BATTLE OF FORT TICONDEROGA
Fort Ticonderoga was notorious for being a crucial point in the geography of conflict, and its land has been contested since far before the American Revolution, with the first battle taking place in the area in 1609. Fort Ticonderoga (originally named by the French as Fort Carillon in 1755) is now known for two major conflicts. The first being a fight in 1755 to which Fort Ticonderoga was surprised by an American attack lead by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen, which occurred a mere month after the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Although this was a relatively small scale conflict in the war, it is memorable for the Colonists because it was their first victory in the short-lived war. Because this Fort was a key access point for both Canada and the Hudson River Valley and a large artillery stronghold, it was seen as a crucial fort to hold throughout the war.
General John Burgoyne of the British Army presented the idea of a “Divide-and-Conquer” attack on the colonists as an attempt to assert their dominance from multiple fronts and lead to a quick ending to the war. Burgoynes approved plan was to invade America from Canada by leading his troops down the Hudson Valley through Albany. By accomplishing this task and meeting with an encroaching British army from the New York and New Jersey areas, it would isolate New England from the rest of the American forces, and would certainly deflate the morale of the united colonies.
Throughout the winter of 1776 and 1777, Major General Arthur St. Clair was appointed to head the defense of Fort Ticonderoga by the American congress. Unfortunately, the defense preparations would turn out to be harder than expected. Firstly, the fort was originally designed by the French to fight against the British, so naturally, the Fort faced south instead of it necessarily facing North. Another problem was that after the French-Indian war, there seemed to be no use for the Fort, so many of the walls and defenses were falling apart due to inactivity and a lack of upkeep. But the plan remained the same, keep the fort in American control when the British surely attacked.
For those that expected a massive fight at the largely important Fort Ticonderoga would be sorely mistaken. The Americans would come to realize that once the British artillery would get close to the Fort, Ticonderoga would be essentially indefensible. After discussing with this war council, St. Clair was advised to abandon the fort and head south, to which the British swiftly took Ticonderoga on July 6th, 1777 with minimal to no resistance. Although the British were alerted to the withdrawal and attempted to chase the American’s down, a small American party remained to fight against the oncoming onslaught. Both sides realized that the fight was essentially pointless, and the conflict ended without further pursuing. The British took control of Ticonderoga, and there were only dozens of casualties on both sides.