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The conflict that historians have called King Philip’s War still ranks as one of the bloodiest per capita in American history. An Indian coalition ravaged much of New England, killing 600 colonial fighting men (not including their Indian allies), obliterating 17 white towns, and damaging more than 50 settlements. The version of these events that has come down to us focuses on Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay - the colonies whose commentators dominated the storytelling. But because Connecticut lacked a chronicler, its experience has gone largely untold. As Jason W. Warren makes clear in Connecticut Unscathed, this imbalance has generated an incomplete narrative of the war.
Dubbed King Philip’s War after the Wampanoag architect of the hostilities, the conflict, Warren asserts, should more properly be called the Great Narragansett War, broadening its context in time and place and indicating the critical role of the Narragansetts, the largest tribe in southern New England. In contrast to its sister colonies, Connecticut emerged from the war relatively unharmed. The colony’s comparatively moderate Indian policies made possible an effective alliance with the Mohegans and Pequots. These Indian allies proved crucial to the colony’s war effort, Jason W. Warren contends, and at the same time denied the enemy extra manpower and intelligence regarding the surrounding terrain and colonial troop movements. And when Connecticut became the primary target of hostile Indian forces - especially the powerful Narragansetts - the colony’s military prowess and its enlightened treatment of Indians allowed it to persevere.
The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press.
"Broadens our understanding of King Philip's War...commendable." (John W. Hall, author of Uncommon Defense)
What made the experience of listening to Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676 the most enjoyable?
It's wonderful to experience a carefully researched history that reads like an adventure story.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676?
I found the exposition of tribal politics and the backstories of the warrior coalition to be fascinating. I especially enjoyed learning how Connecticut's policies toward the natives differed from other states, something I never knew before.
What does Bob Dio bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Bob Dio uses character accents when recreating the communications of the time, which really brings the story to life.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This was a captivating reading, but it's so rich in detail, I needed more than one sitting to absorb it.
This book goes beyond the tactical to encompass the operational level of warfare. multifaceted analysis of warfare in the early colonial period in New England. An excellent comparison of the differing colonial policies of the New England colonies with respect to the various Native American communities. Lessons learned can be applied today.