Printed Material: Text Transcription

Gazette Account of Shays' Rebellion

return to artifact page icon zoom icon

NORTHAMPTON, January 31.

An attack was made on Thursday last by a party of Insurgents under Shays, upon the troops commanded by General Shephard, at Springfield—previous to the attack, upon the approach of the Insurgents, Generall Shephard sent messages to them at three several times, informing them that if they advanced he should assuredly fire on them—Mr. Shays replied, he was resolved to proceed and sleep that night in the barracks, and continued to advance.—General Shephard then ordered several cannon to be discharged on their right and left, but they still advanced; he then ordered the pieces to be leveled against the insurgents, at which time they were within 55 rods; as soon as they were discharged, the insurgents fled with the utmost precipitation—One of the men who managed the cannon, was by accident dangerously wounded—Four of the insurgents were killed, and a number wounded.—As General Shephard’s orders extended no farther than merely to defend the post, he did not pursue the insurgents, the greater part of whom might probably have been killed or taken—Shays retreated that night to Ludlow, and the next day marched to Chicabee.—On Friday and Saturday the troops under General Lincoln arrived at Springfield, and in the afternoon of Saturday, marched to West-Springfield, where Day and his party had taken their station, but on the approach of General Lincoln the insurgents retreated with expedition and arrived the same evening at Northampton—Shays retreated the same night from Chicabee to Amherst and his men in their rout took from the house of Major Goodman, at South-Hadley, two barrels of rum, his account books, divers articles of household furniture, stripped the beds, broke the windows, &c.—they also broke open the house of Col. Woodbridge, and took divers articles from others in the neighbourhood; but it is said that Shays endeavoured to prevent several of the outrages committed by his party. On Sunday, in the afternoon, Day marched from Northampton to Amherst with his party, which was then reduced to 240 men. On Monday General Lincoln, with his troops which came from the lower counties, marched from Springfield towards Amherst, but finding, when he came near that place, that Shays had retreated to Pelham, the troops turned off and took up their quarters at Hadley, from that place Gen. Lincoln wrote yesterday to the leaders of the insurgents, advising them to disband their deluded followers, and engaging that the privates, if they would immediately lay down their arms, should be recommended to the General Court for mercy—General Putnan was charged with the letter who returned, but what answer he brought, or whether any, we have not been informed.