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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Battle of Mystic Fort

An artist's engraving, published in 1638, depicts the attack on Mystic Fort.

Mystic, Connecticut

The Battle of Mystic Fort, part of the 1634-1638 Pequot War, is considered a defining moment in American history. In 1637 English colonists and their Indian allies attacked and burned Mystic Fort, killing more than 500 adults and children. The massacre decimated the Pequots and those who weren't sold into slavery were eventually forced onto reservations. The battle was the first documented use of “Total War” against American Indians, a policy that continued for the next several centuries. Today, residential development and lack of site identification threaten Pequot War battlefields. In 2007, the American Battlefield Protection Program awarded a grant to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe to identify and document the Battle of Mystic Fort. This was the beginning of a preservation effort to document the Pequot War which includes two additional Battlefield grants – one to document the Siege of Saybrook Fort and another to identify and study other Pequot War battlefields.

Photo: An artist's engraving, published in 1638, depicts the attack on Mystic Fort.
– Courtesy Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center

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