Middle Fort (1777-1783) - A Patriot Revolutionary War Fort established in 1777 along Schoharie Creek near present day Middleburgh, Schoharie County, New York. Abandoned circa 1783. Also known as Fort Defiance.
History of Middle Fort
Established on 13 Aug 1777 as a Patriot Revolutionary War defense to protect Schoharie Valley settlers at present day Middleburgh from Loyalist and Indian raiding parties. Constructed as a palisaded defense with two armed blockhouses, one each in the northeast and southwest corners. Two internal barracks framed the front gate.
Two major raids were conducted against the Middle Fort. The first raid came on 9 Aug 1780 led by the Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant with a party of some 80 Indians and six Loyalists. The raiding party was unsuccessful in taking the fort but set fire to dwellings, killed 3 settlers and carried off 11 prisoners, all from the Vrooman family.
The second raid on 17 Oct 1780 was much larger, with the raiding party numbering some 800 Loyalists and Indians, led by Loyalist Sir John Johnson. This large force descended on the Middle Fort which was garrisoned with about 200 Continental soldiers and militia men. The commander of the fort, Major Melancthon Woolsey, attempted to arrange surrender terms but one of his own men, Timothy Murphy, twice fired upon the white flag bearing truce party and thwarted the attempt, he knowing that surrender probably meant death. Major Woolsey was replaced by Colonel Peter Vrooman who ably directed the defense of the fort. Sir Johnson abandoned the seige that afternoon and the raiding party moved up the valley destroying everything in their path.
The fort was abandoned at the end of the war in 1783.
No remains, small marker.