Battle of Klock's Field

The Battle of Klock's Field, also called the Battle of Failing's Orchard; and occasionally the Battle of Nellis Flatts or the Battle of Stone Arabia, was an encounter between Albany County, New York militia and a British-supported expedition of Indians and Loyalists led by Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Johnson and Captain Joseph Brant.

Battle of Klock's Field
Part of the American Revolutionary War
DateOctober 19, 1780
Location
Result American victory
Belligerents
 United States
Albany County militia
Tryon County militia
Oneida Indians
Lieutenant Colonel John Harper's Levies
Colonel Lewis DuBois Levies
Colonel John Brown's Levies
 Great Britain
King's Royal Regiment of New York
Butler's Rangers
Brant's Volunteers
8th Regiment of Foot
34th Regiment of Foot
Indian Department
Commanders and leaders
Robert Van Rensselaer
John Brown of Pittsfield
Sir John Johnson
Joseph Brant
Captain Andrew Parke
Strength
1,500 1,000
Casualties and losses
39 killed, 2 taken prisoner, throughout the day 48 killed (8th Regiment), 40 taken prisoner

PreludeEdit

On October 19, 1780, Johnson and Brant's army of Regulars, Indians and Loyalists—consisting of units from the 8th Regiment of Foot, 34th Regiment of Foot, King's Royal Regiment of New York, Butler's Rangers, and Brant's Volunteers—proceeded to destroy homes and farm buildings in Stone Arabia, a village about one mile (1.6 km) north of Fort Keyser, in Tryon County (modern Palatine Township in Montgomery County, New York). Colonel John Brown, commanding a force of Massachusetts levies and New York militia and rangers, advanced from his post at Fort Paris in Stone Arabia with the aim of defeating one of Johnson's detachments, which British deserters had told him was isolated and smaller than his 360-man garrison. Instead, Johnson met Brown with his main force and, gradually outflanking and enveloping the rebels, defeated them in a running battle, during which Brown was killed.

BattleEdit

Late in the day Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer commanding units of the rebel militia from Albany County and Tryon Counties, New York and New York State Levies under the command of Colonels John Harper and Lewis DuBois, caught up with Johnson on a farm owned by George G. Klock aka George Jr. in the westernmost portion of Lot 13 of the Francis Harrison Patent. A battle ensued which lasted until the Loyalist forces were outflanked by the [right] column of Van Rensselaer's force on the flats of Dederick Failing’s farm on Lot 14 and George G. Klock's farm on Lot 13 of the Harrison Patent near the current eastern boundary of the Village of St. Johnsville. The fighting continued quite briskly until it became painfully apparent to General Van Rensselaer that his right and left flanks were firing upon one another and the General ordered his men to retreat three miles eastward to Fox’s mills where they could be properly victualed and rested after having been on the march and in battle for approximately 26 hours with only a couple of hours rest. During the heat of battle, Sir John Johnson, Colonel John Butler, and Joseph Brant with the Native American contingent escaped on horseback to the south side of the river, leaving the men to fend for themselves. Some crossed the river in breast-high water near the site of the battle, while the majority of troops marched westward to a fording place just east of old Fort Hendrick. A skirmish broke out on the south bank when the British troops came in contact with the Pickett guard at Fort Windecker. Twenty of Johnson’s men including his personal butler were captured. During their precipitous escape, Johnson's men were forced to abandon their cannon, their baggage, and most of the prisoners they had captured earlier.

AftermathEdit

In spite of the Loyalist losses, Johnson's campaign to destroy the agriculture and settlements of the area was enormously successful. It was said afterwards that "everything except the soil is destroyed from Fort Hunter to Stone Arabia", a twenty-mile (32 km) swath of the Mohawk Valley

ReferencesEdit

  • Berry, A.J., A Time of Terror, The Story of Colonel Jacob Klock's Regiment and the People they Protected, 2005, ISBN 1-4120-6527-5
  • Lenig, Wayne, Fort Plain, Fort Plank, and Fort Rensselaer: The Revolutionary War Forts at Canajohary, 2020, ISBN 1-7923-3498-6

Coordinates: 42°59′58″N 74°42′30″W / 42.99944°N 74.70833°W / 42.99944; -74.70833