Battle of Oriskany
Aug. 6, 2012 marked the 235th 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.
Bear Clan Council Member Brian Patterson spoke at the event, reminding those present that the Oneida were an integral partner in the colonists fight for liberty:
“The Nation has been a constant friend and ally to the United States since its birth… and will remain so unto the seventh generation to come and beyond.”
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 site of this pivotal Revolutionary War battle at Oriskany.
The Oneidas 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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