For the first time in the Trust’s history, we have an opportunity to save hallowed ground at the site of the famous Battle of Saratoga, a major turning point in the Revolutionary War. Along with those 26 acres, we also have the chance to save 68 acres at Newtown, another important New York State Revolutionary battlefield.
The Battle of Saratoga. The American victory over the British at Saratoga in autumn of 1777 changed the course of the Revolutionary War. British General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne believed the Hudson River Valley was "precisely the route an army ought to take" to crush the American rebellion. Unfortunately for Burgoyne, coordination between the British armies broke down and a series of battles left him short on supplies and men. As his 6,800-man army retreated north the way they had come, along miserable muddy roads, they found themselves surrounded at Saratoga by troops under the command of American General Horatio Gates. On October 17, Gates accepted their surrender.
As authors Theodore Savas and J. David Dameron write of Saratoga in their book, A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution, “The victory prompted France to recognize the American colonies as an independent nation, to declare war on England, and to commit money, ships, arms, and men to the rebellion. Without this support, future victories, including the 1781 Yorktown Campaign, would not have been possible.”
The Battle of Newtown. On the morning of August 29, 1779, American General John Sullivan led a force of 4,000 soldiers on a mission to destroy an Indian settlement that had been established at Newtown. Sullivan’s men advanced on the breastworks constructed by British Colonel John Butler and Indian Chief Joseph Brant, manned by about 300 soldiers and 800 Iroquois warriors, taking their time to reach their positions along steep ground. Once the fighting broke out, it was brutal, even hand-to-hand in some parts of the battlefield. Finally, the British commander called for a retreat. Sullivan mounted a lackluster pursuit, but still managed to achieve the crucial objective of driving the Iroquois nations out of the area, depriving the British of an important ally.
The purchase price for the 94 acres at stake at Saratoga and Newtown is $307,000 total, but thanks to state and local grants, we can save them for just $57,000 – a tremendous $5.39-to-$1 match of your donation dollar.
The soldiers who fought during America’s first century sacrificed so much. Today, $57,000 can safeguard an important piece of their legacy forever.
But there’s more...
Thanks to an innovative partnership between the Trust, the National Park Service and a nonprofit called American Veterans Archeology Recovery (AVAR), veterans from the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam — some of whom are healing from life-altering wounds as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — will perform vital research work on the battlefield under the supervision of the Park Service. The Trust is honored to share these heroes’ journeys and discoveries as they work to unveil the lost secrets of those who fought and fell at Saratoga while also healing and returning to civilian life themselves. Importantly, this opportunity helps these brave veterans transition from military back to civilian life while making a valuable contribution to our understanding of this crucial piece of history.
In other words, your donation honors the sacrifices of the veterans who helped found our nation and supports the veterans who helped keep us safe today. Please consider making your most generous gift to protect these 94 acres at Saratoga and Newtown now.