Battles of Saratoga

Battles of Saratoga: "Surrender of General Burgoyne," by John Trumbull

“Surrender of General Burgoyne,” by John Trumbull

The Battles of Saratoga were two Revolutionary War battles, fought on September 19 and October 7, 1777, near Saratoga, New York. Following the battles, British and German troops under British general John Burgoyne surrendered to American general Horatio Gates on October 17, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War in the Americans’ favor.

Background

In the summer of 1777, Burgoyne commenced his plan to lead his army down from Canada through upstate New York to meet up in Albany with other British troops moving in from the south and west. By doing so, he hoped to isolate New England and prevent it from presenting a united war effort with the other colonies.

Battle of Freeman’s Farm

However, near Saratoga the Americans had dug in, hoping to stall Burgoyne’s progress. On September 19, Burgoyne launched an attack, known as the Battle of Freeman’s Farm. Though at battle’s end the British commanded the field, they suffered much higher losses than the Americans, who outnumbered the British by several thousand and were also receiving a constant stream of new militia troops.

Battle of Bemis Heights

Burgoyne did not immediately attack the Americans again, perhaps waiting for word of the movements of fellow British general Henry Clinton. Finally, with supplies running low, Burgoyne began his attack in the Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7. This time it was the Americans who were victorious, led to success in large part by General Benedict Arnold.

Surrender

With Burgoyne’s path to retreat blocked by a contingent of Americans, he reluctantly agreed to surrender. After some back and forth between Burgoyne and Gates as to the terms, Burgoyne finally surrendered his army on October 17.

Significance

The American victory at Saratoga proved a pivotal event in the war. The victory led France to openly side with the Americans a few months later, providing crucial funds, supplies, weapons, troops, and naval support.

Learn more about the Battles of Saratoga through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about the Battles of Saratoga

General Horatio Gates writes letter about victory at Saratoga and includes copy of the ConventionGeneral Horatio Gates writes letter about victory at Saratoga and includes copy of the Convention Tue, Oct 28, 1777 – Page 2 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut) · Newspapers.comNewspaper publishes letters between Gates and Burgoyne from the days leading up to the surrenderNewspaper publishes letters between Gates and Burgoyne from the days leading up to the surrender Fri, Oct 31, 1777 – Page 5 · The North-Carolina Weekly Gazette (New Bern, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comNewspaper prints list of number of British officers and soldiers taken prisoner at SaratogaNewspaper prints list of number of British officers and soldiers taken prisoner at Saratoga Fri, Oct 31, 1777 – Page 1 · The Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, Virginia) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of reactions in North Carolina to the news of Burgoyne's surrender at SaratogaNewspaper account of reactions in North Carolina to the news of Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga Fri, Oct 31, 1777 – Page 5 · The North-Carolina Weekly Gazette (New Bern, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comVirginia declares a day of Virginia declares a day of "solemn thanksgiving" to commemorate the American victory at Saratoga Fri, Oct 31, 1777 – Page 1 · The Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, Virginia) · Newspapers.comGeneral Horatio Gates writes letter to Congress about his victory at SaratogaGeneral Horatio Gates writes letter to Congress about his victory at Saratoga Fri, Nov 14, 1777 – Page 1 · The Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, Virginia) · Newspapers.comNewspaper prints letter from Burgoyne about the Battles of Saratoga and the British surrenderNewspaper prints letter from Burgoyne about the Battles of Saratoga and the British surrender Thu, Nov 20, 1777 – Page 1 · The Maryland Gazette (Annapolis, Maryland) · Newspapers.comBritish officer arrives in England confirming news of Burgoyne's surrender at SaratogaBritish officer arrives in England confirming news of Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga Fri, Dec 12, 1777 – 6 · The Derby Mercury (Derby, Derbyshire, England) · Newspapers.comNewspaper lists loss to British army in terms of troops and weapons following surrender at SaratogaNewspaper lists loss to British army in terms of troops and weapons following surrender at Saratoga Fri, Dec 12, 1777 – Page 3 · The Public Advertiser (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper expresses skepticism at news of Burgoyne's surrender after Battles of SaratogaBritish newspaper expresses skepticism at news of Burgoyne's surrender after Battles of Saratoga Tue, Dec 16, 1777 – 3 · The Leeds Intelligencer and Yorkshire General Advertiser (Leeds, West Yorkshire, England) · Newspapers.comGeneral Burgoyne gives British perspective of the Battle of Freeman's Farm on September 19, 1777General Burgoyne gives British perspective of the Battle of Freeman's Farm on September 19, 1777 Thu, Dec 18, 1777 – Page 1 · The Public Advertiser (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comGeneral Burgoyne gives British perspective of the Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7, 1777General Burgoyne gives British perspective of the Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7, 1777 Thu, Dec 18, 1777 – Page 2 · The Public Advertiser (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comGeneral Burgoyne describes the events after the Battles of Saratoga leading up to the surrenderGeneral Burgoyne describes the events after the Battles of Saratoga leading up to the surrender Thu, Dec 18, 1777 – Page 2 · The Public Advertiser (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comA Frenchman living in America writes a letter with his views on the Battles of SaratogaA Frenchman living in America writes a letter with his views on the Battles of Saratoga Fri, Mar 13, 1778 – Page 1 · The North-Carolina Weekly Gazette (New Bern, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comGeneral Burgoyne speaks in front of the British House of Commons about the British loss at SaratogaGeneral Burgoyne speaks in front of the British House of Commons about the British loss at Saratoga Sat, May 30, 1778 – 2 · The Ipswich Journal (Ipswich, Suffolk, England) · Newspapers.comMap of where General John Burgoyne surrendered after the Battles of SaratogaMap of where General John Burgoyne surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga Sun, Oct 6, 1940 – 59 · Daily News (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com
"Battles of Saratoga," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/american-revolution/battles-of-saratoga/ : accessed October 14, 2019)