Battle of Valcour Island

1776 first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War

The naval Battle of Valcour Island took place on October 11, 1776 on Lake Champlain.[7] 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.[8][9] The battle was known as one of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War.[7] 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.[7] The British had planned to reach the upper Hudson River valley, however the American defense of Lake Champlain stalled the British from reaching it.

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)
DateOctober 11, 1776
44°36′37.84″N 73°25′49.39″W / 44.6105111°N 73.4303861°W / 44.6105111; -73.4303861
Result British tactical victory
 United States  United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Benedict Arnold Guy Carleton
Thomas Pringle
15 armed ships[1]
500 sailors[Note 1]
25 armed ships[2]
697 sailors[3]
1,000 soldiers[4]
650 Indians[4]
Casualties and losses
80 killed or wounded
120 captured
11 ships lost[5]
40 killed or wounded[6]
3 small gunboats lost

In June 1776, The Continental Army had moved away from enemy forces in Quebec to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point.[7] 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.[10]

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.[11] However, because of dangerous weather, more of the vessels were captured or burned before they had reached Crown Point.[12] 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.[13] The USS Philadelphia, which had sank after the battle on October 11, was risen from the ocean in 1934.[14][15] USS Spitfire, which was located in 1997, is on the National Register of Historic Places.[16]

References change

  1. Arnold writes in a dispatch (Bratten (2002), p. 53) that he has about 500 "half naked" sailors. An analysis of his fleet (Bratten (2002), p. 57) indicates that ideal strength to fully man it was closer to 800, another figure that is sometimes cited.

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