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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

August 13th, 1779 - The Battle of Chemung

Conflict: American Revolution

Combatants: Americans vs. Delaware and Loyalists

Location: New York (USA)

Outcome: American victory

In the summer of 1779, raids on homesteads by Six Nation Indians loyal to the British damaged Continental morale and threatened desertions by soldiers concerned about their homes and families. George Washington ordered Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton to "lay waste" to the villages of these tribes and their Loyalist allies in order to stave off these raids.

On August 13th of 1779, Sullivan and his men prepared to attack the village of New Chemung which was known to be a source of the Loyalist-led raiding parties. The village, already abandoned, was burned to the ground but a party of Delaware led by a Loyalist officer ambushed the Americans. The American troops drove off the attackers while suffering about 7 killed and 16 wounded before returning to Fort Sullivan.

General John Sullivan By Tenney

Points of Interest:

  • The Battle of Newtown occurred about two weeks following Chemung in which Sullivan and Clinton defeated another force of Six Nation warriors and British regulars.

  • Although Sullivan failed to capture Fort Niagara, the Iroquois never revolvered from the damage the expedition caused to crops and population.

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