The Battle of Saratoga
September 19 and October 7, 1777
by Sam Aden
The Battle of Saratoga has more of a strategic impact on both sides of the war than just any other battle. The battles took place in the middle of the War. The Continental Army was beginning to run low on supplies and they knew that support was necessary. The British forced where on the march south into the battlefield where the Continental Army was already dug in and ready for a bloody battle. The first Battle of Saratoga was on September 19, 1777. This battle was constantly switching between the British forces having the advantage to the Continental Army having the advantage. After roughly 5 hours of fighting it was becoming present that the British military was going to win this battle. The Continental Army retreated and dug back in. Yes, the British Army had the land but the fighting was not over.
Three weeks later on October 9, 1777 the battle was going to end. The British had been waiting for three weeks for reinforcements to come but they had not showed up. This left the British with to decisions; fight with little supplies that they did have or retreat to the north. The British military commanders decided to go on the offensive and attack the Continental Army’s camp. This decision would prove fatal. The fighting was roughly 3 hours with movements from both sides. In the end the Continental Army came out on top. The British troops were forced to surrender. A total of 6,000 troops surrendered on October 17, 1777, this was the first large scale surrender in the Revolutionary War.
The fighting was not so much the important factor to this battle. The Battle of Saratoga had a large effect on the politics of the war. While the Continental Army was fighting in the colonies Benjamin Franklin was in France trying to get the French’s support to help end this war. After the French saw how the Continental Army came out on top after this long battle they decided to support the Continental Army with supplies and a Navy. Later on the support of the French’s navy would prove critical to the American success in the overall war.