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Letter to Rev. Erza Stiles on Shays' Rebellion reprinted in "The New-Haven Gazette and The Connecticut Magazine"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Reverend Ezra Stiles was the President of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. He had followed the events in Western Massachusetts during late 1786 and early 1787 with great interest. This letter to the Gazette describes the last encounter between the Regulators and the government militia which occurred in Sheffield. The Regulators had attacked and looted the town of Stockbridge, taking prisoners of some of the townspeople. The writer of this letter accuses the Regulators of using their prisoners as a front line of defense. He relates the extent of the injuries of Mr. Burghardt, who was hit with a musket ball as well as three pieces of swan-shot, and who was the only man wounded fighting with the government militia. Swan-shot is made by melting lead and pouring it through a mesh or screen into a bucket of water. It is very irregular in shape and would cause more injury.
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