Battle of Oriskany Period 8

The Bloody Ambush!

Today is August 17, 1777 and just a few days ago on August 6, 1777 was the day the battle of Oriskany occurred. The battle was fought by, the Patriots, and the Oneidas, and on the other side is the British and Loyalists alongside the Mohawk, and Seneca Indians. There were 800 Patriots lead by General Nicholas Herkimer. As for the British, Barry St. Leger is there general, and he sent 1,200 men to the ambush the Patriots. The ambush consisted of Mohawk Indians, and loyalists. Some friendly Oneidas warned General Nicholas Herkimer that General Burgoyne and 1,800 troops were planning to take New York so Herkimer acted and he and 800 men were traveling to stop the siege. The Loyalists traveled up the **Saint Lawrence River** and along the shore of Lake Ontario to the Oswego River, which they tried to reach the **Oneida Carry**. These men were trying to relieve Fort Stanwix. The Patriots were ambushed in a little valley six miles east of Fort Stanwix. This battle is to be one of the bloodiest battles that we have encountered in the Revolutionary War so far. The little river that was there now has the nickname Bloody Creek because of how much blood was shed in the battle. General Herkimer was accused of being a loyalist at one point because his brother was in the British army serving under St. Leger’s army. The beginning of the ambush was a mistake made by the Indians because they got to excited and started shooting too early so not all of the men in the Continental Armywere ambushed so they were able to get away because of this the Indians had to run after the Patriots and killed them and this caused there to be lingering dead bodies miles away from where the ambush actually occurred. There was a thunderstorm that caused the enemies to stop fighting for about an hour. This was an advantage for General Hurkimer because he could re-strategize. He advised his men to fight in two’s because if one man fires the other man can reload, this is a great idea because the men can have one weapon loaded at all times just incase they run into trouble. The Indians were watching the Patriots’ smoke coming from there muskets, Herkimer noticed as he was sitting under a tree this is where he got his idea to pair up. So this is where his plan came from during the thunderstorm they could attack the Indians. Tryon militia is the patriots. Some of the guns used in the battle were musket. Bayonet, cannon and rifle. John Butler who is a Loyalist used his time differently than Herkimer did he questioned some his prisoners and he found out what the signal was for the three cannon signal. Herkimer sent a message to Fort Stanwix and by the time it got there Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett led 250 men from the fort to the South of the fort where there was a nearly enemy camp. Where they drove away the little British and Indians that were there, and the Patriots took the possessions that were left behind. Durring the battle Herkimer was riding his horse in the battle and he was shot and his horse was killed. "I will face the enemy" this is what General Herkimer said to his troops because they wanted him to leave so he wouldn’t be any further danger. This shows great courage and strength from this General and he seems to be a very noble man. Some of his soldiers have said that he was just sitting under the tree extremely calm smoking a pipe and giving orders. St. Leger demanded the Patriots give up Fort Stanwix but they refused so he threatened that Native American’s would massacre only the defenders but all the patriots in the valley. It has been said that Brant is the Indians Chief and they supposedly ate and tortured some of there prisoners. This may not be true but they might have killed some of there prisoners for rituals. A few weeks later he decided to stop going with his army because he was no match for Benedict Arnold. This was a major failure for the battle of Saratoga. Also Burgoyne plan of taking over New York also failed. This army probably could have helped the British win that battle and Burgoyne take over New York and his plan might have succeeded. Many of the Colonists captains were killed in the battle and there General was seriously injured so they had no choice but to retreat back to Fort Dayton. The British that retreated went to Fort Sanwix and found it raided by Lt. Colonel Marinus Willett and his men. This caused St. Leger to abandon the siege and return to Canada. At the End of this battle about half of Herkimer’s troops were killed or wounded and fifteen percent of the British troops were killed or wounded but this didn’t decide who got the battle field and this is why the Patriots got it because the Indians ran away. As for Herkimer after the battle he went home and his leg had to be amputated, not may people survive when they have a limb amputated because our technology isn’t that great yet. After his surgery he died yesterday because his surgery didn’t go that entirely well he died 10 days after the battle.
Above is a picture of the battle. With the Indians and Americans.


1) What was General Herkimer accused of?

2) How many troops did each army have?

3) What caused the battle to stop for the short period of time?