Virtual Tour Stop 5

A mown field features a collapsed wooden
A mown field featuring a collapsed wooden "snake" fence zig-zagging into the near distance.  A cannon is visible near its end.

Saratoga National Historical Park


By early October, the British had been in place for over two weeks. They were sheltered behind their hastily built defenses on ground they had "won" during fighting on September 19. By early October, and were running short on food, manpower, and time; they needed to get to Albany.

But first, they needed supplies.

On October 7, about 1700 combined British and German troops set out in a "reconnaissance in force," pulling heavy cannons to deter American interference as they scavenged for supplies and scouted out the strength of the American defenses.

A detail image of an open field with some trees to the far right.  In the center of the view is a medium-sized cannon facing left.
Copies of cannons stand in what was Barber's wheatfield.  They face south, the direction in which the British reconnaissance group was headed.

Saratoga National Historical Park

If they were able to find a weakness in the American positions, they would use their cannons the next day to weaken American lines and push through toward Albany. Moving southward, the half-starved troops happened upon Simeon Barber's wheat field and stopped to harvest the wheat.

When the numerically-superior American forces spotted them and attacked, the outnumbered British retreated, abandoning most of their cannons, and all the wheat, behind.


Last updated: December 23, 2016

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648 Route 32
Stillwater, NY 12170


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