THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY COLLECTION
DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
SMG-03A The Battle of Saratoga 1777, Morgan's Rifles,
2 Riflemen Skirmishing
The German mercenaries were firing steadily from their redoubt.
From the rear came the crack of rifles.
A general mounted and, his sword flashing,
led the riflemen into the redoubt. German resistance collapsed.
The Battle of Saratoga was over.
The day was Oct. 7th, 1777. Twelve days later,
“Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, the gifted,
courageous British commander,
surrendered to the American general, Horatio Gates.
Thus ended the most ambitious and dangerous offensive
launched by Britain in the Revolution.
The attack on the redoubt was the last of a series of actions
that constituted the Battle of Saratoga,
considered the turning point of the Revolution.
The rifle fire that decimated the Germans awoke echoes around the World.
The French court,
friendly to any who fought their ancient British enemy,
finally was convinced that France’s interest lay in entering the war on the side of the Americans.
Following intense fighting with the Continental Army in September,
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.
The loss of the Redoubt rendered the British position untenable.
The British Army was forced to pull back to the river,
from which position they would attempt to retreat north the next morning.
Morgan’s Riflemen or Morgan’s Rifles,
were an elite light infantry unit Commanded by General Daniel morgan
in the American Revolutionary War.
It served a vital role,
because it was equipped with what was then the cutting-edge rifle instead of muskets,
allowing superior accuracy at up to ten times
the distance of the typical muskets of the troops of the day.
The Riflemen proved pivotal in several engagements,
and helped turn the main battle by attacking from the right flank,
which was instrumental in taking the Breymann Redoubt.
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