Oneida Nation Role in Battle that Turned the Revolutionary War
Several members of the Oneida Nation’s First Allies Living History group took part in festivities related to the 232nd anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga. As this country’s first ally, the Nation regularly participates in events honoring the American Revolution where Oneidas played a role, including at Valley Forge and the battlefields at Oriskany N.Y., Saratoga N.Y. and Barren Hill, Pa.
In early August 1777, Oneida warriors fought alongside the colonists at the Battle of Oriskany. Just 43 days later (Sept. 19), the Oneidas again stood with their colonial friends at the crucial Battle of Saratoga. That victory let the French know that the American patriots could be victorious over the mighty British army—and they joined as an ally of the colonists. The Spanish and Dutch then announced their support for the colonies and the American Revolution became a “world war.”
In the part of their book, “Forgotten Allies,” that deals with the Battle of Saratoga, Professors Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin state that “among the Oneidas those who distinguished themselves were Han Yerry and Two Kettles Together,” two of the heroes of the Battle of Oriskany. They also write that warrior Peter Bread “exhibited an extraordinary ability to infiltrate enemy positions and spring ambushes on unsuspecting troops” and George Washington personally recognized his efforts.