In 1779, during the pivotal years of the Revolutionary War, George Washington ordered General John Sullivan to gather an army and drive the tribes of the Iroquois confederacy from their settlements in Upstate New York.
The expedition, known as the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, had been regarded as punishment toward the Native American confederacy that had sided with the British. In August of 1779, the Chemung Valley, near present day Elmira, became the site of a major battle as the Continental army clashed with British regulars, Loyalist rangers and 1,000 Iroquois warriors for control of the valley.
A century after the battle a stone monument was dedicated on the site with a permanent monument erected in 1912. Today the Newtown Battlefield remains an historic landmark on the national register and the site of annual reenactments that help visitors better understand the sites important history. The Newtown battlefield is one of many stops along New York’s Path Through History.
Photos Courtesy of:
The Chemung County Historical Society
Gannett-Tripp Library at Elmira College