The New Student's Reference Work/Saratoga, Battle of

Saratoga, Battle of, was fought on Oct. 7, 1777, near Saratoga Springs, N. Y. The British under Burgoyne and the Americans under Gates had faced each other since Sept. 14. Burgoyne advanced against the Americans, who charged in turn, headed by Arnold, who had rushed without orders to head off the attacking column and had assumed command. After a stubborn fight the British abandoned their guns and retreated to their camp, followed by the Continentals who charged and carried a part of the camp, when darkness ended the battle. On the 9th Burgoyne retreated to Saratoga, where he was hemmed in by Gates and forced to surrender on the 17th. At the time of the surrender the American force numbered 10,817; the British surrendered 5,804 men, 4,647 muskets and 42 guns. This victory in some respects was the most decisive one of the war. Twelve miles east of Saratoga Springs a handsome obelisk, 155 feet high, on a bluff 350 feet above the Hudson, overlooks the scene of this surrender, which it commemorates.