Illustrating the Theater of the Saratoga Campaign During the American Revolution
Interesting map of Vermont and New York, centered on Lake Champlain and the Hudson River Valley, illustrating the theater of the Saratoga Campaign, during the American Revolution.
The note at the bottom describes the Siege of Fort Stanwix and translates as:
Colonel S. Leger, Commanding Officer of the Burgoyne Army, set out from Montreal to take Fort Stanwix; but he was obliged to abandon the siege, and to return by the same route.
Siege of Fort Stanwix
The Siege of Fort Stanwix began on August 2, 1777, and ended August 22. Fort Stanwix, in the western part of the Mohawk River Valley, was then the primary defense point for the Continental Army against British and Indian forces aligned against them in the American Revolutionary War. The fort was occupied by Continental Army forces from New York and Massachusetts under the command of Colonel Peter Gansevoort. The besieging force was led by British Brigadier General Barry St. Leger and the Iroquois leader Joseph Brant. St. Leger's expedition was a diversion in support of General John Burgoyne's campaign to gain control of the Hudson River Valley to the east.
One attempt at relief was thwarted early in the siege when a force of New York militia under Nicholas Herkimer was stopped in the August 6 Battle of Oriskany by a detachment of St. Leger's forces. While that battle did not involve the fort's garrison, some of its occupants sortied and raided the nearly empty Indian and Loyalist camps, which was a blow to the morale of St. Leger's Indian support. They killed some Seneca. The siege was finally broken when American reinforcements under the command of Benedict Arnold neared, and Arnold used a ruse, with the assistance of Herkimer's relative Hon Yost Schuyler, to convince the besiegers that a much larger force was arriving. This misinformation, combined with the departure of Indian fighters not interested in siege warfare and upset over their losses from the raids, led St. Leger to abandon the effort and retreat.
St. Leger's failure to advance on Albany contributed to Burgoyne's surrender following the Battles of Saratoga in October 1777. Although St. Leger reached Fort Ticonderoga in late September, he was too late to aid Burgoyne.
Michel Rene Hilliard d'Auberteuil
Michel Rene Hilliard d'Auberteuil lived in Santo Domingo in the 1760s and in 1776 published an account of the colony highly critical of the French administration, which forced him to flee Paris for North America, where he lived for several years during the Revolution.
Michel Rene Hilliard d'Auberteuil returned to Paris toward the end of the war and published his Essais Historiques, drafts of which he sent to Benjamin Franklin and through whom he forwarded copies to America. Thomas Jefferson would write to the author on Feb. 20, 1786: “America cannot but be flattered with the choice of the subject on which you are at present employing your pen. The memory of the American revolution will be immortal, and will immortalize those who record it.”