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Re: Thomas Hawley killed at Sudbury April 21, 1676
Posted by: Andy Dorr (ID *****4291) Date: September 02, 2007 at 05:35:17
In Reply to: Thomas Hawley killed at Sudbury April 21, 1676 by Michael Cootware of 143

Thomas is my 8th great grandfather. Attached are some information on the Sudbury fight in which he was killed. The best source is a 1801 book by George Bodge called: "Soldiers in King Philip's War: Containing Lists of the Soldiers of Massachusetts Colony, who ..." Its out of copy right and available via Google books. Pages 173 to 184 cover the Sudbury fight. Thomas is mentioned very briefly on pages 179 and 184. The town of Sudbury Senior Center has a good website that details the fight:

I hope you and others find this interesting and of help. I would appreciate any other further information about Thomas Hawley and life.

Andy Dorr

"As English settlers pushed westward in the mid-seventeenth century, their relations with the Native American populations became increasingly strained. Under the leadership of Wampanoag chieftain Metacomet, known by the English as "King Philip", Native American forces began attacking English settlements in June, 1675. Sudbury native Ephraim Curtis, who spoke the Algonquian language fluently, served as a mediator and scout for colonial officials. On March 26, 1676, warriors from the Nipmuck tribe attacked Marlborough, the town on Sudbury’s western border, and Curtis led a raid of Sudbury men to Marl borough’s defense. In the following days, Sudbury residents grew increasingly nervous. This document was a request by a group of Sudbury residents for the Governor and Council to send "twenty able and sufficient men upon the country’s account" to scout out the woods around Sudbury under Curtis’ command, "fearing lest the enemy might suddenly surprise us, as has been their custom in other places."

"The court denied their request. On April 18, Curtis sent an urgent letter requesting guns and ammunition for a company of volunteers he had recruited, as well as provisions for their care should any be wounded, "as if they had been pressed soldiers for the country’s service." Before the Council could respond, Sudbury was indeed attacked. On April 21, as many as 100 English and Native Americans died at Sudbury, in one of the last conflicts of King Philip’s War. King Philip’s warriors meet armed resistance at Sudbury."

At Battle of Green Hill, at least forty English killed in a stunning Native American victory. Sudbury would be the last eastern town that Philip would conquer." Thomas Hawley and the others were killed in this historic event known as the Sudbury Fight.

The following was taken from the Soldiers in King Philips War:              
"The Watertown Company was not probably over forty, while the garrisons of Sudbury amounted to but eighty. Thus about two hundred men were actively engaged with, and holding in play, probably more than a thousand Indiana one whole day, and finally defeated their intention of capturing the town, sending them away with fearful loss. Unfortunately we are not as yet able to find any list of the names of those killed on that day, and Mr. Hull's accounts do not show any credits referable to that service; only here and there are we able to glean from probate and town and church records a few names of those killed. From the Roxbury Records we find that:" Samuel Gardner, son of Peter William Cleaves, John Roberts, John Sharpe, Thomas Baker, Joseph Pepper, Nathaniel Sever, Thomas Hopkins, Thomas Hawley Sr., and Lieut. Samuel Gardner were all slain alt Sudbury under command of Capt. Sam Wadsworth upon 21 April 1676.”

The story of the battle of Sudbury in which our Thomas Hawley fought and gave his life is as follows:
“From all the above authorities, the true account in brief seems to be, that the English had no suspicion of the great numbers of the Indians that were gathering about Marlborough and Sudbury, or of the vicinity of any until early in the morning of the 21st, when several deserted houses were burnt with the evident purpose of drawing out the garrisons into an ambuscade. Then Deacon Haines's garrison- house was attacked with fury by large numbers, but was successfully defended from six o'clock in the morning until one o'clock, P.M., when the assault was abandoned. Twelve volunteers coming from Concord upon the alarm, to aid the garrison, were lured into the river meadow, and all slain save one. Mr. Edward Cowell, with a body of eighteen mounted men, coming from Brookfield by way of Marlborough, and by a different way from that taken by Capt. Wadsworth, became sharply engaged with an outlying party of the enemy, and lost four men killed, one wounded, and had five of his horses disabled.

While the attack upon Cowell's party was still going on, Captain Wadsworth and his company came upon the scene, and seeing a small party of Indians, rushed forward with the usual impetuous haste, and were caught in the usual ambuscade, for when within about a mile of Sudbury they were induced to pursue a body of not more than one hundred, and soon found themselves drawn away about one mile into the woods, where on a sudden they were encompassed by more than five hundred, and forced to a retreating fight towards a hill where they made a brave stand for a while (one authority says four hours), and did heavy execution upon the enemy, until ( Mr. Hubbard says) the night coming on and some of the company beginning to scatter from the rest, their fellows were forced to follow them, and thus being encompassed in the chase by numbers,

It was probably about noon when Capt. Wadsworth became actively engaged with the Indians, and thus withdrew their attention from both Cowell and Haines's garrison. The Watertown company arrived at about the same time, followed the Indians over the river, and made a brave fight to get to the hill where Capt. Wadsworth was engaged in his desperate struggle, but such fearful odds were against them that they were forced to fall back to Goode- now's garrison, " it being ner night." After dark they went to the "mill," probably with the troopers and Cowell's men, and brought off the soldiers there. The troopers sent from Charlestown, with the Indian company under Capt. Hunting, must have arrived quite late in the afternoon. These are the main facts, in brief, of the Sudbury fight.

The next day the Watertown company, with Capt. Hunting's Indians, buried the dead. The site of the battlefield where Capt. Wadsworth so long held the Indians at bay is upon what is now called "Green Hill." Here in 1730, fifty-four years after the battle, Rev. Benjamin Wadsworth, fifth son of Capt. Samuel, and at that time president of Harvard College, erected a monument to the memory of his father and those that fell with him. It is to be regretted that President Wadsworth accepted the erroneous date given by Mr. Hubbard, which has been perpetuated upon the new monument erected in 1852.”

Sudbury is about 17 miles west of present day Roxbury/ Boston
To get to the Green Hill area od Sudbury, where the fight was The top of Green Hill was developed in the past sixty years and is now an area of quiet streets and nice homes. Today, the summit of Green Hill can be found at the intersection of Pokonoket Avenue with Hillside Place.

Pokonoket Avenue is north of King Philip Road (both ends of which join the Boston Post Road just east of the Mill Village shopping center). The street name of Pokonoket is also quite appropriate, since it was the name of Metacom's tribal headquarters (also spelled Pokanoket), which is located in the eastern part of the present Town of Bristol, RI, near Mt. Hope Bay. Other appropriate names of streets now on Green Hill include Metacomet Way, Massasoit Avenue, and Indian Ridge Road

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