On today in 1779, Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant leads a mixed force of Loyalists and Indians in surrounding a force of 120 colonial militiamen from New York and New Jersey at Minisink, New York. The militia was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tusten, Major Samuel Meeker and Colonel John Hathorn.
Brant’s party of 90 Tories and Loyalist Iroquois had executed a profitable raid in the Neversink Valley in New York on July 20, throughout which a college was destroyed by them and a church, as effectively as farms in Peenpack and Mahackamack. In response, the Patriot militia designed to ambush Brant as he traveled up the Delaware River to be able to recover a few of the animals and goods used the raid two days earlier. As the Patriot militia ready for the ambush, a scout’s gunfire alerted Brant to the Patriots’ presence then ordered his troops to outflank the Americans. The Patriots have already been overwhelmed. Tusten and roughly 45 to 50 other folks have been killed in the original battle and their ensuing defense from the hillside above the river. Twenty-nine other folks were able to escape.
Joseph Brant ranked among Britain’s greatest commanders throughout the American War for Independence. He was an informed Christian and Freemason who studied directly with Eleazer Wheelock at Moor’s Indian Charity School, the parent institution of Dartmouth College. His older sister Mary was founding father Sir William Johnson’s widespread-law wife and played a considerable function in colonial and revolutionary Indian affairs. At the close of the war, the Brants and their Iroquois followers left the United States for Canada, where they hoped to get land and security making use of their British allies.