#Onthisday in 1777, there was a second great battle at Saratoga.
At about this time, British Brigadier General Simon Fraser’s troops began to fall before the deadly accuracy of Amecian Colonel Morgan’s Pennsylvania and Virginia riflemen, who fired from the woods west of the Barber Farm.
As the British right was rolled back, British General Fraser rode among his men, encouraging and rallying them to maintain their ranks, keep up their fire and make the Americans pay dearly for every foot of ground. But the Scotsman’s efforts were in vain. He could not stop the turning movement. The gallant British General Fraser came under the heavy fire of the American riflemen and fell mortally wounded.
British Lieutenant William Digby of 53d Regiment of Foot described that action (in his journal he writes about it the day after 8 October 1777):
Brigadier General Frazier was mortally wounded which helped to turn the fate of the day. When General Burgoyne saw him fall, he seemed then to feel in the highest degree our disagreeable situation. He was the only person we could carry off with us.
Our cannon were surrounded and taken — the men and horses being all killed— which gave them additional spirits, and they rushed on with loud shouts, when we drove them back a little way with so great loss to ourselves, that it evidently appeared a retreat was the only thing left for us.
They still advanced upon our works under a severe fire of grape shot, which in some measure stopped them, by the great execution we saw made among their columns; during which, another body of the enemy stormed the German lines after meeting with a most shameful resistance, and took possession of all their camp and equipage, baggage &c &c.
Col Bremen fell nobly at the head of the Foreigners, and by his death blotted out part of the stain his countrymen so justly merited from that days behavior.
To learn more about The Myth of Rifleman Timothy Murphy visit http://ift.tt/2bnGkDR
Every year, thousands of people visit Saratoga County, New York, to learn about the events in 1777. When visiting the area around the battle and siege field, the Visitor Center at Saratoga National Historical Park strives to tell the story of the battles in a variety of ways. The park website is at http://ift.tt/2cxkI82
The Schuylerville Public Library http://ift.tt/2dYYY7C and all the libraries in the region have a number of books on the Battles of Saratoga. One of the more popular and well written books is Richard M Ketchum’s Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War. (1997) New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 978-0-8050-6123-9. OCLC 41397623
Saratoga is known for being the turning point of the American Revolution. In 1777 −− the second year of America’s War for Independence −− the British sought to quell the rebellion with a single decisive military campaign. The British plan depended on using an invading army to divide the colonies along a natural corridor of rivers and lakes stretching from Canada to New York City. The Americans’ determined resistance at Saratoga, coupled with British strategic blunders, resulted in a stunning defeat and surrender for a British army. This timely victory reversed American military fortunes, boosted patriot morale, and gained them international recognition and support, including military assistance. That is why studying the Battles of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the American freedoms.