Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The Battles of Fort Stanwix and Oriskany August 1777

With the English intensifying their military campaign (it is known as the Saratoga Campaign) in the summer of 1777, in north central New York State which was under Anishinabe control, it was going to soon split the Iroquois Tribes subjugated by the Anishinabek. Many of the Iroquois Tribes citizens, if not most, sided with the whites, but there was a fraction which sided with the Anishinabek. Those Iroquois Tribes were the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Seneca. They had been subjugated by the Anishinabek early on during the mid 17th century. In late July 1777, a force of white soldiers and their Iroquois allies from Canada, snuck their way down the St. Lawrence then into Lake Ontario then sailed to Oswego. They did it without being spotted by the Anishinabek. Their total number was 2,000 with 1,000 white and another 1,000 Indian. The Anishinabek not only had to deal with the white and Iroquois military force coming down from the Montreal region, they also had to deal with the English and Germans coming up from the south and the east. On August 5, 1777 a battle occurred near Fort Stanwix which would eventually bring ruin to the Iroquois Tribes. Fort Stanwix was being laid siege to by the Anishinabe soldiers, and a relief force of white soldiers was ordered to attempt to relieve the situation Fort Stanwix was enduring.

Anishinabe commanders ordered their brave soldiers and their Iroquois allies (the Oneidas) soldiers, to head for the approaching white reinforcements and their Iroquois allies, to attempt to stop them from ending the siege at Fort Stanwix. In the battle that followed on August 5, 1777, the Anishinabek set up an ambush near the Oriskany Creek and carried it out successfully. During the ambush the white soldiers at Fort Stanwix were fully aware of what was occurring near their fortification and ordered a relief force be sent out to attempt to rescue them. There was also a thunderstorm during the battle which defused the battle momentarily but it eventually again intensified. After the white relief forces arrived it led to the Anishinabek and their allies fleeing from their successful ambush. A total of 615 white and Iroquois casualties occurred at the successful Anishinabe ambush. After this battle the whites would grow extremely angry at all the Iroquois Tribes in central New York State, but most of them remained neutral or sided with the whites. Though the forts were well west of Fort Ticonderoga, this battle was really a part of the whites Fort Ticonderoga Campaign. The Fort Stanwix region of New York was still Anishinabe land at the time and would stay that way for quite some time after this war ended.

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