Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Battle of Oriskany
The Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777 was one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the American Revolutionary War and a significant engagement of the Saratoga campaign. An American party trying to relieve the siege of Fort Stanwix was ambushed by a party of Loyalists and allies of several American Indian tribes Iroquois; this was one of the few battles in the war in which all of the participants were American. The American relief force came from the Mohawk Valley under General Nicholas Herkimer and numbered around 800 men of the Tryon County militia plus a party of Oneida warriors. British commander Barry St. Leger authorized an intercept force consisting of a Hanau Jäger detachment, Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York, Indian allies from the Six Nations Mohawks and Senecas and other tribes to the north and west, Indian Department Rangers, totaling at least 450 men; the Loyalist and Indian force ambushed Herkimer's force in a small valley about six miles east of Fort Stanwix, near the village of Oriskany, New York.
Herkimer was mortally wounded, the battle cost the Patriots 450 casualties, while the Loyalists and Indians lost 150 dead and wounded. The result of the battle remains ambiguous; the apparent Loyalist victory was affected by a sortie from Fort Stanwix in which the Loyalist camps were sacked, damaging morale among the allied Indians. The battle marked the beginning of a civil war among the Iroquois, as Oneida warriors under Colonel Louis and Han Yerry allied with the American cause. Most of the other Iroquois tribes allied with the British the Mohawks and Senecas; each tribe was decentralized, there were internal divisions among bands of the Oneida, some of whom migrated to Canada as allies of the British. The site is known in Iroquois oral histories as "A Place of Great Sadness." The site has been designated by the United States as a National Historic Landmark. In June 1777, the British Army, under the command of General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, launched a two-pronged attack from Quebec. Burgoyne's objective was to split New England from the other colonies by gaining control of New York's Hudson Valley.
The main thrust came south across Lake Champlain under Burgoyne's command. St. Leger's expedition consisted of about 1,800 men, who were a mix of British regulars, Hessian Jägers from Hanau, Indians of several tribes, including the Mohawk and Seneca of the Iroquois, Rangers, they traveled up the Saint Lawrence River and along the shore of Lake Ontario to the Oswego River, which they ascended to reach the Oneida Carry. They began to besiege a Continental Army post guarding the portage. Alerted to the possibility of a British attack along the Mohawk River, Nicholas Herkimer, the head of Tryon County's Committee of Safety, issued a proclamation on July 17 warning of possible military activity and urging the people to respond if needed. Warned by friendly Oneidas on July 30 that the British were just four days from Fort Stanwix, Herkimer put out a call-to-arms; the force raised totaled 800 from the Tryon County militia. Setting out on August 4, the column camped near the Oneida village of Oriska on August 5.
While a number of the militia dropped out of the column due to their lack of conditioning, Herkimer's forces were augmented by a company of 60 to 100 Oneida warriors, led by Han Yerry, a strong supporter of the Patriot cause. That evening, Herkimer sent three men toward the fort with messages for the fort's commander, Colonel Peter Gansevoort. Gansevoort was to signal the receipt of the message with three cannon shots, sortie to meet the approaching column. Due to difficulties in penetrating the British lines, these couriers did not deliver the message until late the next morning, after the battle was underway. St. Leger learned on August 5 from a messenger sent by Molly Brant to her brother Joseph Brant, the Mohawk leader who led a portion of St. Leger's Indian contingent, that Herkimer and his relief expedition were on their way. St. Leger sent a detachment of light infantry from Sir John Johnson's Royal Yorkers toward the position that evening to monitor Herkimer's position, Brant followed early the next morning with about 400 Indians and Butler's Rangers.
Although many of the Indians were armed with muskets, some were not, only carried tomahawk and spear. On the morning of August 6, Herkimer held a war council. Since his force had not yet heard the expected signal from the fort, he wanted to wait. However, his captains pressed him to continue, accusing Herkimer of being a Tory because his brother was serving under St. Leger. Stung by these accusations, Herkimer ordered the column to march on toward Stanwix. About six miles from the fort, the road dipped more than fifty feet into a marshy ravine, where a stream about three feet wide meandered along the bottom. Sayenqueraghta and Cornplanter, two Seneca war chiefs, chose this place to set up an ambush. While the King's Royal Yorkers waited behind a nearby rise, the Indians concealed themselves on both sides of the ravine; the plan was for the Yorkers to stop the head of the column, after which the Indians would attack the extended column. At about 10 am, Herkimer's
John Ross (1744–1809)
John Ross was a British Army officer in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. He is best known for commanding a mixed force of 600 regulars and Indians in a raid into upstate New York on October 24, 1781 that culminated in the Battle of Johnstown, one of the last battles in the northern theater of the American Revolution. After the war, Ross was instrumental in settling Loyalist refugees in what is now the Kingston area of eastern Ontario. Ross was born in Scotland in 1744, he was commissioned lieutenant in the 34th Regiment of Foot in July, 1762, was present for the capture of Havana that year and went on to garrison West Florida. In 1764, following the conclusion of the French and Indian War he was sent to the Illinois Country as an emissary to the French Commander at Fort de Chartres. On this trip he mapped the Mississippi Valley from New Orleans to de Chartres, he was promoted to captain in March, 1772. In 1780 Ross was given the temporary rank of major to organize the second battalion of the King's Royal Regiment of New York at Lachine, Quebec.
That year the second battalion was sent to occupy and fortify Carleton Island in New York's Thousand Islands. In October 1781 Ross led a force of troops from his garrison and from Fort Niagara in a raid on the Mohawk Valley by way of Oswego and Oneida Lake; the American forces repelled the British. On his return to Carleton Island Ross built Fort Haldimand. In 1782 he led a force which occupied rebuilt Fort Ontario. In 1783 Ross, was assigned to Cataraqui, now Kingston, Ontario to arrange the resettlement of Loyalist refugees in the Cataraqui area. To help with this assignment Ross brought with him 25 officers and 422 men, most of whom belonged to the Royal Yorkers, he rebuilt and repaired the old French fort to enable the establishment of a garrison, built grist and saw mills, established a navy yard, assisted with the allotment of land and supplies. Ross recommended that the land on which the Loyalists were settling should be purchased from the Mississaugas. Since local concerns were administered by the military, Ross was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1784 to better enable him to deal with civilian problems among the settlers.
Because of Ross's significance in establishing the Cataraqui settlement, It has been said that "He, rather than Michael Grass... should be called the'founder of Kingston.'" It is believed he married a sister of Captain John McDonell of Butler’s Rangers. In 1785 Ross returned to England to care for his aged father, he was promoted major in the 34th Foot on May 20, 1785. He returned to Canada in 1786 and was arrested based accusations by his second in command at Cataraqui. Ross was exonerated and put in command of the 34th Foot in Montreal in August, 1786; the regiment returned to England in 1787. Ross sold his commission, he re-entered service during the Napoleonic wars and at some point was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. Ross transferred to the Coldstream Guards and was killed at the Battle of Talavera in Spain in July 1809 during the Peninsular War. Notes Bibliography
Butler's Rangers was a Loyalist, British provincial military unit of the American Revolutionary War, raised by Loyalist John Butler. Most members of the regiment were Loyalists from upstate New York. Among the Rangers was a body of African American former slaves, the total number of their presence in Butler's Rangers is unknown, with estimates ranging from two to "more than a dozen". While some served in other Loyalist units and as sappers in the Engineer Corps and Royal Artillery, Sir William Howe prohibited their enlistment in the British Army, ordered the disbandment of existing black regiments; the Rangers were accused of participating in — or at least failing to prevent — the Wyoming Valley massacre of July 1778 and the Cherry Valley massacre of November 1778 of European settlers by Iroquois forces under the command of Joseph Brant. These actions earned, they fought principally in Western New York and Pennsylvania, but ranged as far west as Ohio and Michigan and as far south as Virginia.
Their winter quarters were constructed on the west bank of the Niagara River, in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Although the building that houses The Lincoln and Welland Regiment Museum, in that community was traditionally known as "Butler's Barracks", it is not the original barracks and never housed Butler's Rangers, it was built in the years following the War of 1812 to house the Indian Department, received the name because Butler had been a Deputy Superintendent in that department. Similar to other Loyalist regiments that fought for the British Crown during the American Revolution, for example the King's Royal Regiment of New York, or Jessup's Loyal Rangers, Butler's Rangers were made up of American Loyalist refugees who had fled to Canada, following the outbreak of the American Revolution. John Butler was a French and Indian War veteran-turned landowner with a 26,000 acre estate near Caughnawaga in the Mohawk Valley. However, on the outbreak of American Revolutionary War, Butler abandoned these landholdings and fled to Canada in the company of other Loyalist leaders, such as the Iroquois chief, Joseph Brant.
John Butler served as a deputy to Guy Johnson, himself a loyalist from the Mohawk Valley who led mixed anti-Republican First Nations and loyalist militias. During the Saratoga Campaign Lieutenant Colonel Butler distinguished himself at the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777; as a result, he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and allowed to raise his own British provincial regiment. This military group would come to be known as Butler's Rangers; the regimental company commanders of Butler's Rangers, 1777–1784, were: Captain Andrew Bradt Captain Walter Butler Captain William Caldwell, victor at the Battle of Sandusky and the Battle of Blue Licks Captain George Dame Captain Bernard Frey Captain Lewis Geneway Captain Peter Hare Captain John McDonell Captain John McKinnon Captain Benjamin Pawling Captain Peter Ten Broeck Captain Andrew Thompson There is an historical debate as to what the Butler's Ranger uniform looked like. Variation A Their uniforms consisted of a green woolen coat faced white and a white woolen waistcoat.
Their pant garment was gaitered trousers made from a hemp product. Their hats were round hats, useful in shielding their faces from the sun; when in garrison or on parade, they could bring up the leaves of that hat to form a cocked hat. Their belting was black. Variation B Dark green coats faced with scarlet and lined with the same, a waistcoat of green cloth, Buckskin Indian leggings reaching from the ankle to the waist...their caps were skull caps of black jacket leather or turned up felt with a black cockade on the left side. Their belts were of buff leather and crossed at the breast where they were held in place by a brass plate marked in the same manner and with the same words as the cap plate; this version is based on supposition rather than primary source materials. They used both the Long-Land and Short-Land forms of the Brown Bess musket. A mix of other firearms may have been used but would have created a supply issue due to calibre variations. Butler's Rangers were disbanded in June 1784, its veterans were given land grants in the Nassau District, now the Niagara region of Ontario, as a reward for their services to the British Crown.
In 1788 the Nassau Militia was formed with John Butler as its Commander, filling its ranks with the demobilized officers and men of Butler's Rangers. In 1792 the Nassau District was changed to the county of Lincoln and the name of the militia changed to Lincoln Militia by 1793, it was the Lincoln Militia who fought in the War of 1812. This regiment exists today, following a splitting of Lincoln county into the counties of Lincoln and Welland in 1845, as The Lincoln and Welland Regiment, a primary reserve regiment of the Canadian Forces, based out of St. Catharines, Ontario. Richard Pierpoint Butler's Rangers, The Revolutionary Period by E. A. Cruikshank, published by the Lundy's Lane Historical Society, 1893, fourth reprint edition includes: A Nominal Roll of Butler's Rangers compiled by Lieutenant Colonel William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE An account of the most significant actions of Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution can be found in: Williams, Glenn F. Year of the Hangman: George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois.
Yardley: Westholme Publishing, 2005 and in. Brick, The King's Rangers, 1954 References to this war are described in the novel "Zach" by William Bell Miller, Orlo, "Raiders of the Mohawk," 1966; the Story of Butler's Rangers. A romanticized account based on the true life experiences of Daniel Springer, who served
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men at the time. They were opposed by the Patriots, who supported the revolution, called them "persons inimical to the liberties of America". Prominent Loyalists assured the British government that many thousands of them would spring to arms and fight for the crown; the British government acted in expectation of that in the southern campaigns in 1780-81. In practice, the number of Loyalists in military service was far lower than expected since Britain could not protect them except in those areas where Britain had military control; the British were suspicious of them, not knowing whom they could trust in such a conflicted situation. Patriots watched suspected Loyalists closely and would not tolerate any organized Loyalist opposition. Many outspoken or militarily active Loyalists were forced to flee to their stronghold of New York City. William Franklin, the royal governor of New Jersey and son of Patriot leader Benjamin Franklin, became the leader of the Loyalists after his release from a Patriot prison in 1778.
He worked to build Loyalist military units to fight in the war, but the number of volunteers was much fewer than London expected. When their cause was defeated, about 15 percent of the Loyalists fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America; the southern Loyalists moved to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, to British Caribbean possessions bringing along their slaves. Northern Loyalists migrated to Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, they called themselves United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Loyalists who left the US received £3 million or about 37 percent of their losses from the British government. Loyalists who stayed in the US were able to retain their property and become American citizens. Historians have estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the two million whites in the colonies in 1775 were Loyalists. Families were divided during the American Revolution, many felt themselves to be both American and British, still owing a loyalty to the mother country.
Maryland lawyer Daniel Dulaney the Younger opposed taxation without representation but would not break his oath to the King or take up arms against him. He wrote: "There may be a time. Till I shall recommend a legal and prudent resentment". Most Americans hoped for a peaceful reconciliation but were forced to choose sides by the Patriots who took control nearly everywhere in the Thirteen Colonies in 1775-76. Yale historian Leonard Woods Larabee has identified eight characteristics of the Loyalists that made them conservative and loyal to the king and Britain: They were older, better established, resisted radical change They felt that rebellion against the Crown—the legitimate government—was morally wrong, they were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering. They wanted to take a middle-of-the road position and were angry when forced by the Patriots to declare their opposition, they had a long-standing sentimental attachment to Britain.
They wanted to postpone the moment. They were afraid that chaos and mob rule would result; some were pessimists. Others recalled the dreadful experiences of many Jacobite rebels after the failure of the last Jacobite rebellion as as 1745 who lost their lands when the Hanoverian government won. Other motives of the Loyalists included: They felt a need for order and believed that Parliament was the legitimate authority. In New York, powerful families had assembled colony-wide coalitions of supporters, Men long associated with the French Huguenot/Dutch De Lancey faction went along when its leadership decided to support the crown, they felt themselves to be weak or threatened within American society and in need of an outside defender such as the British Crown and Parliament. They had been promised freedom from slavery by the British, they felt that being a part of the British Empire was crucial in terms of commerce and their business operations. In the opening months of the Revolutionary War, the Patriots laid siege to Boston, where most of the British forces were stationed.
Elsewhere there were few British troops and the Patriots seized control of all levels of government, as well as supplies of arms and gunpowder. Vocal Loyalists recruited people to their side with the encouragement and assistance of royal governors. In the South Carolina back country, Loyalist recruitment oustripped that of Patriots. A brief siege at Ninety Six, South Carolina in the fall of 1775 was followed by a rapid rise in Patriot recruiting, a Snow Campaign involving thousands of partisan militia resulted in the arrest or flight of most of the back country Loyalist leadership. North Carolina back country Scots and former Regulators joined forces in early 1776, but they were broken as a force at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. By July 4, 1776, the Patriots had gained control of all territory in the Thirteen Colonies and expelled all royal officials. No one who proclaimed their loyalty to the Crown was allowed to remain, so Loyalists fled or kept quiet; some of those who remained gave aid to invading British armies or joined uniformed Loyalist regiments.
Cherry Valley massacre
The Cherry Valley massacre was an attack by British and Iroquois forces on a fort and the village of Cherry Valley in eastern New York on November 11, 1778, during the American Revolutionary War. It has been described as one of the most horrific frontier massacres of the war. A mixed force of Loyalists, British soldiers and Mohawks descended on Cherry Valley, whose defenders, despite warnings, were unprepared for the attack. During the raid, the Seneca in particular targeted non-combatants, reports state that 30 such individuals were slain, in addition to a number of armed defenders; the raiders were under the overall command of Walter Butler, who exercised little authority over the Indians on the expedition. Historian Barbara Graymont describes Butler's command of the expedition as "criminally incompetent"; the Seneca were angered by accusations that they had committed atrocities at the Battle of Wyoming, the colonists' recent destruction of their forward bases of operation at Unadilla and Tioga.
Butler's authority with the Indians was undermined by his poor treatment of Joseph Brant, the leader of the Mohawks. Butler maintained, against accusations that he permitted the atrocities to take place, that he was powerless to restrain the Seneca. During the campaigns of 1778, Brant achieved an undeserved reputation for brutality, he was not present at Wyoming — although many thought he was — and he sought to minimize the atrocities that took place at Cherry Valley. Diaries belonging to British soldiers during the campaign state the regiment as being the butchers and given that Butler was the overall commander of the expedition, there is controversy as to who ordered or failed to restrain the killings; the massacre contributed to calls for reprisals, leading to the 1779 Sullivan Expedition which drove the Iroquois out of western New York. With the failure of British General John Burgoyne's campaign to the Hudson after the Battles of Saratoga in October 1777, the American Revolutionary War in upstate New York became a frontier war.
The Mohawk Valley was targeted for its fertile soil and large supply of crops farmers were supplying Patriot troops. British leaders in the Province of Quebec supported Loyalist and Native American partisan fighters with supplies and armaments. During the winter of 1777–78, Joseph Brant and other British-allied Indians developed plans to attack frontier settlements in New York and Pennsylvania. In February 1778 Brant established a base of operations at Onaquaga, he recruited a mix of Iroquois and Loyalists estimated to number between two and three hundred by the time he began his campaign in May. One of his objectives was to acquire provisions for his forces and those of John Butler, planning operations in the Susquehanna River valley. Brant began his campaign in late May with a raid on Cobleskill, raided other frontier communities throughout the summer; the local militia and Continental Army units defending the area were ineffective against the raiders, who escaped from the scene of a raid before defenders arrived in force.
After Brant and some of Butler's Rangers attacked German Flatts in September, the Americans organized a punitive expedition that destroyed the villages of Unadilla and Onaquaga in early October. While Brant was active in the Mohawk valley, Butler descended with a large mixed force and raided the Wyoming Valley of northern Pennsylvania in early July; this action complicated affairs, for the Senecas in Butler's force were accused of massacring noncombatants, a number of Patriot militia violated their parole not long afterward, participating in a reprisal expedition against Tioga. The lurid propaganda associated with the accusations against the Seneca in particular angered them, as did the destruction of Unadilla and Tioga; the Wyoming Valley attack though Brant was not present, fueled among his opponents the view of him as a brutal opponent. Brant joined forces with Captain Walter Butler, leading two companies of Butler's Rangers commanded by Captains John McDonell and William Caldwell for an attack on the major Schoharie Creek settlement of Cherry Valley.
Butler's forces included 300 Senecas led by either Cornplanter or Sayenqueraghta, 50 British Army soldiers from the 8th Regiment of Foot. As the force moved toward Cherry Valley and Brant quarreled over Brant's recruitment of Loyalists. Butler was unhappy at Brant's successes in this sphere, threatened to withhold provisions from Brant's Loyalist volunteers. Ninety of them ended up leaving the expedition, Brant himself was on the verge of doing so when his Indian supporters convinced him to stay; the dispute did not sit well with the Indian forces, may have undermined Butler's tenuous authority over them. Cherry Valley had a palisaded fort, it was garrisoned by 300 soldiers of the 7th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army commanded by Colonel Ichabod Alden. Alden and his command staff were alerted by November 8 through Oneida spies that the Butler–Brant force was moving against Cherry Valley. However, he failed to take elementary precautions, continuing to occupy a headquarters some 400 yards from the fort.
Butler's force arrived near Cherry Valley late on November 10, established a cold camp to avoid detection. Reconnaissance of the town identified the weaknesses of Alden's arrangements, the raiders decided to send one force against Alden's headquarters and another against the fort. Butler extracted promises from the Indians in the party that they would not harm noncombatants in a council held that night; the att
John Butler (pioneer)
John Butler was a Loyalist who led an irregular militia unit known as Butler's Rangers on the northern frontier in New York during the American Revolutionary War. Born in Connecticut, he moved to New York with his family, where he learned several Iroquoian languages and worked as an interpreter in the fur trade, he was well-equipped to work with Mohawk and other Iroquois Confederacy warriors who became allies of the British during the rebellion. During the War, Butler led Cayuga forces in the Saratoga campaign in New York, he raised and commanded a regiment of rangers, which included affiliated Mohawk and other Iroquois nations' warriors. They conducted raids in central New York west of Albany, including what became known among the rebels as the Cherry Valley Massacre. After the war Butler resettled in Upper Canada, where he was given a grant of land by the Crown for his services. Butler continued his leadership in the developing province, helping to found the Anglican Church and Masonic Order, serving in public office.
John Butler was born to Walter Butler and Deborah Dennison, née Ely, in New London, Connecticut in 1728. In 1742, his father moved the family to Fort Hunter on the frontier in the Mohawk Valley near the modern village of Fonda, New York. In 1752, John Butler married Catharine Bradt, of Dutch ancestry; the couple raised five children. Having learned several Iroquois and other Indian languages, Butler was employed as an interpreter in the lucrative fur trade. In 1755, John Butler was appointed to the rank of Captain in the Indian Department of the British colonial government, he served in the French and Indian War under Sir William Johnson. In 1758, he saw action with James Abercromby at Fort Ticonderoga and John Bradstreet at the Battle of Fort Frontenac. In 1759, he was made second in command of the Indians with Johnson at the Battle of Fort Niagara. In 1760, he continued as a second in command of the Indians in Jeffery Amherst's force at Montreal. After the war Butler returned to the Mohawk Valley in New York.
He acquired more land, building an estate of 26,000 acres at Butlersbury near the major Mohawk village of Caughnawaga. He was second only to Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, as a wealthy frontier land owner, worked under Johnson for the British. Butler was appointed a judge in the Tryon County court and was commissioned Lt.-Colonel of Guy Johnson's regiment of Tryon County militia. Butler was elected as one of the two members representing Tryon County in the New York assembly. John Butler returned to service, as a Loyalist, when the American Revolution turned to war in 1775. In May 1775, he left for Canada in the company of Daniel Claus, Walter Butler, Hon Yost Schuyler and Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader. On July 7, they in August, Montreal. Butler participated in the defense of Montreal against an attack led by Ethan Allen. In November, Carleton sent him to Fort Niagara with instructions to keep the Indians neutral, his oldest son, Walter Butler served with him, but his wife and other children were detained by the American rebels.
In March 1777, John Butler sent a party of about 100 allied Indians to Montreal to force the Americans out of Quebec. In May, Butler received instructions to use a warrior party of the Six Nations in an attack on New York. On June 5 he received instructions to send as many Indians as he could to Fort Oswego for an attack on Fort Stanwix as a part of the Saratoga campaign, he was put second in command of the Indians warriors of bands of four nations of the Iroquois, under Daniel Claus. John Butler led the Indians and a small number of Loyalists, in a successful ambush, of rebel militia and Oneida warriors in the Battle of Oriskany; as a result, after this expedition he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and given authority to raise his own regiment, which became known as Butler's Rangers with a strength of eight companies. He traveled back to Fort Niagara, completed recruiting the first company in December. In July 1778, John Butler led his rangers and Iroquois allies at the Battle of Wyoming, in which he defeated Zebulon Butler and took Forty Fort.
The Patriots suffered heavy losses, after the battle Butler's Rangers burned many of the colonists' homes in the area. The battle was referred to as the Wyoming Valley massacre because some of the victorious Loyalists and Iroquois were said to have executed and scalped prisoners and fleeing enemy soldiers; that year, after the burning of Tioga, his son Captain Walter Butler led two companies of rangers and 300 Iroquois warriors in a raid, referred to as the Cherry Valley massacre. The name of Butler was thereafter anathema to the rebels. John Butler's unit of rangers was spread, through frontier outposts, from Niagara to Illinois County, Virginia. Butler commanded his rangers from his headquarters of Fort Niagara. In 1779, he was defeated, by the Sullivan Expedition, at the Battle of Newtown, withdrew to Fort Niagara. At the end of the Revolution, John Butler was given a land grant in the Niagara region by the Crown for his services during the war and as compensation for his property in New York having been confiscated.
He developed it for agriculture. He became one of the political leaders of Upper Canada called Ontario, he was appointed as a Deputy Superintendent for the Indian Department, a Justice of the Peace, the local militia commander. He was prominent in establishing the Anglican Church and Masonic Order in Ontario. Butler died, at his home, at age 68 in Niagara, Upper Canada, British Canada, now Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, on May 12, 1796, his wife had died three years before. Butler was survived by daughter. John Butl