Joseph Brant's account of the battle
Oghwage July 29th 1779
I beg leave to acquaint you, that I arrived here last night from Minisink, and was a good deal disappointed that I cou’d not get into that place at the time I wished to do, a little before day; instead of which I did not arrive ‘till noon, when all the Cattle was in the Woods so we cou’d get but a few of them. We have burnt all the Settlement called Minisink, one Fort excepted, round which we lay before, about an hour, & had one man Killed & one wounded. We destroyed several small stockaded Forts, and took four Scalps & three Prisoners; but did not in the least injure Women or Children. The reason that we cou’d not take more of them, was owing to the many Forts about the Place, into which they were always ready to run hike ground Hogs. I left this Place about 8 o'clock next day, and marched 15 miles, there are two roads, one thro’ the woods, the other alongside the River; we were coming up this road next morning, and I sent two men to examine the other road, the only way the Rebels cou’d come to attack us; 4 these men found the Enemy’s path not far from our Camp, & discovered they had got before to lay in ambush—The two Rascals were afraid when they saw the Path, and did not return ‘to in— form us, so that the Rebels had fair play at us. They fired on the Front of our People when crossing the River, I was then about 400 yards in the Rear, as soon as the Firing began I immediately marched up a Hill in their Rear with 40 men, & came round on their backs, the rest of my men were all scattered on the other side; however, the Rebels soon retreated and I pursued them, until1 they stopt upon a Rocky Hill, round which we were employed & very busy, near four hours before we cou’d drive them out. We have taken 40 odd scalps, and one Prisoner, a Captain. I suppose the Enemy have lost near half of their men & most of their Officers: they all belonged to the Militia & were about 150 in number.
I am informed by the Prisoners, that the King’s Troops had taken a Post below the Highlands on the north River, called King’s Ferry, in which were 50 men, and had built a Fort on each side of the River: That after this Genl Clinton sent a part of his army into New England, took several Towns, and destroyed a great deal of stores &c.—that Genl. Washington in the mean time sent part of his Army in the night & surprized one of his Forts, m which 500 men were taken Prisoners—this affair happened some time ago.
The night after we left Minisink, I received another piece of Intelligence that Genl. Clinton at the head of a great army was coming up the North River, and drove Genl. Washington and his Army before him, and obliged him to retreat up the River in a hurry; this news I received from the Rebels, who also said the Country were extremely alarmed. I find the Enemy certainly intends an expedition into the Indian Country, & have built strong Forts—by the last accounts they were at Wyoming. perhaps by this time they may be at Shimong, where I have sent my Party to remain ‘till I join them; I am now seting off with 8 men to the Mohawk River, in order to discover the Enemy’s motions.
In the last skirmish we had 3 men killed & 10 wounded.
John the Mohawk dangerously wounded, and 3 more almost in a bad a situation—I am afraid they will not recover—
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,