War, revolution, a land battle, a stolen boy threatened by a secret British agent, and a family frantic to get their son back are the dynamic subject matter of Hurry Down Gunntown. Set in 18th century New England and arching to the new millennia on some of the same land, two riveting stories become one continuous narrative. Spanning more than two centuries, the most compelling aspect is that it all really happened right here in turbulent New England.
Retired teacher and Educator of the Year (2009), Len Yannielli of Naugatuck has written a stirring, true story. Yannielli, a former Professor of Biology at Naugatuck Valley Community College has turned to writing creative historical nonfiction in retirement. His previous books bridge microbiology and ecology. His third book, Moon Shadow Of War (2013), is a memoir detailing the turmoil and revelations of a young man caught in the web of the U.S. War in Vietnam. Now all his many experiences around the environment and his research background help bring alive colonial (1780) Bethany, Prospect, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Oxford and other areas down the Naugatuck Valley and eventually Long Island.
The central dynamic of Hurry Down Gunntown is a riveting colonial chase down the Naugatuck Valley. Rebel trackers were in pursuit of a gang of Tories led by the vicious British agent, Captain Graham. Secretly making his way to the Whittemore Inn, in present-day Seymour, the wily Graham convinced some young men of Loyalist families in the Gunntown (parts of present-day Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford) area to join him. They raid a house in Bethany of one Captain Dayton who has been plying the trade of a privateer at the behest of the colonial government.
Attempting to mislead the Trackers, the British agent leads the motley gang through the Gunntown area. Along the way they kidnap a young colonial named Chauncey Judd. Why? The young boy recognized some of the young Tories. It isn’t long before Rebel trackers are on the trail of Tory gang. The chase is joined.
While it seems like a simplistic story of good and bad guys, think again. A Loyalist mother, a slave, and even the young Tories are confronted with various moral dilemmas. For example, the Judd family is ardent supporters of independence and revolution. But the young Tories grew up with him. Should they participate, with this unscrupulous British agent, in terrorizing and threatening the life of young Chauncey?
The book continues into the new millennium and another battle is taking shape. This one involved a land fight. With an indication of the power of this mostly unknown story, the colonial history is called upon to rescue the land where key aspects of the saga played out.
Hurry Down Gunntown can be purchased a https://www.createspace.com/5385780 or Amazon.com