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Saratoga campaign,June–Oct., 1777, of the American Revolution. Lord George GermainGermain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville
, 1716–85, British soldier and statesman. He was known as Lord George Sackville until 1770, when under the terms of a will he took the name Germain.
..... Click the link for more information. and John BurgoyneBurgoyne, John
, 1722–92, British general and playwright. In the Seven Years War, his victory over the Spanish in storming (1762) Valencia de Alcántara in Portugal made him the toast of London. He was elected to Parliament in 1761 and took his seat in 1763.
..... Click the link for more information. were the chief authors of a plan to end the American Revolution by splitting the colonies along the Hudson River. Burgoyne was to advance S from Canada along Lake Champlain to Albany, where he would join Sir William HoweHowe, William Howe, 5th Viscount,
1729–1814, English general in the American Revolution; younger brother of Admiral Richard Howe.
..... Click the link for more information. , advancing N from New York City up the Hudson, and Barry St. LegerSt. Leger, Barry,
1737–89, British officer in the American Revolution. In the French and Indian Wars he served at Louisburg (1758) and with Gen. James Wolfe at Quebec.
..... Click the link for more information. , coming E along the Mohawk River. Howe, however, became engaged in the campaign against Philadelphia, and Sir Henry ClintonClinton, Sir Henry,
1738?–1795, British general in the American Revolution, b. Newfoundland; son of George Clinton (1686?–1761). He was an officer in the New York militia and then in the Coldstream Guards.
..... Click the link for more information. , who assumed the command in New York City, never reached Albany. Burgoyne had no trouble in taking TiconderogaTiconderoga
, resort village (1990 pop. 2,770), Essex co., NE N.Y., on a neck of land between lakes George and Champlain; settled in the 17th cent., inc. 1889. At Ticonderoga and nearby Crown Point, several battles in the French and Indian Wars took place.
..... Click the link for more information. (July 6), but his march south proved difficult. The column of Hessians (German mercenaries) he sent to raid Bennington was badly beaten (Aug. 14–16) by troops (including the Green Mountain BoysGreen Mountain Boys,
popular name of armed bands formed (c.1770) under the auspices of Ethan Allen in the Green Mountains of what is today Vermont. Their purpose was to prevent the New Hampshire Grants, as Vermont was then known, from becoming part of New York, to which it had
..... Click the link for more information. ) under John StarkStark, John,
1728–1822, American Revolutionary soldier, b. Londonderry, N.H. He fought in the French and Indian Wars. At the start of the Revolution he distinguished himself at Bunker Hill, and he served in the Quebec campaign and with George Washington at Princeton and
..... Click the link for more information. and Seth WarnerWarner, Seth,
1743–84, hero of the American Revolution, b. Roxbury, Conn. One of the group who, under Ethan Allen, resisted the New York claim to the New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont), he was outlawed by New York authorities.
..... Click the link for more information. . Meanwhile, the force under St. Leger besieged the Revolutionary forces at Fort Stanwix (Fort Schuyler). An American party under Nicholas HerkimerHerkimer, Nicholas,
1728–77, American Revolutionary general. He was born in a German colony near the present town of Herkimer, N.Y. He served in the French and Indian War and was appointed (1776) brigadier general in the New York militia.
..... Click the link for more information. , which had come to relieve the fort, was ambushed (Aug. 6, 1777) when crossing Oriskany Creek; Herkimer was mortally wounded, and the force dispersed. The British siege did not prosper, however, and when rumors came that a large Revolutionary force was approaching under Benedict ArnoldArnold, Benedict,
1741–1801, American Revolutionary general and traitor, b. Norwich, Conn. As a youth he served for a time in the colonial militia in the French and Indian Wars. He later became a prosperous merchant.
..... Click the link for more information. , the Indians deserted the British service. St. Leger had to abandon (Aug. 22) the siege and retreated to Canada. Burgoyne continued southward, crossed the Hudson (Sept. 13), and halted near the present Saratoga Springs, where, on Bemis Heights, the Americans had taken up position. With Benjamin LincolnLincoln, Benjamin,
1733–1810, American Revolutionary soldier, b. Hingham, Mass. He served under Horatio Gates in the Saratoga campaign before becoming (1778) commander in the South.
..... Click the link for more information. threatening his rear and his supplies running low, Burgoyne tried to break through at Freeman's Farm (Sept. 19) and at Bemis Heights (Oct. 7). Both attempts were stopped by Benedict Arnold, Daniel MorganMorgan, Daniel,
1736–1802, American Revolutionary general, b. probably in Hunterdon co., N.J. He moved (c.1753) to Virginia and later served in the French and Indian Wars and several campaigns against Native Americans.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Horatio GatesGates, Horatio,
c.1727–1806, American Revolutionary general, b. Maldon, Essex, England. Entering the British army at an early age, he fought in America in the French and Indian War and served in the expedition against Martinique.
..... Click the link for more information. , who had replaced Philip J. Schuyler as American commander. The British commander then tried to retreat, but, finding himself outnumbered and surrounded, he surrendered on Oct. 17, 1777. The battle of Saratoga was the first great American victory of the war, and it is considered by many the decisive battle of the Revolution. Besides the heartening effect on the patriots, the campaign also encouraged the French, who had helped the victory by unofficial supplies and funds, to send official aid.
See studies by H. Nickerson (1928, repr. 1967), C. E. Bennett (1933), H. Bird (1963), R. Furneaux (1971), and R. M. Ketchum (1997).