“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wyalusing in Bradford County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Battle of Lime Hill

The Battle of Lime Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, October 13, 2015
1. The Battle of Lime Hill Marker
Inscription.  The Lime Hill Battlefield, April 14th, 1782. Several hundred yards south west and in front of this marker, a rescue party of eight Patriot men ambushed a war party of thirteen Iroquois Indians who were marching five captives, Mrs. Roswell Franklin and her four children, back to their villages in the Finger Lake region of New York and Canada. The ensuing gun battle between the Indians and the Whites lasted many hours. In front of you, for a short distance in between two 90 degree turns, the township road follows the course of the Great Warriors Path that had been used by Indians for centuries as the main road through the area. In 1779, Sullivan’s 3,500 men, 1200 packhorses and 800 beef cattle widened the Indian path to the status of crude road. Except for the Sullivan Road following the Indian path and a few natural clearings around the springs and wetlands, the whole area would have been covered by mature hardwood forest.

The Battle: Joseph Eliot describes the action “About 10:00 AM in the morning, they were seen on the path at a distance from us, appearing to proceed with caution, and one of them considerably in advance. We

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lay closely concealed and reserved our fire until they were quite near and we released a volley on them. The one in advance fell dead.” After initially falling back, each of the Indians “Took his firelock to his left hand and his tomahawk in his right, (and) rushed toward us. We again reserved our fire until they were near and then discharged upon them, some of them fell and then gave back.” The rescue party pursued only to be driven back in turn. The action seesawed back and forth until afternoon as the Indians unsuccessfully tried to dislodge the rescue party who had blocked the trail toward home and safety for them. Late in the day, with a number killed or wounded, the Indians were forced to abandon the captives and retreat from the battlefield prior to their withdrawal. Mrs. Franklin was shot and killed and baby Icabod, was taken by the Indians and never to be seen again. The other captives might have been killed as well, except Joseph Elliot killed one of the Indians. (The one that killed Mrs. Franklin, according to his account.)

The Captives: Roswell Franklin’s wife, Jerusha and children Olive, age 13, Susannah, age 11, Stephen, age 4, and Icabod, age 1 1/2 , were taken from their home in Hanover Township between Nanitcoke and Wilkes-Barre on Sunday April 8th 1782 by hostile Indians, who burned their home behind them and marched the Franklin

The map on The Battle of Lime Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, October 13, 2015
2. The map on The Battle of Lime Hill Marker
(Inscription below the map) John Biles had studied the first hand accounts, located the Great Warrior Path and Sullivan trail, walked the field with historian Reverend David Craft and one of the rescuers, Sergeant Baldwin’s grandson and was able to pinpoint the battlefield. With out this map, we could probably never have learned exactly where the battle occurred.
family toward Canada. Roswell raised the alarm when he returned from searching for a lost pig, finding his home in flames and family as captives.

The Rescue Party: The rescue party of eight was led by Sgt. Thomas Baldwin, and included Joseph Elliot, John Swift, Oliver Bennett, Watson Baldwin, Gideon Dudley, Mr. Cook and Mr. Taylor. Most had been with Sullivan’s army and were acquainted with the country. Joseph Elliot was already a hero having escaped from the defeat at Wyoming, swimming the river with a bullet in his back. He had also fought with Washington’s Army at Trenton and Princeton.

The Indians: Thirteen Iroquois Indians, from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. General Sullivan’s army had burned all the major hostile Indian towns in the Iroquois territory in reprisal for British, Tory and Indian attacks on American settlements such as Wyoming. After the Sullivan Campaign, the Indians continued to raid white settlements and families such as the Roswell Franklin family.

The pursuit and the ambush is set: The rescue party hurriedly left the fort at Wilkes-Barre. Presuming the Indians were headed up the Great Warrior Trial to New York State, they took short cuts and got ahead of the Indians. They proceeded up the Sullivan Trail to Lime Hill where the rescue party choose to set up their ambush. On the ridge in front of and to the right

The Battle of Lime Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, October 13, 2015
3. The Battle of Lime Hill Marker
of the marker, they built a crude breast work of fallen trees overlooking the trail/road and camouflaged it with branches. They concealed themselves and waited for the Indians to appear. They hoped to spring an ambush for the Indian war party that would free the captive Franklin family. Here they waited for the Indians for two days from Thursday afternoon until Saturday.

The rescue of the children: The remaining children started off through the woods toward the rescue party when they heard a friendly voice say, “Run dear souls run” and the children ran into the lines of the rescue party.

The Aftermath: The rescue party waited until almost sunset to make sure the Indians were gone. They went forward to find the bodies of five-six Indians and poor Mrs. Franklin. They hurriedly buried Mrs. Franklin, probably scalped the dead Indians and recovered their weapons and packs. The rescue party suffered only town wounded men. Mrs. Franklin was dead and Icobod was missing, presumed dead. After dark, the rescue party and three surviving children, made their way down the Dunn Run gorge to the river, making sure the Indians were gone. They built a raft and floated down to Wilkes-Barre where the children were reunited with their father, Roswell Franklin. This was the last action of the Revolutionary War in what is now Bradford County.
Erected by

The Battle of Lime Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, October 13, 2015
4. The Battle of Lime Hill Marker
Bradford County Room Tax and Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, also members of the Wyalusing Community Corporation.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWar, US RevolutionaryWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the The Sullivan-Clinton Expedition Against the Iroquois Indians series list.
Location. 41° 43.403′ N, 76° 17.454′ W. Marker is in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, in Bradford County. Memorial is on Grand Army of the Republic Hwy (US 6). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wyalusing PA 18853, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lime Hill (here, next to this marker); Limehill Battlefield / Joseph Elliott (here, next to this marker); Camptown Races (approx. 0.3 miles away); Azilum (approx. 0.6 miles away); Asylum (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Asylum (approx. 1.4 miles away); Warriors Path (approx. 2.4 miles away); Landscapes of Conservation (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wyalusing.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,123 times since then and 210 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 11, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 3, 2023