Thirteenth Annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution: September 23-25, 2016


SAR Promo Fort Ticonderoga hosts the Thirteenth Annual Seminar on the American Revolution September 23-25, 2016. This weekend seminar focuses on the military, political, and social history of the American Revolution. The Seminar takes place in the Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Beginning in 2004, the Seminar on the American Revolution has become a noted national venue for presenters, featuring a mix of new and established highlighting a variety of topics on the war for American Independence.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Amy Noel Ellison, a post-doctoral fellow at the American Philosophical Society, “The Candidate Campaign and the March toward American Independence.”
  • Donald F. Johnson, an assistant professor of early American history at North Dakota State University, “Making Loyalty a Sure Game: The Politics of Allegiance in British-Occupied Cities.”
  • Cole Jones, an assistant professor of early American history at Purdue University and the 2015-16 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the New York Historical Society, “Ransoms for Some of our Friends at Boston: The British Garrison of Fort Ticonderoga in American Captivity.”
  • Christian McBurney, an independent historian who has written books and articles on the Revolutionary War, “Abductions in the American Revolution.”
  • Ken Miller, an associate professor of history and Director of American Studies at Washington College, “The Country is Full of Prisoners of War: British and German Captives during the War for Independence.”
  • Nicholas Muller III, in collaboration with John J. Duffy, published Inventing Ethan Allen in 2014, “Making it Up in Vermont: The Military Career of Ethan Allen.”
  • Molly Perry, a lecturer at Christopher Newport University and a Ph.D. candidate at the College of William and Mary, “No Slavery and No Stamps: African Americans and the Stamp Act Crisis.”
  • Glenn F. Williams, a retired military officer who is now a senior historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, DC, and recently completed a doctoral degree, “Lord Denmore’s War: Last Indian Conflict of the Colonial Era.”

The Seminar also features a presentation by Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie. As a journeyman saddler, as well as historian, Lilie directs on-site tours, demonstrations, horticulture, historic trades, and maritime programs at Fort Ticonderoga. His presentation “Right of the Line, Right on the Water: The New Jersey Redoubt” explores how the New Jersey Redoubt was washed away by progress in peacetime into Lake Champlain. A full acre in area, the New Jersey Redoubt mounted the largest cannons on the New York side of the Continental Camp at Ticonderoga in 1776 and 1777.

Registration for the Seminar is $155 per person, $135 for Fort Ticonderoga Members. Registration forms can be downloaded from the Fort’s website at under the “Education” tab by selecting “Workshops and Seminars” on the drop down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting the Fort at 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: The Seminar on the American Revolution will take place September 23-25, 2016. Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Join Fort Ticonderoga for an exciting two-day living history weekend Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, bringing to life the daring 1777 America Raid on the fort! Thrill at the power of 18th-century weaponry as the American soldiers capture the British-held artillery. Be part of the action as living history demonstrations feature the weapons, tactics, trades, and people who were swept into the story of the American Revolution and the fight for liberty. The weekend adventure will also include a special boat tour highlighting this action-packed story aboard Fort Ticonderoga’s M/V Carillon on Lake Champlain. Admission to the event is included in a Fort Ticonderoga general admission ticket. For the full event schedule, visit or call (518) 585-2821.

Highlighted programming throughout the weekend highlights the American raid on Ticonderoga in their attempt to recapture this strategic fortification. Meet the larger-than-life characters that undertook this daring raid during special programs in the British-held fort and the American camps. Atop Mount Defiance, meet the guard of Rangers who had attacked British-held Fort Ticonderoga with their own cannon. Follow the American raid on Ticonderoga as it unfolds across the landscape and explore the mechanics and weapons of this daring attack through living history demonstrations.

“This living history weekend will highlight the little-known, but important, 1777 action-adventure story pulled straight from the pages of Fort Ticonderoga’s history book,” said Beth Hill, President and CEO of Fort Ticonderoga. “Our commitment to bringing the dramatic and real story of our past to life through unforgettable programs such as the 1777 Brown’s Raid offers Fort Ticonderoga an opportunity to share with our visitors the importance of this place in the founding of America.”

About Brown’s Raid:

Out of the hazy twilight before dawn on September 18, 1777 rushed Colonel John Brown’s men, catching the British and Brunswick garrison around Fort Ticonderoga completely by surprise. John Brown, no stranger to dangerous missions, helped engineer the first capture of Ticonderoga in 1775. With the stakes even higher, he would test his luck again. As General Horatio Gates prepared to stop the British advance on Albany, he ordered General Benjamin Lincoln to “divide, divert, and harass” General Burgoyne’s supply lines back to Canada. Colonel Brown chose his men carefully. Continental regulars from Colonel Seth Warner’s Regiment, Vermont State Rangers, and militia men would get their chance to strike a major blow against General Burgoyne’s attack to divide the colonies.

Rushing down into the LaChute River Valley from Lake George landing, Brown’s men captured 330 British prisoners and set 118 American POWs free. Dawn at Fort Ticonderoga would see British cannon atop Mount Defiance, which forced the Americans to flee that summer, turned on the British garrison itself. British soldiers awoke to the sight of a Brunswick soldier cut in half by a British cannon ball fired by Brown’s men from the summit of that hill. Rearmed with captured British weapons, American POWs has a chance to settle their score shoulder to shoulder with Brown’s militia, regulars, and rangers. Destroying supplies, and livestock, capturing boats, guns, and cannon, Colonel John Brown’s raiders disappeared back up Lake George, jumping into the pages of history.


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

Photo: Brown’s Raid Living History Event will be held September 17-18 at Fort Ticonderoga. Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga and Drifting Focus.


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Girl leaping in maze (2)

(Ticonderoga, NY) What activity combines solving puzzles and testing your knowledge of history with fresh air, sunshine, and over two miles of winding trails? Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Maze: A Corm Maze Adventure! Beginning August 13th, test your navigational skills among towering stalks of corn in Fort Ticonderoga’s six-acre corn maze located near the King’s Garden. The Heroic Maze is included in the Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission price and will be open daily August 13 – August 28 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm). The maze will be open on weekends only, starting September 3rd through October 9th. It is also open Labor Day and Columbus Day. Call 518-585-2821 to ask about group tours, or visit for corn maze details.

The maze, with a new 2016 design featuring the shape of Fort Ticonderoga and the year 1777, is divided into two phases, so that guests have the chance to gain confidence in the smaller maze before tackling the main maze. The average journey will take from twenty minutes for the first phase and up to an hour for the second phase. Hidden in the maze are eight stations, each representing a component of an 18th–century fort. Players are given a Quest Card to collect a stamp from each section. It takes perseverance and skill to find all of the objects. The Heroic Maze is great fun for all ages!

Back by Popular Demand:

Fort Ticonderoga’s youngest guests will have a chance to explore the Heroic Maze in the Kiddie Maze, a short maze designed for our youngest visitors, giving a fun introduction to corn mazes! This maze has twists and turns, but no dead ends. With adult supervision, this maze is recommended for children up to age four.

Experience the Maze at night! Maze by Moonlight:

Explore the 6-acre corn maze using your flashlight as a guide and under the light of the full moon! The mysteries of the night surround you as you search for hidden stations in the maze to complete our “Engineer a Fort” Maze Quest! The Maze by Moonlight event takes place on Friday October 28-Saturday October 29, 2016. The cost is $10 per person; tickets are available at the door.  Admissions booth/maze opens at 7:00 pm; last ticket sold at 9:00 pm, the maze closes at 10:00 pm.

Group Visitors:

School field trip groups and other group tours will have the fun opportunity to learn about Fort Ticonderoga’s dramatic story, while building teamwork skills as part of this interactive, interdisciplinary quest! In September and October, the Heroic Corn Maze will be open for group visits on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Group tours require advanced registration and can be done by calling (518) 585-2821.

Fort Ticonderoga developed the Heroic Maze with a professional maze design company from Utah that used computer software to translate intricate designs onto the landscape, creating a fun and exciting quest.

The agricultural history at Fort Ticonderoga dates to 1756, when the French built the Garrison Gardens below the walls of the Fort. The agricultural story continues today with nearly 40% of Fort Ticonderoga’s landscape in agricultural use. In addition, a strong horticulture program brings the use of landscape to life in the formal Colonial Revival Garden, working Garrison Garden, and other Discovery Gardens.

The Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure! is funded in part by generous support from McDonald’s of Ticonderoga.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure! opens on August 13th with a NEW design! Photo Credit: Fort Ticonderoga.

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Museum Education, going beyond Common Core

For the last five years since their introduction, the discussion surrounding the Common Core State Standards has dominated the field of education. Much of the discussion about the Common Core in the news and around our dinner tables neglects the fact that the Common Core State Standards primarily cover English Language Arts and Math. While the Common Core contains standards for literacy and writing in Social Studies, there has to be more for Social Studies, and there is! The C3 Framework for Social Studies is an exciting new set of standards for Social Studies education, which is quietly being adopted nationwide by teachers, districts, and museums.  Let’s take a look at how the objectives of the C3 Framework can be achieved by museums and Fort Ticonderoga specifically.

First, we should start with an overview of the C3 Framework, including its title. C3 stands for College, Career, and Civic Life, the aspects of life that Social Studies education should be preparing our students for beyond the classroom. The C3 Framework is based on 4 dimensions: Developing Questions, Applying Disciplinary Concepts, Evaluating Sources, and Taking Informed Action. The C3 Framework highlights that Social Studies is an active process for students, where they learn by taking on the role of a historian. There are 4 key Disciplinary Themes in the C3 Framework: Civics, Economics, Geography, and History. To recap, the process of doing Social Studies begins with a question, and students use the different disciplinary tools and concepts to find and evaluate sources, and proceed towards finding an answer.

So how does this fit in at Fort Ticonderoga? Let’s look at some compelling questions students might ask, and where they will find answers (and more questions) at Fort Ticonderoga. To highlight the diversity of options here, we’ve picked questions for each of the four disciplines identified by the C3 Framework.

Civics- Why did the Continental Army preserve traditional army discipline and social status despite their avowed fight against tyranny? the 17th

Students can witness the musket and cannon demonstrations, and learn about the need for order in a well-trained military. Visiting the Tailors, they can see and feel the differences of material and labor that go into creating the clothing of enlisted soldiers and officers. They can also go to the camp kitchen and see how meals and rations vary based on rank. How did all of these aspects of military life help maintain order? Were they necessary?

Economics- What is the real cost of a pair of shoes?  Shaun shop

When you visit the shoemakers at Fort Ticonderoga, you can not only witness the shoes being made to outfit our interpretive staff, you can learn about the economy behind shoemaking. How long does it take to make a single pair of shoes? What different types of shoes were made? How much did shoes cost in the 18th century? How do they compare this to how much we pay for shoes today? Are our shoes more or less expensive today? You can learn much about the economy of a society based upon how they cover their feet.

Geography– What is the strategic importance of Fort Ticonderoga? Mount defiance (2)

From the walls of the fort, and the top of Mount Defiance, students can overlook Lake Champlain and imagine the land and water routes that armies have taken to Ticonderoga.  Taking a tour or boat cruise is a great way for students to explore the strategic landscape at Ticonderoga. Why did the different armies that occupied Ticonderoga choose to fortify different areas?

History- There are layers upon layers of historical questions for students to study at Fort Ticonderoga! Many of our students visit having first learned about Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold’s capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. For these students, we might ask: Who actually captured Fort Ticonderoga? 1775 capture

Throughout our exhibits and programs, students can explore the orders Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen received in regards to Fort Ticonderoga. On our tours, they will receive insight into what really happened on that May morning in 1775. Was the value of Ticonderoga strategic? Was it symbolic? How did America’s First Victory impact the decisions and actions of the Continental Congress?

These are just some of the many ways that a visit to Ticonderoga dovetails neatly with the ongoing shift in Social Studies Education! Check out our Education Resources Page for more ideas and lesson plans you can use at Fort Ticonderoga, and in classrooms.

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tailor gibb 1776(Ticonderoga, NY)  Fort Ticonderoga’s Homeschool Day for homeschool students and their parents will be on Friday, September 9 from 9:30am-5:00pm. Homeschool families will have an opportunity to take part in a series of exciting programs, while learning about life on the northern frontier during the American Revolution.

“The day was amazing!” said one homeschool parent of last year’s Homeschool Day. “It was absolutely everything we hoped for and more. We all want to come back! Thank you to everyone who put so much effort, planning, enthusiasm, and time into a perfect way to start the homeschooling year!!!”

“My kids & I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a day at the fort,” noted another homeschool parent last year. “The demonstrations were wonderful, and we enjoyed learning about the history of the fort and its importance in the founding of our nation.”

During this year’s Homeschool Day, students will learn about the British and German troops at Ticonderoga during the year 1777. Interacting with these soldiers, students will discover what life was like at Ticonderoga during the American Revolution and will gain a deeper understanding of struggle for independence, the economy and trade in the 18th century, and daily life of the soldiers and their families that garrisoned Fort Ticonderoga.

Weapons Demonstrations, Museum Exhibits, Historic Trades, & the King’s Garden!

Throughout the day, homeschool families will explore the fort and museum exhibitions. Students and families will thrill at the flash of musketry during weapon demonstrations and guided tours will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s defining story in the 18th century. Interactive programs in historic trades including shoe making, carpentry, and tailoring, will give Homeschool Day participants an active understanding of the work required to maintain an army and fight the Revolution.

Special programming in the historic trades shops takes place at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. At noon, discover the process of feeding the troops as the mid-day meal is prepared.

Visit the King’s Garden to discover what was grown to feed the troops and dig into centuries of horticulture history in our gardens! For the students who are artistically inclined, “Watercolors in the Garden” will be offered from 11:00am-1:00pm and from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

The Heroic Maze: A Corn Maze Adventure!

While in the King’s Garden area, be sure to explore a new 2016 design in the six-acre Heroic Maze, a corn maze designed in the shape of Fort Ticonderoga! Answer clues connected to Fort Ticonderoga’s history as you find your way through the maze. Fort Ticonderoga’s Heroic Corn Maze will be open for homeschool families from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

To register your homeschool students to participate in this exciting Homeschool Day, email our Group Tour Coordinator at Fort Ticonderoga at The cost is $6 per student. One parent per family is admitted free of charge. Additional adults pay the adult group rate of $14.

To learn more about programs for students and teachers at Fort Ticonderoga, visit and select the “Education” tab. Teachers interested in learning more about school programs, including outreach programs, should contact Rich Strum, Director of Education, at or at 518-585-6370.

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

Photo:  Participants in last year’s Homeschool Day at Fort Ticonderoga pick up needle and thread to help fort Ticonderoga’s Artificer Tailor. This year’s Homeschool Day takes place on Friday, September 9th. Pre-registration is required by calling 518-585-2821.

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The Lifecycle of an Exhibit, Part I: De-Installation

There is a certain magic about walking into a new exhibit. A sense of mystery, surprise, and discovery greet you as you turn each corner. Thousands of visitors come to the Fort Ticonderoga’s museum exhibits each year, and many are impressed when they see a space completely redesigned and reinterpreted in the short months between the end of one season and the beginning of the next. But what happens in those months when the doors to the exhibit are closed off to the public? Let’s take a closer look behind-the-scenes! Collections Blog 1After the last visitor exits the gallery on the last day of an exhibit, the collection and exhibition teams move into action. In the fall of 2015, we took down the major exhibit: Founding Fashion: The Diversity of Regularity in 18th-Century Military Clothing; the following pictures are all behind-the-scenes shots from this de-installation.

A collections team has to be organized. Ideally, each object has a record in the digitized collections database—the museum uses the latest version of PastPerfect—that include when the museum acquired the object, the description and date, condition information, and where it is housed when not on display. These records offer a glimpse at not only the historical importance of an object, but also its institutional history: when and where it has been on display, if there has been any conservation work done, if it has been published or not, and photographs that show the condition of the object over time. Each of the hundreds of objects on display has special handling and storage needs based off the age, materials, and condition. The collections database is a place where a conversation about individual object needs can be discussed.

First, the object prep area was created. We used tables covered with conservation blankets and an extra table for packing supplies such as; acid-free tissue paper, twill tape, ethafoam, and acid-free hanging tags for creating new labels where they were needed. Staff members inspected each object for any changes to the object’s condition since it went on display.

Here, our team inspects the late-1760s Phineas Jakeways coat before housing it in its acid-free box. Collections Blog 3 They used unbuffered aciCollections Blog 2d-free tissue paper to pad out the areas where the textile wants to fold or crease—such as in the sleeves, and at the bottom of the coat—to reduce stress to the garment in storage. This is especially important for very large textiles, such as quilts and blankets, that often have very fragile areas where they have been folded in the same place for decades—or centuries! Instead of storing our 1770s “GR” wool blanket Collections Blog 4 in an over-sized box with lots of tissue padding it out, we rolled the entire piece on a large acid-free roll. Once rolled, the entire tube is covered in muslin to protect the blanket from any dust. By rolling large textiles, we spend better economical use of our storage space in addition to better preserving the object itself—a win-win!

The team wore nitrile gloves when handling the Boston Independent Company of Cadets coat (c. 1772-1774) to prevent the invisible oils on our hands from making contact with the original silver-foil buttons. The oils on our hands contain acids, lipids, proteins and sugars that can permanently etch into a metal surface, ruining a metal’s finish. Collections Blog 5

Alec and Matt also backed each button with a small coin of tissue paper to further reduce the constant contact of metal to cloth in storage. Collections Blog 6Notice that Margaret wore gloves when handling the silver gorget as she moves it from its display to its storage box. Small preventative measures such as these can make a big difference over the long life of an object that is already over 200 years old!

One of the biggest challenges during the de-installation of Founding Fashion was working with the hundreds of buttons, needles, buckles, and other small archaeological pieces that are part of the museum’s renowned archaeological collection. Collections Blog 7

Two team members were devoted just to the organization and re-housing of these pieces, which included detective-work going back into the records to determine exactly which bag, tray, and box each individual piece needed to be returned to. As we mentioned before, a collections team has to be organized!

Each box was carefully packed for the journey to the storage facility where the boxes returned to their home locations and the database records updated. In some ways, the beginning of an exhibit’s lifecycle comes during the end of another one. Even though one exhibit was over, the next one was just beginning! For a collections team, there is a constant balance of preparing for future exhibits, working on current exhibits, and recording information from previous exhibits. We will explore a behind –the-scenes look at the efforts that go into preparing objects for a new exhibit in our next blog post on The Lifecycle of an Exhibit.

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fife and drum PR photo




(Ticonderoga, NY) Experience martial music at its best at Fort Ticonderoga on July 30th during the Fife and Drum Corps Muster! From the American Revolution, to modern commemoration, learn about the practical purpose of fifes and drums. Enjoy the stirring rhythms and tunes of these classic marches and camp songs throughout the day. Admission to the Fife & Drum Corps Muster is included in a Fort Ticonderoga general admission ticket. A special evening Twilight Fife & Drum Corps Concert will be presented at 7:00 pm on the fort parade ground. Tickets for the evening program are $10.00, children 4 years and younger, and Members of Fort Ticonderoga are free. To learn more about this event, please call 518-585-2821.

“The Fife and Drum Corps Muster highlights the role Fife and Drum music has played in the commemoration of American history. The Fife and Drum Corps gained increased popularity during the American bicentennial celebrations,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “In 18th-century military life, fifes and drums served as one of the primary modes of battlefield communication and camp regulation.”

Fort Ticonderoga formed its first Fife and Drum Corps in 1926, on the eve of the 150th anniversary celebration of American Independence. The Corps performed at the Fort each summer until the beginning of World War II. When the World’s Fair came to New York City in 1939, the Fife and Drum Corps was a featured performance on May 10th, Fort Ticonderoga Day, celebrating the 164th anniversary of the capture of the Fort by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys.

In 1973, in preparation for the bicentennial, Fort Ticonderoga revived the Fife and Drum Corps to perform daily during the museum campus’ summer season. The Fife and Drum Corps has performed every year since, and has been a featured performance at many major public events, including the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games, the Christening of the US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser USS Ticonderoga CG-47, and several Evacuation Day parades in Boston, Massachusetts.

Today the Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps is comprised of Ticonderoga area High School students who are paid employees of Fort Ticonderoga, an independent, not-for-profit educational organization. The Fife and Drum Corps is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s Interpretive Department whose focus brings to life Fort Ticonderoga’s specific history through daily interpretive programs, historic trades, and special events.


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

Photo: Fife and Drum Corps 2016


British and Brunswick Fatigue Work at Ticonderoga in 1777

At the onset of the 1777 campaign, General John Burgoyne put a heavy reliance on the artillery and engineers of the army.  These two factions employed parties of men to expedite the works such as, building and repairing fortifications and roads. During a formal siege fatigue work is most important, as it facilitates the artillery’s motion. When the army landed at Crown Point on June 14th, Lieutenant Thomas Anbury, of the 29th Foot, recorded fatigue work in preparation for the siege.

the rest of the army are to be employed in forwarding the convoys and transports of provisions, removing artillery, and preparing fascines and other necessaries for artillery operations, and to commence the siege.brunswick soldiers

The Royal Artillery and Hesse-Kassel artillery attached to the wings of the army were supplied with tools necessary for building fortifications and roads. The procedure for drawing tools was briefly outlined in General Burgoyne’s orders on June 27th, “they are to apply to the Brigades of Artillery upon the Flanks, and return them as soon as the work is done. The greatest Attention must be had to the care of Tools, as the Regiments will be answerable for them.”

Lieutenant Hadden, of the Royal Artillery, recorded an inventory of tools in his journal on June 28th, as the army prepared to embark from Crown Point for its attack on Ticonderoga.

The following list of Intrenching Tools were attached to Capt. Borthwick’s & Pauche’s Brigades, [viz.]


  No Each Weighing Total Weight, lbs
Spades 80 6 480
Shovels 20 8 160
Felling Axe’s 50 8 400
Pick-Axe’s 60 7 420
Hoes 20 7 140
Hand Bills 25 2 50
Hand Hatch’ts 25 2 50
Hand Barrows 5 18 90
Wheel Barrows 14 40 560
Sand Baggs 180 15/18 150


Upon arriving at camp to the north of Three-Mile Point, fatigue parties from regiments were employed in clearing land for roads. While not under the fire of the enemy, this process was not without its dangers; On July 1st Lieutenant Hadden noted in his journal, “One of the men stumbled over the small stumps in the new clear’d Road & broke three of his Ribs:  I remark this to shew the necessaity of cutting the small bushes very close to the ground where men are to pass and repass in the night time.”

As the army approached Ticonderoga, they wasted no time in erecting fortifications, bridges and roads. In his journal on July 4th, Lieutenant Hadden described the road construction that paved the way for the American withdrawal:

The artificers were employed in repairing the Bridge at the Saw Mills burnt by the Enemy, and making a Road to the top of a high Mountain called Sugar Loaf Hill.

This work, accomplished under the guns of the American Great Redoubt onbattery the old French Lines was continued the next day. On July 5th Hadden noted, “a working party of 400 men, order’d from the Right Wing in order to erect a Battery the next evening. These 400 men were in addition to regular fatigue parties; General Burgoyne ordered on the 5th “Exclusive of the working parties upon the Road, 400 men from the Right Wing are to be kept fresh for working under the Chief Engineer tomorrow at Sunset.” This somewhat secret working party sent up Sugar Loaf Hill, facilitated the final stroke in the siege, forcing the Americans to retreat from Ticonderoga and Mount Independence.

Once Ticonderoga was taken on July 6th, the Prinz Friedrich Regimentand 62nd Foot guarded Ticonderoga as the main army moved on.  The garrison employed American tools and stores for fatigue work. Correspondence for the 47th Regiment of Foot included accounts of tools taken at Ticonderoga including, “great quantities of Military stores of every determination, intrenching tools, &c, &c, &c.” These tools not only used by British and Brunswick fatigue parties, but also in the hands of American prisoners.  Two hundred prisoners of war captured during the American retreat and the Battle of Hubbarton made their way back to Ticonderoga and were used as labor. A 62nd Foot orderly book entry from July 12th explained the procedure for employing prisoners:

The Prisoners are not to be taken out to work on that side without the knowledge of the Capt. For the day and then a certain proportion to be left at home to cook for the rest—

The prisoners spent most of their time repairing roads and moving artillery and stores. Lieutenant Hadden notes on July 29th “The Road is tolerably level, and where it wanted repairs the Rebel Prisoners were employed being furnished with Tools and working under a Guard: We had about Two hundred of them confined in a Barn, and those who were not wanted either for the redoubtabove purpose or Removing Guns & stores, amused themselves in beating Hemp.”

While prisoners spent most of the summer of 1777 repairing roads, British and Brunswick soldiers were employed in the construction of fortifications and buildings.  Records and journals rarely mentioned details of this work, a short note from Ensign von Hille of the Prinz Freidrich Regiment during the retreat from Ticonderoga on November 8th listed much of the work of the past several months:soldiers huts

With the reveille shot, all the newly built blockhouses, huts, barracks, magazines etc. were set afire, also the large communication bridge between Mt. Indep and Ticonderoga as well as the small one toward the portage of Lake George.

As cold weather approached at the end of October, Brunswick soldiers took measures to create makeshift housing.  Ensign von Hille wrote on October 22nd “Our men built huts out of boards to protect themselves from cold weather.”  These rapidly built huts may have been framed structures or they may simply have been simple boards laid over a central ridge beam or even over existing tents like those pictured in the 1788 book Was ist jedem Officier wahrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen nothig. Mit zehen Kupferplatten.

With all the works at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence held by two regiments, resources and man power were stretched thin. On September 18th, Colonel John Brown of Massachusetts succeed in freeing American prisoners of war and captured four companies of the 53rd Foot, leaving an even smaller labor force. Canadian workmen, who were employed loading and unloading boats, carts and wagons at the landings, fled at the start of Brown’s Raid as well, leaving the garrison’s manpower further depleted. During the five day siege laid by Colonel Brown, British and Brunswick soldiers were stretched to their limit. This state of affairs was described by Ensign von Hille on October 22nd, the day before Colonel Brown retreated from Ticonderoga.

For the past few weeks the service and the work were so demanding that even on Sundays not a single man was in the camp during the day and the men had to cook their salted meat at night.

To fuel this work and keep the fatigue party’s spirits high, commanders allocated rum rations to the working parties. On June 29th, Lieutenant Hadden noted he, “allowed Rum in common with other fatigue Parties.”  Not only were British and Brunswick soldiers supplied with a rum ration urestingpon order of fatigue, but so were the prisoners of war.

While Burgoyne and the main army pushed past Ticonderoga, a support force had to remain behind.  Those two regiments left behind were under strength, yet expected to maintain to fortifications, buildings, bridges, roads, and stores that were built by an American army of 10,000 in 1776.  The mundane tasks of the fatigue parties were the backbone of the communication and supply at Ticonderoga.  Working against all odds, the post was not only maintained, but additions were made throughout the summer into fall of 1777.  However, all the hours of labor and back breaking work were destroyed as Ensign von Hille described on November 8th, “the artillery corp was last,” setting everything ablaze and “Fort Ticond. Blew up high into the air…”

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Fort Ticonderoga Presents “Defiance & Independence” Battle Re-enactment, July 23 & 24


(Ticonderoga, NY)  Join Fort Ticonderoga for a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting the climactic summer of 1777 as the Fort’s American garrison was outflanked by a British invasion force descending from Canada.  The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Admission to this re-enactment event is included in a Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission ticket.  To learn more about the event and the full event schedule visit or call 518-585-2821.

The Surprising American Retreat:

Highlighted programming featured throughout the weekend brings to life the surprising American retreat and British capture of Fort Ticonderoga in early July 1777.  Experience the fog of war and smoky haze of battle as the American and British armies maneuver across Fort Ticonderoga’s historic landscape at 1 pm each day.  This two-day battle re-enactment will dramatically show how General Arthur St. Clair’s decision to evacuate Ticonderoga set the stage for British General John Burgoyne’s advance towards Albany.

A Defining Story Brought to Life:

“Guests will witness the intensity of battle as American soldiers retreat back from their entrenched camp under the intense British drive to capture the fortifications,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO. “They will discover the diverse forces that comprised this campaign and meet with soldiers of the two armies including the Royal Artillery, the Rear Guard, and the Continental Artillery.”

“This living history event and battle recreation will re-enact a careful chess game between the British Army and an entrenched Continental Army at Ticonderoga,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga Senior Director of Interpretation. “Reprieved from a siege in 1776 by the onset of winter, Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence faced General John Burgoyne’s northern army of British, Loyalist, and German soldiers in July 1777.  General St. Clair’s rearguard of Massachusetts and New Hampshire regulars and militia put up a vigorous defense, skirmishing in the hills and valleys around Ticonderoga.  Artillery batteries built into the old French Lines seemed to keep the British army at by.  Concealed by forest cover on the back slope of Mount Defiance, British cannon were dragged to the summit.  By July 6, 1777, British cannon high up on Mount Defiance, aimed at the pontoon bridge between the two Forts of Ticonderoga and Independence, forced the withdrawal of General St. Clair’s rearguard into the Hampshire Grants (Vermont).”

Where a Goat Can Go, A Man Can Go!

Saturday evening at 6:30 pm a gun crew from the Royal Artillery will haul their cannon to the summit of Mount Defiance, aiming at the Fort located below.  Guests can witness the incredible feat and discover the details of this decisive stroke and witness a cannon demonstration in the evening light of the beautiful summit.  Advanced tickets are required for this event and must be purchased at Fort Ticonderoga or call 518-585-2821.

Other highlighted programs:

Chocolate was not only a wonderful treat, but also a key source of nutrition for the American troops at Fort Ticonderoga. Throughout the early history of America, chocolate was enjoyed by the colonists as a beverage. This chocolate was extraordinary, as it was flavored with seasonings and spices that were available to the chocolate makers. Stop by the AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate tent and learn how chocolate was prepared in the 18th century and sample a taste of chocolate as it would have be enjoyed 200 years ago!

This event is funded in part by generous support from AMTRAK and Pepsi.

Fort Ticonderoga offers more than one hundred exciting and unique events and programs this season! Visit for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821.

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

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Defiance & Independence Battle Re-enactment will be presented July 23& 24

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King’s Garden Party at Fort Ticonderoga: Lords and Ladies of the Garden


King's Garden Party

(Ticonderoga, NY) The Annual King’s Garden Party will take place inside the historic walled Colonial Revival garden of Fort Ticonderoga on Sunday July 10, from 5:00-7:00pm. This year’s party theme will embrace the time period of the 1920s and reflect the theme of “Lords and Ladies in the Garden.” This event is a benefit to support the preservation and educational programs for the exquisite King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga. Advanced tickets required. For more information call 518-585-2821 or visit

Guests of the King’s Garden Party will enjoy afternoon tea, champagne, wine, classic cocktails, conversation, music and elegant faire, provided by Mazzone Hospitality. Enjoy the scenery and take a stroll back in time with music provided by the Hamilton Street Jazz Band. With prizes given for; best vintage attire, best theme attire, best hat, and best coordinated couple, celebrate the Lords and Ladies in the Garden by dressing in your favorite 1920s apparel. A silent auction will be featured.

Margaret “Peggy Darrin”, Honorary Chairperson, will be honored for her many contributions to Fort Ticonderoga, the Kings Garden, and her love of history and horticulture.

Sponsors for the King’s Garden Party include: Amtrak, Glens Falls National Bank, International Paper Ticonderoga Mill, Pepsi, and the Wagon Wheel Restaurant.

About the King’s Garden

The King’s Garden highlights Fort Ticonderoga’s historic layered legacy and is an awe-inspiring place where guests can roll up their sleeves and dig into centuries of horticultural history. Restored to its 1920s Colonial Revival style, The King’s Garden teems with thousands of flowers, carefully arranged by color and form, guiding the brick walls and walkways alongside the garden. Designed by Marian Cruger Coffin, one of America’s first female landscape architects, the history of the garden is celebrated in the name, The King’s Garden.  This term originated from 18th-century military maps of the garrison garden and was fondly applied to the Colonial Revival garden that followed a century and a half later.  Today this name extends to include the 40-acre developed landscape, together with the formal garden near Fort Ticonderoga.  The King’s Garden maintains its features from each era that it shaped, preserving history and horticulture.  The domestic landscape is interwoven with military features of the 18th-century battlefield, extending from lakeshore to forested hills above the stone fort.

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

Photo: Photo credit: Fort Ticonderoga. The King’s Garden Party will be held July 10th

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