"The Enemy attacked a part of our Men at Sill-water about thirty mile from here, wherein we lost between three and four hundred Men & from best accounts from Deserters & Prisoners since taken the Enemy lost about a thousand"
Returning to the Letters from the Front series, our next installment features an account of the Battle of Bennington, Vermont, and Colonel John Brown's raid on the British forces at Fort Ticonderoga, both of which occurred in the late summer of 1777. As British General John Burgoyne moved his troops south from Fort Ticonderoga to strike at Albany, he encountered a multiplicity of problems. One of the more pressing of these was logistical: for every day's march, his supply lines grew longer and more vulnerable, slowing down the transport of vital supplies to the head of his army. In an attempt to ameliorate this issue, recruit loyalists into his army, and strike a blow at the rebellion, Burgoyne detached a large force of Hessians and Loyalists to attack the Continental supply depot at Bennington, Vermont. This force collided with American defenders near Stillwater, NY, on August 16, resulting in a significant American victory. A few weeks later, Colonel John Brown launched a raid on the British defenders of Fort Ticonderoga, which anchored the British supply line to Montreal, disrupting the garrison and capturing a significant number of redcoats. The letter below provides striking coverage of these events. Little is presently known of the writer, Dr. John Mawney, though he may be the same physician who took part in the capture and burning of the British sloop Gaspee in 1772. For the full letter, please read below. Our thanks go to David Swain for the transcript.
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