Baum Site 1 Part IV: Burgoyne Progresses to Whitehall

Burgoyne progressed swiftly down Lake Champlain, and met only minor resistance as he forced the Rebels to retreat from Ticonderoga. A majority of the enemy troops had escaped from Ticonderoga during the night by way of the Connecticut River Road, and Burgoyne dispatched Brig. General Fraser, and then General Riedesal, to pursue the Rebels. Fraser caught up with them at Hubbardton, and had it not been for the late arrival of the Germans, the Americans would have cut them apart.

Meanwhile, Burgoyne pursued the Rebel flotilla that had sailed south from Ticonderoga to Skenesborough (present day Whitehall). He settled in the home of American Loyalist Colonel Philip Skene, and ordered British Lt. Col. Hill to continue after the Rebels. Hill caught up with the Rebels in Fort Anne and a battle ensued. At the end of the engagement, Hill held the field only by use of a clever ruse.

After two narrow victories, Burgoyne and his officers gathered for a banquet in the home of Loyalist Colonel Philip Skene, where Burgoyne raised a toast to their continued success. Perhaps because of his arrogance and desire to pursue the enemy that was in his sights; or because he did not want his troops to perceive they were retreating by backing up to Ticonderoga to access Lake George, Burgoyne diverged from his plan to sail down Lake George with a short carry to Fort Edward. Instead, he spent three weeks cutting a road between Whitehall and Fort Edward. The delay was costly.

Learn More: The Battles of Ticonderoga


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