Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Connecting to a Time and Place

I arrived at the bridge only 339 years to the day after my direct ancestor, Joseph, (some 9 or 10 grandfathers ago) did.  He along with about forty men from Watertown (present Weston) responded to the alarm and arrived at about noon on April 21, 1676 to find the town of Sudbury under attack by Native American forces during King Philip's War. 

On the west side of the river, the Haynes Garrison House and its inhabitants had come under attack at about daybreak (as this monument placed where the garrison house once stood attests)...


A group of men from neighboring Concord had arrived earlier and attempted to aid those in the garrison house.  Unfortunately, in crossing the river and marshy meadow, they'd fallen into an ambush where at least 8 of them perished. 
Joseph and another man from the Watertown contingent, Daniel, were tasked with recovering and burying the bodies of those men.  The two men later wrote (before spell-check) "On the next day in the morning soe soon as it was light we went to looke for the Concord men who wear slain in the River middow an thear we went in the colld water up to the knees where we found five and brought them in Conus to the Bridge fut and buried them thear...."

The monument near the bridge's east abutment lists the names of the Concord men... stands near the spot where they are buried.

I try to visit the monument each spring around the actual anniversary date as I feel a strong connection to this specific event and locale of  King Philip's War.  I find plenty to think about, and wonder what Joseph would think of one of his descendants, all these years later, paddling around the very waters where he'd performed such a grim task.  I wonder what the "Conus" they used looked like. Might they have been dugouts?

The trip upriver and back from Sherman's Bridge was made under fickle skies. Sometimes cloudy, cold and windy, other times sunny and warmer.

One of the sunnier moments...

Not another warm-blooded soul was encountered except for this musquash enjoying a snack...

Trash in the form of plastic items was scooped up mostly between the old bridge and the newer Route 27 bridge...

Happy Earth Day!
Stay green my friends.

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