Learn about one of the bloodiest battles in the Revolutionary War

— From the Library of Congress

This 1857 print — an engraving by Charles F. Damoreu of a painting by John Reuben Chapin — shows a scene during the battle at Oriskany, New York, with American patriots combating the combined forces of the British, Loyalists, and Natives. General Nicholas Herkimer, commander of the American forces, is shown, on the left, giving orders from his saddle, which is on the ground after his horse was shot from beneath him.

To the Editor:

Although the Revolutionary war is usually thought of as a war between rebellious American colonists and the British Empire, in the Mohawk Valley it was largely a civil war between neighbors, siblings, and fathers and sons.

The Battle of Oriskany, was a British-led ambush under the command of Sir John Johnson upon the American forces who, under the command of General Nicholas Herkimer, were on their way to relieve the besieged Fort Stanwix.

With Sir Johnson were about 100 Loyalist light infantry and about 400 Mohawks. With General Herkimer were about 800 militiamen and 60 Oneidas.

One of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, this battle helped thwart the British plan to march into Albany to separate New England from the rest of the 13 colonies.

At our February program for the New Scotland Historical Association, historian Terry McMaster will discuss the Battle of Oriskany, its importance, and the major players that influenced and participated in actions that tore the Mohawk Valley apart, including the Herkimers, Johnsons, Brants, Butlers, the Palatine German, Dutch and Scots-Irish settlers, and the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, and other Native participants.

Besides being a historian, Terry McMaster is a psychotherapist, artist, and writer who resides in Delmar. He is a descendent of Captain David McMaster who fought in the Battle of Oriskany.

For a richly informative afternoon, please join us at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center in New Salem on 7 The Old New Salem Road. Admission is always free. 

The New Scotland Historical Association Museum will be open for a half-hour before the program.

Judy Kimes


New Scotland

Historical Association

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