2015 Spring Conference

Putnam Memorial State Park
Redding, CT
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Admission: non-members (general public)-$10, members (ASC/FOSA)-$8, students-$5

Any questions regarding the meeting please contact:
Program Director Dawn Brown:  dawn.brown@aya.yale.edu

9:00  Registration begins (with coffee and doughnuts)

9:25  Welcome, announcements

Morning Session: Colonial American Military History and Archaeology (1637-1783)

9:30-10:00  Battlefields of the Pequot War: Mistick Campaign May 26, 1637
Kevin McBride (Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center)
The Pequot War (1636-1637) was the first sustained conflict between Native Americans and Europeans in northeastern North America. The most significant battles of the war took place on May 26, 1637; the Battle of Mistick Fort and the Battle of the English Withdrawal. These battles were fought over a 16 hour period through eight miles of Pequot territory and were the longest and most intense engagements of the war involving more than 1,000 combatants. The English victory at Mistick was won by a carefully planned and executed attack by commanders and officers who had decades of experience in the Thirty years War and were able to effectively translate their experience to the battlefields of the New World.
The victory over the Pequots in the Battle of the English Withdrawal was not won just through a carefully planned and executed battle plan but through training and experience of a core of combat veterans who made the necessary tactical adjustments in an unfamiliar terrain against an experienced and determined Pequot military.
Kevin McBride, Ph. D., director of research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, as well as associate professor of anthropology at UConn, specializes in the Colonial and Native American archaeology and history in the northeast.

10:00-10:30  The Munsee Massacre of 1644
Missy Wolfe
This talk discusses the context of Kieft’s War in the regions surrounding Manhattan, the Dutch documentation of the massacre, its leaders and their relationship to the Mystic Massacre and this event’s historically proposed locations.
Ms. Wolfe is the author of the referenced non-fiction history of southwestern Connecticut called Insubordinate Spirit – a True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America  1610-1665 published in 2013 by Globe Pequot Press. It will be receiving a medal for literary excellence from the St. Nicholas Society this spring.
She has researched, written and lectured on this and other early colonial topics concerning southwestern Connecticut in the 1600s for many years. Ms. Wolfe holds an MBA from Columbia University, and a certificate in Fine and Decorative Arts Appraising from New York University.

10:30-11:00  Connecticut’s Indians and African-Americans in the War for Independence (1775-1783)
David Naumec  (Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center)
Until recently, little has been known about the extensive participation of Connecticut’s African and Native American soldiers, sailors, and marines during the War of Independence. To imagine New England Revolutionary War regiments as raw militia consisting solely of white, colonial farmers could not be further from the truth.
This presentation will examine the extent to which Connecticut Indians and African Americans participated in the American Revolution, both in terms of raw numbers and service branch. This also includes discussion concerning the motivations for serving, chronicles service patterns, and discusses the impact of the conflict on Connecticut’s
minority populations.
David Naumec, senior researcher with Battlefields of the Pequot War completed a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in Public History and a Master’s degree in History and Museum Studies from Tufts University. He specializes in Connecticut history and early American history and is currently a doctoral student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. David has worked at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center since 2001 and currently assists with historical research, the interpretation of battlefield events, and archaeological excavations in the field.

11:00-11:30  “Forgotten Stones”: Redding’s Middle Encampment Site (1778-79)
Laurie Weinstein, Beth Morrison and Cosimo Sgarlata (Western Connecticut State University)
The Middle Encampment site is so-named because it represents one of the three sister camps occupied during the winter of 1778-1779 in Redding, Connecticut. Putnam Park was the eastern-most of these three camps, and obviously the middle encampment was centered between the other two; while a third camp had originally been located to the west. The Middle Encampment is important due to the fact that its deposits remain relatively undisturbed including several collapsed chimneys which retained the placement of many of their basal stones. A team of Western Connecticut State archaeologists including Laurie Weinstein, Beth Morrison and Cosimo Sgarlata headed field-schools at this site during the alternating summers of 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
As a result of these investigations the site has been selected as a Connecticut State Archaeological Preserve. This presentation will focus on ethno-historical, residue, spatial, soil and artifact analysis collected through walking survey, excavation and metal detection methods. Conclusions and new hypothesis from a range of topics including information
concerning African and Native American soldiers present at the camp, emergency foods, metal detecting survey indicating locations where fireplace remains were moved for incorporation into stone walls, and general spatial organization of the site as well as integrity of site-deposits and potential impacts due to down-slope erosion will be
Cosimo Sgarlata is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University, a GIS specialist, an archaeological consultant and is currently chief editor for an upcoming volume on encampments, support structures and trails of the Revolutionary War.
Cos received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and his M.A. in Archaeology from Hunter College (CUNY).
Laurie Weinstein is a professor of Anthropology at Western Connecticut State University. She received her Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. She is the General Editor of Native Peoples of the Americas from the University of Arizona Press, a series that covers the western hemisphere. She has also edited or written many books and articles on such diverse topics as New England Indians and Indians of the Southwest to women in the military. At Western Connecticut State University Dr. Weinstein is the program director for archaeology (which she team teaches with Dr. Bethany Morrison and Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata) and Director of the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Learning.
Bethany Morrison, Assistant Professor of Anthropology on Special Appointment at WCSU, earned an M.S. in archaeology and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Riverside. She is a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists and has conducted archaeological field work in California, the desert Southwest, Belize, Mexico, and New England. Her research interests include cultural ecology, ancient agriculture, community structure, and settlement patterns. She is co-editor of the book,
Lifeways in the Northern Maya Lowlands: New Approaches to Archaeology in the Yucatán Peninsula, published by the University of Arizona Press.

11:30-11:45  ASC Business Meeting

11:45-1:00  Lunch
Restaurant choices are limited and it is suggested that you bring your own lunch.

Afternoon Session

1:00-1:30  The Revolutionary War Hospital of Danbury
Samantha Fox-Cogar  (Western Connecticut State University)
This discussion will present a connection between the Revolutionary War hospital that once stood in Danbury and a house that is still standing today using research gathered from land records and maps.
Critical thinking was applied to the information collected and historical accounts of other early hospitals in an attempt to understand the purpose and physical structure of the war hospital.
In addition to sharing research on colonial medicine and the rise of the war hospital, the location of potential graves near the hospital will be explored.
Samantha Fox-Cogar is an anthropology undergraduate student at WCSU concentrating in Archaeology. She plans on attending graduate school in the fall to study ethno-historical research.

1:30-2:00  Rochambeau’s Army in Connecticut, 1780-1782
Mary Harper and Bruce Clouette (PAST)
The French Army under the command of the Count de Rochambeau played a major role in making America victorious in the Revolutionary War. In 1781, the army marched through Connecticut on its way to join George Washington’s army in Westchester County, New York.
This presentation reports on the indentification of historic a and archaeological resources associated with the French march, with a special focus on the sites of the French encampments. By means of extensive documentary research and metal-detecting survey, the sites of several camps were located and shown to be still relatively undisturbed; despite the minimally intrusive survey technique, they yielded a rich profusion of artifacts associated with the march. An archaeological signature for French army camps emerged based on distinctive buttons, musket shot, and other cultural remains. The work was carried out by Public Archaeology Survey Team, Inc. (PAST) under contract with the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office.
Mary Harper, M.A., is the director of PAST and its affiliate, Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc. (AHS).
Bruce Clouette, Ph.D., is Senior Historian with PAST and AHS. Both have been active in the fields of Connecticut archaeology, history, and historic preservation since the 1970s.

Afternoon Tour

2:00-3:30  Putnam Park Walking Tour

Dan Cruson
The Archaeological Society of Connecticut meeting this spring will include a tour of the archaeological remains of the Revolutionary War Winter Camp at Redding, Connecticut. Most visitors come to the park during the warm weather months, but it was in the first week of December in 1778 that the Continental troops marched into the camp grounds. They had to live in their cold canvas tents until late December when they built the log huts which would be their homes for the next 5 or 6 months, until they marched out in April and May to take part in the campaigns of 1779. Heavy snows and disruption of supplies caused shortages for the troops. Food, clothing, and shoes, were all in short supply. This gave the camp (there were actually 3 camps in Redding that winter) the name of Connecticut’s Valley Forge.

Come and see and hear:
  • Dan Cruson who did archaeology in the Park from 1998-2008, and who will conduct the walking tour of the areas of the park that he excavated, explaining some of the surprising things that were discovered.
  • About the places where archaeological digs were done previous to his excavations in 1973 and 1991.
  • About where the Company Street of 116 log huts for the enlisted men were built, and how they were laid out with respect to other park features. Attention will also be paid to the old Cemetery which turned out to be the commanding officer’s quarters.
  • How the Park was created on the site of the 1778 campground.