When Europeans arrived in the New World, they followed paths forged by the local Indians. The Oneida Carrying Place was an ancient route through the Appalachian Mountains that effectively connected the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Ontario.
The British built Fort Stanwix to protect this vital travel and trading route. In 1776, the fort was taken over by the Continental Army and renamed Fort Schuyler, in honor of Major General Philip Schuyler.
A year later, the Revolutionary War reached Fort Schuyler, which was then occupied by the Third New York Regiment under the command of Col. Peter Gansevoort. The British demanded surrender, but Gansevoort refused.
For 21 days in August, the fort was bombarded by British, German, Canadian, Loyalist, and Indian troops. The long battle ended only when the British learned that Benedict Arnold was bringing reinforcements up the Mohawk River.
The British loss at Fort Stanwix, combined with defeats across New England, foreshadowed the end of the Revolutionary War. Fort Stanwix is forever remembered as “the fort that never surrendered.”
Three trails provide a self-guided tour of Fort Stanwix National Monument. Two highlight key events during the 1777 siege of the fort, while the third takes you along the Oneida Carrying Place.
Did You Know:
During the siege of 1777, soldiers flew a striped, red, white and blue flag over Fort Stanwix “on behalf of these United States.” Some say this was the first “American flag.”