Revolutionary War Sites

of the Mohawk Valley

Richard Berleth in his book Bloody Mohawk and the historical novel, Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter Dumaux Edmonds both describe our home valley during the birth of our nation. The Mohawk River valley was the western frontier of New York. Residents of the region were subject to raids from the British and their Indian allies from the North into Canada and west from the Finger Lakes. Farmers in our region attempted to feed the American rebel troops. Militias defended their homes.

Great battles were fought along our valley. Among the greatest and bloodiest, was fought at Oriskany Creek, where General Nicolas Herkimer lead the Tryon Militia in an attempt to relieve a British siege at Fort Stanwix. Days later, General Herkimer died from wounds sustained from that bloody battle. Blocking the British advance at the battle at Oriskany led to the American success at Saratoga.

As a retired history teacher pointed out...

The battle at Saratoga is in many ways more important than Gettysburg. If the rebels had lost at Saratoga, the revolution would have ended. There would have been no United States and hence no Civil War.

Fort Herkimer Church
Adam Helmer's run
Fort Johnson
Fort Stanwix
Herkimer Home
Johnson Hall
July 4th
Oriksany Battlefield
Saratoga Battlefield
Steuben Memorial

Saratoga National Historic Park

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Saratoga National Historic Park

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OK,this is not in the Mohawk Valley of New York, but events in 1777, especially at the Oriskany Battlefield and Fort Stanwix helped to make Saratoga the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

a favorite for hiking and exploration, especially while I lived in Queeensbury, is Saratoga National Historic Park. The visitor's center helps to explain the theatre of war made possible for France to support the American Revolution. The park lends to exporation via bicyle or foot. Extensive hiking trails are available year round. In the quiet depths of winter on snowshoes, one can come accross white tailed deer.

Coming upon a reenactment of the battle one year, I saw in the background Ford F-150's and Styrofoam coolers, which led to contemplation of the hardships faced by British General John Burgoyne and his British troops as they marched by the Hudson River in 1777. Burgoyne, overconfident after a sting of success along Lake Champlain, must have been surprised with the rebel resistance at the blufs at the famous battlefield. Burgoyne planned to meet Generals St. Leger and Howe in Albany in order to cut of the New England patriots from their southern brethren. Howe left for Philadelphia while St. Leger was checked at Fort Stanwix. Imagine if Burgoyne had been able to call on his cell phone to find out that the planned rendezvous had failed. Supplies had run so low, that some of his troops were sent in failure to Bennington, Vermont in attempt to resupply.

The historic nature of the park not only relates to the Revolutionary War. The old Champlain Canal built in the 19th century, which once connected the Hudson River with Lake Champlain lies to east of the park. The modern Champlain Barge Canal is part of the Hudson River which is east of the park and the old canal. One can view nearby Washington County and distant Vermont from overlooks over the Hudson River.