Three Rivers
Hudson~Mohawk~Schoharie
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

WAS FORT KLOCK EVER ATTACKED DURING THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE?

JAMES F. MORRISON

When I've been portraying a militiaman from the Third Battalion of Tryon County Militia for special programs such as student groups visiting, 4th of July etc. one of the most asked questions is "Was Fort Klock ever attacked during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION?". I always reply that there was a possibility of at least one instance when it may have been attacked.

The incident is believed to have had taken place on October 19, 1780 when Sir John Johnson with his forces of British Regulars, Loyalists troops and Indians where burning various settlements in the Mohawk Valley. Several small parties of Indians looking for easier prey broke off of Sir John's main force to raid and plunder on their own.

The following is quoted from "THE FRONTIERSMEN OF NEW YORK" by JEPTHA R. SIMMS, GEORGE C. RIGGS, PUBLISHER, 1883, VOL. II, p 383.

"It is difficult to locate all the prominent citizens of this vicinity in their own little castles. Next to Fort Hess seems to have been Fort Klock, a palisaded stone house then owned and occupied by John Klock, father of Adam Klock, which house is yet standing over a mile to the eastward of St. Johnsville. At a southeast upper window of this house, the widow of Peter Haner was standing on the day of Johnson's invasion, when a bullet, nearly spent, struck her head, and she sat down stunned but not seriously hurt. I am glad that this old landmark, which is a very ancient building, is allowed to remain."

Many people confuse the BATTLE OF KLOCK'S FIELD which was fought in the afternoon of OCTOBER 19, 1780 about one mile west of FORT KLOCK in the TOWN AND VILLAGE OF ST. JOHNSVILLE on present day ROUTE 5. The men from the TRYON COUNTY MILITIA usually refer to this battle in their pension claims as being fought on the KLOCK AND FAILING FLATS.

Sir John claims in his report also that the buildings etc. of COLONEL JACOB KLOCK which were adjacent to the flats were also used during the battle. There is a boulder with a plaque at the spot where Col. Klocks' home once stood just off of ROUTE 5 across from the town highway barn.

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