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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 63: The Oriskany Roster.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 842-849 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Roster of Tryon County Militia known to have fought at the Battle of Oriskany — A list of 457 names, as compared with 250 on the Oriskany battlefield monument.

[Photo: The Oriskany Roster as it appears on the Oriskany Battlefield Monument.]

The original Oriskany Roster appeared on the Oriskany Battlefield Monument. It is reproduced herewith in an engraving. It later appeared in Simms' Frontiersmen of New York. Both of these rosters, in the main, were the work of Jeptha R. Simms, the historian of Fort Plain. The two lists numbered about 250 names.

In the summer of 1924, the Editor of the "History of the Mohawk Valley — Gateway to the West", made an effort to enlarge the Oriskany Roster. The list was published in several Mohawk Valley newspapers, with a request for additional names. From time to time, such names were sent the Editor until the Oriskany Roster, as published here numbers 455 names, nearly double the number on the Oriskany Battlefield Monument and in Simms' Frontiersmen. We now know over half of the Revolutionary American soldiers who marched to Oriskany, as no chroniclers of the time give the number at more than 900, and it was probably about 850.

The Editor wishes to express his thanks to all who aided him in enlarging this valuable Oriskany Roster, which is published complete only in this work. Thanks are especially due to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, Little Falls Times, Little Falls Journal and Courier, Fort Plain Standard and Amsterdam Recorder which published the roster and the request for additional names. Acknowledgments are particularly due to Mrs. W. T. Van Dusen of Fonda, and Mrs. Delight A. R. Keller of Little Falls, who were unusually zealous in increasing our roll of Oriskany fighters. Mrs. Van Dusen contributed about 90 of the new names sent in. Care was taken to see that the Oriskany service of these Revolutionary veterans was properly accredited, and the additional names were mainly contributed by Daughters of the American Revolution.

It is probable that a number of the names here given are those of men who were wounded and perhaps some were made prisoner. The list was compiled too long after the event to be complete as to casualties.

Christopher P. Yates says that 144 Tryon County Militia were slain at Oriskany, and this is probably a low figure. This list gives the names of 109 men who were killed in "the bloodiest battle of the Revolution", where the slain on the American side numbered one man out of five, and the wounded probably fully as many. The names of the killed would be remembered much longer than those who were wounded. Fully half of the American combatants were "down" or prisoners at the end of the battle.

The locality designations given are those of present townships, wherever possible. Thus "Mohawk" stands for present Mohawk township, Montgomery County and not for the village of Mohawk in Herkimer County. Where township residences were not obtainable the regimental membership or old Tryon County district residence of the soldier is given. In many instances it has been impossible to identify the exact locality from which the soldier came, although we are reasonably sure of his Revolutionary residence. It is also probable that in several instances an individual is duplicated. However, the roster represents a conscientious effort to obtain as large an authentic list of American soldiers who were at Oriskany as it was possible to obtain.

The Oriskany roster as it stands today follows: K. stands for "killed"; W. for "wounded"; P. for "prisoner".

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