THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY COLLECTION
DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
The Battle of Saratoga 1777, Continental Army,
The 2nd New York Regiment,
2 Line Infantry
"The surrender that changed the world".
In October 1777, a 6,000 strong British army surrendered in defeat
after the American victory at the Battles of Saratoga.
For the first time in history a British General surrendered his sword
The German mercenaries were firing steadily from their redoubt.
From the rear came the crack of rifles.
A general mounted and, his sword flashing,
led the riflemen into the redoubt. German resistance collapsed.
The Battle of Saratoga was over.
The day was Oct. 7th, 1777. Twelve days later,
"Gentleman Johnny"Burgoyne, the gifted, courageous British commander,
surrendered to the American general, Horatio Gates.
Thus ended the most ambitious and dangerous offensive launched by Britain in the Revolution.
The attack on the redoubt was the last of a series of actions
that constituted the Battle of Saratoga,
considered the turning point of the Revolution.
The rifle fire that decimated the Germans awoke echoes around the World.
The French court,
friendly to any who fought their ancient British enemy,
finally was convinced that France's interest lay in entering the war
on the side of the Americans.
Following intense fighting with the Continental Army in September,
the British Army fortified themselves behind two defensive redoubts- the larger,
better defended Balcarres Redoubt,
and the weaker Breymann Redoubt.
American forces, led by General Benedict Arnold,
managed to take the Breymann Redoubt,
which gave them a strong position behind the British lines.
The loss of the Redoubt rendered the British position untenable.
The British Army was forced to pull back to the river,
from which position they would attempt to retreat north the next morning.
The Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress
after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies
that became the United States of America.
Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775,
it was created to coordinate the military efforts
of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain.
The Continental Army was supplemented by local militiasÂ and troops
that remained under control of the individual states or
were otherwise independent.
GeneralÂ George WashingtonÂ was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war.
The Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and,
after 1776, from all 13 states.
When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles
of Lexington and Concord on April 19,
1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army.
Previously, each colony had relied upon the militia,
made up of part-time citizen-soldiers,
for local defense,
or the raising of temporary "provincial regiments" during specific crises
such as the French and Indian War of 1754-63.
As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war,
colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict.
Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed
forming a national militia force,
but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea.
The Continental Army of 1777-80 evolved out of several critical
reforms and political decisions that came about
when it became apparent that the British were sending massive
forces to put an end to theÂ American Revolution.
The Continental Congress passed the "Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve",
ordering each state to contribute one-battalion
regiments in proportion to their population,
and Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions.
Enlistment terms extended to three years or to "the length of the war"
to avoid the year-end crises that depleted forces
(including the notable near-collapse of the army at the end of 1776,
which could have ended the war in a Continental,
or American, loss by forfeit).
Three of the Continental Army units which took part
in the assault on the Breymann Redoubt, were the 2nd Massachussetts,
The 2nd New York, and The 1st Canadian Regiment.
The 2nd New York Regiment
TheÂ 2nd New York Regiment was authorized on May 25, 1775,
and formed at Albany from June 28 to August 4
for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Goose Van Schaick.
This was one of four regiments raised by the Province of New York
in the early summer of 1775, for the Continental service.
The four New York regiments were brigaded under Brigadier General Montgomery.
Each regiment had a different coloured uniform coat.
The enlistments of the first establishment ended on December 31, 1775
The second establishment of the 2nd New York regiment
was authorized on January 19, 1776.
The regiment would see action in the Invasion of Canada,
Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga,
Battle of Monmouth, the Sullivan Expedition and the Battle of Yorktown.
The regiment would be furloughed,
June 2, 1783, atÂ Newburgh,
New YorkÂ and disbanded November 15, 1783.
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