When men under Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen captured Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point in 1775, they also captured over 180 cannon, and other weaponry and supplies.
Beginning in November 1775, Colonel Henry Knox and a team of engineers used sledges to haul 60 tons of this heavy artillery to Cambridge and the Siege of Boston. Many of those cannon were larger than what was available to Patriot forces, and they were placed on higher ground around the city. Americans began to bombard the city on the night of March 2, 1776, the British responded with their own bombardment, and for two days the cannon fire rained into Boston.
On March 5, Washington moved more of the Ticonderoga and Crown Point cannon and several thousand men overnight to occupy Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston, and the British fleet in the harbor. The British soon withdrew from the city.
Henry Knox’s feat to move massive cannon from Ticonderoga to Boston to force the British evacuation of 1776 will be the at the center of a one-day living history event at Fort Ticonderoga on December 7th.
An exhibit that day will reconstruct the reading list Henry Knox prepared in 1776 for John Adams, with items drawn from Fort Ticonderoga‘s collection of rare books.
Before setting out for Ticonderoga, John Adams inquired of Henry Knox what books he recommended American officers should read to learn the art of war. Knox’s reply had to wait until he completed his expedition, but revealed his breadth of knowledge and printed military culture of the Atlantic World.
This list includes French and British authors and covered topics such as artillery, fortifications, and engineering that he felt were “necessary for a people struggling for Liberty and Empire.” The exhibit will bring together nearly all the titles Knox recommended.
Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Rd, Ticonderoga. More information is available on their website.
Photo of Fort Ticonderoga by Carl Heilman II.