Shays immediately put his troops in motion & marched on rapidly near one hundred yards. I then ordered Major Stephens, who commanded the artillery, to fire on them, he accordingly did. The two first shot he endeavoured to overshoot them, in hopes they would have taken warning without firing among them, but it had no effect on them. Major Stephens then directed his shot through the centre of his column. The fourth and fifth shot put the whole column into the utmost confusion. Shays made an attempt to display the column, but in vain. We had one howit which was loaded with grape shot, which, when fired, gave them great uneasiness. Had I been disposed to destroy them, I might have charged upon their rear and flanks with my infantry and the two field-pieces, and could have killed the greater part of the whole army within twenty-five minutes. There was not a single musket fired on either side.
I found three men dead on the spot, and one wounded, who is since dead. One of our artillery-men, by inattention, was badly wounded.
Three muskets were taken up with the dead, which were all deeply loaded. I enclose to your Excellency a copy of a paper sent to me last evening. I have received no reinforcement yet, and expect to be attacked this day by their whole force combined.
I am, Sir, with great respect,
Your Excellency's most obedient,
His Excellency James Bowdoin, Esq.
THE body of the people assembled in arms, adhering to the first principles in natural self-preservation, do, in the most peremptory manner, demand,
1. That the troops in Springfield lay down their arms.
2. That their arms to deposited in the public stores, under the care of the proper officers, to be returned to the owners at the termination of the present contest.
3. That the troops return to their homes upon parole.
To the Commanding Officer at Springfield, Jan. 25, 1787,
Luke Day, Captain Commandant of this division
On the back,--"By Col. Eli Parsons"