After the shots of Lexington and Concord rang out in April 1775, the American Revolution had begun, and Patriot forces began assembling to fight one of the largest military superpowers in the world. One such soldier was Abimeleck Uncus, sometimes spelled “Unkus.” Born sometime between 1750-1759 near Norwich, Connecticut, Uncas was a Native American who was part of the Mohegan tribe, an Algonquian tribe based in present-day Connecticut. As Patriot forces laid siege on Boston, he was stationed in Roxbury, Massachusetts, under Colonel Timothy Danielson, and served in the Continental Army’s siege lines. In 1777, he reenlisted for three years of service in the 1st Connecticut Regiment. He was assigned to “Indian Duty,” where he was likely assigned to interact with the local Native American tribes to form alliances or procure supplies when his regiment moved from place to place.
While details on his military service are scant, Uncus did leave a legacy in the form of a powder horn that he carved while stationed in Roxbury in 1775. This horn displays imagery of the fortifications around Boston, ships he may have seen in the Boston Harbor, and delicate foliage tying the different images together. Toward the tip, he carved the location, “Roxbury,” and the year, “1775,” above where he proudly proclaimed “By Abimeleck Uncus,” asserting his place in history.