In the Classroom > Unit Overview > Lesson 4

Lesson 4 - Readings for Studying the Falls Fight
Excerpts from

The History of Deerfield, Vol. I
by George Sheldon, 1895, pgs. 155-157

Leaving his horses under a small guard, Turner led his men through Fall river, up a steep ascent[hill], and came out on a slope in the rear of the Indian camp. He had reached his objective point undiscovered. Silence like that of death brooded over the encampment by the river, save for the sullen roar of the cataract [waterfall] beyond. With ears strained to catch any note or alarm, the English waited impatiently the laggard [lingering] light, and with the dawn, stole silently down among the sleeping foe [enemy]; even putting their guns into the wigwams undiscovered. At a given signal the crash of a hundred shots aroused the stupefied [astonished] sleepers. Many were killed at the first fire. The astonished survivors, supposing their old enemy to be upon the, cried out "Mohawks! Mohawks!" rushed to the river, and jumped pell-mell into the canoes which lay along the shore. Many pushed off without paddles; in other cases the paddlers were shot, and falling overboard, upset the canoe; many in the confusion plunged into the torrent [rushing water], attempting to escape by swimming. Nearly all of these were swept over the cataract and drowned. Others, hiding about the banks of the river, were hunted out and cut down, "Captain Holyoke killing five, young and old, with his own Hands from under a bank." A very slight resistance was made, and but one of the assailants wounded; another "was killed in the action by his friends, who, taking him for an Indian as he came out of a wigwam shot him dead." The wigwams were burned, and the camp dismantled [taken apart].


George Sheldon--descendant of John Sheldon, who was living in Deerfield at the time of the 1704 attack. John Sheldon's wife and one child were killed during the attack and three children were taken captive, to be later redeemed. George Sheldon was one of the founders of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, dedicated to preserving the memory of Deerfield's earliest settlers, both Native American and White. He also served as the organization's first president. He was a historian, genealogist and author.


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