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The Battle Of Saratoga

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The British plan to conquer Albany with the three-pronged attack was failing. Only General John Burgoyne, with 9,500 men, was left to march from Canada to Albany. General William Howe changed his mind and decided to capture Philadelphia, and General Barry St. Leger was forced back because of Benedict Arnold's powerful troops. Burgoyne thought he would arrive at Albany by summer. He didn't realize that his planned route of attack crossed lakes, swamps, mountains, and trackless forests. Burgoyne's army moved very slowly because it had heavy baggage parts to move through the woods. Burgoyne typically traveled with thirty wagon loads of personal supplies during the war. To slow him even further, Patriots cut down trees to block the route and dammed up streams to create swampy bogs.

On July 5, 1777, Burgoyne retook Ft. Ticonderoga. He then sent troops into Vermont to find food and horses. There, on August 16, 1777, 1,000 of Burgoyne's troops are killed by General John Stark and the Vermont militia. This was called the Battle of Bennington. Then, on September 19, 1777, at the Battle of Freeman's Farm, General Horatio Gates and General Arnold fought with Burgoyne's troops. The Patriots, who had 320 men killed or wounded, retreated to Bemis Heights. There were 600 British killed or wounded. Then, on October 7, 1777, General Burgoyne and his men staged a full assault on the Patriots at Bemis Heights. The Patriots had let the British wear themselves down with all their minor assaults and were ready for them on October 7th. The Patriot defense was made up of General Gates', General Arnold's, and General Daniel Morgan's troops. They were a strong defense against the British assault. They had suffered 600 losses compared to the Patriot loss of only 150 men. This was called the Battle of Bemis Heights. General Burgoyne's men had no choice but to retreat to Saratoga. Burgoyne's troubles grew. Now with only 5,700 men,



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