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Fort Ticonderoga (), formerly
Fort Carillon Fort Carillon, the precursor of Fort Ticonderoga Fort Ticonderoga (), formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain , native_name_lang = , image = Champ ...

Fort Carillon
, is a large 18th-century
star fort A star is an astronomical object In astronomy, an astronomical object or celestial object is a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe. In astronomy, the terms ''object'' a ...
built by the
French
French
at a narrows near the south end of
Lake Champlain , native_name_lang = , image = Champlainmap.svg , caption = Lake Champlain-River Richelieu watershed , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = New York (state), New York/Vermont in the United States; and Quebec in Canada , ...

Lake Champlain
, in northern
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
, in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. It was constructed by Canadian-born French military engineer
Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière Michel-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière, 1st Marquis de Lotbinière (1723–1798), seigneurial system of New France, Seigneur of Vaudreuil-Soulanges Regional County Municipality, Vaudreuil, Lotbinière Regional County Municipality, Lotbinière and Rig ...
between October 1755 and 1757, during the action in the "North American theater" of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, often referred to in the US as the
French and Indian War The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was a theater of the Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Great Britain ...

French and Indian War
. The fort was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again played an important role during the
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War(s) may refer to: * American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the armed conflict between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America * French Revolution ...
. The site controlled a river
portage Portage or portaging (Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and ...

portage
alongside the mouth of the rapids-infested
La Chute River The La Chute River is a short, fast-moving river, near the Vermont–New York border. It is now almost wholly contained within the municipality of Ticonderoga, New York Ticonderoga () is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are ...
, in the between Lake Champlain and Lake George. It was thus strategically placed for the competition over trade routes between the British-controlled
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York in the United States. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley ...

Hudson River
Valley and the French-controlled
Saint Lawrence River The St. Lawrence River is a large river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its c ...
Valley. The terrain amplified the importance of the site. Both lakes were long and narrow and oriented north–south, as were the many
ridge A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. The sides of the ridge slope away from narrow top on either side. The lines along the ...

ridge
lines of the
Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician, Ordovician Period. They once reache ...

Appalachian Mountains
, which extended as far south as
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
. The mountains created nearly impassable terrains to the east and west of the
Great Appalachian Valley The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. It is a gigantic trough—a chain of valley lowlands—and the central feature of the Appalachian Mou ...
that the site commanded. The name "Ticonderoga" comes from the
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
word ''tekontaró:ken'', meaning "it is at the junction of two waterways". Afable, p. 193 During the 1758
Battle of Carillon The Battle of Carillon, also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga,#Chartrand, Chartrand (2000), p. 57 was fought on July 8, 1758, during the French and Indian War (which was part of the global Seven Years' War). It was fought near Fort Carillon ...
, 4,000 French defenders were able to repel an attack by 16,000 British troops near the fort. In 1759, the British returned and drove a token French
garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...

garrison
from the fort. During the Revolutionary War, when the British controlled the fort, it was attacked on May 10, 1775, in the
Capture of Fort Ticonderoga The capture of Fort Ticonderoga occurred during the American Revolutionary War on May 10, 1775, when a small force of Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold surprised and captured the fort's small Kingdom of Great Brit ...
by the
Green Mountain Boys The Green Mountain Boys were a militia organization first established in 1770 in the territory between the British provinces of New York and New Hampshire New Hampshire () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United St ...
and other state militia under the command of
Ethan Allen Ethan Allen (Allen's date of birth is made confusing by calendrical differences caused by the conversion between the Julian calendar, Julian and Gregorian calendars. The first change offsets the date by 11 days. The second is that, at the time ...
and
Benedict Arnold Benedict Arnold (Brandt (1994), p. 414 June 1801) was an United States, American military officer who served during the American Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War. He fought with distinction for the American Continental Army, rising to the r ...

Benedict Arnold
, who captured it in the surprise attack. Cannons taken from the fort were transported to
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
to lift its siege by the British, who evacuated the city in March 1776. The Americans held the fort until June 1777, when British forces under General
John Burgoyne General A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate on Littoral Zone, littoral ...

John Burgoyne
occupied high ground above it; the threat resulted in the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
troops being withdrawn from the fort and its surrounding defenses. The only direct attack on the fort during the Revolution took place in September 1777, when John Brown led 500 Americans in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the fort from about 100 British defenders. The British abandoned the fort after the failure of the
Saratoga campaign The Saratoga campaign in 1777 was an attempt by the British high command for North America to gain military control of the strategically important Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through east ...
, and it ceased to be of military value after 1781. After gaining independence, the United States allowed the fort to fall into ruin; local residents stripped it of much of its usable materials. Purchased by a private family in 1820, it became a stop on tourist routes of the area. Early in the 20th century, its private owners restored the fort. A
foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good cause, ...
, the Fort Ticonderoga Association, now operates the fort as a tourist attraction, museum, and research center.


Geography and early history

Lake Champlain , native_name_lang = , image = Champlainmap.svg , caption = Lake Champlain-River Richelieu watershed , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = New York (state), New York/Vermont in the United States; and Quebec in Canada , ...

Lake Champlain
, which forms part of the border between
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
and
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
, and the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York in the United States. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley ...

Hudson River
together formed an important travel route that was used by
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
long before the arrival of European colonists. The route was relatively free of obstacles to navigation, with only a few
portage Portage or portaging (Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and ...

portage
s. One strategically important place on the route lies at a narrows near the southern end of Lake Champlain, where Ticonderoga Creek, known in colonial times as La Chute River, because it was named by French colonists, enters the lake, carrying water from Lake George. Although the site provides commanding views of the southern extent of Lake Champlain, Mount Defiance, at , and two other hills (Mount Hope and Mount Independence) overlook the area. Lonergan (1959), p. 2 Native Americans had occupied the area for centuries before French explorer
Samuel de Champlain Samuel de Champlain (; c. 13 August 1567 Fichier OrigineFor a detailed analysis of his baptismal record, see RitchThe baptism act does not contain information about the age of Samuel, neither his birth date nor his place of birth. – 25 Decemb ...
first arrived there in 1609. Champlain recounted that the
Algonquins Algonquin people are an Indigenous people of Eastern Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic t ...
, with whom he was traveling, battled a group of
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
nearby. Lonergan (1959), pp. 5–8 In 1642, French missionary
Isaac Jogues Isaac Jogues, S.J. (10 January 1607 – 18 October 1646) was a French missionary and martyr who traveled and worked among the Iroquois, Huron, and other Native populations in North America. He was the first European to name Lake George, ca ...
was the first white man to traverse the portage at Ticonderoga while escaping a battle between the Iroquois and members of the Huron tribe. Lonergan (1959), pp. 9–10 The French, who had colonized the
Saint Lawrence River The St. Lawrence River is a large river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its c ...
valley to the north, and the English, who had taken over the Dutch settlements that became the
Province of New York The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all w ...
to the south, began contesting the area as early as 1691, when
Pieter Schuyler Pieter Schuyler (17 September 1657 – 19 February 1724) was the first mayor of Albany, New York. A long-serving member of the executive council of the Province of New York, he acted as List of colonial governors of New York, governor of the Pro ...

Pieter Schuyler
built a small wooden fort at the Ticonderoga point on the western shore of the lake. Lonergan (1959), pp. 15,18 These colonial conflicts reached their height in the
French and Indian War The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was a theater of the Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Great Britain ...

French and Indian War
, which began in 1754 as the North American front of the Seven Years' War.


Construction

In 1755, following the
Battle of Lake George The Battle of Lake George was fought on 8 September 1755, in the north of the Province of New York. The battle was part of a campaign by the British to expel the French from North America, in the French and Indian War. On one side were 1,500 Frenc ...
, the French decided to construct a fort here. Marquis de Vaudreuil, the governor of the French
Province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British North America, British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations mad ...
, sent his cousin Michel Chartier de Lotbinière to design and construct a fortification at this militarily important site, which the French called Fort Carillon. Lonergan (1959), p. 17 The name "Carillon" has variously been attributed to the name of a former French officer, Philippe de Carrion du Fresnoy, who established a trading post at the site in the late 17th century,
KetchumKetchum may refer to: Towns, cities, and, geographic features * Ketchum, Idaho, United States * Ketchum, Oklahoma, United States * Lake Ketchum, Washington, United States * Ketchum Glacier, a glacier in Antarctica * Ketchum Ridge, a large ridge in ...
, p. 29
or (more commonly) to the sounds made by the rapids of La Chute River, which were said to resemble the chiming bells of a
carillon A carillon ( or ; ) is a pitched percussion idiophone that is played with a keyboard and consists of at least 23 cast bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemi ...

carillon
. Construction on the star-shaped fort, which Lotbinière based on designs of the renowned French military engineer , began in October 1755 and then proceeded slowly during the warmer-weather months of 1756 and 1757, using troops stationed at nearby Fort St. Frédéric and from Canada. Lonergan (1959), p. 22 Stoetzel, p. 297 The work in 1755 consisted primarily of beginning construction on the main walls and on the Lotbinière
redoubt A redoubt (historically redout) is a Fortification, fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on Earthworks (engineering), earthworks, although some are constructed of ston ...
, an
outwork An outwork is a minor fortification A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized ...
to the west of the site that provided additional coverage of La Chute River. During the next year, the four main
bastion A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the Curtain wall (fortification), curtain wall of a fortification, most commonly angular in shape and positioned at the corners of the fort. The fully developed bastion consists of two f ...

bastion
s were built, as well as a sawmill on La Chute. Work slowed in 1757, when many of the troops prepared for and participated in the attack on Fort William Henry. The barracks and s were not completed until spring 1758. Lonergan (1959), pp. 19–25


Walls and bastions

The French built the fort to control the south end of Lake Champlain and prevent the British from gaining military access to the lake. Consequently, its most important defenses, the Reine and Germaine bastions, were directed to the northeast and northwest, away from the lake, with two demi-lunes further extending the works on the land side. The Joannes and Languedoc bastions overlooked the lake to the south, providing cover for the landing area outside the fort. The walls were high and thick, and the whole works was surrounded by a
glacis A glacis (; ) in military engineering Military engineering is loosely defined as the art, science, and practice of designing and building military works and maintaining lines of military transport Military supply-chain management is a cross-f ...

glacis
and a dry
moat A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that is dug and surrounds a castle A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Mili ...

moat
deep and wide. When the walls were first erected in 1756, they were made of squared wooden timbers, with earth filling the gap. The French then began to from a
quarry A quarry is a type of open-pit mine File:Ende Gelände 2017 CHB 23 (cropped).jpg, The giant bucket-wheel excavators in the German Rhineland coal mines are among the world's biggest land vehicles. Open-pit mining, also known as open-cas ...

quarry
about one mile (1.6 km) away, although this work was never fully completed.
NesterNester may refer to: * Nester Township, Michigan * Nester (character), the long-time teenage mascot and comic strip star of ''Nintendo Power'' magazine See also

* Nestor (disambiguation) {{disambig, geo ...
, p. 110
When the main defenses became ready for use, the fort was armed with
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
s hauled from
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
and Fort St. Frédéric.
Kaufmann Kaufmann is a surname with many variants such as Kauffmann, Kaufman, and Kauffman. In German language, German, the name means ''merchant''. It is the cognate of the English ''Chapman (surname), Chapman'' (which had a similar meaning in the Middle ...
, pp. 75–76
Lonergan (1959), p. 19


Inside and outside

The fort contained three
barracks Barracks are usually a group of long buildings built to house military personnel or laborers. The English word comes via French from an old Spanish word "barraca" (hut), originally referring to temporary shelters or huts for various people and ani ...

barracks
and four s. One bastion held a bakery capable of producing 60 loaves of bread a day. A
powder magazinePowder Magazine, Powder House, or Powderworks may refer to: * Gunpowder magazine, a magazine (building) designed to store the explosive gunpowder in wooden barrels for safety *Magazine (artillery), the general term *Powder Magazine (skiing), snow-sk ...
was hacked out of the
bedrock Bedrock in geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they cha ...

bedrock
beneath the Joannes bastion. All the construction within the fort was of stone. A wooden
palisade A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence A fence is a structure that encloses an area, typically outdoors, and is usually constructed from posts that are connected by boards, wire, rails or netting. A fen ...
protected an area outside the fort between the southern wall and the lake shore. This area contained the main landing for the fort and additional storage facilities and other works necessary for maintenance of the fort. When it became apparent in 1756 that the fort was too far to the west of the lake, the French constructed an additional redoubt to the east to enable cannon to cover the lake's
narrows A narrows or narrow (used interchangeably but usually in the plural form), is a restricted land or water passage. Most commonly a narrows is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larg ...

narrows
. Chartrand, p. 36 File:Fort Ticonderoga barracks, canon.JPG, Officers' barracks, right; soldiers' barracks, left File:Fort Ticonderoga, inside the first wall.jpg, Inside the first wall; officers' barracks at left, soldiers' barracks at right File:Fort Ticonderoga, store room and powder magazine.jpg, Store room and powder magazine (now Mars Education Center); soldiers' barracks at right File:Forttic1.jpg, Front of the fort File:Forttic2.jpg, View of the lake from the front File:Forttic3.jpg, Back view of the fort


Analysis

By 1758, the fort was largely complete; the only ongoing work thereafter consisted of dressing the walls with stone. Still, General Montcalm and two of his
military engineer Military engineering is loosely defined as the art, science, and practice of designing and building military works and maintaining lines of military transport and military communications Military communications or military signals involve al ...
s surveyed the works in 1758 and found something to criticize in almost every aspect of the fort's construction; the buildings were too tall and thus easier for attackers' cannon fire to hit, the powder magazine leaked, and the
masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps betwe ...

masonry
was of poor quality. Lonergan (1959), p. 25 The critics apparently failed to notice the fort's significant strategic weakness: several nearby hills overlooked the fort and made it possible for besiegers to fire down on the defenders from above. Lonergan (1959), p. 26 Lotbinière, who may have won the job of building the fort only because he was related to Governor Vaudreuil, had lost a bid to become Canada's chief engineer to Nicolas Sarrebource de Pontleroy, one of the two surveying engineers, in 1756, all of which may explain the highly negative report. Lotbinière's career suffered for years afterwards. Thorpe William Nester, in his exhaustive analysis of the Battle of Carillon, notes additional problems with the fort's construction. The fort was small for a Vauban-style fort, about wide, with a barracks capable of holding only 400 soldiers. Storage space inside the fort was similarly limited, requiring the storage of provisions outside the fort's walls in exposed places. Its
cistern A cistern (Middle English ', from Latin ', from ', "box", from Greek language, Greek ', "basket") is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and Rainwater tank, store rainwater. Cisterns are ...

cistern
was small, and the
water quality Water quality refers to the chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touche ...

water quality
was supposedly poor.
NesterNester may refer to: * Nester Township, Michigan * Nester (character), the long-time teenage mascot and comic strip star of ''Nintendo Power'' magazine See also

* Nestor (disambiguation) {{disambig, geo ...
, p. 111
KetchumKetchum may refer to: Towns, cities, and, geographic features * Ketchum, Idaho, United States * Ketchum, Oklahoma, United States * Lake Ketchum, Washington, United States * Ketchum Glacier, a glacier in Antarctica * Ketchum Ridge, a large ridge in ...
, p. 28


Military history


French and Indian War

In August 1757, the French captured Fort William Henry in an action launched from Fort Carillon. Anderson (2005), pp. 109–115 This, and a string of other French victories in 1757, prompted the British to organize a large-scale attack on the fort as part of a multi-campaign strategy against French Canada. Anderson (2005), p. 126 In June 1758, British General James Abercromby began amassing a large force at
Fort William Henry Fort William Henry was a British fort at the southern end of Lake George, in the province of New York A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivisio ...
in preparation for a
military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of ...
directed up the Champlain Valley. These forces landed at the north end of Lake George, only four miles from the fort, on July 6. Anderson (2005), p. 132 The French general
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Grozon, marquis de Montcalm de Saint-Veran (28 February 1712 – 14 September 1759) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), offi ...
, who had only arrived at Carillon in late June, engaged his troops in a flurry of work to improve the fort's outer defenses. They built, over two days, entrenchments around a rise between the fort and Mount Hope, about three-quarters of a mile (one kilometer) northwest of the fort, and then constructed an
abatis An abatis, abattis, or abbattis is a field fortification A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically o ...

abatis
(felled trees with sharpened branches pointing out) below these entrenchments. Anderson (2000), p. 242 They conducted the work unimpeded by military action, as Abercromby failed to advance directly to the fort on July 7. Abercromby's second-in-command, Brigadier General George Howe, had been killed when his column encountered a French reconnaissance troop. Abercromby "felt owe's deathmost heavily" and may have been unwilling to act immediately. Anderson (2005), p. 135 On July 8, 1758, Abercromby ordered a frontal attack against the hastily assembled French works. Abercromby tried to move rapidly against the few French defenders, opting to forgo field cannon and relying instead on the numerical superiority of his 16,000 troops. In the
Battle of Carillon The Battle of Carillon, also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga,#Chartrand, Chartrand (2000), p. 57 was fought on July 8, 1758, during the French and Indian War (which was part of the global Seven Years' War). It was fought near Fort Carillon ...
, the British were soundly defeated by the 4,000 French defenders. Anderson (2005), pp. 135–138 The battle took place far enough away from the fort that its guns were rarely used. Chartrand and
NesterNester may refer to: * Nester Township, Michigan * Nester (character), the long-time teenage mascot and comic strip star of ''Nintendo Power'' magazine See also

* Nestor (disambiguation) {{disambig, geo ...
, who both wrote detailed accounts of the battle, describe only one brief time period during the battle when the cannons on the southwest bastion were fired at an attempted British maneuver on the river.
The battle gave the fort a reputation for impregnability, which affected future military operations in the area, notably during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
. Following the French victory, Montcalm, anticipating further British attacks, ordered additional work on the defenses, including the construction of the Germain and Pontleroy
redoubt A redoubt (historically redout) is a Fortification, fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on Earthworks (engineering), earthworks, although some are constructed of ston ...
s (named for the engineers under whose direction they were constructed) to the northeast of the fort. ASHPS Annual Report 1913, p. 619 Stoetzel, p. 453 However, the British did not attack again in 1758, so the French withdrew all but a small garrison of men for the winter in November.
Atherton Atherton may refer to: Places Australia * Atherton, Queensland, a town on the Atherton Tablelands of Far North Queensland * Atherton Tableland, a fertile plateau in Queensland * Shire of Atherton, a former local government area of Queensland on ...
, p. 419
The British under General Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, Jeffery Amherst captured the fort the following year in the Battle of Ticonderoga (1759), 1759 Battle of Ticonderoga. In this confrontation 11,000 British troops, using emplaced artillery, drove off the token garrison of 400 Frenchmen. The French, in withdrawing, used explosives to destroy what they could of the fort Lonergan (1959), p. 56 and wikt:spike#Verb, spiked or dumped cannons that they did not take with them. Although the British worked in 1759 and 1760 to repair and improve the fort,
Kaufmann Kaufmann is a surname with many variants such as Kauffmann, Kaufman, and Kauffman. In German language, German, the name means ''merchant''. It is the cognate of the English ''Chapman (surname), Chapman'' (which had a similar meaning in the Middle ...
, pp. 90–91
it was not part of any further significant action in the war. After the war, the British
garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...

garrison
ed the fort with a small number of troops and allowed it to fall into disrepair. Colonel Frederick Haldimand, in command of the fort in 1773, wrote that it was in "ruinous condition". Lonergan (1959), p. 59


Early Revolutionary War

In 1775, Fort Ticonderoga, in disrepair, was still manned by a token British force. They found it extremely useful as a supply and communication link between Canada (which they had taken over after their victory in the Seven Years' War) and New York.Intelligence Throughout History: The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, 1775
/ref> On May 10, 1775, less than one month after the
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War(s) may refer to: * American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the armed conflict between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America * French Revolution ...
was ignited with the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British garrison of 48 soldiers was surprised by a small force of
Green Mountain Boys The Green Mountain Boys were a militia organization first established in 1770 in the territory between the British provinces of New York and New Hampshire New Hampshire () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United St ...
, along with militia volunteers from Province of Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts and Connecticut Colony, Connecticut, led by
Ethan Allen Ethan Allen (Allen's date of birth is made confusing by calendrical differences caused by the conversion between the Julian calendar, Julian and Gregorian calendars. The first change offsets the date by 11 days. The second is that, at the time ...
and
Benedict Arnold Benedict Arnold (Brandt (1994), p. 414 June 1801) was an United States, American military officer who served during the American Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War. He fought with distinction for the American Continental Army, rising to the r ...

Benedict Arnold
.#Martin, Martin, pp. 70–72 Allen claimed to have said, "Come out you old Rat!" to the fort's commander, Captain William Delaplace.#Martin, Martin, p. 71 He also later said that he demanded that the British commander surrender the fort "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"; however, his surrender demand was made to Lieutenant Jocelyn Feltham and not the fort's commander, who did later appear and surrender his sword. With the capture of the fort, the Patriot (American Revolution), Patriot forces obtained a large supply of cannons and other armaments, much of which Henry Knox Noble train of artillery, transported to
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
during the winter of 1775–1776. Ticonderoga's cannons were instrumental in ending the siege of Boston when they were used to Fortification of Dorchester Heights, fortify Dorchester Heights.#Martin, Martin, p. 73 With Dorchester Heights secured by the Patriots, the British were forced to evacuate the city in March 1776. The capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Patriots made communication between the British Canadian and American commands much more difficult. Benedict Arnold remained in control of the fort until 1,000 Connecticut troops under the command of Benjamin Hinman arrived in June 1775. Because of a series of political maneuvers and miscommunications, Arnold was never notified that Hinman was to take command. After a delegation from Massachusetts (which had issued Arnold's commission) arrived to clarify the matter, Arnold resigned his commission and departed, leaving the fort in Hinman's hands.#Martin, Martin, pp. 80–97 Beginning in July 1775, Ticonderoga was used as a staging area for the Invasion of Canada (1775), invasion of Quebec, planned to begin in September. Under the leadership of generals Philip Schuyler and Richard Montgomery, men and materiel for the invasion were accumulated there through July and August.#Smith14I, Smith, Vol 1, pp. 252–270 On August 28, after receiving word that British forces at Fort Saint-Jean (Quebec), Fort Saint-Jean, not far from the New York–Province of Quebec (1763-1791), Quebec border, were nearing completion of boats to launch onto Lake Champlain, Montgomery launched the invasion, leading 1,200 troops down the lake.#Smith14I, Smith (1907), Vol 1, p. 320 Ticonderoga continued to serve as a staging base for the action in Quebec until the Battle of Quebec (1775), battle and siege at Quebec City that resulted in Montgomery's death.These events are recounted in detail in #Smith14II, Smith (1907), Vol 2. In May 1776, British troops began to arrive at Quebec City, where they broke the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
's siege.#Smith14II, Smith (1907), Vol 2, p. 316 The British chased the American forces back to Ticonderoga in June and, after several months of shipbuilding, moved down Lake Champlain under Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, Guy Carleton in October. The British destroyed a small fleet of American gunboats in the Battle of Valcour Island in mid-October, but snow was already falling, so the British retreated to winter quarters in Quebec. About 1,700 troops from the Continental Army, under the command of Colonel Anthony Wayne, wintered at Ticonderoga.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 165 The British offensive resumed the next year in the
Saratoga campaign The Saratoga campaign in 1777 was an attempt by the British high command for North America to gain military control of the strategically important Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through east ...
under General
John Burgoyne General A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate on Littoral Zone, littoral ...

John Burgoyne
. Lonergan (1959), p. 101


Saratoga campaign

During the summer of 1776, the Americans, under the direction of General Schuyler, and later under General Horatio Gates, added substantial defensive works to the area. Mount Independence, which is almost completely surrounded by water, was fortified with trenches near the water, a horseshoe artillery battery, battery part way up the side, a citadel at the summit, and redoubts armed with cannons surrounding the summit area. These defenses were linked to Ticonderoga with a pontoon bridge that was protected by land batteries on both sides. The works on Mount Hope, the heights above the site of Montcalm's victory, were improved to include a star-shaped fort. Mount Defiance remained unfortified. Lonergan (1959), pp. 97–99 In March 1777, American generals were strategizing about possible British military movements and considered an attempt on the Hudson River corridor a likely possibility. General Schuyler, heading the forces stationed at Ticonderoga, requested 10,000 troops to guard Ticonderoga and 2,000 to guard the Mohawk River valley against British invasion from the north. George Washington, who had never been to Ticonderoga (his only visit was to be in 1783), Lonergan (1959), p. 123 believed that an overland attack from the north was unlikely, because of the alleged impregnability of Ticonderoga.#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 51 This, combined with continuing incursions up the Hudson River valley by British forces occupying New York City, led Washington to believe that any attack on the Albany, New York, Albany area would be from the south, which, as it was part of the supply line to Ticonderoga, would necessitate a withdrawal from the fort. As a result, no significant actions were taken to further fortify Ticonderoga or significantly increase its garrison.#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 52 The garrison, about 2,000 men under General Arthur St. Clair, was too small to man all the defenses. Lonergan (1959), p. 99 General Gates, who oversaw the northern defenses, was aware that Mount Defiance threatened the fort. John Trumbull had pointed this out as early as 1776, when a shot fired from the fort was able to reach Defiance's summit, and several officers inspecting the hill noted that there were approaches to its summit where gun carriages could be pulled up the sides.#Furneaux, Furneaux, pp. 54–55 As the garrison was too small to properly defend all the existing works in the area, Mount Defiance was left undefended.#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 55 Anthony Wayne left Ticonderoga in April 1777 to join Washington's army; he reported to Washington that "all was well", and that the fort "can never be carried, without much loss of blood".#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 58 General Burgoyne led 7,800 British and Hessian (soldiers), Hessian forces south from Quebec in June 1777.#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 47 After occupying nearby Fort Crown Point without opposition on June 30, he prepared to Siege of Fort Ticonderoga (1777), besiege Ticonderoga.#Furneaux, Furneaux, pp. 49, 57 Burgoyne realized the military tactics, tactical advantage of the high ground, and had his troops haul cannons to the top of Mount Defiance. Faced with bombardment from the heights (although no shots had yet been fired), General St. Clair ordered Ticonderoga abandoned on July 5, 1777. Burgoyne's troops moved in the next day,#Furneaux, Furneaux, pp. 65–67 with advance guards pursuing the retreating Patriot Americans.#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 74 Washington, on hearing of Burgoyne's advance and the retreat from Ticonderoga, stated that the event was "not apprehended, nor within the compass of my reasoning".#Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 88 News of the abandonment of the "Impregnable Bastion" without a fight, caused "the greatest surprise and alarm" throughout the colonies.Dr. James Thacher, quoted in #Furneaux, Furneaux, p. 88 After public outcry over his actions, General St. Clair was court-martialed in 1778. He was cleared on all charges.


One last attack

Following the British capture of Ticonderoga, it and the surrounding defenses were garrisoned by 700 British and Hessian troops under the command of Brigadier General Henry Watson Powell. Most of these forces were on Mount Independence, with only 100 each at Fort Ticonderoga and a blockhouse they were constructing on top of Mount Defiance.#Hamilton, Hamilton, pp. 215–216 George Washington sent General Benjamin Lincoln into
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
to "divide and distract the enemy".#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 216 Aware that the British were housing American POW, prisoners in the area, Lincoln decided to test the British defenses. On September 13, he sent 500 men to Whitehall (village), New York, Skenesboro, which they found the British had abandoned, and 500 each against the defenses on either side of the lake at Ticonderoga. Colonel John Brown led the troops on the west side, with instructions to release prisoners if possible, and attack the fort if it seemed feasible.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 217 Early on September 18, Brown's troops surprised a British contingent holding some prisoners near the Lake George landing, while a detachment of his troops sneaked up Mount Defiance, and captured most of the sleeping construction crew. Brown and his men then moved down the portage trail toward the fort, surprising more troops and releasing prisoners along the way.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 218 The fort's occupants were unaware of the action until Brown's men and British troops occupying the old French lines skirmisher, skirmished. At this point Brown's men dragged two captured six-pound guns up to the lines, and began firing on the fort. The men who had captured Mount Defiance began firing a twelve-pounder from that site.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 219 The column that was to attack Mount Independence was delayed, and its numerous defenders were alerted to the action at the fort below before the attack on their position began. Their musket fire, as well as grapeshot fired from ships anchored nearby, intimidated the Americans sufficiently that they never launched an assault on the defensive positions on Mount Independence. A stalemate persisted, with regular exchanges of cannon fire, until September 21, when 100 Hessians, returning from the Mohawk Valley to support Burgoyne, arrived on the scene to provide reinforcement to the besieged fort.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 220 Brown eventually sent a truce party to the fort to open negotiations; the party was fired on, and three of its five members were killed.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 222 Brown, realizing that the weaponry they had was insufficient to take the fort, decided to withdraw. Destroying many bateaux and seizing a ship on Lake George, he set off to annoy British positions on that lake. His action resulted in the freeing of 118 Americans and the capture of 293 British troops, while suffering fewer than ten casualties.


Abandonment

Following Burgoyne's Battles of Saratoga, defeat at Saratoga, the fort at Ticonderoga became increasingly irrelevant. The British abandoned it and nearby Fort Crown Point in November 1777, destroying both as best they could prior to their withdrawal.#Crego, Crego, p. 70 The fort was occasionally reoccupied by British raiding parties in the following years, but it no longer held a prominent strategic role in the war. It was finally abandoned by the British for good in 1781, following their Siege of Yorktown, surrender at Yorktown. Lonergan (1959), p. 122 In the years following the war, area residents stripped the fort of usable building materials, even melting some of the cannons down for their metal .#Pell, Pell, p. 91


Tourist attraction

In 1785, the fort's lands became the property of the state of New York. The state donation, donated the property to Columbia University, Columbia and Union College, Union colleges in 1803.#Hamilton226, Hamilton, p. 226 The colleges sold the property to William Ferris Pell in 1820.#Crego, Crego, p. 76 Pell first used the property as a summer retreat. Completion of railroads and canals connecting the area to New York City brought tourists to the area,#Crego, Crego, p. 73 so he converted his summer house, known as The Pavilion, into a hotel to serve the tourist trade. In 1848, the Hudson River School artist Russell Smith (artist), Russell Smith painted ''Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga'', depicting the condition of the fort.#Crego, Crego, p. 75 The Pell family, a politically important clan with influence throughout American history (from William C. C. Claiborne, the first Governor of Louisiana, to a United States Senator, Senator from Rhode Island, Claiborne Pell), hired English architect Alfred Bossom to restore the fort and formally opened it to the public in 1909 as an historic site. The ceremonies, which commemorated the 300th anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain by European explorers, were attended by President William Howard Taft. Lonergan (1959), p. 124 Stephen Hyatt Pell, who spearheaded the restoration effort, founded the Fort Ticonderoga Association in 1931, which is now responsible for the fort.#Hamilton, Hamilton, p. 230 Funding for the restoration also came from Robert M. Thompson, father of Stephen Pell's wife, Sarah Gibbs Thompson.#Crego, Crego, p. 6. Between 1900 and 1950, the foundation acquired the historically important lands around the fort, including Mount Defiance, Mount Independence, and much of Mount Hope. Lonergan (1959), pp. 125–127 The fort was rearmed with fourteen 24-pound cannons provided by the British government. These cannons had been cast in England for use during the American Revolution, but the war ended before they were shipped over.#Pell, Pell, pp. 108–109 Designated as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of Interior, the fort is now operated by the foundation as a tourist attraction, early American military museum, and research center. The fort opens annually around May 10, the anniversary of the 1775 capture, and closes in late October.#FortHours, Fort Hours The fort has been on a watchlist of National Historic Landmarks since 1998, because of the poor condition of some of the walls and of the 19th-century pavilion constructed by William Ferris Pell. The pavilion was being restored in 2009. In 2008, the powder magazine, destroyed by the French in 1759, was reconstructed by Tonetti Associates Architects, based in part on the original 1755 plans.#Foster, Foster Also in 2008, the withdrawal of a major backer's financial support forced the museum, which was facing significant budget deficits, to consider selling one of its major art works, Thomas Cole's ''Gelyna, View near Ticonderoga''. However, fundraising activities were successful enough to prevent the sale.#TU081218, Albany Times Union, December 18, 2008 The not-for-profit Living History Education Foundation conducts teacher programs at Fort Ticonderoga during the summer that last approximately one week. The program trains teachers how to teach Living History techniques, and to understand and interpret the importance of Fort Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The fort conducts other seminars, symposia, and workshops throughout the year, including the annual War College of the Seven Years' War in May and the Seminar on the American Revolution in September. The Pell family estate is located north of the fort. In 1921, Sarah Pell undertook reconstruction of the gardens. She hired Marian Cruger Coffin, one of the most famous American landscape architects of the period. In 1995, the gardens were restored and later opened for public visiting; they are known as the King's Garden.


Memorials

The United States Navy, U.S. Navy has given the name 'Ticonderoga' to USS Ticonderoga, five different vessels, as well as to entire classes of Ticonderoga-class cruiser, cruisers and Ticonderoga-class aircraft carrier, aircraft carriers.#Bauer, Bauer, pp. 36, 65, 67, 118, 119, 217, 218#GSub, US Office of Naval Records, p. 106 The fort was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.#NHLSUM, NHL summary webpage Included in the landmarked area are the fort, as well as Mount Independence and Mount Defiance.#NRHPINV, Ashton It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The Ticonderoga pencil, manufactured by the Dixon Ticonderoga Corporation, is named for the fort.#DixonCorp, Dixon Ticonderoga Corporation


See also

*Battle on Snowshoes (1757) *Battle on Snowshoes (1758) *List of French forts in North America *Duncan Campbell (died 1758), Scottish officer of the British Army, subject of a legend about the fort *Seymour Reit, Reit, Seymour. ''Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution.'' Clarion Books, 2001.


Notes


References


Fort history sources

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Battle history sources

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Other sources

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External links

* **Timelin
18th & 19th
century *

at Historic Lakes

at British Battles

at Thrilling Incidents in American History {{Authority control 1757 establishments in New France American Revolution on the National Register of Historic Places American Revolutionary War forts, Ticonderoga Buildings and structures in Essex County, New York Champlain Valley National Heritage Area Colonial forts in New York (state), Ticonderoga Forts in New York (state), Ticonderoga Forts on the National Register of Historic Places in New York (state), Ticonderoga French and Indian War forts, Ticonderoga French forts in the United States, Ticonderoga Historic American Buildings Survey in New York (state) Living museums in New York (state) Military and war museums in New York (state) Military installations established in 1757 Museums in Essex County, New York National Historic Landmarks in New York (state) National Register of Historic Places in Essex County, New York Star forts Pell family