Burgoyne’s Saratoga Campaign of 1777: From Fort Ticonderoga to Bemis Heights

Burgoyne’s Saratoga Campaign of 1777: From Fort Ticonderoga to Bemis Heights

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Wednesday, September 12 (7:30PM) to Saturday, September 15, 2012  (5:00pm)
Led by Douglas Cubbison and Bruce Venter
Based in Lake George, NY
Tour Registration Fee: $495.00

During the summer and fall of 1777 one of the great military campaigns of world history took place in the dense forests and rolling fields of upstate New York. British Lt. Gen. John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne led a combined force of some 9,000 British Redcoats, German hirelings, vengeful Tories and blood-thirsty Indians. This army descended from Canada, aiming to cut off the American middle colonies from their New England neighbors.

Burgoyne’s invasion was part of a three-pronged strategic plan to break the back of the rebellion. His army marched directly south through a near-impenetrable wilderness, attempting to reach its final objective: Albany. But American fortunes changed decisively on the west bank of the Hudson River near Saratoga. The patriot army, initially led by Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, but now commanded by Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, and ably led on the battlefield by Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold and Col. Daniel Morgan, stopped Burgoyne’s campaign in its tracks. The surrender of Burgoyne’s army in October 1777 was more important to the Rebel cause than any other event during the American Revolution. The two climatic battles at Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights led to a French alliance the following year, effectively insuring an American triumph over the forces of Lt Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.

This America’s History tour will pick up Burgoyne’s invasion as his army arrives at Fort Ticonderoga, a stone fortress overlooking Lake Champlain. We will also see the American camps at Mount Independence and get a bird’s eye view of the fort, as the British did, from atop Mount Defiance. We will follow the American retreat after they evacuated Fort Ticonderoga thru Vermont to the pristine battlefield at Hubbardton, where Americans courageously fought an unsuccessful rearguard action.

Our second day will pick up Burgoyne’s line of march thru Skenesborough (now Whitehall, N.Y.) the birthplace of the American navy. We will go to Fort Ann, the site of a clash between Redcoats and American forces. Then we’ll go to Fort Edward where Burgoyne decided to send a supply reconnaissance of mostly Germans to Bennington. But Lt. Col. Friedrich Baum’s command was soundly defeated by the irascible John Stark near the Walloomsac River before it reached its objective. The Bennington battlefield is a definite stop for us. If weather permits, we will enjoy a cook-out dinner planned for Friday evening which will include a boat ride on Lake George. On the lake we will see Diamond Island, the site of Col. John Brown’s attack on a British supply depot.

Our third day will be devoted to the battles of Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights on the 3400 acre Saratoga National Historical Park. This battlefield is virtually untouched by development. The fighting of September and October 1777, therefore, may be interpreted very closely to its 18th century setting with panoramic view sheds of the Hudson River. We will conclude our tour in Old Saratoga (present-day Schuylerville) at the site where Burgoyne surrendered the remnants of his defeated army to an overwhelming American force under Gates.

Registration Fee: $495.00

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, a cook-out dinner on Friday evening with a boat ride on Lake George, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities; and the services of two experienced tour guides. Our headquarters hotel will provide a complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet each morning. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own other evenings. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with our headquarters hotel for a group rate of $99.00 per night plus tax. Please call the Wingate Hotel, 4054 State Route 9L, Lake George, NY 12845 directly at 1-800-965-2203 or 518-668-4884 and ask to reserve your room at the America’s History group rate. This special rate is good until August 12, 2012. Reservations received after this date will be accepted by the Wingate on a space available basis. This hotel was ranked as one of the world’s top 100 hotels by the Expedia Insiders Select List in 2011.

Our Tour Leaders/Historians

Douglas R. Cubbison is the author of three books, including “The Artillery never gained more Honour”: The British Artillery in the 1776 Valcour Island and 1777 Saratoga Campaigns and The American Northern Theater Army in 1776: The Ruin and Reconstruction of the Continental Force. His forthcoming book, Burgoyne and the Saratoga Campaign is devoted to General Burgoyne’s writings on the Saratoga campaign. He is a U.S. Army veteran of Afghanistan, and former historian with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a popular speaker at Fort Ticonderoga’s War College and an experienced leader of staff rides.

Dr. Bruce M. Venter, president of America’s History, LLC is an experienced tour leader of the Colonial and Revolutionary War period. His article, “Behind Enemy Lines: Americans Attack Burgoyne’s Supply Line” appeared in the May/June issue of Patriots of the American Revolution magazine.

Register Online (Pay in Full only. Please use the phone registration option to make other payment arrangements.):

Register By Phone:

Phone: 1-855-OUR-HISTORY (687-4478)

Register by e-mail:


Register by Postal Mail:

America’s History LLC, P. O. Box 1076, Goochland, VA 23063

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