Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

Wyoming Massacre July 3, 1778

During the previous year, the brave Anishinabe soldiers defeated the large white (English, French, and German) military force which came down from the Montreal region, and the whites grew greatly upset with their loss, and with the Iroquois Tribes. Many more of the Iroquois eventually joined with the Anishinabe Confederation to fight the white invaders. About 85 miles to the north of Philadelphia, was the Wyoming Valley which was under Anishinabe control when the Battle of Wyoming was fought. A large force of white soldiers from probably both Philadelphia and New York City, was ordered to trek up towards the Wyoming Valley to attempt to bring that region back under English control. Their targets were existing forts in that region which had fallen (laid siege to) to the Anishinabek early in the war, which housed scores of white civilians and soldiers who took refuge there after the outbreak of war, to eventually relieve them. Most of the Iroquois were not willing to fight on the side of their fellow Indians, which most definitely enraged on both the Anishinabek and those Iroquois who sided with the Anishinabek. After defeating the large white military force which came down from Montreal in the summer of 1777, the Anishinabek continued to send their brave soldiers out to wage war on the whites (farmers or settlers) to their east and south. Since they controlled most of New York and Pennsylvania, it meant they could send their brave soldiers out to the east and south, to eradicate white settlements, without much resistance coming from their white enemies. That is why the large white military force was sent to the Wyoming Valley.

Upon their arrival to the Wyoming Valley, the whites attempted to coerce the Iroquois allies of the Anishinabek, into joining the war. At first the whites attempted to coerce the Iroquois into joining them. The brave Anishinabe soldiers were located throughout the region where 10 white forts were located, ready to battle the invading large white military force. On July 3, 1778 the Anishinabek commenced to set the forts a blaze which resulted into open war. Unfortunately, Native Americans have to deal with this event which saw many of the Iroquois (the Seneca) joining with the large white military force to fight against their own race. After about one hour of fighting, the brave Anishinabe soldiers had been defeated and sent fleeing with the Iroquois on their trail. History indicates that the Iroquois captured several Anishinabe soldiers then horrifically tortured them to death. However, it was most likely the whites who did it. One account of the battle stated that 227 Anishinabe scalps had been taken. This battle occurred near Fort Wintermute. However, there were still many other forts in the area and the large white military force was there to bring that region back under white control. Soon after their loss at Fort Wintermute, the brave Anishinabe soldiers commenced to burn down the remaining forts in the Wyoming Valley, then went about attacking those other white settlements where white settlers fled to, which were scattered around the surrounding region. They very likely killed scores of white settlers and soldiers to retaliate for what their brave soldiers had endured.

Those whites who were fortunate, escaped from the Anishinabe onslaught, then found refuge among the large white military force in that region, or fled eastwards towards Philadelphia and New York City. What occurred in the Wyoming Valley was not pretty. Horrific events occurred. Those events may have resembled what occurred during the 17th century wars between the Anishinabek and the invading whites. History indicates that white casualties in this horrific event was very likely in the hundreds. However, the way the whites have responded to this military event suggests that far more casualties occurred, than just a few hundred. Something horrific happened to both the Indians and whites of the Wyoming Valley, in July of 1778, and it was not just one battle. It was a serious of military engagements in which the Anishinabek relentlessly attacked the entire white population in the Wyoming Valley. In their fortified settlements, the whites obviously had stored large supplies of food and weapons before the war’s onset. Once the Anishinabe soldiers brought that region under their control, they were content to allow the white refugees who fled to those planned white fortifications, to remain behind their fortified walls. They knew they controlled the surrounding land and that they could eventually starve the white refugees to death if need be. Their attitude had obviously changed after the arrival of the large white military force. They knew the white military was now forcing the war northwards and westwards, from the Philadelphia region.

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