Almanac: The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga (May 10, 1775)
The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775, was a significant event during the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. It marked a strategic victory for the American colonists as they secured a valuable military stronghold and acquired much-needed artillery for their cause.
Context: The American Revolutionary War had begun in April 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The American colonists, who sought independence from British rule, were in need of military supplies, including artillery, to support their cause.
Plan: Ethan Allen, a leader of the Green Mountain Boys, a militia group from present-day Vermont, joined forces with Benedict Arnold, a militia leader from Massachusetts, to capture Fort Ticonderoga, a British fort located on Lake Champlain in New York. Allen and Arnold believed that the fort, although lightly guarded, held valuable supplies, including cannons, which could be used by the American forces.
Capture: On May 10, 1775, Allen, Arnold, and a small force of about 83 men, including the Green Mountain Boys and other colonial militiamen, crossed Lake Champlain and approached Fort Ticonderoga. They surprised the small British garrison, which offered little resistance. Allen demanded the fort's surrender, and it was quickly handed over to the Americans without any shots being fired. The Americans captured the fort, along with its valuable artillery, ammunition, and military supplies.
Outcome: The capture of Fort Ticonderoga was a major success for the American colonists. They acquired much-needed artillery, including cannon and mortars, which would prove to be crucial in later battles. The capture of the fort also boosted American morale and demonstrated that the British could be defeated, encouraging more colonists to join the cause of independence.
Significance: The capture of Fort Ticonderoga was a significant event in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. It provided the American forces with much-needed artillery, bolstered their confidence, and demonstrated that the British could be successfully challenged. The capture of Fort Ticonderoga also helped secure a key military stronghold in the northern colonies, providing a base for further American operations in the region.