four Indians died within a few days..
“I divided my army between the two sides of the Kaskékouké” (Hoosac), says Rigaud, “and ordered them to do what I had not permitted to be done before we reached Fort Massachusetts. Every house was set on fire, and numbers of domestic animals of all sorts were killed. French and Indians vied with each other in pillage, and I made them enter the [valleys of all the] little streams that flow into the Kaskékouké and lay waste everything there. ... Wherever we went we made the same havoc, laid waste both sides of the river, through twelve leagues of fertile country, burned houses, barns, stables, and even a meeting-house, — in all, above two hundred establishments, — killed all the cattle, and ruined all the crops. Such, Monseigneur, was the damage I did our enemies during the eight or nine days I was in their country."i As the Dutch settlers had escaped, there was no resistance.
The French and their allies left the Hoosac at the point where they had reached it, and retraced their steps northward through the forest, where there was an old Indian trail. Recrossing the Batten Kill, or
1 Journal de Rigaud.