Saratoga

BATTLES OF THE REVOLUTION

On July first of 1777 the able, affable “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne set out from Crown Point on Lake Champlain with his competent Hessian ally, Baron Friedrich von Riedesel, thereby opening a campaign that he had wagered would see him home victorious by Christmas. Burgoyne’s plan was to bisect the colonies; Colonel Barry St. Leger would move east through the Mohawk Valley with seventeen hundred men, Howe would march north from New York, and Burgoyne would take his ninety-five hundred troops south to Albany, where he would meet with Howe and St. Leger.Read more »

Gentleman Johnny’s Wandering Army

Defeated at Saratoga, Burgoyne’s troops faced nearly five years of enforced exile in a hostile countryside

On October 17, 1777, Elijah Fisher confided the following information to his diary: … Gen. Burgoin and his howl army surrendered themselves Prisoners of Ware and Come to Captelate with our army and Gen. Gates. … Then at one of the Clock five Brigades was sent for Albeny (for there come nuse that Gen. Clinton was a comin up the North river). … Gen. Clinton having nuse that Gen. Birgoyne had capetlated and had surrendered his army prisoners of war he Returned back to New York. … Read more »

General Clinton’s Dumbbell Code

Late in July, 1777, the British general John Burgoyne found himself trapped by a colonial army in the upper reaches of the Hudson; he was about to lose the Battle of Saratoga. In desperation he wrote to Sir Henry Clinton in New York, asking for reinforcements. But the only available troops, under Sir William Howe, were off in Maryland. Clinton’s discouraging answer was a letter which had no apparent meaning until Burgoyne’s staff fitted a prearranged dumbbell-shaped mask over it.Read more »

Burgoyne and America's Destiny.

Stickler for a point of honor, the General marched to defeat and helped to lose a war

Not long alter the distressing events—from a British standpoint—at Concord and Lexington, and while heavy reinforcements were pouring into Boston to aid the beleaguered General Gage, one ship was observed to have brought an indeed notable cargo. Aboard this lucky craft, the Cerberus, were three of His Majesty’s generals, all members (in absentia) of the House of Gommons, and all destined to play important roles in the years ahead: Major Generals Henry Clinton, William Howe, and John Burgoyne.Read more »