Celebrate Independence at Fort Ticonderoga July 1-4!

Join Fort Ticonderoga July 1-4 for a four-day celebration this Independence Day weekend. Celebrate freedom by exploring the year 1777 when America was consumed in the labor of liberty. Participate in the fight for freedom when the Northern Department of the Continental Army fought to keep the great fortress of Ticonderoga from falling into British control. Take the experience onto the water aboard the recreated 1920s tour boat Carillon. Dig into the centuries of military history during guided tours in the historic gardens. Thrill at the power of artillery during cannon demonstrations and march to the beat of the Fife and Drum Corps as they perform patriotic music Saturday through Monday. For the full event schedule, and to learn more about the event, visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/events/fort-events/independence-day-weekend-1/detail  or call 518-585-2821.

“Step into a hive of military activity as you meet the soldiers working feverishly to fortify the great camp Ticonderoga and build outer military defenses,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Walk along teamsters and oxen as they help in the work. Visit a trades shop to discover how tradesmen known as artificers worked to resupply soldiers with clothing, shoes, and equipment. Observe rations cooked, lumber cut, and the army in motion prepared to hold their ground for freedom. Bring your family along to experience an unforgettable weekend.”

Additional activities during this special Independence Day weekend will include daily soldier’s life programs, reconstruction of earthworks, musket firing demonstration, Mount Defiance tours, and museum exhibitions.

About Ticonderoga on Independence Day 1777:

1776 is famous for the signing of the Declaration, but what was happening at Ticonderoga in July of 1777? The scene was uncertainty, trepidation, and the expectation of a British attack.  By July 2nd, the siege of Ticonderoga was underway. British and Brunswick soldiers began to surround the great camp and build lines of attack, commencing the bombardment.  On July 5, British General Burgoyne captured Fort Ticonderoga forcing the American retreat.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Celebrate Independence at Fort Ticonderoga – America’s Fort™! Photo Credit Fort Ticonderoga.

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Fort Ticonderoga’s New Mobile Application

For over a century, Fort Ticonderoga has been the premier museum of 18th-century military history, providing fresh and exciting perspectives for visitors through engaging programs and tours. The recently launched mobile application is a new way to explore the rich collections and dig deeper into the history at Fort Ticonderoga. Visitors can become their own guide as they tour the museum’s world-renowned artillery collection and the award-winning artillery exhibition, Last Argument of Kings. This application features exclusive content, providing a behind-the-scenes experience for visitors, giving them insight on objects that are not on display in the gallery.

“Fort Ticonderoga holds the largest collection of 18th-century artillery in the western hemisphere. Collected throughout the 20th century, cannon, mortars, and howitzers represent the evolution of weaponry, strategy, and technology from the late 17th to the early 19th century,” said Curator Matthew Keagle. “There are over 90 cannon lining the fort walls and each one has a fascinating story.”

The mobile application, also available in French, is accessible on Google Play and Apple iTunes as a free download by entering “Ticonderoga.” Visitors are able to use this as a tool to gain knowledge before their visit, render curiosity, and enhance their self-guided visit. This project was made possible in part by a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s mobile application is available on Google Play and Apple iTunes.

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Make History with Your Dad!

It’s that time of year when we celebrate how great every Dad is and how much our Dads mean to us. There are a number of traditional and typical gifts that a majority of Dads will receive throughout the years; socks, a tie with a quirky cartoon design, a book or perhaps a garden tool. Whilst these are very much appreciated (as it is the thought that counts!), there’s no better gift than spending quality time with dad on his day.

Whether you see your Dad every day or perhaps only on occasion, take the opportunity this year on Father’s Day to whisk him away to Fort Ticonderoga, located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Every day is an event and every year is a new experience at Fort Ticonderoga!

Here are five reasons why a day at Fort Ticonderoga with dad is a perfect gift for Father’s Day:

Take a scenic boat tour and discover the epic history above and below the waters of Lake Champlain

1. Take a scenic boat tour aboard the Vessel Carillon and spend quality time enjoying a 90 minute unforgettable voyage on Lake Champlain. Enjoy the views and the narrated tour where you will discover cool information about the epic history above and blow the water and how this place shaped the story of North America!  Catch a tour at 1 pm and 3:30 pm .  Be sure to get your combo daily pass and boat tickets at Admissions when you arrive! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/boat-cruises

2. Have a blast! Dads and kids of all ages love Fort Ticonderoga’s weapons demonstrations. This year check out our museum staff highlight the French soldiers at Carillon (later named Ticonderoga) in 1757 as they were preparing to capture the British held Fort William Henry at the southern part of the lake. The Musket Demonstration at 11 am and the Cannon Demonstration 2 pm feature insider information on how the weapons work, systems of warfare and strategy, and of course never let us down with an awesome bang (make that 2!)! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/daily-programs

3. Is your Dad crafty? Step into our historic trades shops located in the the Barracks and talk with our talented museum staff to learn about construction at the fort in 1757 and the carpentry projects underway. This week we made some bunks for the soldiers. See what their next project is! Compare today’s tools with the tools used at Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) in 1757. Don’t forget to visit the shoe maker and tailor shop too! You might even get your Dad fitted for a new Regimental Coat! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/living-history

4. But my Dad loves gardening! Well, we have something great for your Dad too! The stunning walled King’s Garden and the other Discovery Gardens located on the shores of Lake Champlain is the perfect spot to take your Dad. Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded in beauty and heirloom flowers and plants, take a Garden Tour offered at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm, and be sure to talk with Fort Ticonderoga horticulture team to learn about our centuries of gardening at Ticonderoga! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/kings-garden

5. Dad deserves a super Father’s Day lunch! Pull up a chair at America’s Fort Cafe located in the Log House House Welcome Center and enjoy the exquisite views of New York’s Adirondack Mountains and Vermont’s Green Mountains overlooking Lake Champlain. Enjoy fresh veggies from the King’s Garden, delicious sandwiches and burgers, local beer and wine, and don’t forget dessert! We recommend the Rhubarb Mouse made fresh from the King’s Garden’s own Rhubarb! Don’t forget to pick-up a special gift for your Dad in the Museum Store while you are at the Log House! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/dining-shopping

6. Your Dad is one of a kind and so are our museum collections! Visit our many exhibits located in the South Barracks and in the Mars Education Center. Check out the all the guns, powder horns, swords, and stories that helped fight for empire and our liberty. Be sure to visit our newest major exhibit “The Last Argument of Kings” in the Mars Education Center. Download our mobile application to get the inside scoop on all the cannon on the fort walls too! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/mobileapplication

7. Soar to new heights atop Mount Defiance!
End your perfect Father’s Day adventure with your Dad as you ascend to the top of Mount Defiance for the 4 pm Witness to History Tour. Get a birds-eye view of America’s most historic landscape and learn why Fort Ticonderoga was the “Key to the Continent in the 18th-century! http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/mount-defiance

Photo Credit: Carl Heilmann II

Spend the day and make history with Dad at Fort Ticonderoga. Remember to show your appreciation for your fathers, father figures, and male mentors this Sunday on Father’s Day while you learn about our nation’s forefathers and their fight for independence!

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Evening Programs at Fort Ticonderoga: Featuring “Defend the Fort,” NEW in 2017!

This summer, enrich your Fort Ticonderoga experience with the new behind-the-scenes evening program “Defend the Fort!” During this program, explore areas of Fort Ticonderoga off-limits to daily visitation. Get a museum hack perspective with Curator Matthew Keagle and discover how the fort’s garrison prepared to tackle all of the contingencies of war from sudden attack, to bombardment, to a formal siege. Get an exclusive look at the strengths and weaknesses of the iconic fort and why and how it ultimately fell to the British while exploring it inside and out.

“Our special programs allow guests to enhance their Fort Ticonderoga experience through tours and demonstrations, focusing on unique parts of our history, led by our staff of engaging historians,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “This year, visitors have the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes for an unforgettable experience for the whole family.”

Other special tour opportunities include the highly acclaimed Guns by Night, Sunset Boat Cruises, and Beyond Bullets and Blades. Guns by Night captivates guests during a unique tour and demonstration of 18th-century firepower, concluding with a dramatic nighttime firing of weapons that you will not see anywhere else! Sunset Cruises aboard tour boat, Carillon, provides visitors with the breathtaking lake views of commanding mountains and the majestic fort, accompanied by a narrated tour of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America. Beyond Bullets and Blades introduces a rare opportunity to go beyond the exhibition case to examine and handle original 18th-century weapons with the supervision and knowledge of Fort Ticonderoga’s expert museum staff.

All programs are rain or shine and require advanced reservations due to limited availability. To check availability and to reserve your spot today, call (518) 585-2821. For more information, visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/behind-scenes.

Every day is an event at Fort Ticonderoga and every year is a new experience. Fort Ticonderoga is the only site in America that tells a new story each year through dynamic historical interpretation.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga introduces a new special program “Defend the Fort” on select days starting July 18, 2017. For more information and to reserve your spot, call (518) 585-2821.

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Understanding French Army Uniforms

At a distance the Guyenne Regiment looked quite similar to the Bearn Regiment, but differences in the construction of the coat would have been clearly understood back in 1757. Collection of the Musée de l’Armée 

This year Ticonderoga is very excited to be bringing to life 1757 and the French cannon crews that prepared to defend the walls of Fort Carillon, later named Ticonderoga. Looking at French uniforms in 1757 can be confusing. If you are used to modern military uniforms with patches and badges sewn onto a camouflage fabric suit, the array of colors is dizzying. Even if one is used to the uniforms of the Revolutionary War or War of 1812, the lack of regimental numbers or insignia on the metal buttons makes these 1750s French uniforms equally vague. Be assured, there was a method to regimental distinctions in the French army. At the time, these would have read as clearly as the number on a badge today.

It may be subtle, but the collars of the Royal-Roussillon Regiment weren’t attached for the final inch at either end, created an open or hanging appearance to the collar. Collection of Fort Ticonderoga.

In general, French army uniforms were white; that is regular French Infantry regiments wore white uniforms. Foreign regiments were often distinguished by different colors. German regiments often wore blue coats, Swiss and Irish regiments wore red, and Maison du Roi or household regiments had their own distinctive colors. A French infantry uniform could be plain white. In fact, the Bourgogne Regiment, which served at Fortress Louisburg, wore habits or regimental coats which were completely white. While it may not seem like it, unbleached white wool cloth, often described as gris-blanc, cost less than dyed cloth, especially on the  vast scale of the French army. There was expense inherent in dying wool to make the distinctive colors of a regiment. The 1747, Royal Ordonnances for clothing mentions this cost stating, “The expense of the dye, as well as that for the facings, will be in the future part of the regimental fund.”  French regiments were distinguished by the colors of the collar and cuffs or the facings of their habits, as well as the color of their vestes, the sleeved jackets worn under the habit. The French infantry regiments that served at Carillon had red or blue regulation facings. Only the Volontaires Étrangers, or foreign volunteers which sent a few hundred men to Carillon in the summer of 1757, broke the mold with green coat facings and vestes.

Regiment Habit

Cuffs and Collar

Veste Button Color
La Reine Red Blue White Metal
Languedoc Blue Blue Brass
Royal Roussillon Blue Blue Brass
Bearn Red Red Brass
Guyenne Red Red Brass
La Sarre Red Blue Brass
Berry Red Red Brass

 

The Bearn Regiments’ two vertical pockets didn’t function, they served to identify the regiment. The actual pockets were set into the pleats of the coat.  Collection of the Musée de l’Armée 

A quick glance at the repetition of these colors creates the impression that these regiments’ uniforms were barely distinguishable. However, more than these colors were subtle details in the construction of uniform garments. The cut of the collars, pocket flaps, cuffs, vestes, and the placement of buttons on these, were just as important to a regiment’s uniform as the color of their facings. By regulation, the Bearn Regiment and Guyenne Regiment both had red vestes, cuffs, and collars, Bearn had two vertical pocket flaps on each front of the coat, with three buttons each. Guyenne had simply one horizontal pocket flap with three buttons upon it.  When the French navy supplied uniforms to French army regiments arriving in 1755, these facing colors were negotiable, but regiments’ distinctions were adhered too.  In fact, the Bearn received blue vestes and blue cuffs, though no mention was made about there regulation vertical pocket flaps. These pocket flaps served only for identification, the actual coat pocket openings were in the pleats at the side of the coats. A few generations earlier, these diverse styles of pocket flap were high fashion. These details incorporated into the uniforms of these regiments in the 1670s through 1710s, but remained long after.

The cut of the vestes was also part of a uniform’s distinctions. Arriving to Carillon in 1758, the Berry Regiment had red facings and two vertical pocket flaps like Bearn, but appeared very different with a double-breasted veste. In addition to two rows of small brass buttons closing the veste down the front, the coat cuffs of the Berry Regiment featured six buttons on each cuff as a further distinction. Albeit with blue facings, this detail was shared with the Royal-Roussillon Regiment, which arrived at Carillon in the summer of 1756. More obvious details like the shape of pocket flaps and buttons on the cuff were complimented by even more subtle distinctions. While the 1747 Royal Ordonnances ordered a collar for the habit, the shape of it was left as a regimental distinction. Careful examination of images of the Royal Roussillon Regiment reveals a hanging collar, with an inch to either end left unattached to the neckline. The La Reine Regiment, with its red collar and cuffs, but a blue veste, shared this odd collar detail.

While the Royal-Roussillon Regiment was to have 6 buttons on the cuff, Sergeants in the French army were to have three loops as a distinction. Their rank superseded the regimental cuff distinction. Collection of Fort Ticonderoga.

Wool and metallic tape or galon was used for regimental and rank distinctions. Most of the French army regiments at Carillon had brass buttons which was matched in the faux gold binding of their hats. La Reine, the only army regiment with white metal buttons, had its hats bound in faux silver tape. This was true of the ranks of soldat, corporal, and anspessades (roughly equivalent to a modern private first class or lance corporal). When a soldier reached the rank of Sergeant, their hat was instead be bound in fin or real gold or silver tape. Beyond their hat and a special sword, Sergeants were distinguished by their coat’s cuff being “trimmed on the facing with three loops or a wide gilded or silver border, & only one of the two…” by the 1747 Ordonnances.  By regulation, a Colonel had to choose either a band of this gold or silver lace at the top of the cuff or three loops of that trim. However, a painting of the Royal Roussillon Regiment in 1748 shows one of their Sergeants with both. Corporals were distinguished by three loops of woolen tape on the cuffs, like a lower quality version of the Sergeants’ distinction. Interestingly, the three loops–and buttons to go with them– superseded the regiments’ arrangement of buttons on the cuffs. Though Royal-Roussillon’s coats had six buttons on their cuffs, their Sergeants had only three as per their rank’s distinction.

Were it not for their double-breasted vestes and 6-button cuffs, Berry Regiment soldiers looked very similar to Bearn soldiers. Collection of the Musée de l’Armée

The French army, as with many armies at the time, set apart artillerymen in blue coats with red distinctions. For the fourteen artillerymen and four officers of the Regiment of Royal-Artillery who arrived at Carillon in the summer of 1757, their uniforms with red breeches and red vestes were further set apart with unique details. Their double-breasted vestes featured pocket flaps closing with four buttons and buttonholes. Their habit featured many details unique to the artillery corps, including a, ‘bande,’ a separate strip containing the buttonholes to close the coat down the left side of the front.

As fascinating and intricate as the French Army artillery uniform was, most of the artillerymen at Carillon were from the Colony of Canada’s Cannoniers-Bombardiers, completely separate from the French army and with their own uniform. The April 10, 1750 “Ordonnances Concerning the Establishment of a Company of Cannoniers-Bombardiers in Canada” explained their uniform.

…Et à chacun des Canonniers un habit de drap bleu commun avec des parements rouges, boutons blancs de métal d’allemagne argenté veste, culotte et bas rouges, un chapeau bordé d’argent faux… …And to each of the Artillerymen a coat of common blue wool with red facings, white German-silver buttons, red veste, breeches and stockings, a hat bordered in faux silver…

The 1758 Code Militaire includes descriptions of each French regiments’ uniform, including the Royal Artillery. In addition to blue coats and red distinctions, the artillery had many subtle details on the coat and veste. Collection of Fort Ticonderoga.

Blue and red was a common distinction of the artilleryman across many armies. For this recreated uniform of a Cannoniers-Bombardiers the rank of Corporal is signified by the band of white worsted tape around the cuff.

Within this company, sergeants received higher-grade cloth, real silver buttons, and fine silver lace for their hats and cuffs. Oddly like anspessades in the infantry, for this company Corporals had a band of plain lace at the top of their cuffs.  As complete as these uniform regulations seem, knowing the wide array of shapes and finishes to so many details on the cuffs, pockets, and all, the exact uniform is open to interpretation. As Fort Ticonderoga portrays the Cannoniers-Bombardiers as part of our recreated year of 1757, we have opted for the simplest arrangements of facings, pockets & other details.

All of this attention to subtle differences in buttons, trimmings, and the finish of pieces of a uniform may seem silly, but at the time they were important regimental traditions. Just as we understand a unit’s patch or badge today, the meaning of uniform details in the French army were well understood by soldiers. Relative to civilian clothing at the time, many of these cuff and pocket shapes were old-fashioned or odd, serving to set apart military dress while tapping into a regiments’ heritage over generations of soldiers. Some regiments tenaciously hung onto distinctions like their old pocket flap shapes even as reforms of the French army in the 1760s prohibited them.  As our staff wears these fascinating uniforms every day in 2017, guests will have the opportunity to look through 18th century eyes and read these distinctions for themselves, and appreciate the significance they carried at the time.

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Fort Ticonderoga Museum Acquires Rare Journal Manuscripts from the American Revolution

The Fort Ticonderoga Museum has recently acquired exceptionally rare Revolutionary War era manuscript journals. The two journals of John Lacey, a Pennsylvania officer of the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion, served in the defense of Ticonderoga in 1776.  The acquisition was made possible by a major donor to the museum.

Lacey was a Quaker from Bucks County who was appointed a Captain in Colonel Anthony Wayne’s 4th Pennsylvania Battalion early in 1776.  Despite his enthusiasm, a bitter animosity with Wayne marred his service from fitting the regiment out in Pennsylvania to operations in Canada during the retreat from Quebec, and the remainder of the year digging in at Ticonderoga. Throughout the journals, he details the travails of a young American officer on campaign, the various methods of travel, the work preparing defenses at Ticonderoga, and the life of an officer in the field.

“Lacey’s journals are the first personal account in the museum’s collection from the pivotal year 1776, making this acquisition a significant addition to an already rich collection of Revolutionary War documents held by the museum,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga Museum Curator. “Fort Ticonderoga currently holds one of the largest collections of material related to the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion. This regiment, with the notable and important Anthony Wayne as its commander, is amongst the best documented units of the American Revolution, especially for the pivotal year of 1776.”

“Historians, scholars, and students in addition to anyone interested in the colonial period and Revolutionary War will find this acquisition and the entire collection at Fort Ticonderoga a must-see resource,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “The acquisition of the Lacey Journals further cements the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s status as the premier destination for the study of warfare in the long 18th century and its role founding of America.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: An entry out of the Lacey Journal by John Lacey describing the food eaten by soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in the fall of 1776. Copyright Fort Ticonderoga Museum. 2016.25.1-2. Photo Credit Gavin Ashworth.

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Celebrate the Scot in You! Fort Ticonderoga Presents Lively Scots Day Event June 17

 

 Fort Ticonderoga will present the Tenth Annual Scots Day on Saturday, June 17th. The celebration of Scottish history, heritage and culture runs from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Tour the Scottish Clan tents to discover more about your own Scottish connection and explore centuries of stories, based on Scottish soldiers in the British Army, through a military timeline offered throughout the day. Also, be sure to check out Border Collie demonstrations, special tours, pipe band performances, and march to the Carillon Battlefield for a remembrance service. To learn more about the event, participating vendors and clans, and the full schedule, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

“The 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Black Watch, played a crucial role at Ticonderoga during the Battle of Carillon on July 8, 1758” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO. “The regiment suffered over 50% casualties during the failed British assault on the French Lines at Ticonderoga during the French & Indian War. Ticonderoga continued to be an important part of the regiment’s history. During its involvement in the Iraq War, the Black Watch Regiment’s base near Basra was called ‘Ticonderoga.’”

Bagpipe Performances

Hear the sounds of Scottish bagpipe music throughout the day as the Leatherstocking District Pipe Band perform lively concerts on the fort’s historic Parade Ground.

Black Watch Military Living History Programs Through the Day!

Discover the history of the Black Watch Regiment through living history programs presented throughout the day. Highlighted programs include a living history time-line of the Regiment. The re-enacting group depicts its history from the 18th century through the early 21st century, with various members representing different significant points in the unit’s history. Learn about the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon.

Special Memorial Ceremony

A special memorial ceremony honoring the 42nd Highland Regiment, also known as the Black Watch, will take place at the Scottish Cairn on the Carillon Battlefield located at Fort Ticonderoga. The procession to the Cairn will begin at 11:15 am. The Memorial Ceremony will take place at 11:30 am and will remember the incredible bravery and discipline of the Black Watch against insurmountable odds at the 1758 Battle of Carillon.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Celebrate the Scot in you Saturday, June 17, 2017 at Fort Ticonderoga.

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What Lies Beneath: Lake Champlain Boat Tours Highlight Dozens of Archaeological Sites

A boat tour aboard Fort Ticonderoga’s 60-foot Carillon not only provides visitors with breathtaking lake views of commanding mountains and the majestic fort, it also crosses some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America. This latest attraction at Fort Ticonderoga, a major cultural destination, museum, and National Historic Landmark located in New York’s 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, offers passengers a unique travel experience. The 90-minute tour available daily Tuesday through Sunday features Ticonderoga’s epic story of one of North America’s most strategic strongholds and places the iconic fort into a larger context as part of the imperial struggle for the continent in the 18th century.

“From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO.  “Fort Ticonderoga’s layers of history carry right from the land onto the water. The Carillon boat tours help ignite visitors’ imaginations as they explore this internationally strategic stretch of water and has quickly become one of the most popular attractions as part of the Fort Ticonderoga experience.”

Boat tours aboard the Carillon began the 2017 season on Memorial Day Weekend and will run through October. The 60-foot, 35-passenger boat is available for daily tours, field trips, sunset cruises, and charters. Tickets for the boat cruise are available at Fort Ticonderoga or in advance by calling 518-585-2821.  For more information visit www.fortticonderoga.org. Boat tours are available rain or shine.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Vessel Carillon offers daily tours, sunset cruises, and charters through October.

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CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AT FORT TICONDEROGA MAY 27-29, 2017

Join Fort Ticonderoga on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, to remember the service of the armed forces of the United States on the very grounds where so many American soldiers fought and sacrificed. Discover the story of the American Army in 1776, rebuilding itself and digging in at Ticonderoga to defend liberty during living history programs throughout the weekend.

A full line-up of activities and programs offered throughout the weekend include daily tours in the fort, King’s Garden, and museum exhibition spaces; historic trades programs; ongoing soldiers’ life programs; weapons demonstrations; the Mount Defiance experience; and the Battlefield hiking trail.

On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy boat tours aboard M/V Carillon and sail the same shores of Lake Champlain that American sailors did in 1776. Join Fort Ticonderoga on Monday to remember the sacrifices of American Soldiers during a patriotic ceremony at 11:00 AM. For the full schedule, visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/events/fort-events/memorial-day-weekend/detail.

“Spend the day at Fort Ticonderoga this Memorial Day weekend,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “See Fort Ticonderoga at the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776; a hive of activity as citizens turned soldiers as they build extensive lines of defenses across the Ticonderoga peninsula and beyond to try to secure to secure this vital stronghold from the British. Throughout the weekend, visitors will witness the labor of liberty as soldiers from the Continental Army bring to life this defining story through military drill, historic trades, and fatigue duties such as carpentry.”

A 10% general admissions discount will be given to active duty military members with proof of service for this special weekend event. For more information, visit our calendar at www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Photo: Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Let Slip the Dogs of War: Carillon’s Canines

A veteran of the 1758 Battle at Carillon, Charles Lee was so fond of dogs that he preferred them to most people. Major Genl Charles Lee Alexander Hay Ritchie after B. Rushbrooke, c.1840-1895 (Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, 2002.0153)

In 2016, Fort Ticonderoga invited guests to bring their leashed dogs onto our campus to enjoy the remarkable scenic beauty and historic significance of the grounds. In recent years, more and more animals have been finding their way back to Ticonderoga with the beginning of our own historic breeds program in 2015.

Animals have formed a part of the Ticonderoga landscape from the beginning of its military occupation in the eighteenth century. Horses and oxen were used by the French military to haul timber and artillery. Captain Charles Osbone of the 44th Regiment of Foot kept cattle at the fort during his tenure here in 1764, and hired the wife of a soldier to tend to them. William Delaplace, the Captain of the 26th Regiment of Foot who commanded the fort when it was taken by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen in May of 1775, kept a considerable quantity of livestock around the fort. These included a horse, an ox, a heifer, six cows, and forty-four sheep. These animals were here for draught purposes, riding, milk, or meat, not as pets. But, what of man’s best friend? Dogs are known to have accompanied some officers and soldiers during the wars of the 18th century. During his service as a General in the Continental Service, the Englishman Charles Lee (a veteran of the July 8, 1758 Battle of Carillon as a Captain in the 44th Regiment of Foot) was known to have a pack of his dogs with him. Dogs had been kept and used by Native Americans in Canada for centuries. During the French and Indian War, French officers were actually provided with dogs for use in towing toboggans loaded with provisions in winter, although these were clearly more for work than companionship.

Found in the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, the dog’s owner was only recently identified as Lieutenant John de Birniere of the 44th Regiment of Foot, which garrisoned the fort from January of 1764 to June of 1765. The collar is pierced with a series of holes where leather would have been sewn over the rim. Lieutenant John de Birniere’s Dog Collar, c.1764-65(Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

There is, however, at least one dog that may not have been a working animal that can be documented at Fort Ticonderoga. Early in the 20th century, workers recovered fragments of a broken dog collar in the ruins of the fort. Made of brass, the collar has an iron loop that passed through a corresponding slot on the opposite side of the collar to close it against the animal’s throat. The collar bears an engraving indicating the dog’s owner, although the fragment does not include the entire name, which left the owner’s identity and affiliation in question for over a century. New research into the peacetime garrisons of Ticonderoga conducted in the winter of 2017 has finally revealed his identity. The engraving “DzLieut Jno De Bdz” is all that is legible on the collar, but when searched against the British Army Lists held in Ticonderoga’s archives a match was found in Lieutenant John de Birniere. De Birniere served in the 44th Regiment of Foot, receiving his Lieutenant’s commission on August 9, 1760. The collar must have been lost at the fort between January of 1764 and June of 1765. During that time, a detachment of the 44th Regiment garrisoned Ticonderoga as well as Fort William Augustus and Oswegatchie on the Saint Lawrence River in Northern New York and Crown Point. We do not know how Lieutenant de Birniere’s dog lost its collar, nor what kind of breed it was, although given the size of the collar, it was likely a rather large dog. Its presence suggests that at least in time of peace, some officers may have kept animals with them for companionship as well as work.

You can see Lieutenant de Birniere’s dog’s collar on display daily in the South Barracks Exhibit Galleries. Your dogs are welcome to enjoy the grounds today, just remember that unlike the 18th century, they may not go inside the buildings within the fort.

 

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