“We have thus briefly glanced at the dangers resulting from the fall of Ticonderoga, at the resources of sections which Buroyne was now threatening to lay waste with fire and sword, and at the attitude of the people toward those generals who had so grievously disappointed them in the conduct of the campaign, up to this time.
In the words of one distinguished writer, ”The evacuation of Ticonderoga was a shock for which no part of the United States was prepared.” In the language of another, “No event throughout the whole war produced such consternation, nothing could have been more unexpected.”
It was not so much the loss of the fortress itself, as costly as it was to the impoverished colonies, that could have been borne, but the people had been led to believe, and did believe, it was next to impregnable; nor could they understand why those who had been intrusted with its defence should have fled without striking a blow, or calling for assistance until too late.”
This is an excerpt from Samuel Adams Drake’s Burgoyne’s Invasion of 1777, with an Outline Sketch of the American Invasion of Canada 1775-1776 as part of the Decisive Events in American History series published in 1889.
Samuel Adams Drake (20 Dec 1833, Boston – 4 Dec 1905, Kennebunkport, Maine) was a journalist, military officer, and writer. He entered journalism in 1858. In 1861 he joined the army and served throughout the war, becoming brigadier-general in 1863. He returned to Boston in 1871 and resumed literary work.
These were the views of our community history in the past. As a community, we will be eternally grateful for the early historians including William Ostrander, John Brandow, William Stone, Ellen Hardin Walworth and others. However, history is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past is subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is active history being researched which provides new evidence. This research may be new access to primary source material, new archeology studies, or new perspectives because new historians and researchers are working in our community.
This is an unending quest of historians and our community for understanding the past — that is, revisionism and that is what makes history vital and meaningful. That is why the study of Saratoga is a never ending task.
The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Learn more at USA.gov.