Near Elmira in Chemung County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of Newtown
August 29, 1779
—The Major Battle of the Sullivan Campaign —
To protect the village of Newtown, about 600 Native American warriors, 200 loyalists, and a handful of British soldiers erected and camouflaged a half-mile-long breastwork of logs in the village overlooking a creek, hoping to surprise Sullivan's men as they advanced. Lookouts were posted atop the mountain behind the breastworks to attack Sullivan's army if the opportunity arose. Sullivan's scouts, however, detected the trap.
Sullivan sent two brigades under Generals Enoch Poor and James Clinton on a long, sweeping march to capture the mountain and cut off their enemies' retreat. Poor's men rushed to the summit, fired, and scattered the lookouts. Meanwhile, Sullivan's artillery and the threat of encirclement caused the loyalists and warriors to abandon the breastwork and withdraw to the mountain. Somewhere below the summit, they collided with the left wing of Poor's brigade in the battle's fiercest fighting. A running fight ensued for more than a mile along the mountain, as loyalists and Native Americans made their escape.
The enemy probably having intelligence of their approach, posted a number of troops on the top of a mountain, over which [Poor and Clinton] had to pass.
Journal of Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hubley, The Battle of Newtown, August 29, 1779
(Left Sidebar): Is the Park Part of
Since the battle's centennial in 1879, people have disagreed on the exact location of the battle's key events and whether any fighting took place near the present-day monument. Nobody knows for certain, but chances are good that it did. Sullivan and many of his officers described the route of Poor's and Clinton's brigades and the associated fighting as passing over the top, or summit, of a very large hill or mountain. Regardless, the top of the mountain has always been a key landmark in descriptions of the battle.
(Caption under map in upper left):
This sketch from the journal of Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hubley is the only period map of the battlefield. the "XXXX" marks near the summit of the mountain show the location of the Native American force, the yellow bar indicates one of Sullivan's brigades advancing towards the Native Americans in a column. The map also shows the breastworks and the encampment of Sullivan's brigades near the village of Newtown the night after the battle.
(Caption on map on right side):
Newtown's defenders included roughly 600 Seneca, Cayuga, and other Native American warriors; about 200 loyalist rangers; and a few red-coated British of the 8th Regiment from Fort Niagara. Major John Butler commanded his own rangers and acted as an adviser to the rest of his allies, making the overall direction of
This map of the Battle of Newtown, August 29, 1779, is based on a 1879 survey map by General John S. Clark, Auburn, N.Y.
Location. 42° 2.665′ N, 76° 43.97′ W. Marker is near Elmira, New York, in Chemung County. Marker is on Newtown Reservation Road. Click for map. Located at Newtown Battlefield Reservation State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Elmira NY 14901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fire on the Frontier - 1778 (here, next to this marker); The Sullivan Campaign (here, next to this marker); Newtown Battlefield State Park (a few steps from this marker); Divided Peoples (a few steps from this marker); Major General John Sullivan (within shouting distance of this marker); Flagstaffs - Newtown Battlefield (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Battle of Newtown (about 400 feet away); Newtown Battlefield Reservation (about 500 feet away); A Civil Rights Victory (about 700 feet away); Newtown (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Elmira.
Also see . . . Chemung Valley Living History Center. Additional information about the battle and battlefield. (Submitted on July 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Native Americans • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,438 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 9. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.