Burgoyne arrived at Crown Point June 25 and halted for five days. On June 30, the army prepared to march. Burgoyne’s order of the day concluded: “During our progress occasions may occur, in which, nor difficulty, nor labour, nor life are to be regarded. This army must not retreat.”
Howe Sails from New York City toward Philadelphia
Burgoyne Arrives in Canada
On May 6, 1777, Burgoyne arrived in Canada with orders dated March 26. These called for him “by the most vigorous exertion of the force under his command, to proceed with all expedition to Albany.” There he would form a junction with the army under Howe and put himself under the latter’s command. A smaller force under St. Leger was to do the same, via the Mohawk river. Both commanders had permission to “act as exigencies may require” until receiving orders from Howe. Before leaving Canada, Burgoyne received a copy of Howe’s letter of April 5, which made clear that the main army would be in Pennsylvania during the Northern Army‘s push to Albany. Nonetheless, Burgoyne remained confident of success.
Main Body Reaches Ft. Anne
Howe Occupies Philadelphia
Clinton’s Vanguard Burns Esopus
Clinton Captures Forts Montgomery and Clinton
THE SARATOGA CAMPAIGN
Clinton marched north from New York City on October 3 and seized Forts Montgomery and Clinton three days later.
A letter from Clinton received three days after Freeman’s Farm led Burgoyne to think there would soon be a push from New York that would force Gates to send a considerable part of his forces south, or even to retreat into New England with his whole force.
Burgoyne Departs from St. Johns
Main Body Reaches Skenesborough
After the victorious operations at Ticonderoga, Burgoyne wrote to Germain that he hoped to receive orders from Howe that would allow him to move into New England instead of continuing to Albany, as he believed he would then “have little doubt of subduing, before winter, the provinces where the rebellion originated.” Meanwhile, he later estimated, he had to spend twenty hours thinking about how to feed his army for every one hour contemplating how to fight with it.
Road Cleared and Main Body Reaches Ft. Edward
Battle of Hubbardton
Burgoyne’s Address to the Indians
Gates Occupies Bemis Heights
Burgoyne Moves South
The British Clear the Road to Ft. Anne Despite American Harassment
While Burgoyne crossed the Hudson and moved towards Gates’s main force, American detachments struck at his line of communications.
Battle of Freeman’s Farm
Gates Surrounds Burgoyne
Burgoyne retreated to Saratoga on October 10, but Gates surrounded him the following day.
Burgoyne Starts to Worry
When Carleton declined to provide the thousand men needed to garrison Ticonderoga, Burgoyne complained that that made his situation “a little difficult.” Detaching his own forces for that necessary task would leave his main force “very inferior in point of numbers to the enemy, whom I must expect always to find strongly posted.”
Operations at Ticonderoga
Burgoyne Assesses His Options
By August 20, Burgoyne’s confidence had faded. His strength was reduced by the losses at Bennington, and his logistical difficulties were even greater than anticipated. St. Leger remained stalled at Ft. Stanwix. Burgoyne had lost most of his Native American auxiliaries and found little Loyalist support; he was worried by a “gathering storm” of New Hampshire militia on his left; and he was dismayed that Clinton had not yet attacked the Hudson Highlands (leaving the Americans free to send reinforcements north). Gates now had superior numbers of regulars, “and as many militia as he pleases.” “Had I latitude in my orders,” Burgoyne wrote to Germain, “I should think it my duty to wait [at Saratoga], or perhaps as far back as Fort Edward.” But, he concluded, his positive orders to force a junction with Howe did not allow that course.