Battle of Mount Hope

What was the Battle of Mount Hope?

The Battle of Mount Hope was a battle fought during King Philip’s War in the 17th century. In this battle, English colonists were able to find the Native American leader Metacomet and capture him. Metacomet was also known as King Philip and the war was named after him.

When was the battle fought?

The Battle of Mount Hope was fought on August 12, 1676. The war had started a year earlier when English colonists hung three Wampanoag men for murder. This escalated the tensions between the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists. The Wampanoag under the leadership of Metacomet declared war on the colonists. The Battle of Mount Hope, although a small battle by comparison, was a very decisive event in the war.

Background of the Battle

King Philip’s War began in 1675. In the beginning, Wampanoag chief Metacomet had many Native American allies and warriors. And with this support, he was able to win a number of victories against colonial militias. However, by the end of 1676, English colonists had launched a concerted effort against Metacomet’s alliance. These efforts proved fruitful and pushed many allies of Metacomet out of their native territories. By 1676, the tide had already turned in the favor of the colonists.

Events Leading to the Battle

One of the major events of King Philip’s War was the Great Swamp Fight. This battle took place in November, 1675. During this fight, English colonists killed hundreds of Narragansett people who were allied with Metacomet’s forces. This devastated the Narragansett and dealt a blow to Metacomet’s forces.

Later in the year, Metacomet tried to rally the Mohawks to his cause. He established a camp in Mohawk territory, hoping to secure their support. Instead, the Mohawk attacked his forces and killed a large number of his warriors. Metacomet then fled and was on the run, with the colonists in pursuit. The Battle of Mount Hope was fought when the colonists found his whereabouts.

The Battle of Mount Hope

In August 1676, Metacomet’s war had failed and he had taken refuge somewhere in a swamp region. The colonial militiamen were in pursuit under the leadership of Captain Benjamin Church. During their search, the militiamen came across some women gathering fruits for their ‘king’.

The militiamen captured these women and interrogated them. The interrogations led them to the location of Metacomet. He was accompanied by hundreds of Native Indians who still regarded him as their leader. The colonists attacked Metacomet’s forces. In the ensuing fighting, more than 60 Native Americans were taken prisoner while 3 were killed.

Result and Aftermath

The Battle of Mount Hope helped colonial militiamen capture Metacomet who had started King Philip’s War. The militiamen then executed Metacomet as well as other tribal chiefs who were leading the Indian war efforts. Notable among these was Anawan who was the leader of the Pocasset people and allied with Metacomet. The capture and execution of Metacomet effectively brought an end to King Philip’s War although minor skirmishes continued for the next few years.

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