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Sensing an opportunity to trap the British, General George Washington and the allied French commander Rochambeau marched their forces south from New York in late August, and on September 14 arrived at Yorktown. Discovering the British position too well entrenched to attack, the Patriots established a siege intended to force the British to capitulate. Outnumbered, the British withdrew to inner lines of fortifications as the Patriots consolidated their position.

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On October 14, Patriot forces stormed the British lines east of the town, enabling them to direct a withering fire against the main British defenses. Five days later, acknowledging the futility of his position, Cornwallis surrendered his command. Though significant victories, neither the battle at Saratoga or at Yorktown was in itself decisive.

The British continued to mount a serious war effort in the colonies for years following the defeat at Saratoga, threatening the Patriot cause with defeat numerous times. The defeat at Yorktown, often seen as the culminating battle of the war, did not end the conflict: localized fighting continued for another year and a half, and even the formal surrender did not signal the end of British military power globally.

Saratoga : A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution

The British retained their formidable military might, but following the surrender at Yorktown determined that continued efforts to subdue the colonists were futile. Winning their war required the British to restore loyalty throughout the colonies, a goal that placed heavy demands on their forces. Camp at Saratoga, October 12, Sir, I have the satisfaction to acquaint your excellency with the great success of the arms of the United States in this department. Good news from the northern Army.

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This morning at three o'clock, an express arrived at General Heath's, the following letter, viz. Fresh advices from the northern army.


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Providence, October Boston, October This morning, at three o'clock, an express arrived at General Heath's, with the foll. Report a problem.

Battles of Saratoga

Subjects: Military Instruction. This map shows the encampment and positions of Burgoyne's army at Freeman's Farm, September Explore the map in detail at the Library of Congress website. Explore this map in detail at the Library of Congress website. The Battle of Saratoga, fought in two stages on September 19 and October 7, , proved to be a turning point in the American struggle for independence.

It also had a direct impact on the career of General George Washington. Without the victory at Saratoga, American forces would likely not have received critical assistance from the French, and faith in the war effort would have been weakened.

revolutionary war battle of saratoga

The battle of Saratoga took place on the fields of upstate New York, nine miles south of the town of Saratoga. Burgoyne had under his command an army of 7, troops with which he hoped to establish British dominance throughout the state of New York. Opposing Burgoyne was General Horatio Gates with a force of 9, soldiers, later joined by 2, additional troops.

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The ensuing battle was divided into two encounters, the first on September 19 and the second on October 7. While the British managed in the end to overrun the Americans, their losses were significant.


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Almost British soldiers were killed or wounded, which was roughly twice the American losses. Before the second battle occurred, Burgoyne waited in vain for reinforcements, and by October 7, concluding he wait no longer, he launched a second attack.