A living history event and battle re-enactment at Fort Ticonderoga will highlight Major Robert Rogers and the Battle on Snowshoes on Saturday, February 21, from 10 am – 4 pm. Visitors can experience the French Garrison in the middle of winter inside Fort Ticonderoga and tour through opposing pickets of British rangers and French soldiers, both well-trained and adapted to frontier, winter warfare.
At 2 pm on Saturday, visitors will experience the hectic tree to tree fighting in a recreated battle as the rangers make a stand against superior odds, only to retreat through deep woods.
Major Robert Rogers force of both volunteers from the 27th foot, and his own rangers headed out on an extended scout from Fort Edward along Lake George, following an attack on a similar patrol from Captain Israel Putnam’s Connecticut rangers. Hiking on snowshoes due to the three feet of snow, the tracks of Roger’s force were spotted on its march up the west side of Lake George. Near the north end of Lake George, Major Rogers’ advanced scouts spotted their French counterparts. Rogers and his Rangers took up positions in a ravine, setting his force in ambuscade to await whatever French patrol would come to meet him.
The French patrol that met Roger’s men proved far larger than he imagined, and in this Battle on Snowshoes, the rangers’ ambush was itself surrounded and overwhelmed. In deep woods on deep snow, the rangers were forced to retreat with heavy casualties as the French regulars, malice, and natives pressed home their attack. Despite brave stands along the way, this retreat quickly became chaotic as rangers, Roger’s included, ran for their lives from superior numbers of French.
During the event visitors will be invited to tour Fort Ticonderoga as it appeared in the winter of 1758, and meet the Native American warriors, French soldiers, and Canadians who delivered the rangers’ worst defeat. More adventurous visitors can take a hike led by a historic interpreter through the uneasy quiet of opposed pickets of soldiers in the deep woods. In these tours visitors can see how rangers kept a vigilant watch for subtle signs that might reveal their ferocious enemy.
Event tickets are $10. Members of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Ambassador Pass holders and children age 4 and under are free. For more information call 518-585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.
Photo: Historic Interpreters from Fort Ticonderoga recreate the Battle on Snowshoes Event, February 21. Photo provided by Fort Ticonderoga.