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Title: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York - National Park Service Historical Handbook Series No. 4
Author: Snell, Charles W., Wilshin, Francis
Language: English
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    [Illustration: U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR · March 3, 1849]

                UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                      Fred A. Seaton, _Secretary_

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                      Conrad L. Wirth, _Director_


                   _HISTORICAL HANDBOOK NUMBER FOUR_

This publication is one of a series of handbooks describing the
historical and archeological areas in the National Park System,
administered by the National Park Service of the United States
Department of the Interior. It is printed by the Government Printing
Office and may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents.



                                SARATOGA
                       _NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK_
                               _NEW YORK_


              _by Charles W. Snell and Francis F. Wilshin_

    [Illustration: powder horn]

        _National Park Service Historical Handbook Series No. 4_
                      _Washington 25, D.C., 1950_
                            (_Revised 1959_)


                             504451 O-59-2

    REVISED 1959    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1959 OF—504451

    [Illustration: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR]



The National Park System, of which Saratoga National Historical Park is
a unit, is dedicated to conserving the scenic, scientific, and historic
heritage of the United States for the benefit and inspiration of its
people.



                               _Contents_


                                                                   _Page_
  THE BRITISH PLAN OF 1777                                              3
  THE BURGOYNE CAMPAIGN                                                 4
  RETREAT OF THE AMERICANS                                              6
  THE ST. LEGER EXPEDITION                                              8
  THE BATTLE OF BENNINGTON                                             10
  THE AMERICAN LINE                                                    11
  COMPOSITION OF THE AMERICAN ARMY                                     12
  THE BATTLE OF SEPTEMBER 19                                           12
  THE BATTLE OF OCTOBER 7                                              19
  RETREAT AND SURRENDER                                                24
  GUIDE TO THE PARK                                                    31
      The American River Redoubts                                      31
      Site of Fort Neilson                                             32
      The Neilson House                                                32
      American Powder Magazine                                         33
      Freeman’s Farm                                                   33
      Balcarres Redoubt                                                33
      Breymann Redoubt                                                 34
      First Line of Battle, October 7                                  34
      The Gen. Philip Schuyler Property                                35
  HOW TO REACH THE PARK                                                35
  ABOUT YOUR VISIT                                                     36
  ADMINISTRATION                                                       36
  SUGGESTED READINGS                                                   36

    [Illustration: _Looking east from the site of the Balcarres Redoubt.
    The immediate foreground was the scene of desperate fighting in both
    battles of Saratoga. Scouts signaled the movements of Burgoyne’s
    army from Willard Mountain in the left distance._ Courtesy Life
    Magazine.]

    [Illustration: Benedict Arnold monument]


Few battles in world history have had a more stirring climax than
Saratoga and probably none have had more far-reaching consequences.
Here, a ragged but inspired rebel army convincingly demonstrated its
ability to rise to brilliant victory after absorbing staggering blows.
In dramatic fashion Saratoga not only rescued the colonists from almost
certain defeat, but also pointed significantly to the fate which likely
would befall any enemy force penetrating into the interior of America
and operating independently of the sea.

Abroad, the battles served immeasurably to increase the military
prestige of American arms, while at home they greatly strengthened the
fighting morale and discouraged loyalist opposition. In their broad
aspects the two battles of Saratoga may be considered to mark definitely
the turning point of the American Revolution in that the result brought
to the cause of the hard-pressed colonists the assistance of France,
Spain, and Holland, thereby greatly increasing the probability of
eventually winning independence. To a hesitant, vacillating France
awaiting the opportune moment to strike a telling blow at the British,
Saratoga brought the decision for intervention—a decision which previous
diplomatic negotiations had been unable to obtain. The active entrance
of France into the war in June 1778, provided the financial, military,
and naval support without which the American cause would have been
practically hopeless. Though three more years of fighting were necessary
in order to bring ultimate victory at Yorktown, Saratoga furnished the
physical and psychological impetus which brightened a desperate cause at
a moment when failure would have been disastrous. Without the success of
American arms at Saratoga, it is difficult to see how the struggle could
long have been continued.

Writing of the significance of Saratoga, Sir Edward Creasy, the eminent
English historian, said: “Nor can any military event be said to have
exercised more important influence upon the future fortunes of mankind,
than the complete defeat of Burgoyne’s expedition in 1777; a defeat
which rescued the revolted colonists from certain subjection; and which,
by inducing the Courts of France and Spain to attack England in their
behalf, insured the independence of the United States, and the formation
of that transatlantic power which not only America, but both Europe and
Asia, now see and feel.”

    [Illustration: American Flag]

    [Illustration: THE BURGOYNE EXPEDITION
    CANADA TO SARATOGA, 1777]

  June 17—Burgoyne leaves St. Johns
  June 20—Rendezvous of British Army
  June 21—Conference with the Indians
  June 25—The British land at Crown Point
  July 6—Ticonderoga falls
  July 7—Fraser defeats the Americans
  July 7—Burgoyne arrives at Skenesboro
  July 26—The British reach Fort Ann
  July 30—Burgoyne arrives at Fort Edward
  Sept. 13—Burgoyne crosses Hudson to Saratoga
  Aug. 16—Battle of Bennington

THE BRITISH PLAN FOR CAMPAIGN OF 1777 WAS TO DIVIDE THE REBELLIOUS
AMERICAN COLONIES BY OCCUPYING THE STRATEGIC LINE OF THE HUDSON RIVER
AND LAKES GEORGE AND CHAMPLAIN. A BRITISH WEDGE FROM CANADA TO THE
ATLANTIC WOULD ENABLE EASY CONQUEST OF AMERICA.

THE CENTRAL POINT OF THREE COOPERATING ARMIES WAS ALBANY.

BURGOYNE SUGGESTED THAT:

  1. SIR WILLIAM HOWE MOVE UP THE HUDSON RIVER FROM NEW YORK.
  2. JOHN BURGOYNE MOVE SOUTH FROM CANADA.
  3. BARRY ST. LEGER MOVE EAST THROUGH THE MOHAWK VALLEY FROM OSWEGO.

LACK OF COORDINATION WRECKED THE BRITISH PLAN.

HOWE NEVER SAILED UP THE HUDSON.

ST. LEGER WAS BLOCKED BY THE AMERICANS AT FORT STANWIX AND ORISKANY.

BURGOYNE, AFTER A VICTORIOUS ADVANCE THROUGH NORTHERN NEW YORK, DRIVING
A DEFEATED AMERICAN ARMY FROM TICONDEROGA TO THE MOUTH OF THE MOHAWK
RIVER, CROSSED TO THIS SIDE OF THE HUDSON AT OLD SARATOGA
(SCHUYLERVILLE) ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1777, AND APPROACHED THIS POSITION
WHERE HE WAS OPPOSED BY AN AMERICAN ARMY OF GROWING STRENGTH.

A contemporary of the event said of it, “Rebellion which a twelve-month
ago was a contemptible pygmy, is now in appearance a giant.” Saratoga
truly must be considered as one of the cornerstones of American liberty
and as one of those momentous events which shape the destiny of nations.
Even in the light of the nearly two centuries that have elapsed, the
significance of this epochal victory is difficult to appraise fully.



                       _The British Plan of 1777_


The Hudson River-Lake Champlain route for centuries has constituted a
great strategic highway of the continent. Long the warpath of the
powerful Iroquois, this route in pre-Revolutionary years had witnessed
the ebb and flow of the tides of invasion as England and France locked
in a titanic struggle for possession of the New World. Along this route
the British commander, General Abercrombie, advanced in 1758 on his
ill-fated attempt to seize Ticonderoga from the French. The graves of
the “Black Watch” attest the blunders of his judgment. One year later
his successor, Lord Amherst, followed the same route, to succeed where
his predecessor had failed.

With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War the area again became the
scene of active fighting, as colonial arms pushed boldly northward to
seize Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Montreal, and to storm the ramparts
of Quebec. In 1776, the British launched a counterattack which, after
wiping out most of the American gains, was dramatically checked by the
gallant action of the American fleet under Gen. Benedict Arnold on Lake
Champlain.

    [Illustration: _Fort Ticonderoga, the first objective of Burgoyne in
    1777._ Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga Museum.]

It was no idle chance that Britain, after 2 years of futile effort to
coerce the colonies, should choose the Hudson-Champlain Valley as the
route offering the greatest strategic possibilities for a quick
suppression of the rebellion. Obviously, from a military standpoint,
once control could be obtained of the ports and the narrow strip of
coastal plain along the Atlantic seaboard, the backbone of the rebellion
would be broken. By virtue of her seapower, England already had
possession of the chief ports. Thus she was able to turn her attention
to the second phase of her strategy. Of the 3 million American
colonists, approximately three-fourths lived in the narrow border strip
from Massachusetts to the northern boundary of Virginia. The key to this
populous area was the Hudson-Champlain line. The dominance of this
natural avenue of transportation would not only provide an effective
barrier separating the New England States from the rest of the
struggling colonists, but would remove any menace to the rear of the
British armies operating offensively to the south. In control of this
area Britain could then crush the separate armies in detail.

The British plan was conceived by Gen. John Burgoyne and approved by the
King and Cabinet. It called for a double advance along the Hudson in
which the army of Burgoyne moving southward from Canada would effect a
junction at Albany with the army of Sir William Howe moving northward
from New York City, the two to be joined by Gen. Barry St. Leger moving
eastward along the Mohawk from Oswego on Lake Ontario. That this
strategy would succeed appeared certain, for against an American army
composed chiefly of raw recruits—ill-disciplined and poorly
equipped—were matched the seasoned veterans of the British forces, led
by the foremost military commanders of the time.



                        _The Burgoyne Campaign_


With all the pomp and pageantry characteristic of the 18th century,
Burgoyne embarked from St. Johns, Canada, on June 17, 1777, with a force
of approximately 9,400 men. He was directed “to proceed with all
expedition to Albany and put himself under the command of Sir William
Howe.” The army consisted of about 4,700 British regulars, 4,200 German
troops hired by the King of England, and between 600 and 700 Canadians,
Tories, and Indians. It was accompanied by a splendid train of artillery
made up of 138 bronze cannon. Seldom, if ever, has the American
continent witnessed a more picturesque display of military splendor. To
the gay, multicolored uniforms of the various British, German, Canadian,
and Tory regiments were added the bright war paint and feathers of their
Indian allies.

    [Illustration: _Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne, Commander of the British
    Army which surrendered at Saratoga._ Courtesy U. S. Army Signal
    Corps.]

    [Illustration: British flag]

    [Illustration: Rifles and powderhorn]

    [Illustration: _Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, first commander of the
    American troops opposing Burgoyne._]

With 3 large vessels, 20 gunboats, and 200 flat-bottomed transports,
Burgoyne sailed boldly along the 200-mile length of Lake Champlain to
attack his first objective, Fort Ticonderoga, the American guardian of
northern New York and New England. On July 1, the British Army reached
Fort Ticonderoga and began the siege of this fortress, which was
considered by British and Americans alike to be the strongest in North
America. A number of factors, unknown to the British and most Americans,
however, had caused the strength of Ticonderoga to be greatly
overestimated. The lines of the fort had been laid out to be held by an
army of at least 10,000 men; the American commander, Gen. Arthur St.
Clair had only some 3,000 men on hand with which to defend these vast
works. Due to the shortage of men, and perhaps also to neglect, the
Americans had failed to fortify steep Sugar Hill (Mount Defiance) which
dominated the fort from the southwest. It was the belief of the American
leader that the slopes of this mountain were so steep that they would
prevent the British from dragging cannon to its top. Burgoyne’s
engineers soon dispelled this American illusion, for on the afternoon of
July 5 the Americans were horrified to see the Royal Army constructing
batteries on the mountaintop. Once these cannon were in position, the
American Army was in immediate danger of being completely encircled.



                       _Retreat of the Americans_


General St. Clair at once made plans to abandon the fortress. That
night, under cover of darkness, the American Army began retreating
across the bridge of boats which ran from the fort to the east shore of
Lake Champlain. Here the American Army split—half of it retreated by
land and the other half, with the sick, wounded, and supplies, embarked
on the small American fleet and sailed down South Bay to Skenesboro
(Whitehall). As the secret retreat was being successfully carried out,
one of the buildings in the fort caught fire, and the flames revealed to
the British on the summit of Mount Defiance the events that were taking
place below.

Burgoyne ordered an instant pursuit. With great speed and energy, the
British general, accompanied by the English fleet and part of his army,
smashed through the floating bridge, which the Americans had hoped would
retard the British pursuit, and sailed swiftly down South Bay after the
retreating American fleet. At the same time Burgoyne dispatched Gen.
Simon Fraser, with the remaining part of the Royal Army, in pursuit of
the American forces retreating by land. On the afternoon of July 6,
Burgoyne, with his fleet, overtook the Americans as they neared
Skenesboro and proceeded to capture and destroy all that remained of the
American fleet, taking many prisoners and supplies, while the remnants
of the American Army fled into the forest.

Early on the morning of July 7, General Fraser launched an attack, near
Hubbardton, Vt., on the rear guard of the section of the American Army
that was retreating by land. After a fierce battle the American force
was totally routed and dispersed over the mountains. Near Fort Ann, on
July 8, the British also defeated a third force of American troops.
Everywhere, then, the American armies were in full retreat before the
advance of Burgoyne’s triumphant army. Also there now swarmed ahead of
the Royal Army great numbers of savage Indian warriors, terrorizing the
settlers of the Hudson Valley.

    [Illustration: _Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair, American commander at
    Fort Ticonderoga._ Courtesy U. S. Army Signal Corps.]

    [Illustration: _Brig. Gen. Simon Fraser, commander of Burgoyne’s
    advance corps._ Courtesy U.S. Army Signal Corps.]

By taking Fort Ticonderoga, Burgoyne had opened the gateway to the
Hudson, destroyed the American fleet on Lake Champlain, captured great
quantities of supplies, and taken many prisoners as well as 128 American
cannon; all at a loss of less than 200 men. George III was so exultant
over the news from Ticonderoga that he is said to have exclaimed: “I
have beat them! I have beat all the Americans!” The fall of this
fortress proved a severe shock to the American morale and served further
to increase British contempt for the character of colonial resistance.

Although the roads far to the south were jammed with long lines of
wagons, horses, and men of the retreating American Army and with the
families of frightened settlers as they fled before the invading army,
Gen. Philip Schuyler, the American commander of the Northern Department,
had not yet given up the struggle. He concentrated the remnants of the
fleeing American forces at Fort Edward, and from there he dispatched
hundreds of axmen to fell trees, blocking the roads to the north.
Bridges were destroyed, crops burned, and cattle and horses driven off
along the route of the British advance. Marching 23 miles overland from
Skenesboro through Fort Ann to Fort Edward on the Hudson, Burgoyne
encountered innumerable delays because of the rough nature of the
country and the effective retarding tactics adopted by General Schuyler.
It was not until July 30 that the Royal Army was finally able to reach
Fort Edward, 23 days after the battle of Hubbardton. This was an average
advance of only 1 mile a day.

On his arrival at Fort Edward the British commander found himself
confronted with a new problem. His Indian allies had driven off friend
and foe alike, and, in territory where Burgoyne had expected to receive
aid and support, he found only abandoned homes and fields. With an army
of some 8,500 men, 39 remaining bronze cannon, 1,700 baggage and
artillery horses, and 200 head of oxen to supply, and faced with a
countryside devastated by his Indians and his foe, the British commander
found it necessary to bring practically all of his provisions from
Canada. This operation required the utmost efforts of his army, and it
was mid-September before Burgoyne could bring forward sufficient
supplies to enable him to cross the Hudson at Saratoga.



                       _The St. Leger Expedition_


By this time the tide of events already had started running against the
British. This was first evidenced by the news of St. Leger’s defeat at
the bloody battle of Oriskany on August 6. St. Leger’s force of about
1,600 men was made up chiefly of Tories, under the leadership of Sir
John Johnston and Col. John Butler, and a number of Indians of the
Iroquois Confederacy. The Iroquois were divided in their sympathies, but
Joseph Brant and his Mohawk warriors and many Cayugas and Senecas joined
St. Leger. The immediate objective of St. Leger was to reduce Fort
Stanwix, which was held by 500 men under Col. Peter Gansevoort. As the
British leader approached the fort, German settlers of the Mohawk Valley
assembled under the leadership of Gen. Nicholas Herkimer and advanced to
its relief. The Tories and Indians prepared an ambuscade in a ravine
near Oriskany, 6 miles below Fort Stanwix, where Herkimer and his farmer
militia were almost entirely surrounded. In a desperate struggle with
knife, hatchet, bayonet, and clubbed rifle, Herkimer and his men finally
put the Indians and Tories to flight from a field that has few, if any,
equals in savage horror on the American continent. Herkimer, himself,
died from the effects of a wound received on the field of carnage, and
his followers were so reduced and exhausted by the ordeal that they were
compelled to return to their homes. Sixteen days later St. Leger’s force
was dispersed by the defection and desertion of his Indian allies on
receipt of news in his camp that a large force under Benedict Arnold,
dispatched by General Schuyler, was approaching for the relief of Fort
Stanwix. Only a few of St. Leger’s troops ever found their way back to
Montreal.

    [Illustration: _Maj. Gen. Riedesel, commander of the German troops
    in Burgoyne’s army._ Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga Museum.]

    [Illustration: _Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, commander of the American
    forces at Saratoga._ Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga Museum.]



                       _The Battle of Bennington_


Another crushing calamity was in store for the British. Schuyler’s
policy of destroying all the crops along the line of Burgoyne’s march
had important consequences. It was well known that most of the
inhabitants of upper New York, along the Champlain-Hudson route, were
favorable to the British cause. Burgoyne had counted on these Tories to
aid him materially, especially in the matter of supplies. Now, with the
maturing crops systematically destroyed before him, he was faced with
difficulty in providing for his army. This led him to send an expedition
of about 800 men, under Col. Friedrich Baum, to Bennington, Vt., to
capture a large store of supplies which had been gathered there for the
American forces. Gen. John Stark aroused the countryside, and the
Vermont farmers turned out and on August 16 administered a crushing
defeat to Baum’s troops. Another contingent, under Lt. Col. Heinrich
Breymann, came up at this time and threatened to undo Stark’s victory,
but the timely arrival of Col. Seth Warner and his Green Mountain
Rangers overwhelmed Breymann, and the German commander was forced to
retreat. By this blow Burgoyne lost approximately 800 men, mostly
Germans, and 4 bronze cannon, which seriously weakened his army at a
critical time and prevented him from obtaining much needed supplies. The
electrifying news of this American victory, after a long series of
defeats, not only discouraged Burgoyne’s Indian allies, but also greatly
encouraged militia enlistments in the Patriot army.

Of still greater concern to Burgoyne, however, was the fact that no word
had been received from Howe concerning his cooperation from the south.
As a matter of fact, Howe had chosen to move southward and attack
Philadelphia, even though he knew Burgoyne expected to receive his
cooperation. Despite these setbacks to the British, which had greatly
boosted American morale, Burgoyne, in compliance with his orders,
gambling on the belated cooperation of Howe and on his own ability to
smash the American force in his front, crossed the Hudson River at
Saratoga on September 13. Thus he severed his communications with Canada
and risked all on a push to Albany.

    [Illustration: _The monument on Bemis Heights to Thaddeus
    Kosciuszko, Polish military engineer who selected and fortified the
    American lines at Saratoga._]



                          _The American Line_


The two recent American victories greatly stimulated the hopes and
efforts of the colonists. Men and supplies began to pour into Schuyler’s
tiny army which had now retreated as far south as Halfmoon. On August
19, just 3 days after the victory at Bennington, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates
replaced General Schuyler as the commander of the Northern Department.
As the American Army increased in confidence and strength, growing from
a low point of some 3,000 men, it began advancing slowly up the Hudson.
Four miles from Stillwater, the British advance came upon the Americans,
9,000 strong, firmly entrenched at Bemis Heights under the command of
Gates.

The American position was well chosen, for here the bluffs so converged
with the river as to produce a narrow opening along the river plain
through which a passage could be made only at great hazard. With a deep
entrenchment blocking the river road, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the Polish
engineer and general who had volunteered in the American cause, had lost
no time in establishing a strong line of defense which in appearance was
like the segment of a great circle. Powerful batteries extended along
the edge of the bluff. From there the line turned northwestward and
followed the natural advantages of the ground to a commanding knoll near
the site of the Neilson barn where it then turned south by west,
terminating at the edge of a ravine approximately three-quarters of a
mile distant. The extremities of this position were defended by strong
batteries. Most of the line was strengthened by a breastwork, without
entrenchments, constructed from the trunks of felled trees, logs, and
rails.

    [Illustration: _View looking east from the American river batteries,
    the key to the American defensive position. It commanded the Hudson
    River and thus blocked Burgoyne’s advance._]

At the apex of the line, Neilson’s barn was converted into a rude fort,
and a strong battery was established at this point. Running in front of
the right wing of the American position, in a parallel direction, was a
deep, heavily wooded ravine. The area immediately in front and to the
west of the center of the American line, however, had been partially
cleared, so that the felled trees made an abatis difficult to penetrate.
Except for a small number of scattered farm clearings, the rough and
rolling ground to the north of the American position was so thickly
wooded as to furnish a distinct handicap to a coordinated attack or to
the proper use of artillery.



                   _Composition of the American Army_


Behind the right wing of the American position were stationed the
Continental brigades of Nixon, Paterson, and Glover under the immediate
command of Gates. Behind the center and left were the Continental
brigades of Poor and Learned; also the 500 Virginia riflemen and 300
Light Infantry of Major Dearborn, which together composed a corps led by
Col. Daniel Morgan. Morgan’s riflemen had been specially assigned by
General Washington to the force confronting Burgoyne, as they were well
versed in backwoods fighting and were calculated to offset the Indian
and Tory allies of the British. The troops led by Poor, Learned, and
Morgan constituted a division under the command of Arnold. Present with
the American Army was an artillery train of 22 cannon. Thus stationed,
and continuing to improve their fortifications, the American troops
awaited the advance of Burgoyne.



                      _The Battle of September 19_


It was at this point in the campaign that Burgoyne felt most severely
the loss of his Indian allies. After his attempt to discipline the
Indians for their brutal murder of Jane McCrea at Fort Edward on July
27, and the two British reverses at Oriskany and Bennington, the Indian
nations rapidly began to abandon the royal cause. Up to this time the
front and flanks of Burgoyne’s army had been covered with an almost
impenetrable cloak of savage warriors who had closely harassed the
retreating American Army, attacking small detachments and bringing
Burgoyne valuable information on American movements. With the loss of
his Indian warriors, however, the situation was reversed. Burgoyne was
deprived of military intelligence; and, hovering about the Royal Army
were hundreds of American scouts who attacked small British units and
counted in detail the numbers of men, tents, wagons, and boats in
Burgoyne’s army.

Thus, on September 19, Burgoyne had little accurate information on the
strength or disposition of the American Army that blocked his way to
Albany. A heavy fog covered both the American and British camps that
morning. While the Royal Army waited for the heavy mists to lift, they
prepared to advance in three parallel columns, as they had previously
done since crossing the river at Saratoga. Burgoyne’s objective that day
was to move his army safely forward through the heavy forests to a
position near enough to the hidden American camp to enable him to begin
effective operations against the American lines.

    [Illustration: THE FIRST BATTLE OF FREEMAN’S FARM (SARATOGA)
    SEPTEMBER 19, 1777.]

  RECONNAISSANCE CONVINCED BURGOYNE THAT IN ORDER TO REACH ALBANY HE HAD
  TO ATTACK THE AMERICAN ARMY WHICH BLOCKED HIS WAY AT BEMIS HEIGHTS.

  ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1777 BURGOYNE MOVED FROM HIS CAMP NEAR THE SWORD
  HOUSE IN THREE DIVISIONS. RIEDESEL MOVED FORWARD ON THE RIVER ROAD.
  BURGOYNE COMMANDED THE CENTER. FRASER MOVED THROUGH THE WOODS ON THE
  RIGHT. AT MIDDAY BURGOYNE’S TROOPS ACCIDENTALLY ENCOUNTERED SOME OF
  MORGAN’S MEN NEAR FREEMAN’S FARM, ABOUT ONE MILE NORTH OF THIS POINT.

  A SAVAGE BATTLE ENSUED. REINFORCEMENTS WERE THROWN IN BY BOTH SIDES.
  THE FREEMAN FARM CLEARING WAS REPEATEDLY WON AND LOST BY THE OPPOSING
  FORCES UNTIL NIGHTFALL. RIEDESEL’S TIMELY ARRIVAL FROM THE RIVER SAVED
  BURGOYNE FROM TOTAL DEFEAT. THE AMERICANS WITHDREW INTO THEIR CAMP,
  WHERE YOU NOW STAND, LEAVING BURGOYNE MASTER OF THE FIELD.

    [Illustration: _Col. Daniel Morgan._]

    [Illustration: _Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold._ Courtesy Fort
    Ticonderoga Museum.]

Accordingly, on the morning of September 19, Burgoyne moved forward in
three columns from his encampment in the vicinity of the Sword House.
The right column under Fraser, numbering 2,830 men composed of British
and German grenadiers and light infantry, together with the British 24th
regiment and the irregulars, advanced along the road running westward
from the Sword House to a point 3 miles distant where it then turned
south. The center column, consisting of the British 9th, 20th, 21st, and
62nd regiments, was led by Burgoyne. This force, which numbered
approximately 1,840 men, followed the route of Fraser for a short
distance and then turned southeast at the first fork which led to the
Great Ravine. Crossing the ravine, the column then turned westward in an
effort to take a position parallel in line with Fraser’s column. The
left column of about 3,160 men under General Riedesel, consisting of six
companies of the British 47th regiment and the German regiments of
Riedesel, Rhetz, Specht, and Hesse Hanau, was to advance along the river
road accompanied by the heavy artillery, the baggage train, and bateaux.
They were to await the signal gun which would indicate that the right
and center columns under Fraser and Burgoyne had reached the proper
positions. Then, all three columns were to begin advancing toward the
American camp until a strong position could be found close enough to it
to serve as a base for further operations.

American scouts from the east side of the Hudson detected the forward
movement of Riedesel’s column along the river road. When Gates was first
advised by his scouts of the British advance, he determined to await
their attack behind his breastwork. Arnold, however, insisted that the
issue should be fought in the field. He reasoned that the forest would
not only handicap the British from the standpoint of coordinated attack
and the full use of their artillery, but it would also offer a screen
peculiarly adaptable to the American style of fighting. If defeated in
the field, he argued, the troops could then fall back to their
entrenchments.

Finally yielding to Arnold’s wish, Gates ordered out Morgan’s riflemen,
supported by Dearborn’s light infantry, to reconnoiter the position of
the enemy. Moving northward along the road from Fort Neilson, Morgan
divided his forces in an effort to locate the enemy. The first phase of
the engagement opened about 12:30 in the afternoon when a detachment of
Morgan’s men brushed with the advance guard of Burgoyne’s center column
in a clearing known as Freeman’s Farm. The first volley all but wiped
out the British picket. Rushing forward in hot pursuit of the few
survivors, the detachment ran head-on into the main body of Burgoyne’s
center column only to be driven back in turn and widely scattered. By
persistent use of his turkey call signal, however, Morgan was able to
rally his men and prepare for the second phase of the engagement. Aided
by the arrival of the regiments of Colonels Cilley and Scammel from
Poor’s brigade, he re-formed his line in the woods along the southern
edge of the 15-acre clearing.

Forming his line along the northern edge of the Freeman clearing,
Burgoyne advanced to the attack with the 21st regiment on the right, the
62nd in the center, and the 20th on the left. Morgan’s men suddenly
poured such a withering fire into the solidly advancing columns that the
British line wavered and fell back across the clearing. Following
closely, the Americans were again driven back, as the British quickly
rallied their lines.

For more than 3 hours the fighting swayed back and forth across the
bitterly contested clearing as each side strove desperately for a
decision. Repeatedly the hard-pressed British regiments charged with the
bayonet, only to be stopped short by the deadly fire of the American
riflemen. Under the skillful direction of Arnold, American
reinforcements were so placed as to threaten seriously to outflank the
British right. Finally, when the British position had become critical,
Riedesel arrived with fresh reinforcements. Throwing his men with great
force against the American right, he succeeded in steadying the British
line and forcing the Americans to withdraw gradually. But for the
arrival of Riedesel, the fate of the Burgoyne campaign might well have
been decided here. Approximately 4,000 Americans participated in this
fight, while about 5,000 more were held inactive by Gates behind the
fortified lines. The attacking American force was opposed through most
of the day by the 1,800 British soldiers that composed Burgoyne’s center
column. It was almost dusk before Fraser’s 2,800 men and the 550 German
troops under General Riedesel came to Burgoyne’s aid.

    [Illustration: FORTIFICATIONS AT SARATOGA
    SEPTEMBER 19 AND OCTOBER 7, 1777
    All British fortifications were constructed after the battle of
    September 19]

The first battle was thus fought under the “fog of war.” Because of the
great forest which shielded each army from the other, neither Burgoyne
nor Gates was sure of the other’s dispositions or intentions. General
Burgoyne believed that the main American attack was directed against his
right and thus held Fraser with the elite troops in reserve. General
Gates, on the other hand, was of the opinion that the main British
attack was directed against the American right along the river road and
therefore held back the 5,000 American troops to defend this key pass.
For this reason, the battling columns were reinforced only in a
piecemeal fashion by both generals until late in the day. The
contestants were thus evenly matched until dusk when Burgoyne finally
ordered in regiments from both flanking columns and drove the Americans
from the field of battle. The heavy, unknown forest and darkness,
however, prevented any effective pursuit.

Stopped in his advance about 1 mile north of the American lines with a
badly crippled army, but left in possession of the immediate field of
battle, Burgoyne decided to entrench his troops in the vicinity of the
Freeman Farm. There he awaited the cooperation of Howe or Sir Henry
Clinton, who was then stationed in New York. He also felt the need of
reconnoitering the American position as he still knew virtually nothing
about it.

    [Illustration: _View northeast from the American river batteries,
    showing how American cannon dominated the narrow river plain and
    road at this point._]



                       _The Battle of October 7_


Confident and self-assured as a result of their first encounter, the
American troops grew restive as they impatiently awaited a further
attack. Despite drenching rains, chill nights, inadequate supplies, and
scanty rations, these ragged troops, who held the destiny of a nation in
their hands, could still find heart to make merry at night. So exuberant
was their revelry, in fact, that the sentries complained that because of
the noise they could not hear the British and would find it impossible
to warn their comrades if they did. In order to correct this condition,
Gates had to issue an early curfew order.

    [Illustration: THE SECOND BATTLE
    FREEMAN’S FARM
    (SARATOGA) OCTOBER 7, 1777]

Nearly 3 weeks of futile waiting brought Burgoyne no aid from either
Howe or Clinton. On October 6, however, unknown to Burgoyne, Clinton did
succeed in capturing the forts along the highlands of the Hudson (he
reached as far north as Esopus [Kingston] on October 16). With the
strength of his opponent greatly increased by the arrival of 4,000
militia reinforcements so that he was outnumbered now two to one, and,
with his supplies rapidly diminishing, Burgoyne’s position became a
desperate one, necessitating either an advance or a retreat. After some
hesitation, he decided to risk everything on a second battle.

    [Illustration: _Uniform of an American officer, regiment unknown:
    black hat, brown coat, red facings, red and white waistcoat, red
    epaulette, buff breeches, white stockings._]

    [Illustration: _Uniform of an American soldier, regiment unknown:
    black hat with brown brush, gray coat with yellow facings, red-brown
    breeches, and light blue stockings._]

    [Illustration: _Unique monument to Arnold’s left leg which was
    wounded in the storming of the Breymann Redoubt in the battle of
    October 7._]

Accordingly, on the morning of October 7, Burgoyne ordered a
reconnaissance in force to determine the nature of the ground and the
advisability of a thrust at the American left. With 1,500 picked men,
led by Generals Fraser, Riedesel, and Phillips, and supported by two
12-pounders, six 6-pounders, and two howitzers, Burgoyne moved out from
camp about 12 o’clock and advanced toward the American left. After
moving in a southwesterly direction for a distance of approximately
two-thirds of a mile, the troops deployed in an open clearing where some
of them foraged in a wheat field.

Extending his line for more than 1,000 yards to the west, Burgoyne
occupied the southern slope of the rise of ground just north of the
Middle Ravine. On the right, under the Earl of Balcarres, was stationed
the British Light Infantry and the British 24th regiment, both under the
command of General Fraser. In the center was Riedesel with his German
contingent and batteries of two 12-pounders and two 6-pounders under
Major Williams and Captain Pausch. On the left was stationed Major
Acland in command of the British Grenadiers with the greater portion of
the artillery. Though the larger part of Burgoyne’s front was open, both
his flanks rested in woods and were thus exposed to a surprise attack.
Investigating the news of the British advance, James Wilkinson, Adjutant
General to Gates, found their position favorable to attack and so
reported to headquarters, whereupon Gates replied: “Order on Morgan to
begin the game.”

The American plan of attack was simple and direct. As Morgan undertook a
flanking movement against the Light Infantry on the British right in
that portion of the field farthest removed from the river, Poor was to
move against the Grenadiers on the British left. Once these two
movements had developed, Learned was to strike the German contingent
which made up the British center. The American attack opened about 2:30
in the afternoon with Poor’s savage assault upon the British left.
Outnumbered two to one, the Grenadiers crumpled under the withering fire
of the Americans. By this time Morgan had struck the British right. The
British Light Infantry was driven back in confusion, and the right flank
and rear of the troops led by Balcarres were now seriously threatened.

At this critical stage, General Fraser rode back and forth among his men
in a desperate effort to encourage them to make a stand and cover the
developing British retreat. In spite of all that he could do, his troops
continued to withdraw under the deadly fire of Morgan’s corps. In the
confusion of attack and retreat, General Fraser was shot, perhaps by a
member of a party detailed for that purpose by Colonel Morgan. Mortally
wounded, he was carried from the field.

Before the enemy’s flanks could be rallied, Arnold dashed impetuously
onto the field and led Learned’s brigade in an attack against the
Germans, who comprised Burgoyne’s center. Although without command
because of a quarrel with Gates after the battle of September 19, Arnold
now threw himself into the battle. By his powerful personality and
reckless daring he inspired the troops to redoubled effort. Though the
Germans repulsed the first attack, they were soon driven into retreat,
for the withdrawal of Fraser’s troops and the British Grenadiers had
exposed them on both flanks.

When the 2,000-strong Albany County militia, commanded by Brig. Gen.
Abraham Ten Broeck, came up to join the fighting, the British forces,
discouraged by the loss of Fraser and the turn of events, retreated to
the protection of their fortified positions. Within less than an hour
after the opening of the attack, Burgoyne had lost 8 cannon and more
than 400 officers and men, killed, wounded, or prisoners. Flushed with
victory, part of the American forces were led by Arnold in a savage and
costly attack on the Balcarres Redoubt, a position of great strength
which lay on the Freeman Farm.

    [Illustration: _View of the_ West Bank _of the_ Hudson’s River 3
    _Miles above Still Water_, upon which _the_ Army _under the command
    of_ Lt. General Burgoyne, _took post on 20^th. Sep^r 1777_
    (_Shewing_ General Frazer’s _Funeral_.)

    _This print, published in London in 1789, presumably shows the
    British position at the Great Redoubt. According to the inscription
    accompanying the original print, it also portrays a scene during
    Fraser’s funeral. The original inscription seems to contain certain
    inconsistencies._ Courtesy Life Magazine.]

When repeated attacks failed to carry this position, into which the
remnants of Burgoyne’s flanking column had retreated, Arnold wheeled his
horse and, dashing between the crossfire from both armies, rode
northward in the direction of the Breymann Redoubt. In front of this
work were American units that had circled farther to the north after the
retreat of the British flanking column and had taken no part in the
attack on the Balcarres Redoubt. Between the Balcarres and Breymann
Redoubts stood two log cabins, held by Canadian troops. The attack on
Breymann’s position was being delayed until these cabins could be
overcome. At about the time that Arnold arrived at the Breymann Redoubt,
an attack was launched against the front and left of the fortification.
Arnold joined the men attacking the left and rear. The combined attacks
rapidly drove the defending German troops from the redoubt. Only
darkness saved Burgoyne from a general retreat. As Arnold entered the
rear of the redoubt, just as the work fell, he was shot in the leg by a
German soldier. Had he died there, posterity would have known few names
brighter than that of Benedict Arnold. The fall of this redoubt, which
covered the right and rear of Burgoyne’s fortified camp, forced him to
order a general retreat. Colonel Breymann was killed in the assault on
the redoubt that bears his name.

That night Burgoyne withdrew his army to the high ground north of the
Great Ravine. Fraser’s life slowly ebbed away throughout the night, and
on the evening of October 8 he was buried in the Great Redoubt, in
accordance with his own request. The retreat of the army northward was
held up by Burgoyne long enough to administer the last rites in an
impressive ceremony as Fraser’s body was lowered into the ground. Shots
from American gunners, who did not understand what was taking place,
struck close and threw dust on the officiating chaplain. Early in the
morning of October 9, the British Army took up its retreat to Saratoga.
The British had suffered approximately 1,000 casualties in the fighting
of the past 3 weeks as compared to an American loss of less than half
that number.



                        _Retreat and Surrender_


An American force was already present on the east side of the Hudson,
opposite Saratoga, thus blocking the crossing of the river. To continue
the retreat northward in an effort to reach Fort Edward was now almost
impossible for Burgoyne’s weary and badly depleted army. In a few days
he was completely surrounded on the heights of Saratoga by the American
force which, by this time, had grown to about 20,000 men. Hopelessly
outnumbered, provisions all but exhausted, and devoid of hope of help
from the south, Burgoyne was forced to surrender on October 17, 1777.

    [Illustration: _62nd British Regiment uniform: red coat (cut down),
    short black canvas gaiters, buff facings, waistcoat and breeches,
    white regimental lace with two blue and one yellow or straw-colored
    stripes._ From an early print.]

    [Illustration: _Brunswick Dragoon Regiment uniform: light blue coat
    with yellow facings and waistcoat, leather breeches._ From an early
    print.]

The remnants of Burgoyne’s army, probably numbering about 5,800 men,
stacked their arms on the level flood plains along the banks of the
Hudson near the ruins of Old Fort Hardy and became prisoners of war,
according to the terms of the Convention of Saratoga drawn up between
Gates and Burgoyne. By the terms of surrender, they were to be taken to
Boston where they would board vessels to return to England. It was
provided that they would not serve again in North America during the
Revolutionary War. Burgoyne, by inducing Gates to sign this convention,
almost succeeded in nullifying the great American victory at Saratoga.
If the terms of the convention had been carried out, Burgoyne’s army
would have been available for service in Europe against the French, whom
the Americans were at this time desperately endeavoring to induce to
enter the war on the American side; or Burgoyne’s army could have been
used to relieve for service in America an equal number of British troops
then garrisoning posts in other parts of the Empire, thus largely
repairing, within 6 months’ time, the damage to the British armies in
North America. The Continental Congress therefore interposed first one
obstacle and then another, and the terms of the convention were never
kept. The captured soldiers were held in the North for about a year, and
then most of them were sent to Charlottesville, Va., for the duration of
the war. The majority of these prisoners remained in this country after
the close of the war and were gradually absorbed among the populace of
the new nation. Many American families today can trace their origin back
to the British and German soldiers who surrendered at Saratoga.

The failure of the Burgoyne expedition, so auspiciously launched, may be
attributed to a series of blunders and misfortunes climaxed by the
heroic defense of a despised adversary. In his failure specifically to
order Howe to cooperate with Burgoyne, the British Colonial Secretary,
Lord George Germain, in the very beginning laid the basis for the
campaign’s fatal ending. Through carelessness, this order, though
prepared, was apparently never mailed and was allowed to remain tucked
away in a pigeonhole. To this costly blunder was added the refusal of
Howe to cooperate in the northern expedition, despite the fact that he
had been informed by Burgoyne and others of the expected nature of his
participation. When advised by Howe of his proposed expedition against
Philadelphia, Germain approved the plan but expressed the hope that it
would be completed in time for cooperation with Burgoyne.

In persisting in the Philadelphia expedition against the advice of
Clinton and other British officers who advised cooperation with
Burgoyne, Howe preferred a plan of campaign which gained the British
nothing to a plan which might well have won them the war. In his defense
later, Howe argued that he had received no order to cooperate with the
northern army; that he had warned Burgoyne not to expect aid from the
south; that his move to Philadelphia had been approved by the King; and
finally that he had advised Clinton to assist Burgoyne. This move of
Clinton’s however, came so late, and with such limited force, as to make
it ineffective.

    [Illustration: _This old print, after the famous painting by John
    Graham, portrays the burial of General Fraser. The English
    historian, Fonblanque, has identified the portrait figures from left
    to right as: Earl of Harrington, A.D.C.; General Burgoyne;
    Major-General Phillips; Reverend Brudenell; Captain Green, A.D.C.;
    Lieutenant Colonel Kingston; Major Fraser; Mr. Wood, Surgeon; Earl
    of Balcarres; Major General Riedesel._ Courtesy Life Magazine.]

As if this were not enough, Burgoyne’s position was still further
weakened by the inability of St. Leger to create a proper diversion
along the Mohawk. These blunders and misfortunes, inherently grave as
they were, do not absolve Burgoyne altogether from responsibility for
the failure of the northern campaign. His conduct of the campaign, at
times, lacked forceful initiative and drive, to which were added grave
errors of judgment, the most serious of which, in all probability, was
the poorly planned expedition against Bennington. The imperative orders
given to Burgoyne by British ministers in England, with little leeway to
adjust his plans according to the actual course of events, was another
important cause of the complete failure of the campaign. Sir Guy
Carleton, then Governor of Canada, wrote in 1777: “This unfortunate
event, it is to be hoped, will in the future prevent ministers from
pretending to direct operations of war, in a country at three thousand
miles distance, of which they have so little knowledge as not to be able
to distinguish between good, bad, or interested advices, or to give
positive orders in matters, which from their nature, are ever upon the
change; so that expedience or propriety of a measure at one moment, may
be totally inexpedient or improper in the next.”

    [Illustration: _Three examples of the so-called Kentucky Rifle, the
    type of weapon carried by most of Morgan’s Corps of riflemen. These
    rifled guns were much more accurate than the smooth-bore muskets
    used by most of the soldiers on both sides during the American
    Revolution._]

In no small sense, however, the success of the American cause may be
attributed to the skill of the colonial infantry who, under the daring
leadership of Arnold and Morgan, had proved themselves more than a match
for the British veterans. Furthermore, the American ability to increase
their numbers within a short period of time materially added to their
ultimate success. The speed with which the county and State governments
called up the militia levies and forwarded the needed supplies enhanced
the American position; so that as Burgoyne’s manpower and supply
situation became increasingly desperate, Gates’ became stronger.
Although most of the fighting at Saratoga was done by Continental
troops, corresponding to what we would call regulars the presence of the
militia made possible the commitment to the battles of the better
trained and organized Continentals.

    [Illustration: _This famous painting of the surrender of General
    Burgoyne at Saratoga, by John Trumbull, is of a memorial nature. It
    does not attempt to reconstruct the actual scene. The four figures
    in the central foreground are Generals Phillips, Burgoyne, and
    Gates, and Colonel Morgan._ Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.]

    [Illustration: _Burgoyne cannon. This 24-pounder bronze gun was one
    of the pieces of artillery surrendered by the British at Saratoga._]

    [Illustration: Cannon on its carriage]

    [Illustration: _View east from Fraser’s Hill with the Hudson Valley
    Hills and Green Mountains in the distance, showing the terrain held
    by the British line and the ground most bitterly fought over in the
    battle of October 7. On the bluffs overlooking the river is the site
    of the Great Redoubt (1) where Fraser was buried and from where the
    British began their retreat northward to Saratoga (now
    Schuylerville). The Breymann Redoubt (2) was in the cleared area
    adjacent to the woods. The Freeman Farm (3), where the battle of
    September 19 began, was later included within the British lines. The
    Balcarres Redoubt ran from the Freeman Farm right to (4)._]

The employment of Indians by the British and the outrages perpetrated by
them upon the civilian populace, of which the murder of Jane McCrae was
the most noted, helped to give a sense of urgency to the people of the
region. This resulted in a greater degree of wholehearted support of the
American military effort than might otherwise have been the case.



                          _Guide to the Park_


Saratoga National Historical Park is an area of exceptional scenic
beauty, the terrain of the park being characterized by sharply rising
bluffs, deep ravines, and rolling hills. Its present open clearings are
in sharp contrast to its heavily wooded appearance in 1777.

Though time has left few vestiges of the American and British
fortifications, an effort is being made to establish definitely their
original character and position by historical and archeological
research.


THE AMERICAN RIVER REDOUBTS.

The river bluffs on which American batteries were emplaced dictated the
tactics of both armies and the course of the two battles of Saratoga.
The American line was anchored on these bluffs, because here the high
ground converged with the river to allow only a narrow corridor along
the river plain. The road south to Albany ran through this corridor.
Both battles were fought as a result of the British attempt to flank the
American positions controlling this passageway. This terrain factor must
be appreciated if the course of events at Saratoga is to be understood.

    [Illustration: _View of the Freeman Farm from the east, showing the
    scene of the heaviest fighting of the Battles of Saratoga._]

    [Illustration: _View looking northeast from the site of Fort
    Neilson, a key point dominating the left flank and center of the
    American defensive position._]


SITE OF FORT NEILSON.

Situated on the crest of Bemis Heights at the apex of the American line,
stood Fort Neilson. In reality the fort was a fortified barn, named for
John Neilson, the farmer who owned it. Strengthened on either side by
heavy batteries and protected by a breastwork of logs and felled trees,
the fort constituted a key point in the American line. The overlook from
this point offers a sweeping panorama of exceptional beauty and charm.
From here are visible the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains in Vermont,
the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and the Catskills.

Now standing on the site of Fort Neilson is the Block House, containing
relics of the Revolutionary period and exhibits designed to present the
story of the Battles of Saratoga and the Burgoyne Campaign.


THE NEILSON HOUSE.

Located within the fortified area of Fort Neilson, the Neilson House is
the only contemporary building still standing on the battlefield. This
house, the home of John Neilson, served as the quarters of Generals
Benedict Arnold and Enoch Poor. From this building Poor went to lead his
troops in gallant action on both September 19 and October 7. It was to
this building that Major Acland, of the British Grenadiers, was brought
severely wounded on October 7; and it was also to this building that
Lady Acland, in defiance of great hardships, came to nurse her wounded
husband. The smoked walls, planked floors, and rough period furniture
preserve much of the Revolutionary atmosphere.


AMERICAN POWDER MAGAZINE.

On the little plateau east and below the site of Fort Neilson, near the
center of the American line, is located a reconstructed stone powder
magazine. From the report of Ebenezer Stevens, Major Commandant of
Artillery, entitled, “Return of Ordnance and Stores in Camp near
Stillwater, September 24, 1777,” with a subheading, “Stores in
Magazine,” it has been possible to determine the exact character and
quantity of the supplies located within the magazine.


FREEMAN’S FARM.

No part of the battlefield witnessed heavier fighting than the area
known as Freeman’s Farm. Around this farmhouse and its oblong clearing
of 15 acres, the swirling tides of battle beat relentlessly in the
engagements of both September 19 and October 7. The original Freeman
farmhouse, owned at the time of the battles by Isaac Leggett, occupied
approximately the site of the present building by that name. Following
the battle of September 19, it was included within the fortification
known as the Balcarres Redoubt. The oblong clearing ran east and west
across the same small ridge on which the Freeman house stood.

    [Illustration: _The John Neilson House. This structure, situated on
    Bemis Heights, is the only contemporary building remaining on the
    battlefield._]


BALCARRES REDOUBT.

Situated on the same ridge as the Freeman farmhouse, the Balcarres
Redoubt extended approximately 500 yards in a north-south direction. The
redoubt was an enclosed work mounting eight cannon, with walls from 12
to 14 feet in height and constructed of logs with earth thrown over
them. The front of this work was covered with a strong abatis built of
felled trees. The Balcarres Redoubt thus constituted the strongest
fortification of the British line. Under the command of the Earl of
Balcarres, the fortification was erected shortly after the Battle of
September 19 and was occupied by the British Light Infantry. In fierce
attacks, the American forces, on October 7, repeatedly assailed this
redoubt in vain. Arnold’s successful assault on the Breymann Redoubt,
however, finally served to outflank the position and force its
evacuation.

    [Illustration: _This shaft was erected in 1931 by the Daughters of
    the American Revolution of New York State as a memorial to the
    American soldiers who died at Saratoga._]


BREYMANN REDOUBT.

The Breymann Redoubt was situated on the extreme right flank of the
British line and was erected to defend the right flank of the Balcarres
Redoubt and to cover a road that ran from this point to the American
camp. The Breymann Redoubt thus served as the key to the entire British
position. The redoubt was constructed and defended by German troops,
under command of Lieutenant Colonel Breymann, shortly after the battle
of September 19. It consisted of a single line of breastworks,
approximately 200 yards in length, with short flank defenses and no
works in the rear. On the right, on high ground, it mounted a battery of
two cannon that was captured by the Americans on October 7. The ground
before the redoubt was cleared and there was no abatis before this work.
The walls of the redoubt were constructed of logs and rails. The logs
were laid horizontally one upon the other and were supported between
upright pickets, or posts, driven into the ground on either side of the
wall and fastened together at the top. The breastwork was between 7 and
8 feet in height, with an opening of about 9 or 10 inches wide, at a
suitable height for small arms. It was here in the closing hours of
October 7 that Arnold took part in the dramatic assault that sealed the
fate of the Burgoyne Campaign. The unique monument to Arnold’s wounded
leg is located on the site of the Breymann Redoubt.


FIRST LINE OF BATTLE, OCTOBER 7.

Situated approximately three-fourths of a mile northwest of the site of
Fort Neilson and extending some 1,000 yards west of present State Route
32, is the position which the flanking column of 1,500 soldiers under
Burgoyne occupied at the beginning of the American attack on October 7.
Here on the southern slope of the rise of ground, just north of the
Middle Ravine, the British met the full fury of the first American
attack. It was in this area that General Fraser received his mortal
wound and many other British officers were killed, wounded, or taken
prisoner before Burgoyne ordered a retreat to the Balcarres Redoubt. The
badly wounded Major Acland, commander of the British Grenadiers, and
Major Williams, commander of the British Artillery, were both taken
prisoners by the Americans in this area on October 7.

    [Illustration: _The Schuyler House. The main part of this building
    was erected by Gen. Philip Schuyler to replace an earlier house,
    which was burned by Burgoyne’s troops on October 10, 1777. The
    house, situated in Schuylerville (Old Saratoga), is being restored
    to the period of Schuyler family occupancy._]


THE GEN. PHILIP SCHUYLER PROPERTY.

Situated at Schuylerville (Old Saratoga), N.Y., this estate was the
summer residence of Gen. Philip Schuyler both before and after the
Battles of Saratoga. The present house was erected in 1777 by General
Schuyler shortly after the surrender of Burgoyne’s army. It stands near
the site of his former home, which was burned by Burgoyne. Restoration
to the period of occupancy by the Schuyler family is under way, with
further studies yet to be completed. The structure is a 2-story frame
house, 60 feet long by 21 feet wide. The walls are filled in with brick.
There are seven spacious rooms on the first floor and, in addition, a
large kitchen. On the second floor there are seven bedrooms in the main
part of the house and four more over the kitchen. Gen. John Stark,
George Washington, Governor Clinton, and Alexander Hamilton were guests
of the Schuylers in this house.



                        _How To Reach the Park_


The park is on the upper Hudson River, 28 miles north of Albany, N.Y.,
between the villages of Stillwater and Schuylerville, and may be reached
by automobile from the north or south over State Route 32, connecting
with U.S. 4 at Bemis Heights and Schuylerville. From the west,
convenient connections with U.S. 9 may be made over State Routes 9P and
423. Taxi service is available from Mechanicville, Schuylerville, and
Saratoga Springs.



                           _About Your Visit_


The park and its facilities are open from early spring until late
autumn, depending upon weather conditions—normally from April 1 to
November 30.

A museum, containing relics of the Revolutionary Period and exhibits
designed to present the story of the Battles of Saratoga and the
Burgoyne Campaign, is open daily, Sundays and holidays included, from
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Park literature is available in the museum. The John
Neilson House, used as quarters for American staff officers during the
battles, is also usually open to visitors. Informational signs and
markers along the park roads will assist you to visualize events
connected with the battles.

Special service, without charge, is provided for school classes, civic
groups, and organizations when arrangements are made in advance through
the park administration.



                            _Administration_


In 1938, Congress authorized the establishment of Saratoga National
Historical Park. In 1941, under this authority, 1,429 acres of
historically important land, previously acquired by the State of New
York, were accepted by the Federal Government for administration and
protection as a National Historical Park Project. Later, other
historically significant parts of the battlefield were acquired, and the
establishment of the park was accomplished on June 22, 1948. The present
area is almost 4 square miles.

Saratoga National Historical Park is administered by the National Park
Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Communications regarding the
park should be addressed to the Superintendent, Saratoga National
Historical Park, R.F.D. No. 1, Stillwater, N.Y.



                          _Suggested Readings_


Fuller, J. F. C., _Decisive Battles of the U.S.A._ Harper Bros., New
York, 1942.

Nickerson, Hoffman, _The Turning Point of the Revolution_. Houghton
Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1928.

Whitten, F. E., _The American War of Independence_. Dodd, Mead &
Company, New York, 1931.



                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                       HISTORICAL HANDBOOK SERIES


 FOR SALE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING
                      OFFICE, WASHINGTON 25, D.C.

  Bandelier (No. 23), 25 cents
  Chalmette (No. 29), 25 cents
  Chickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefields (No. 25), 25 cents
  Custer Battlefield (No. 1), 20 cents
  Custis-Lee Mansion (No. 6), 25 cents
  Fort Laramie (No. 20), 25 cents
  Fort McHenry (No. 5), 25 cents
  Fort Necessity (No. 19), 25 cents
  Fort Pulaski (No. 18), 25 cents
  Fort Raleigh (No. 16), 25 cents
  Fort Sumter (No. 12), 25 cents
  George Washington Birthplace (No. 26), 25 cents
  Gettysburg (No. 9), 25 cents
  Hopewell Village (No. 8), 25 cents
  Independence (No. 17), 25 cents
  Jamestown, Virginia (No. 2), 25 cents
  Kings Mountain (No. 2), 25 cents
  The Lincoln Museum and the House Where Lincoln Died (No. 3), 20 cents
  Manassas (Bull Run) (No. 15), 25 cents
  Montezuma Castle (No. 27), 25 cents
  Morristown, A Military Capital of the Revolution (No. 7), 25 cents
  Ocmulgee (No. 24), 25 cents
  Petersburg Battlefields (No. 13), 25 cents
  Saratoga (No. 4), 25 cents
  Scotts Bluff (No. 28), 30 cents
  Shiloh (No. 10), 25 cents
  Statue of Liberty (No. 11), 25 cents
  Vicksburg (No. 21), 25 cents
  Yorktown (No. 14), 25 cents

    [Illustration: _American combination knapsack and haversack_]



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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