General Howe’s Problem

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger On October 17, 1777, Lieutenant General John Burgoyne capitulated with his army to Major General Horatio Gates.  Probably no later than 5 pm that day the “Monday morning quarterbacking” began.  Burgoyne himself would memorably look over the events in his book A State of the Expedition from Canada in 1780 and blame everybody and his […]

From Fightin’ Words to Friends Again

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger It has been noted that starting wars is relatively easy, but getting the ensuing mayhem to cease can be extremely difficult. This is especially so if the party who is trying to get the shooting halted is considered the aggressor, like General John Burgoyne. Of course, the British hadn’t come […]

Family Feuding

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger In the work of historical interpretation, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a positive encounter with our visitors. Fielding inquiries about the events and personalities of 1777 make for lively discussion; it’s always a lot more fun than many of the bureaucratic (but necessary) chores. Occasionally, we get a […]

Dang Furriners

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger This July 4th marks the tenth anniversary of naturalization ceremonies at Saratoga National Historical Park.  Through those years we have seen people from practically every continent swear the Oath of Allegiance overlooking the battlefield that helped the United States to become an independent entity. Immigration is not a new phenomenon: […]

What Happened to Burgoyne’s Sword?

By Joe Craig and Eric Schnitzer, Park Rangers As we know, soon after General Burgoyne tendered his sword to General Gates on the day of the surrender at Saratoga, 17 October 1777, Gates returned the sword to Burgoyne. There is no further reference or evidence as to the disposition of this particular sword and it was only long […]

A Knotty Problem

By Joe Craig, Park Ranger Benedict Arnold’s desertion to the British in 1780 produced a firestorm of anger by Americans. It is arguable that no one was more outraged than General George Washington. Arnold had petitioned directly to Washington for the posting to West Point in order to betray it to the British. Washington saw […]