Battle of Saratoga
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
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.
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