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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Friday, March 8, 2013

New York State and the American Revolution Part III

Saratoga: Turning Point of the Revolution by Kathleen L. Maher

BACKGROUND

In 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.

BATTLE BEGINS


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.



The Battle of Bemis Heights, the second battle at Saratoga occurs on October 7. Though British General Clinton attempts to join Burgoyne, he fails to provide him the relief he needs. The British and their German allies are encircled by superior numbers of Patriot  
(12,000 and well equipped) forces and attempt to break through. Benedict Arnold, though ordered off the field in the last conflict by Gates and according to some sources possibly drunk, takes the field and inspires the American forces in heavy fighting. He takes out Hessian commander Von Breymann and his redoubt, receiving a wound to his leg.  Morgan's sharpshooters meanwhile actually clip Burgoyne in three places--his horse, his hat and his waistcoat. The Patriots whip Burgoyne soundly. Outnumbered three to one, and having lost many of his best commanders due to Morgan's sharpshooters, he withdraws to Schuylerville and ten days later surrenders.

RESULTS

British in Ticonderoga retreat further north into Ontario.

Benedict Arnold wounded in leg
Disgraced, Burgoyne returned to England, never to be given another command.
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.
Escalates the war to a global conflict.
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. 

5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this interesting post, Kathy! We are SO glad to have you on board with us at CQ and CACW!!! Blessings!

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  2. Kathy, I am depending on your for my Rev. War history in NY.
    I've been studying the war of 1812 for a year and I'm currently studying WW1. You've made this very easy to understand and the maps are wonderful.

    The Hudson River is so important to the history of the country, isn't it?

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  3. A very interesting and well researched post, Kathleen. The maps really help. Thanks.

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  4. Kathy, great post! I learned a lot, thank you. God bless!

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  5. Kathy, this was a wonderful synopsis of that amazing battle that was our country's first great victory in the Revolution. This battle holds personal significance for me as my 4th great grandfather fought in it—under General Burgoyne! Had it not been for this battle and my ancestor's surrender and subsequent escape into Massachusetts, I would not be here. Thanks for a great post!

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