In September 1777, with the bulk of General Burgoyne’s Army at Saratoga, a small garrison of British, German, and Loyalist soldiers, kept watch at Fort Ticonderoga.
On September 13th a mission was launched from Skenesboro (now Whitehall) against Fort Ticonderoga by two American detachments of about 500 men each under the command of Brigadier General Jonathan Warner and Colonel John Brown. Their goal was freeing American prisoners held at the Fort by the British, destroying British provisions, and if possible, attacking the Fort.
On the morning of September 18th the Americans converged on Ticonderoga in the only direct attack on the Fort during the American Revolution. Over the next few days Brown’s force captured the British blockhouse at the top of Mount Defiance, secured the release of 118 American prisoners and captured nearly 300 British soldiers.
When a truce party was sent to the fort, they were fired upon, with three of its five members killed. Not prepared to storm the fort’s strong defenses and stronger weaponry, on September 22nd the Americans withdrew to Lake George where they harassed British positions. Brown’s men also burned several of the Fort’s outbuildings and destroyed about 150 batteaux.
Less than a month later, the British army capitulated at Saratoga and by early November, the small British garrison remaining at Ticonderoga burned the Fort’s remaining structures and retreated to Canada.
Photo of the fort by Carl Heilman II provided by Fort Ticonderoga.