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Battle of Minisink

September 18, 2022, 1:00pm to 2:30pm - Peggy Bancroft Hall

The Battle of Minisink took place at Minisink Ford, Sullivan County, New York on July 22, 1779. It was the only major skirmish of the Revolutionary War fought in the Upper Delaware Valley. John Conway, Sullivan County Historian, will describe the events leading up to the battle and explain how and why one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War ended up being a decisive victory for the British.

The battle was fought between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. British forces were led by Thayendanegea, a Mohawk military and political leader known as Joseph Brant. Because of his education and leadership abilities, British officials had granted Brant the rank of Captain of the Northern Confederated Indians.

In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), Colonial militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford. When Brant discovered the militia units he responded quickly and forcefully, attacking them before they were able to fully deploy. The militiamen were quickly routed and 47 were killed. It was a decisive British victory.

Sullivan County has preserved the site of the Battle of Minisink, and each year they host a ceremony at Minisink Battleground Park honoring the memory of the militiamen who lost their lives there nearly 250 years ago.

John Conway has been the Sullivan County Historian since 1993. He is a founder and president of The Delaware Company, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and support the history and historic landmarks of the Upper Delaware River Valley. He is the author of nine books, has written weekly newspaper columns on local history, and recently hosted a popular radio show about local history on WJFF radio. He is regularly asked to provide a historical context for Sullivan County news events by the New York Times, Associated Press, and Fox News, among others.  He also collaborated with the Times Herald-Record newspaper on a series of award-winning video documentaries, which are available for screening at  John has been Editor-in-Chief of the revived Hurleyville Sentinel newspaper since 2016. 

The talk is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments. The event is sponsored by our Business Partner, Roadside Bistro.