Albany merchant Peter Lansing began construction of the house overlooking the Hudson River in 1770. It was commandeered as a field hospital by the invading army of British General John Burgoyne in the fall of 1777. Following the British rout in the second Battle of Saratoga, the makeshift field hospital filled with wounded soldiers as well as women and children attached to the army.
The most famous of those to shelter in The Marshall House in the aftermath of battle was the Baroness Frederika Charlotte Riedesel, the wife of a German general fighting alongside the British and author of a memoir whose descriptions of Burgoyne’s campaign has fascinated historians for generations.
For six days, the baroness and her three small children huddled in the house’s basement as the structure came under repeated attack from circling American forces. The memoir describes their terror as cannon balls crashed into the rooms overhead and screams rang out all around them. The family’s suffering was finally relieved when Burgoyne agreed to discuss surrender terms, cementing an American victory that redirected the course of Revolutionary War.
Following the Revolution, the property changed hands. Captain Samuel Bushee, a war veteran and settler from Connecticut, purchased it from Lansing in 1802. Bushee subsequently conveyed the property to his father-in-law, Abraham Marshall, in 1817. Thereafter the property remained in the Marshall family until 1930 and came to be known as The Marshall House. That year it was purchased by Kenneth and Adelaide Bullard, whose descendants remain its owners and inhabitants.
Over the years, The Marshall House has been recognized for its dramatic role in the Battles of Saratoga. Though always a private residence, it has been a favorite destination for persons touring the Saratoga battlefields. Cannonballs that struck the house are displayed as are the floor in the northeast room bloodstained from its use as a makeshift hospital, and the capacious stone cellar where the baroness and her family took refuge. Structural features damaged by cannon fire testify to the events that thrust fame upon this old house. Remaining and still in use from the time of the Battles of Saratoga are the hinges and great lock on the front door and the delicate thumb latch and the wooden door itself in the cellarway.
More information about The Marshall House can be found on their website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos of The Marshall House provided.