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A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution

John Luzader

Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Price: $34.95
ISBN: 978-1-932714-44-9
ebook: 978-1-61121-035-4
On Sale: September 2008

Format: Paperback, 512 pages
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-932714-85-2
ebook: 978-1-61121-035-4
On Sale: August 2010

Runner-Up: Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Writing Award for Operational/Battle History (2009)

Maps throughout

The months-long 1777 Saratoga campaign was one of the most decisive of the entire Revolutionary War . . . Read More


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About this Book


June 30 – July 7: Fort Ticonderoga falls to a powerful advancing British army.

September 11: General Washington and his Patriot army suffer a disastrous defeat at Brandywine, exposing the Colonial capital of Philadelphia to capture.

September 12: John Burgoyne’s invading British army confronts Horatio Gates’ Patriots near Saratoga in upstate New York.

The months-long Saratoga campaign was one of the most important military undertakings of the American Revolution, and John Luzader’s impressive Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution is the first all-encompassing objective account of these pivotal months in American history.

British General John Burgoyne assembled his command at St. Johns (Canada) in June 1777, an army consisting of numerous warships, a massive artillery train, and 7,800 men including two large divisions of rested veteran British Regulars. Burgoyne intended to capture Albany, New York, wrest control of the vital Hudson River Valley from the colonists, carry a brutal war into the American interior, secure the Champlain-Hudson country, and make troops available for Sir William Howe’s 1778 campaign.

Initial colonial opposition was paltry by comparison: widely separated fixed positions, small garrisons and commands, and feuding American commanders. Burgoyne’s primary opponent was General Horatio Gates, an ambitious and stubborn leader who eventually cobbled together some 8,000 men, including Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan. The series of battles large and small that Gates and his lieutenants would engineer stunned the world and spun the colonial rebellion in an entirely different direction.

The British offensive kicked off with a stunning victory at Fort Ticonderoga, followed by a sharp successful engagement at Hubbardton. More combat erupted at Fort Stanwix, Oriskany, and Bennington. However, serious supply problems dogged Burgoyne’s column and assistance from General William Howe failed to materialize. Faced with hungry troops and a powerful gathering of American troops, Burgoyne decided to take the offensive by crossing to the west side of the Hudson River and moving against Gates. The complicated maneuvers and command frictions that followed sparked two major battles, one on September 19 at Freeman’s Farm and the second on October 7 at Bemis Heights. Seared into the public consciousness as “the battle of Saratoga,” the engagements resulted in the humiliating defeat and ultimately the surrender of Burgoyne’s entire army. The crushing British defeat boosted Patriot morale and prompted France to recognize the American colonies as an independent nation, declare war on England, and commit money, ships, arms, and men to the struggling rebellion.

John Luzader’s Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution is the first complete study to combine the strategic, political, and tactical history of these complex operations into a single compelling account. Decades in the making, his sweeping prose relies almost exclusively upon original archival research and his own personal expertise with the challenging terrain. Complete with stunning original maps and photos, Luzader’s Saratoga will take its place as one of the important and illuminating military studies ever written.

John Luzader

A veteran of World War II and graduate of West Virginia University and the University of Texas, John Luzader worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a research historian...

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