Nicholas Herkimer (1728 - 1777)

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Brig. Gen. Nicholas Herkimer's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Fort Herkimer, NY, USA
Death: Died in Danube, NY, USA
Cause of death: Died of wounds and leg amputation after Battle of Oriskany.
Occupation: Hero of Battle of Oriskany, Gen. in Revolutionary War, Cap. in French & Indian Wars, businessman, farmer., Militia General in the American Revolutionary War
Managed by: Peter R. Becker
Last Updated:

About Nicholas Herkimer

Nicholas was the oldest son of Johan Jost and Katherine. His first military command was at Fort Herkimer in 1757. By 1775 he was Colonel of the first battalion, Tryon County Militia. He was commissioned Brigadier General of the Tryon County Militia on September 6, 1775. General Herkimer was mortally wounded while commanding the milita at the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777. His brother Johan Jost was among the loyalists fighting with the British forces at Oriskany and the siege of Fort Stanwix. (Geoff Bronner)

After the Battle of Oriskany, the wounded General Herki mer was taken back to his home near Little Falls. Be cause of the heavy casualties suffered by his militia, Herki mer felt he had failed as a leader. Just before his death, he opened his Bible and ex pressed his feelings through the 38th Psalm:


“…There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine an ger: neither is their any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness…For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity: I will be sorry for my sin…” However, unknown to General Herkimer, the Battle of Oris kany would become an impor tant part of the British defeat in 1777. Not only did it help raise the siege of Fort Stanwix and prevent St. Leger from joining Burgoyne’s army, but Herkimer’s heroic stand also encouraged New Yorkers to take up arms against the crown. In a letter dated Au gust 26, 1777, Pierre Van Cort landt, President of the New York Committee of safety, writes to John Hancock, Presi dent of Congress, “SIR: I have the honor of transmitting to you the letters of General Schuyler and Gover nor Clinton, giving us the agreeable intelligence of the raising of the siege of Fort Schuyler (Stanwix). The gal lantry of the commander of the garrison of that Fort and the distinguished bravery of Gen eral Herkimer and his militia, have already been productive of the most desirable consequences. The brave and more fortunate General Stark with his spirited countrymen hath, as you know, given the enemy a signal coup at Bennington. The joint result of these providential instances of success hath revived the drooping hopes of the desponding, and given new vigor to the firm and determined. We have therefore the pleasing expectation of com- pelling General Burgoyne to re- tire.”


In the evening of August 16, 1777, from wounds received at the Battle of Oriskany, General Nicholas Herkimer took his last breath and died a martyr, un aware of the significant contribu tion he had made toward Ameri can independence. THE GENERAL"S GAZETTE Summer 2009 Herkimer Home

-------------------- General Herkimer fought in the Battle of Oriskany and lost a leg, which ultimately caused his death.

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Brig. Gen. Nicholas Herkimer's Timeline

1728
1728
Fort Herkimer, NY, USA
1777
August 16, 1777
Age 49
Danube, NY, USA
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Danube, NY, USA