Battle of Freeman's Farm: September 19, 1777
Maj. General John Burgoyne's plan of attack for September 19, 1777, used three columns. Brig. General Simon Fraser was chosen to command 2,200 men on the right. He was to sweep west toward the vicinity of Freeman's Farm. Brig. General James Inglis Hamilton commanded the 1,100 men of the center column, although Burgoyne himself would accompany this column and thus was the actual commander. This column would move south and then west and join with the right column. The left column had 1,100 men and was led by Maj. General Friedrich von Riedesel and joined by Maj. General William Philips. This column was to move south along the road adjoining the Hudson River. What the subsequent movements would be all depended on how the Americans responded.
After a cold and foggy morning, it was bright and clear at 11:00 A.M. when General Burgoyne's columns got underway. An American patrol on the eastern bank of the Hudson River saw and reported the activity to Maj. General Horatio Gates. By 12:30 P.M., the advance guard of the center column had reached Freeman's Farm. Burgoyne halted here and awaited word from General Fraser. General Riedesel had been slowed while repairing bridges, but had reached a point due east of Freeman's Farm.
General Gates was content to make no response, but Brig. General Benedict Arnold, who had recently returned from Fort Stanwix urged him to action. Gates sent out Colonel Daniel Morgan and his rifle company supported by 300 New Hampshire light infantry under Major Henry Dearborn to make contact. At about 12:45 P.M. the first shots of the battle were fired when Colonel Morgan's men picked off every officer in General Burgoyne's advance guard located at the cabin on Freeman's Farm. The advance guard retreated, which brought on an unathorized charge by Morgan's men. The charge dissipated when they ran into General Hamilton's main body. A turkey call brought his men back to Morgan.
Some of the British actually fired on their own men in the confusion following the charge by Colonel Morgan's men. General Burgoyne decided to respond quickly and instead of waiting for word on General Fraser's position, he signalled to the other two columns that he was moving out. By 1:00 P.M., the center column had formed along the northern edge of the clearing at Freeman's Farm without opposition. Colonel Morgan and Major Dearborn had taken up positions along the southern edge of the same clearing, while some seven regiments had moved forward from the American fortifications at Bemis Heights as reinforcements. The Americans would fire from cover and then charge, while the British regrouped and repelled using bayonets. This action continued back and forth for more than three hours. The Americans had greater numbers and the British had artillery and experience.
At about 2:00 P.M., General Riedesel received word that a general engagement appeared to about to be undertaken. He sent four guns and an aide, who returned at 5:00 P.M. with orders from General Burgoyne to leave enough men to defend his current position and bring reinforcements to the battlefield. The central column had been strung out dangerously thin and had taken casualties during their own bayonet assaults. Riedesel was risking his own force and the supply train. He led 500 infantry and another two six-pound guns.
Battle of Freeman's Farm Comes to an End: September 19, 1777
Maj. General Friedrich von Riedesel attacked the American right flank. They had failed to screen it with patrols and Brig. General Benedict Arnold was back at Bemis Heights requesting more reinforcements from Maj. General Horatio Gates. When he did begin to head back, Gates ordered Arnold to Bemis Heights and Maj. General Ebenezer Learned went instead. Learned's troops added nothing to the battle. Maj. General John Burgoyne had launched a counterattack when Riedesel had arrived. The Americans helpd their ground, but then started falling back as darkness fell and they began to run low on ammunition.
Brig. General Simon Fraser's right column did little more than exchange a few shots with General Learned's brigade near the end of the battle. General Burgoyne could claim the field and made camp there. However, his advance had been halted. He had also sustained heavy casualties in the regiments that made up the center column. The British sustained 600 casualties, while the Americans sustained about 320 casualties.
Standoff: September 20-October 6, 1777
General Burgoyne was ready to renew his attack on the following day, but General Fraser requested a day's rest for his men who were to lead the offensive. Burgoyne's forces began building fortifications at the positions that they held at the end of the engagement. Then on September 21st, Burgoyne received a letter from Maj. General Henry Clinton. Burgoyne had been requesting reinforcements from Clinton for nearly six weeks. Clinton informed Burgoyne that he was leading an offensive into the Hudson Highlands, so Burgoyne postponed his attack on the American position.
As he awaited word on the outcome of General Clinton's offensive, General Burgoyne dug in. He built a redoubt, called the Balcarres Redoubt at Freeman's Farm. Another redoubt, the Breymann Redoubt was built another 500 yards north. Three additional redoubts were built along the Hudson River near where the bateaux and supplies were stored.
General Burgoyne's forces numbered now only 5,000. On October 3, rations for his troops were reduced by one-third. On September 29,1777, Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln arrived at the American camp leading the New Hampshire militia. Additional militia from New England and New York also streamed in. By October 4, his strength was at 7,000 and by the 7th, it stood at 11,000.
Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:
The FReeper Foxhole Remembers The Saratoga Campaign - 1777 - Feb. 11th, 2003
www.patriotresource.com (warning, pop-ups here)
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on July 16:
1704 John Kay England, machinist, invented flying shuttle
1723 Sir Joshua Reynolds England, portrait painter (Simplicity)
1746 Giuseppe Piazzi discovered 1st asteroid (Ceres)
1821 Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science (Science & Health)
1823 James Isham Gilbert, Bvt Major General (Union volunteers)
1829 Robert Brown Potter, Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1887
1872 Roald Amundsen Norway, explorer, discovered South Pole
1887 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson black sox player (Say it aint so, Joe)
1888 Frits Zernike invented phase-contrast microscope (Nobel 1953)
1896 Trygve Lie 1st UN Secretary-General (1946-52)
1904 Goffredo Petrassi Zagarolo Italy, composer (Beatitudines)
1907 Barbara Stanwyck Bkln, actress (Dynasty II, Big Valley, Thorn Birds)
1907 Orville Redenbacher popcorn king (Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet popcorn)
1911 Ginger Rogers [Virginia McMath], Independence Mo, dancer/actress
1924 Bess Myerson NYC, 1st Jewish Miss America (1945)
1928 Robert Sheckley, US, sci-fi author (10th Victim, Mindswap)
1932 Oleg Protopopov Russia, olympic pairs skater (Gold 1964, 68)
1942 Desmond Dekker reggae pioneer (The Aces-Israelites)
1943 Jimmy Johnson, NFL coach (Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins)
1948 Pinchas Zukerman Tel Aviv Israel, violinist/violist (Leventritt 1967)
1947 - O[renthal] J[ames] Simpson, SF, NFL running back (Buf Bills)/actor/murderer/golfer
1964 Miguel Indur in, Spanish bicyclist (Tour de France winner 1991-95)
1969 Rain Pryor actress (Head of the Class)
1971 Corey Feldman Encino Calif, actor (License to Drive, Stand by Me)
1978 Stephanie Lee Hamilton, Williston ND, Miss America-ND (1997)
Deaths which occurred on July 16:
0276 Mark Annius Florianus, emperor of Rome (276), murdered
1099 El Cid, [Rodrigo D¡az de Vivar], Span general strategist, dies at 59
1216 Innocent III, [Lotario di Segni], Italian Pope (1198-1216), dies
1698 Cristoph Kaldenbach, composer, dies at 84
1764 Ivan VI, Emperor of Russia (1740-41), murdered at 23
1864 Victor JB Girardey, Confederate brig-general, dies in battle at 27
1918 Nicholas II Russian tsar, his tsarina & their 5 kids executed
1953 Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc, author (Path to Rome), dies at 82
1960 Albrecht von Kesselring, German fieldmarshal (Italy), dies at 74
1979 James F Mcintyre, archbishop of Los Angeles, dies at 93
1981 Harry Chapin dies at 39, of a heart attack when his car is rear-ended
1984 Billy Williams singer (Your Show of Shows), dies at 73
1991 Frank Rizzo (Mayor-D-Phila, 1972-80), dies from a heart attack at 70
1992 "Gorgeous" George, [Arena], wrestler, dies at 84
1992 Buck Buchanan, NFL defensive lineman (KC Chiefs), dies at 51
1995 Max Factor Jr, makeup inventor, dies
1995 Mordechai Gur, Israeli general, commits suicide at 65
1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr, wife, sister-in-law, plane crash
Reported: MISSING in ACTION
1968 NECO-QUINONES FELIX V.---RIO PIEDRAS PR.
[02/12/73 RELEASED BY PRG]
1969 DAWSON JAMES V.---ASHLAND KY.
POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.
On this day...
0390 Brennus and Gauls defeat Romans at Allia
0463 Start of Lunar Cycle of Hilarius
0622 Origin of the Islamic Era(Mohammed begins flight from Mecca to Medina (Hejira))
1099 Crusaders herd Jews of Jerusalem into a synagogue and set it afire
1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa; end of Moslem power in Spain
1429 Joan of Arc leads French army in Battle of Orleans
1439 Kissing is banned in England
1519 Public debate between Martin Luther and theologist John Eck
1548 La Paz, Bolivia is founded
1661 1st banknotes in Europe were issued by Bank of Stockholm
1683 Turkish troops under Kara Mustafa attain Vienna (and stop)
1769 Father Serra founds Mission San Diego, 1st mission in Calif
1775 John Adams graduates Harvard
1790 Congress establishes District of Columbia
1798 US Public Health Service established & US Marine Hospital authorized
1845 NY Yacht Club holds its 1st regatta
1861 Manassas Campaign begins, ends Jul 22
1862 David G Farragut became 1st rear admiral in US Navy
1867 D R Averill patents ready-mixed paint
1867 Joseph Monier patents reinforced concrete
1893 A Charlois discovers asteroid #371 Bohemia
1894 Many negro miners in Alabama killed by striking white miners
1894 Treaty of Aoki-Kimberley signed between Japan & England
1898 A Charlois discovers asteroid #437 Rhodia
1904 Islands of the Manu'a group (Samoa) ceded to US by their chiefs
1909 AL's longest scoreless game, Senators & Tigers 0-0 in 18
1910 J Helffrich discovers asteroid #702 Alauda
1912 Naval torpedo launched from an airplane patented by B.A. Fiske
1918 Czar Nicholas II and his family under house arrest by the Bolsheviks were executed formally ending three centuries of the Romanov dynasty.
1920 Gen Amos Fries appointed 1st US army chemical warfare chief
1926 National Geographic takes 1st natural-color undersea photos
1927 Augusto Sandino begins 5 year war against US occupation of Nicaragua
1935 1st automatic parking meter in US installed, Oklahoma City, Ok
1936 1st x-ray photo of arterial circulation, Rochester, NY
1936 K Reinmuth discovers asteroids #1395 Aribeda & #1402 Eri
1941 100ø F (38ø C) highest temperature ever recorded in Seattle Wash
1941 Joe Dimaggio goes 3 for 4, hitting in his 56th straight game
1945 1st atomic bomb detonated, Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico
1945 Cruiser Indianapolis leaves SF with atom bomb
1946 Attempt made to recall Mayor Lapham (1st time in SF history)
1948 Leo Durocher changes managership from Dodgers to Giants
1951 Novel "Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger published
1955 "Golden Horseshoe Revue" 1st of 50,000+ performances, Disneyland
1956 Detroit Tigers & Briggs Stadium sold for then record $5.5 million
1956 Last Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus under a canvas tent
1957 Marine Maj John Glenn sets transcontinental speed record (03:28:08)
1962 NASA civilian test pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 32,600 m
1967 Prison brawl ignites barracks, killing 37 (Jay, Florida)
1969 Apollo 11, carrying 1st men to land on the Moon, launched
1971 Franco points prince Juan Carlos as deputy in Spain
1972 Smokey Robinson and Miracles final live performance
1973 During Watergate hearings, Butterfield reveals existence of tapes
1980 Ronald Reagan nominated for Pres by Republicans in Detroit
1982 NASA launches Landsat 4 to thematic map the Earth
1982 Sun Myung Moon sentenced to 18 months for tax fraud
1985 F-86 Sabre sets world aircraft speed record of 1152 kph (716 mph)
1987 Don Mattingly hits his 4th grand slam of the season & ties AL record of homers in 6 straight games (on way to tie major league record of 8)
1988 Carl Lewis runs a wind-assisted 100 m in 9.78 sec
1988 Florence Joyner runs 100 m in women's world record 10.49 seconds
1988 Jackie Joyner-Kersee sets women's hepathlete record of 7,215 pts
1990 NYC's Empire State Building catches fire-No fatalities
1990 Civil trial by parents of Suicide victims against Judas Priest begins
1990 Ukraine declares independence
1994 3 tenors-Placid Domingo, Luciano Parvoti, Jose Carreras, perform in LA
1994 Comet Shoemaker-Levy collides with Jupiter (she blowed up blowed up real good)
1994 Spanish fishing boats sink a French fishing boat over fishing rights
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
Bolivia : La Paz Day (1548)
Wash DC : District of Columbia Day (1790)
Nepal : Fiscal Year begins
Special Recreation Week (Day 6)
National Hitchhiking Month.
RC : Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt Carmel (opt)
Islam : Hejira
1054 The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rivalclaims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and PatriarchAthenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
1769 Spanish Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra founded the San Diego deAlcala mission in California -- the first permanent Spanish settlement on America's westcoast.
1863 Birth of Howard E. Smith, American church organist and composer of the melody tothe popular hymn, 'Love Lifted Me.'
1931 Death of C. T. Studd, 69, pioneer English missionary. He was one of the 'CambridgeSeven,' and worked on the mission field in China, India and Central Africa.
1944 German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letterfrom prison: 'One has to live for some time in a community to understand how Christ is"formed" in it (Gal 4:19).'
Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.
Thought for the day :
"Two wrongs do not make a right, it usually takes three or more."
Things To Do If You Ever Became An Evil Overlord...
NEVER build a sentient computer smarter than you are.
PUNishment of the the day...
If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.
Jefferson Parish Louisiana:
All garbage must be cooked before it can be fed to any hogs.
How To Annoy Osama bin Laden If You're Invited To A Dinner Party At His Secret Afghan Lair...
Now that you know the address of his secret cave hideout, fill out magazine subscription cards for him for the Wine Spectator and Penthouse.