Battle of Bloody Brook 1675

What was the Battle of Bloody Brook?

The Battle of Bloody Brook was fought between Native Americans and English colonists. It took place as a part of King Philip’s War. The battle was fought over the expansion of English colonists and encroachment on the territories which Native American tribes considered their lands.

Background of the Battle

At the time, the English colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were expanding and taking over more lands. The Native Americans resented this because they had been living on these lands for centuries. The resentment reached a head when King Philip’s War broke out in 1675. The Battle of Bloody Brook was one of the early battles of the war. It also involved relatively few combatants.

Who fought in the battle?

The Battle of Bloody Brook was fought between the Native American warriors and the English colonists. The Native American warriors belonged to the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc tribes. The English colonists belonged to the Deerfield settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. According to estimates, the Native American warriors greatly outnumbered the colonists. In all, there were around 700 Native Americans and only about 85 colonists who took part in the battle.

Leading up to the Battle

In September, 1675, a group of colonists and militiamen were tasked with transporting harvest. They were to take the harvest from Deerfield to Hadley. At the time, Metacomet’s War, also known as the King Philip’s War, had begun and tensions were high between colonists and Native Indians.

The colonists’ caravan comprised of nearly 84 people, of which 18 were civilians and the rest were militiamen. The militiamen were armed with muskets. Captain Thomas Laythrop led the group of colonists.

The Fighting

Once the colonists had transported the provisions from Deerfield to Hadley, they turned back to return. On their way back, the militiamen stopped at a place in South Deerfield to pick grapes on the trailside. They also put down their muskets to gather the grapes.

The Native American Nipmuc and Pocumtuc warriors had planned the attack on the colonists and took this opportunity to attack. They took the militiamen completely by surprise. In the melee, most of the militiamen were killed. Another group of militiamen heard the gunshots at the distance and came to the relief of the party. With their help, about 10 colonists out of the group of 84 survived in the end.

Result and Aftermath

The Battle of Bloody Brook was a decisive victory for the Native American tribes. For the English colonists, it was a devastating tragedy which resulted in the loss of a large number of lives. After defeating the colonists, the Native Americans decided to attack the Deerfield colonial settlement and burned it.

However, the colonists soon gained the upper hand in the King Philip’s War. This enabled them to resettle Deerfield. The Pocumtuc tribe which had taken an active part in the Battle of the Bloody Brook was decisively defeated during the war. The tribe’s villages and settlements were destroyed which forced it out of its ancestral lands.

Learn more about the Battle of Bloody Brook at Wikipedia