The digital gallery

1777: Decisive Year of The American Revolution

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E195 - Intro Page - 1777 Decisive Year of the American Revolution

The Digital Gallery is pleased to present the second exhibit in the American Revolution Series. Previously, in Exhibit 40, "George Washington and The American Revolution, 1775-1776," we displayed, through historic maps and iconic images, the course of the first two years of the war. The cause of American Independence went from elation when the American militia forced the British to retreat from Concord, Massachusetts (April 1775), to horror at the carnage at Bunker Hill (June 1775), and back to victory when the British Army was forced to evacuate Boston (March 1776). But a huge British force returned to New York (July 1776) and defeated General George Washington's army in a series of battles through late summer and autumn. The American cause was on the brink of disaster (December 1776) when Washington decided upon a bold stroke of war to save the American Revolution--and the future of the United States.

Come with us now as we jump back to catch up with the momentous story of the Campaign of 1777 and why it proved to be the Decisive Year of the American Revolution.

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E195 - Portrait of George Washington

Now meet General George Washington. From June 1775 until the end of the war, the American Commander in Chief was George Washington, whose prior military command experience was no larger than a regiment (about 700 men). But he looked and acted like a commander in chief. He had an iron will and steely self-confidence , characteristics that would serve him well during the war's eight long years. As a Virginian, Washington also brought regional balance since the early fighting took place in New England.

Washington made errors alright, but he learned from them, kept the American Army intact as a fighting force, and led to ultimate victory. There was no one to match Washington's Olympian status.

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Washington was tall for the 18th Century, powerfully built and a superb horseman.
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Washington was tall for the 18th Century, powerfully built and a superb horseman.
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The blue sash marks General Washington as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
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The blue sash marks General Washington as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
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Image here is of Charles Wilson Peale, painter of George Washington at Yorktown. Wikipedia

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Image here is of Charles Wilson Peale, painter of George Washington at Yorktown. Wikipedia

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This painting captures the confidence and iron will of General George Washington.
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This painting captures the confidence and iron will of General George Washington.
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E195 - Trenton Battle Map 1777

In December 1776, General George Washington had his back to the wall. Over the summer and fall, he and the American Army suffered a series of devastating defeats and humiliating retreats at the hands of the British forces. Washington knew that the cause of American Independence could be saved only by a bold stroke of war. After his dwindling army retreated across New Jersey, they sought at least temporary safety on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. With the traditional fighting season over, the British and their Hessian mercenaries set up a string of posts from New York City to the New Jersey side of the Delaware. This detailed battle map, published by Willam Faden in 1777, shows the heroic actions of the American forces from December 26, 1776 to January 3, 1777. With the integrity of his army at stake, Washington decided on the one course that would save the revolution; he would attack! He chose an isolated Hessian outpost in Trenton, at the very end of the British-Hessian line. On Christmas night 1776, the American Army crossed the Delaware River back into New Jersey at McKonkey’s Ferry (just northeast of Newtown on map). Then the army marched in two divisions, the left down the Pennington Road and the right down the River Road, to attack the Hessians. Catching the enemy by surprise, the result was an hour long battle leading to complete victory. The Hessian commander was killed, and over 1000 Hessians were taken prisoner. Washington then returned his army to its Pennsylvania encampment, but followed up with another victory a week later in Princeton, New Jersey (northeast of Trenton). The twin victories breathed new life into the cause of independence and led to recognition of Washington as a battlefield commander. The British knew they would now be in for a long struggle if they were to put down the American rebellion. After the Battle of Princeton, the American Army encamped in Morristown, New Jersey while the British main force was in and around New York City. Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

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E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771


The Middle British Colonies in America, originally published by Carington Bowles, London, 1771. This map shows the Seat of the War in 1777. The maneuvers and battles spanned over 700 miles in a north-south direction, from British Canada, through the 18th Century wilderness of Upper New York, to Saratoga and from New York City to the tip of the Virginia Capes and back up to Philadelphia. These were mind-boggling expanses in the 18th Century considering the slow rate of transport by land or by sea and the rude state of roads through the countryside and of bridges or ferries to cross the mighty North American rivers. And for the British, these problems were compounded by divided command and poor coordination from London.

Library of Congress

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E195 - General Howe

Meet British General Sir William Howe. In April 1776, General William Howe officially became Commander in Chief of the British Army in the 13 colonies. With his superb tactical skills , he led his forces to a series of victories over Washington in 1776, but he was often slow to take full advantage of his battlefield successes. And Washington's army escaped disaster repeatedly. General Howe was a veteran commander of war in North America but liked Americans who had fought side by side with him in the French and Indian War. Howe tried to end the rebellion with minimal bloodshed to his own troops as well as to the Americans. The Royal Navy was under command of his older brother, Admiral Lord Richard Howe.

In the aftermath of Trenton and Princeton, General Howe sought revenge and believed he could end the war in spring 1777 by capturing the rebel capital. From his headquarters in New York City, General Howe wrote to the Secretary for the American Colonies , Lord George Germain, in London to approve his plan to take Philadelphia. But since it took 4 to 6 weeks or more for a letter to get across the Atlantic, time and distance worked against a unified British plan.

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E195 - General John Burgoyne by Joshua Reynolds - 1766

Let's now meet British General John Burgoyne. Nicknamed "Gentleman Johnny" for his humane treatment of his soldiers, General Burgoyne earned a bold and aggressive reputation in Europe during the Seven Years' War. He was dashing: a reckless gambler, an amateur actor and even a playwright. In 1776, he commanded the British attack of upper New York from Canada, but due to his late start in the fighting season and a gallant American defense at Valcour Island, his army returned to Canada for the winter after achieving minor tactical victories. Then, since he would be the British commander in Canada for the 1777 Campaign, he made a winter crossing of the North Atlantic to London, where his lobbied Secretary for the American Colonies, Lord George Germain, to get approval for his planned invasion of New York from Canada in spring 1777.

Frick Collection

Wikipedia

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E195 - The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey with part of Pennsylvania, and the Province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777

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E195 - A plan of the city and environs of Philadelphia - 1777

Published by William Faden in 1777 in London, this map shows the city and environs of Philadelphia, the American capital. The largest city in British North America, it had a population of 30,000 and was a center of trade, culture, and science. The nation's first medical school (later the University of Pennsylvania) was founded there in 1765. Neatly laid out between the broad Delaware River and the Schuylkill River, it was only 90 miles--across the plains of New Jersey--from British Headquarters in New York City. General Howe believed that capturing Philadelphia would take the heart from the rebellion. By late spring, he received approval from Lord Germain in London to take the American capital.


Library of Congress

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E195 - Independence Hall

Completed in 1753, the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia was the most ambitious public building in the thirteen colonies. Fittingly, it became the venue for the Second Continental Congress, which began meeting in May 1776. Here , on July 4, 1776 , the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed . The edifice became known as Independence Hall and is considered the birthplace of the United States. British General Howe aimed to capture the city and the seat of the rebel government. Wikipedia

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E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771

Let's now focus on the southern part of the map. In spring 1777, the main British Army, under General William Howe, set out from its base in New York City to lure Washington's Army from its stronghold in Morristown, New Jersey and into open battle, where the British hoped to crush the rebellion. But after two weeks in Northern New Jersey, the British force of 20,000 achieved nothing other than pointless skirmishes with the Americans. British Commander in Chief General Sir William Howe pulled his British and Hessian army back to New York for a new course. He boarded his 18,000 man army complete with its complement of horses , artillery, wagons, ammunition, and tons of provisions aboard 260 Royal Navy warships and transports and set sail from Sandy Hook at the mouth of New York Bay on July 23rd. His objective : Philadelphia. Why Howe changed course when New York City was only 90 miles by land from Philadelphia is a point of enduring historical conjecture.

The mighty fleet sailed down the East coast of New Jersey , across the mouth of Delaware Bay, around the Virginia Capes, and finally up the Chesapeake to Head of Elk, Maryland. When the British fleet initially disappeared out to sea, General Washington agonized over its objective. Were they going to Philadelphia, or further south, or turn about and go up the Hudson to join Burgoyne's force from Canada? Washington had pilots and coast watchers looking for the British fleet, and he moved the American Army back and forth trying to head off the enemy.

Only when the fleet was spotted high up on Chesapeake Bay did Washington know the British landing point was the head of bay. He then marched his army south to block the British approach on Philadelphia. Yet, the British voyage took over a month and resulted in the loss of much of the fighting season. When the British finally disembarked at Head of Elk, Maryland, they were not much closer to Philadelphia than they were in New York City. Accordingly, the Howes' decision to use the long sea route earned him extensive criticism.

Library of Congress

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E195 - A plan of the city of Philadelphia - Easburn - 1776

A map of Philadelphia by Benjamin Easburn, Surveyor General, and published by Andrew Drury, London (1776).In comparison to old cities of Europe, Philadelphia was laid out in orderly blocks. Beginning on the Delaware River, the streets were numbered consecutively (running east to west). And the main street running straight west was Market Street, with parallel streets named after trees (Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, Pine,Mulberry, Cherry, Sasafras, and Vine ). In the inset (upper left) is an important view of the water approach to Philadelphia via the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Note the many islands and narrow ship channel. Delaware River pilots who were loyal to the king advised the Howe Brothers not to approach Philadelphia directly up the Delaware because the Americans could have strong land-based defenses. As a result, the British fleet went around the Virginia Capes and up the Chesapeake Bay, thus adding precious weeks to the invading voyage.

Library of Congress

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E195 – Marshall's Map - Approach to Brandywine - 1832

From Marshall's "Life of Washington," this map spans the distance from The Amboys in New Jersey (directly across from New York City), to Philadelphia --about 70 miles--and from Philadelphia to Head of Elk--about 50 miles. The British fleet began to unload the army at Head of Elk, Maryland on August 25th after a sea voyage of nearly five weeks, marked by unbearably hot weather and occasional rough seas. After resting his men for a few days, Howe began the British march north and east toward Philadelphia.

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Battle of Brandywine

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Battle of Brandywine

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Paoli Massacre
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E195 – Marshall's Map 1832, Approach to Brandywine

By the movements shown on this copy, we see General Washington's defenses (blue line) along The Brandywine River at Chad's Ford, about 30 miles south of Philadelphia. The red lines show British General Howe's plan of attack. From Loyalist scouts, Howe learned of unguarded fords across the upper Brandywine. He began a long flanking march very early in the morning of September 11, 1777, while a large feint was made against the center of the American line. Howe used the very same flanking maneuver he had used on the Americans the year before at the Battle of Long Island. And, once again, the Americans were surprised!

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E195 - Washington's HQ

On the eve of the battle, General George Washington made his Headquarters here at the Benjamin Ring House. It is located today along US Route 1 and is part of the Pennsylvania Historical Park.(photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Brandywine Creek at Chad's Ford

A view of the Brandywine River from the American (East) side, looking toward the Hessian-British (West) side at Chad's Ford. The river was not very broad, and its banks were not steep. It was fordable in several places. The Brandywine turned out to be a poor choice for Washington to use when defending the approach to Philadelphia. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Historical Marker of Battle of Brandywine

Battle of the Brandywine Historical marker, near US Route 1 by the entrance to Brandywine Battlefield Park and museum. This view is looking west . The Brandywine River is just beyond the current paved road running to the right. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Jefferis Ford Plaque

Pennsylvania Historical Marker at site of Jefferis Ford on the upper Brandywine River. General Howe's main force began its long flanking march very early in the morning and by mid afternoon crossed the upper branches of the river en route to its attack on the unsuspecting American right wing. The branch of the river is just down the embankment to the left of the marker. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Jefferis Ford of Upper Brandywine Creek

A view of Jefferis Ford on the upper Brandywine River. Even today, as in 1777, the river is narrow and shallow, making for an easy fording by the British force.Photo is taken from the modern bridge which crosses the narrow river. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Battle of Brandywine in which the rebels were defeated, 1777 - Battle Map

This detailed map engraved by the noted British cartographer William Faden depicts the details of the battle. At lower left, the Hessian column attacked the main American force, dug in along the the east side of the Brandywine River . Meanwhile by mid-afternoon, the main British force had completed its long, hot flanking march and was in position in he upper left near the Birmingham Meeting House. Hurriedly, American units under General John Sullivan moved into position, but despite their brave resistance the British had the advantage and the momentum. The American Army was saved from annhilation by an orderly withdrawal to the east as evening fell.

https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3824c.ar133700/

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E195 - Battle of Brandywine Creek - FC Yohn

This painting by Frederick Coffay Yohn shows American troops in line of battle firing at the oncoming British, the flanking forces attacking the American right wing. The American officer on horseback is likely General John Sullivan, who commanded the American right wing. Despite the spirited American defense, the British had overwhelming power and forced the Americans to retreat.

https://www.britishbattles.com/?s=yohn

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E195 - Birmingham Meeting House

View of The Birmingham Quaker Meeting House to the north (right wing) of the American line of defense along the Brandywine. The meeting house was being used as an American hospital at the time. American forces rapidly formed a line to the left of the house to meet the oncoming British onslaught, but Howe's flanking force was overwhelming. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Sandy Hollow with cannon

View of the battlefield at Sandy Hollow. The Americans were forced back from their positions on the Brandywine and near the Birmingham Meeting House by General Howe's flanking attack and by the might of the combined Hessian-British force. Washington was deceived again by the tactical genius of General Howe, but the Americans formed a rear guard defense here at Sandy Hollow very late in the day , allowing their army to escape to the east. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - British Camp at Trudruffrin Battle Map - 1777

Another map by William Faden, this one shows the battle that has become known as the Paoli Massacre. (The location is also referred to as Tredyffrin or as Truduffrin.) On the night of September 20th, 1777--nine days after the Battle of the Brandywine--an American encampment , under famed General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, was surprised by a British detachment. The British night attack routed the Americans and sent them fleeing in disorder. The British gave no quarter. Fifty-three Americans were killed.

Library of Congress

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E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument

View of the obelisk on the Paoli battlefield, with inscription referring to British "cruelty" during the attack. My wife Jane is on right, and dear friends we dragged along are behind the monument. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument Description

Engraving on the monument at the Paoli Battlefield, decrying the "cold blooded cruelty" of the British against the Americans.(photo by R Gibbs)

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E195 - Sketch of the Surprise of German Town - Faden - 1784

The Surprise at Germantown drawn by British Lt. J. Hills, Assistant Engineer, and published by William Faden (1784). After weeks of maneuvering following the Battle of the Brandywine, the British marched into Philadelphia , the American Capital, on September 26, 1777 without having to fire a shot. But Washington's fighting spirit was still up. From his camp outside Philadelphia, he decided to attack the British at their forward post in Germantown, a few miles northwest of Philadelphia. The attack began on the morning of October 4 and initially proceeded well, but Washington's plan was, once again, overly complex. With heavy fog through the morning, the American attack unravelled. The British rallied under the direct leadership of General Howe and sent the Americans reeling.

Stanford Ruderman

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E195 - Battle of Germantown Map, British Battles

This modern map (courtesy BritishBattles.com) shows Washington's plan of attack involving three columns: Washington in the center down Skippack Road, Greene on the left down Limekiln Road, and the Pennsylvania Militia along the Schuylkill River toward the Wissahickon Creek. When the center column found a British regiment barricaded in the stone Chew House, their attack stalled giving the British time to regroup. Then with the fog lifting, the British, under Howe's direct command, regained the initiative and pushed all American columns back. It was the second major defeat for Washington.

BritishBattles.com

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E195 - Painting of Attack on Chew House

The Attack on The Chew House, by Howard Pyle (1898), showing the heroic efforts of the Americans to dislodge the British from the Chew House, a strong stone building, but the effort here stalled the main American attack.


https://g.co/arts/1rPNcPx64xMYXgJd9

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E195 - The Chew House Germantown

View of the Chew House , owned by a Loyalist Benjamin Chew, who as Chief Justice was one of Philadelphia's most prominent lawyers. During the battle, British soldiers barricaded themselves in the sturdy stone edifice. The Americans attacked the house to avoid leaving a fortified position in their rear. However, the British threw up a robust defense causing a delay in the main American attack and its eventual loss of cohesion. (photo by R. Gibbs)

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E195 - The course of Delaware River from Philadelphia to Chester

"The course of the Delaware river...with several forts raised by the rebels," published by William Faden, 1779. Even though the British occupied Philadelphia in late September, the Royal Navy was not able to bring supplies up the Delaware because of fortifications built by the Americans. The main ones were Fort Mifflin on Mud Island, Fort Mercer at Red Bank on the New Jersey side, and "stockadoes" further down the river. A flotilla of small American boats added to the defense.To gain river access, the Royal Navy attacked the defenses, often firing their cannon point blank into the fortifications, and ultimately achieved surrender of the last one, Fort Mifflin, on November 16th, 1777.

Leventhal Library

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E195 - The March to Valley Forge - Trego

"The March to Valley Forge," by William Trego (1883).

With the Crown Forces completely in control of Philadelphia and its immediate environs , Washington sought a winter encampment from which he could keep an eye on the British. This well known painting depicts the march into Valley Forge, which the Americans reached on December 19th. Washington and his senior officers set up headquarters in existing homes while the men built crude log huts as they faced the heroic winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge.

Wikipedia

Museum of the American Revolution


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E195 - The provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pennsylvania and the province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777

We return now to British invasion from Canada. This detail in the Holland map shows the route of Burgoyne's main column of over 8000 men. At first, all seemed to be going well as they captured Fort Ticonderoga without having to fire a shot and proceeded south. Then progress slowed as the large army had to make its way through the wilderness, building bridges and repairing roads. In mid-August, Burgoyne got a double dose of bad news. A large Hessian raiding force of nearly 1000 was defeated and captured at Bennington, Vermont , and nearly simultaneously, the column from the west, under Lt Col. Barry St. Leger, failed to take Fort Stanwix and retreated up the Mohawk. Now deprived of considerable strength, Burgoyne continued toward Albany, but a large American force was awaiting his arrival.

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E195 - General Horatio Gates

American General Horatio Gates, by Gilbert Stuart (c.1793-4)

Now let's meet American General Horatio Gates. English-born General Gates had previously served in the British Army and at the outbreak of the revolution was one of the few American senior officers with battlefield experience. He was older (50 years), snobbish, formal and fussy, earning him the nickname , behind his back, of "Granny Gates." But in 1776, he had proved himself a valuable officer, and in 1777 Gates was appointed commander of the Northern Department of the American Army. Serving under Gates were some of the best senior officers in the army. Together they and their men prepared to meet Burgoyne's forces.

Met Museum

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E195 - Plan of Carillon ou [sic] Ticonderoga - 1777

Plan of Carillon or Ticonderoga, by Capt. du Chesnoy and General Lafayette, 1777.

Fort Ticonderoga had been built at a formidable point near the confluence of Lake Champlain and Lake George. On July 5-6, 1777, as Burgoyne's army approached, the Americans abandoned the fort without firing a shot. Burgoyne continued south through the wilderness and reached the edge of the Hudson River by August.

Library of Congress

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E195 - Position of the detachment under Lieut. Col. Baum

The. Battle of Bennington (Vermont), drawn by Lt. Durnford, published by William Faden, 1780.

In August, Burgoyne sent a contingent of Hessians under Lieut. Col. Baum on a foraging expedition into Vermont. They were met by a militia force under General John Stark , a famed fighter in the French and Indian War and a hero at Bunker Hill. On August 16th, Stark's force roundly defeated Baum's troops . Over 200 Hessians were killed and 700 were taken prisoner. The result was a significant reduction in Burgoyne's fighting force.

Meanwhile, to the west of Burgoyne's march, British Col. Barry St.Leger and his force of British, Hessian, Loyalist, and Mohawk and Seneca warriors threatened the American position at Fort Stanwix, up the Mohawk Valley. After the British combined force obtained a hollow victory at Oriskany , St Leger besieged Fort Stanwix, but when he received news of large American reinforcements , St. Leger abandoned the siege and retreated west up the Mohawk Valley.


Despite these setbacks at Bennington to the east and Fort Stanwix to the west, Burgoyne pressed onward, south toward Saratoga in early September.


Leventhal

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E195 - First Battle of Freeman's Farm, 19 Sept 1777

The Battle of Freeman's Farm, September 19th, 1777.

This map was drawn by British Lt. W C Wilkerson and published by William Faden (1780). It depicts the British encampment on the field of battle on the days surrounding the fight at Freeman's Farm. Note that it is oriented from the British view, looking south (ie, north is at the bottom). To reach Albany, Burgoyne had to punch through the formidable defenses built by General Gates and his men. There was only one road south which the Americans controlled. Burgoyne divided his weakened force into three columns with each to probe the American lines. American Col. Daniel Morgan's light infantry engaged Burgoyne's center column in hot fighting near Freeman's Farm. At sunset, the British with the assistance of 500 Hessian reinforcements held the field, but Burgoyne had lost nearly 600 troops during the battle. Expecting reinforcements from New York City, Burgoyne and his men dug in. While the British hunkered down, their supplies dwindled, and their position deteriorated as the American army grew to 13,000 men.

Leventhal

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E195 - One Field-Piece That Had Been Taken and Retaken Five Times

This sketch is taken from Harper's New Monthly Magazine , Vol. LV (1877) and depicts the hand to hand fighting. "One field piece [cannon]...had been taken and retaken five times."

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E195 - Second Battle of Freeman's Farm (Bemis Heights), 7 Oct 1777

The Battle of Bemis Heights, October 7th.

This is a partner map of the previous one. It has the same orientation (ie, north at the bottom). Burgoyne's situation became critical when he got no word of reinforcements from New York City. (Howe and the main army were 250 miles to the south. They had just captured Philadelphia on September 26th and on October 4th fought the Battle of Germantown.) On October 7th, Burgoyne ordered a "reconnaissance in force" on his own right wing, to attack the American position on Bemis Heights. The Americans were ready that day and forced the British to withdraw to the large Balcarres Redoubt. American General Benedict Arnold, then the most vigorous field commander in the army, seized the initiative and captured the Hessian von Breymann Redoubt.

Leventhal

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E195 - Battle of Saratoga British Battles - October 7, 1777

This modern map (courtesy BritishBattles.com) shows the critical action of October 7, 1777. Here we witness the action of the Americans stopping Burgoyne's reconnaissance in force, forcing the British back to the large Balcarres redoubt, and Benedict Arnold's successful attack on the Hessian von Breymann Redoubt.

BritishBattles.com

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E195 - The Brunswickers Last Volley in the action on the 7th of October 1777

This sketch (also from Harper's New Monthly Magazine , 1877) depicts a German line firing its last volley on October 7th. Note the dead and wounded in the foreground and the retreating soldiers in the background. Cannonballs are flying overhead.

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E195 - Benedict Arnold

This is an engraving of Benedict Arnold by H. B. Hall, after the portrait by John Trumbull.

The name Benedict Arnold has become synonymous with being a heinous traitor, but what is less known is that Arnold was respected as one of the American army's best field commanders early in the war. He was born in 1741 in Connecticut and had an early career in overseas trading. In 1775-77, he was recognized for his bold leadership in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga (May 1775), the attack on Quebec City (December 1775), the Battle of Valcour Island in Lake Champlain (October 1776), and the defense of Fort Stanwix (August 1777). At the Battle of Bemis Heights, Arnold led his men in the successful attack on the Breymann Redoubt, but in the midst of the fighting he was wounded in the leg.

Wikipedia

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E195 - Boot Monument

This is surely one of the most curious monuments in American history. It is located on the Saratoga Battlefield at the spot where Benedict Arnold was wounded in the leg and was erected in 1887. It is dedicated to "the most brilliant soldier " in the continental Army and shows the insignia of a Major General. But, it does not mention Arnold by name because of his subsequent treason.

After Arnold recovered from his leg wound months later, Washington appointed him as military commander of Philadelphia (after the British evacuated the city in June 1778). Taking advantage of his authority, Arnold began scheming to profit from war-time business deals. Charges that he was abusing power led to a court martial in late 1779. Although he was cleared of all but two minor charges, clouds hung over his head, and he resigned his position in Philadelphia in April 1780. Finally in August 1780, he was given command of the fortifications at West Point, New York. Feeling resentment about his treatment by Washington and Congress, he engaged in a plot for the British to capture General Washington and the entire post. At the last minute, the entire scheme was uncovered when his collaborator, British Major John Andre, was captured with clearly incriminating documents. When Arnold got word of Andre's capture, he immediately fled to New York and subsequently served in the British Army as a Brigadier General. In 1781, he and his family sailed to England , where he died in 1801. He was never tried for treason in the United States.



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E195 - Surrender at Saratoga of General Burgoyne

The Surrender of General Burgoyne, by John Trumbell (c. 1786)

Burgoyne was trapped in the wilderness, with no hope of relief from New York, supplies dwindling, and winter ahead. He sued for a treaty and surrendered on October 17th, 1777.

Trumbell's painting depicts Burgoyne and Gates as the central figures. Others shown are American officers: Col. John Stark (of Bennington fame), Col. Daniel Morgan, and Major General Philip Schuyler and Hessian officer: General Baron von Riedesel. Arnold is not shown, presumably because he was recovering in a hospital in Albany on that day.

The Campaign of 1777 was the decisive year for the American Revolution because the victory at Saratoga ended the threat from Canada, raised morale of the army and the pro-independence citizenry, and secured the critical alliance with France. For General Washington, the campaign was once again marked by defeats (at Brandywine and Germantown ), the capture of Philadelphia by the British, and retreat to Valley Forge. Some in Congress and the army began to doubt Washington's ability as Commander in Chief, but he overcame these adversities and led the army to eventual victory at Yorktown , Virginia four long years later.

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E195 - Surrender at Yorktown

The Surrender at Yorktown , Virginia , by John Trumbull (1826)

The American Revolutionary War would not be officially over until The Treaty of Paris in 1783, but the main fighting ended with the joint French-American victory at Yorktown, Virginia fully four years later in October, 1781. Washington is depicted in the painting center right on horseback. How, after all, did Washington win? He won because he and his men had a cause. He was fighting the right war—keeping his less-experienced army intact, winning just enough times, and gaining the critical aid of the French. The British Crown and British people had no stomach for more blood and more treasure. Reflecting over the last nearly 250 years, we remember the decisive year of 1777 when victory at Saratoga bolstered hope in independence and led to the French Alliance and when Congress and the army stood by George Washington. Although Washington lost major battles in 1777, he kept the army intact and eventually wore down the British military forces. There was no one else in the Continental Army who could have done what Washington did. Painting by John Trumbull. Image courtesy of Architect of the Capitol and Wikipedia.

https://www.aoc.gov/art/historic-rotunda-paintings...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Lord_Co...

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George Washington is in the background because the British commander, General Cornwallis, feigned illness and sent his second in command, General O'Hara. Accordingly, Washington sent his second in command, General Benjamin Lincoln.
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George Washington is in the background because the British commander, General Cornwallis, feigned illness and sent his second in command, General O'Hara. Accordingly, Washington sent his second in command, General Benjamin Lincoln.
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General Charles O'Hara, second in command to General Cornwallis, offering surrender to General Lincoln.
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General Charles O'Hara, second in command to General Cornwallis, offering surrender to General Lincoln.
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General Benjamin Lincoln receiving the surrender of British General O'Hara
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General Benjamin Lincoln receiving the surrender of British General O'Hara
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Depicted in the ranks of American officers are: Col. Alexander Hamilton, who commanded the Light Infantry;General Henry Knox, Chief of Artillery; and General Anthony ("Mad Anthony") Wayne.
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Depicted in the ranks of American officers are: Col. Alexander Hamilton, who commanded the Light Infantry;General Henry Knox, Chief of Artillery; and General Anthony ("Mad Anthony") Wayne.
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Prominently depicted is General Rochambeau, the French Commander in Chief.
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Prominently depicted is General Rochambeau, the French Commander in Chief.
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E195 - The Long Shot

Amazon.com - The Long Shot by Ronald S. Gibbs

For an intriguing , alternative history of the 1776 Campaign, please check out "The Long Shot: The Secret History of 1776." It asks WHAT IF during the early , precarious years of the American Revolution, General George Washington was shot in the chest by a British sniper?

Washington's wound, thought to be fatal by medical minds of the day, sets in motion a thrilling cascade of medical, political and military events. It's a story readers have not been able to put down!

Please click link above for more information.

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<p>E195 - Intro Page - 1777 Decisive Year of the American Revolution</p>

E195 - Intro Page - 1777 Decisive Year of the American Revolution

<p>E195 - Portrait of George Washington</p>

E195 - Portrait of George Washington

<p>E195 - Trenton Battle Map 1777</p>

E195 - Trenton Battle Map 1777

E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771
E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771
<p>E195 - General Howe</p>

E195 - General Howe

<p>E195 - General John Burgoyne by Joshua Reynolds - 1766</p>

E195 - General John Burgoyne by Joshua Reynolds - 1766

E195 - The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey with part of Pennsylvania, and the Province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777
E195 - The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey with part of Pennsylvania, and the Province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777
E195 - A plan of the city and environs of Philadelphia - 1777
E195 - A plan of the city and environs of Philadelphia - 1777
E195 - Independence Hall
E195 - Independence Hall
<p>E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771</p>

E195 - A general map of the middle British colonies in America - 1771

<p>E195 - A plan of the city of Philadelphia - Easburn - 1776</p>

E195 - A plan of the city of Philadelphia - Easburn - 1776

<p>E195 – Marshall's Map - Approach to Brandywine - 1832</p>

E195 – Marshall's Map - Approach to Brandywine - 1832

<p>E195 – Marshall's Map 1832,  Approach to Brandywine</p>

E195 – Marshall's Map 1832, Approach to Brandywine

E195 - Washington's HQ
E195 - Washington's HQ
E195 - Brandywine Creek at Chad's Ford
E195 - Brandywine Creek at Chad's Ford
<p>E195 - Historical Marker of Battle of Brandywine</p>

E195 - Historical Marker of Battle of Brandywine

<p>E195 - Jefferis Ford Plaque</p>

E195 - Jefferis Ford Plaque

<p>E195 - Jefferis Ford of Upper Brandywine Creek</p>

E195 - Jefferis Ford of Upper Brandywine Creek

<p>E195 - Battle of Brandywine in which the rebels were defeated, 1777 - Battle Map</p>

E195 - Battle of Brandywine in which the rebels were defeated, 1777 - Battle Map

E195 - Battle of Brandywine Creek - FC Yohn
E195 - Battle of Brandywine Creek - FC Yohn
<p>E195 - Birmingham Meeting House</p>

E195 - Birmingham Meeting House

E195 - Sandy Hollow with cannon
E195 - Sandy Hollow with cannon
<p>E195 - British Camp at Trudruffrin Battle Map - 1777</p>

E195 - British Camp at Trudruffrin Battle Map - 1777

<p>E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument</p>

E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument

E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument Description
E195 - Paoli Battlefield Monument Description
E195 - Sketch of the Surprise of German Town - Faden - 1784
E195 - Sketch of the Surprise of German Town - Faden - 1784
<p>E195 - Battle of Germantown Map, British Battles</p>

E195 - Battle of Germantown Map, British Battles

<p>E195 - Painting of Attack on Chew House</p>

E195 - Painting of Attack on Chew House

<p>E195 - The Chew House Germantown</p>

E195 - The Chew House Germantown

E195 - The course of Delaware River from Philadelphia to Chester
E195 - The course of Delaware River from Philadelphia to Chester
<p>E195 - The March to Valley Forge - Trego</p>

E195 - The March to Valley Forge - Trego

<p>E195 - The provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pennsylvania and the province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777</p>

E195 - The provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pennsylvania and the province of Quebec Battle Map - 1777

<p>E195 - General Horatio Gates</p>

E195 - General Horatio Gates

E195 - Plan of Carillon ou [sic] Ticonderoga - 1777
E195 - Plan of Carillon ou [sic] Ticonderoga - 1777
E195 - Position of the detachment under Lieut. Col. Baum
E195 - Position of the detachment under Lieut. Col. Baum
<p>E195 - First Battle of Freeman's Farm, 19 Sept 1777</p>

E195 - First Battle of Freeman's Farm, 19 Sept 1777

<p>E195 - One Field-Piece That Had Been Taken and Retaken Five Times</p><p>This sketch is taken from Harper's New Monthly Magazine , Vol. LV (1877) and depicts the hand to hand fighting. ">

E195 - One Field-Piece That Had Been Taken and Retaken Five Times

This sketch is taken from Harper's New Monthly Magazine , Vol. LV (1877) and depicts the hand to hand fighting. "One field piece [cannon]...had been taken and retaken five times."

<p>E195 - Second Battle of Freeman's Farm (Bemis Heights), 7 Oct 1777</p>

E195 - Second Battle of Freeman's Farm (Bemis Heights), 7 Oct 1777

<p>E195 -  Battle of Saratoga British Battles - October 7, 1777</p>

E195 - Battle of Saratoga British Battles - October 7, 1777

<p>E195 - The Brunswickers Last Volley in the action on the 7th of October 1777</p>

E195 - The Brunswickers Last Volley in the action on the 7th of October 1777

<p>E195 - Benedict Arnold</p>

E195 - Benedict Arnold

<p>E195 - Boot Monument</p>

E195 - Boot Monument

<p>E195 - Surrender at Saratoga of General Burgoyne</p>

E195 - Surrender at Saratoga of General Burgoyne

<p>E195 - Surrender at Yorktown</p>

E195 - Surrender at Yorktown

<p>E195 - The Long Shot</p>

E195 - The Long Shot

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