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Table of Contents
The two major battles that took place in Saratoga during the Revolutionary War were considered by many as the turning point of the war in favor of the Americans.
See the fact file below for more information on the Battles of Saratoga or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Battles of Saratoga worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EVENTS LEADING TO THE BATTLES
- On April 19, 1775, the first battle of the American Revolutionary War took place in Lexington and Concord. By May 10, the Americans captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York from the British.
- On June 15, 1775, the Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Two days later, American troops faced defeat at the Battle of Bunker Hill, followed by another British victory at the Battle of Quebec in December.
- In January 1776, the Common Sense published by Thomas Paine became an influential piece persuading many to fight for American independence.
- On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was presented by Thomas Jefferson. After eight days, large British troops under General William Howe arrived in the colony.
- In August, the British won the Battle at Long Island, followed by an American victory at the Battle of Harlem Heights in September.
- On September 26, 1776, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were appointed by the Congress to seek foreign financial and military aid.
- In October, the American Navy was defeated on Lake Champlain. In the same month, Washington retreated west after the encounter with British General Cornwallis at the Battle of White Plains.
- A day after Christmas in 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware River. At the Battle of Trenton, Washington’s troops captured the German mercenaries.
- American victories followed at the battles of Princeton and Ridgefield. However, the British under John Burgoyne caused devastating loss to the Americans at the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga in July 1777.
- Later in July, French General Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Philadelphia.
- In September and October, General Washington’s troops faced defeat at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.
FIRST AND SECOND BATTLES OF SARATOGA
- The First Battle of Saratoga took place at the Freeman’s Farm, as General Burgoyne’s army moved south on September 19, 1777. Concealed in thick woods, the American forces were able to kill several British officers. With depleting supplies and failed reinforcements, Burgoyne’s army weakened.
- On October 7, Burgoyne launched an attack at Bemis Heights. Without reinforcements, Burgoyne utilized about 1,500 troops against Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. The following day, Burgoyne began to retreat. By October 17, he surrendered his men under the Convention of Saratoga.
BRITISH AND AMERICAN LEADERS AND EVENTS
- Also known as Gentleman Johnny, General John Burgoyne was the leader of the British army. He mainly planned the invasion scheme from the south of Canada to New England.
- Major General Horatio Gates led the Americans. Other significant leaders for the Americans in the Battles of Saratoga were Generals Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Lincoln, Colonel Daniel Morgan, and General Enoch Poor.
- British General Burgoyne had a plan to defeat the colonies. Moving south from Canada, the General planned to split the 13 colonies and isolate New England by gaining control of the upper Hudson River valley. With the colonies divided, he thought he could end the revolution.
- He planned to lead his army from Lake Champlain to Albany, New York. General Howe was expected to advance north along the Hudson River to meet the British army at Albany.
- They continued south, but General Howe did not go north to meet at Albany. Instead, he sailed his men from New York City to capture Philadelphia, leaving Burgoyne in Philadelphia on his own.
- General Burgoyne sent some soldiers to Bennington, Vermont. The British were low on food and had lost horses in the American attacks. The American General, John Stark heavily guarded Bennington, and his nearly 1,000 men were killed or captured at the August 16 battle. This was a decisive victory that weakened the British. It was also thought to have played a key role in bringing France into the war on the rebel side.
- During the first battle at Freeman’s farm, Colonel Daniel Morgan led 500 specially selected riflemen and spotted British advance troops in the field. They were skilled sharpshooters and took out a number of officers before the British could attack.
- he British suffered twice as many casualties as the Americans. While the British ended the battle in control of the field, they had suffered 600 casualties – double that of the American soldiers.
- On October 7, 1777, the Americans held up for an hour against Burgoyne and his troops, and a counter-attack by Benedict Arnold pushed the British back even further until they were forced to retreat. The British army suffered 600 more casualties, and the American losses were less than 150. The British found themselves surrounded by a much larger, and growing, American army.
- Burgoyne surrendered his entire army with a total of 5,752 men, 42 cannons, 7,000 muskets, and all his supplies. British officers were separated from their men and placed on parole.
- The victory for the Americans at Saratoga was also significant because France decided to support the colonies by becoming an ally and providing military aid. Spain also joined France in the war against Britain. The morale was boosted across the colonies, and they now believed that they could win the war and gain their independence.
Battles of Saratoga Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Battles of Saratoga across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Battles of Saratoga worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the two major battles which that took place in Saratoga during the Revolutionary War were considered by many as the turning point of the war in favor of the Americans.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Battles of Saratoga Facts
- Saratoga Battle Cards
- Yes, It’s TRUE!
- Event Mapping
- American Revolution 101
- Battle Calendar
- The Surrender
- Victory for Gates!
- Victory and Defeat
- Saratoga Facts
- The French and Lafayette
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Use With Any Curriculum
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