Battle Index

Battle Index

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Historical Battle

A Historical Battle is a custom battle in which the armies, maps and objectives are preset to recreate a historical battle scenario.

The Total War series allows players to attempt historical battle scenarios and take command of an army to either recreate or change the outcome of the Historical Battle in question. Traditionally, from Rome: Total War onward, the player generally takes command of the outnumbered army or the army which historically lost.

Walk Where Battles Were Fought and Heroes Were Forged

Settlers struggled against the harsh backcountry to survive. Cherokee Indians hunted and fought to keep their land. Two towns and a trading post were formed then abandoned to the elements. And two Revolutionary War battles claimed over 100 lives. Come discover the 18th century history of South Carolina.

Battle of Ninety Six Anniversary Event

On November 16-17, 2019, we will commemorate the Battle of Ninety Six, a battle that brought the War to the Carolina backcountry.

Upcoming Events

See what events are planned at the park.

Equestrian Management Plan Findings

The Park has announced the release of the Finding of No Significant Impact for the Equestrian Management Plan and Environmental Assessment.

Virtual Tour of 96

This online tour allows you to preview what Ninety Six has to offer.

James Birmingham

James Birmingham, of the Long Cane Militia, is considered to have been the first Patriot killed in the South during the American Revolution.

The Battle of Rhode Island

A Revolutionary reenactor stands guard upon the earthen wall of Butts Hill Fort in Portsmouth in 2004.

By degrees, the State of Rhode Island is taking on the appearance of an ancient European capital, where history has been made, and where succeeding generations have enshrined historic sites with descriptive tablets and other forms of memorial markers. Visitors to foreign lands may walk in the shadow of the Caesars climb the steps once trod by raiding Goths and stand upon spots hallowed by the feet of Saints and, in such places, measure the passing of time in long spans stretching back to faraway periods in the story of mankind, whereas, time here extends not much beyond the three century limit. But, those three centuries have been crowded with action, action that moulded a nation out of a wilderness in comparatively short order. It is probably safe to say that as much actual history has been made in Rhode Island since the beginning as in any comparable area across the sea during the same space of time, but it hasn't taken us so long to realize the importance of marking points and places of historic interest, in order that present and future generations may associate names and events of the past with sites that are familiar today. That is why it may be observed that Rhode Island is gradually taking on the appearance of a well-labeled European place of antiquity, thanks to various groups, and individuals, whose efforts are being devoted to the preservation of that which is worthy of enshrining.

Many local monuments and memorial tablets have to do with persons and events associated with the War for Independence, and one who is not thoroughly familiar with what actually happened during that lively conflict may become confused by the numerous Revolutionary War markers that can be found most anywhere in Rhode Island, but especially in Providence and down the east side of the Bay as far as Newport. Therefore, these accounts may help many to place important Revolutionary events in proper chronological order, and make the viewing of historic shrines and properly-marked sites in Rhode island more instructive and vastly more interesting.

Here is the story of the so-called Battle of Rhode Island, prepared in such a way that this masterly stroke of military strategy can be easily and clearly understood. On April 22, 1778, a day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed in Rhode Island for public recognition of the welcome news that France had agreed to join the American cause, and would furnish fighting assistance on land and sea.

Early in the summer, Count d'Estaing, commanding a French fleet of twelve battleships and three frigates, arrived in Delaware Bay after a stormy ninety-day ocean crossing. Shortly before these long-awaited allies put in appearance, the British fleet had moved north to New York and the French commander lost no time in moving his ships there, anchoring in the Narrows while Admiral Howe's fleet remained above on the Hudson River. For reasons best known to them, General Clinton commanding the British troops at New York and Howe commanding the enemy fleet anchored nearby, decided to make Rhode Island the theatre of war by concentrating their forces at Newport for either attack or defense. Forthwith, 7,000 British and Hessians were transported to the large island down the Bay and there they encamped in July 1778.

With that imposing array of enemy forces just a few miles from Providence, one can imagine what went through the minds of local residents—unquestionably they expected an attack most any day, but the expected failed to materialize. Naturally, General Washington's attention was then turned to little Rhode Island, and his first move was to send a brilliant military leader, Major General John Sullivan, to command the militia of the East and to direct the defence of Rhode Island. General Sullivan arrived in Tiverton some time in July, and shortly after his arrival reported to his superior that he had not more than 1,600 men prepared for fighting service. In the meantime, about one half of the available military strength of Rhode Island was called to serve for twenty days from August first, and the remainder was ordered to be ready on call. It is rather difficult for us to imagine the local scene while all this was going on—mobilization of troops for certain battle on Rhode Island seems almost an imaginary situation but it did happen here once, and it must have been an exciting experience.

Near the end of July, the French fleet left New York waters and came up the Sound, blockading the enemy in Narragansett Bay after the ships arrived off Newport. Within ten days after the arrival of the Frenchmen, the British troops stationed on Conanicut Island withdrew to Newport and the British vessels in the harbor, in the Bay, and in the Sakonnet River, were either blown up or burned. As a pitched battle seemed more and more imminent, the American forces grew in strength. Generals Greene, Lafayette, and other military experts came to the assistance of Sullivan, while volunteers poured in from all parts of New England and New York. By August 9, 1778, Sullivan's forces had increased to about 10,000 men, and on that day he broke camp at Tiverton and crossed over to the Portsmouth end of the Island while the French fleet occupied the harbor and Bay. While this transfer of troops was going on, the ever-present British fleet put in an appearance, foreshadowing a naval engagement. Eager to win a decisive victory over Admiral Howe, the French commander took his 4,000 men from Conanicut Island and put to sea hoping to engage the Britishers in battle. This was a commendable move for D'Estaing, but it seriously interfered with what later transpired on the land. For, a storm not only prevented a naval battle that would probably have been won by the French, but it also scattered the two fleets and disabled several of the French warships. Besides this storm played havoc with the American forces established on the island in flimsy tents and poorly protected.

General Pigot, with about 4,000 British and Hessians lined up for battle just a little north of Newport, awaited an attack from Sullivan who proceeded to march down the island opposite the enemy lines, where he halted his men anxiously expecting the French admiral to return with ships and troops. The French ships failed to appear so a heavy cannonade was ordered all along the line and this kept up for five days. It may be interesting to learn that the right wing of the American army was under the command of General Nathanael Greene and the left was under the illustrious General Lafayette. John Hancock, late President of Congress, commanded the second line of Massachusetts militia.

In regard to the vanished and much needed French fleet, records show that it returned to New York for shelter and rest for the men exhausted by a series of rough sea experiences. Admiral d'Estaing then decided to proceed from New York to Boston, where he might have his ships repaired and his provisions replenished. Hearing of this decision, Generals Greene and Lafayette were dispatched to Boston by Sullivan to urge the French to return back to Newport, but their entreaties were without success. Sullivan was left to his fate and his troubles were many, as we shall see.

Shortage of food and supplies, the failure of the French fleet to return, and the long delay created a general dissatisfaction in the American ranks. Desertions were made wholesale the New Hampshire troops left in a body many short-service volunteers from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut returned to their homes and, by the end of August, Sullivan's army was reduced from 10,000 men to about 5,000. The outlook appeared decidedly discouraging for the American side. On the morning of August 29, Sullivan moved the remnants of his army back to the fortifications in Portsmouth, at the point called Butt's Hill, and there awaited developments. The British, elated at the sudden change in conditions, decided to take the offensive and promptly moved out of Newport taking the two main roads that are familiar to those who ride in that direction today. Lively skirmishes took place between the pickets and outposts of the two armies and several surprise sallies caused losses on either side. The right wing of the British attempted to advance, but was repulsed and forced to retreat to Quaker Hill. Between the two armies lay a section of low marshy land intersected by a road and stone walls with wooded sections on the flanks.

This valley amphitheatre was the real battlefield, and across this valley cannonading continued all day. Charges and countercharges left rows of dead and dying between the lines and many heroic acts featured [in] the bloody conflict. At the end of the day, the British at last gave way and retreated to the fortifications on Quaker Hill. General Sullivan ordered a surprise attack, but the exhausted condition of his men and advice of his associate generals led him to abandon this plan. The Americans lost in killed, wounded, and missing 657, and the British, 1,023. That night, Sullivan's troops with all baggage, artillery, and stores quietly crossed the ferry to Tiverton, completing a piece of strategy that has been termed a masterly stroke of military wisdom. Naturally the Americans were disappointed, although time proved that Sullivan was well-advised in not provoking further fighting. For another year the principal island of Narragansett Bay was to remain in the hands of the British and it was a year of great annoyance and suffering, but the Battle of Rhode Island prevented an invasion of New England and probably turned the fortunes of war in the direction of the American Colonies. Perhaps, now, the many tablets and memorials to be seen at Butt's Hill in Portsmouth and elsewhere on the island will be more interesting and intelligible.

Battle Index - History

Napoleonic Historical Narrative & Art

The epic harrowing big battle finale of the Napoleonic Era was of course, the Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday, June 18th, 1815.

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The Charge of the Scots Greys

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and immerse yourself in an adventure involving the excitement and horrors of war depicted in our fully illustrated simulation-game version of the famous 'Charge of the Scots Greys' at the Battle of Waterloo.

Full segments of the historical period's personal accounts, journals, and anecdotes are now included with illustrated pictures of the episodes described.

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British rockets in the 1815.

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Jackson Square during the Battle of New Orleans

Formerly the Place d'Armes around which New Orleans was built, Jackson Square, a National Historical Landmark, is the most prominent location in the “Vieux Carre” or Old Quarter.

On December 18, 1814, Jackson reviewed his troops on this site. He spoke in English to the large crowd his aide-de-camp, attorney Edward Livingston, translated Jackson's remarks for the primarily French-speaking residents of the city.

On January 13, 1840, Andrew Jackson returned to lay the cornerstone for a “Battle Monument” in the Place d’Armes, commemorating the American victory over the British 25 years earlier at the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson died in 1845, and in 1851 the Place d’Armes was renamed Jackson Square in his honor. Five years later, 60,000 persons attended the unveiling of the sculpture of Jackson atop his horse on February 9, 1856.

The focal point of the square, the Jackson equestrian statue was sculpted by Clark Mills, at a cost of $30,000. Three other identical statues are located in Washington, D.C., Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida. Many praised the artist for the manner in which he succeeded in balancing such a mass of metal — 20,000 pounds — without any support or prop beneath. In this position, the statue has withstood the storms and hurricanes that have buffeted the city.

Clark Mills, appearing at the dedication, described his statue as depicting General Jackson on horseback as he reviewed his troops on the morning of January 8, 1815 before the battle. The lines have presented arms in salutation to their commander, and Jackson has lifted his plumed hat — the customary manner of returning a salute in those days. His high-spirited horse, aware of the next movement, is making strenuous attempts to dash down the line, but is restrained by the superb horsemanship of its rider. The statue represented Jackson, who “with a handful of men, proved himself the saviour” of New Orleans.

The inscription on the granite base of the monument was cut by General Benjamin Butler's orders during the federal occupation of New Orleans during the Civil War. In 1830, at a celebration for Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, President Andrew Jackson had made the following toast: “Our Federal Union: It must be preserved!” In 1862, General Butler changed Jackson’s famous statement, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to read: "The Union must and shall be preserved."

Strolling through Jackson Square away from the Mississippi River, one sees the red brick Pontalba Apartment Buildings bordering the left and right of the Square. The buildings were named after Michaela Leonardo Antonie Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba, daughter of Don Andres Almonester y Roxas. In 1845, the Baroness Pontalba began construction of apartment buildings facing Jackson Square and beautification of the gardens to resemble those found in Paris. Jackson Square was to be one of the most beautiful squares in the country. Five years later, in late 1850, the Baroness completed the Pontalba Buildings. If one looks closely, the entwined initials “AP” for Almonester and Pontalba appear on the cast iron balconies. The buildings on the St. Ann Street side of Jackson Square, or the Lower Pontalba Apartments, are owned by the state of Louisiana. The Upper Pontalba Apartments on St. Peter Street are owned by the City of New Orleans. Each building houses 16 four-story townhouses that have commercial tenants on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors. The Lower Pontalba Apartments remain one of the more exclusive addresses in the City of New Orleans.

Battle of Naseby

The Battle of Naseby was the key battle of the first English Civil War. Fighting on June 14, 1645 near Naseby in Northamptonshire the 12,000-strong Royalist forces commanded by Prince Rupert were well beaten by the 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers of Sir Thomas Fairfax.

On June 13, the Royalists, who were making for Newark were at Market Harborough. Thomas Fairfax planned to intercept them as soon as he was reinforced by Cromwell. The King's hand was forced when Henry Ireton attacked a Royalist outpost at Naseby, six miles (10 km) to the south of the royalist army.

The Parliamentary forces were drawn up to the south on slightly higher ground, with Ireton's cavalry on the left, Cromwell's cavalry on the right and the infantry under Philip Skippon in the centre. Facing Ireton was Rupert's cavalry, facing Cromwell Marmaduke Langdale and the Royalist infantry was commanded by the Lord Astley.

Parliamentary forces forced the commencement of the battle. Dragoons covertly advanced behind a column of thick hedges, concealing them from Royalist troops. Undetected despite standing within a few metres of Rupert's cavalry flank, they opened fire and Rupert had to charge forward to escape the sudden attack.

Rupert's charge attacked not only the cavalry under Ireton but the Parliamentary infantry in the centre. Skippon's forces were pushed back up the hill, and Ireton's cavalry was effectively eliminated from the battle. Much of Rupert's cavalry left the field to chase the fleeing remnants of Ireton's command and its baggage train.

The situation had become very grim for Parliament. In desparation, Cromwell attacked and broke Langdale's cavalry. With his forces' counterpart defeated, he was free to turn on the exposed flank of the Royalist infantry who were now surrounded on three sides - the Parliamentary infantry to the south, the dragoons to the west and Cromwell to the east. The Parliamentary forces fought the Royalist infantry to destruction or surrender. Fairfax's forces pursued Royalist fugitives fleeing north to Leicester in an attempt decisively to destroy their army as a fighting force.

The Civil War Muse

Directions: The Battle of Black Jack Historical Marker [ Waypoint = N38 46.040 W95 07.728 ] is located just east of E 2000th Road in a roadside turnout on the south side of US Highway 56 east of Baldwin City, Kansas 66006.

  • From Interstate 35 take exit 202 and head north towards Edgerton, Kansas 66021.
  • Travel north on Sunflower Road for about 1.4 miles.
  • After crossing the railroad tracks, the name changes to E Nelson Street.
  • After about 0.8 miles, turn right (north) onto W 8th Street.
  • After 0.2 miles, turn left (west) onto 199th Street / US Highway 56.
  • After about 6 miles, the marker is located just east of E 2000th Road in a roadside turnout on the south side of US Highway 56.

Description: The marker was erected by Kansas State Historical Society and State Highway Commission and has the following text:

“The 'battle' was part of the struggle to make Kansas a free state. In May, 1856, Proslavery men destroyed buildings and newspaper presses in Lawrence, Free-State headquarters. John Brown's company then killed five Proslavery men on Pottawatomie creek not far from this spot. In retaliation Henry C. Pate raided nearby Palmyra and took three prisoners. Early on the morning of June 2 Brown attacked Pate's camp in a grove of black jack oaks about 1/4 mile south of this sign. Both sides had several wounded and numerous desertions before Pate and 28 men surrendered, Brown claiming he had only 15 men left. As evidence of civil war this fight received much publicity and excited both the North and South.”

Missourians were incensed when they heard what had happened during the Pottawatomie Massacre. Seeking revenge, Henry Clay Pate took a group of about 75 Shannon's Sharpshooters and entered Kansas to find and punish the free state perpetrators. Pate was certain that old John Brown was responsible for the killings along Pottawatomie Creek. He planned find Brown and either capture him or kill him. Arriving in the vicinity of Osawatomie, Kansas, Pate was able to make prisoners of John Brown, Jr. and Jason Brown, both sons of old John Brown. Ironically, neither of them had been involved in the Pottawatomie Massacre. A few days later, Pate turned his prisoners over to a company of US Cavalry under the command of Captain Wood.

While searching for old John Brown, Pate went on a rampage against the free state settlers, plundering and burning their cabins. During this time, Pate and his men were camped along Captain's Creek near the the settlement of Black Jack (near present day Baldwin City, Kansas 66006). Old John Brown decided he needed to go after the Missourians and put a stop to their raiding. He was able to pull together a small group of about 12 free state men, including his sons, Frederick, Owen and Watson. On June 1, 1856, Brown and his men had reached Prairie City, Kansas. Here, Brown met up with Captain Samuel T. Shore and his company of about 20 free state militia. They both agreed to begin searching for Pate's camp, which was supposed to be somewhere near Black Jack.

On June 1, 1856, Henry C. Pate and his men had raided the free-state settlement of Palmyra, Kansas and took two men prisoner. When finished in Palmyra, Pate and his men withdrew to their camp along Captain's Creek. Here they settled in for the night. Brown and Shore would discover Pate's camp early on the morning of June 2nd. Brown's son, Owen, later wrote an article for the Springfield Republican in which he described their first seeing the Missourians' camp:

“On reaching the high ground where their guard had stood we could plainly see the Missourians’ camp, a half-mile distant, with their tents and covered wagons drawn up in front, and a number of horses and mules picketed on the higher ground beyond. This camp (under command of Capt. H. C. Pate, as we found later) was on a point of land lying between two ravines, at this time dry but at other times they had an outlet into a larger ravine, the latter lying between us and Pate’s camp (the ground descending toward us).”

The two sides began firing at one another, both sides using the ravines for cover. Owen Brown described the initial engagement:

“Father ordered us to form a skirmish line, and Pate’s men commenced firing at us. When within rifle range Capt Shore ordered his men to halt, and, though in a very exposed position, they bravely began in earnest to return the fire. Father directed us to reserve our fire, and to follow him in a diagonal direction into the larger ravine. Pate’s men gave us the full benefit of their shooting, their bullets cutting the grass around us in a lively way. Though I do not think I was much scared, I noticed I felt very light on my feet, as if marching fast would be no effort.

“We crossed the ravine and Father placed us at short range, behind a natural bank in the bend of the ravine, so that their wagons afforded them no protection from our fire. During the time we were taking this position Capt Shore kept up a constant firing, and by the time our men were located, he ordered his men to lie down and shoot from that position. At much shorter range we shot at any of Pate’s men we could see, and into their tents. Within 10 or 15 minutes the Missourians began to run from their wagons and tents over into the opposite ravine for greater securing, and Capt Shore’s men came running, a few at a time, to where we were.”

After two or three hours of fighting, Shore's men were running out of ammunition. After consulting with old John Brown, Shore and his men withdrew. During the fighting, some of Pate's men had withdrawn from the fighting and headed back to Missouri. Now John Brown was down to having only about 12 men. He was up against maybe 30 still fighting along side Pate. About this time, in the words of Owen Brown:

“[My] brother Frederick, hearing the firing, could not longer content himself to stay back with the horses, but mounting one of them and brandishing a sword, rode round Pate’s camp on a full run, and called aloud, saying, 'Father, we have got them surrounded, and have cut off their communications.' A number of shots were fired at Fred without hitting him or his horse. A few moments after this a ramrod with a white handkerchief fastened to it was raised by the Missourians as a flag of truce, and the firing ceased.”

Henry C. Pate's force was also running low on ammunition and decided to try and talk his way out the predicament. At first, Pate had sent a subordinate out to meet with the free state men. But John Brown refused to talk with anyone by Pate. So Pate went out under the flag of truce with one of the free state settlers he had taken prisoner on the previous day. Pate said that he was a duly appointed representative of the United States government and was searching for individuals for which he had warrants of arrest. Brown dismissed all of this and told Pate he would accept nothing but Pate's unconditional surrender. Owen Brown described the encounter:

“Capt Pate took the flag, and, bringing with him a free-state prisoner whom he had captured at another time, came to where he stood and said, 'I come out to tell you that we are government officers sent out in pursuit of criminals, and to let you know that you are fighting against the United States.' . Father replied: 'If this is all you have to say, I have something to say to you. I demand of you an unconditional surrender.' Then Father ordered us to go with him and Pate to where the latter had left his men, and we came up nearly together. Father repeated to Lieut Brockett, of the Missouri men, what he had just said to Pate. Brockett replied, “We don’t surrender unless our captain gives the order.” His men then cocked and leveled their guns on us. . Father raised his large army-sized Colt’s revolver and, pointing it within two feet of Pate’s heart, said to him, “Give the order!” and he did. . The rest of their arms, ammunition, wagons, horses, etc., were at once given up to us, and the prisoners put under guard.”

Henry Clay Pate later wrote an article in the St. Louis Republican about his encounter with John Brown:

“. A flag of truce was sent out, and an interview with the captain requested. Captain Brown advanced and sent for me. I approached him and made known the fact that I was acting under the orders of the U. S. Marshal, and was only in search of persons for whom writs of arrest had been issued, and that I wished to make a proposition. He replied that he would hear no proposals, and that he wanted an unconditional surrender. I asked for fifteen minutes to answer. He refused, and I was taken prisoner under the flag of truce.

“Brown and his confederates were the men engaged in the Pottawattomie massacre, and whom I was authorized to arrest. In fact, as I say to my friends, I went to take Old Brown, and Old Brown took me.”

John Brown and his small force ended up with 23 prisoners. On their way back to Prairie City, they met Captain Shore who was returning with reinforcements. John Brown would end up negotiating an exchange of prisoners. He exchanged Henry C. Pate and Brockett to get his sons, John, Jr. and Jason, released from Federal custody. However, a few days later, Pate and the other prisoners were freed by US forces under the command of Colonel Edwin Sumner. Jason Brown was released from custody later in June but John Brown, Jr. was taken to Camp Sackett where the other Free State Prisoners were being held. He not released from custody until September in 1856.

Battle Index - History

Surrender of General Burgoyne
By John Trumbull, 1821
Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol Return to Saratoga County Page

Ra Ro Sa Sh Sm St Ta To UV Wa We Wh Wi Wo XYZ
September - October 1777

Heritage Hunters is proud to have this national park as part of our rich historical tradition in Saratoga County. The park commemorates the two battles fought there during the Revolutionary War. Of these two battles of Saratoga, known as the Battles of Freeman's Farm, Bemis Heights or Stillwater, the second battle was the first great victory of the Americans and was deemed by many historians to be the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

The British campaign was designed to split the colonies by taking control of the Hudson River. General John Burgoyne was to advance south from Canada, General Barry St. Leger east along the Mohawk River and Sir Henry Clinton (replacing Sir William Howe) north from New York City. Neither St. Leger nor Clinton was successful, leaving Burgoyne's forces alone in the campaign. Burgoyne easily took Fort Ticonderoga but suffered a stinging defeat in an attempted raid on Bennington.

Burgoyne continued south, crossing the Hudson River on September 13, 1777, halting near the Saratoga site of what is now the village of Schuylerville. The Americans, under the leadership of General Horatio Gates, assisted by Major Generals Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Lincoln, Colonel Daniel Morgan's corp of Indian fighters, and other Continental and Militia troops were entrenched at Bemis Heights. With American forces threatening his rear, Burgoyne attempted to break through on September 19th but the engagement was indecisive. He attempted a second breakthrough on October 7th, but was repulsed and forced to retreat eight miles back to old Saratoga. The British entrenched there, but surrounded by American forces and low on supplies, were forced to surrender on October 17th.

The Saratoga National Historical Park has amassed a wealth of documents relating to this period and has graciously allowed Heritage Hunters volunteers to examine, evaluate, and record for our SaratogaCoWebPage, information regarding those who fought there on the American side. The Park Superintendent, Frank Dean, has appointed Rangers Gina Johnson and Eric Schnitzer to function in liaison with Heritage Hunters and they are providing valuable guidance in this research.

These records have been developed from various reference materials developed and maintained by National Park personnel and volunteers. We have also been able to utilize reference materials maintained by others across the country who have been generous in their contribution of additional information. The "Ref." listed with each record provides reference information. For these references see below this foreword or use the link under the index above. Persons are included who were at or in support of the engagements between the date of the first battle and the surrender of Burgoyne.

Heritage Hunters volunteers have spent many hours scrutinizing these documents, including some very old handwritten records, to develop the information below. Those volunteers include Fletcher Blanchard, Karen Clark, John Paris and others. Harold Howe spent considerable time researching and organizing this project. Frank Goodway has edited the data into a web page format and he and Fletcher Blanchard have provided additional information from other sources. Carol Farrell and Kara Phillips are also helping enter new information. Pat Peck is providing editing for the files.

A major source for information about New Yorkers at the battles has been Donald E. Lampson. He has furnished materials about the 2nd and 4th NY Continental Line regiments (cited as NY04) and has put together a large compilation of pensions, payroll and lists regarding the 10th Albany Militia regiment (cited as DL01). His contribution is greatly appreciated. The materials he has provided have turned over to the Saratoga National Park.

Considerable effort was spent to assure that the records on these pages, which came from more than 100 different sources, represent an accurate account of the participants in the battles of Saratoga. Some records state clearly that the participant was indeed present, but many require interpretation to arrive at this conclusion. In the case of a soldier, his membership in a Company and Regiment known to have been at the battles, muster rolls, pay accounts, enlistment dates and periods, appointment dates all provide evidence to evaluate.

As an example, One of the largest record sources has been (MA01), "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution," originally published (Boston, 1896). Many of these records include Co., Regt. and pay periods that infer participation and others give different qualifying information.

While the inclusion of the militia regiments was straightforward, in (MA01) there were 15 continental line regiments at the battles whose records do not specifically list Saratoga battles information. However, the National Archives confirm that the persons included were there during the battle dates.

In addition, some participants are listed as being in a Colonel's, Lieut. Colonel's or Major's company. These types of companies did not exist until after the battles, but they are preserved as part of the original record. Additional information in each record usually indicates who the Captain was in 1777.

As with any such project, please consider this a "work in progress." We would appreciate learning of any errors or omissions and would be pleased to correct or augment any of these records with new valid information. Please direct such information to:

Frank Goodway
Original Publication
August 1997
Last Updated Nov 2012
About 18,000+ entries Go to index

Preparing the Body for Battle: Part 1—The Long History of Vaccination

As we finally exit the long slog that was 2020 and enter the new year, the topic on everyone’s mind right now is vaccination. With the recent FDA approval of both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, many of our long-standing questions and concerns about vaccination have come to the forefront of public consciousness—especially since these new vaccines are pioneering a relatively novel method of vaccination. Vaccination itself may seem like a relatively recent endeavor, a product of 20th-century science and public health initiatives. And while the first laboratory-concocted vaccine wasn’t created until 1879, the legacy of vaccines and inoculation against deadly pathogens stretches back to as early as the year 1000.

Historians believe that the practice of inoculation against infectious diseases dates all the way back to China in the year 1000. A practice known as variolation, which involved rubbing weakened viral material into an open wound, was practiced by healers in China, India, Africa, and the Ottoman empire to treat cases of smallpox. The healers would collect samples of infectious material from relatively mild cases of the disease, dry the samples out, and carry them around in their pockets for a couple of weeks before using the material for variolation. The result was a relatively weak form of the smallpox virus that would infect the patient. It would typically cause a few days of mild sickness. but the patients would not die. And following the initial infection, they would be permanently immune to smallpox.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu helped to bring variolation to light in the scientific spheres of the West.

Variolation was a technique primarily studied in the East until around the 1700s. In 1721, Lady Mary Wortley Montague was living in Constantinople with her husband, a British diplomat, and her family. She had recently recovered from a severe case of smallpox that left her disfigured just before moving to Turkey with her family. When she heard about the practice of variolation from a local practitioner, she leapt at the chance to have her children inoculated against the deadly disease. Montague’s experience spurred interest in smallpox inoculation back in Britain. Shortly after, James Jurin, Secretary of Britain’s Royal Society, conducted an expansive survey of the efficacy of variolation. Perrot Williams and Richard Wright, who were doctors in Wales at the time, soon discovered that variolation had been a widespread tactic used by commoners in Wales as far back as the early 1600s. Similar processes known as “buying the pocks” were discovered to be in practice in Scotland and across mainland Europe.

In the following century, variolation gained popularity across Europe and into the American colonies. It was not without its risks though, with a mortality rate around 2 percent—still a marked improvement to the average 14 percent mortality associated with the disease. But to put that in perspective, the mortality of smallpox variolation was about on par with the current average mortality of Covid-19. Most modern vaccines have mortality rates as low as 0.1%, with severe adverse reactions typically relegated to elderly and immunocompromised patients. Despite the risks, variolation was still the most effective protection against smallpox for many years and it was widely used. Eventually, a safer more effective form of smallpox inoculation was developed by physician Edward Jenner, using the brand new technique known as vaccination.

People lining up to recieve a smallpox vaccination in 1872.

In 1796, Edward Jenner, who was himself inoculated against smallpox as a child, made the observation that several dairymaids who had been infected with cowpox never contracted smallpox. Cowpox is much milder than smallpox, so many of these dairymaids were saved from the disfigurement and mortality associated with the smallpox infection. Seeing this apparent immunity, Jenner hypothesized that the two diseases must be related in some way such that exposure to one provides inoculation against the other.

To test his hypothesis, Jenner recruited an 8-year-old boy to serve as his test subject (certainly not up to modern child-protection standards, but it was hardly a contentious issue at the time). He used infectious cowpox material he acquired from a dairymaid to inoculate the boy who subsequently developed a mild sickness. A couple of months later, Jenner exposed the boy to a fresh smallpox lesion. The boy experience no symptoms of developing smallpox, indicating that the cowpox inoculation was successful at providing immunity. Jenner ran several subsequent tests on the efficacy of cowpox using other young test subjects, including his 11-month-old son. The results supported his original hypothesis, and he was able to publish a paper on the study in 1798. In this paper, he coined the term “vaccine” from the Latin root vacca meaning cow.

Political cartoon depicting Jenner’s smallpox vaccine causing people to grow bovine deformations. See page for author, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

While there was initially pushback against this new technique of inoculation, it eventually gained popularity, replacing variolation completely by the mid-1800s. Through vaccination and strategic surveillance, smallpox was eradicated globally by the end of the 1900s. Jenner’s discoveries were considered foundational to the modern understanding of immunology—the study of how the body fights disease. Jenner’s initial smallpox vaccine also introduced the concept of viral attenuation. Attenuation is the weakening of a pathogen’s virulence so that it is viable enough to produce immunity, but not viable enough to cause major harm or transmission. Jenner’s smallpox vaccine was attenuated because it contained a weaker, animal-borne version of the virus. Later, a live attenuated rabies vaccine was created by cultivating the virus in an incompatible host—chicken embryos or mice in this case. This method was inefficient and could not be done sterilely. But in the 1940s and 50s, the introduction of in vitro cell cultures made efficient laboratory virus attenuation possible. The MMR vaccine was developed in this way, isolated from an infected patient and attenuated through successive cell culturing.

Vaccination with live attenuated viruses still has its downsides though—a greater risk of developing infection symptoms and difficult, lengthy development. Another strategy for vaccination is using pathogens that are inactivated (essentially “dead”). This strategy had a lot of success early on for bacterial diseases like cholera and typhoid, but it proved harder to develop an effective inactive vaccine for viral diseases. The first real successful inactive viral vaccine was the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) developed by Jonas Salk. Salk grew the poliovirus in the kidney cells of monkeys and inactivated it with formalin. While this vaccine saved countless lives, it did come at a large cost—nearly 1500 monkeys had to be sacrificed for every one million doses. Later on, enhanced cellular culturing techniques made it possible for the vaccine to be manufactured in vitro in immortal human cell lines.

Vaccination campaigns have eliminated diseases like smallpox and polio.

In recent years, vaccination research has turned to the study of subunit vaccines—vaccines containing a specific protein, saccharide, or genetic component of a virus. These subunits engender a relatively mild immune response, so they often require boosters and chemical adjuvants, which stimulate the immune system. These vaccines can still create lasting immunity, and they can often be cheaper and easier to produce than whole inactivated vaccines.

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