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The Times
  • Gen. Herkimer’s march to Battle of Oriskany commemorated

  • The bloodiest battle of the American Revolution awaited Gen. Nicholas Herkimer and his troops at the end of the road to Oriskany in August 1777.

    In 1912, markers were erected along the route that Herkimer led his troops to the Battle of Oriskany.

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  • The bloodiest battle of the American Revolution awaited Gen. Nicholas Herkimer and his troops at the end of the road to Oriskany in August 1777.
    In 1912, markers were erected along the route that Herkimer led his troops to the Battle of Oriskany.
    One hundred years after the original dedication ceremony, the markers and patriotism will be celebrated Thursday during the Centennial Flag Day Commemorative Bus Tour hosted by the Col. Marinus Willett-Mohawk Valley Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
    The program will involve re-enactments of the original ceremony. DAR State Regent Denise Doring VanBuren will be the featured guest.
    “One of our first goals was to mark important places in the United States to honor people who have fought for freedom,” said Mary Helen Jones, a member of the organization. “We intend to keep in the public eye that freedom is not free.”
    Jones hopes that public education will bring an emphasis on local history back into the classroom.
    And a major part of that history happened in Oriskany. The final marker at the Oriskany Battlefield reads: “The Battle of Oriskany was one of the bloodiest engagements of the American Revolution. British and Indians here ambushed the Tryon County militia as they were marching to the relief of Fort Stanwix (Rome). General Nicholas Herkimer, though wounded, rallied his forces and directed the fighting until the enemy fled.
    “Defeated at Oriskany and unable to force the surrender of Fort Stanwix, the British retreated to Canada. These reverses, with their defeat at Saratoga, thwarted Burgoyne’s plan to divide the colonies by conquering New York.”
    While the bus tour is full, the community is welcome to join the Flag Day festivities at any of the markers along the route.
    The first stop is the Herkimer Home at 9 a.m., and the program ends at the Oriskany Battlefield at 5 p.m.
    All are encouraged to wear 1912 garb or military and community service uniforms to celebrate patriotism.
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