Dave Hasler | Eastern Frontier & Americana Artist
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High on the hills overlooking the Genesee Valley Seneca warriors and Loyalist troop under the command of Col. John Butler and his Rangers, prepare to set up an ambush for Sullivan’s main force. Concealed within two wooded gullies over 400 warriors settle into a position to attack. It would not be long to wait for these Seneca who are now defending their own homelands from the massive, and very efficient campaign of General Sullivan.

 

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This is a painting depicting the western most engagement in New York of the Sullivan and Clinton Campaign in September of 1779. The expedition was one of the largest campaigns launched during the Revolutionary War and consisted of many of Washington’s best, and most seasoned brigades with close to 5,000 men.  The goal of the campaign was the elimination of the way of life for the Iroquois Confederation by employing a scorched earth policy. In this painting Lt. Boyd and Sgt. Parker, along with two Oneida scouts leave an abandoned Erie village in the hills overlooking both the Genesee Rive flats, and the Conesus Lake area. Boyd, a member of Morgan’s Riflemen, was ordered by Sullivan to take four men and scout the position of Little Beard’s Town. Instead he took approximately 26 men, left the main encampment at 11:30 pm, and traversed up the steep hills getting lost in the dark. Upon stumbling on a small Erie village of abandoned cabins they spent the rest of the night and as depicted here, left in the morning to return to the main brigade. Instead, Boyd’s fate was soon to be sealed, and that of his entire party in a series of horrific events.

 

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