4 May 1779 Two families massacred by Indians and Loyalists
41.724524, -74.388685 Fantine Kill
Maps: [map notes]
- Elvin Birth, The 1779 Western Campaigns, Raleigh: 2003, privately published, "Journals.pdf", p.18. 42.98332 -76.14293 Basis of location.
- Picture of the Fantine Kill (Fantinekill) Massacre Monument
In Memoriam; Fantinekill Massacre;
Bevier Family; Widow Elizabeth Bevier, age 62; Her Sons;
Solomon,age 29, Josiah, age 23;
Sax Family; Widow Johannah Sax, age 59; Her Children;
Mariah, age 29, Peter, age 23, Hester, age 18, Dorothy, age
16, Jacob, age 14;
Massacred By Tories And Indians, May 4, 1779;
Buried At This Spot"
- Conover, George S., compiler Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan Against the Six Nations Indians in 1779.., Auburn NY: Knapp, Peck & Thomason, 1887, pages suggested by Elvin Birth.
Monday 3d Drew provisions and prepared for a march Tuesday. 4th Struck our tents Loaded our baggage in order to proceed on our march for Weyoming but being alarmed by an express that the savages were murdering the inhabitants at Fantine Kille* about five miles in our front. Coll Cortlandt marched to their assistance, but before we arrived at the place they were gone. At 4 in the afternoon returned to Wawasink and remained in houses.
* Fantine Kill a settlement on a stream of that name about a mile from the present village of Ellenville in the town of Wawarsing Ulster County. The attack was made at day break by a party of thirty or forty Indians under Brant who came by the way of the Indian trail to Grahamsville and from thence through the woods to the settlement Widow Isaac Bevier and two sons were killed also the entire family of Michael Socks consisting of the father, mother, two sons who were young men, two children and one or two others. They attacked the house of Jesse Bevier but the inmates being good marksmen and having plenty of ammunition succeeded in defending themselves until Col VanCortlandt came to their relief.
"As I was about marching from my encampment having called in my guard I discovered smokes rising from the village about six miles south and a lad sent from its vicinity informed me that the Indians were there burning and destroying. It was occasioned by two of my men deserting in the mountains when I received the order to return for they went to Brant and informed him that I was ordered away and he expected that I was gone. On my approach Brant ran off. He had about one hundred and fifty Indians and as I approached him he being on a hill and seeing me leaning against a pine tree waiting for the closing up of my men ordered a rifle Indian to kill me, but he overshot me, the ball passing three inches over my head." [Col Van Cortlandt's manuscript statement 1825]
"General while you were standing by a large tree during that battle how near to your head did a bullet come which struck a little above you?" The General paused for a moment and replied - "About two inches above my hat." Brant then related the circumstances. "I had remarked your activity in the battle" said he, "and calling one of my best marksmen pointed you out and directed him to bring you down. He fired and I saw you dodge your head at the instant I supposed the ball would strike. But as you did not fall, I told my warrior that he had just missed you and lodged the ball in the tree." Conversation between Brant and General Van Cortlandt -- [Stone's life of Brant II, 460] incorrectly located at the battle of Newtown.
May 1779 listing. Associated with Sullivan-Clinton Expedition.