The History of the Hastings family would not be complete without recognizing those who served the Country in its military forces. With this week’s edition I will present a member of the family who served. I welcome any of you to add to my work or better yet to present the service record of another member of our family.
Robert Hastings (1654 – 1721), by my records, is the oldest known ancestor of our Hastings family. George M. Bodge’s “Soldiers: King Philip’s War” list Robert Hastings as a member of the Garrison at Westfield on September 23, 1676. Westfield was the western most settled area in Massachusetts being just west of Springfield.
The History of Haverhill states that in 1691 Lt. Robert Hastings was appointed Constable in Haverhill. This suggests a rank within the town militia.
King Philip’s War was our Countries first major military action. It cleared southern New England’s native population from the land and established the English as the dominant people. King Philip (Metacomet) was the second son of Chief Massasoit. In 1660 Wamsutta (King Philip’s older brother) requested the court of Plymouth to give them English names. Wamsutta became Alexander and Metacomet became Philip. Philip became the leader of the united Native American tribes of New England.
The death rate in King Philip’s War was higher than all American wars. This death rate is a comparison to those who were killed compared to the population of the country.
King Philip’s War - 1, 538 deaths per 100.000
American Revolution - 180 deaths per 100,000
Civil War - 857 deaths per 100,000
World War II - 206 deaths per 100,000