The Raid on Unadilla and Onaquaga was a series of military operations by Continental Army forces and New York militia against the Iroquois towns of Unadilla and Onaquaga in what is now upstate New York. In early October 1778, more than 250 men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William Butler of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment descended on the two towns (which had been abandoned because of their advance) and destroyed them, razing most of the buildings and taking or destroying provisions. The raid was executed in retaliation for a series of raids on frontier communities led by Mohawk chief Joseph Brant and British-supported Loyalists during the spring and summer of 1778....
On October 2 Butler led a force of 267 men (214 Continentals and 53 state militia) from Fort Schoharie up the Schoharie valley toward the two villages. Late in the day on October 6 the force reached the Unadilla area. Butler sent scouting parties out to take prisoners from outlying farms. As the force cautiously advanced toward the town, one of the scouts returned with a prisoner who reported that the community had been abandoned, with most of the inhabitants fleeing to Onaquaga. Butler detached some of his men to destroy the town while he marched with the rest toward Onaquaga. They reached the town late on October 8, and found it abandoned also, apparently in great haste.
Butler and his men spent the next two days destroying the towns. Butler described Unadilla as "the finest Indian town I ever saw; on the both sides of the River there was about 40 good houses, Square logs, Shingles & stone Chimneys, good Floors, glass windows &c." All the homes were burned, as was the town's saw and grist mill, which was the only one in the area. Butler reported taking 49 horses and 52 head of cattle, and destroyed 4,000 bushels of grain. Operations were complicated by heavy rains that raised the water levels of the Susquehanna; Butler's men had to build rafts to cross some of the river's tributaries to reach parts of the town. By October 16 the expedition returned to Schoharie.
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