Battle of Saratoga
- Proved to France and other European countries that the Patriots could win
Who fought it for the British?
What were the 2 major engagements?
Battle of Freeman’s Farm
- The British were past Saratoga nearing Albany
- They ran into American forces in a clearing in the woods at Freeman's Farm, 10 miles south of Saratoga
- General Benedict Arnold ordered Colonel Daniel Morgan and his 400 sharpshooters to “assault and harass” the British while they were still advancing through the woods
- Morgan charged aggressively and inflicted severe casualties before being forced back across the field.
- Arnold sent forward the brigades to support Morgan.
- The British sent forces to attack the Americans across Freeman's Farm.
- Arnold's reinforced line repulsed the British attack with heavy losses.
- By the end of the battle the British and German troops had repulsed one last attack from the Americans, and Arnold was relieved of command.
- Although they had to relinquish the field, the Americans had halted Britain's advance and inflicted losses the British could ill afford.
Battle of Bemis Heights
- Britains made plans to assault the American troops and drive them from the field.
- The main assault would be made by the Hessians against the American forces on Bemis Heights.
- American forces held their fire until the Hessians were well within range, devastating the British in the first attack and routed the survivors in a counter attack.
- Colonel Morgan and his sharpshooters attacked and routed the Canadian infantry and began to engage British regulars.
- British forces began to rally, and Benedict Arnold arrived on the field (despite his prior dismissal) and ordered Morgan to concentrate his fire on the officers, particularly the generals.
- One of Morgan's sharpshooters fired and mortally wounded the British leader
- As the battle raged on, Arnold fell wounded.
Battle of Saratoga
- Decisive American victory
- Result – France entered the conflict on behalf of America
- Americans learned to mix sharpshooters with trained men armed with muskets and bayonets.
- Sharpshooters shot well over 200 yards, but were unable to reload quickly
- Burgoyne's troops were disarmed and should have been paroled (returned to Britain on the condition that they engage in no further conflict with America), a common 18th century military practice.
- Instead, the Continental Congress refused to ratify the "convention" (the document detailing the terms of surrender agreed to by Gates and Burgoyne).
- Some of the British and German officers were eventually exchanged for captured American officers
- Some were held captive in camps in New England, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, until the end of the war.
- Another serious difficulty encountered was that Charles I, Duke of Brunswick, did not want his soldiers back, fearing they would hinder future recruitment
- Hessians did not appreciate this and deserted in large numbers; of 5,723 Brunswick troops, only 3,015 returned. Most became Americans.
Benedict Arnold at Bemis Heights
Who was Benedict Arnold?
- Arnold was to later switch sides and became a British general after offering to deliver West Point to the British for cash.
The Boot Monument
- The Boot Monument on the battlefield commemorates the heroism of Benedict Arnold in the conflict when he was wounded in the foot.
- According to legend, Arnold, as a British general, asked an American captive in Virginia what the Americans would do with him. The reply was:
- "We would cut your leg off and bury it with full military honors for your work at Quebec and Saratoga. The rest of you we would hang."
- The monument is dedicated to "the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army", but does not mention Arnold by name.