The American Revolutionary War Round-Table of Upstate NY and Siena College’s McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution are set to present Amateurs Talk About Tactics, but Professionals Study Logistics: Supplying the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 by Robert Mulligan, on Thursday, May 9th.
In 1779 George Washington sent a quarter of the Continental Army into the Iroquoian lands of Central New York to destroy the towns and crops, and to capture hostages to secure the good behavior of the Iroquois. Over 40 towns were destroyed, and thousands of acres of cropland laid waste before the harvest. Since no hostages were taken, the enraged Iroquois warriors were free to raid the frontiers of New York and Pennsylvania.
To explain the expedition’s failure, a scapegoat was needed. The lack of supplies, and the lateness of their arrival, was given as the reason for the failure of the expedition. Was this in fact true? Using the papers of Commissary General of Issues Charles Stewart, held at the library of the New York State Historical Association, as well as the many other published accounts of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, this talk reviews the considerable difficulties faced by the Army in mounting and conducting the expedition.
Robert E. Mulligan, Jr. graduated from SUNY Albany, and the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. He began his career as Curator of Fort Ticonderoga, and then for a quarter century was Associate Curator of Military History at the New York State Museum.
The event starts at 6:30 pm with time for socializing and networking followed by the program at 7 pm. The event will be held at Siena College, 515 Loudon Rd, Albany, in the Roger Bacon Building, Room 202, also known as Key Auditorium. Parking is free, park in Lots L, F or G.
Light refreshments will be served after the presentation. There will also be a book sale – cash, check or credit cards are accepted. To register, provide your names(s), telephone number in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (518) 774-5669.
Image of Route of the Sullivan Campaign courtesy Chemung County Historical Society.