On September 11, Lieut. Solomon
Hendrick, ranking officer of the Indian Company, visited the main encampment of the Continental Army at White Plains. There he returned fourteen muskets and one rifle to the quartermaster, and met with
General Washington. That same day, Washington
wrote to Jedidiah Huntington of the Connecticut Brigade requesting that he release the four remaining Stockbridge Indians
from their regiments due to the severe setback suffered by the tribe at Kingsbridge. One
such man was James Simon of the 1st CT,
whose military service card from September to December, 1778 has the remark, “absent by leave of his Excelly.
Genl. Washinton.” This example of shifting of men and the initial
process of detaching various soldiers from their home regiments to serve in the Indian Company caused confusion in the military records. In the aftermath of the massacre many
men were reported as deserted from their regiments, when in fact, they were allowed to go home.
An example of this confusion was the record of Thomas Worroups
of the 7th CT. He was listed as on command with the Indian Corps in August and on the October roll, he was noted as “furlowd
Sept. 11 for 13 days by Gen. Huntington.” Yet his company commander noted
that Worroups had deserted from the light infantry service, without regard to his furlow.
Regimental records show that Warroups rejoined his unit as of January 1, 1779.
Of the other men in the Indian Company, most returned to
their regiments. Upon his return from captivity, Jabez Pottage served out his term with the 7th CT. When discharged after three years of service, Pottage joined Sheldon's Dragoons
in 1781. In fact, the entire corps of Light Infantry was disbanded in the early fall, and the men went back to their regiments
in preparation for going into winter quarters.
And so came an end to what Washington had planned as the
creation of a "Flying Army composed of light Infantry & rifle Men mix[ed with] about 400 Indians with them; being thus
incorporated with our own Troops, who are designed to skirmish, act in Detachments & light Parties, as well as lead the
Attack..." The anticipation made by Washington in the desperate days of Valley
Forge was altered by the events of that year. The Oneida
warriors were at home, defending their families and property from their pro-British brethren, and the arrival of the French army and navy in July,
1778 lessened the necessity of employing such special forces as the Indian regiment. Finally, with winter approaching and
the decimation of the Indian Corps at Kingsbridge on August 31, there was no practical method of rebuilding and sustaining
this unique strike force.
To be sure, the Stockbridge Indians and their fellow Algonquin
and Iroquois neighbors and relations continued to play crucial roles in the remaining years of the war. The Oneida and Tuscarora bore the burden of internecine warfare on the border when their villages
were burned out in retribution for Sullivan's Expedition in 1779. Later in the war, many of these refugees found comfort with
the Stockbridge in Massachusetts. The Delaware Indians tried
to remain neutral on the frontier, until Captain White Eyes was murdered, the Americans could not sustain them as allies,
and the brutal extermination of nearly one hundred Moravian Delaware & Mohican converts at Gnadenhutten in 1782 by patriot
militia. (see Gnadenhutten.tripod.com)
The story of the Stockbridge Mohicans continued well past
the war and extends into the present. The shared kinship and culture were evident in the years just after the Revolution when
New England and New York Indians shared in the effort to adapt to the realpolitik world of
a culture bent on land acquisition and the exploitation of nature. The establishment of New Stockbridge and Brothertown, all
on land gifted by the Oneida after the war, is a clear demonstration
of the communal bond that, while predating the American Revolution, was fastened forever by the blood shed by the Indian men
who had fought and died together on a hot summer's day in 1778.