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The Saratoga Monument


Located eight miles north of the Saratoga Battlefield is a stunning tribute to the American victory at the Battles of Saratoga. In the Village of Victory stands the Saratoga Monument, a 155-foot obelisk situated on a high bluff. This ground was the site of the last camp used by British General John Burgoyne before his surrender to American forces on October 17, 1777.

There are four niches around the Saratoga Monument that were intended to contain the statues of four American commanders associated with the Battles of Saratoga.

Facing north is General Horatio Gates. He had overall command of American forces during the Battles of Saratoga. The statue depicts him looking northward and anticipating the arrival of the southward-invading British army under General John Burgoyne.

Facing east is General Philip Schuyler. His country estate is about eight miles south of the Saratoga Monument. The British burned Schuyler’s property as they were retreating north from the battlefield.

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Schuyler led the Northern Department of the Continental Army. He was involved in preparing American defenses at Saratoga, but lost his command after John Burgoyne’s British troops captured Fort Ticonderoga with ease. Schuyler was replaced by General Horatio Gates before the critically important Battles of Saratoga.

The southern niche of the Saratoga Monument faces toward the battlefield, but remains empty. This spot was originally intended for General Benedict Arnold, a hero of the Battles of Saratoga who later defected to the British Army. Before his treachery, Arnold was one of the most skilled American leaders on the battlefield. Victory at Saratoga would not have been possible without him. Arnold’s spot on the Saratoga Monument represents his bravery, but this is overshadowed by the emptiness, signifying his later betrayal.

Facing west is a statue of American Colonel Daniel Morgan. His elite riflemen were positioned to the west of the Saratoga Monument and helped surround the British, preventing their escape.

The Saratoga Monument was built between 1877-1888. It was dedicated on October 17, 1912 to commemorate the 135th anniversary of General Burgoyne’s surrender. There are 188 steps within the monument that connect five levels and a viewing platform at the top. This impressive structure is a fitting tribute to what was arguably the most important American victory of the Revolutionary War.

Sources

National Park Service: Saratoga Battlefield Brochure.

National Park Service: Saratoga Monument Virtual Tour.

National Park Service: Saratoga National Historical Park.

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