FRENCH-INDIAN-L ArchivesArchiver > FRENCH-INDIAN > 2001-03 > 0985891887
Subject: Col. William Heywood ~ His Journal French Indian War "To catch Indians."
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 13:51:27 EST
Subject: Colonel William Heywood
Source: History of Charlestown, NH by Rev. Henry H.
Col. William Heywood son of Eleazer and Azubah Heywood
of Rutland, MA b. at Rutland July 28, 1728. He had one
sister and one brother; Azubah Heywood b. Nov 25, 1730
and Samuel Heywood b. Feb 16, 1733.
His parents were originally from Concord, MA where his
ancestors settled as early as 1650; by whom he was conn-
ected both with the Willard and the Stevens families.
It appears that he was a cousin of Capt. Phineas Stevens
who must have known him from childhood, which may account
for the confidence which Capt. Stevens was accustomed to
place in him and the great intimacy which existed between
Both the father and mother of Col. William Heywood having
died before he was eighteen years of age, he was left to
himself to do as he pleased, the first result of which was
that he left his native place and engaged himself to
work for Capt. Thomas Buckminster of Brookfield, MA for
five months. This engagement filled, and the work being
not very agreeable on which he was employed, he determ-
ined instead of continuing in it longer, to enter the
Provincial Service and become a soldier. He therefore
on the 26th of July 1746 enlisted himself in a company
which was ordered for service to the Connecticut River
and which was under the command of Capt. Eliphlet Leonard
of Easton; four of his townsmen also enlisting in the
In a journal which he kept and which I (Rev. Saunderson)
have before me, he says: "The 27th being Lord's Day, I
went to meeting, and heard two very good sermons, and
some good counsel. The 28th, the forenoon we spent
merrily; the afternoon we set out for our journey; came
to Olmsteads, where we lodged in a barn, pretty hard for
the first night, I not being acquainted with such busi-
ness." The next day he went to Hadley; thence to Deer-
field the day after, "and took our lodging where we
could find it." From Deerfield he went to Northfield,
Hinsdell's Fort and Fort Dummer. From which latter place
his company marched to Great Meadow (Putney) where they
found Capt. Phineas Stevens with sixty men guarding the
people, while they were reaping and gathering their crops.
They tarried at Great Meadow three days, and on the 8th
of August they all set out for Fort No. 4 (Charlestown,
NH) and on reaching it they found that the Indians had
made general destruction of most of the cattle, horses
and hogs of the settlement on the Sabbath previous.
His company left on the 10th as also did that of Capt.
How, which had accompanied them there. But William Hey-
ward had for some cause remained behind and did not
leave until the 21st. If any would like to know his first
impression of the place in which he afterwards became a
greatly beloved and distinguished citizen, they have
only to read the following passage from his journal:
"Our daily work was to pound samp, which was all we had
to live on, with fat pork. This was hard fare. The
soldiers in general had a turn of the fever and bloody
flux. One, Whitney, belonging to Brown's troop, died
the day I left the place. The 21st I left No. 4 in the
evening without the least sorrow and travelled to great
meadow 20 in company."
From No. 4 his company went to Bridgman's Fort where
they were stationed as guards to the people, while en-
gaged in their haying and harvesting. Nov 20th (1746)
his time of enlistment expired, he was dismissed from
the service, but on the 22nd was hired again by Nathan
Wetherill and after a brief furlough, during which he
visited his home, he returned to Bridgman's Fort where
he continued to be stationed until the 21st of February
1747, after which he was engaged in more active service,
as the following extract of his journal will show:
"The 21st, ten of us being ordered to Colraine, to
Morrison's Fort. March 1st we were moved five to Shirley
and five to Pelham Fort. The 10th we returned to Morri-
son's Fort again. April 7th we came to Bridgman's again
The 30th the Fort being flung up, we took our leave of
it, guarded him (Mr. Bridgeman) off with his substance,
to Deerfield, the next day to Hatfield where we left him.
May the 2nd we came back to Sheldon's Fort where I abode.
The 18th went to Morrison's where I staid till June 24th
and then returned to Sheldon's again. Oct. 14th I went
home for a furlough, returning the 31st to said Fort
again. Nov. 10th nine of us being ordered to Fort No. 4
we set out and came to Fort Dummer; the 11th to No. 2.
The 12th we arrived at No. 4. The 14th before sunrise
there were two men killed, one taken, one wounded by the
This extract illustrates not only the life which was led
by the subject of this memoir, but equally the life of a
soldier in those times. It also discloses something of
the intercommunications which was constantly kept up by
the garrisons of the forts of Massachusetts cordon for
their mutual protection and defense.
On the 1st of March 1748, Captains Phineas Stevens and
Humphrey Hobbs, having had orders from the authorities
of the Province of Massachusetts for enlisting a hundred
men, Heywood enlisted under Capt. Stevens, of whose
company he became clerk. Hobbs arrived with his company
at Fort 4 on the 15th of April. In the same company with
Heywood were also:
James Porter, Jr
In Capt. Hobb's Company:
Lieut Isaac Parker
Sergeant Moses Willard
On the 15th of May Capt. Stevens and Capt. Hobbs, in
connection with Capt. Melvin started out on a scouting
expedition, as Heywood, in his journal expressed it,
"To catch Indians." Stevens and Hobbs had sixty men.
In the same journal is contained a minute account of all
their marches and of all they did from day to day. But
as that is essentially connected with the history of
Charlestown, NH, it is embraced in another portion of
Dec. 12, 1748 William Heywood connected himself with
Fort 4 as a citizen by purchasing a proprietor's right,
and from this time forward became connectied with nearly
every military organization for the defense of the place.
Heywood was employed by Capt. Stevens to make out his
muster rolls. On the 16th of June, orders came to No. 4
for the dismission of all the soldiers but fifteen, which
was carried into effect the next day. The 19th the
Captain and all the men went off but nine. The 20th at
about 3 o'clock the Indians fired on Ensign Sartwell and
Enos Stevens as they were harrowing corn and killed
(Obadiah) Sartwell and too Enos Stevens and killed the
"We instantly fired two alarms with small arms and fired
the great gun to alarm James Porter and Lieut. Moses
Willard and two sons who were at work in the meadow.
They heard the guns and took off to Fort Dummer. About
two hours after, Dr. Bildad Andross came here from North-
field and stayed till dark and then he and I set off to
carry the news. The next day we got to Fort Dummer abt
9 o'clock in the morning, and found the runaways there;
and then I set out for Northfield. About half a mile
from Hinsdell's Fort we heard a gun, supposed to be shot
by the Indians. We turned back to Fort Dummer and John
Alexander went off post. We tarried til evening and then
went to Northfield. The 22nd Capt. Stevens came from
Deerfield and went to Fort Dummer. The 23d went to No. 4.
The 24th scouted around. The 25th the men that came
with us returned, we kept the fort. The 30th kept a
fast and had preaching. July 1st, 1749 to the 6th, kept
the fort. Our centrys (sentries) at two different
times said they saw Indians. A scout of eighteen men
came to the fort. The 7th I warded and watched. The
8th, Col. Josiah Willard came up with a large scout.
The 9th Col. Willard and scout went off. The 10th the
Captain made officers. The 11th worked at haying. The
12th kept the fort. The 13th and 14th drawed wood. The
15th drawed poles for a turnip yard, Sunday the 16th
attended meeting. The 17th set out with nineteen men
and the widow, Sartwell (wife of Obadiah) and went to
the falls, carried by our loading and hauled by our
canoes, set out again, arrived at Fort Dummer about day.
The 18th went to Northfield. The 19th Capt. Stevens went
to Deerfield. I staid at Northfield. The 20th I hired a
horse and sent Morse to Deerfield with bag and baggage.
The 21st had alarm of Indians, went out after them, but
made no discovery."
"Oct 14, 1749, Lieutenant Isaac Parker came up at night
with orders to dismiss twenty four men on Sunday the 15th
The 16th, the men dismissed, rained, three went off, the
rest staid. The 17th the men went off with heavy hearts
and wet eyes. The 18th Lieut Isaac Parker went off in
They had gone together through the sternest scenes but
their hearts melted at parting. As the treaty of peace
was the reason for their dismission, they had little
expectation of meeting each other again. The number in
the Fort was now reduced to fourteen of whom William
Heywood was one. Lieut Isaac Parker soon returned again
to make No. 4 and Charlestown, NH his home and to become
one of its principal citizens. Heywood continued in the
company which guarded the fort during the winter and
became a member of Capt. Phineas Stevens company, organi-
zed the 21st of June 1750. In Jan 1751, Capt. Stevens
having been commissioned to go to Quebec by Gov. Shirley
to obtain the release of prisoners still held there,
William Heywood and James Farnsworth were selected to
accompany him on his expedition. They started from
Albany the last part of January and got back to Deerfield
on the 28th of March from which place Stevens went dir-
ectly to Boston with the released captives, while Heywood
returned to his post at No. 4. It is a tradition in the
Heywood family which is probably founded in truth, that
Heywood was selected a 2nd time, at a different season
of the year, to attend his Captain (Stevens) who was
commissioned on a similar errand.
During the time of the nominal peace, William Heywood
appears to have been one of the small number still re-
tained at Fort 4. On the renewal of hostilities he was
among the most active of those enlisted in its defense.
It is a tradition in the family, says his grandson,
Hon. William Heywood of Lancaster, NH, "That in this war
he was much employed in warding the fort and in expedit-
ions for the protection of the inhabitants."
He was also at the taking of Ticonderoga in 1759, the
surrender of which caused great rejoicing through New
England, especially on the Connecticut River frontier.
After the organization of Charlestown, under New Hamp-
shire, William Heywood's name appears in the town records
for the first time in 1756; in which year he was elected
the 3rd Selectman from which time he appears to have
been kept by his fellow citizens in some important
official position. He was elected Town Clerk in 1762
and held the office every year with the exception of
1788 (when it was held by Elijah Grout) til the time of
his death in 1803 making in all, forty years.
He was five years Town Treasurer. In 1775 he was dele-
gate to the Provincial Congress at Exeter and also
representative in 1778 and 1779. He was also Justice
of the Peace, and in the church he was one of the ten
men who helped to constitute the ordination of Rev.
Bulkley Olcott in 1761.
In the time of the Revolution his patriotism was undoubt-
ed. He was Major of Colonel Bellows' Regiment that
marched for the defense of Ticonderoga just before it
was evacuated by the American forces on the 6th of July
1777. He was also Major in Colonel David Hobart's Regi-
ment which was in the hottest part of the battle, under
General John Stark at Bennington, and continued with the
army until after the surrender of Burgoyne. He after-
wards accepted the office of Colonel of a regiment under
Vermont and a like office from New Hampshire.
Of the 2nd wife of Colonel William Heywood, a grandson,
Hon. William Heywood of Lancaster, N.H. thus speaks:
"His second wife was Joanna Wetherbe from Lunenburg, MA
She lived in my father's (William Heywood's) family from
the death of her husband and died in December 1831. She
was a lady without a fault."
Colonel William Heywood died Feb 4, 1803 leaving a
character without reproach and an example of fidelity
worthy to be followed by all our citizens in all the
relationships of life.
Col. William Heywood m. (l) Lydia Hastings dau of Dr.
John Hastings and his wife Hannah (White) Hastings b.
at Hatfield, MA Aug l9, l732 He m. (2) Joanna Wether-
be dau of Capt. Ephraim Wetherbe and Joanna (Bellows)
Wetherbe b. in Lunenburg, MA. Children by his lst wife
l. Azubah Heywood b. l753 m. l776 Phineas Pearl
l. Warren Heywood d. l777
2. Patty Heywood b. l778
2. Eleazor Heywood b. l755 m. Dorcas Whitaker of Kill-
l. Rebecca Heywood d. age 2
2. William Heywood m. Res: Wayne Co. MI
3. Mary Heywood m. James W. Bradley d. l873 at
4. Willard Heywood b. in Hartland l796 m. Emily
Baldwin of Strafford Vt dau of Dr. Eleazor
Baldwin Res: Windsor (9 children)
3. Lydia Heywood b. l757 d. unm.
By his 2d wife, Joanna Wetherbe William Heywood had issue
4. Lucinda Heywood b. l764 m. l787 Amasa Grout
5. William Heywood Jr. b. l766
6. Fanny Heywood b. l769 m. l795 Dr. Daniel Egery of
7. Mary Heywood b. l772 d. unm
8. Elisha Heywood b. l774 d. early
9. Persis Heywood b. l777 d. unm in adv. yrs.
l0. Prudence Heywood b. l780 m. Rev. Samuel Goddard of
ll. Orange Heywood b. l783 d. l860 unm
l2. Gustavus Heywood b. l786 Res: MI
Listed also is Calvin Heywood and Simeon Haywood and
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth