Battle of Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga in September of 1777 was a major victory for the American forces and a turning point of the war.

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Battles leading to Saratoga

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The British wanted to take control of the Hudson River Valley to cut off New England from the other colonies. General Burgoyne with 7,700 troops approached Albany, New York, from Canada. On his way, Burgoyne defeated American forces at Fort Ticonderoga. Another group of troops, led by Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger, were to join him from Canada. General Howe also was to join him from New York. Together they were to attack the American troops.

Unfortunately for Burgoyne, St. Leger's troops ran into Benedict Arnold and his American militia. St. Leger and his troops were forced to retreat back to Canada. Even worse, General Howe's forces were fighting with Washington at the Battle of Brandywine and then the Battle of Germantown. This kept him from joining Burgoyne.

General Burgoyne's forces attacked General Gates' American forces at the Battle of Oriskany, but he was driven back. He attacked again at the Battle of Bennington, and was again driven back.

 

The Battle of Saratoga

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General Burgoyne attacked for the third time at the Battle of Saratoga. This time Burgoyne and his forces were defeated. General Burgoyne was forced to surrender.

This was a major victory for the American forces and a key turning point in the war.

Surrender of General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga (Source: Library of Congress)

 

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