Sunday, July 10, 2016

Saratoga National Historic Park

On another day we did a day trip to Saratoga National Historical Site where American forces led by Major General Horatio Gates had a decisive victory over the British led by General John Burgoyne in the fall of 1777.  There is a ten mile driving or biking (if you are prepared) tour with ten stops explaining the entire battle.
In addition to this victory stopping the British from joining forces with their army in New York City and gaining full control of the Hudson River Valley, it was a great morale booster for the patriots for whom the war had not been going well. 
The visitor center has an excellent electric map that shows the fortifications and movement of both armies over nearly a month.
Regular army American and British soldiers uniforms.  The Americans also had militia and the British had Germans and Indians.   
Diorama of American fortifications.  Both sides had dug in and built these lines of defense. The Americans had built their lines earlier on the high ground that controlled the road and river to prevent the British from moving south.
British cannons captured by American forces.  While they were considered trophies they were also used against their former owners.
A demonstration of a carpenter using tools of the time.  Carpenters, blacksmiths and other craftsmen played a very important role in making repairs on military equipment.
The battlefield and farmhouse.
American lines have blue markers.  This is on Bemis Heights which gave the American troops a line of fire to the main road and the river that is now behind the trees.
The British lines are marked with red posts.  This is Balcarres Redoubt one of three British fortifications where cannons were placed to stop American attacks.  This one held while another fell.
The Breymann Redoubt that protected the British right flank was the one that fell.  During that attack American, Benedict Arnold, whose name later became synonymous with being a traitor, was shot in the leg. 
Because Arnold later betrayed the Americans and joined the British, this statue of his boot and wounded leg is the only tribute to him.  Interestingly, it does not have his name on it.   
The Great Redoubt was the strongest of the British fortifications because it had to protect the hospital, supplies, loyalists and their route of escape.  It was from behind this point where Burgoyne finally made the decision to surrender.  His army of 6,000 was facing a force of 17,000 with no chance of reinforcements or escape.  Under the terms of surrender they marched out of camp "with the Honors of War" giving the Americans their most important victory of the Revolutionary War to that point.
On another subject entirely, also while here the CRV battery, that gets a lot work because it powers our breakaway brake and needed to be jumped twice after a day of towing, had to be replaced.  Just another very small bump in the road.
I put this on Facebook, but some people may not have seen it so here it is again.  Just down the road from the campground we found a Tidball Road.  I knew there was one near Pittsburgh and one in Grove City, but finding this one in New York was a real shock.  Especially right after we had visited the Tidball grave site in West Point.  It appears there are more of us that I imagined :-)


heyduke50 said...

I don't know if we can handle any more Tidballs!!!

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Good post!