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British Recapture Ft Ticonderoga

2006-01-23 00:00

  General Burgoyne's plan called for his leading his army south from Canada to meet Howe's forces coming north from New York, thus dividing the colonies. Burgoyne set off down Lake Champlain in June of 1777, bound for Fort Ticonderoga. Burgoyne had two fully rigged ships and 36 other ships, together with 7,400 men. The British troops landed about three miles north of the fort and headed for the West Shore, while the German troops moved east. All the troops were to face General St. Clair and his troops at Fort Ticonderoga. The British managed to send troops and artillery to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, a peak that the Americans felt was unreachable. When St. Clair discovered the British forces on the mountain which dominated the American position he decided the prudent course was to withdraw and fight another day. In the middle of the night of July 5th, Americans began to withdraw. St. Clair sent his supplies and sick troops by water, while the bulk of his army left by the military road. In the morning, Burgoyne sent his warships to blast a hole in the boom blocking the lake, and captured the American supplies. The men guarding them, commanded by Colonel Long, escaped in a running battle that badly mauled the British 9th Foot. Meanwhile, after a rapid and near frenetic withdrawal from Ticonderoga, the main body of the army was bivouacked at Hubbardton. The rear of the army was guarded by Colonel Ebenezer Francis' 11th Massachusetts. The British attacked and, in a deadly fight, Francis was killed and the American rear guard was nearly destroyed. However, the American's gave as well as they received and were able to stop the British assault, thus ensuring the successful escape of the army.

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