Saratoga - Bemis Heights - October 7, 1777 | American Battlefield Trust
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Saratoga - Bemis Heights - October 7, 1777

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Saratoga: Bemis Heights
Saratoga - Bemis Heights - October 7, 1777 (November 2019)
Saratoga - Bemis Heights - October 7, 1777 (November 2019)

The American Battlefield Trust's map of Bemis Heights at the Battle of Saratoga

Following intense fighting with the Continental Army in September, at Freeman's Farm, the British Army fortified themselves behind two defensive redoubts – the larger, better-defended Balcarres Redoubt and the weaker Breymann Redoubt. American forces, led by General Benedict Arnold, managed to take the Breymann Redoubt, which gave them a strong position behind the British lines.

Benedict Arnold galloped into the fray and rallied the Americans in the attack on the Breymann Redoubt. A fellow officer in the Continental Line said that Arnold “behaved more like a madman than a cool and discreet officer.” During this engagement, he sustained a serious wound in his left leg.

By early evening, the Americans secured possession of the Breymann Redoubt and gained a tactical advantage, as it was the far right flank of the British lines. From here the Americans could easily get behind British lines. Realizing their plight, the British pulled back into their Great Redoubt near the river and held out for several weeks.

On the morning of October 8, General John Burgoyne’s army attempted to escape north, but a cold, hard rain forced them to stop and encamp near the town of Saratoga. Cold, hungry, and weary, they dug in and prepared to defend themselves, but within two days the Americans had them surrounded.

After a week's negotiation, Burgoyne's army surrendered on October 17, 1777.

Learn More: The Battle of Saratoga