When & Where: Timeline & Main Events

For the Main Events & Sites of the Sullivan/Clinton saga:

A Mini-Timeline The context is complex, involving: (1) the political dividing of the formerly neutral Iroquois Confederacy into pro-English (Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida and Tuscarora) and pro-Yankee nations (Oneida, Tuscarora) (1776-1779); (2) a sequence of reciprocal raids (1778) against Yankee settlements and Indian settlements in NY and Pennsylvania; (3) the financing (1778) and authorizaton (1778 & 1779) by the rebel Congress of a grand anti-Indian expedition; (4) George Washington's abandoning, for that moment, of a 2nd grand invasion of British Canada, settling instead for "Plan B" -- the full-scale campaign (1779) against the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas and their Mingo and Delaware allies.

Cherry Valley Frontier site of a Yankee defeat on November 8, 1778, termed “The Cherry Valley Massacre.” Its destruction became a pretext for launching Sullivan/Clinton. Settler homes were burned, 30 were killed, and 71 made prisoners. An assault on the Yankee fort killed 16 soldiers, but the British and Mohawk withdrew the next day when reinforcements arrived.

Fort Niagara (English) British controlled fort that staged raids against the Americans. Ft. Niagara then gave some shelter to thousands of refugees during the winter of hunger in the aftermath of Sullivan/Clinton.

Fort Schuyler (American) Set in the heart of Oneida territory, Ft. Schuyler was the site of many important events, and home base for Col. Goose Van Schaick’s expedition against the Onondagas in April of 1778.

Goi-O-Guen (Cayuga Castle) The Cayuga capital which was burnt by Sullivan-Clinton’s forces on Sept. 22-23, 1779. It surrounds Rt. 90, near Aurora, New York.

Jenuchshadago (Allegheny Seneca) Also known as Burnt House, the principal town and hub of the Allegheny Seneca and their allied tribes, which was burnt by Col. Daniel Brodhead’s force on August 17, 1779, as it marched north through Pennsylvania toward the New York border.

Little Beard’s Town. (Seneca). Also known as Chennusio or Genesee Castle, the Seneca capital was burnt by Sullivan-Clinton’s forces on Sept. 14-15, 1779. It surrounds Rt. 39, between Geneseo and Cuylerville, NewYork.

Newtown The early and decisive military battle of Sullivan/Clinton. The American victory opened the way to burning out the Seneca, Cayuga and Onandaga and the effective fall of Iroquoia. Its on site memorial reads the battle was fought "To Avenge the Massacres of Wyoming and Cherry Valley." In 2004, it is the principal site of the 225th S/c Anniversary events across New York State.

Onondaga Castle The Onondaga capital was burnt by a Continental Army force under Col. Goose van Shaick on April 21, 1779. It surrounds Rt. 11, near Onondaga, New York. That same week, Cherokee/Chickamauga towns were burned by southern militias under Wm. Christian.

Oneida Castle The Oneida capital, burnt by Indians in retaliation for Yankee-Oneida assaults on pro-English Iroquois towns like Oquaga.

Oriskany A key English-American battle in 1777 which shattered the chances for Iroquois neutrality in America’s Revolutionary War. When all casualties are compared to the total number of fighters, it is arguably the bloodiest battle of the Revolution, if not of all America’s conflicts.

Oquaga A substantial riverside "melting pot" that was home to Joseph Brant and other Indians from diverse backgrounds, and divided whether to back the Revolution. It was burnt under Washington’s orders by Col. Philip Van Cortlandt and Lt. Col. William Butler in October, 1778 in retaliation for the destruction of Wyoming Valley by the John Butler-run Anglo-Tory-Indian raid. It led, in turn, to the Cherry Valley Massacre. This is not included in explaining the run-up to Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.

Wyoming Valley Site of a severe Tory-Indian assault and Yankee defeat on July 3, 1778. Termed and publicized as a massacre, it served as a major pretext and rallying cry for launching the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.


Posted by sullivan at June 13, 2005 08:03 AM

What about Kanadasaga, near present Geneva? I thought that was an important Seneca village (by some accounts a capital), and one of Butler's headquarters, destroyed during the Sullivan campaign.

Posted by: michael risk at August 4, 2004 12:29 PM

Kanadasaga was destroyed on Sept 7. They camped there again on their way back, Sept 19.


Posted by: Kendaian at September 24, 2005 12:39 PM

Coreogonel was a Tutelo village near today's Ithaca which was destroyed on September 24.

Posted by: sullivan at November 15, 2006 12:06 AM

I understand that my direct ancestor, Col. Elias Dayton, commanded the American forces that destroyed a settlement called Runonvea, near Big Flats, on August 31st, 1779 (source: Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution pg. 319). Can you provide more information about this event?

Posted by: Tim Abbott at August 17, 2007 07:30 PM

as I read about the meny battles in Livingston county , it seams to me that Dansville is never mentioned any where. I have been told that Sullivan's army killed many Native Americans there, who are buried in a unmarked mass grave. Is this true ? if so where can I find the documentation?

Posted by: lori cheetham at September 10, 2007 03:21 PM
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