Oct 19, 1780 Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock’s Field.
An encounter between Albany County, New York militia and a British-supported expedition of Indians and Loyalists led by Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Johnson and Captain Joseph Brant.
As Sir John Johnson’s army marched up the Mohawk Valley, he split his force sending about one hundred Loyalists and Indians across the river to the north shore. Rebel Colonel John Brown, in command of Fort Paris near Stone Arabia, heard of this smaller force and decided to attack it with about four hundred men. Brown did not know that Sir John had just started to cross more of his army onto the north shore. At the time of the battle, Brown’s force of 400 was facing about 170 of Sir John’s army. Sir John’s forces turned Brown’s flanks and some forty Rebels were killed including Colonel Brown. The Rebels retreated back to Fort Paris.
Late in the day Brigadier General Robert Van Rensselaer commanding units of the rebel militia from central Albany County, New York and New York State Levies under the command of Colonels John Harper and Lewis DuBois, caught up with Johnson on a farm owned by George Klock in the easternmost portion of Lot 16 of the Francis Harrison Patent. A running battle ensued which lasted until the Loyalist forces were outflanked by the left column of Van Rensselaer’s force on the flatts of George Klock’s farm on Lot 17 of the Harrison Patent just to the south of the modern rock quarries of Hanson Aggregates about one and a half miles (2.4 km) west of Saint Johnsville. The fighting continued quite briskly until it became painfully apparent to General Van Rensselaer that his right and left flanks were firing upon one another and the General ordered his men to retreat to the house of George Klock near Timmerman’s Mill where they could be properly victualed and rested after having been on the march and in battle for approximately 26 hours with only a couple of hours rest. Becoming aware of Van Rensselaer’s cease-fire, Sir John and Brant ordered their men to cross the Mohawk River at King Hendrick’s Ford to avoid the necessity of approaching either Fort House on the west bank of the East Canada Creek or Fort Windecker [formerly known as Fort Hendrick] immediately opposite. During their precipitous escape, Johnson’s men were forced to abandon their cannon, their baggage, and most of the prisoners they had captured earlier.
The operation is significant not so much for the destruction or casualties, which were minimal on both sides, but rather for the sheer size of the contending forces. Johnson’s force turned out to be too large to sustain itself and overwhelmed its rudimentary logistics. On the other hand, Governor Clinton told Washington that this raid destroyed more than 150,000 bushels of grain and 200 homes, and deprived the Continental Army in the Hudson Highlands of food for the coming winter.
Source:Berry, A.J., A Time of Terror, The Story of Colonel Jacob Klock’s Regiment and the People they Protected, 2005
Roberts, Robert B. New York’s Forts in the Revolution. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1980.
Watt, Gavin, The Burning of the Valleys, 1997