Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Captain Benjamin Church
Born: c 1639, Plymouth Colony Died: 17 Jan 1718, Little Compton, Rhode Island at age 79
Marriage: Alice Southworth- 26 Dec 1667, Duxbury, MA
Primary Occupation: Military Captain/Ranger Carpenter
Residences: Duxbury, MA and Bristol, RI
Public Office: first represenative of Bristol at Plymouth, between 1682 and 1684.
Church commanded an independent Ranger company during King Philip's War (1675-1678) on the New England frontier against Indians. Church's men were the first Rangers successful in raiding the Indians' hiding places in forests and swamps. During previous decades, American Rangers were on the defense against the Indians. He persuaded many hostile Indians to surrender and join his unit where they operated skillfully as Rangers. These men became known as Praying Indians. During King Philip's War these Rangers followed Indians into the forests and swamps and conducted effective raids and ambushes on their camps. The war soon ended after a company operation on August 12, 1676, when one of Church's Indian Rangers (John Alderman) killed King Philip. Upon inspection of Philip's body, Church is quoted as saying "a doleful, great, naked, dirty beast." Philip was then butchered in a manner standard with English punishment for Treason.
Over the next 28 years, Church lead five New England raiding parties into Maine and Canada against the French and Indians. Church kept notes on his tactics and operations which were eventually published in 1716.
US Army Infantry Rangers Hall of Fame
Henderson Glen Family Website
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