TwHP Lessons

The Tide Turns on the Frontier

[Photo] Bemis Heights, Saratoga National Historical Park
(National Park Service)


ou are standing in an open field, shoulder to shoulder with your regiment. The British line is 50 yards away. They slowly raise their muskets and aim directly at you and your comrades. The thunder of the volley is deafening, the choking smoke stinks of sulphur. Hundreds of pieces of lead whistle as they pass over your head, by your side, and into your ranks. Men fall all around you, dead and wounded. Confusion, fear, and chaos set in. You can not understand your officers' commands in the confusion. You and the other survivors of the volley reform to return the fire to the enemy.

Out of this kind of chaos, soldiers of the Continental Army forged a victory over professional British and German soldiers near Saratoga, New York. The two battles fought here in autumn of 1777 changed the course of the American Revolution and insured the independence of the former British colonies that became the United States of America.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. New York & surrounding region
 2. Campaign for the Lake Champlain-Hudson

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. The Battles of Saratoga
 2. 18th-Century Warfare
 3. The Voices of Battle

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Saratoga National Historical Park
 2. Bemis Heights today
 3. Catherine Schuyler torches a wheatfield
 4. Capitulation de Burgoyne à Saratoga

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. A Council of War
 2. The War Continues
 3. Soldiers and Settlement

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Saratoga National Historical Park

This lesson is based on the Saratoga National Historical Park, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.



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