Letters from Home: Period Accounts

Tryon County Committee of Safety to Albany County Committe of Safety on Oriskany and the seige of Fort Stanwix

German Flats Committee Chamber

August 9, 1777


Just arrived Captain Demuth and John Adam Helmer, the bearer hereof, with an account that they arrived with some difficulty at Fort Schuyler, the 6th of the month, being sent there by Gen. Herkimer. Before he set out for the field of battle, he requested some assistance from the fort in order to make a effort to facilitated our march to the fort. Two hundred and six men were granted. They made a sally, encountered the enemy, killed many, destroyed the tents of the enemy and came off victorious to the fort. The commander (of the fort) desired them to aquaint us, and his superiors, that he is waiting assistance, and thinks to stand out so long that timely assistance could come to his relief.

Concerning the battle: On our side, all accounts agreed, that a number of the enemy is killed; the flower of our militia either killed or wounded, except 150, who stood the field and forced the enemy to retreat; the wounded were brought off by those brave men; the dead they left on the field for want of proper support. We will not take upon us to tell of the behavior of the rear. So far as we know, they took flight the first firing. Gen. Herkimer is wounded; Col Cox seemingly killed, and a great many officers are amoung the slain. We are surrounded by Tories, a party of 100 of whom are now on their march through the woods. We refer you for further information to the bearer. Major Watts of the enemy is killed. Joseph Brant, William Johnson, several Tories and a number of Indians.

Gentlemen, we pray you will send us succor. By the death of mst of our committee officers, the field officers and General being wounded, everthing is out of order; the people entirely disspirited; our county at Esopus unrepresented, so that we can not hope to stand it any longer without your aid; we will not mention the schocking aspect our fields do show. Faithful to our country, we remain

Your sorrowful brethren

The few members of the committee.

Peter J. Dygert, Chairman.

Published source: The Mohawk Valley, Nelson Greene, p.805

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