WYOMING MASSACRE. On 2 July 1778 Patriot forces under the command of Zebulon Butler tried to launch a surprise attack against approximately 1,100 British soldiers and their Seneca allies who had moved down the Susquehanna River valley to prevent the expulsion of loyalists from the area near modern Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, Seneca scouts detected the advance, and the patriots were scattered. Only 60 of the more than 350 patriot troops managed to return to their base; Zebulon Butler and a small group fled the area entirely. Patriot leaders insisted afterward that British brutality and the savagery of their Indian allies had played a crucial role in the defeat. It was one of many confrontations where loyalist and patriot sentiment was mixed with concerns for secure land title and racial hatred.
Mancall, Peter. Valley of Opportunity: Economic Culture Along the Upper Susquehannah, 1700–1800. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1991.
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