The Noble Train Begins

The Noble Train Begins

The Noble Train Begins

 

Discover the story of Henry Knox’s “Noble Train” of artillery at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming living history event, Saturday, December 6, from 10 am – 4 pm. The event will feature a lively program highlighting Henry Knox’s arrival to Fort Ticonderoga and recreate the beginning of the epic feat that ultimately forced the British evacuation from Boston on March 17, 1776. Admission to the “The Noble Train Begins” living history event is $10 per person and payable at the gate. Friends of Fort Ticonderoga and children 4 years and under are free. For more details visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.

Be inspired by the story of Henry Knox, the unassuming Boston book seller, whose physical and mental might would be first tested with the ‘noble train’ of artillery. See man power and oxen power in action as fifty-nine cannons and mortars are carefully selected from Fort Ticonderoga. Watch as soldiers, days before their enlistment expires, work as carpenters to maintain Fort Ticonderoga. Experience the raw power of oxen as these thousand pound animals pull sleds of cannon tubes along.

Examine the science of gunnery, preserved in Fort Ticonderoga’s massive cannon collection. Stand inside the stone walls in the stark beauty of winter on the very spot where Henry Knox began his Noble Train of Artillery.

“The Noble Train Begins” living history event will feature interpretive staff working with oxen as they move the artillery in place for the journey, cannon tours and cannon demonstrations will also be presented. Historic trades programs such as pit saw demonstrations and sled building demonstrations will highlight the material needs and

The event will also include a presentation by Matthew Keagle, Director of Exhibitions. Keagle will discuss the tools of the artilleryman’s trade as he highlights the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s artifact collection. See tools, ammunition, and evidence of the use of artillery recovered from Fort Ticonderoga’s ruins. Keagle’s presentation will take place at 12 pm inside the Mars Education Center.production of the new fledgling American army and in particular the resources needed for Knox’s epic journey to Boston.

Historical Background:

The siege of Boston, April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776 was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War in which New England militiamen, who later became part of the Continental Army, surrounded the town of Boston, Massachusetts, to prevent movement by the British Army garrisoned within. In November 1775, Washington sent a 25 year-old bookseller-turned-soldier, Henry Knox, to bring heavy artillery that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga to

Boston. Knox knew the challenge before him as he wrote to George Washington on December 5, 1775.

Cart and Noble Train in Winter

The garrison at Ticonderoga is so weak, the conveyance from the fort to the landing is so difficult, the passage across the lake so precarious, that I am afraid it will be ten days at least before I can get them on this side. When they are here, the conveyance from hence will depend entirely on the sledding; if that is wood, they shall immediately move forward; without sledding the roads are so much gullied that it will be impossible to move a step.

In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox began the “Noble Train” in January 1776 at Ticonderoga and carried sixty tons of artillery through the dead of winter to Boston in just forty days. In March 1776, these artillery pieces were used to fortify Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston and its harbor and threatening the British naval supply lifeline. The British commander William Howe, realizing he could no longer hold the town, chose to evacuate it. He withdrew the British forces, departing on March 17, for Halifax, Nova Scotia thus giving Washington his first great victory of the war.he roads are so much gullied that it will be impossible to move a step.

Fort Ticonderoga is the location of the first Knox Trail marker in the Knox cannon trail that traces the route of the noble train. The Fort Ticonderoga Museum owns 2 original artillery pieces that made the epic journey in the winter of 1776.

Event Schedule:

10 am Fort Ticonderoga Opens to Visitors

10:15 am Guided Tour (Begins at the Large American Flag)
From Ethan Allen, to the Canadian campaign, to Henry Knox, see how the events of 1775 fit together. Tour through Fort Ticonderoga to see the great exhibits and demonstrations open to explore. Imagine the first year of the Revolutionary war at this frontier post.

11 am Cannon Demonstration (Fort Demonstration Area)
How do you know a gun barrel won’t blow up? Learn about the process of proofing, using two to three times a cannon or mortar’s normal charge to test its strength. See how this process was vital for weapons destined to be carried all the way to the siege of Boston.

11:30 am Pit-Saw Demonstration (Located at the Glacis, Adjacent the Parking Lot)
With the saw mill on the LaChute River frozen, soldiers work to saw out beams and boards with which to repair and rebuild the fort. Watch two men work as a team to cut with a six-foot long whip or rip-saw.

12 pm Traces of the Noble Train (Mars Education Center Great Room)
Join Director of Exhibitions, Matthew Keagle, to explore the real tools of the artilleryman’s trade with artifacts in the collection of Fort Ticonderoga. See tools, ammunition, and evidence of the use of artillery recovered from the ruins of the Fort.

1:15 pm Cannon Tour (Begins Inside Fort Ticonderoga)
Join Senior Director of Interpretation Stuart Lilie to examine the real guns of Ticonderoga located within the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s world-renown cannon collection. Touch real cannons and mortars from the Noble Train of Artillery and hear their incredible stories.

2 pm Cannon Demonstration (Fort Demonstration Area)
How do you know a gun barrel won’t blow up? Learn about the process of proofing, using two to three times a cannon or mortar’s normal charge to test its strength. See how this process was vital for weapons destined to be carried all the way to the siege of Boston.

2:30 pm Sled Building & Loading Demonstration (Inside Fort Ticonderoga)
Watch how simple hand-hewn beams could be turned into ox sleds. Explore how these humble sleds, common to any farm, were used as a vehicle for a critical military expedition. See cannon tubes, flints and powder loaded up for transport with Henry Knox’s Noble Train of Artillery.

3 pm Guided Tour (Begins at the Large American Flag)
From Ethan Allen, to the Canadian campaign, to Henry Knox, see how the events of 1775 fit together. Tour through Fort Ticonderoga to see the great exhibits and demonstrations open to explore. Imagine the first year of the Revolutionary war at this frontier post.

Available 10 am to 4 pm
Pork, Pigeon, & Pottery (Ground Floor of the Soldiers’ Barracks)
In this exhibit of original artifacts recovered from the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga explore the meals of soldiers and officers who served inside this “Old French Fort.”

It Would Make a Heart of Stone Melt (Ground Floor of the Soldiers’ Barracks)
Smallpox was a looming threat on the horizon for the Continental Army in Canada. In this visually compelling exhibit see how this disease, as well as battlefield wounds, were handled in the Revolutionary War.

Founding Fashions (Downstairs in the Mars Education Center)
From original 18th-century uniforms to real remains of clothing from the American Revolution, explore this great presentation of myths and realities of clothing from the great campaigns that made Ticonderoga so famous.

Officer’s Quarters (Second floor of the Officer’s Barracks)
See the perks of rank living in the quarters of a small mess of junior officers. From beds to brandy, learn about officers’ duties and comforts. Take the opportunity to discuss the strategic situation in the late fall of 1775 with one of these officers.

Public Store (Ground floor of the Officer’s Barracks)
See the array of supplies and tools needed to maintain an army fighting up north in Canada. Watch as new bedding for the barracks of Fort Ticonderoga are sewn and stockpiled.

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