Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pratt/Woodruff History-King Philip's War III

Lt. Col. John Talcott who fought in King Philip's War was the fourth of that name among our Pratt ancestors. He was the son of John Talcott (III) who was one of those Connecticut officials who voted to declare war on the Pequots as described in my Pratt/Woodruff History message- Pequot War II- of November 16. He was born in Braintree, England about 1630. He died in Hartford in 1688. He arrived in Boston in 1632 with his father as part of the Thomas Hooker company on the ship "Lyon". His family removed to the Connecticut River valley and settled in Hartford where he grew up.
He was made an Ensign of colonial troops in 1650 and Captain in 1660. He succeeded his father as Treasurer of Connecticut Colony, holding that office 1660 to 1676.
At the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675 he was appointed to the command of the Connecticut Army with the rank of Major. In June of that year he went into the field at the head of "the standing army" of Connecticut accompanied by 200 Mohicans and Pequots. He scoured the Connecticut River Valley as far as the falls above Deerfield in Massachusetts, inflicted severe blows upon the hostile tribes, and saved Hadley from the attack of 700 Indians. He also performed good sevice among the Narragansetts, and fought a successful battle at the Housatonic River, killing the Sachem of Quabaug.
Early in the war he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. He was known as the "Indian fighter".Many of his official papers are preserved among the state records in Hartford, and contain interesting notes regarding the war with King Philip. (Adapted from Virtual American Biographies).
From another source: "In the various battles with the Indians in which he was engaged he was always victorious, and obtained great renown as an 'Indian Fighter' ".
Remember that during the Pequot War in 1636-1637 that the guns used were matchlocks. By the time of King Philip's War flintlock firearms had been developed and both the English and the Indians had aquired them. In fact in some cases the Indians were were better armed because some militias still used old matchlocks. After King Philip's War every militiaman was required to own a flintlock musket..
NEXT: Other ancestors who served.

Emailed Dec. 3

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