Revolutionary War
in the Minisink Area

Benjamin Ennis,
son of William Ennis
(8th generation)

Benjamin Ennis was born April 25, 1743 and baptized May 3, 1743, the son of William Ennis and Elizabeth Quick.

Before the war, Benjamin Ennis was a farmer. During the American Revolution he served as a lieutenant. It was interesting to learn how he died during the war.

The British hired Brandt, a renegade, to lead the Indians in attacks on the Colonists. The British paid the Indians for all the scalps they could obtain.

In 1780, Jerimiah Van Auken was dragged out of school while in session, was killed and scalped. While the boys were being tomahawked outside, Brandt made a mark with ink on the apron of a girl, saying it would save her life. He then went outside to help catch the boys as they were trying to escape. The other girls then marked their aprons, in the same way with ink, to save their lives.

Because of this atrocity, troops and scouts were rushed in. Brandt and his Indian friends were located on Raymondskill Creek over the Delaware River in Pike County, Pennsylvania. During the night, reinforcements were called. Captain Van Etten, Captain Westbrook, (note: Van Etten and Westbrook were also related but I'm not sure in what manner) and our Lieutenant Ennis came, rushing their troops toward Raymondskill Creek.

On the way, the troops were ambushed by the Indians. Many fled, but Captain Westbrook and Lieutenant Ennis stood their ground. On that rainy day, April 12, 1780, Lieutenant Ennis and twelve other men were killed. Their bodies were buried in the Old Minisink Cemetery near the Old Ennis Home.

The battle was classified in the history books as "The Battle of Connesbaugh". The Ennis family Bible listed the death of Benjamin Ennis as April 20, 1780 instead of the date of April 12, 1780 listed in the history books.

The oldest of Lieutenant Ennis' six children at the time was only eleven. His wife, Magdalena Ennis (or Madam Benjamin as they called her), taught school to keep the children together. When Benjamin died, his wife was pregnant with their last child who was born four months later -- named Benjamin Ennis born August 18, 1780.