In the small town of Oriskany, NY, there lives an ominous and bloody tale of a battle that took place years ago in the late 1700’s. Rarely mentioned in the history books, but a story that would mark history and the innocent grounds of this park of Upstate New York for years to come.
The Battle of Oriskany took place during a significant turning point in the War of Independence, fought on August 6, 1777. It has been described as one of the bloodiest battles of the war (park.ny.gov). The story of The Battle of Oriskany follows General Nicholas Herkimer who “assembled 800 militiamen, supported by 60 allied Oneida warriors” to march “from Fort Dayton to aid against the siege” while the British were simultaneously attacking Fort Stanwix (parks.ny.gov). As soon as the news spread to British and Loyalist troops under Sir John Johnson and Col. John Butler… “Indian forces led by Mohawk Joseph Brant, set a trap in a boggy ravine west of Oriskany Creek (parks.ny.gov). Unfortunately, “the unsuspecting American troops crossed the swampy bottom and marched up the ravine” and were ruthlessly attacked (parks.ny.gov). The patriots put up a fight in hand-to-hand combat, and though they suffered many losses, the British and Loyalists ran to retreat (parks.ny.gov). Today a monument, which was dedicated on August 6 of 1884 stands to serve as a memorial on the grounds that cradled the soldiers who lost their lives in a fight for freedom.
There have been many paranormal encounters since the Oriskany Battle Field stood as a grounds of remembrance. There have been plenty of accounts of full bodied apparitions, in fact, those are what people have claimed to see the most when staying on the grounds well past daylight. People have been led to believe that the most likely of hauntings on the battlefield is that of a residual haunting. We wrote a blog post on this as well. In an area that was so heavily concentrated in unexpected and violent death it is extremely likely. People still walk the grounds in an order of remembrance and sometimes to relive history. But the grounds also serve as a hotbed of paranormal activity, the kind you wouldn’t expect from a quiet town in upstate New York.
Images courtesy of: www.alchetron.com/Nicholas-Herkimer#- and www.cnyhiking.com/NYSP-OriskanyBattlefieldSHS