Sullivan’s Campaign Against the Iroquois in 1779 – August 24-27, 2016

Sullivan’s Campaign Against the Iroquois in 1779 – August 24-27, 2016

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Wednesday,  August 24, 2016 (7:30pm) to Saturday, August 27, 2016 (5:00pm)

Headquarters: Victor, NY

Led by: Glenn Williams

Registration Fee: $475

Sullivan's_Campaign_against_the_Iroquois_1779The Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois in 1779 has been described as implementing a “scorched earth” policy for no useful purpose other than eradicating Indians, or a failed attempt to capture Fort Niagara. No campaign of the American War for Independence has been more inaccurately described or remains more controversial than the Continental Army’s invasion of the Iroquois Confederacy in 1779.  This tour is designed to follow the main effort of that offensive as conducted by troops commanded by Major General John Sullivan. Sullivan’s troops took the war to the very heart of the territory controlled by the Six Nations of Iroquois who had allied themselves with the British Crown.  At the tour’s end you’ll decide if the campaign was a success or a well-executed failure.

On our first day will travel to the Gonandagan State Historic Site with its reconstructed Iroquois longhouse – near Victor – where we will focus on the political and military structure of the Six Nations, the decision of four of them to side with the British and two to become allies of the United States, with a resulting civil war. We will also stop at Verona Beach State Park where Wood Creek empties into Lake Oneida to discuss Colonel Goose Van Schaick’s expedition and attack on Onondaga in April 1779. We’ll visit Brewerton in Cicero, site of a former French and Indian War fort where patriot troops land before marching cross-country to Lake Onondaga and finally, Pompey at the site of an Onondaga Town that existed prior to the 18th century.

On the second day we will travel to Tioga Point – near present Athens, Pennsylvania – the site of Queen Catherine’s Town, where the provincial rangers of Major John Butler and their Indian allies launched the attack on the Wyoming Valley.  It is also the site of where the New York Brigade of Brigadier General James Clinton joined the three brigades that comprised the rest of Sullivan’s force for its campaign of reprisal.  As we make our way deeper into Iroquoia, we will stop at the sites of the skirmish at Old Chemung, the Battle of Newtown – near present Elmira – Queen Catherine’s Town – near present Watkins Glen – and end at the site of Canadesega, or Lower Seneca Castle – present Geneva.

On the third day, we will follow the course of Sullivan’s advance, stopping at Lake Honeoye, where Sullivan left the army’s heavy baggage, Lake Conesus, where the troops constructed a bridge to permit the passage of the packhorse train and artillery, the site of the ambush of Lieutenant Tomas Boyd’s patrol – near present Groveland – the site of Little Beard’s Town – present Cuylerville – where the Indians tortured and executed Lieutenant Boyd and Sergeant Michael Parker.  We will end our tour by stopping at the site of Chenusio, or the Upper Seneca Castle – present Geneseo – the objective of the campaign.

Registration Fee: $475.00

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of an experienced tour leader. Our hotel will provide a complimentary breakfast each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the headquarters hotel for a group rate of $99.99 per night plus applicable taxes (double or single occupancy.) Please call the Microtel Inn by Wyndham, 7498 Main Street, Victor, NY at 585-924-9240 and ask for the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed until June 30, so please make your reservations soon.

Our tour leader: Glenn Williams is a former army officer and a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. He is the author of Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign against the Iroquois which details the story of our tour. He also wrote USS CONSTELLATION: a Short History of the Last All-Sail Warship Built by the U.S. Navy. His latest book, Dunmore’s War: Last Conflict of the Colonial Era is being published by Westholme Publishing.

Register online:

Register by phone, e-mail, or U.S.P.S.:

  • Call Bruce Venter at 703-785-4373 or e-mail at with an questions you may have
  • Postal address is America’s History LLC, PO Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063.

America’s History LLC accepts Visa, Master Card or Discover. We’re happy to take checks too!

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