Anniversary of the Surrender at Saratoga (1777)

saratoga-surrenderOn Oct. 17, 1777 British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, NY.

The British attempted to split the American forces along the Hudson River. Burgoyne’s was camped near Saratoga when on September 19, British troops engaged American troops at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm, or the First Battle of Saratoga. This battle continued for a few days.

Another battle ensued on October 7 when British troops were held off by American forces under General Benedict Arnold in the Battle of Bemis Heights, also known as the Second Battle of Saratoga.

General Gates retreated north to the village of Saratoga with 5,000 troops. By October 13, approx. 20,000 American troops had surrounded the British, and four days later Burgoyne was forced to agree to the first large-scale surrender of British forces during the Revolutionary War.

Soon after the British surrender at Saratoga, King Louis XVI of France agreed to recognize the independence of the United States. French aid was crucial to the eventual American victory in the Revolutionary War.

The Town of Gates here in Monroe County is named for General Gates. In the picture, he is the man at the center in a blue jacket and gold pants. Gen. Burgoyne is to his left. Click on the picture for a larger size.