The Battle of Freeman’s Farm (also known as First Saratoga) took place during the American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence) on 19th September, 1777.
It was fought in New York State in a clearing known as Freeman’s Farm on the west bank of the Hudson, north of Albany. (Freeman was a Loyalist who had left to live in Canada) The engagement was conducted by British, German, Canadian, native Indian and loyalist Americans against the Colonists.
Following the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War the Continental Army was established in 1775 by the British colonies that later became the United States of America. The objective was to orchestrate the military endeavours of the Thirteen Colonies as they rebelled against Great Britain’s rule. The Continental Army was supported and supplemented by local militias and other troops remaining under the control of individual states. Both sides employed muskets and rifles. The muskets were quickly charged but imprecise while rifles took longer to load but were more accurate.
General George Washington was Commander-in-Chief throughout the war. He was not in favour of rifles and would have preferred his troops to continue with muskets only.
Freeman’s Farm was a hard won, barely won victory. The British army was in poor condition, their horses starving, and supplies and troop replacements were not quickly forthcoming. The Americans, however, had reliable supply lines and a constant reserve of fresh troops to replace dead and wounded.
Thus, Second Saratoga, the Battle of Bemis Heights, on 17th October, 1777, was a victory for the Continental Army. The two battles marked a turning point in the war in the North. After this defeat of the British, France opted to support the American War of Independence.
(Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, wrote an historical novel about the war in the Deep South of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Called ‘The Hornet’s Nest’, it is a carefully researched book, full of historical detail interwoven with a story of one family’s experiences. Some of the characters are based on Carter’s ancestors.
Occasionally, I found the minutiae difficult to follow, but it is a remarkable book, quite
shocking in parts and giving a fair and balanced view of events.)
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