Re: Eastern Woodland Warfare Tactics

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Posted by Dana S. on October 13, 1999 at 21:14:29:

In Reply to: Re: Eastern Woodland Warfare Tactics posted by Elaine on October 13, 1999 at 17:57:37:

: : Hi Dana:

: : Dana said: Most of my "war reading" as been about Ancient Britain. If anyone knows of any good books about "Ancient America", let me know.

: : I recommend “Indian New England Before the Mayflower” by Howard S. Russell which explores every aspect of Indian life as the early explorers and the colonists found it, from personal appearance and characteristics to diet and agriculture, social organization, and intertribal relations including conflict.

: : Here’s an excerpt from the book:

: : “Indians in war employed three chief tactics: surprise, ambush and stratagem. An Algonquain village might suppose the Mohawks to be 200 miles distant, yet an onslaught at dawn could bring disaster. Or, beating off an enemy and in hot pursuit, the defenders might run into an ambush in a ravine or swamp where escape was almost out of the question. Judging from the vividly recorded experience of the English, the only limit to the variety of stratagems used to beguile and trap a foe was the imagination and resolution of the enemy. However, given the often equal wile and skill of their opponents, losses would seldom be as heavy proportionately as those of a European battlefield, with its close formations of artillery, cavalry, and foot soldiers.

: : I’m currently reading “Flintlock and Tomahawk, New England in King Philip’s War” by Douglas Edward Leach. This book portrays a fully rounded picture of seventeenth century New England and chronicles the battles, tactics and logistics of the war. The war tactics described in “Indian New England” were used very effectively against the colonists and British army, and other tribes.

: : Best wishes,
: : Goody Sandy

: : Go Red Sox!

: Good to *see* you, Goody Sandy! Thanks for the excerpt.

: Dana, another book you would probably find of interest is "New England Frontier; Puritans & Indians 1620-1675" by Alden T. Vaughn. There are some excellent excerpts describing war tactics & weaponry (including war clubs with "a knob at one end as round and bigge as a footeball").

: A very good book on 17th century New England life, it helps explain the setting of the stage for later conflicts.

: Sandy, when you've finished "Flintlock & Tomahawk .." I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on King Phillip's War.

: Elaine

Thank you for the recommendation, Elaine. I have gotten quite a list today. Couldn't be more pleased. Time to hit the bookstores!

Thanks again,

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