196-200 Yantic St, Norwich, CT
(GPS 41.534566, -72.087123 )
Tour can begin here or at Sachems’ Plain
On September 17th, 1643, The Battle of the Sachem’s Plain brought Narragansett and Mohegan warriors to Yantic Falls, a popular Mohegan fishing and gathering place. Narragansett and Mohegan runners chased one another to a chasm that overlooks the Yantic River. Uncas sent his fastest runner, Tantaquidgeon, to apprehend the Narragansett Sachem Miantonomo, who was weighed down by a gift of English armor. According to tribal tradition only a Sachem can capture another Sachem. Abiding by this tribal protocol, Tantaquidgeon thus held Miantonomo until Uncas’s arrival. Uncas made the long jump across the chasm, which was at that time narrower before modern-day erosion. Some warriors failed to reach the other side, falling to their deaths on the rocks below.
After the death of Miantonomo, Narragansetts besieged the Mohegans at the fortified village of Uncas’ at Shantok in the spring of 1645. When the Narragansetts could not penetrate the stockade, the Mohegans were left with the choice to either starve or surrender.
Under cover of darkness, Uncas’ English ally, Thomas Leffingwell, approached the fort in a boat on the Thames River and hoisted a side of beef and other provisions into the Mohegan camp. This ensured the Mohegans would not starve. The siege was broken. During the years that followed the Mohegans fought for the colonists and made concessions, ensuring Mohegan survival.