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Fort Ticonderoga brings 1777 battle alive

September 6, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TICONDEROGA - Fort Ticonderoga presents the British 1777 Campaign March, a living history weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9.

Guests may meet the re-enacting soldiers of the fort's British, German and Loyalist garrison, and hear how they defended the fort during a three-day raid led by American commander Col. John Brown with his 1,000-man force. The program offered throughout the weekend includes tours, musket demonstrations and military patrols.

Admission to this living history weekend is included with Fort Ticonderoga's general admission ticket. The fort is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. For a complete event schedule, visit www.fortticonderoga.org/learn/re-enactors/1777_march/visitor or call 518-585-2821.

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Re-enactors like this one will take part in Fort Ticonderoga’s British 1777 Campaign March living history weekend Saturday and Sunday.
(Photo courtesy of Fort Ticonderoga

As evening falls Saturday, the nervous British garrison will be faced with an alarm. With the flash and roar of musketry firing into darkness, visitors will experience firsthand the confusion of nighttime battle as the fort's garrison responds to an alarm after sunset. Advanced reservations are required for the evening program. Tickets are $35 each, and space is limited. Call 518-585-2821 for details.

"With the bulk of General Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, a small garrison of British, German and Loyalist soldiers kept watch at Fort Ticonderoga in early September 1777," said Stuart Lilie, director of interpretation. "This living history weekend highlights the mixed garrison at the fort in the aftermath of John Brown's raid as they await news from Saratoga or Canada at what would become the turning point of the American Revolution."

On Sept. 13, 1777, a mission was launched against Ticonderoga whereby two American detachments of about 500 men, each under the command of Brig. Gen. Jonathan Warner and Col. John Brown, were sent to Ticonderoga with the goal of securing the release of American prisoners, destroying British provisions and if possible, attacking the fort. On the morning of Sept. 18, the forces converged on Ticonderoga. Over the next few days, Brown's force captured the British blockhouse at the top of Mount Defiance, secured the release of 118 American prisoners and captured nearly 300 British soldiers. Brown's men also burned several of the fort's outbuildings and destroyed about 150 batteaux.

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However, the American forces soon realized that without reinforcements and additional supplies, a direct attack on the fort would not be successful. On Sept. 22, Brown's force called off the attack. Less than a month later, the British army capitulated at Saratoga, and by early November, the small British garrison remaining at Ticonderoga burned the fort's remaining structures and retreated to Canada.

 
 

 

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