Forging Heroes: Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen and the Revolutionary War in New York – July 27-30, 2016

Forging Heroes: Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen and the Revolutionary War in New York – July 27-30, 2016

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Wednesday,  July 27, 2016 (7pm) to Saturday, July 30 (5pm)

Headquarters: Lake George, NY

Led by: James Kirby Martin and Bruce Venter

Registration Fee: $495

Forging_HeroesOur tour this summer will continue the study of Benedict Arnold as one of the foremost combat commanders of the Revolutionary War. Last year we investigated Arnold’s career in Connecticut as both a patriot and a traitor. This year’s tour will follow his career in the first two years of the war when he excelled on land and water. We will also learn about his enterprising relationship with the wily Ethan Allen during their joint venture to capture Fort Ticonderoga and how he handled Horatio Gates when he served under the Northern army commander on two separate occasions during the war.

Our first day will start in Bennington, Vermont where will see the sites associated with Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold as the plot to capture Fort Ticonderoga unfolds. From Bennington we’ll trace the march of the Green Mountain Boys through what was called the “Hampshire Grants” at the time. Hand’s Cove, the jump off spot for Allen, Arnold and their men on Lake Champlain, is on private property but America’s History has made special arrangements for you to walk to this historic site. We will then cross to the New York side of the lake and follow Allen and Arnold’s attack on the fort. There will be time to visit Fort Ticonderoga’s museum which has a new exhibit this year on 18th century artillery.

On our second day, Benedict Arnold’s skill as a naval commander and hero of the Patriot cause will be demonstrated when we see Valcour Island from the New York shore (again a pristine view on private property.) Then we will visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum which has special exhibits related to the battle at Valcour Island. You’ll be able to board the reconstructed gunboat, Philadelphia II and see Arnold (Ferris) Bay where the intrepid former seafaring merchant fought a delaying battle with the British fleet under General Guy Carleton.

Our final day will be spent on the Saratoga battlefield where we will explore in the detail the tactical and strategic plans made by the American commander, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates and Arnold’s reaction to those decisions. It is well-known that Arnold and Gates disagreed about how the battle should be fought at Saratoga, particularly on October 7, 1777. A new document has recently come to light which gives a revised perspective on how the Gates-Arnold relationship played out at the time British general John Burgoyne attacked the American army at Bemis Heights. This controversy will be discussed in detail as we walk the ground as Arnold did over two centuries ago, terrain that has changed little since the time of the battles at Saratoga. One of our tour participants, Larry Arnold, a licensed Saratoga battlefield guide was instrumental in bringing this new evidence to light.

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of two experienced tour leaders. The hotel will provide a complimentary breakfast each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotels, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Dinner is on your own, except Lynne and Bruce will provide dinner on Friday evening at their Lake George summer home. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the Best Western Lake George Hotel, 2452 State Route 9N, Lake George (off Exit 21 off I-87) at a rate of $161.00 per night plus tax (double or single occupancy.) Please call the Best Western at 518-668-5701 and ask for the America’s History tour group’s rate. This rate will be guaranteed until June 27, so please make your reservations soon.

Our Tour Leaders:

Dr. James Kirby Martin has taught at the University of Houston since 1980, where he served as Department Chair and is currently the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History. Jim is the author or editor of more than twelve books, including the award-winning, Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered. He was recently the General Mark Clark Visiting Professor at The Citadel.

Dr. Bruce M. Venter is president of America’s History, LLC and an experienced leader of Revolutionary War tours. He is the author of The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Action That Saved America. His article entitled “Behind Enemy Lines: Americans Attack Burgoyne’s Supply Line” appeared in Patriots of the American Revolution magazine. He also serves as 1st Vice President of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond, Virginia.

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