Flotsam 'n' Jetsam

History’s Many Details

Here we have another article on history. This was not intentional – I was searching for something else when I stumbled across this piece. But upon finding it, I had to share it with you, readers.


Native Americans at Valley Forge

by Joseph Lee Boyle

At the Bethlehem Hospital near Valley Forge on November 21, 1777, John Ettwein visited a “Narragansett Indian in great distress about his soul, at the near approach of death.” On March 18, 1778, Ettwein noted the passage of a company of New England soldiers that included “a few Stockbridge Indians.” Ettwein was one of many to make note of the Native Americans who served and suffered in the most famous encampment of the American Revolution.

Surgeon Albigence Waldo inoculated two Indians for small pox in the Spring of 1778, and on January 4, recorded that:

I was call’d to relieve a Solder tho’t to be dying—he expir’d before I reach’d the Hutt. He was an Indian—an excellent Soldier—and an obedient good natur’d fellow. He engaged for money doubtless as others do;—but he has serv’d his country faithfully—he has fought for those very people who disinherited his forefathers-having finished his pilgrimage, he was discharged from the War of Life & Death. His memory ought to be respected.[1]

Cato Griger/Greger, a Delaware Indian, enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Regiment on January 20, 1778, for three years “and soon after marched . . . to Valley Forge.” Griger was about thirty-six years old at the time of his enlistment.[2] In the New England regiments there were some Stockbridge Indians including Benjamin Waunechnauweet and Daniel Wauwaunpeguannant, privates in the 8th Massachusetts. A few others, such as Unkus Abimeleck, served in Connecticut regiments.

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