Fort Ticonderoga has announced a 1758 Battle on Snowshoes reenactment is set for Saturday, March 9, 2019. The event recreates the fight between Robert Rogers’ rangers, and a mixed French force of Native American Warriors, Canadians, and French Army soldiers on March 13, 1758.
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 their 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, Canadians, 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.
Throughout the day event’s at Fort Ti on March 9th, visitors can explore the French Garrison inside Fort Ticonderoga and tour through camps of British rangers. Families can make their own tuque, or wool cap, like French soldiers donned in the winter months, and strap on snowshoes and march out to the edge of the cleared land into the woods to discover the camp of Rogers’ Rangers. During the 2 pm battle, the rangers make a stand against superior odds in hectic tree-to-tree fighting.
An exhibit will highlight material associated with the famous Robert Rogers and his legacy across the Atlantic world. On display will be Rogers’ own powder horn, one of the only objects directly associated with the officer. Rogers’ horn was carved by John Bush, an African-American soldier from Massachusetts, who is one of the best known horn carvers of the French and Indian War.
For more information on Fort Ticonderoga, visit their website or call (518) 585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga.
Illustration of Robert Rogers courtesy Fort Ticonderoga Museum Collection.