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Timothy Murphy: Frontier Rifleman

Saratoga Little is known of Timothy Murphy's early life. Born in 1751 near the Delaware Water Gap to parents who had only recently immigrated from County Donegal, Ireland, when he was eight his family moved to Shamokin Flats (now Sunbury) in Pennsylvania. Some years after that he was apprenticed to the Van Campen family, and with them relocated to the Wyoming Valley frontier.

This country has been made by Timothy Murphys, the men in the ranks. Conditions here called for the qualities of the heart and head that Tim Murphy had in abundance. Our histories should tell us more of the men in the ranks, for it was to them, more than to the generals, that we were indebted for our military victories

The Defense
of the Middle Fort

In Late September, 1780, Colonel Sir John Johnson departed Niagara with a mixed force of British Regulars, Provincial troops, Hessians, and Indians. His objective: a major supplier of wheat to the Continental Army, the Schoharie Valley. By the night of 16 October, his forces increased in transit by additional Tories and Indians to between 750 to 1000 effectives, he stood poised to sweep down on the valley.

Middle Fort circa 1780
The Middle Fort, near present day Middleburgh, NY as it likely appeared in 1780

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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 19, 2008
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/articles/murphy.htm

 
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