SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY
BATTLE OF MINISINK
SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY
MORE ON NEW JERSEY
BATTLE OF MINISINK
REMEMBER THE KAREN ANN QUINLAN STORY IN 1975
EARLY HISTORY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS
THE STORY OF MAPLE GRANGE IN VERNON NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Town Council Slow To Stop Vandalism
SUSSEX COUNTY RAILROADS
GROWTH OF A NATION
NEW JERSEY HERALD'S ARTICLE ON THE MARINE CORPS' COMBINED ACTION PROGRAM (CAP)
SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY HOME TO VFW DISTRICT 21
 
 
 
******************************************
 
A  PIECE  OF  FORGOTTEN  AMERICAN  HISTORY
 
THE  BATTLE  OF  MINISINK was such an embarrassment to the Americans that it took 43 years, before the bodies of the dead were collected and buried.   Please press the link to learn the details.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2003/07/18/retro18.htm

July 18, 2003

Colonials took bloody beating at Battle of Minisink


   By John Conway
   For the Times Herald-Record

   
   On July 20, 1779, Joseph Brant, Mohawk chief and British Army colonel, led a raiding party of Indians and Tories against the settlement at Minisink, near present-day Port Jervis.
   Brant, an astute military tactician, had learned that a Colonial Army detachment under Count Pulaski, which had been assigned to defend the sparse settlements in the Mamakating, Neversink and Delaware valleys, had been re-deployed elsewhere, leaving the area largely unprotected. Brant's objective was to gather livestock, produce and whatever other provisions he could find and stockpile them in order to help the British and their Indian allies camped out in the Susquehanna Valley survive the following winter. If he could devastate and demoralize the settlers and distract the Colonials from their fight with the regular British Army, all the better.
   Having completed the raid, plundering and burning homes, killing the men and dispersing the women and children, Brant and his men took their bounty and returned northward, along the Delaware, on their way back to the Susquehanna.
   Word of the raiding party soon reached Goshen, where the call went out for the militia to gather under the leadership of a local physician, Col. Benjamin Tusten.
   After hotly deliberating the merits of engaging the marauders in combat, Tusten and 149 men – merchants, farmers and clerks, and what James Eldridge Quinlan later described as "some of the principal gentlemen of the county" – set out the next day in pursuit of their quarry.
   "Colonel Tusten was opposed to risking an encounter with the subtle Mohawk chief with so feeble a command," Quinlan wrote, "especially as the enemy was known to be greatly superior to them in numbers. The Americans were not well provided with arms and ammunition, and it was wise to wait for reinforcements. "Others, however, were for immediate pursuit. They held the Indians in contempt, insisted that they would not fight, and declared that a recapture of the plunder was an easy achievement.
   "The excited militia men took up their line of march, and followed the old Kathegton (Cochecton) trail 17 miles, when they encamped at Skinner's mill, near Haggie's Pond, about three miles from the mouth of Halfway Brook." The following morning, July 22, 1779, Tusten and his men, bolstered by a contingent from Warwick under the command of Col. John Hathorn, finally confronted Brant on the banks of the Delaware just above present-day Barryville.
   Almost immediately, Brant deftly cut the militia's force in two and an epic battle ensued on a hilltop overlooking the river.
   Ammunition was soon depleted, and the combat was reduced to hand-to-hand, with the Mohawks and Tories getting much the better of it. The militia was routed, and nearly all of those who stayed and fought were killed, including Tusten.
   Following the bloody daylong battle, Brant and his remaining men forded the river and continued on their journey. They somehow managed to avoid the severe retribution for their actions administered a few weeks later by Gen. John Sullivan and his army of 3,000, who swept through Wawarsing, Mamakating and Deerpark, through Easton and Tioga Point, and destroyed anything Iroquois they encountered along the way.
   The remains of those slain on that desolate Barryville hilltop in what forever after would be known as the Battle of Minisink were not afforded a proper burial. Quinlan wrote that "for 43 years the bones of those who had been slain on the banks of the Delaware were permitted to molder on the battle ground. But one attempt had been made to gather them, and that was by the widows of the slaughtered men, of whom there were 33 in the Presbyterian congregation of Goshen. They set out for the place of battle on horseback, but finding the journey too hazardous, they hired a man to perform the pious duty, who proved unfaithful and never returned."
   Finally, in 1822, "a committee was appointed to collect the remains and to ascertain the names of the fallen. The committee proceeded to the battle ground, a distance of 46 miles from Goshen, and viewed some of the frightful elevations and descents over which the militia had passed when pursuing the red marauders. The place where the conflict occurred, and the region for several miles around, were carefully examined and the relics of the honored dead gathered with pious care. The remains were taken to Goshen, where they were buried in the presence of 15,000 persons."
   A monument was erected to mark the mass grave, upon which was inscribed the names of the 44 men killed in the battle.
   Unfortunately, as meticulous as the search for remains had been, only 300 bones were recovered, far fewer than had been expected. Nature and the denizens of the forest had no doubt disposed of the rest.
   This sad occurrence moved the Monticello poet Alfred B. Street to write in the final stanza of his 10-stanza commemorative of the battle:
   
"Years have pass'd by, the merry bee
    Hums round the laurel flowers,
    The mock-bird pours its melody
    Amid the forest bowers;
    A skull is at my feet, though now
    The wild rose wreathes its bony brow,
    Relic of other hours,
    It bids the wandering pilgrim think
    Of those who died at Minisink."

   
   John Conway is the Sullivan County historian and an adjunct professor of history at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake. He lives in Barryville.

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2003/07/18/retro18.htm

----------------------------------------------
 
 
Minisink eyewitness to colonial battle
   

   By Mark Smith
   The Times Herald-Record
   marksm@th-record.com
   
   On July 22, 1779, the upper Delaware's only major Revolutionary War skirmish was fought on a hill above Minisink Ford.
   It was here that a group of Orange County militiamen – under the command of John Hathorn of Warwick – suffered a devastating defeat by a band of Indians and Tories, under the command of Col. Joseph Brant.
   Brant, a Mohawk chief, had struck a deal with the British in a bid to protect Mohawk hunting grounds and to halt the advance of white settlers. In return, Brant vowed Mohawk support against the colonist revolution.
   On July 21, 1779, Brant led a daring raid on Minisink. In Hathorn's own words, he received "an Express from Minisink that the Indians were ravaging and burning that place."
   Hathorn's militia decided to pursue Brant and his party. But en route, some of Hathorn's Warwick regiment left their ranks and fled home.
   As day broke on July 22, on a hill above the Delaware – near what is now Port Jervis – Hathorn marched his men toward the river and into a slaughter.
   The militia found itself surrounded by a force of 60 Indians and 27 Tories.
   Almost 50 of Hathorn's men were killed in the four-hour battle. Most died when they ran out of gunpowder and broke ranks. Panicked, they ran down the hill toward the river, where, amid "cruel yelling," they were cut down by Brant's men.
   The rest of the militia scattered. It was a crushing defeat that struck fear in the hearts of all Orange County colonists.

marksm@th-record.com

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2001/04/21/msminisi.htm

----------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Minisink Battle

    Brant and his fighting men were the scourge of the Shawangunk region during the entire War of the Revolution. His name was a terror to the inhabitants of that locality; and deeds of blood and cruelty, performed by him and under his direction, are told to this day that are too harrowing for belief.
     Historians differ as to whether Col. Joseph Brant was a half-breed or a pure-blood Mohawk.  The traits of character developed in his career would seem to indicate the latter as being nearer the truth.  He had one sister, Molly, who became the leman of  Sir William Johnson.  Brant was placed, through the influence of Sir William, at a school in Lebanon, Connecticut, where the lad was educated for the Christian ministry.  It would appear, however, he adopted an entirely different mode of life.  At the age of twenty he became the secretary and agent of Sir William, through whose influence he was induced to espouse the cause of Great Britain in the revolutionary trouble that was brewing.  Through the same influence he was created a Colonel of the British army; and by reason of his birth was a warrior-chief of the Iroquois.  Having had the advantages of a liberal education, he became, in consequence, an influential personage among them, and was treated with much consideration by the British monarch.  He organized and sent forth the predatory bands of Indians which devastated the frontier from the Water-Gap to the Mohawk river.  Some of these irruptions he commanded in person, particularly those which visited Wawarsing (Ulster county) and Minisink.  In 1780 he boasted that the Esopus border was his old fighting ground.
     His personal appearance is thus described: “He was good looking, of fierce aspect, tall, and rather spare, and well-spoken.  He wore moccasins elegantly trimmed with beads, leggings, and a breech-cloth of superfine blue, a short, green coat with two silver epaulets, and a small, round laced hat.  By his side was an elegant, silver-mounted cutlass; and his blanket of blue cloth (purposely dropped in the chair on which he sat, to display his epaulets) was gorgeously adorned with a border of red.”
      Brant has been denounced as an inhuman wretch.  Even an English author attributes to him the atrocities of Wyoming. Although in battle he generally gave full scope to the murderous propensities of his followers, it cannot be denied be endeavored to mitigate the horrors of war whenever he could do so without destroying his influence with his own race.
      During the summer of 1779, Brant with about three hundred Iroquois warriors set out from Niagara.  About the middle of July they appeared on the heights on the west of Minisink, like a dark cloud hanging on the mountain tops, ready to break upon the plain below.  Just before daylight, on the morning of the 20th, the inhabitants of the valley were awakened from their slumbers by the crackling of the flames of their dwellings.  Cries of dismay, the shrieks of the victims of the tomahawk and scalping knife, and the war-whoop of the savages, broke the morning air in all their terror. Some managed to escape to the woods with their wives and children, and some to the blockhouses.  The savages and Tories plundered, burned and killed as they were disposed.
 
After destroying twenty-one dwellings and barns, together with the old Mamachamack church and a grist-mill, and killing an unknown number of patriots, the enemy disappeared loaded with spoil.  They did not attack any of the block-houses, for which the red men entertained a wholesome fear.
      On the evening of the same day  Col. Tusten, of Goshen, received intelligence by an express of the events of the morning.  He immediately issued orders to the officers of his command to meet him the following morning (the 21st) with as many volunteers as they could raise.  One hundred and forty-nine men were at the place of rendezvous at the appointed time.
      A council of war was held to consider the expediency of pursuit. Col. Tusten was opposed to risking an encounter with the noted Mohawk chief, especially as his followers outnumbered the Goshen militia, two to one. Besides the militiamen were not well supplied with arms arid ammunition, and the Colonel counseled that they wait for reinforcements which were certain to arrive.  Others, however, were for immediate pursuit.  They affected to hold the Indians in contempt; and declared that they would not fight, and that a recapture of the plunder was an easy achievement. The counsels of reckless bravery, untempered by reason and intelligence, are not always wisest to follow.   The deliberations were cut short by Major Meeker, who, mounting his horse and flourishing his sword, vauntingly called out-`Let the brave men follow me; the cowards may stay behind!”
This appeal decided the question; it silenced the prudent.  The line of march was immediately taken up, following the old Cochecton trail seventeen miles, where they encamped at Skinner's mill.
      The pursuit was commenced some time in the night. Tradition and the testimony of old papers show that the party reached the house of  James Finch, at what is now Finchville, where they took breakfast.  Mr. Finch slaughtered a hog, which he roasted and served up to his guests.  The patriots partook of a hurried meal, gathered up the fragments of the hog into their knapsacks, and continued their march over the mountain.  They told Mr. Finch not to accompany them, but to stay and have dinner ready for them on their return, as they would be gone but a few hours.  Their way led them along the depression where the present highway is laid, past the burial ground where the dead of the settlement were formerly buried; and from the summit of the pass nearly half of their number took their last view of the eastern slopes.
 
Crossing the mountain, they reached the house of  Major Decker, then pushed on over an Indian trail seventeen miles further.  How many of our strongest men, in these effeminate days, could endure such a tramp, encumbered with guns and knapsacks?
     On the morning of the 22nd they were joined by a small reinforcement of the Warwick regiment under  Col. Hathorn, who, as the senior of  Tusten, took the command.  At Halfway brook they came upon the Indian encampment of the previous night, and another council was held. Colonels Hathorn, Tusten and others were opposed to advancing further, as the number of Indian fires, and the extent of ground the enemy had occupied were conclusive evidence of the superiority of Brant's force.  A scene similar to that which had broken up the former council was here enacted, with the same results.  The voice of prudence had less influence than the voice of bravado.  It is said that the officer to whose tauntings this last rash act is attributed made quite a display of his bravery while on the march, but, with his company, was only within hearing while the engagement lasted, and could not be induced to go to the relief of his countrymen.
      It was evident that Brant was not far in advance, and it was important to know whether he intended to cross the Delaware at the usual fording-place.  Captains Tyler and Cuddeback, both of whom had some knowledge of the woods, were sent forward with a small scouting party to reconnoitre Brant's movements.  What they saw led them to think Brant had already crossed, as there were savages and plunder on the opposite shore, and an Indian was then passing over, mounted on a horse that had been stolen from Major Decker.  The two scouts fired at this fellow, and, it is said, wounded him fatally.  But they were immediately shot at by some savages in their rear, and Capt. Tyler fell dead.  Cuddeback succeeded in reaching tne main body of tne militiamen, and reported what he had seen and heard.  Tyler's death caused a profound sensation among his fellow soldiers, but it only served to add fierceness to their determination.
 
After leaving the mouth of the Halfway brook* (now Barryville) it is believed that Brant followed the river bank to the Lackawaxen ford, to which he had sent his plunder in advance.  Hathorn resolved to intercept him at the crossing, and to do so attempted to reach the ford first by a rapid march over the high ground east of the river.  As they approached the ground on which the battle was fought, Brant was seen deliberately marching toward the ford.  Owing to intervening woods and hills, the belligerents lost sight of each other, when Brant wheeled to the right and passed up a ravine known as Dry brook, over which Hathorn `s route lay.  By this stratagem, Brant was enabled to throw himself into Hathorn `s rear, cutting off a portion of Hathorn `s command, deliberately selecting his ground for a battle, and forming an ambuscade.
     The battle-ground, says Quinlan, is situated on the crest of a hill, half a mile northeasterly from the Dry brook at its nearest point, three miles distant from Barryville and one from Lackawaxen.  The hill has an altitude of twenty-five or thirty feet above its base, and two hundred above the Delaware, and descends east, west and south, while there is a nearly level plateau extending toward the north.  This level ground is rimmed (particularly on the south side) with an irregular and broken ground of rocks.  On that part of the ground nearest the river the Americans were hemmed in, and caught like rats in a trap.
     The battle commenced at nine in the morning.  Before a gun was fired, Brant appeared in full view of the Americans, told them his force was superior to theirs, and demanded their surrender, promising them protection.  While engaged in parley, he was shot at by one of the militiamen, the ball passing through Brant's belt.  The warrior thereupon withdrew and joined his men.
     The battle commenced at nine in the morning.  Before a gun was fired, Brant appeared in full view of the Americans, told them his force was superior to theirs, and demanded their surrender, promising them protection.  While engaged in parley, he was shot at by one of the militiamen, the ball passing through Brant's belt.  The warrior thereupon withdrew and joined his men.
 
The battle opened and the forces were soon engaged in deadly conflict.  Above the din of the strife, the voice of Brant was heard, in tones never to be forgotten by those, who survived, giving orders for the return of those who were on the opposite side of the river.
     A part of the Americans kept the savages in check on the north side of the battle-ground, while others threw up hastily a breastwork of stones about one hundred and fifty feet from the ledge which terminated the southern extremity of the plateau.  Confined to about an acre of ground, screened by trees, rocks, fiat stones turned on their edges, or whatever opportunity offered or exigency demanded, were ninety brave men, who, without water, and surrounded by a host of howling savages, fought from ten o'clock to near sundown on a sultry July day.
The disposition of the militia, and the effectual manner in which every assailable point was defended, reflects credit on the mind that controlled them. By direction of Hathorn there was no useless firing.  Ammunition was short, and it was necessary to husband it carefully.  A gun discharged in any quarter revealed the position of its possessor, and left him exposed until he could reload. With the exceptions indicated, every man fought in the Indian mode, each for himself, firing as opportunity offered, and engaging in individual conflicts according to the barbarian custom.
     The annals of modern times contain no record of a more stubborn and heroic defense.  In vain Brant sought for hours to break through the line.  He was repelled at every point.
     What the fifty men were doing all that eventful day, who were separated from their companions during the morning, no one can now tell.  We will put a charitable interpretation on their conduct, and suppose they were driven away by superior numbers.  Their movements are veiled in oblivion, and there let them remain.
     As the day drew to a close, Brant became disheartened.  The position of the brave patriots seemed to be impregnable, and it is said he was about to order a retreat when the death of a militiaman opened the way into the American lines. This faithful soldier had been stationed behind a rock on the northwest side, where he had remained all day, and kept the savages in check.  Brant saw the advantage his death afforded, and, with the Indians near him, rushed into the midst of the Goshen militia.  The latter seeing the savages swarming into the centre of the hard-fought field, became demoralized, and sought safety by flight.  Many of them were killed or wounded in the attempt.  Some incidents of the battle are worth repeating.
 
Brant killed Wisner with his own hand.  Some years afterward he was heard to say that after the battle was over, he found Wisner on the field so badly wounded that he could not live nor be removed; that if he was left alone on the battle-field wild beasts would devour him; that he was in full possession of all his faculties; that for a man to be eaten by wild beasts while alive was terrible; that to save Wisner from such a fate, he engaged him in conversation, and shot him dead.
      Captain Benjamin Vail was wounded in battle, and after the fight was over, was found seated upon a rock, bleeding.  He was killed while in this situation, and by a Tory.
 Doctor Tusten was behind a rock attending to the necessities of the wounded when the retreat commenced.  There were seventeen disabled men under his care, who appealed for protection and mercy.  But the savages fell upon them, and all, including the Doctor, fell victims to the tomahawk and scalping-knife.
     Several attempted to escape by swimming the Delaware, and were shot.  Of those engaged in the battle, thirty escaped, and forty-five, it is known, were killed.  The remainder were taken prisoners, or perished while fugitives in the wilderness.
      Major Wood, of the militia, though not a Mason, accidentally gave the Masonic sign of distress.  This was observed by Brant, who interposed to save Wood's life, giving him his own blanket to protect him from the night air while sleeping.  Discovering subsequently that Wood was not one of the Brotherhood, he denounced the deception as dishonorable, but spared his life.  The blanket was accidentally damaged while in the prisoner's possession, which made Brant very angry.
     One of the militiamen attempted to escape with the others, but was so far exhausted that he was forced to turn aside and rest.  In a little while he saw several Indians, one after the other, pass by in pursuit of the militia, but managed to keep himself out of their sight.  Presently a large and powerful Indian discovered him, when, raising his gun, he fired his last shot and fled.  The savage did not pursue; he was probably disabled by the shot if not killed.
      Samuel Helm was stationed behind a tree, when he discovered the head of an Indian thrust from behind a neighboring trunk, as if looking for a patriot to shoot at. Helm fired and the savage fell; but Helm was immediately hit in the thigh by a ball from another Indian whom he had not seen. Helm dropped to the earth, but the savage did not immediately rush up to take his scalp, being anxious first to discover the result of his shot.  This gave Helm a chance to reload which he did behind a natural breast-work which screened him from view.  After dodging about a little the Indian made a dash for his scalp, but received a bullet instead, which put an end to his life.  Helm said that the consternation of the Indian, on being confronted with the muzzle of his gun, was truly ridiculous.
 
In April of the following year, Brant started from Niagara with another force to invade the frontier.  At Tioga Point he detailed eleven of his warriors to go to Minisink for prisoners and scalps.  With the remainder of his force, he started to invest the fort at Scoharie.  Here he captured some prisoners who made him believe that the place was garrisoned by several hundred men-a bit of strategy that foiled even the wily Indian chieftain.  Brant turned back, and shaped his course down the Delaware.  One day his command was startled by the death-yell, which rang through the woods like the scream of a demon.  They paused, waiting for an explanation of this unexpected signal, when, presently, two of the eleven Indians who had been sent to the Minisink emerged from the woods, bearing the moccasins of their nine companions.  They informed their chief that they had been to Minisink, where they had captured, one after the other, five lusty men, and had brought them as far as Tioga Point and encamped for the night.  Here, while the eleven Indians were asleep, the prisoners had freed themselves from the cords which bound them, when each took a hatchet, and with surprising celerity brained nine of their captors.  The other two savages, aroused by the noise of the blows, sprang to their feet and fled; but as they ran, one of them received the blade of a hatchet between his shoulders.  Thus was the death of the slain heroes of Minisink avenged.
     For forty-three years the bones of those heroes slain on the banks of the Delaware were allowed to molder on the battleground.  But one attempt had been made to gather them, and that was by the widows of the slaughtered men, of whom there were thirty-three in the Presbyterian congregation of Goshen.  These heroic ladies set out for the battle-field on horseback; but, finding the journey too hazardous, they hired a man to perform the pious duty, who proved unfaithful and never returned.
     In 1822, the citizens of Goshen were led to perform a long-neglected duty by an address of  Dr. D. R. Arnell at the annual meeting of the Orange County Medical Society, in which he gave a brief biography of Dr. Tusten. A committee was appointed to collect the remains and ascertain the names of the fallen.
     The committee at once set upon the duty before them.  The first day they traveled forty miles through the wilderness.  At Halfway-brook, six miles from the battle-ground, the party left their horses.  The vicinity was an unbroken wilderness, with no trace of improvement of any kind, and the danger of attempting to ride was so great that they chose to clamber over the rough ground on foot.
     The committee were astonished at the route taken by the little army; the descents were frightful and the country rugged beyond conception.  The majority of the bones were found on the spot where the battle was fought and near a small marsh or pond a few rods east.  This fact shows that the militia, made reckless by thirst, went for water and were killed.  Some were found at a distance of several miles.  They were the remains probably of wounded men, who had wandered away and finally died of their wounds and hunger. Wild beasts may have removed others.  The skeleton of one man was found in the crevice of a rock where he had probably crept and died.  The whole number of bones collected by the Committee was about three hundred; other bones were subsequently found by hunters and brought in.
     It may be suggested that all of the bones collected may not have been the remains of the white soldiers; that it would be impossible to distinguish, so long afterwards, the skeleton of a white man from that of an Indian.  It should be borne in mind that it was the rule of Indian warfare, when successful, to gather up and carry off all their slain.  On this occasion the survivors saw the Indians engaged in this very duty.
     The gathered remains were taken to Goshen, where they were buried with imposing ceremonies in the presence of fifteen thousand persons, including the military of the county, and a corps of cadets from West Point under the command of Major Worth.
 
This monument gradually fell into decay and no measures were taken to preserve it. In 1860, Merrit H. Cook, M. D., a resident of Orange County, bequeathed four thousand dollars for a new one, which was dedicated on the 83d anniversary of the battle, on which occasion John C. Dimmick, a native of Bloomingburgh, officiated as orator of the day.  Mrs. Abigail Mitchell, a daughter of  Captain Bezaleel Tyler (slain a the battle of Minisink), was present, and witnessed the ceremonies.  She was five years old at the time of the battle, and had resided the greater part of her life at Cochecton.  On the 22d of July, 1879, the one hundredth anniversary of the Minisink battle, a large enthusiastic gathering was held on the battle-ground.  Although the approach to the place was rough and exceedingly difficult, it being necessary to cut a road through the woods for the occasion, upwards of two thousand persons were present at the ceremony.  A monument was set upon the ground sacred to the blood of the slain heroes, and dedicated in commemoration of their services.  
     It was on one pleasant morning in June that we left the hotel at Lackawaxen before the people were astir, and crossing the Delaware and Hudson aqueduct, began the winding ascent of the mountain.  After a brisk walk of about two miles we came to the residence of  Mr. Horace E. Twichell, to whom we had a letter of introduction.  That gentleman kindly volunteered to go with us to the battle-ground, which lies partly on his premises, and locate the points of interest.
     On the neck of land there is a huge boulder.  Behind this natural rampart, a hunter had taken his position on the day of the fight, and while his comrades loaded the guns for him, he effectually swept the only available approach to the battle-ground, as to keep the whole force of Indians at bay during the entire contest.  At length the hunter was killed, and the Indians, taking advantage of the circumstances, rushed in and the battle became a rout.
     A few yards from this rock, screened on all sides by the contour of the ground and the protecting ledge, the spot was pointed out where for years lay the skeletons of the brave Dr. Tusten and his seventeen slain companions, who were all tomahawked and scalped after the battle was over.  Further on stands an old pine tree, on which are the initials “J. B.,” believed to have been cut in the bark by the Indian fighter, Joseph Brant.
     An incident of the battle was related to me while rambling over the field. A soldier was assisting a wounded comrade to escape.  The Indians were heard in close pursuit, and the wounded man soon saw that all efforts on his part were fruitless.  So taking his pocket-book and papers he handed them to his companion, with the request that he give them to his wife at Goshen, and bade him leave him to his fate.  The man made good his escape, and delivered the package and money as directed.
      Mother McGowan, still living at Handsome Eddy, used to see the skeletons around the spring to the east of the battle-ground, and remembers seeing some of the soldiers that were engaged in the battle.
     Mr. Isaac Mills, about forty years ago, found a skeleton about three-fourths of a mile from the battle-field.   Judge Thomas H. Ridgeway, of Lackawaxen, informed us that he remembers going to pick huckleberries on the mountain seventy years ago, when the skeletons of the slain Minisink heroes lay thickly scattered about among the bushes, and distinctly recalls his childish fears of the bones.
     Near the foot of the monument, entirely covered up with loose slate, was found the skeleton of a man.  This was probably the work of the Indians, who, for some reason, gave this man a sepulture.
     The round stone on the top of the monument is a white flint boulder, found in the Delaware river near the spot where the Indian was shot by the scouts previous to the battle.   http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/orange/legends/id61.htm


 
---------------------------------------------------------

222-Year-Old Battle
Still Remembered

http://www.sc-democrat.com/archives/2001/news/07July/24/minisink.html

By Dan Hust
MINISINK FORD — July 24, 2001 – Though it was a tremendously lethal battle fought in part due to a premature musket shot, a record crowd of 150 people remembered on Sunday that sacrifice of life and limb made by 44 militiamen two centuries ago.
For 122 years, residents of and visitors to Minisink Ford on the Delaware River have observed a memorial to the only Revolutionary War battle to occur on Sullivan County soil, and Sunday’s event at the top of a small hill in the county’s Minisink Battleground Park carried on that tradition.
“We are all in their debt,” remarked Sullivan County Legislator Kathleen LaBuda, who represents the region known as District 2. “Living up to that high history isn’t easy.”
On July 22, 1779, about 120 militiamen arrived from Orange County to catch a band of marauding Native Americans in the Delaware River corridor. The leader of the Indians, however, was ready for them thanks to the premature firing of a militiaman’s gun, and the resulting battle decimated the militia, forcing them to flee into the woods.
Though a defeat for colonists, the battle was never forgotten, and the Sullivan County Historical Society, which organized the event, made doubly sure of that on Sunday.
The actual observances began earlier in the afternoon across the river at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier in Lackawaxen, Pa. Although one speaker pointed out that new DNA identification techniques might finally determine the militiaman’s name, the event served to recollect the contributions of all the unknown soldiers who served in the wars of the United States.
And just like the warring forces of 200 years ago, attendees made their way across the river to ascend the hill to the battlefield itself – albeit more peacefully, and via the famous Roebling Aqueduct.
National Park Service Historian Mary Curtis entertained and educated guests with stories about the lives and battles of Revolutionary War-era people, and shortly thereafter, people walked up another short hill to see the monument and flagpole dedicated to the militiamen’s memory.
Waiting for them were members of Eldred’s Sylvan Liebla American Legion Post #1363, Tusten-Highland VFW Post #6427 and the Navasing Long Rifles, a local group of Revolutionary War re-enactors who had set up authentically re-created camps and displays.
The keynote speaker of the ceremony was Elizabeth McKee, the New York State Vice-Regent of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
“New Yorkers can be proud of their contributions [to the Revolutionary War],” she said. “New York suffered the greatest loss in terms of death and human suffering for liberty.”
Other speakers included county Veterans Agency Director Eric Nystrom, National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Acting Superintendent Sandra Schultz, Beaverkill DAR Chapter member Shirley Bone and Minisink Valley Historical Association Executive Director Peter Osborne.
Said a somber Schultz, “There are so many people left out of the dream of freedom. Let’s remember those who are not included.”
Osborne spoke of his association’s preservation of the battlefield during the late 1800s, when there was talk of converting it into a bluestone quarry. It was a thought picked up on by McKee.
“We must make every effort to keep history alive,” she said. “The Sullivan County Historical Society is to be commended for keeping the memory of the Battle of Minisink alive, lest we forget.”

http://www.sc-democrat.com/archives/2001/news/07July/24/minisink.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/gsaabstr/minisink.aspx

What did happen on top of that rocky hill? Terrain, geology, and historical uncertainty at the Battle of Minisink (1779), New York-Pennsylvania

Inners, Jon D., (retired) Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 3240 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown, PA 17057; Osborne, Peter, Minisink Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 659, Port Jervis, NY 12771; and Moore, William, Department of Geological and Environmental Science, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA 17870.

On July 22, 1779, …a party of Tories and Indians under the Mohawk Col. Joseph Brant decimated a pursuing force of New Jersey and New York militia in a bloody fight at Minisink Ford in what is now Sullivan County, NY. Though much has been written on the Battle of Minisink [since the first commemorative exercises held in 1822], the events of that horrific day are shrouded in uncertainty. The causes of this historical confusion can largely be traced to conflicting accounts in early recollections, to the poor quality of battleground maps in many subsequent writings, and to the fact that the wilderness site lay neglected for 43 years before the remains of the slain militiamen were recovered.

The Minisink battleground is preserved as a county park near the top of a flat-topped hill 500 feet above an enclosing right-angle bend of the Delaware River opposite Lackawaxen, PA. Bedrock at the site consists of gently north-dipping, planar- and crossbedded sandstones of the Lackawaxen Member of the Late Devonian-age Catskill Formation. The upper east face of the hill, where most of the battle was apparently fought, consists of a series of four topographic steps formed by sandstone ledges 10 to 20 ft high. The orientation of the ledges [and the topographic configuration of the entire hillside are] controlled by subvertical north-south bedrock joints. The ledges step down to the valley of a small spring-fed stream that descends in a southeast direction to the Delaware.

Terrain and geological features that had an impact on the most probable battle scenario were the Minisink ford (localized the action at a strategic Delaware River crossing), the spring-fed ravine (allowed a party of Brant’s men to come up behind the militia early in the action), the bedrock ledges (controlled the later battle lines and gave shelter to the combatants), and “Sentinel Rock” (an isolated residual boulder that, according to tradition, marks the spot where the enemy broke through the militia’s final hilltop position).

[The Battle of Minisink took place two days after Brant’s frontier raid on the settlement of Minisink (present-day Port Jervis, 17 miles to the southeast) and was the “high water mark” of Iroquoian military success in the Revolutionary War. Nine days later, Gen. John Sullivan began his march northward from the Wyoming Valley to destroy Indian strongholds in western New York, a campaign that effectively crippled the military and political power of the Iroquois Confederacy.]

Poster paper presented at the 36 th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Section Geological Society of America, Burlington, VT, March 13, 2001.

Reference:

Inners, J. D., Osborne, P., and Moore, W, 2001, What did happen on top of that Rocky Hill? Terrain, geology, and historical uncertainty at the Battle of Minisink (1779), New York- Pennsylvania: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 33, no. 1, p. A66.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/gsaabstr/minisink.aspx

----------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.edenstree.com/bvailminisink.html

Captain Benjamin Vail and the Battle of Minisink

Benjamin Vail and Stephen Savy had much in common, though they never knew each other. Their lines would intertwine with the marriage of Hannah Vail Smith's daughter, Lucy Jane Smith and Frank Wayne Savey. Captain Vail was killed at the battle of Minisink, and Stephen Savy was captured by the British and Indians in a separate action conducted during the Sullivan Clinton campaign. The focal point of the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition was the eradication of the Iroquois Nation and the punishment of Brant for his daring raids - one of which resulted in the Battle of Minisink.

An abbreviated version describing a small portion of the Minisink battle including Vail's role is as follows.

"Brant killed Wisner with his own hand. Some years afterward he was heard to say that after the battle was over, he found Wisner on the field so badly wounded that he could not live nor be removed; that if he was left alone on the battle-field wild beasts would devour him; that he was in full possession of all his faculties; that for a man to be eaten by wild beasts while alive was terrible; that to save Wisner from such a fate, he engaged him in conversation, and shot him dead.

Captain Benjamin Vail was wounded in battle, and after the fight was over, was found seated upon a rock, bleeding. He was killed while in this situation, and by a Tory. Doctor Tusten was behind a rock attending to the necessities of the wounded when the retreat commenced. There were seventeen disabled men under his care, who appealed for protection and mercy. But the savages fell upon them, and all, including the Doctor, fell victims to the tomahawk and scalping-knife. Several attempted to escape by swimming the Delaware, and were shot. Of those engaged in the battle, thirty escaped, and forty-five, it is known, were killed. The remainder were taken prisoners, or perished while fugitives in the wilderness.

Major Wood, of the militia, though not a Mason, accidentally gave the Masonic sign of distress. This was observed by Brant, who interposed to save Wood's life, giving him his own blanket to protect him from the night air while sleeping. Discovering subsequently that Wood was not one of the Brotherhood, he denounced the deception as dishonorable, but spared his life. The blanket was accidentally damaged while in the prisoner's possession, which made Brant very angry.

One of the militiamen attempted to escape with the others, but was so far exhausted that he was forced to turn aside and rest. In a little while he saw several Indians, one after the other, pass by in pursuit of the militia, but managed to keep himself out of their sight. Presently a large and powerful Indian discovered him, when, raising his gun, he fired his last shot and fled. The savage did not pursue; he was probably disabled by the shot if not killed. Samuel Helm was stationed behind a tree, when he discovered the head of an Indian thrust from behind a neighboring trunk, as if looking for a patriot to shoot at. Helm fired and the savage fell; but Helm was immediately hit in the thigh by a ball from another Indian whom he had not seen. Helm dropped to the earth, but the savage did not immediately rush up to take his scalp, being anxious first to discover the result of his shot. This gave Helm a chance to reload which he did behind a natural breast-work which screened him from view. After dodging about a little the Indian made a dash for his scalp, but received a bullet instead, which put an end to his life. Helm said that the consternation of the Indian, on being confronted with the muzzle of his gun, was truly ridiculous."

See http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/orange/legends/index.htm for the entire "Legends of the Shawangunk" in html format.

http://www.edenstree.com/bvailminisink.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Colonel John Hathorn
John Hathorn moved to Warwick from Philadelphia as a young man to take up a position as a surveyor working on the boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey. He was also a local teacher. While staying at the home of John Walling he met Elizabeth Walling, presumably his daughter, whom he eventually married. He is mentioned as being a Quaker but if so apparently forsook his pacifist upbringing to become a colonial military leader.

He built his house, which still stands as a private residence, in 1773. He is described as medium height, slender, with bright gray eyes and was energetic, friendly, and impulsive. No portraits of him have ever been found. While still a young man doing surveying and teaching, he and Elizabeth ran a farm and store, and operated a forge for bar iron. At some point he became active in the colonial militia. He was said to have been friendly with Governor George Clinton and General Washington, and that Washington was their guest. Local tradition has it that Washington's accompanying soldiers camped in a meadow near the house.

Upon the mustering of the colonial militia in 1776 he was given command of the 4th Orange County Regiment, comprised mainly of men from the areas of Warwick and Florida. He was the commanding officer during the disastrous
Battle of Minisink, and apparently bore the internal scars for the rest of his life. This did not keep him from a very busy political career following the war, however. He served in the State Senate and Assembly, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives. In later years he is said to have had financial difficulty, and when he died was buried in the family plot. Later his remains were moved to the Warwick Cemetery by the Minisink Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Some of his correspondence survives in the Draper Manuscript archived at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at Madison.

(For more information on John Hathorn see our pages on "John Hathorn and Elizabeth Welling" , "John Hathorn's Letters", and "The Battle of Minisink".)
 
 

The Battle of Minisink:
Col. John Hathorn's Official Report

http://albertwisnerlibrary.org/~wisner/Factsandhistory/History/Minisink.htm

Click on the picture to access the full sized
scan-- it will take a few moments to load
Click here to view Page 2
Click here to view Page 3

This official report by Col. Hathorn gives an eyewitness account of the disastrous battle by its commander. The document is owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of the Draper Manuscript Collection. In the late 1800's Lyman Draper collected numerous documents about the Battle of Minisink. Although he never published a book using his research, his work was later drawn upon by Vernon Leslie to write The Battle of Minisink.

Also included in this collection are two
letters to Draper from one of Col. Hathorn's grandsons.

A transcript of the entire document is provided below. Unfortunately, most of Hathorn's personal papers were reportedly burned by family members after his death.

See our "John Hathorn's Letters" and "John & Elizabeth Hathorn" pages for more information about Col. Hathorn.

Microfilms of the entire collection are available from various agencies. The exact citation for this document is: Draper Manuscript, Vol. 20F Page 35 . Image provided by and used with the permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society.







Transcription

[as it appeared in the Weekly Register, Newburgh NY, July 23, 1879
with corrections from microfilm copies by S. Gardner]

Warwick, 27 July 1779

Sir,
In conformity to the Militia Law I embrace this first opportunity to communicate to your Excellency my proceedings on a late tour of duty with my Regiment. On the Evening of the 21st of this incident I received an order from his Excellency General Washington, together with a requisition of the Commissary of Prisoners to furnish one hundred men of my Regiment for to guards the British Prisoners on their way to Easton (?), at the same time received an Express from Minisink that the Indians were ravaging and burning that place. I ordered Three Companies of my regiment—Including the Exempt Company to Parade for the Purpose of the General, the Other Three Companies to March Immediately to Minisink on the 22. I arrived with a part of my people at Minisink, where I found Col. Thurston & Major Meeker of New Jersey with part of their Regiments who had marcht with about forty men the whole amounting to one hundred and Twenty Men Officers Included. A Spy came in and Informed me the Enemy lay about four hours before and Mungaup Six Miles distant from us. Our people appeared in high spirits, we marched in pursuit with and Intention either to fall on them by Surprise or to gain and front and ambush them. We was soon informed that they were on their March up the River. I found it Impracticable to surprise them on the Grounds they now were and took my Rout along the Old Keshethton(?) Path. The Indians Encamped at the Mouth of the halfway brook, we encampted at 12 O'clock at Night at Skinners Saw Mill three Miles and a half from the Enemy where we lay the Remainder of the Night. The Mountains were so exceedingly ragged and high we could not possibly get at them as they had passed the grounds the most favorable for us to attack them on before we could overtake them. Skinners is about eighteen miles from Minnisink. At day light on the morning of the 24 after leaving our horses and disengaging of every thing heavy we marched on with intention to make the attack the moment and opportunity offered. In Indians probable from some discovery they had made of us marched with more alacrity and usually with an intention to get their Prisoners Cattle and plunder taken at Minnisink over the river. They had almost affected getting their Cattle and baggage across when we discovered them at Lacawak, 27 miles from Minnisink some Indians in the river and some had got over. It was determined in council to make an attack at this place. I therefore disposed of the men into three Divisions, ordered Col. Thurston to Command the one on the Right and to take the one on the right and to take post about three hundred yards distance on an eminence to secure our right; sent Col. Wesner with another Division to file out to the left and to dispose of himself in the like manner. In order to prevent the Enemy from gaining any advantage on our flank, the other Division under my Command to attack them with that Vigour Necessary to Strike Terror in such a foe. Capt. Tyler with the Advance Guard unhappily discharged his pierce before the Divisions could be properly posted which put me under the necessity of bringing on the Action. I ordered my Division to fix their Bayonets and push forcibly on them, which order being resolutely executed put the Indians to the utmost confusion great numbers took into the river who fell from the well directed fire of our Rifle men and incessant blaze from our Musketry without returning any fire. The Division in the rear not subject to order broke, some advanced down the hill toward me other fled into the woods. I soon perceived the enemy rallying on our right and recrossing the river to gain the height, I found myself under the necessity to really all my force which by this time was much less that I expected. The enemy by this time had collected in force and from the best accounts can be collected a reinforcement from K? began to fire on our left: We returned the fire and kept up a constant brush firing up the hill from the river in which the brave Capt. Tyler fell, several were wounded. The people being exceedingly fatigued obliged me to take post on a height which proved to be a strong and advantageous ground. The enemy repeatedly drew toward me. These spirits of these few notwithstanding their fatigue, situation, and unallayed thirst, added to that the cruel yelling of those bloody monsters, the seed of Anak in size, exceed thought or description. We defend the ground near three hours and a half during the whole time one blaze without intermission was kept up on both sides. Here we have three men killed and nine wounded. Among the wounded was Lt. Col. Thurston, in the hand, Major Meeker in the shoulder, Adjt. Finch in the Leg., Capt Jones in the foot, and Ensign Wood in the Wrist. The chief of our people was wounded by Angle shots from the Indians behind Rocks and Trees. Our Rifles here were very usefull. I found myself under the necessity of ceasing the fire, our Ammunition from the continued fire of more than five hours naturally suggested that it must be Exhausted, ordered no person to shoot without having his object sure that no short might be lost. This gave spirits to the Enemy who formed their whole strength and force the North East part of our Lines. Here we gave them severe Gaul. Our people not being able to support the lines retreated down the hill precipitately towards the River. The Enemy kept up a constant fire on our Right, which we returned. The people by this time was so scattered I found myself unequal to rally them again consequently every man made choice of his own way. Thus ended the Action.
The following are missing in the whole from the last accounts:

Col. Ellison's Regiment:
Lieut. Col. Thurston
Capt. Jones
Capt. Wood
Capt. Little
Capt. Duncan
And Twelve privates

One private of New Jersey

Adjutant Finch
Ensign Wood and one private of my own regiment

In the whole twenty one men.

Several wounded men are in. I hope others will yet be found. I received a wound on my head, one on my leg and one on my thigh. [Slighty] the one on my thigh from Inattention is a little Troublesome. Several spies that lay near the Enemy that night following the action inform me that they moved off their wounded in canoes in the day following; that on the ground where they lay there was great quantities of blood, and the whole encampment was marked with wounded men. Great numbers of plasters and bloody rags was found. Although we suffered by the loss of so many brave men, the best for the number, without sensible error in the Precinct It's beyond doubt the enemy suffered much more. From the various parts of the action can be collected a greater number of Indians dead that we lost, besides their wounded. The number of Indians and Tories is not ascertained. Some accounts say 90 other 120, others 160. Col. Seward of New Jersey, with 93 men, was within five or six miles of the action on the Pennsylvania side, did not hear the firing, approached and lay near the Indians all night following, and from their conduct and groaning of the wounded gave rise to the belief that they had been in some action where they had suffered and would have attacked them round their fire but a mutiny arose among some of his people which prevented – a very unfortunate and to be lamented circumstance. If in their situation he had attacked them with the common smiles of Providence he must have Succeeded and put them to total rout. Dear Governor it's not in my power to paint out to you the disagreeable situation I was In, surrounded by a foe with such a handful of valuable men not only as soldiers but as fellow citizens and members of society, and nothing to be expected but the hatchet, spear, and scalping knife. The tremendous yells and whoops, all the fiends in the confines of the Infernal Regions with one united cry, could not exceed it. Add to this the cries and petitions of the wounded around me not to leave them, was beyond parallel or idea. My heart bleeds for the unfortunate wounded who fell into their hands. However, circumstances give me little consolation. Mr. Roger Townsend of Goshen received a wound in his thigh; exceedingly thirsty, making an attempt to go to some find some water, was met by and Indian who very friendly took him by the hand and said he was his prisoner and would not hurt him. A well-directed ball from one of our men put the Indian into a dose, and Mr. Townsend ran back into the lines. I hope some little humanity may yet be found in the breasts of the savages.

I should be at the greatest loss was I to attempt to point any officer or soldier that exceeded another in bravery during the time of the general action. To much praise cannot be given to them for their attention in receiving orders and alacrity in executing them.

I have acquiescend with Col. Woodhull in ordering one eighth of our Regiments to Minisink as a temporary guard until your Excellency's pleasure is known on the subject.

The Indians were under the command of Brant, who was either killed or wounded in the action. They burnt Major Decker's house and barn, Samuel Davis's house, barn and mill, Jacobus Fleck's house and barn, Daniel Vaneker's barn (here were two Indians killed from a little fort round the house which was saved, Esquire Cuykindall's house and barn, Simon Westfall's house and barn, the Church, Peter Cuykindall's house and barn, Mertinus Decker's fort, house, barn, and saw-mills, and Nehemiah Patterson's saw-mill; killed and scalped Jeremiah Vanoker, Daniel Cole, Ephriam Ferguson and one Tavern and took with them several prisoners mostly children, with a great number of horses, cattle, and valuable plunder. Some of the cattle we rescued and returned to the owners.

I hope your Excell'y will make allowance for the imperfect stile, razures and blotts on this line, whilest I have the honor to subscribe myself with the most perfect esteem, in haste,

Your Excellencies
Most Obt.
Servt.
John Hathorn, Col.

http://albertwisnerlibrary.org/~wisner/Factsandhistory/History/Minisink.htm

Back to [Warwick Valley History]

----------------------------------------------------------
 
Chief Joseph Brant -- Mohawk, Loyalist, and Freemason

By George L. Marshall, Jr.

http://earlyamerica.com/review/1998/brant.html

----------------------------------------------------------

 

  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 The Battle Of  Minisink       

http://www.sullivancountyhistory.org/places.htm

The only  major battle fought in

Sullivan County

 during  the

Revolutionary War.

The battle accounts on this page are: 

bullet

The Battle

bullet

Colonel John Hathorn's account of the battle

bullet

Joseph Brant's account of the battle:

General George Washington decided, in the spring of 1779 to send a strong force into western New York to chastise the Indians and free the exposed settlements on the Susquehanna, Mohawk, and Delaware Rivers from surprise attacks. About the same time Mohawk Chief Thayendeneges (Joseph Brant) led a party of 60 Indians and 27 Loyalists down the Delaware to secure supplies for his hungry people in the western settlements.

On July 20, 1779 Brant attacked the unprotected Minisink settlement located near what is now Port Jervis. When news of this destructive raid reached Lt. Col. Benjamin Tusten at Goshen, he hastily assembled a militia and set out in pursuit of Brant's men. The two parties met near the mouth of the Lackawaxen on the Delaware on July 22. Tusten learned that Brant and his men were already crossing the River at the Minisink Ford with their stolen cattle, their plunder, and their prisoners. He intended a surprise the Indians but a shot by one of his men alerted Brant and gave him sufficient warning to defend himself. Part of his party was still on the New York side of the river. He led his men up a wooded hill while his remaining force recrossed the Delaware. Responding quickly, Brant used a party of 40 men to split the militia's line and attacked the rear of the larger segment. The Militia who were separated from the main body fled. Utilizing bush warfare, Brant was able to surround the militia and wage a fierce battle. After four hours Brant’s men who broke through their lines routed the depleted militia, out of ammunition and suffering from thirst.  Dr. Benjamin Tusten and forty-four militiamen were killed during battle. 

Brant and his band escaped up the Delaware and the American survivors returned home during the days immediately following the battle. Several initial efforts were made to recover the bodies of the defeated Colonials, but it wasn’t until 1822, 43 years later, when an expedition was sent out from Goshen to recover the skeletons that could be found.  The remains of the fallen militiamen were buried in Goshen on July 22, 1822 with a ceremony that was witnessed by an estimated 12,000 people.

Although the Battle of Minisink was an Indian/Tory victory, Washington's troupes under the leadership of General John Sullivan advanced into Western New York and eventually defeated the Indians and destroyed their settlements. 

The Minisink Battleground Park is located in Southern Sullivan County, off Route 97 just west of Barryville, NY. 

Colonel John Hathorn's account of the battle:

Sir/

                                                                                Warwick 27th: July 1779

        In conformity to the Militia Law, I Embrace this first opportunity to Communicate to your Excellency my proceedings on a late Tour of duty with my Regiment. on the Evening of the 21st~ of this Instant I recieved an Order from His Excellency General Washington, together with a requisition of the Com­missary of Prisoners to furnish one hundred Men of my Regi­ment for to guard the British Prisoners on their way towards Easton. at the same time recieved an Express from Minisink that the Indians were ravaging and burning that place. I ordered Three Companies of my Regiment—Including the Exempt Com­pany, to parade for the purpose of the Guard the other three Companies to March immediately to Minisink on the 22. I arrived with a part of my people at Minisink, where I found Col. Thurston & Major Meeker of New Jersey with parts of their Regiments who had marcht with about Eighty Men up the River a few Miles I joined this party with about Forty men, the whole amounting to one hundred and Twenty Men Officers included, a Spy came m and Informed me the Enemy lay about four hours before at Mun­gaup Six Miles distant from us. Our people appeared m high Spirits, we marched in pursuit with an Intention Either to fall on them by surprise or to gain in front and Ambush them. we was soon informed they were on their March up the River. I found it Im­practicable to surprise them on the Grounds they now were and took my Route along the Old Keshethton path. the Indians En­camped at the Mouth of the half way brook. we encamped at 12 oClock at Night at Skinners Saw Mill three Miles and a half from the Enemy, where we lay the Remainder of the Night. the Moun­tains were so Exceeding rugged & high we could not possibly get at them, as they had passed the grounds the most favourable for us to attack them on before we could overtake them. Skinners is about Eighteen Miles from Minisink. at day light on the morning of the 23 after Leaving our Horses and disengaging of everything heavy we Marched on with Intention to make the Attack the Moment an opportunity offered. The Indians probable from some discovery they had made of us marched with more Alacrity than Usual, with an Intention to get their Prisoners, Cattle & plunder taken at Minisink over the River. they had almost Effected get­ting their Cattle & baggage across when discovered them at Lackawack 27 Miles from Minisink some Indians in the River and some had got over, it was determined in Council to make an attack at this place I therefore disposed of the Men into three Di­visions, ordered Col. Thurston to Command the one on the Right and to take post about three hundred yards distance on an Erninence to Secure our Right Lt. Col. Wesner, with another Division to file of to the Left and dispose of himself in the like manner. In order to prevent the Enemy from gaining any Advantage on our flanks. the other Division under my Command to attack them with that Vigour necessary to Strike Terror in such a foe. Capt. Tyler with the advance Guard, unhappily discharged his piece before the Divisions could be properly posted, which put me under the necessity of bringing on the Action. I ordered My Division to fix their Bayonets and push forcibly on them, which order being resolutely Executed put the Indians in the utmost Confusion. great Numbers took into the River who fell from the well directed fire of our Rifle Men, and Incessant Blaze from our Musketry, without returning any fire. the Divisions in the Rear not Subject to order broke. some advanced down the hill towards me, others fled, into the Woods. I soon percieved the Enemy Rallying on our Right and Recrossing the River to gain the heighths. I found myself under the Necessity to Rally all my force which by this time was much less than I Expected. the Enemy by this time had Collected in farce & from the best Accounts can be collected received a Reinforcement from Keshethon began to fire on our Left. we returned the fire and kept up a Constant Bush firing up the hill from the River, in which the brave Capt. Tyler fell. Several were wounded. the People being exceedingly fatigued obliged me to take post on a heighth which proved to be a piece of Strong and Advantagious ground the Enemy Repeatedly approached us from 40 to 100 yds distance and were as repeatedly repulsed. I had now but about 45 Men (Officers Included) who had lost their Command naturally drew towards me. the spirits of these few, notwithstanding their fatigue situation & unallayed thirst adding to that the Cruel Yellings of those bloody monsters, the seed of Anak in Size Ex­ceed thought or description, we defended this ground near three hours and half, during the whole time one blaze without Intermis­sion was kept up on both Sides. here we had three men killed and Nine Wounded. among the Wounded were Lieut. Col Thurston in the hand Major Meeker in the sholder, Adjutant Finch in the Leg Capt. Jones in the foot and Ensign ‘Wood in the Wrist, the Chief of our people was wounded by Angle Shots from the Indians, from behind Rocks and Trees, our Rifles here were very Usefull. I found myself under the necessity of Ceasing the fire our Ammunition from the Continued fire of more than five hours, naturally Suggested that it must be Exhausted, ordered no person to Shoot, without having his Object Sure that no Shot might be lost. this gave Spirit to the Enemy who formed their whole Strength and forced the North East part of our Lines, here we gave them a Severe Gaul. our people, not being able to support the lines retreated down the hill precipitately towards the River the Enemy kept up a Constant fire on our Right which was re­turned, the people this time was so Scattered I found myself unequal to Rally them again consequently every Man made Choice of his own way. thus Ended the Action—

The following are missing in the whole from the Last Accounts

            Col. Ellisons Regiment                      one private                          Adjutant Finch
            Lient. CoL Thurston                                     of                                  Ensign Wood &
            Capt. Jones                                        New Jersey                           one private of
            Capt. Wood                                                                                      my Regiment
            Capt. Little
            Capt. Duncan
             and Twelve privates

In the whole Twenty one Men

          Several Wounded Men are come in I hope numbers of Others will yet be found. I recieved a Wound in my head, one in my Leg and one in my thigh Slightly the one in my thigh from Inat­tention is a little Troublesome Several Spies that lay near the Enemy the night following the Action inform us that they moved off their Wounded in Canoes on the day following that on the Ground where they Lay there was great Quantities of Blood their whole Encampment was marked with wounded Men, great Numbers of Plaisters & bloody Rags was found. altho we Suffered by the Loss of so many brave men, the best, for the number with­out Sensible Error in the Precinct, its beyond doubt, the Enemy Suffered much more, from the Various parts of the action can be collected a greater number of Indians Dead than we lost besides their Wounded, the Number of Indians & Tories is not ascertained, some accounts says 90 others 120 others 160—Col. Seward of New Jersey with 93 men was within five Six Miles of the Action on Pennsylvania side did not hear the firing, ap­proached and Lay near the Indians all night following, and from their Conduct and Groanings of the Wounded gave rise to a be­lief that they had been in some action where they had suffered, and would have attacked them round their fires but a Mutiny arose among some of his People which prevented: a very unfav­ourable and to be Lamented Circumstance if in their situation he had attacked them with the common Smiles of Providence he must have Succeeded and put them to a Total rout.

        Dear Governor its not in my Power to point out to you the disagreeable Situation I was in Surrounded by a foe with a handful of Such Valuable Men not only as Soldiers but as fellow Cittizens and members of Society and nothing to be Expected but the Hatchet Spear, and Scalping Knife. The Tremendous Yells and Whoops all the fiends in the Confines of the Infernal Regions with one United Cry could not Exceed it. add to this the Cries the Entreaties and feeling Petitions of the Wounded around me not to leave them was—is beyond parallel or Idea. my heart Bleeds for the unfortunate who fell wounded into their hands. however one Circumstance gives me a little Consolation. Mr. Roger Townsend of Goshen recieved a Wound in his Thigh being Exceeding Thirsty makeing an attempt to go to find some Water, was met by an Indian who very friendly took him by the hand, said he was his Prisoner, and would not hurt him. a well directed Ball from one of our Men put the Indian in a dose and Mr. Townsend ran back into the Lines. I hope some Little humanity may be Yet found in the breast of those Savages.

I should be at the Greatest Loss was I to attempt to point out one Officer or Soldier that Exceeded another in bravery dureing the time of the General Action. too Much praise cant be given to them for their attention in Recieving orders and alacrity in Executing them.

I have acquisced with Col Woodhull in ordering 1/8th of our Regiments to Minisink as a Temporary Guard—until your Excellency’s pleasure is known on the Subject—

 The Indians were under the Command of Brant who was Either Killed or Wounded in the Action they Burnt Major Deckers House and Barn Samuel Davis’s House Barn & Mill Jacobus Van Vlecks House & Barn, Daniel Vanokers Barn, here was Two Indians Killed from a Little Fort round the house—which was Saved. Esquire Cuykindalls house & barn Simon Westfalls house and barn, the Church Peter Cuykindalls house and Barn Mertintus Deckers

Fort, house, Barn and Saw Mills and Nehemiah Pattersons Saw Mill, Killed & Scalped Jeremiah Vanoker Daniel Cole Ephraim Ferguson & one Travirse. took with them Several Prisoners, most

Children with a great Number of Horses Cattle & Valuable Plunder. some of the Cattle we resqued and returned to the owners. I hope your Excell’y will make allowance for the Imperfect Stile, Razures & Blots of this Line whilst I have the honour to Subscribe myself with the most perfect Esteem in hast

Your Excellencies

Most Obt

Servt

John Hathorn Col

Joseph Brant's account of the battle:

Oghwage July 29th 1779

Sir/

I beg leave to acquaint you, that I arrived here last night from Minisink, and was a good deal disappointed that I cou’d not get into that place at the time I wished to do, a little before day; instead of which I did not arrive ‘till noon, when all the Cattle was in the Woods so we cou’d get but a few of them. We have burnt all the Settlement called Minisink, one Fort excepted, round which we lay before, about an hour, & had one man Killed & one wounded. We destroyed several small stockaded Forts, and took four Scalps & three Prisoners; but did not in the least injure Women or Children. The reason that we cou’d not take more of them, was owing to the many Forts about the Place, into which they were always ready to run hike ground Hogs. I left this Place about 8 oClock next day, and marched 15 miles, there are two roads, one thro’ the woods, the other alongside the River; we were coming up this road next morning, and I sent two men to examine the other road, the only way the Rebels cou’d come to attack us; 4 these men found the Enemy’s path not far from our Camp, & dis­covered they had got before to lay in ambush—The two Rascals were afraid when they saw the Path, and did not return ‘to in— form us, so that the Rebels had fair play at us. They fired on the Front of our People when crossing the River, I was then about 400 yards in the Rear, as soon as the Firing began I immediately marched up a Hill in their Rear with 40 men, & came round on their backs, the rest of my men were all scattered on the other side; however, the Rebels soon retreated and I pursued them, until1 they stopt upon a Rocky Hill, round which we were employed & very busy, near four hours before we cou’d drive them out. We have taken 40 odd scalps, and one Prisoner, a Captain. I suppose the Enemy have lost near half of their men & most of their Officers: they all belonged to the Militia & were about 150 in number.

I am informed by the Prisoners, that the King’s Troops had taken a Post below the Highlands on the north River, called King’s Ferry, in which were 50 men, and had built a Fort on each side of the River: That after this Genl Clinton sent a part of his army into New England, took several Towns, and destroyed a great deal of stores &c.—that Genl. Washington in the mean time sent part of his Army in the night & surprized one of his Forts, m which 500 men were taken Prisoners—this affair happened some time ago

The night after we left Minisink, I received another piece of Intelligence that Genl. Clinton at the head of a great army was coming up the North River, and drove Genl. Washington and his Army before him, and obliged him to retreat up the River in a hurry; this news I received from the Rebels, who also said the Country were extremely alarmed. I find the Enemy certainly intends an expedition into the Indian Country, & have built strong Forts—by the last accounts they were at Wyoming. perhaps by this time they may be at Shimong, where I have sent my Party to remain ‘till I join them; I am now seting off with 8 men to the Mohawk River, in order to discover the Enemy’s motions.

In the last skirmish we had 3 men killed & 10 wounded.

John the Mohawk dangerously wounded, and 3 more almost in a bad a situation—I am afraid they will not recover—

                                                                                             I am, Sir,

                                                                                            Your obedient Servant,

                                                                                             Joseph Brant

http://www.sullivancountyhistory.org/places.htm

---------------------------------------------------

Minisink Battle, Unknown Soldier commemorated

http://www.riverreporter.com/issues/98-07-30/battle.htm

By DAVID HULSE

LACKAWAXEN — "This is a reminder of the great responsibility we all hold as Americans to honor our heritage and ensure that those who went before will never be forgotten," township supervisor Ed DeFebo said.

DeFebo was describing annual ceremonies at the Scenic Drive grave of one of the 45 Patriot dead from the 1779 Battle of Minisink — the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution.

Town of Delaware historian Mary Curtis at the Minisink Battleground Park.
Town of Delaware historian Mary Curtis at the Minisink Battleground Park.

The battle followed a series of raids in Orange County by Tory, Mohawk chief Joseph Brant. Local militia pursued him and to their distress, caught up at Minisink Ford.

Ceremonies were held on both sides of the river on July 22, the day of the battle.

The mid-week afternoon ceremonies brought out local officials and small audiences of predominantly long-time participants.

Color guards from New York and Pennsylvania veterans' organizations were on hand to provide military honors at both the gravesite and at the Minisink Ford battleground, which is now a Sullivan County park.

Speakers at both ceremonies recalled the efforts of the late former Sullivan County Historian William Smith, who organized the annual ceremonies from 1971 to 1996.

National Park Service Upper Delaware superintendent Cal Hite told the Lackawaxen audience that while most Americans had never heard of the Unknown Soldier buried here or the Minisink Battle, the sacrifices of those involved were no less important than of those who died at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill.

Referring to the current 20th anniversary of the federal wild and scenic designation of the Upper Delaware, Hite said the lengthy "lesson in democracy," which created the management structure for the river, was a fitting tribute to the soldiers of the revolution. The fact that a way of life in the river valley was protected "obviously demonstrates that they did not die in vain."

New York keynote speaker Mary Curtis said the battleground is for her a "special place." She is a direct descendent of Oliver Caulkins, a militiaman at the battle.

The Town of Delaware historian's remarks also included an 1879 speech delivered by her great-grandfather, Charles T. Curtis, when the battleground's monument was dedicated.

She noted those remarks held no acrimony for the Mohawks under the command of Brant.

Unlike the Old World, "Americans have never been very good at passionate recollection of old wounds," she said.

Commending that strength, she concluded, "We must not be straddled by history ... but use it as a stepping stone to a hate-deprived future."

http://www.riverreporter.com/issues/98-07-30/battle.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.nps.gov/revwar/revolution_day_by_day/1779_bottom.html

January of 1779

January 6-9, 1779
Actions at Fort Morris (Sunsbury), Georgia
General Augustine Prevost assumes command of British forces in the South and proceeds to initiate offensive operations. A skirmish commences on January 6, when a force of 2,000 British engages a much smaller force of 200 Continentals led by Major Joseph Lane. After Prevost positions his artillery Lane surrenders. Each side incurs only minor casualties.

January 26, 1779
Engagement at Burke County Jail, Georgia
After the British capture Savannah, they offer immunity from prosecution to those who will affirm their loyalty to the Crown. Some patriots meet at the jail to determine how to counteract any possible defections from the patriot cause. There is an attempt to apprehend some Loyalists in the area. This skirmish, fought on the banks of the McIntosh Creek, is indecisive.


February of 1779

February 14, 1779
Battle of Kettle Creek, Georgia
A local militia force led by Colonel Andrew Pickens defeats a larger force of Loyalists commanded by Colonel Boyd. The Loyalists lose 70 killed and another 75 wounded or captured, compared to 9 killed and 23 wounded for the patriots. Boyd, who is wounded during the engagement, dies shortly afterward. This victory provides a significant boost for patriot morale and prevents the southern Loyalists from rallying.


May of 1779

May-September, 1779
Sullivan’s Expedition
Major General John Sullivan receives orders from Washington for the “total destruction and devastation” of the lands of the Six Nations in upstate New York. Sullivan completely ravages the lands of the Iroquois to such an extent that they never recover. With their food supplies destroyed, the Indians are forced to winter outside Ft. Niagara, where many perish from scurvy.

May 9, 1779
British raid Norfolk, Virginia
British forces led by Major General Edward Matthew and Commodore George Collier disperse the garrison at Fort Nelson and raid Norfolk. They capture large quantities of both war materiel and tobacco while destroying numerous coastal vessels and two French merchantmen.

May 10, 1779
Benedict Arnold begins his treason
Embittered because the Continental Congress was slow in recognizing his achievements between 1775-1777 and charged with abusing his authority while in command of Philadelphia, Arnold opens negotiations with Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander in New York.

May 23, 1779
Benedict Arnold provides the British with information
Arnold provides Clinton with intelligence so that he can formulate his plans against Washington’s Continental Army. This also provides Clinton with evidence of Arnold’s sincerity.


June of 1779

June 1, 1779
Clinton begins his upstate New York offensive
Acting on information provided by Benedict Arnold, Sir Henry Clinton commences an offensive up the Hudson River. He captures Verplanck’s Point and the still uncompleted fort at Stony Point.

June 20, 1779
Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina
A force of 6,500 Continental soldiers, led by Major General Benjamin Lincoln, launches a poorly conceived and executed attack against the 1,200-man British rearguard commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Maitland. The American losses come to 146 killed and wounded and 155 missing in action. The British lose only 23 killed and 104 wounded. The battle’s only results are that the British speed up their plans to retreat to Beaufort.

June 21, 1779
Spain declares war against Great Britain
France induces Spain to declare war on the British by promising to assist the Spanish in recovering Gibraltar and Florida after the British reject the Spanish ultimatum presented to them on April 3. Spain refuses to recognize or enter into an alliance with the United States. However, the Spanish commence joint naval operation with the French and this assists the American cause.

June 28, 1779
Engagement at Hickory Hill, Georgia
An American force commanded by Colonel John Twiggs kills or captures an entire force of 40 British grenadiers.


July of 1779

July 2, 1779
Action at Poundridge, New York
British Colonel Banastre Tarleton, commanding a force of 360 mounted Loyalists, attempts to capture Major Ebenezer Lockwood and defeat the 2nd Continental Dragoons at this town located 20 miles northeast of White Plains. These 90 dragoons are supporting local militia. Casualties were light on both sides although Tarleton is elated at capturing the colors of the 2nd Continental Dragoons that are discovered in the officer’s baggage.

July 5-11, 1779
British raid Connecticut coast
This is a large-scale raid commanded by General William Tryon, the last royal governor of New York. Tryon gathers a force of 2,600 men at Whitestone, New York, and arrives at New Haven, Connecticut on July 4. The 150-man strong patriot militia is unable to stop Tyron from burning a number of homes and ships in the harbor. The towns of Fairfield, Norwalk, and Green’s Farms receive similar treatment.

July 16, 1779
Battle of Stony Point, New York
General Anthony Wayne launches a coup de main against British fortifications after being ordered to do so by Washington. Stony Point threatens West Point, which is only 12 miles up the Hudson River. Wayne, at the head of 1,200 soldiers, assaults what the British believe is an impregnable position losing only 15 killed and 83 wounded. British losses are 94 killed and wounded and 472 captured. Two days later, Wayne, now dubbed “Mad” for this attack, destroys the fortifications and evacuates the area.

July19-August 24, 1779
The Penobscot expedition
Massachusetts, without consulting either Continental political or military authorities, launches a 4,000-man expedition commanded by Commodore Dudley Saltonstall and Generals Peleg Wadsworth and Solomon Lovell. Their objective is an 800-man British garrison at Penobscot Bay. The expedition is a total failure. British warships destroy a large number of American ships while the patriots’ losses are in excess of 470. The British accomplish this at a cost of only 13 men. Several American officers are later court-martialed because of this fiasco, including Paul Revere, who is acquitted.

July 22, 1779
Battle of Minisink, New York
Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant, leading a mixed force of Loyalists and Indians, surrounds a force of colonial militia commanded by Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Benjamin Tusten. The patriots are overwhelmed and Tusten and approximately 45 others are killed in the battle and ensuing massacre while 29 others manage to escape.


August of 1779

August 5, 1779
Action at Morrisania (Bronx), New York
This engagement is between Lieutenant Colonel James De Lancey’s Loyalists and the Connecticut Brigade commanded by William Hull. The patriots destroy numerous buildings and food stores while also capturing several Loyalists, along with some horses and cattle. First-hand accounts give conflicting figures as to the number of casualties incurred by each side.

August 11-September 14, 1779
Brodhead’s Allegheny River expedition
Colonel Daniel Brodhead, in conjunction with Major General John Sullivan, who commences an expedition in New York, launches an ambitious assault through the Allegheny Valley. Brodhead leaves Pittsburgh at the head of 600 men and destroys 10 Indian villages and returns with much booty encountering only minimal resistance.

August 14, 1779
Congress approves peace plan.
The Continental Congress approves a peace proposal that calls for not only independence but also the evacuation of North America by the British and free navigation of the Mississippi River.

August 19, 1779
American Raid on Paulus Hook (Jersey City), New Jersey
An American force consisting of 400 men and led by Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, who wins 1of 8 medals awarded by Congress during the war, assaults the defensive positions of the British. Lee captures the position and the British losses are 50 killed and 158 taken prisoner while Lee’s losses are only very minor. American morale receives a major boost because of this action although Lee undergoes a court martial because several officers are jealous of his success. Lee is not only vindicated but also is praised for his actions by the court.

August 26, 1779
First U.S. decoration awarded to a foreign national
Congress bestows 1 of 8 medals awarded during the Revolution to Lieutenant Colonel Francois Louis Teissedre De Fleury. De Fleury distinguished himself at both the battles of Germantown and Brandywine Creek.

August 29, 1779
Battle of Chemung (Battle of Newton), New York
At what is modern-day Elmira, Continental forces are led by Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton and defeat a combined force of Loyalists and Indians commanded by Captain Walter Butler and Chief Joseph Brant. The Continentals are ambushed but manage to use their artillery to drive off the Indians. However, the Americans are criticized for their failure to pursue the fleeing Indians and gain a major victory. The Indians have many of their villages destroyed along with valuable supplies in retaliation for their continued raids against frontier settlements. Still, they manage to keep up the pressure on frontier settlements.


September of 1779

September 3-October 28, 1779
American defeat at Savannah, Georgia
The combined Franco-American forces suffer a defeat while attacking the British at Savannah. Count Casimir Pulaski, the Polish cavalry leader, is mortally wounded in an ill-advised charge during this engagement and dies a few days later. Count d’Estaing , who commands the French forces, is also wounded. A black regiment raised by the French in the Caribbean participates in the attack. The Franco-American forces incur 800 casualties while the British forces have only 140.

September 5, 1779
American raid at Lloyd’s Neck, Long Island
Departing from Shippan Point, near Stamford, Connecticut, at the head of 150 dismounted dragoons, Major Benjamin Tallmadge captures over 500 Loyalists without losing a single soldier under his command.

September 8, 1779
The return of the French fleet to American coastal waters.
Admiral Charles d’Estaing arrives at the mouth of the Savannah River at the head of a fleet consisting of 35 ships and 4,000 soldiers. Although he is without question personally brave, d’Estaing is an inept commander and, as a result, this causes patriot morale to plummet because of his failures at New York, Newport, and Savannah.

September 15-16, 1779
Naval action and allied blockade of Savannah, Georgia
D’Estaing captures two British frigates and two supply ships in the Savannah River. He then proceeds to move against the British garrison commanded by General Augustine Prevost. The next day, General Benjamin Lincoln, commanding 5,000 soldiers, and Count d’Estaing, commanding another 5,000 men, invest the city of Savannah.

September 21, 1779
The Spanish capture Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Spanish governor of Louisiana, Don Bernardo de Galvez, attacks and captures the British post and garrison at Baton Rouge, in what was then known as West Florida. Included in the surrender are Natchez and other British posts on the Mississippi River.

September 23, 1779
The U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard vs. the H.M.S. Serapis
John Paul Jones commands the Bonhomme Richard, a unseaworthy former merchantman, and engages the 44-gun frigate Serapis commanded by Captain George F. Pearson. The far more powerful British ship has Jones on the verge of defeat when he utters his famous words when asked to surrender, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Jones defeats the Serapis with half his crew becoming casualties while capturing 500 British seamen. The next day the Bonhomme Richard sinks. On October 3, Jones sails the damaged Serapis into Texel in the Netherlands.

September 27, 1779
John Jay is appointed minister to Spain
John Jay is appointed minister to Spain. However, there is no hope of obtaining Spain’s recognition for the fledgling republic. All Jay manages to accomplish is to obtain a $170,000 loan and keep the Spanish covertly supplying the nation with war material.


October of 1779

October 22, 1779
The New York Act of Attainder or Confiscation Act
The New York legislature declares Governor Lord John Murray Dunmore, General Wiliam Tryon, Oliver De Lancey, along with 57 others, to be public enemies. As a result of this act, these individuals have their personal estates confiscated.


December of 1779

December 1, 1779
Washington establishes winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey
After another inconclusive campaign season in the North, combined with the failure of d’Estaing to arrive with his fleet at Sandy Hook, Washington’s army settles into a second season at Morristown. Record-breaking cold along with a breakdown of the army’s supply system causes numerous desertions and some attempts at mutiny. Many consider this the worst winter of the war.

December 29, 1779
Clinton departs New York for South Carolina
General Sir Henry Clinton, at the head of 8,000 men, departs New York to commence a campaign in South Carolina and capture Charleston. However, upon learning of a French expedition heading to America, he returns to New York and leaves General Charles, Earl Cornwallis, in command.

http://www.nps.gov/revwar/revolution_day_by_day/1779_bottom.html

---------------------------------------------------------

 Battle Of Lackawaxen   ( Originally Published 1900 )

http://www.oldandsold.com/articles24/america-67.shtml

Here is Shohola Township, on the Pennsylvania shore, a wild and rocky region fronting on the river for about ten miles, and Shohola Creek rushes down a rocky bed through a deep gorge to seek the Delaware. It was at this place the surveyors' line was drawn from the Lehigh over to the Delaware, after Marshall's fateful walk. The " Shohola Glen," a favorite excursion ground, has the channel of the creek, only forty feet wide, cut down for two hundred feet deep into the flagstones, and it plunges over four attractive cascades at the Shohola Falls above. A short distance northward the Lackawaxen flows in through a fine gorge, broadening out as the Delaware is approached; and the canal, after crossing the latter on an aqueduct, goes up the Lackawaxen bank. A grand amphitheatre of towering hills surrounds the broad flats where the Lackawaxen brings its ample flow of dark amber-colored waters out of the hemlock forests and swamps of Wayne County to this picturesque spot. Here was fought, on July 22, 1779, the battle of Lackawaxen or the Minisink, the chief Revolutionary conflict on the upper Delaware. The battlefield was a rocky ledge on the New York side, elevated about five hundred feet above the river, amid the lofty hills of Highland Township, in Sullivan County. The noted Mohawk chief, Joseph Brandt, with a force of fifteen hundred Indians and Tories, came down from Northern New York to plunder the frontier settlements. Most of the inhabitants fled down to the forts on the Lehigh or across the Blue Ridge, upon his approach ; but a small militia force was hastily gathered under Colonels Hathorn and Tusten to meet the enemy, whom they found crossing the Delaware at a ford near the Lackawaxen. Hathorn, who commanded, moved to attack, but Brandt rushed his Indians up a ravine, intercepting Hathorn just as he got out on the rocky ledge, and cutting off about fifty of his rear guard. Hathorn had ninety men with him, who quickly threw up a rude breastwork, protecting about a half-acre of the ledge. Their ammunition was scant, it was a terribly hot day, they had no water, and were soon surrounded ; but for six hours they bravely defended themselves, when, the ammunition being all gone, the Indians broke through their line. Tusten was attending the wounded, and with seventeen wounded men, whom he was alleviating, was tomahawked, all being massacred. The others fled, many being slain in the pursuit. Forty-four of the little band were killed, and the fifty in the rear guard who had been cut off were never afterwards heard of. Years after-wards, the bones of the slain in this terrible defeat were gathered on the field and taken across the Blue Ridge to Goshen for interment, and in 1822 a monument was erected at Goshen in their memory, Colonel Hathorn, who was then living, making an address. On the centenary anniversary in 1879 a monument was dedicated on the field, where faint relics of the old breastwork were still traceable on the rocky ledge perched high above the river, almost opposite the mouth of the Lackawaxen.

http://www.oldandsold.com/articles24/america-67.shtml

******************************************
 
A  PIECE  OF  FORGOTTEN  AMERICAN  HISTORY
 
THE  BATTLE  OF  MINISINK was such an embarrassment to the Americans that it took 43 years, before the bodies of the dead were collected and buried.   Please press the link to learn the details.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 

 
 
NEW  JERSEY  HONORABLE  VETERAN  MOCKED  FOR  HIS  PTSD
 
 

 
 
Web community that you may enjoy.
It's called Sussex County, New Jersey.


You are welcome to join in the lively discussions on the Sussex County, New Jersey message boards and I look forward to seeing you there!

To join our discussions, simply go to
http://forums.delphiforums.com/sussexcountynj/start

Sussex County, New Jersey is part of DelphiForums.com. If you've never used DelphiForums.com before, you'll need to go through a quick registration (so you can post messages). It only takes a minute and it's free!

Hope to see you there,

AverageProudAmerican

=================================================
DelphiForums.com: Home to the Web's most vibrant
online communities. Explore more than 100,000 Forums
or create your own at
http://www.delphiforums.com
=================================================
 
 

 
 
THIS   IS   HAPPENING   ACROSS   AMERICA
 
 

What would you think about building ball fields over ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome ruins...
 
Ancient History
 
The Great Pyramid in Egypt built by Cheops was built 4,490 years ago.
Athens Founded  3,235 years ago.
Solomon builds temple in Jerusalem  3,017 years ago
First Olympic Games held in Greece  2,776 years ago
Rome Founded  2,753 years ago
Roman Republic Founded  2,510 years ago
Construction on the Parthenon begins  2,446 years ago
Trial and Death of Socrates  2,399 years ago
Plato dies  2,347 years ago
Aristotle tutors Alexander the Great  2,343 years ago
Gaius Julius Caeser dies  2,044 years ago 
 Jesus born   2,004 years ago
 
Nine thousand (9,000) years ago (Over 4,000 years, before the building of the Great Pyramid in Egypt), early Native Americans lived in the MAPLE GRANGE area of VERNON,  SUSSEX COUNTY,  NEW JERSEY.
  
Native American sites dating back 11,000 years have been found in  the DELAWARE WATER GAP area.

 
http://www.ehistory.com/world/TimeLineDisplay.cfm?Era_id=4
 
 
THE  MAPLE  GRANGE  STORY  HAS  BEEN ADDED TO THIS WEBSITE.
Find out what local town leaders tried to do to a 9,000 year old Native American site in Vernon, New Jersey.
 
The site, where 10,000 Native American artifacts were found, was almost knowingly turned into ball fields.
 
 

TERRI SCHINDLER:   REMEMBER THE KAREN ANN QUINLAN STORY IN 1975

Learn what Karen Ann Quinlan's parents did in her name.   Maybe, something similar could happen in Terri Schindler's name.   (Or you can donate in Terri Schindler's name directly to the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.)
Helping People Remain at Home with Loved Ones.
 
 

 
Please Press Here To Link To:      http://www.karenannquinlanhospice.org/
 

******************

DISNEY made it big on good, moral, honorable, American family stories.  It's when DISNEY changed their format that the Corporation started having problems.

Wal-Mart made it big;  because they advertised everything sold in the store was American-Made.

Boy, how things change!!

    Jack   http://www.CapVeterans.com 

Official Site For Sussex County, NJ.
 
 
Sussex County, NJ  Message Board
 
 

ALL, but the Maple Grange articles and pictures found on this website have been taken from Sussex County's Newspaper:

THE  NEW  JERSEY  HERALD

http://www.njherald.com/

The newspaper has a great history department.  Established in 1829, the newspaper is a big part of history.

newspaperart2.gif

 
 
 
The  Maple  Grange  Articles  And  Pictures  Come  From  STRAUS  NEWSPAPERS  INC.

advertizer_magazine.jpg

 
 
THIS   IS   HAPPENING   ACROSS   AMERICA