Although the Americans did not mount any expeditions into Canada after 1776, the Iroquois and Canadian and British colonial militias conducted a series of raids into New York and Pennsylvania in 1778. The new governor of Canada, General Sir Frederick Haldimand, decided to employ la petite guerre (guerrilla warfare), the tactic that had been so effective against the British colonies in 1690-1691 and 1755-1758.

The British force was composed of Canadian militia, Sir John Johnson's Royal Rangers commanded by Colonel John Butler, and a large Mohawk force led by Captain Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea). The British army had recently commissioned the Mohawk leader as an officer.

Throughout 1778, the combined force of militias, rangers, and Mohawks terrorized American settlements. They attacked Wyoming Valley (3 July 1788) and Cherry Valley (11 November 1778) and massacred the American settlers. Both Johnson and Butler committed such savage atrocities that the Iroquois warriors were shocked and horrified. The raids ceased with the onset of winter.


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