Description - Oriskany Battlefield is considered to be a significant turning point in the War of Independence. That battle which took place on August 6, 1777 is memorialized with this beautiful structure that has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can view the battlefield site, read the interpretive signs and view reenactments held at special times of the year. The site is open mid-May through mid-October.
Copyright: New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site
- Considered to be a significant turning point in the War of Independence, the Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777 has been described as one of the bloodiest battles of the war. A monument was dedicated on August 6, 1884 to serve as a memorial to those who fought so bravely and tenaciously to preserve freedom. Oriskany Battlefield was designated a New York State Historic Site in 1927. In recognition of the site's exceptional historic value, the battlefield was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963. Today, visitors to the battlefield can walk the site, read a series of interpretive signs and visit a historic encampment during special events.
In August 1777, while the British were attacking Fort Stanwix, Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer assembled 800 troops, supported by 60 allied Oneida warriors and marched from Fort Dayton to aid in the siege. Upon hearing of Herkimer's advance, British and Tory troops under Sir John Johnson and Col. John Butler, and Indian forces led by Mohawk Joseph Brant, set a trap in a boggy ravine west of Oriskany Creek. As the unsuspecting American troops crossed the swampy bottom and marched up the ravine, the British attacked. The patriots fought in brutal hand-to-hand combat, and in spite of heavy losses, caused the Seneca and the Mohawks, followed by the British and Tories to retreat. It was in this battle that General Herkimer received the wound to his leg which led to his death ten days later. Visit the link below to Herkimer Home State Historic Site for details.
Recreation - Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site offers group and guided tours, educational services, hiking, picnicking, re-enactments, scenic views, interpretive signage and a visitor center / museum. Hours of operation are mid-May through mid-October, Wednesday-Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Also open Monday holidays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Climate - The historic site experiences average January temperatures from 18 degrees to above 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 to above -6 degrees Celsius). It is important to note that this area receives some of the heaviest snowfalls in the nation. Summer temperatures average around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 22 degrees Celsius). Precipitation in the region ranges from 36 inches to more than 44 inches of rain and snowmelt. The heaviest precipitation is received in the region's northeast segment.
Oriskany Battlefield is located in Oriskany, between Utica and Rome along SR 69.