Democrat Photo by Mercedes Manzolillo
ANTHONY DOMINGO, LEFT, Louise Domingo, center, and Jim Devore dress up in period garb of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods at the Commemoration of the Battle of Minisink on July 20. According to Devore, they do re-enactments for school groups and other organizations. They are also members of the Navasing Long Rifles.
224 Years Later,
By Mercedes Manzolillo
MINISINK FORD July 22, 2003 On July 22, 1779, the Battle of Minisink went down in history as one of the more important events in the Revolutionary War.
Forty-six militiamen from this area were killed after a battle with Indian chief Joseph Brant, who led a group of Indians and Tories into Port Jervis on a pillaging mission. Local militia from New York and New Jersey gave chase and caught up with Brant on July 22, but they were outnumbered.
After a battle that lasted several hours in the hot sun, Brant and his men killed any militia members who could not escape.
That massacre, and the men who fought and died during it, was remembered on Sunday afternoon at the Commemoration of the Battle of Minisink the 224th Anniversary of the Minisink Raid at the Minisink Battleground Park in Minisink Ford.
Re-enactors at the ceremony dressed up in period costume and had tents set up illustrating what life was like during the colonial and Revolutionary times.
John Conway, Sullivan County historian, said there is one thing that is not in the history books about the battle: the men who died on that hilltop in Minisink were left there and forgotten. It wasnt until 43 years later that the bones were collected and brought back home to be buried.
And they havent been forgotten since.
Reverend Richard Holtzer led the invocation and the benediction and prayers for the dead militia men.
Sandra Schultz, the assistant superintendent for the National Park Services Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, also spoke at the ceremony.
Its so wonderful to have this place of history, said Schultz.
She also laid a memorial wreath at the monument for the men who died, as well as for the late Assemblyman Jake Gunther, who passed away earlier this month.
Eric Nystrom, the director of the county Veterans Service Agency, spoke, as well.
There was a purpose for these military battles it was freedom, said Nystrom.
And theres a purpose in remembering, he continued.
Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance, he said.
The recitation of the Americans Creed was led by Mary Madison, regent of the Beaverkill Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). Nancy Madison, also from the NSDAR, laid a memorial wreath at the monument on the hilltop dedicated to the men who died in battle.
Afterwards, Anthony Domingo, William Gronwald, John Masten, and Laurie Ramie recited the names of all 46 men who died at Minisink.
The Presentation of Colors and the Military Memorial was led by the Navasing Long Rifles, Sylvan Liebla Post #1363, the American Legion in the Town of Highland, Tusten-Highland Post #6427, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by George Ardito, the director of the Sullivan County Historical Society.
The commemoration was sponsored by the Sullivan County Historical Society, the NSDAR, the Upper Delaware Heritage Alliance, and the Navasing Long Rifles, the re-enactment group.