Second Anglo-Powhatan War 1622-1632

[ 1622 - 1632 ]

Opechancanough maintained a friendly face to the colony, and finally even met with an English minister to give the appearance of his imminent conversion to Christianity. Then on Friday, March 22, 1622, his subjects, planted among the settlements, struck without warning, in what is now known as the Indian Massacre of 1622. A third of the colony were wiped out that day; were it not for last minute warnings by Christianized natives, a higher toll would have been certain.

Powhatan military doctrine did not call for an immediate follow-up blow, but rather to wait and see what would happen after inflicting such a blow, in hopes that the settlement would simply abandon their homeland and move on elsewhere. However, English military doctrine did not call for reacting this way. For the next ten years, they marched out nearly every summer and made assaults on Powhatan settlements. The Accomac and Patawomeck allied with the English, providing them corn, while the English went to plunder villages and cornfields of the Chickahominy, Nansemond, Warraskoyack, Weyanoke and Pamunkey in 1622. In 1623 Opechancanough sued for peace. The colonists thus arranged to meet the natives for a peace agreement, but poisoned their wine, then fell upon them shooting them and killing many in revenge for the massacre. They then attacked the Chickahominy, the Powhatan proper, the Appomattoc, Nansemond and Weyanoke.

In 1624 both sides were ready for a major battle; the Powhatans assembled 800 bowmen, arrayed against only 60 Englishmen, who attempted to destroy the Powhatans' cornfields. When the Englishmen finally succeeded in destroying the cornfields, the bowmen gave up the fight and retreated.

A shortage of gunpowder in the colony delayed the colonists from going on marches in 1625 and 1626. The natives seem not to have been aware of this shortage, and were themselves desperately trying to regroup. However, summer 1627 brought renewed assaults against the Chickahominy, Appamattoc, Powhatan proper, Warraskoyak, Weyanoke and Nansemond.

A 'peace' was declared in 1628, but it was more like a temporary ceasefire; hostilities resumed in March 1629 and continued until a final peace was made on September 30, 1632. The English began to expand their settlements on the Eastern Shore and both sides of the James, as well as on the south of the York, and in 1633, they palisaded off the peninsula between the York and James at about Williamsburg. By 1640 they began claiming land north of the York as well, and in 1642, Opechancanough leased some land on the Piankatank to English settlers for the price of 50 bushels of corn a year.

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Opechancanough maintained a friendly face to the colony, and finally even met with an English minister to give the appearance of his imminent conversion to Christianity. Then on Friday, March 22, 1622, his subjects, planted among the settlements, struck without warning, in what is now known as the Indian Massacre of 1622. A third of the colony were wiped out that day; were it not for last minute warnings by Christianized natives, a higher toll would have been certain.

Powhatan military doctrine did not call for an immediate follow-up blow, but rather to wait and see what would happen after inflicting such a blow, in hopes that the settlement would simply abandon their homeland and move on elsewhere. However, English military doctrine did not call for reacting this way. For the next ten years, they marched out nearly every summer and made assaults on Powhatan settlements. The Accomac and Patawomeck allied with the English, providing them corn, while the English went to plunder villages and cornfields of the Chickahominy, Nansemond, Warraskoyack, Weyanoke and Pamunkey in 1622. In 1623 Opechancanough sued for peace. The colonists thus arranged to meet the natives for a peace agreement, but poisoned their wine, then fell upon them shooting them and killing many in revenge for the massacre. They then attacked the Chickahominy, the Powhatan proper, the Appomattoc, Nansemond and Weyanoke.

In 1624 both sides were ready for a major battle; the Powhatans assembled 800 bowmen, arrayed against only 60 Englishmen, who attempted to destroy the Powhatans' cornfields. When the Englishmen finally succeeded in destroying the cornfields, the bowmen gave up the fight and retreated.

A shortage of gunpowder in the colony delayed the colonists from going on marches in 1625 and 1626. The natives seem not to have been aware of this shortage, and were themselves desperately trying to regroup. However, summer 1627 brought renewed assaults against the Chickahominy, Appamattoc, Powhatan proper, Warraskoyak, Weyanoke and Nansemond.

A 'peace' was declared in 1628, but it was more like a temporary ceasefire; hostilities resumed in March 1629 and continued until a final peace was made on September 30, 1632. The English began to expand their settlements on the Eastern Shore and both sides of the James, as well as on the south of the York, and in 1633, they palisaded off the peninsula between the York and James at about Williamsburg. By 1640 they began claiming land north of the York as well, and in 1642, Opechancanough leased some land on the Piankatank to English settlers for the price of 50 bushels of corn a year.

Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) and Powhatan 1622 1632 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
Springfield Model 1873 Manportable Rifles
Springfield Model 1861 Manportable Rifles
Henry rifle Manportable Rifles
Springfield Model 1868 Manportable Rifles
Springfield Model 1884 Manportable Rifles

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts