A Time to Remember
Aug. 6, 2014 marked the 237th anniversary of the Battle Oriskany, one the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War. To mark the occasion, Oneida stood with other descendants of the battle at the annual commemoration ceremony.
In honor of the fallen, Kathy Patterson and her grandson Ben Walsh (both Bear Clan) presented the Oneida offering at the base of the monument.
“I feel strongly about honoring the dead,” said Kathy. “It was a tragedy what happened here, but it had to be fought for the outcome of freedom we have today.”
Blood ran freely on that fateful day over two centuries ago, when the Oneida and colonists fought side by side for the cause of freedom. The solemn ceremony remembers the sacrifice and bravery of those who fought and died upon the site of the pivotal Revolutionary War battle at Oriskany.
The Oneida and the colonial militia, commanded by Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, were able to stop the advance of a British expeditionary force marching from the Great Lakes under Gen. St. Leger, who was attempting to move east and join Gen. Burgoyne and his forces, who were marching south from Canada. If the two forces had united, they could have successfully divided the colonies in half.
Hundreds died during the battle, and Gen. Herkimer was fatally wounded. The Oneidas and colonists, however, prevented the British forces from joining, an event that contributed to Burgoyne’s loss at the Battle of Saratoga.
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