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Colonists vs. Indians: Jason Warren discusses his book on the Great Narragansett War

Jason W. Warren Ph.D. discussed his book entitled Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675–1676 at The Institute of World Politics on October 31, 2014.

Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675%u20131676About the book

The conflict that historians have called King Philip’s War still ranks as one of the bloodiest per capita in American history. An Indian coalition ravaged much of New England, killing six hundred colonial fighting men (not including their Indian allies), obliterating seventeen white towns, and damaging more than fifty settlements. The version of these events that has come down to us focuses on Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay-the colonies whose commentators dominated the storytelling. But because Connecticut lacked a chronicler, its experience has gone largely untold. As Jason W. Warren makes clear in Connecticut Unscathed, this imbalance has generated an incomplete narrative of the war.

Dubbed King Philip’s War after the Wampanoag architect of the hostilities, the conflict, Warren asserts, should more properly be called the Great Narragansett War, broadening its context in time and place and indicating the critical role of the Narragansetts, the largest tribe in southern New England. With this perspective, Warren revises a key chapter in colonial history. In contrast to its sister colonies, Connecticut emerged from the war relatively unharmed. The colony’s comparatively moderate Indian policies made possible an effective alliance with the Mohegans and Pequots. These Indian allies proved crucial to the colony’s war effort, Warren contends, and at the same time denied the enemy extra manpower and intelligence regarding the surrounding terrain and colonial troop movements. And when Connecticut became the primary target of hostile Indian forces-especially the powerful Narragansetts-the colony’s military prowess and its enlightened treatment of Indians allowed it to persevere.

About the author

Major Jason W. Warren graduated West Point in 1999 and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps. He served as a Platoon Leader and Logistics Officer with the 10th Military Police Battalion, 10th Mountain Division. Warren deployed his platoon in support of peacekeeping operations in the Sinai, Egypt, from July 2001 through January 2002. He then served in Germany from 2003-2005 as the Provost Marshal for Army Garrison Ansbach. From 2005-2007 he commanded the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 95th MP Battalion in Mannheim, Germany. MAJ Warren studied military history at The Ohio State University, and returned to teach military history at West Point in 2009. OSU awarded Major Warren the Ph.D., and the Dean at West Point subsequently promoted him to Assistant Professor. Major Warren’s research focuses on warfare in early colonial America. In August 2014, Oklahoma University Press will publish Major Warren’s Connecticut Unscathed: Victory in the Great Narragansett War, 1675-1676. Routledge also will publish his chapter on King Philip’s War and Bacon’s Rebellion in a diplomatic and military history handbook. His other academic interests include the military history of the ancient world and modern military affairs. In addition to 16 academic conference presentations, Major Warren published “Beyond Emotion: The Epidamnian Affair and Corinthian Policy, 480-421 BC” in the Ancient History Bulletin in 2003. Major Warren served as a strategist and training officer for the 3rd Infantry Division in Kandahar, Afghanistan from August 2012 through March 2013, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He currently serves as a strategist to the U.S. Army War College.