Continental General Benjamin Lincoln
Revolutionary War: 1777
On April 24, 1777, Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln was ordered by General George Washington to move south toward the Delaware River when Washington thought that Maj. General William Howe was moving south from New York by water to attack Philadelphia. Washington also had to be concerned about Maj. General John Burgoyne's offensive in Northern New York and on July 24, he ordered Lincoln to take command of the New England militia and aid Northern Department Commander Maj. General Philip Schuyler.
Lincoln arrived at Manchester in August to take command of the New England militia. His duties were to include raising and organizing additional militia. Stark had been a Colonel in the Continental Army, but had resigned his commission on March 23, 1777 after he was passed over for promotion. Lincoln's own immediate commission to Major General over him contributed to his resignation. Stark had since been commissioned a Brigadier General of New Hampshire militia and raised nearly 1,500 men. When Stark arrived, he refused to recognize Lincoln's authority. Instead of alienating Stark, Lincoln worked to modify Continental strategy to fit around Stark's objectives. His smooth handling helped lead to the American victory at Bennington on August 16, 1777.
Ticonderoga Raid: September 1777
In September 1777, Lincoln now set about harrassing General Burgoyne's line of communication. He decided to attack Ticonderoga. He sent three 500-man detachments out under Colonels John Brown, Johnson and Woodbridge. while he remained with another 500 men at Pawlet. Colonel Brown was to attack Ticonderoga from the west, while Colonel Johnson would lead a diversion against Mt. Independence. Colonel Woodbridge was to occupy Skenesboro and then move south to Fort Anne and then Fort Edward.
After maneuvering in the area for two days, Colonel Brown attacked on September 18, 1777. He was quickly able to secure everything on the western shore except the fort itself. Colonel Johnson arrived too late to surprise the German troops on Mt. Independence. Brown then cannonaded the fort for four days, but Brig. General Henry Watson Powell refused to surrender and lacking the necessary supplies for a prolonged siege, Brown withdrew. Brown then attempted to capture the British post at Diamond Island on September 23rd, but again lacked enough artillery. He then rejoined Lincoln.
Battles of Saratoga: September-October 1777
General Lincoln next led his militia to reinforce Maj. General Horatio Gates' position at Bemis Heights near Saratoga. All of his troops arrived by September 29, 1777, after the First Battle of Saratoga on September 19, 1777. During the Second Battle of Saratoga on October 7, 1777, Lincoln commanded the American defenses and saw no action. On the following day while leading a small force forward, a musket ball shattered his right ankle. He spend the next ten months at Hingham recuperating from teh wound. It would continue to bother him for the rest of his life and also left his left leg two inches shorter than his right.
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