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 »
One of the ghastliest incidents of the Revolution took place at Groton, Connecticut, during the last engagement of the war in the north. Seventeen hundred British, Hessian, and Tory troops under the command of Benedict Arnold—now a British general after his defection the year before—set out against New London, on the west side of the Thames River from Groton, to seize a large supply of military stores there.Read more »
Sixteen years after General James Wolfe’s famous assault on Quebec, the city was subjected to another siege—and another storming—that, though less celebrated, was vitally important to Americans in the early months oj their revolution. Read more »
One day in the winter of 1782-83, an exiled American neutralist, Peter Van Schaack by name, was browsing through London’s Westminster Abbey when he was startled to see a familiar figure standing before a newly erected monument to Major John André, the young British officer who had collaborated with Benedict Arnold in the unsuccessful scheme to betray West Point.
Seen in the perspective of history, the Battle of Valcour Island, fought on Lake Champlain between improvised navies of Britain and America in October. 1776, looms out of all proportion to the size of the forces engaged, the number of ships sunk, or the losses suffered in wounded and killed.
On the night of October 20, 1780, the weathered tents of the Continental Army were pitched in the rolling cattle country around Totowa above the Great Falls of the Passaic in New Jersey. Rain was making, and the night was moonless and black.