July 3, 1778 — Today, the Battle of Wyoming occurred in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Known as the “surpassing horror of the American Revolution,” this gruesome battle began on July 1, when about 1,000 regular British troops, Loyalist irregulars, and Indians, marched into the Wyoming Valley and seized control of Yankee forts Wintermoot and Jenkins, on the western banks of the Susquehanna River above Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Shortly before noon today, on July 3, Butler and his 386 militiamen marched out of Forty Fort to do battle. They came within 100 yards of their position and fired three times. The Iroquois then rushed out from the woods and attacked. The battle is said to have only lasted 45 minutes, with American Patriots frantically retreating after defeat.
British forces then pursued the fleeting Patriots, and spent the rest of the day killing, torturing and scalping 227 Americans; only 60 men survived the attacks and 5 were taken prisoner. The following morning it was reported, “carcasses floated down river, infesting the banks of the Susquehanna.”
Words of Wisdom
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.