MOHAWK VALLEY RAIDS
The following is a list of raids, battles and skirmishes that took place
in the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys in 1781.
I have been able to compile dates and information for most of the events. There were about twenty seven known small and large raids that took place, two major battles (New Dorlach, July 10, 1781 and Johnstown, October 25, 1781) and one of the most important skirmishes on October 30, 1781 at the West Canada Creek where the infamous Captain Walter Butler of the dreaded Butler's Rangers was killed.
There are several other raids that took place but little is known about them. The following is an example of one. In a letter dated June 3, 1781 at Fort Schuyler it mentions that five Mohawks took two prisoners near Stone Arabia.
In time I hope to add to the following list and or pinpoint exact dates.
February 6, 1781 Fort Davis in the German Flatts District is
attacked. Peter Davis and three of his
daughters were wounded. One daughter was
stabbed three times and cut with a tomahawk.
March 2, 1781 A
wood cutting party with guards (2 N.Y.
Continental Regt.) were sent out from Fort
Schuyler (present day Rome, NY) in the
morning. Later that day Capt. Joseph Brant
captured most of this party of Americans and
April 24, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ Cherry Valley (now in
Otsego Co.) was attacked and the settlement
was burnt. Eight inhabitants were killed and
fourteen were taken prisoners.
May 3, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ Valentine Boyer was taken
May 10, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ John J. Failing was taken
May 12, 1781 German
Flatts District ‑ Thomas Shoemaker was
May 20, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ Fort Clyde which stood
on the present day Route 163 was attacked by
a small party of the enemy. One of the fort
Sentries John Balsle received thirteen wounds
during this attack.
May 25, 1781 German Flatts District ‑ Abraham Wolleber
scalped twice and was found three days later
by the Fort Herkimer garrison. Abraham
recovered from his wounds and died sometime
after the war.
May 26, 1781 Palatine District ‑ Walrath's Ferry was
attacked by a small party of the enemy.
Sergeant Henry A. Walrath was wounded, John
A. and Adolph Walrath were taken prisoners.
May 28, 1781 German Flatts District ‑ Nathaniel Shoemaker was wounded in the chest.
June 9, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ David
Schuyler, Jr., Private in Capt. Jost
Dygert's Company in Col. Samuel Campbell's
Regt. [First Battalion of Tryon County Militia].
June 24, 1781 German Flatts District ‑ Schell family
attacked while working in their fields near
Fort Dayton (present day village of Herkimer)
. The father Christian and his son Demas
were badly wounded and they later both died.
Frederick, another son, was wounded in the
thigh but escaped with his brother Marks.
July 4, 1781 Canajoharie
District - George House and David
Schuyler, privates in Capt. Lawrance Gross'
Company in Col. Marinus Willett's Regt. of
New York State Levies where taken prisoners
while guarding cattle near Fort Windecker.
July 6, 1781 German Flatts District ‑ Capt. Peter Elsworth
and his detachment of men from Willett's
levies were ambushed near Steele's Creek.
Capt. Elsworth with three of his men were
killed, two taken prisoners and Henrich Grem
July 9, 1781 Mohawk
District ‑ Currytown (now in present
day Town of Root, Montgomery Co.)was attacked
and part of it was burned by the Indians
under Lieutenant John Dockstader.
July 10, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ Col. Marinus Willett
with a detachment of levies and Tryon County
Militia find Lieut. Dockstader and his party
encamped on a high ground in Cedar Swamp at
New Dorlach (now in present day Sharon
Springs, Schoharie County). A battle was then
fought and leaving several dead behind the
enemy eventually withdrew.
July 18, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ a party of militia was
guarding Cattle on its way to Fort Rensselaer
were attacked. John Wolleber was captured.His
brother Nicholas and his brother‑in‑law Peter
Casler were killed. Another brother Peter was
wounded but escaped.
July 22, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ Lieut. John Van Slyke was
July 29, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ A party of the enemy
under Lieut. Jacob J. Klock (a son of Col.
Jacob Klock) was attacked while encamped on
Lampman's Farm near Mother Creek. The
Americans under Lieut. Jacob Sammons soon
dispersed the enemy killing at least two of
them. This small skirmish is believed to
have taken place in what is now Oppenheim,
Fulton Co.. Some historians believe that it
took place in the now Town of St. Johnsville
a few miles distant from the Oppenheim site.
The enemy had moved their camp once that we
know of plus the physical description of the
camp site can fit either location which adds
to the confusion.
August 1, 1781 Canajoharie
District ‑ Nicholas House was
August 5, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ a scouting party under
Lieut. John Zimmerman marched out of Fort
Zimmerman (now St. Johnsville) and they
were attacked by a party of Indians. Lieut.
Zimmerman was killed, Peter Hellegas and
Jacob Zimmerman who had been wounded were
August 26, 1781 Palatine
District ‑ John Pickerd was taken
September 7, 1781 German Flatts District ‑ Lieut. Solomon
Woodworth with a scouting party of about
forty men were ambushed in present day
Fairfield, Herkimer Co. Lieut. Woodworth with
about eighteen of his party were killed and
eight were taken prisoners.
October 4, 1781 German
Flatts District ‑ Warner Dygert of
Fall Hill was killed and his son Suffrenes
was taken prisoner. This was part of Major
John Ross' expedition into the Mohawk Valley.
October 7, 1781 Mohawk
District ‑ a party of twelve Loyalists
under John Cook, Jr. fired at the sentries at
Fort Johnstown. The enemy's fire was returned
and Cook fell wounded but the enemy escaped.
Cook later was captured because his wound was
too bad for him to travel and he had remained
in the Johnstown area.
October 1781 German
Flatts District ‑ Capt. Jacob Small
was killed and Jacob Casler was taken
prisoner while picking apples. Again Indians
from Ross' party were out taking prisoners
for information before they struck the Mohawk
Valley with torch in hand.
October 1781 German
Flatts District ‑ Nicholas Bell was
killed and Peter Bellinger escaped. Also part
of Ross' information gathering Indian raids.
October 24, 1781 Mohawk
District ‑ Currytown is attacked by
Major John Ross.
October 25, 1781 Mohawk District ‑ Warrensbush settlement
burned (now Town of Florida, Montgomery Co.)
by Major Ross. Ross proceeded through the
Town of Glen and burned various homes and
barns before crossing the Mohawk River to the
October 25, 1781 Mohawk
District ‑ in the afternoon Major Ross
and his men rest in the fields near Johnson
Hall in Johnstown. Col. Willett with about
four hundred American troops finds Ross and
attacks. The battle ended with darkness and
Major Ross withdrew from the field.
October 26, 1781 Mohawk
District ‑ a small party of Indians
attack and burn Currytown again. Christian
Bellinger and several others were taken
October 30, 1781 German
Flatts District ‑ two skirmishes near
or at West Canada Creek. Lieut. John Rykeman
of the Indian Dept. with several others were
captured in the first skirmish. Jesse Woods
of Capt. Andrew Moody's Company of the Second
N.Y. Continental Artillery was killed. He was
the only American casualty during the pursuit of Major Ross.
The second skirmish took place at the fording
spot at the West Canada Creek. Capt. Walter
Butler with about three more of the enemy
were killed. Major Ross after several weeks
wilderness travelling reached Canada.
SCHOHARIE VALLEY RAIDS
July 26, 1781 Schoharie
District ‑ Albany County. Lieut.
Adam Chrysler attacked the Fox Creek
Settlement. He tried to capture Major Jost
Becker but failed in his attempt.
September 1, 1781 Schoharie
District ‑ Cobleskill was attacked
and burnt. Nicholas Warner and others were
November 10, 1781 Schoharie
District ‑ Lieut. Chrysler attacks
Vroomansland and kills Peter I. Vrooman.
Later that day a party of the 15th Regt. of
Albany County Militia caught up with the
enemy near Bouck's Island. After a brief
skirmish Richard Haggidorn was killed and the
November 11, 1781 Schoharie
District ‑ Capt. Aaron Hale of
Willett's levies and Capt. Jacob Hager of the
militia caught up with Lieut. Chrysler again
near Lake Utsayantho and another skirmish
takes place. John Sacket of the levies and
Joachim Van Valkenburg of the militia were
killed and Joseph Hager was wounded. The
Americans retreated and the enemy escaped.