Saratoga: Turning Point of the Revolution by Kathleen L. Maher
BACKGROUNDIn the autumn of 1777, the British wanted to cut off New England from the colonies in the south, and drew up a plan to control Upstate NY. British General John Burgoyne in Montreal would push south to Albany via Lake George, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson River. In the woods surrounding Lake George, the patriots felled trees to slow him down and wear him out.
Meanwhile, Howe was supposed to come up from New York City and meet Burgoyne in Albany, but he took a detour to capture Philadelphia. Washington retreated to York, luring Howe further away from his rendezvous with Burgoyne.
Burgoyne's depleted troops attempted to conscript cattle and supplies from nearby Vermont, and the patriots there defended their stores and further weakened "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne's troops with skirmishing and counterattacks. As autumn passed, he would need to decide where to make winter camp--either retreat to Ticonderoga which he had just won in July, or advance to Albany. His Native American support had dissipated after the failure at Bennington, but he chose to press on to Albany.
General George Washington had a sense of the battle lines being drawn and sent up Benedict Arnold and Massachusetts General Lincoln, also calling up militias to join them.
Saratoga sets the stage for the showdown.
Burgoyne sets out toward Albany again and is met by Morgan's Riflemen, sharpshooters from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and other colonists under General Horatio Gates in the First Battle of Saratoga on September 19, 1777--The Battle of Freeman's Farm. Burgoyne seeks to dislodge the Americans, who commandeered loyalist Freeman's property, from their entrenched position up Bemis Heights. Benedict Arnold throws his army in the way, but Burgoyne rallies to take the Farm, at great loss. For every one Patriot casualty, Burgoyne loses two. Waiting for reinforcements from Howe that never came, Burgoyne lingers in the area while the colonists amass an army.
|Benedict Arnold wounded in leg|
The first proclamation of a National Thanksgiving was issued by Congress on Dec 18, inspired by Burgoyne's surrender.
France joins war on Patriots's side.
Spain lends Patriots aid against Britain.
Kathleen L. Maher is a patriot from upstate New York, and writes historical fiction and romance. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency, and has a Civil War novella coming out May 1st set in New York City. Find her on facebook and twitter as well as her blog featuring New York State history with an emphasis on Christian fiction.