Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

American Revolution: Battle of Wyoming (Pennsylvania) (1778)

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all

Profiles

  • Levi Dunn (1745 - 1778)
  • Mary Benedict (1761 - 1778)
    Mary was the second wife of Silas Benedict. They both died at the Wyoming massacre, along with Mary's father, Johnathan Weeks, Jr.
  • Ens. Titus Hinman (1733 - 1778)
  • Lieut. Stoddard Bowen (1752 - 1778)
    On the 2d, Col. Denison had sent a messenger express to Capt. John Franklin and Lieut. Stoddard Bowen, to hurry forward to the scene of danger, with their Huntington and Salem company, without de...
  • George Gore, KIA (1759 - 1778)

The Battle of Wyoming (also known as the Wyoming Massacre) was an encounter during the American Revolutionary War between American Patriots and Loyalists accompanied by Iroquois raiders that took place in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania on July 3, 1778. More than three hundred Patriots were killed in the battle.

After the battle, settlers claimed that the Iroquois raiders had hunted and killed fleeing Patriots before using ritual torture against thirty to forty who had surrendered, until they died.

One woman lost three of her sons and two sons-in-law. This list is intended to include survivors, or women and children.

About the battle:

Connecticut settlers. Lazarus Stewart led some forty Paxtang men to the Wyoming Valley and built a blockhouse at the southern end of the Valley (near modern Nanticoke). When the Revolutionary War began, the Yank ees and Penamites set their local quarrel aside for the duration of the struggle against the British. That is how things stood when in 1778 the British at Niagara gathered forces for a strong raid to clear Americans out of the land in the Forks of the Susquehanna. This ar my included about 400 British "green coats" and Tories along with nearly 700 Iroquois warriors. The Americans in the Wyoming Valley had a chain of forts to help protect th eir settlements, but most of their able-bodied fighters had gone off to join the Continental Army.

As the invaders approached the Valley in late June, there remained to defend it six companies of raw militia recruits, chiefly old men and boys. By chance, home on leave was a regular-army officer, Col. Zebulon Butler, and he took command of the Am erican militia gather ed at Forty Fort across the river from Wilkes-Barre. After receiving a British demand for surrender, the Americans he ld a council of war. Col. Butler and several other officers advised waiting for reinforcements. (A troop of Continentals was expected within a day or two, and other forces had been requested from Col. Clingaman at Fort Jenkins.) Captain Lazarus Stewart and others, however, argued vehemently for marching out immediately to face the enemy before Forty Fort was surrounded; according to some reports, Stewart even accused Col. Butler of cowardice. In mid-afternoon, the Americans marched out and within a couple miles met the British. The outnumbered American forces fought bravely, but after a half hour their left flank was turned and they were trapped. The battlefield became a slaughter ground; among those killed were all six company commande rs, including Captain Lazarus Stewart.

Fleeing soldiers were chased down and killed; many captives were tortured and then scalped. (Upon their return to Fort Niagara, the Indians collected bounty payments for 227 scalps.) Some of the American soldiers escaped to Forty Fort, but the next morning that fort was surrendered to the British. The Indians went on a rampage throughout the Valley, burning homes and destroying crops and cattle.