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"colonel anthony wayne" Discussed on American Revolution Podcast
"Thank you for joining the American Revolution Today. Episode One forty four the defense of Fort Ticonderoga last week. I introduced the leaders of the British army who were tasked with moving down from Canada to Albany New York. The commander General Burgoyne 's first goal was to conquer Fort Ticonderoga the Gibraltar of North America. Both sides seem to think that it was the key to the region it had been where French General Montcalm had defeated a massive British force under General Abercromby during the French and Indian war in seventeen seventy six general guy. Carleton took one look at the fort and turned around thinking. It would take too long to lay siege to the fort that year the Americans in charge of the fort however had a very different view for starters. There was no united chain of command. General Philip Schuyler was the senior general in command of the Northern Army in fact following the retirement of Artemis Ward and the capture of Charles Lee. He was the most senior ranking major general. Second only to George Washington himself in the chain of command as you may recall in earlier episodes. Congress had promoted General Horatio Gates to major general in May seventeen seventy six and said him to take command of the Continental Army in Canada Gates arrived just as the British were chasing the last of the Americans back into New York where the more senior Major General Schuyler remained in command gate spent most of his time over the rest of the year trying to undercut Schuyler and take full command of the northern army in December. Seventeen seventy six gates left Fort Ticonderoga with part of his army to join Washington in Pennsylvania. Gates have been corresponding with General Lee. About what a dumpster fire they thought. Washington's command was and were feeling each other out about a possible replacement for the commander after the British captured. Generally shortly after these conversations gates continued down to Washington's headquarters when Washington begged him to assist with the attack on Trenton Gates. Begged off claiming he was too sick instead. He wrote down to Baltimore to bad mouth. Washington to Congress. After Washington's great victory at Trenton Gates decided that badmouthing Washington was not going to work at the moment so he went back to badmouthing General Schuyler in March Congress had agreed to give command of the Northern Army to Gates supported primarily by the New England delegation who generally distrusted the New Yorker General Schuyler the blowback from this change caused Congress to reverse itself a month later and return Schuyler to command in April rather than sucking it up and working with Skyler Gates left New York again and went back to Philadelphia to complain more to Congress. He was still in Philadelphia in June. When the British began to move down toward Fort Ticonderoga Schuyler did not spend much time at Ticonderoga. Either most of this time Schuyler was in Albany working on logistical support and other matters including relations with the local Indian Tribes General Benedict. Arnold had also left Ticonderoga after the seventeen. Seventy six fighting season ended and headed back to Connecticut. That left Colonel Anthony Wayne in charge of the Fort Wayne as you may recall was a Pennsylvania officer who had led a regiment to Canada as reinforcements after most of the army in Canada had been captured at Quebec Wayne had played a leading role at the battle of three rivers. See Episode Ninety five before retreating with the rest of the army back to Fort Ticonderoga as other officers move south to other commands. Waned remain in command of Fort Ticonderoga over the miserable winter out of desperation. He refused to release soldiers even when their enlistment were over he personally punched a few soldiers who went on strike over the winter. There was no food or clothes for the men. They did what they could to survive and little more the fort which was already in terrible condition fell into even worse disrepair in commenting on the region. Wayne wrote it appears to be the last part of the world that God made and I have some ground to believe. It was finished in the dark that it was never intended that mansion living. It is clear in noting that men simply were not meant to live in such land made worse by the dead bodies still littering the forest from the French Indian war. Some of the soldiers use the skulls for drinking cups and the shinbones as tent pegs the command structure in the Ford itself remained a mess. General Schuyler hadn't tempted to oppose discipline but the new England soldiers resented the New York generals attempts to impose rules on them. The internal rivalries came out several times over the Winter Massachusetts. Colonel Asa whitcomb son was a cobbler by trade and attempted to address the shortage of shoes at the fort by setting up a cobbler's bench in the colonel's quarters the Pennsylvania officers took offence at a fellow officer working at a trade which was considered too meaning Pennsylvania. Colonel Craig and others broke into. It comes quarters. Destroy the Cobbler's bench and physically attacked Colonel Wickham. The fight attracted a crowd and soon Pennsylvania and New England troops were in a full-scale brawl with each other. The Pennsylvania soldiers escalated the fight by picking up their arms and firing on the New England. Soldiers wounding several despite the behavior. There were no courts martial over this event Colonel Craig and his Pennsylvania and apologized and killed a deer which they presented to the new Englanders as a feast to make up for their behavior in February. Seventeen seventy seven. When a militia company demanded to go home at the end of their enlistment Wayne responded by punching one of the men in the face and telling him he would not leave until his replacements arrived and if they did not arrive he would be there forever. He held the rest of the company at Pistol Point until they accepted his orders to remain. Despite these problems that same month Wayne was one of a record. Ten men promoted to Brigadier General in February in April after receiving word of his promotion and orders to move South Wayne. Happily left the Fort Behind and marched his men to join Washington's Army in New Jersey the same week that Wang got his promotion to Brigadier General Congress. Also promoted Arthur Sinclair from brigadier to Major General Sinclair had had a meteoric rise since joining the continental army as a Pennsylvania. Colonel in January. Seventeen seventy six. He received promotion to Brigadier General in August and then to major general in February. Seventeen seventy seven sinclair had been born and raised in Scotland. He served as lieutenant in the regular army during the French and Indian war where he saw action at the siege of Lewisburg and the battle of Quebec after the war sinclair settled in Pennsylvania. There he became the largest landholder in the western part of the state. He was able to purchase some of the land after marrying the daughter of a wealthy Boston family. At the end of the French and Indian war he also received land grants directly from the king for his service in the war. Sinclair was an early supporter of the Patriot. Cause and was one of the few Pennsylvanians with real military experience when the war began his first mission after raising regiment was to go with General Gates to Canada arriving. Just in time to help with the retreat. Back into New York Sinclair had spent the summer of seventeen seventy six where after gates commended his actions. During the retreat received his promotion to Brigadier General General Sinclair then headed south to join with Washington's Army in New Jersey. Arriving in time to play key role in the battles of Trenton and Princeton this helps secure his promotion to Major General in February with that promotion came the responsibility to return to Fort Ticonderoga and prepare for a possible British attack. When Saint Clair arrived in June? Seventeen seventy seven immediately began writing that the fort was a mess undermanned. Outta lack of entrenchments and was generally in no condition to defend against an invasion because there were no communities of any size in the hundreds of miles of surrounding wilderness. It was difficult to obtain any supplies or get much help in putting the fort back into defensible condition. General Gates had been confident that the British force in Montreal would not invade but instead would ship out for New York City in the spring so that they could supplement general house advance on Philadelphia Gates himself spent most of his time in Albany where he could keep an eye on his rival General Schuyler. Despite Gates's belief that the British would not invade New York by the time sinclair arrived in June the British fleet had already left Saint. John's he did not know it yet but he had only days to prepare for the attack. Far from impregnable. The fort had many problems. Even if it had been well-maintained and fully garrison for starters the main defenses were on the south side of the Fort Remember. The fort had been built originally by the French to defend against a British attack from the south. More importantly there were two large hills near the fort which enemy could occupy and then fire into the fort during the French and Indian war when the French defeated an invasion by outer Crombie. They did so from those hills not from the Ford itself. A year earlier continental engineers had identified rattlesnake hill as a more defensible position. They also identified sugarhill as a key height that would if occupied threatened Ford itself. These weaknesses had been identified in the summer of seventeen. Seventy six even before gates and sinclair add left the area to join. Washington's Army leaders had decided to rename Rattlesnake Hill. Mount Independence and renamed sugarhill mount defiance but beyond giving them those cool names. They did little to secure these areas against potential dangers. Over the Winter General Schuyler had issued orders to occupy mount independence and to build a bridge from the fort to the mountain. Continental colonel should youth in Baldwin built an impressive bridge between the Fort and Mount Independence. Although not fully complete by the spring it was complete enough to serve as a footbridge over the water to move men and light equipment back and forth at some point. Another engineer Thaddeus Kosciusko from Poland arrived on the scene over schools. Go seem more interested in criticizing Baldwin's work and kissing up to General Gates then contributing much to the defenses. By the time sinclair arrived in June. The continentals had occupied mount independence including placing several cannons there and we're using the footbridge to move back and forth. They had not however occupied mount defiance at all the leaving it too steep to allow the British to mount cannons there on June thirteenth. The continentals captured Tube British prisoners. Who said the General Burgoyne was already on his way with thousands of soldiers would be at Fort Ticonderoga in about two weeks? They also inform the continentals about Saint Ledgers. Move FROM THE WEST. Toward Albany unnerved by this information general. Saint Clair was not sure whether to believe him. There is a good chance they were British. Spies sent to spread misinformation..