12017-05-29T18:40:42+00:00The Journey North: from Pocumtuck to Ktsi Mskodak5Contributed by Maggie Kingplain33372019-06-03T14:45:09+00:00From Deerfield/Pocumtuck, Ashpelon’s party took the captives and “horses which they had there taken” over Pocumtuck Ridge “on the east side of that mountain.” Until the party passed through Squakheag (Northfield), the northernmost point of colonial settlement in the Kwinitekw Valley, they broke into smaller groups and traveled at night, making "noises as of wolves and owls" to keep track of one another and avoid being “discovered by the English.” Ashpelon’s party made several strategic moves crisscrossing the Kwinitekw, finally resting at “Squakheag Meadow” where some of the party hunted when provisions grew scarce. While camped at the meadow, a company of English militia was spotted heading upriver; “then the Indians moved again.” The party and its captives divided into “many companies” so the English “might not follow their track.” Traveling from Hartford to recover the captives, the English company reached Sokwakik territory some forty miles above Hadley, but failed to find anyone and retreated as Ashpelon’s party continued north.
To avoid seizure the party “crossed the river again on [the] Squakheag side” paddling roughly thirty miles upstream to meet again “at the place appointed.” The “place appointed” was Ktsi Mskodak, the “Great Meadow,” where the “Indians [were] quite out of all fear” of interception by English capture. Although unknown to the English, the Sokwakik planting place of Ktsi Mskodak was evidently a well-known meeting place for Ashpelon’s party and for the northern party that set out for Wamesit on the same day as the Hatfield and Deerfield raids. Stockwell noted that it was here at Great Meadow where the company “built a long wigwam.” While Stockwell and other captives stayed at Ktsi Mskodak, Benoni Stebbins with “part of their company” was sent down “to Wotchuset hills” to retrieve “a smal compeny of Indians that had lived there al this war time.” 
 Stockwell, Captive Histories, 39.
 “Quentin Stockwell’s Relation,” 40-1. Gookin, “Christian Indians,” 520-1. George Sheldon, A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts: The Times When and the People by Whom it was Settled, Unsettled and Resettled, (Deerfield, MA, Press of E.A. Hall & co., 1895),183. Samuel Eells, “Narrative of Benoni Stebbins,” in Papers Concerning the Attack on Hatfield and Deerfield by a Party of Indians from Canada, September Nineteenth, 1677, ed., Franklin Benjamin Hough (New York, 1859), 57, https://archive.org/details/attackhatfielddee00editrich .