Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga, New York

Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the Canadians and the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain in upstate New York in the United States. It was constructed by Canadien Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière between 1754 and 1757 during the Seven Years' War, often referred to as the French and Indian War in the USA. It was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again played a role during the American Revolutionary War.

In June 1758, British General James Abercromby began amassing a large force at Fort William Henry in preparation for the military campaign directed up the Champlain Valley. These forces landed at the north end of Lake George, only four miles from the fort, on July 6. The French general Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, who had only arrived at Carillon in late June, engaged his troops in a flurry of work to improve the fort's outer defenses. The French built, over two days, entrenchments around a rise between the fort and Mount Hope, about three-quarters of a mile (one kilometer) northwest of the fort, and then constructed an abatis (felled trees with sharpened branches pointing out, see photo above) below these entrenchments.

On July 8, 1758, Abercromby ordered a frontal attack against the hastily assembled French works. Abercromby tried to move rapidly against the few French defenders, opting to forgo field cannon and relying instead on the numerical superiority of his 16,000 troops. In the Battle of Carillon, the British were soundly defeated by the 4,000 French defenders. The battle took place far enough away from the fort that its guns were rarely used. 

The memorial below is dedicated to the failed attack on July 8, 1758

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