OTD: The world changed due to the actions in Saratoga

#Onthisday in 1777, the world changed. British Lieutenant William Digby of 53d Regiment of Foot described the morning:

A day famous in the annals of America.

Gen Burgoyne desired a meeting of all the officers early that morning, at which he entered into a detail of his manner of acting since he had the honour of commanding the army ; but he was too full to speak ; heaven only could tell his feelings at the time. 

He dwelled much on his orders to make the wished for junction with General Clinton, and as to how his proceedings had turned out, we must (he said), be as good judges as himself. 

He then read over the Articles of Convention, and informed us the terms were even easier than we could have expected from our situation, and concluded with assuring us, he never would have accepted any terms, had we provisions enough, or the least hopes of our extricating ourselves any other way. 

When you are dealing with such rich historical series of events like the Battles of Saratoga, there may be some questions that pop up as you learn more about this fascinating junction in our nation’s history. You can visit the Saratoga National Historical Park in the towns of Saratoga and Stillwater. 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

The Saratoga Campaign in 1777 was an attempt by the British to gain military control of the strategically important Hudson River valley during the American Revolutionary War. It ended in the surrender of a complete British army, which historian Edmund Morgan argues, “was a great turning point of the war, because it won for Americans the foreign assistance which was the last element needed for victory.”

In 2000, R.W. Apple Jr., the chief correspondent of The New York Times wrote about Saratoga being the most consequential battle in a thousand years, “The consequences were undeniable: France entered the war on the American side. When Washington and his ragtag army, wintering in Valley Forge, Pa., received news of the alliance in the spring of 1778, their spirits were lifted; the road was open to ultimate victory in October 1781. The millennium would see other great battles, like Gettysburg and the Marne and D-Day. But in the last 1,000 years, I think, only the defeat of the Turks by Jan Sobieski near Vienna in 1683 rivaled Saratoga. It turned back the tide of Islam. Saratoga did more. It launched two centuries of revolution elsewhere. It marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire. And it breathed life into the United States of America.

Saratoga is known for being the turning point of the American Revolution. 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.


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