Battle of Minisink July 20, 1779
Matthew McConnell, Jr lived in Warwick,
New York some 35 miles northeast of where he was born in what is today
Lake, New Jersey. He served as sergeant in the Orange County, NY
Militia in Captain Peter Bartolf's Company of John Hathorn's Florida
and Warwick Regiment. Militia Pay receipts show service between June
25, 1779 (less then one month before the Battle of Minisink) and
May 6, 1781.
Minisink is an area where the present day
states of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey touch. Warwick, NY is
twenty miles from where the battle occured.
The brief story of the Battle of Minisink
is that Colonel Joseph Brant, a half-breed Mohawk Indian under British
was raiding patriot villages along the Delaware River. Lt. Colonel
Benjamin Tusten was the commander of the Militia's Third Orange County
Regiment at Goshen, New York.
On July 20, 1779 Colonel Tusten received
a dispatch from Minisink that the Indians were raiding villages along
the Delaware River.
He ordered up his entire force and called for volunteers. "Citizens
left their shops, farms and stores to join in pursuit of Brant
and his murderous band". Colonel John Hathorn's militia was at Warwick,
Orange County, N.Y. following their victory at Stoney Point
when he got word of the raid. He joined Colonel Tusten's forces and
also Major Meeker's men from New Jersey.
There was a total of about 120 Militiamen
at Minisink the morning of July 21, 1779. They pursued the Indians up
river that day and camped for the night at
Skinners Saw Mill. This place is about eighteen miles from Minisink.
They were still about three miles from their enemy. They
engaged the Indians the next day on July 22. The day-long battle in
wooded highlands was fought Indian style and without quarter. The
American patriots were out-numbered by the British Indian forces and
out-flanked when their position was given away by a Militiaman who
accidently discharged his musket.
A small group, including Colonel Tusten, was surrounded at the top of a
hill. They held out until near dark on July 22 when they
ran out of ammunition. Then the Indians rushed in and killed all except
those who escaped down the hill and across the river.
It was reported that 45 Militiamen were
killed, 30 escaped and a few others were taken as prisoners in the
Battle of Minisink
Colonel Tusten was among those killed. Brant reported 3 men killed and
10 wounded. Colonel Hathorn wrote a report of the battle on July 27,
Transcription of Colonel John Hathorn's report