Fort Ticonderoga and more than 700 re-enactors will play host to a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting Brown’s Raid of 1777, an attack led by patriot Colonel John Brown to take the British troops garrisoned at the fort by surprise 238 years ago.
The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, from 9:30 am until 5 pm. Historic interpreters and re-enactors from across the northeast will bring to life the little-known 1777 action with special programs in the British held Fort and the American camps throughout the weekend. The Brown’s Raid battle re-enactment will take place each day at 1 pm when the raiders will attack the British held lines overlooking Fort Ticonderoga.
About Browns Raid
Out of the hazy twilight before dawn on September 18, 1777 rushed Colonel John Brown’s men, catching the British and Brunswick garrison around Fort Ticonderoga completely by surprise. John Brown, no stranger to dangerous missions, helped engineer the first capture of Ticonderoga in 1775. With the stakes even higher, he would test his luck again.
As General Gates prepared to stop the British advance on Albany, he ordered General Lincoln to divide, divert, and harass General Burgoyne’s supply lines back to Canada. Colonel Brown chose his men carefully, allowed first pick of the ragtag patriot force assembled by General Lincoln at Pawlet, Vermont. Massachusetts and Vermont militia men would get their chance to strike a major blow against General Burgoyne’s attack to divide the colonies. Steadying them would be regulars from Colonel Warner’s regiment of Vermonters. Out front, Vermont rangers were to lead the way. Leading the rangers was, Captain Benjamin Whitcomb, a ranger so skilled in his craft he was a wanted man to the British Army.
Rushing down into the LaChute river valley from Lake George landing, Brown’s men captured 330 British prisoners and set 118 American POWs free. Dawn at Fort Ticonderoga would see British Cannons atop Mount Defiance, which forced the American’s to flee that summer, turned on the British garrison itself. British soldiers awoke to the sight of a Brunswick soldier cut in half by a British cannon ball fired by Brown’s men from the summit of that hill.
Rearmed with captured British weapons, American POWs had a chance to settle their score shoulder to shoulder with Brown’s militia, regulars, and rangers. Destroying supplies, and livestock, capturing boats, guns, and cannons, Colonel John Brown’s raiders disappeared back up Lake George, jumping into the pages of history.