Battle of Valcour Island
|Battle of Valcour Island|
|Part of the American Revolutionary War|
Royal Savage is shown run aground and burning, while British ships fire on her (watercolor by unknown artist, ca. 1925)
|United States||Kingdom of Great Britain|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Benedict Arnold||Guy Carleton
|15 armed ships
500 sailors[Note 1]
|25 armed ships
|Casualties and losses|
|80 killed or wounded
11 ships lost
|40 killed or wounded
3 small gunboats lost
The naval Battle of Valcour Island took place on October 11, 1776 on Lake Champlain. The battle was also known as the Battle of Valcour Bay. The main battle had took place in Valcour Bay, a strait between the New York mainland and Valcour Island. The battle was known as one of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War. It was also known as one of the first battle from the Royal Navy. Benedict Arnold demanded that the Americans flee from their ships. The ships were destroyed by a British force, which was controlled by General Guy Charleton. The British had planned to reach the upper Hudson River valley, however the American defense of Lake Champlain stalled the British from reaching it.
In June 1776, The Continental Army had moved away from enemy forces in Quebec to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point. They had spent that summer fixing their forts and building more ships to build their army. General Carleton had a 9,000 man army at Fot Saint-Jean. However, he needed to build an object to carry all of them over the lake. The Americans had either taken or destroyed most of the ships on the lake.
On October 11, Arnold took the British vessels to a different location. He had chosen to give the British limited advantages. Many American ships were damaged or destroyed during the battle. Arnold had took the American vessels past the British vessels during that night. He had took them toward Crown Point and Ticonderoga. However, because of dangerous weather, more of the vessels were captured or burned before they had reached Crown Point. When Arnold had reached Crown Point he had the fort's buildings burned. He then left to Ticonderoga.
Thomas Pringle, James Dacres, Edward Pellew and John Schank, who were officers, had became admirals in the Royal Navy. Valcour Bay, where the battle had begun, is now a National Historic Landmark. The USS Philadelphia, which had sank after the battle on October 11, was risen from the ocean in 1934. USS Spitfire, which was located in 1997, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
References[change | change source]
- Silverstone (2006), pp. 15–16
- Silverstone (2006), p. 15
- Bratten (2002), p. 59
- Bratten (2002), p. 58
- Miller (1974), p. 178
- Allen (1913), p. 176
- For detailed treatment of the background, see e.g. Stanley (1973) or Morrissey (2003).
- Hamilton (1964) pp. 17–18
- Lake Champlain Basin Fact Sheet #3
- Malcolmson (2001), p. 26
- Miller (1974), p. 176
- Nelson (2006), pp. 307–309
- Bratten (2002), p. 76
- Bratten (2002), p. 75
- "Arnold's Flagship Raised On Old Tar Drums" Popular Mechanics, June 1935
- NHL Description of USS Philadelphia
Further reading[change | change source]
- Allen, Gardner W (1913). A Naval History of the American Revolution, Volume 1. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin.
- Bratten, John R (2002). The Gondola Philadelphia and the Battle of Lake Champlain. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press.
- Hamilton, Edward (1964). Fort Ticonderoga, Key to a Continent. Boston: Little, Brown.
- Ketchum, Richard M (1997). Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War. New York: Henry Holt.
- Martin, James Kirby (1997). Benedict Arnold: Revolutionary Hero (An American Warrior Reconsidered). New York University Press.
. (This book is primarily about Arnold's service on the American side in the Revolution, giving overviews of the periods before the war and after he changes sides.)
- Nelson, James L (2006). Benedict Arnold's Navy. New York: McGraw Hill.
- Malcolmson, Robert (2001). Warships of the Great Lakes 1754–1834. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press.
. . This work contains detailed specifications for most of the watercraft used in this action, as well as copies of draft documents for some of them.
- Miller, Nathan (1974). Sea of Glory: The Continental Navy fights for independence. New York: David McKay.
- Morrissey, Brendan; Hook, Adam [translator] (2003). Quebec 1775: The American Invasion of Canada. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
- Randall, Willard Sterne (1990). Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor. William Morrow and Inc.
- Silverstone, Paul H (2006). The Sailing Navy, 1775–1854: 1775–1854. New York: CRC Press.
- Smith, Justin H (1907). Our Struggle for the Fourteenth Colony, vol 2. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
- Stanley, George (1973). Canada Invaded 1775–1776. Toronto: Hakkert.
- Bulletin of the New York State Museum, Issue 313. Albany: New York State Museum. 1937.
- "War Ship Remains Piled in City Garage". WHTM Television. 2009-03-03.
- "Fact Sheet #3". Lake Champlain Basin Program. http://www.lcbp.org/factsht/basinfs2006.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- "National Historic Landmark summary listing – Philadelphia (gundelo)". National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=648&ResourceType=Structure. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "National Historic Landmark summary listing – Valcour Bay". National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=364&ResourceType=Site. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. . http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- Fowler, Jr., William M (1976). Rebels Under Sail: The American navy during the Revolution. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- "Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain: Gunboat Spitfire". Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. http://www.lcmm.org/shipwrecks_history/shipwrecks/spitfire.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Contemporary sketch of Arnold's fleet
- Other maritime landmarks from the National Park Service
- James P. Millard's detailed historical charts, list of ships, period images, and modern photographs
- Valcour Bay Research Project of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Lake Champlain underwater preserves including pictures of underwater Revolutionary War artifacts