Sam Kettle was killed in the raid of August 12, 1781. A force of 300 Iroquois and, according to the Brigade of the American Revolution’s April 2006 newsletter, 90 of Butler’s Rangers raided Wawarsing. This raiding party from Fort Niagara was led by Captain William Caldwell. “They had marched for 18 days.” One of the first individuals to apprise New York State Governor Clinton of the attack was Colonel Levi Pawling from the 3rd Ulster County Militia. A letter, written by the colonel, contained in Clinton’s papers, arrived from Marbletown. It occurred, according to the letter, at 9:00 in the morning. He continued that Colonel Cantine, also of the 3rd Ulster County Militia, was at “mumbakers.” This is probably a reference to Mombaccus which is the present day Town of Rochester. He explained as events unfolded that Cantine sent an express letter to Colonel Albert Pawling to alert him that the enemy was at Wawarsing. Cantine reported that there was lots of gunfire and that smoke was coming from several houses. Albert Pawling, hurried to the relief of Wawarsing. He also sent a letter asking Levi Pawling to contact Major Adrian Wynkoop.
The attack was over by 10:00 in the morning. Soldiers that were stationed to defend the settlement were no match for the superior force. In a letter, two days after the attack, Clinton wrote to General Philip Schuyler, that the soldiers took to the houses to defend the settlement. It was this maneuver he felt that saved the settlement from complete destruction.
It was not until noon, that Major Wynkoop finally assembled troops to march to the relief of Warwarsing. Once the Tory led raiding party retreated, a Tory deserter was captured. He was identified as Vroom, and told his captors all the information that he knew. This included the size of the war party including they were in desperate need of supplies. He confirmed that the war party had originated in Niagara. When asked how they attacked Wawarsing, the prisoner informed them that they had captured two scouts posted near the Delaware River. These scouts, named Burgher and Hine, gave the leaders of the party the “strength and disposition” of the troops at Wawarsing. The party“quietly slipped past the Patriot post at Lackawack and arrived undiscovered.” In addition to the valuable intelligence from the deserter it became apparent that the raid was quite destructive. A letter by express to Levi Pawling from Albert Pawling confirmed a lot of what would later be learned about the size and purpose of the raid on Wawarsing.
Among the houses that had been torched were the homes of Johannes G. Hardenbergh, as well as, “Benjamin Bruyn, 2 other Bruyn houses, Rubin DeWitt and several others.” There was only one known casualty on the Wawarsing side. It was John Tuttle who was killed and scalped. However, several dead and wounded were the casualties on the other side. The party was able to make off with many horses and other livestock.
In his letter to Governor Clinton Levi Pawling complained about the lack of help from Elvindorph and Snyder. Some help had arrived but it was not enough and he was not sure if those soldiers who did arrive were actually planning to march in pursuit. This prompted Levi Pawling to write, “such Deadness of Military Spirit I never saw before. I think an Inquiry into such conduct ought to be made.”