Saratoga Battle Monument
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The Saratoga Battle Monument is a
granite Granite () is a coarse-grained (phanerite, phaneritic) intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cool ...

granite
obelisk An obelisk (; from grc, ὀβελίσκος ; diminutive of ''obelos'', " spit, nail, pointed pillar") is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion A pyramidion (plural: pyramidia) is the ...

obelisk
located in the village of
Victory, Saratoga County, New York : ''Another Victory, Cayuga County, New York, Victory is a town in Cayuga County, New York. '' ---- Victory is a Village (New York), village in Saratoga County, New York, Saratoga County, New York (state), New York, United States. The population ...
. The monument commemorates what is called the "Turning Point" of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
—the surrender of British forces led by 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
to the Americans under General
Horatio Gates Horatio Lloyd Gates (July 26, 1727April 10, 1806) was a British-born American army officer who served as a general in the Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States ...

Horatio Gates
.


Description

The Saratoga Battle Monument contains four niches intended for life size bronze statues of the American commanders associated with the
Battle of Saratoga The Battles of Saratoga (September 19 and October 7, 1777) marked the climax 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 imp ...
.


Saratoga Monument Association

On 17 October 1856, a group met at the
General Schuyler House The Schuyler House or General Schuyler House was built in November 1777 over 29 days for General Philip Schuyler (later Senator Schuyler, and Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law). It is now part of Saratoga National Historical Park (located 8 miles ...
in
Schuylerville, New York Schuylerville () is a Administrative divisions of New York#Village, village in Saratoga County, New York, Saratoga County, New York (state), New York, United States. The village is located in the northeastern part of the Saratoga, New York, Town ...
to discuss creation of a monument to celebrate the American victory at the
Battle of Saratoga The Battles of Saratoga (September 19 and October 7, 1777) marked the climax 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 imp ...
. In 1859, the Saratoga Monument Association was organized, with a board of fourteen permanent directors: George Strover, William Wilcox, Henry Holmes, James M. Marvin, John A. Corey,
James M. Cook
James M. Cook
, Leroy Mowry, Asa C. Tefft,
Peter Gansevoort Peter Gansevoort (July 17, 1749 – July 2, 1812) was a Colonel in the Continental Army The Continental Army was the army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land for ...
,
Hamilton Fish Hamilton Fish (August 3, 1808September 7, 1893) was an American politician who served as the 16th Governor of New York The governor of the State of New York is the head of government of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. Th ...

Hamilton Fish
,
Phillip Schuyler Philip John Schuyler (; November 18, 1804) was an American general in the American Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War and a United States Senate, United States Senator from New York (state), New York. He is usually known as Philip Schuyler, w ...
, George W. Blecker, and
Horatio Seymour Horatio Seymour (May 31, 1810February 12, 1886) was an American politician. He served as List of Governors of New York, Governor of New York from 1853 to 1854 and from 1863 to 1864. He was the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party n ...

Horatio Seymour
. Hamilton Fish was elected first president. The association was incorporated by New York State in 1859. The trustees got as far as choosing the location for the monument before the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
intervened. The effort to build the monument was resumed in 1872. In 1874, the
New York State Legislature The New York State Legislature consists of the two houses that act as the state legislature A state legislature is a Legislature, legislative branch or body of a State (country subdivision), political subdivision in a Federalism, federal syste ...
approved an appropriation of $50,000 for construction of the monument. The association asked each of the thirteen original states to pledge $5,000 each, but only Rhode Island replied with a conditional offer.


Cornerstone

On 17 October 1877, 100 years to the day after Burgoyne's surrender, the
cornerstone The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by ; the term ''masonry'' ...

cornerstone
of the monument was laid with great pageantry, including a parade two miles long to the site, music, speeches and the reading of Fitz-Greene Halleck's "The Field of Grounded Arms":
... And such were Saratoga’s victors—such The Yeomen-Brave, whose deeds and death have given A glory to her skies, A music to her name. In honorable life her fields they trod, In honorable death they sleep below; Their sons’ proud feelings here Their noblest monuments.


Construction

The monument was designed by John C. Markham of New Jersey. The capstone was placed on 3 November 1882, and the bronze statues were completed in August 1887. The statues were designed by George Edwin Bissell, George Bissell (Gates), Alexander Doyle (Schuyler), and William Rudolf O'Donovan, William O'Donovan (Morgan). Markham designed the sixteen bronze bas-relief plaques that line the interior of the first floor. The monument was formally dedicated and turned over to the State of New York on 18 October 1912. In 1980, the state transferred the monument to the US National Park Service.


Funding

Final funding for the Saratoga Battle Monument consisted of $2,300 from private donations, $95,000 from the federal government, and $10,000 from New York State. Much of the labor and material was donated. In 1895, when the monument was transferred to New York State, a debt of $4,500 remained.


Renovations

By 1987, the monument had deteriorated such that it had to be closed due to safety concerns. A renovation was undertaken at a cost of $3 million, and the monument was reopened on Columbus Day, 2005. Funding was provided by the National Park Service thanks to the efforts of United States House of Representatives, Congressman Gerald Solomon.


See also

*Bennington Battle Monument


References

{{coord, 43.09853, -73.59327, format=dms, type:landmark_region:US-NY, display=title American Revolutionary War monuments and memorials Buildings and structures in Saratoga County, New York National Park Service National Monuments in New York (state)