The Battle of Oriskany is known to be one of the bloodiest in the Revolutionary War. Native Americans, the British, and the Colonials all fought on the field for control of Fort Stanwix. The fort was under siege from the British as some Colonial militia were trying to aid and were attacked by British and Native American Soldiers. Most of the participants in the battle were Native American and the bloodshed caused them to call Oriskany, "A Place of Great Sadness".


  • The monument to the Battle at Oriskany. The battle was considered one of the bloodiest of the Revolutionary War.
    The monument to the Battle at Oriskany. The battle was considered one of the bloodiest of the Revolutionary War.
  • General Herkimer lead the troops for the militia in the Battle of Oriskany. Herkimer was injured during the fight but continued to lead.
    General Herkimer lead the troops for the militia in the Battle of Oriskany. Herkimer was injured during the fight but continued to lead.

While a major part of the British army laid siege to Fort Stanwix, a smaller group headed up the front to stop an incoming militia army headed by General Herkimer. Herkimer was trying to aid the colonials trapped in the fort so he walked his group of troops through the present day Oriskany field. Little to his knowledge was the British knew of his plan and cut him off with a small group of soldiers and mostly Mohawk and Seneca tribe members. Herkimer controlled a group of Native American soldiers himself in the battle of what would be known to Native Americans as "the Place of Great Sadness".

The ambush would be in a deep ravine with hand to hand combat causing a bloody battle at first. The combatants spread themselves across the woods and went head on into one-on-one combat. A thunderstorm broke out in the middle of the battle, however, and the militia took the opportunity to reorganize under shelter in defensive position. The militia fought of the on-comers for a long period until they were finally breached. The Native Americans on the British side retreated back to the fort for an unknown reason and the fight basically ended from there. 

The results of the fight were bloody for the colonial militia with casualties reaching up to 500. The British side had far less but many were still wounded. The skirmish was enough to deter Native Americans from fighting with the British thereafter because they lost many leaders in their respective tribes and abandoned the rest of the siege all together. 

1. "The Battle at Oriska", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/fost/historyculture/the-battle-at-oriska.htm 2. "Oriskany: A Place of Great Sadness", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.nps.gov/fost/historyculture/upload/oriskany_report.pdf 3. "The Battle of Oriskany", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://revolutionarywararchives.org/oriskany.html