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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 67: 1779. Clinton's Overland Portage March from the Mohawk to Otsego Lake, by John Fea, Amsterdam.

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 921-954 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The Sullivan and Clinton expedition of 1779 against the Six Nations — General John Clinton's army marches up the Mohawk Valley from Schenectady to Canajoharie; supplies and ordnance coming up the Mohawk in batteaux — Portage march, carrying over 200 batteaux on wagons, twenty miles from Canajoharie to Otsego Lake — Third, Fourth and Fifth New York Line, Fourth Pennsylvania Line, Sixth Massachusetts Line regiments, with artillery, battalion of Morgan's Riflemen, Tryon County and Schenectady Militia, wagoners and batteaux men form Clinton's portage army — Fifth New York stationed at Fort Plain; fourth Pennsylvania at Middle Schoharie Fort; Sixth Massachusetts at Fort Alden, Cherry Valley — Clinton's advance party leaves Schenectady, for Canajoharie, June 11, 1779; where Clinton camps with Third New York and Fourth Pennsylvania — Two Tory spies captured and hung there — Portage march begins June 18, 1779 — Fifth New York, forming right wing, goes over Otsquago trail — Third New York and Fourth Pennsylvania, forming center, guard supply and batteaux wagons over portage road — Fourth New York, forming left wing, moves over Cherry Valley road — Camps on the march — General Clinton reaches Otsego, July 2 — Clinton's American army celebrates third Independence Day anniversary at present Cooperstown, on Otsego Lake, July 4, 1779 — Dam built at Otsego Lake outlet — August 9, 1779, Clinton's army, with 200 batteaux, moves down the Susquehanna — August 22, Clinton joins Sullivan — August 29, Battle of Elmira won by Americans over Indians and Tories — Iroquois country ravaged — Mohawks removed from their Canajoharie and Ticonderoga castles to Albany — Chronological summary of Clinton's march, one of the greatest feats of arms during the Revolutionary War.

[Map: 1779. Route of Clinton's March from the Mohawk River to Otsego Lake.]

The following chapter was written for the History of tle Mohawk Valley — Gateway to the West, by Mr. John Fea, the historian, of Amsterdam. Mr. Fea was born at Cherry Valley and has lived there, at Fort Plain, in the vicinity of Ames, and at other Valley points as well as in Amsterdam. He early became interested in the history of the Mohawk Valley trails and roads and particularly in the Clinton routes taken by General Clinton's American Army in 1779, on its overland portage march from the Mohawk at and near Canajoharie to Otsego Lake. Mr. Fea has made this subject a lifelong study and has walked over all three roads many times. This chapter has been written from field notes Mr. Fea has compiled during fifty years of study of the subject.

Canajoharie was the chief point concerned in this movement, but the Happy Hollow Road and Fort Plain and the Otsquago Trail were also involved. The exact batteau and supply wagon route taken by Clinton's men has been a matter of dispute. The two roads concerned in this controversy are comparatively short and they meet at Seeber's Lane, less than a mile from the Mohawk. The first road is that which leaves the Canajoharie village square and climbs Academy or West Hill, past the Hotel Wagner. It rises along the high plateau which forms the lower slopes of the Round Top, the height which dominates the Canajoharie section, with a sea elevation of 800 feet and one of 514 feet above the Mohawk. This road joins the old eastern Happy Hollow Road about a mile west of Canajoharie and about one-half mile south of the South Shore Highway. Clinton's Road runs from this point in almost a straight line past Sprout Brook and through Salt Springville to the present Great Western Turnpike, which it meets at Springfield. Mr. Fea says that Clinton's supply and batteaux wagons took the road which runs along the eastern branch of Happy Hollow Brook and which is now little more than a woodland path. It affords the easiest grade to the summit of the central south shore plateau, which averages about 500 feet above the Mohawk. By this route, this height was attained in less than two miles from the river. These factors had great weight in determining the route to be followed by the six and eight horse teams which drew the wagons laden with supplies and batteaux up this height.

The three roads were selected by General Clinton for military reasons. The Otsquago Trail force was the right wing, guarding the Happy Hollow center, while the regiment on the Canajoharie-Cherry Valley Road formed the left wing guard. As the supply and batteaux wagons moved southwest from the Mohawk over the center road, the right and left wings deployed and guarded the movement from attack by the Indians. Brant's savages seem to have erred in not attacking Clinton on his portage march or when he was moving down the Susquehanna from the site of present Cooperstown.

Clinton's portage march forms one of the greatest feats of arms of the American Revolutionary armies. It has had scant historical mention and Mr. Fea's article is the first full presentation of the subject within the writer's knowledge.

The editor has appended a chronological summary of Clinton's portage march for ready reference in historical study. Mr. Fea's important chapter follows. * * *

The hideous massacres of Cherry Valley and Wyoming, in 1778, by the Six Nations of Indians of New York under Brant and the Tory Butler, led the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental armies to use energetic measures to subdue the atrocious depredations, by making an invasion of the Indian Country of the Six Nations to devastate and ruin their villages with a view of disabling them from further hostilities.

It was known that, in the fertile valleys of the Susquehanna and the Genesee and along the lakes of central New York, large crops of corn and vegetables were raised, not for the support of the Indians alone, but as supplies for the British Army. The territory it was proposed to lay waste was that occupied by the Senecas and Cayugas, then the two most powerful nations of the Iroquois.

Congress, on February 27, 1779, passed a resolution authorizing General Washington to take the most effectual measures for protecting the inhabitants of the Northwestern frontier and to chastise the Indians. A vigorous campaign was contemplated entailing the entire destruction of everything upon which the Indians depended for food and shelter. On March 6th, 1779, Washington appointed Gen. John Sullivan to take command of the expedition. The plan adopted was for the main army, under General Sullivan, to rendezvous at Wyoming, and from there ascend the Susquehanna River while Gen. James Clinton, starting from Albany, advancing with his brigade along the Mohawk as far as Canajoharie, was to transport his boats, troops and provisions overland to Otsego Lake and there await Sullivan's orders to form a junction with his troops at Tioga. To accomplish this, Clinton was compelled to erect a dam at the outlet of Otsego Lake to get sufficient volume of water impounded to float his loaded boats down the shallow Susquehanna to Tioga.

General Clinton, at Albany, had received his orders from General Sullivan on the 2d of June; but, in anticipation of these, active preparations had been making some time previous in accumulating stores and equipment. Before troops could be moved out on this expedition food had to be provided to support them. It is known that General Clinton had a three months supply accumulated, principally through the energetic measures adopted by his sturdy brother, George, then Governor of New York State. The purchasing power of Continental Bills of Credit was never at so low an ebb. Our most common staple commodities have never been so high in price in the history of our Republic. Flour was so shamefully manipulated by profiteers that the price soared to one dollar a pound.

On the 6th of April, Governor Clinton's instructions to Walter Livingston, one of his new Commissioners, was to seize wheat, flour and meal in the County of Albany, for the use of the Army, and deposit such supplies in some safe place in the Manor of Livingston, there to remain until he, the Governor, gave further orders respecting the same.

The New York Army, commanded by Brig. Gen. James Clinton, consisted of the Third New York Regiment under Col. Peter Gansevoort; the Fourth New York (Livingston's Regiment) under Lieut.-Col. Frederick Weissenfels; the Fifth New York Independent Regiment commanded by Col. Lewis Dubois. The Sixth Massachusetts, or Alden's regiment as it was termed (from its late Col. Ichabod Alden who was killed in the massacre of 1778 at Cherry Valley), under command of Maj. Daniel Whiting, who had remained with the regiment at Cherry Valley to protect the place; the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, under Lieut.-Col. William Butler, who had been stationed with four companies of Morgan's Riflemen with Maj. James Parr, the senior officer in command, at Schoharie; a company of volunteers under Col. John Harper; Col. John Lamb's Regiment New York Artillery with the following officers — Isaiah Wool, Captain; Rev. John Gano, Brigade Chaplain; Thomas Machin, Captain; John Pratt, Assistant Commissary of Issues; Elisha Harvey, Lieutenant; William Popham, Aid-de-Camp; Dr. Stephen Macrea, Brigade Surgeon. It will be seen, from the foregoing, that three of the five regiments composing Clinton's army were from posts in the Mohawk Valley military zone.

The supposition generally prevailing among writers of history and contemporary records that General Clinton cut a road through the forest from the Mohawk River to Otsego Lake is ridiculous, as no such order is found in journals of his officers and roads following the former Indian trails were already in existence.

Previous to 1773, the roads coursing southward from the Mohawk Valley were scarcely more than the continuation of Indian paths made over into lines of clearing suitable to pass cattle through the wilderness to the inland settlers, but, in 1773, while under British control, and six years previous to the coming of Clinton and his army, the commissioners of roads for the Canajoharie District; Nicholas Herkimer, of the Fall Hill, Dutchdorf District; Hendrick Frey, of Frey's Bush, Canajoharie Section; Frederick Young, of the Canajoharie Creek, Sprout Brook, Turlock division; and Robert Wells, of the Cherry Valley, Springfield division; opened up and improved roads for the use of carts and wagons going to the interior settlements, thus making land available for habitation. One of the roads thus improved was that running from present Canajoharie Village to Cherry Valley, known as the Cherry Valley Road. The old homestead building of Young was still standing, in the year 1863, near the present village of Buel, the writer of this chapter residing therein during that year.

The road marked B on the map attached to this chapter was designated an "improved road."

The Cherry Valley Road was the one used in deploying the left wing (as far as Sprout Brook) of Clinton's army. The road selected by Clinton for the portage of boats overland was the ancient "King's Highway," starting from Happy Hollow at the Mohawk River one-and-a-half miles west of the mouth of Canajoharie Creek. This portage road followed the left or south branch of Happy Hollow Brook to a point, about a quarter-mile east of the present Seeber's Lane Road. From this point it ran in a very direct, straight, westerly direction to Salt Springville and thence to Springfield. The south branch Happy Hollow Road is now only a wood road. The Seeber's Lane Road from Fort Plain to Canajoharie was not built until 1785.

The Commissioners had opened a new extension to wagon travel in 1773, from this road, at a point one-half mile west of the present village of Sprout Brook over through the valley of Salt Springville to Springfield. This extension had, previous to its enlargement, been a primitive path adapted to horse-back travel only. After being opened up by the Commissioners, it made the distance, to the residents of Springfield by wagon route from the Mohawk River, five miles shorter than by way of the Cherry Valley Road.

The Otsquago Trail, designated as A on the map, utilized by the right wing of the Clinton division, was an interesting road in all its details.

After leaving the river at Sand Hill near Fort Plain this road paralleled the Otsquago Creek inland about three miles in a westerly direction, then veered sharply southwest into the present highway at Hallsville corners. At the Loie Kill Brook the trail went over the hill through the Schnach and Wieting farms and passed at the rear of the present Levi Grey buildings, then took a direct line to the present village of Starkville, the main street of which forms its site. From Camp Creek, near Starkville, it went due west up the Steep Hill to the present Benjamin Ward farm house two miles from Starkville. Here it divided, one trail going to Otsego Lake, one up to Waiontha (Little) Lakes, the other westward to Canandarago Lake. This last was a continuation of the ancient French trail from Canada which passed Johnson Hall at Johnstown and came through Stone Arabia to the Mohawk River. The Montressor English map of 1775 shows these roads plainly from the Mohawk River, also the ones to Cherry Valley and Springfield.

At the time of this expedition there was no wagon road along the Otsquago where the present village of Van Hornesville stands. The creek had its course in close against the west hillside and its bed was where the hotels known as the Orange Tunicliff and Signor Hotels now are. The bank, on which the village school now stands, diverted the creek eastward a hundred feet and it thence took a course along where the old Van Horne Stone mill is at the present time.

As it was found necessary to go over this short stretch of ground, to make connection with the Pumpkin Hook wagon road to Springfield, a log road was made in the bed of the creek where the hotels stand, and, over this improvised road, the two heavy pieces of artillery were taken up the trail to the Pumpkin Hook wagon road and on to Springfield.

The old Otsquago Trail crossed the creek near the present residence of Byron Wiles and is now the road to Willse Corners from Van Hornesville. It was on this trail that Matthew De Garmore, the hunter, trapper and scout resided.

The Waiontha beaver wilderness was well known to DeGarmore, who disposed of furs to John Tingue at his log tavern, a mile below Van Hornesville. Tingue, from his advantageous location, was on friendly terms with all who passed over the trails, being contiguous to all of those trails leading to his tavern, and he did a thriving trade with hunters and trappers and took the furs to Albany, which he bartered for rum and other things.

About one-half mile south of present Van Hornesville, a small settlement existed previous to 1775, in what is known as the Pumpkin Hook district. This was near the dividing line between the source of Otsquago Creek which flows to the Mohawk Valley and of Summit Lake, the most northerly source of Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna River. In this settlement resided three brothers, John, Sebastian and Mathias Shaul, also Frederick and John Bronner and a family by the name of Tetherly and a few others out toward Summit Lake. An old wagon road traversed this district easterly around Summit Lake, thence south two-and-one-half miles to Springfield.

Three miles west of Springfield and two miles from Otsego Lake was the Waiontha Wilderness water-basin, which was prolific with beaver. At the present time the two pretty lakes there are commonly known as Little Lakes, with an outlet to Otsego Lake known as Lawyers Creek. In 1779, when water was held back by beaver dams on this outlet, the space covered three miles in length and over a mile in width within the borders of Waiontha, and at the present time this basin is the principal source of water flowing into Otsego Lake. The occupation of Matthew DeGarmore, in hunting and trapping beaver, gave him a better knowledge of the Waiontha water-basin than any other settler near its vicinity. He was early engaged as a scout to assist in breaking away the beaver dams when Otsego Lake had been prepared to hold the water of Waiontha at the time of Clinton's expedition.

Clinton's General Orders for the movement of troops commence on June 6th, 1779, at Albany, issued to the Third New York Regiment (Col. Peter Gansevoort's), and on the 8th, the artillery was ordered to hold itself in readiness to march at the shortest notice from Albany.

At Schenectady, June 11th, General Orders show the methodical movement of the Mohawk Valley part of the expedition, and is given herewith in full, from Capt. Leonard Bleeker's Order Book, following which is given a brief outline of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, which acted as a convoy from Schenectady, taken from the Journal of Lieutenant Beatty. The boats to transport the provisions and stores of equipage had to be at hand and ready in the river at Schenectady. These boats were transported by land from Albany to Schenectady and loaded with the three months' stock of provision, all of which had been carted overland, and, at Schenectady, were put in charge of Henry Glen, a Division Quartermaster General, who loaded them and sent them up the Mohawk River under a proper escort.

On June 11, when General Clinton had his headquarters at. Schenectady, he ordered Lieut.-Col. Pierre Regnier of the old Fourth Line New York Regiment to proceed to Canajoharie flats and lay out the ground upon which the troops would encamp. The Canajoharie flats had been the ancient maize land of the several Indian villages located on the highland of the Happy Hollow district in 1634. The flats had been denuded of all shrubbery for years and were now covered with luxuriant grass, which afforded excellent pasturage for the 500 horses and cattle collected there for this expedition. There was also a copiouss supply of springwater along the hillsides for the use of the troops.

"General Orders.

"Schenectady, June 11th, 1779.

"Tomorrow morning Colonel Gansevoort's regiment will proceed to load the batteaux now in the river, taking the direction from Mr. Henry Glenn, A. D. Q. General, with all possible dispatch. The commanding officer of the regiment will direct the offiders to see that they are sufficiently manned. They will be divided in squads, each under the direction of an officer, who will see that those under his care are kept together, as he will be answerable for the cargo, until it is delivered at Canajohary. Commissary Pratt will proceed with the stores and provisions to Canajohary to receive it from the batteaux.

"When the detachment under Lieut.-Col. Butler (lately stationed at Schoharie) arrives in town, they will proceed to load the remainder of the boats in the same manner.

"Mr. Glen will take care that the boats now in his immediate service are loaded as soon as they arrive.

"The Qr. Mr. will spare no pains in collecting all the teams they possibly can, as a great number will be wanted.

"Those teams which may be collected in the vicinity of Schenectady or Albany will be loaded with the provisions and stores which may remain after all the boats are loaded."

Under date of June 15 Clinton notified his brother, the Governor, as follows:

"I have ordered one hundred boats to be loaded at Schenectady and transported up the river by the Third New York Regiment and the detachment under Colonel Butler, both which fleets have already sailed.

"I have ordered one hundred more boats to be in readiness immediately, as the General (Sullivan on June 2) has ordered me to embark all the troops and take no P. horses. I have ordered three or four hundred wagons to be collected at Canajoharie to transport the boats and stores across the carrying place to Lake Otsego the place of embarkation where I shall await further orders to proceed."

The batteaux of the army formed so important a part of the expedition that a description of them, gathered from Bouchette and Weld, will be of interest. They were flat-bottomed boats, having a plank around them to walk on or to pole, from thirty-five to forty feet long, each extremity terminating in a point; six feet of beam in the center; usual weight four and one-half tons; worked by oars; a mast sail; capable of carrying 1,500 lbs. of cargo; dragropes for towing, and long poles for setting them through the currents and rapids. The sides were about four feet high, and, for the convenience of the rowers, four or five benches were laid across, sometimes more, according to the length of the batteau. Four men managed them. On June 15, 1779, Clinton had his headquarters established at Canajoharie Creek. The debarkation of the boats on the Mohawk for the overland portage was at Happy Hollow Creek, one-and-a-half miles west of General Headquarters, and at the beginning of the portage road.

On the morning of June 11, the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment and a detachment of Morgan's Rifle Corps, that had been stationed with them, marched from Schoharie, leaving 15 men there from each corps with proper officers for the safety of the place, and arrived at Schenectady at sundown, where they encamped. On Sunday the 13th, according to Lieutenant Beatty's diary, they crossed over the river opposite Schenectady and were put in charge of 36 batteaus to go up the Mohawk River with a quantity of provisions.

"Monday 14 — Embarked in the boats at 2 o'clock, proceeded up the river very strong water went 3 miles encamped on the shore.

"Tuesday 15 — Embarked this morning 8 o'clock proceeded on 10 miles middling strong water, encamped on shore."

This distance probably brought them up opposite to where the present Adirondack Power and Light Corporation steam plant now stands opposite Cranesville.

"Wednesday 16th — Embarked at sunrise went on 13 miles to Major Fundas where we encamped. [This was on or near the present Fonda Fair Grounds.]

"Thursday 17th — Embarked sunrise went up very good water all day, arrived at Canajoharie at sundown 17 miles where we found Colonel Gansevoort's Regiment encamped, we immediately unloaded our boats and encamped on the left of Colonel Gansevoort's Regiment."

Gansevoort was encamped on the flats near the Henry Failing residence. The distance from Fonda should read 13 1-2 miles.

The artillery detachment was from Col. John Lamb's Regiment. Isaiah Wool was its captain, Thomas Machin captain, lieutenant in the Second Battalion and Elisha Harvey, lieutenant. The ordnance consisted of a total of seven brass pieces; two six pounders; four three pounders and a small bronze mortar termed a "Coehorn." This ordnance was hauled overland from Albany to Schenectady, then transported by boats up the Mohawk River to Canajoharie, where the small pieces were unloaded on the flats, and from there, together with the military stores, hauled over the portage road to Otsego Lake, after the boats had arrived safely at Hyde Bay.

After Clinton had arrived at Canajoharie on June 17, Major Whiting was ordered to proceed with that part of his regiment (the Sixth Massachusetts) which was stationed at Cherry Valley, to Springfield Landing (Hyde Bay) on the north end of Otsego Lake.

"He will apply to the Qr. Mr. Genl. for wagons to transport his Troops and Baggage. When the Troops arrive at the landing, he will throw up such Intrenchments as he may deem necessary, to prevent a surprise. He will exert himself in repairing the roads from the Lake downward. The Quarter Master General on Application, will provide him with Implements for that purpose. As soon as Capt. Dow arrives he will proceed to join his Regiment by the Springfield Road, which he will repair as he goes on. Major Whiting will dispatch a Party of Men to the outlet of the Lake, and erect a Dam, he leave a Subaltern's Guard at the Fort [Alden, Cherry Valley], to take care of the Stores and Sick till further Orders. When the Wagons arrive and are ready to proceed, Lieut. Col. Willet, who has offered his Services, will apply to Lieut. Col. Regnier for such a Number of Men as he thinks proper, who will issue a Detail for that purpose." Major Whiting and Adjutant White went from Cherry Valley and returned from Headquarters of Clinton with the orders for the Regiment to march from Fort Alden, for Lake Otsego, (June 18).

Lieutenant McKendry in his journal of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment states: "Ditto 18th. The Regiment marched from Fort Alden [in Cherry Valley] 11 o'clock A. M. encampt, this night in Springfield 6 miles from the Fort, Major Whiting ordered a fatiguing party on to mend the Roads toward the Lake, it was commanded by Capt. Ballards." McKendry journal records of the 6th Massachusetts is now given with their doings. "June 19th, The Regt. marched from Springfield with 8 waggons carrying the bagge. 12 o'clock A. M. Arrived at Lake Otsego 3 o'clock P. M.: Capt. Lane had gone forward to clear the encampment. Encampt on the heights [Mt. Wellington], 5 miles march this day."

In the General Orders issued at Camp Canajoharie Creek, June 17: "On the arrival of Lieut. Col. Wizenfelts Regiment, he will apply to the Quarter Master Genl. for Tools, and immediately proceed to repair the Roads from this Place along the Cherry Valley Road till he comes to the Springfield Road, where he will take Post, until further Orders he will be careful to keep out Guards and Scouts as are necessary for his own security, as to afford every Assistance in his Power to the Waggons as they proceed."

The journal of Lieut. Rudolphus Van Hovenburgh of Col. Wiessenfel's 4th New York Regiment commences "Stone Rapie [Arabia] June 16," and reads: "Received orders for to March on the 17 and March about six in the morning, the Troops crost the Mohawk River at Walcoats [Walrath's] ferry and our Baggage crost at Major Freys and our party joined the Regiment at Cannijohary flatts and Marcht about fife miles on the Cherry Valley Road and Incamped there that night." This encampment was near the old Frederick Young home, one-and-a-half miles east of the present village of Buel, and at the junction of the Turlach road which goes to present Marshville, on land now owned by Attorney Newton J. Herrick. This determines Weissenfel's command and the march of the left wing on the new Cherry Valley Road.

On this same day, June 17, the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment under Lieut.-Col. William Butler arrived from Schenectady and camped on the Canajoharie Flats, west of General Clinton's Headquarters and between the General's Camp and Col. Peter Gansevoort, who had his Marquee near the Happy Hollow Creek, at which point the boats were hauled out of the Mohawk River.

Lieutenant-Colonel Willett and Lieutenant-Colonel Regnier had charge of debarking the boats under guard of the detachment of Lieutenant-Colonel Butler's troops, who were detailed to escort them safely to the Springfield post, the destination of their escort, at which point, Colonel Butler had his headquarters at Middle Springfield Village on June 19 and the general supervision of the movement of loaded wagons and their escort to the lake, to Major Whiting's post at Hyde Bay.

On June 17, Colonel John Harper's Company of volunteers were posted on the Dutchdorf Kings Highway, leading to Indian Castle (from present Fort Plain now known as the Dutchtown Road) and a stand of artillery, under command of Capt. Thomas Machin, placed on Sand Hill, northwest of Fort Plain. Machin and his Lieut. Elisha Harvey had two pieces of ordnance (6 pounders) to cover the right wing movement. The other piece was placed at Camp Creek, at a point where the overland trail from Indian Castle branched in just beyond the present village of Starkville. Machin on Sand Hill, between Fort Plain and Fort Plank, could cover a large range of country from that vantage point. The other piece, taken over the Otsquago Trail a distance of eight miles, was intended to cover the Camp Creek Valley, also the Waiontha and Canadarago Trails which came in at the rear of the present Ward farm a mile and a half further west of Camp Creek. By the evening of June 19, these three posts had been established on the right wing with the addition of another, ever since known by the name of Brown Hollow Camp, located two miles southwest of the present village of Starkville. This camp, on June 19, was the most extreme western post from Clinton's headquarters on this date, being in a direct line distant twelve and a half miles. The John Tingue "Tavern" was located about one-fourth mile north of the Brown Hollow Camp. This camp was the post of Colonel Dubois pioneer bushmen in opening the road up the Otsquago Creek through present Van Hornesville to Pumpkin Hook, a distance of one mile. This piece of road had practically to be reconstructed to enable teams with the artillery to pass through.

The Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment received orders to march over the Portage Road as follows:

"Genl. Orders. Camp Canajohary Creek, June 18, 1779.

"The Detachment under the command of Lieut. Col. Butler will march tomorrow Morning at Sunrise. The Q. M. Genl. will supply them with waggons sufficient to transport their Baggage and Stores to Springfield, they will exert themselves in forwarding on the Waggons and repairing the Roads wherever they require it. The Q. M. Genl. will supply them tools on Application for that Purpose. The Rifle Corps will be employed in scouting the Woods and keeping up the Communication between the different Posts. Mr. Dow the Assistant Qr. Mr. will proceed immediately to Otsego Lake with the Carpenters, and repair the Boats as they arrive, in the best Order Possible, without Loss of Time.

"Commissary Woodman will for the future supply or issue Provisions to the late Aldens Regiment and Col. Butler's when they join together; Commissary Post will issue to the New York Regiments.

"Col. Willett will issue Fatigue, Rum for all those who may be employed under him immediate Direction.

"For the Future the Assistant Q. M. Genl. or any of his Deputies will attend for Orders at Lieut. Col. Reginer's Quarters."

Lieutenant Beatty journal entry of departure from Canajoharie of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. Wm. Butler in command.

"Saturday 19th: — Struck tents very early marched on for Springfield very bad roads passed on the road a Number of Waggons with Batteaus and Provision going on to the Lake, likewise a New York Regt, which was encamped on the Road side 6 miles from Canajoharie arrived at Springfield 4 o'clock, P. M. 17 miles which had formerly been a pretty little settlement but the Indians at the destruction of Cherry Valley has likewise destroyed it. It lies within 4 miles of Lake Osego [Otsego?] and about 6 or 8 from Cherry Valley here we encamped in a very pleasant place." The inhabitants of Springfield had gone early in the summer of 1778 to Fort Alden, Cherry Valley; for protection and had taken their cattle with them. A letter to Governor Clinton dated at German Flatts July 22 states: "On Saturday the 18th, Andrew Town and Springfield was burned and destroyed by the enemy." This was signed by Hendrick Herchimer Justice.

The movement of the overland portage of the boats and provisions was well under way on the morning of June 19. On June 19, Van Hovenburgh of Colonel Weissenfel's regiment states in his journal (from the Sprout Brook post) "Escorted stores to Springfield the 4th Pennsyl. Regt. Marcht by us and the Rifel Core who were posted at Springfield to Escort the Stores to Lake Otsego to the Late Aulden's Regt."

The Rifle Corps mentioned by Van Hovenburgh was a detachment of Morgan's commanded by Capt. Michael Simpson.

McKendry journal of Sunday the 20th states:

"(Sunday.) Cleared the passage for the waggons to unload the stores — 60 Batteaus arrived at this lake a Quantity of provisions from the River."

[Photo: Cherry Valley Mountains.]

The returning empty wagons were ordered to be escorted by the Alden regiment (Sixth Massachusetts), under direction of Major Whiting, to Lieut. Col. Butler's station (Middle Village Springfield.): from there they were escorted by Butler to Lieutenant Colonel Weissenfel's post (north of present Sprout Brook Village near the residence of Cornelius Flint, on land now owned by Edgar J. Dunkell, Sprout Brook). From there they were passed over the one-half mile connection to the Left Wing Road, thence back to Canajoharie, reloaded and started on their return over the portage road.

Brant's Indians were skulking through the thickets watching every move. Spies of the Tory Butler were lurking about Clinton's Camp, and every subterfuge employed by them was used to seduce soldiers to desert and thwart Clinton in his movements. These were attended to as promptly as they could be looked after by Court Martial.

A Court Martial order of June 19 reads::

"A General Court Martial will sit Tomorrow Morning at 9 o'clock at the President's Marque for the Tryal of Mr. Henry Hare, taken on suspicions of being a Spy.

Col. Gansevoort will preside.

of the Artillery

of the 3rd N. Y.

"Captain Porter will act as Judge Advocate."

This trial took place in the large field tent of Colonel Gansevoort near the entrance to Happy Hollow, and Hare was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged by the neck "till he is dead." The execution took place on June 21.

At the same court martial, Daniel McKenney was tried, "for endeavouring to seduce soldiers to desert, found guilty of the charges, and sentenced to receive one hundred lashes on his bare back well laid on, and drummed out of the camp." The execution of this was on June 21.

On June 21 a party of men was ordered by Colonel Butler to the foot of the lake to dam the same that the water might be raised, to carry the boats down the Susquehanna River. Capt. Benjamin Warren of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment commanded the party. His diary of the Cherry Valley massacre of 1778, is printed in a previous chapter.

The several detachments of Morgan's riflemen were under command of Maj. James Parr, Capt. Michael Simpson, Lieut. Thomas Boyd and Ensign Benjamin Chambers. Their activities consisted in patrol duty and guarding the extreme outposts of the army. Major James Parr, in charge of Morgan's Rifles, evidently took his orders from Lieut. Col. William Butler, commander of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment. No General Clinton order appears from headquarters at Canajoharie Creek governing Parr's movement. Lieutenant Beatty journal of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment gives the whereabouts of Parr on Monday, June 21, as follows:

"This morning Major Parr with near 100 men properly officered went on a 3 Days Scout likewise to clear out the branch of the Susquehanna which comes out of the Lake Otsego to make it passable for Boats, likewise the two Companies of Col. Aldens Regt. (6th Mass.) moved to their Rgt. nothing else material happening a Number of waggons passing to the lake with Boats and provisions, we send out parties every day to keep the Roads in Repair."

A detachment of the Rifle Corps, under leadership of Lieut. Thomas Boyd, was scouting the Waiontha wilderness and had their rendezvous at Brown Hollow Camp, during the progress of the road work to Pumpkin Hook.

On June 22d Colonel Butler and Major Whiting went to the foot of the lake to view that post. The orderly transport of wagons loaded with boats and provisions continued from the 19th June till the 24th, at which time Beatty states in his journal "great number of wagons passing to the lake." McKendry of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment in his journal June 23d, states "A number of boats and provisions arrived at the Lake this day." On the 24th he states, "Boats and Provisions arrive at this Lake very fast 500 wagons going steady." Undoubtedly, there were at least five teams employed to each wagon containing a boat. The roads were rough and difficult to navigate as much of the distance was up steep hills and the time consumed exceedingly short.

During three days, between June 21 and 25, squads detailed from the 3rd New York and the 5th New York were sent out at daylight with their provisions ready cooked, taking their orders from Lieutenant Colonel Willett, on the scouting support of the right wing which went over the Otsquago Trail.

From Lieutenant Beatty records is the following dated June 22. "This morning the Colonel (Butler) and a number of officers besides myself went on a fishing party across Lake Otsego catching a few fish and returning in the evening on the lower end of the lake (which is about 8 miles in length and 2 in Breadth) we found two Companies of Col. Aldens Regt. (6th Massachusetts) who had made a Dam across the neck that runs out of the lake so as to Rais the water for to carry the Boats down the Creek."

This last entry in his journal gives an important clue as to the spot where the dam was made. The neck of the lake is one-half of a mile long before it empties its water into the creek which is the beginning of the Susquehanna River. The dam then had been completed on June 22. Something equally important was being done over in the Waiontha wilderness. Colonel Dubois' chosen scouts with Matthew DeGarmore, the trapper, as their pilot, were protecting the beaver dams at the outlet of the great water basin. Lieutenant Boyd with his detachment of Morgan's riflemen had thrown a cordon around it to hold back any skulking hordes of Indians which might be expected to appear there at any moment.

On Wednesday the 23d Beatty states: — "This Day about 2 o'clock Major Parr arrived with his party (Springfield Post) brought no news of any consequence but that the branch of the Susquehanna which he went down about 10 miles from Lake Otsego was passable for Boats. Lay in Camp all day nothing of consequence happening sending out fatigue parties on the Roads as usual likewise great number of Waggons pasing to the lake." On Friday 25th, is this important entry: "This morning Capt. Simpson with 40 Rifle men went on a scout likewise Lt. Bevins with 20 Musqut Men went on a Scout." This was the squad that guarded the ordnance from Pumpkin Hook up to Springfield where they arrived with "2 pieces of Artillery" on Saturday the 20th.

On June 24, 1779, from "Camp Canajoharie Creek," Clinton had made the following public announcement:

"The General returns his most sincere Thanks to the Gentlemen Inhabitants of this State who have so cheerfully and effectually assisted him in the Transportation of the Stores and Boats for the use of the Army toward Otsego Lake. Such an exampled patriotic conduct is an happy Omen of our future Success, and an evident Demonstration that we can never be slaves."

Mohawk Valley farmers must have engaged in this movement in large numbers, together with their teams.

It appears from General Orders on June 25, that the light infantry company of Colonel Dubois' regiment was to march that morning on their way to Otsego Lake as soon as they were ready, together with the Train of Artillery Military Stores and Baggage.

On June 24, Lieutenant Van Hovenburgh of Colonel Weissenfel's 4th New York Regiment made entry in his journal: — "One of our Regt. was shot by the sentence of Court Martial for Desertion."

In Capt. Leonard Bleeker's Order Book W is stated: "James Titus, Soldier in the 5th New York Regt. was tryed for Desertion, found guilty, and sentenced to be shot at the Head of his Regiment. The General approved the Sentence and orders it to be put in Execution tomorrow Morning at 6 o'clock." On June 25 Van Hovenburgh states "A constant transporting of Stores to the Lake."

June 25 — McKendry of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment states in his journal "Col. Dubois Regt. Arrived at this Lake and proceeded in Boats to Lows Mills." (From Hyde Bay around the west foot of Wellington Mountain to Camp Liberty Post.)

On June 26 the Waiontha beaver dam was broken open by Scout Matthew DeGarmore and his assistants, and the basin was discharging a torrent of water down the creek to Otsego Lake.

[Francis Whiting] Halsey in The Old New York Frontier makes an egregious blunder on page 260 in stating "Simms records certain traditions of the country that in order further to increase the flow of water, a party was sent to open a beaver dam which held the waters of Schuyler's Lake" and Hough in his notes to Capt. Leonard Bleeker's order book makes it still more geographically erroneous in stating "a party was sent two or three days before, to break away a Beaver Dam, which held the waters of Schuyler Lake, a tributary to the Otsego." This could not be so, as the waters of Schuyler's Lake (Canadarago) do not empty into the Otsego Lake. This is one of many instances of the errors made by historians in writing about sections with which they are not familiar.

Lieutenant Beatty, at Springfield Camp, writes: "Saturday 26th — Rained almost all last night but very warm all Day — about 9 o'clock Col. Dubois Regt. arrived here with 2 pieces of Atillery likewise a quantity of Amunition for the expeditions and some Clothing. Staid and eat and proceeded to the lake then to take Post, this afternoon Capt. Simpson with his party and Lt. Bevine with his arrived at Camp but brought no news of Consequence, this evening a Number of Wagons arrived here on their way to the Lake with ammunition likewise our P: Mr." [i.e., paymaster.]

On June 26, the ammunition had just arrived at Canajoharie, and it was immediately ordered by wagons, under escort of a Subaltern's Guard by Colonel Gansevoort as far as Colonel Weissenfels' Regiment (Sprout Brook Post), who was to relieve them and send it forward to the next post, Col. William Butler's Fourth Pennsylvania (at Middle Village, Springfield), then taken over by Major Whiting's Sixth Massachusetts Regiment and delivered up to the Conductor of Artillery Stores at Lake Otsego. "The officers of the different escorts, will give Receipts to those from whom they have received it." It was ordered this day "General Court Martial, whereof Col. Gansevoort was President, is disolved, William Newbury, who was respited Yesterday is to be executed next Monday morning at 6 o'clock." Monday, the 28th: Beatty of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment gives the following narrative: "This Day the Col. and a Number of Officers, with myself went to see Col. Dubois and his officers who were encamped at Lows Grove on the upper landing, found them all very well and they provided a very good dinner for us suitable to the place and time, there was about fifty officers, dined together, after Dinner we had a song or two from different Officers and Returned home a little before Sundown."

McKendry of the Sixth Massachusetts elaborates on this dinner as follows: "Went to Camp Liberty at Lows Mills (and dined at that place) Gen'l. Clinton gave each officer on the ground at this post, one cag of Rum containing two Gall."

"Thursday July 1st. This day fell some Rain about 2 o'clock. Gen. Clinton arrived at our Camp (Springfield Post) with the Adjt. Gen'l. and a number more officers and encamped; about Dark Col. Gansevoort's Regt. arrived here and encamped in front of us, this evening we received orders to march tomorrow morning early.

"Friday. July 2d. Accordingly this morning we struck our tents early, the Regt. marched by Cherry Valley to the lower end of the lake. The baggage of the Detachment went to Springfield landing [Hyde Bay] with a proper Guard with the Col. the Qr. Masters and myself, put the baggage on board Boats and Proceeded to the lower end of Lake where we arrived about 3 o'clock and found the Regt. there before us.

"Headquarters, South End Lake Otsego 2nd July, 1779. Genl. Orderd. One Major, one Capt. two Subalterns, four Sergts., four Corporals, and one hundred and twenty Men to parade Tomorrow Morning at Reveillie Beat, in order to go to the North End of the Lake to transport Provisions to this Place. Major Church to command this party, and will put but three Men in each Boat."

On Sunday, the 4th of July, a celebration of the third anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was held at the main camp of Clinton's army, then located at the south end of Otsego Lake near present Cooperstown. It was made in the following manner, as recorded in the journal of Lieutenant Beatty.

"July 4th. Last night we were alarmed by our Centries firing at Indians who was creeping up to them, we Remained under arms one Hour then went to our tents with orders not to pull of our clothes, there was several shots fired before morning, and at Day break we tracked a number of Indians Round about our pickets but never one of them returned our fire. Major Parr with his Rifle men went on Scout this morning.

"This Day three year being the Day that Independence was declared it was celebrated by firing a Feu DeJoy all the troops was drew up on the Banks of the Lake in one line with the two pieces of Artillery on the Right there was 13 pieces of cannon fired and three volleys of Musquetry one after another and three Cheers with every fire it was done extraordinary well with great exactness, afterwards the troops was drew up in a Circle by Colums on a little hill when Parson Granoo preached us a sermon suitable to the occasion from the 4 Chapter of Exodus and 12 Verse, afterwards the troops was Dismissed, Col. Rignier Adjt. Genl, gave an invitation to all the officers to come and drink Grog. with him in the evening accordingly a number of officers (almost all) assembled at a large Bowry which he had prepared on the bank of the lake, but however we sot on the ground in a large Circle and closed the Day with a number of Toast suitable a great Deal of Mirth for two or three hours and then Retired to our tents, the whole day was Conducted extremely well considering the place, a great deal of provision came over the Lake here today — Weather very warm."

Headquarters, Otsego Lake. General Orders. 4th July, 1779.

"This Day being the Anniversary of the Independence of America, the Genl. is pleased to order, that all the Troops under his command should draw a Jill of Rum per Man, extraordinary, in Memory of that Happy Event."

From the following entry in Lieutenant Beatty [sic] journal, it is seen that everything had arrived safely at the south end of Lake Otsego by July 5.

"July 5th, Monday. Today Col. Aldens Regt. came over with the last of the Provisions and Stores of all sorts and encamped in the center of the second line behind the Artillery, likewise a few of the Oneida Indians come over with the Regt. and encamped on the Banks of the Lake, they all soon got drunk and made a terrible noise." McKendry journal states, "30 Indians arrived, at this lake to go on the expedition with Genl. Clinton, they were commanded by Col. Hungary."

Stone, in Life of Brant, states there were twenty-five to accompany the expedition. All but two of these, however, and those of the meaner sort, deserted the expedition before they arrived at Tioga.

A letter from Gen. James Clinton to Governor George Clinton, July 6th, 1779, from "Camp, on the South End of Otsego Lake," states:

"I have the Pleasure to inform you that I am now at this Place, with two hundred and eight Boats, with all the Stores, Provisions, and Baggage of the Army; and I am well convinced that such a quantity of each hath never before been transported over so bad a Road in so short a Time and with less accidents, so that I am now in the most Readiness to move down the Susquehanna whenever I receive General Sullivan's Orders for that Purpose. I have thrown a Dam across the Outlet, which I conceive will be of infinite Importance, as it has raised the Lake at least two Feet, by which the Boats may be taken down with less Danger than otherwise, although from the intricate winding of the Channel, I expect to meet some Difficulties on the Way."

With the above letter to the Governor, General Clinton enclosed a letter addressed to Mrs. James Clinton which now is of historic value, inasmuch as it shows that Clinton's brigade consisted of 2,000 men, when it left Otsego Lake. On the portage, from Canajoharie, the army must have numbered over 2500, including wagoners, etc., and it may have totaled 3,000.

"Camp at the South end of Otsego Lake, July 6th, 1779. I left Conojaharie the 1st of July and am now at this place with all the Regiments and Stores for the Expedition, and only wait for orders to March: we have 209 Batteauxs in the Lake and a great quantity of Provisions and other Stores and although the Distance of the Carrying place was at least twenty miles and the Road exceeding bad, we got all over with Expedition and not a Single Accident.

"My Detachment will Consist of about 2000 men, Including Officers, Volunteers and twenty-five Indians who are all healthy and in high spirits.

"I have notheing further to acquaint you of, Except that we apprehended a certain Lt. Henry Hare and a Serg't. Newberry, both of Coll. Butler's Regt., who confessed that they left the Seneca Country with Sixty three Indians and two white men, which Divided themselves in three parties, one party was to attack Schoharie, another party Cherry Valley and the Mohawk River, and the other party to Sculk about Fort Schuyler and the upper part of the Mohawk River and take prisoners or Sculps. I had them tryed by a Genl. Court Martial for spies, who sentenced, them both to be hanged, which was Done accordingly at Canajoharie to the satisfaction of all the Inhabitants of that place that were friends to their Country, as they were known to be very active in almost all the murders that were committed on these Frontiers; they were Inhabitants of Tryon County and had each a wife and several children who came to see them and beg their lives."

General Orders: Otsego Lake, 9th July, 1779.

"All the Drums and Fifes of the Army, are to practice together every Day, at the usual hours on the Grand Parade. The Drum and Fife will attend particularly to this Business, until further Orders, and it is ordered that a uniform Mode be adopted throughout the whole. In the beating of Marches, a little more Time (than has hitherto been practiced) must be observed.

"The Drum Major of the 3d. N. Y. Regt. and the Fife Major of the 6th Massachusetts will collect the Names of all Drums and Fifes in the different Regiments, and keep Regular Roster of the Whole."

"Camp. Otsego Lake, 24th July 1779, Gen Orders. At a Genl. Court Martial held in Camp July 22, 1779, whereof Col. Duboys was President, and Lieut. Parker Judge Advocate, was tryed: Johnathan Pine, Soldier in the 6th Massachusetts Regt. Frederick Snyder of the 4th Pena. Regt; and Anthony Dunnovan of the 3d. N. Y. Regt. for Desertion, all of whom were found guilty and sentenced to be shot to death. At the same Court Martial were tried Serjt. Spear of the 6th Massachusetts Regt. and Barnard Minck of the 3d. N. Y. Regt, for Desertion, found guilty, and sentenced to receive 100 lashes each, and Spear to be reduced to a Centinel."

Anthony Donnovon had previously deserted from the British Army, and had advised the others, who were younger than himself, to desert from Clinton's Army. Donnovan was shot, on the parade ground, on the morning of July 28, and, through entreaties of fellow soldiers who pledged themselves for their future conduct, Frederick Snyder and Jonathan Pine were reprieved by the General.

In General Orders, August 1st, it is stated: "The regimental Quarter Master will see their regimental Parade well cleaned, and the Dirt burn't or buried into the sinks. The Sinks of each Regiment must be filled up every four Days, and new ones dug up.

In the letter from General Clinton to Governor George Clinton, dated Lake Otsego, August 5, 1779: "Dear Brother: Last Evening I was favored with a letter from Gen'l. Sullivan, dated July 30th, informing me that he determined to leave Wyoming the next Day and requesting me to move the 9th Instant which I will not fail to do."

Here is an item from Van Hovenburgh diary of July 27:

"Express arrived at Camp that the enemy were on the Frontiers, that they had killed and taken 36 of Col. V. Schorck's [Van Schaick's] Men a Scout being Immediately Ordered out consisting of 300 men to take Bateaux to cross the Lake they being under the comd. of Col. Ganseworth [Gansevoort] and Crosd the lake immediately and took their Quarters at Law's Landing July 28. Marchd to Fort Plank at Cannojarry near Fort Plain where they laid that night.

"29 — Marchd for the German Flatts, arrived at Fort Herkerman, [Herkimer] about seven at night and took Quarters there and expected, by the intelligence that we collected that Fort Dayton would be attacked in the Morning, but was not, we sent out a scout to Cannady [West Canada] Creek they made some discovery of the Indians tracks that they had drove some cattle.

"31 — Set out marchd to Andreston and from thence to the Otsego Lake and crossed over to camp."

In the transportation of the Brigade up the Mohawk, in repairing the roads to Lake Otsego, and conveying the boats and provisions over them, the fortitude and patience of the soldiers were severely taxed. Rev. John Gano, the Brigade Chaplain, was constantly with them, giving good counsel and encouragement.

After continuing for a month at the outlet of the lake the men became very uneasy at the delay. The parson, on Saturday, August 7, spoke to General Clinton on the subject, who informed him the army would move Monday, but he wished nothing said about it until the orders were issued. His text on the Sabbath was, "Be ready to depart on the morrow." At the close of the services, General Clinton announced that the army would move at sunrise the next day, Monday, August 9th, 1779.

On Sunday, August 8, 1779, McKendry states:

"All the boats loaded ready to proceed down the river tomorrow, — this Evening 6 o'clock the sluce way was broke up and the water filled the river immediately where a boat could pass, which was almost dry before."

This closes the narrative pertaining to the activities of Gen. James Clinton and his troops in the Mohawk Valley in their march to Otsego Lake, up to the time when they took their departure down the Susquehanna River on August 9th, 1779, to join Gen. John Sullivan at Tioga.

Roster of Officers of Clinton's Army

Sixth Massachusetts Regiment.

Third New York Regiment.

Fourth New York Regiment.

Fifth New York Regiment.

Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment.

Battalion of Morgan's Riflemen.

Detachment (Col. John Lamb's) Regt. New York Artillery.

All of the officers of the foregoing regiments and detachments are not given. It will be seen that captains, lieutenants and ensigns (second lieutenants) are frequently missing from the list.

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The following is a chronological summary of the march of General Clinton's American army from Canajoharie, on the Mohawk River, to Otsego Lake, in the Sullivan-Clinton campaign of 1779. It was written by the editor of this work and revised by Mr. John Fea, author of the foregoing chapter.

Summary of General Clinton's Portage March in 1779 from the Mohawk River to Otsego Lake

Gen. James Clinton commanded the New York detachment of the expedition against Indians of the Seneca and Cayuga country, under General Sullivan, in 1779. The Onondaga castle was burned by a detachment of troops which went out from Fort Stanwix under Col. Gosen Van Schaick. The object of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign was to weaken the Iroquois Indian power in New York and to destroy their bases of supplies located in their different towns.

The march of General Clinton's American army from the Mohawk River to Otsego Lake forms one of the most notable feats of arms performed during the Revolution, amid a setting of picturesque and varied landscape beauty.

General Clinton's army consisted of the Third, Fourth and Fifth New York Line, the Fourth Pennsylvania Line, and the Sixth Massachusetts Line, together with a detachment of artillery, which was attached to the Fifth New York Regiment, and a company of Schenectady and Tryon County militia volunteers, which was joined to Colonel Gansevoort's Third New York Line Regiment and a battalion of Morgan's Riflemen, attached to the Fifth New York and the Fourth Pennsylvania. At this time the Fifth New York was stationed at Fort Plain, the Fourth Pennsylvania at the Middle Schoharie Fort (Middleburgh), and the Sixth Massachusetts at Fort Alden, in Cherry Valley. These were regiments actively guarding the Mohawk frontier.

On June 11, General Clinton, at his Schenectady headquarters, ordered a party of troops to proceed to Canajoharie and lay out a camp there. The rest of the army, then at Schenectady and Scotia, followed at intervals.

At Canajoharie the Third New York Regiment camped at present Canajoharie village, while the Fourth Pennsylvania camped on the right, between the Third New York and the Happy Hollow road. The Fourth Pennsylvania, under Lieutenant Colonel Butler, had been stationed at the Middle Schoharie Fort, at present Middleburgh, since 1778. With him was a battalion of Morgan's Riflemen, one company of which was assigned to the Fifth New York under Colonel Dubois.

[Photo: Hotel Wagner and Clinton Monument.]

While Clinton was at Canajoharie he made his headquarters at Roof's Tavern, where the present Hotel Wagner stands. A monument in the square in front of the hotel marks the start of General Clinton's march to Otsego Lake. It was erected by Canajoharie Chapter D. A. R. Two Tory spies, Hare and Newberry, were captured, brought to Canajoharie, tried and hung, during the time of Clinton's stay here.

Lieut. Col. Frederick Weissenfels, Fourth New York Regiment, marched from Albany to Tribes Hill, to Johnstown, to Fort Paris, at Stone Arabia. It left there on June 17, 1779, and marched to Walrath's Ferry, on the Mohawk River, where it crossed to Fort Plain. From there it marched to Canajoharie. The Fourth Regiment went over the south shore highway. It formed the left wing of Clinton's army and marched over the Cherry Valley road (constructed in 1773) to a point one and one-half miles northeast of present Buel, where it camped over night. The next day, June 18, 1779, it moved on to present Sprout Brook, north of which hamlet it camped that night. On June 19th it took up the escort of the supply and batteaux wagons, moving toward Otsego Lake over the Portage road, which then left the south shore Mohawk highway at Happy Hollow, between Fort Plain and Canajoharie.

Clinton's center consisted of the Third New York Regiment, under Col. Peter Gansevoort, and the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, under Lieut. Col. William Butler, which guarded the 200 batteaux loaded upon wagons, which went over the easy grade of the Happy Hollow south branch brook road (one mile west of Canajoharie). The Third New York and the Fourth Pennsylvania camped north of the hamlet of Springfield (burned by Brant, 1778), from June 19 to July 2, awaiting the coming of General Clinton, who arrived there with Colonel Gansevoort on the afternoon of July 1st.

The Sixth Massachusetts Line Regiment, under Major Whiting, marched from Fort Alden, in Cherry Valley, to Otsego Lake, June 18th, and camped that night at Middle Village (Springfield). This regiment was known as Colonel Alden's regiment, although Alden had been killed in the Cherry Valley massacre in 1778. It had been stationed at Cherry Valley since the summer of 1778. The Sixth repelled two attacks of Brant's raiders upon Fort Alden on November 11 and 12, 1778.

Col. Lewis Dubois' Fifth New York Line Regiment, with the artillery, had its headquarters at Fort Plain. This detachment formed the right wing of Clinton's army. It moved out of Fort Plain on Friday, June 18th, and went over the Otsquago trail, through Little and Second Woods to the present Upper Hallsville road, crossing the Otsquene (or Crepskill), passing the Geisenberg Lutheran Church and striking the route of the present Otsquago trail at Hallsville. It moved west, following a line along or to the north of the present Otsquago trail, until it reached Camp Creek, near Starkville, where a stand of artillery was placed to guard against attack, which was expected from the west over the Wiaontha trail. Here Dubois' command camped on the night of June 18th, 1779, and Camp Creek takes its name from this encampment. On June 19th the right wing marched to present Brown's Hollow, one and one-half miles north of present Van Hornesville. Working parties turned the channel of the Otsquago from the north to the south bank of the glen, through which the stream runs in the present village of Van Hornesville. Within a short time the soldiers had built a corduroy road through Van Hornesville. The right wing was then deployed, covering a distance of three miles on a road one and one-half miles east of Summit Lake. This movement was made to guard the center and its supply and batteaux wagons from attack by Brant's Indians, which was expected to be made from the west.

The right wing reached the head of Otsego Lake on June 26th, 1779, and established Camp Liberty, in Low's Grove, on the west side of Mount Wellington. It was then in position to guard the embarkation point at Hyde Bay from attack from the west.

These regiments numbered from 250 to 300 or more men. With the artillery, militia, batteaux men, wagoners and artificers, General Clinton's army must have numbered 2,500 to 3,000 men while on the portage march. After the Mohawk Valley farmers, with wagons, horses and oxen, had completed their share of the task and the embarkation was made at present Hyde Bay, Clinton's force considerably lessened in numbers. General Clinton says his army numbered 2,000 men when it left Otsego Lake.

Clinton reached the foot of Otsego Lake July 2, and on the 4th of July, 1779, all the American troops there camped held a great celebration of the third Independence day. Clinton dammed the lake outlet and the expedition sailed in its batteaux and marched down the Susquehanna, August 9, 1779.

General Clinton's force formed a juncture with Sullivan's at Tioga on August 22, and the united force moved up the Tioga and Chemung, destroying the Indians' growing crops. The force of 4,600 Americans met the Tories and Indians under Johnson and Brant near the present city of Elmira on August 29. A fierce battle ensued and was for long doubtful. The patriots' artillery under Proctor finally routed the enemy. The invaders rested that night and next day made a vigorous pursuit. The entire Indian country was ravaged and destroyed in a most thorough fashion. In revenge the savages retaliated upon the frontier settlements whenever opportunity offered. Following the Sullivan and Clinton expedition, Colonel Van Schaick was sent from Fort Stanwix (Schuyler) to destroy the remains of the two Mohawk castles on our river, at present Indian Castle and Fort Hunter. The settlers around the upper castle had suffered from enemy raids and many had had their homes burned in these forays of the Indians and Tories. Accordingly, Van Schaick gave the Indian houses at the upper castle to these settlers. The American commander then took the few Mohawks remaining at the upper castle (present Indian Castle) and proceeded down the river to Fort Hunter. Here he gathered the few Mohawks then living there and went on, with his Indian prisoners, to Albany, where they were put in custody. This was the end of the Mohawk tribe in our valley, after a residence here of two centuries.

The following covers the execution of Hare and Newberry, who were tried and executed as spies at Canajoharie. While Clinton was waiting at Canajoharie for his troops and supplies to assemble, two Tories were there hung and a deserter shot. The Tory spies were Lieut. Henry Hare and Sergeant Newberry, both of Col. John Butler's Tory regiment. They were tried by a general court martial as spies and sentenced to be hanged, which was done accordingly at Canajoharie. At the time of the execution General Clinton rode up to Fort Plain and spent an hour or two with Dominie Gros, to avoid the importunity of the spies' relatives and friends, who begged for their lives, and especially was this the case with Mrs. Hare. Hare and Newberry had left the Seneca country with sixty-three Indians and two white men, who divided them into three parties. One was to attack Schoharie, another party was to descend on Cherry Valley and the Mohawk River, and the third party was to skulk about Fort Stanwix and the upper part of the Mohawk to take prisoners or scalps. Both had lived in the town of Florida and were captured there. A fifteen-year-old boy, named Francis Putman, captured Hare, who was delayed in his return to Canada by a sprained ankle. A party of Whigs, under Lieutenant Newkirk, arrested Newberry that night. It is said "they were enabled to find his house in the woods by following a tame deer which fled to it." While Hare was in custody, at the request of General Clinton, Johannes Roof asked the Tory if he did not kill Caty Steers at Fort Stanwix in 1777. "For you were seen with your hands in her hair," said Roof. Hare confessed that he had killed and scalped her. Both men were brutal murderers who had killed defenseless settlers, including women and children.

Gen. James Clinton was born in Ulster County, New York, August 9, 1736. At the age of twenty (1756) he was a captain under Bradstreet in the attack on Fort Frontenac. In 1763 he commanded four companies in Ulster and Orange as protection against Indians. He, with his brother, George Clinton (governor of New York during the Revolution), early espoused the patriot cause. He was a colonel in 1775 and went with Montgomery to Canada. In 1776 he was a brigadier general and was in command, under Governor Clinton, at Forts Montgomery and Clinton when they fell into the hands of the enemy in 1777. He escaped and, conjointly with Sullivan, led the expedition against the Indians in 1779. During the remainder of the war he was connected with the Northern Department of the Army, having headquarters at Albany. He retired to his estate at Newburgh, after peace was declared, and died there in 1812, aged seventy-five. He was the father of Dewitt Clinton, the eminent governor of New York and "father of the Canal system".

General Clinton was an engineer and surveyor, and his son, Governor Clinton, came naturally by his interest in engineering works and in the Erie Canal.

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July 9, 1779, three Vols (now Folts) brothers and the wives of two of them, and a Mrs. Catherine Dorenberger, who had been a Hilts, went berry picking up the West Canada Creek, near Fort Dayton. A party of a dozen Indians and Tories discovered them. Two of the brothers and their wives escaped to the fort, although one of the women was wounded. Mrs. Dorenberger was overtaken and stabbed to death with a spear by her own brother, named Hilts, who was one of the guerilla party. He also tore off the scalp from her dead body. Joseph Vols was separated from the rest, but leveled his gun and fired at a party of nine who were pursuing him in a narrow path. He was so close that three Indians fell, two killed instantly and one mortally wounded. His gun was loaded with 21 buckshot. This is said to have been "the best shot fired in Tryon County during the war." One Indian, in the race which followed, got up and wounded Vols with his tomahawk, but the Whig knocked his assailant down, stunned him with a blow of his gun and escaped, although wounded by several shots. Troops, hearing the firing, came up and the white and red savages fled. Conrad Vols, one of the brothers, was wounded at Oriskany two years before.

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The following heroic defense of his home by a Cherry Valley settler, during 1779, is told in Sawyer's "History of Cherry Valley" [i.e., John Sawyer, History of Cherry Valley from 1740 to 1898]:

"During the following summer [of 1779] occurred the remarkable defence and escape of Robert Shankland, of which all the border histories of New York speak. Mr. Shankland, having taken his family to Mohawk after the massacre, returned the following summer with his son, a boy of about 14 years, to harvest his crop. He was awakened one night by a pounding on the door of his log cabin. Getting up he found that the Indians were trying to chop through the door with their tomahawks. Taking his spear in his hand he suddenly opened the door and charged on the Indians. Surprised at the suddenness of the unexpected attack they retreated a few feet, followed by Mr. Shankland, who, in driving his spear at one of them, struck it in a log so hard that he broke the handle in trying to pull it out. Stooping down he grasped the blade, and wrenched it from the log, returned to the house without a shot being fired at him. Awakening his son he took his guns and began returning the fire which the Indians now commenced on the house, the boy loaded as he fired. Despairing of accomplishing anything by this method of warfare, the Indians gathered a quantity of inflammable material, and placing against the side of the cabin, fired it. During the excitement attendant upon this the boy attempted to escape from the house but was captured by the Indians. He. was some time afterwards released. When he grew to manhood he moved to Cooperstown and became a person of considerable importance, having been a national elector in 1808.

"Mr. Shankland kept up his firing on the Indians until the heat became too great for him to remain longer in the burning building, when he bethought himself of a cellar door close up to which grew a field of hemp. Creeping through this he was fortunate enough to escape through the hemp unperceived by the Indians, who continued dancing, yelling and shooting around the house until it was burned to the ground. Then they continued on their way, happy in the thought that the bones of the supposed victim were buried in the ashes of his dwelling."

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The state legislature on October 23, 1779, levied a tax of $2,500,000, of which Tryon County's quota was $81,766. The quota of the Canajoharie district was $16,728. April 6, 1780, another state tax of $5,000,000 was authorized of which $120,000 was assigned to Tryon. The quota of the Canajoharie district was $28,000. Payment of these two taxes, levied inside of six months, must have been a considerable hardship to the valley settlers at this time.

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Colonel Fisher was in command at Fort Paris in Stone Arabia in November, 1779, having command of this section. While Fisher was on a visit to Fort Plank, a detachment of soldiers, from Col. Stephen J. Schuyler's regiment, located at Fort Paris, mutinied, knocked down the guards and started to desert. One of them was shot down and presumably the rest escaped. Capt. Jelles Fonda, in temporary command there, was court-martialed and honorably acquitted. In December, at a conference, Colonels Fisher and Klock and Lieut. Col. Wagner dispersed a number of three months militia men, on account of the lateness of the season and the improbability of immediate invasions. This was done with the sanction of Gen. Ten Broeck and some of the garrisons were broken up for a time.

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The national events of 1779 are herewith summarized: 1778-9, Col. Clarke conquers middle west from English by victories at Kaskaskia and Vincennes; 1779, July 15, Americans under Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne capture Stony Point on the Hudson; 1779, Aug. 29, Sullivan's and Clinton's patriot army defeat Indian and British force in battle of Chemung (at Elmira), Indian country subsequently devastated; 1779, September, Paul Jones, on American ship, Bon Homme Richard, defeats two British men-of-war; 1779, October, French and American attack on Savannah repulsed.

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The lot of the soldier was not all one of warfare. In the midst of ever-present dangers, he took his holiday and his natural and robust pleasures with a carefree heart. An instance from Simms details a merrymaking of Revolutionary times:

"In the fall of 1779, there was a corn-husking at the residence of John Eikler in Philadelphia Bush. His house was some six miles east of Johnstown, and where John Frank formerly kept a tavern. Capt. John Littel permitted ten or a dozen young men of his company to go from the Johnstown fort to the husking, of which number was my [Simms'] informant, Jacob Shew. They went on foot from the fort to Eikler's. A lot of buxom maidens, corresponding in number, were already assembled from the scattered settlement on their arrival. As the night was a rainy one the corn was taken into the house to husk.

"In the protracted struggle for political freedom, many a lovely girl had to toil in the field to raise sustenance for herself and feebler friends, when the strong arms, on which they had before leaned, were wielding the sword or musket faraway. As the husking progressed not a few red ears were found, imposing a penalty on the finder, and lucky indeed was the Son of Mars who canceled such forfeit, as he was brought in contact with the cherry lips of a blushing lass, who, although she may have said aloud the young rebel ought to be ashamed, secretly blessed the inventor of huskings. A part of the corn was risked and hung up under the roof on a lintel, which, to add variety to the entertainment, broke down under its accumulated weight, and came near entrapping one of the guests. After the corn was all husked and the eatables and drinkables — pumpkin pies and cider — were disposed of, the party had glorious times. But why specify at this late day the details of ancient sayings and doings? Suffice it to add, the rain came down in torrents, so as to prevent the guests from returning home; and after the midnight hilarity had stolen out through the crannies of the log dwelling, the guests — but how dispose of so many without beds? The husks were leveled down, and each took a soldier's lodge upon them; for the girls — heaven bless their memory — were the artless and true maidens of the times."

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