As the Revolutionary War was getting underway, only a half-company of British soldiers were manning Fort Ticonderoga. Both Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had realized that adjacent British forts, Ticonderoga and Crown Point, made easy targets for their American rebels. They decided to capture the cannons at both forts. On the night of May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and their band of 83 Green Mountain Boys rowed across Lake Champlain from Vermont and surprised the redcoats in their slumber, making Fort Ticonderoga America’s first offensive victory of the war. The fort then became an important staging area for the rebels. The first American navy ships were rigged and fitted there. Commanded by Benedict Arnold, this fledgling naval fleet fought the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain in 1776. Although the Americans were roundly defeated, the fight impeded the British march south. The following year, in July 1777, British General Burgoyne, invaded the Champlain Valley from Canada and mounted cannon at Mount Defiance, overlooking Fort Ticonderoga. This forced the fort’s commander to evacuate his army, which returned Fort Ticonderoga to British hands. September of 1777, saw the final military engagement at the fort, when the Americans tried and failed to retake it.
Learn More: The American Revolution
The image, Ethan Allen Statue and Antique Cannon, is subject to copyright by Old Shoe Woman. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution ed” pool.