IntroductionFort Ticonderoga which is situated between Lake George and Lake Champlain in upstate New York was regarded as strategically important by the Continental Army and the British. Who ever controlled the fort controlled waterways which could be used by the British for transporting supplies and launching attacks against the Americans. This fort, which was actually built by the French in the late 1750s, changed hands three times during the American Revolution. The title of this page, "Fort Ticonderoga Battle Facts", is not really accurate; as important as controlling the fort was it is a stretch to classify the military actions at the fort as battles. Below you will find two lists of interesting facts about how the Americans captured the fort early in the war and how and when the British regained it later in the war and were shortly thereafter forced to abandon it. As always our information is written for enjoyment by both kids and adults alike.
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Facts about how the Americans Captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775
- The capture of Fort Ticonderoga was the first offensive action of the American Revolution by the colonist.
- When the American Revolution began in 1775 Fort Ticonderoga was protected by a mere forty eight British soldiers. It had fallen into a state of disrepair. Realizing it was under manned and in need of repair British General Thomas Gage ordered that reinforcements be sent to it and that repairs be made.
- Leaders of the American Revolution realized the importance of the fort. The British could use it to launch attacks from the north and there were numerous cannons held there which the Americans desperately needed to support the siege of Boston.
- In 1775 two American armies set out to capture the fort. One led by Ethan Allen and the other by Benedict Arnold. The two armies eventually met up where Arnold and Allen argued over who would lead the military force; eventually they compromised and moved forward together.
- On the morning of May 10, 1775 the Americans simply walked through the unlocked gate at the fort catching the sleeping British soldiers completely off guard.
- The American soldiers did not need to fire one shot in taking over the fort.
- All one hundred cannons in the fort were confiscated and transported to Boston; it took several months to get them there.
- Rebel leaders soon sent numerous soldiers to occupy the fort.
Facts about how the British Captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1777
- In 1777 the British launched an offensive, led by General Burgoyne, from their positions in Canada with a goal of capturing Albany. The British laid siege on Fort Ticonderoga between July 2nd and July 6th of 1777. Approximately 8,000 British soldiers surrounded the fort which was occupied by about three thousand American soldiers.
- The Americans, led by General Arthur St. Clair, withdrew from the fort. The British did not need to fire a single shot in the capture of the fort.
- General Arthur St. Clair came under great criticism for leaving the strategically important fort without a fight. He claimed that being greatly outnumbered he decided to save his troops to fight another day.
- During the American retreat south gun fire was exchanged with both sides experiencing minor casualties.
- Although retaking Fort Ticonderoga was a great accomplishment the British had to leave hundreds of men behind to protect the fort and it also slowed their advance towards their objective; Albany. These would be factors contributing to the failed British invasion of New York and the resulting surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga a few months later.
- After the failed invasion of New York the British abandoned and burned the fort. It would be restored and made into a tourist attraction in the early 1900s.