Descendants of the immigrant Matthew MacConnel
Scotland, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado and Missouri





The Name

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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 called Cranberry 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 some 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 command, 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, 1779.
Transcription of Colonel John Hathorn's report