MARCH TO SARATOGA by Harrison Bird
Kirkus Star

MARCH TO SARATOGA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With the skill of a novelist and the accuracy of a trained historian, the author of Navies in the Mountains retells vividly a familiar story, that of ""Gentleman Johnny"" Burgoyne and his attempt to capture Albany, in 1777, and his surrender at Saratoga. The plan- a good one- was designed to split the Colonies. Burgoyne, wit, man of fashion, dashing cavalryman, was to march down the Hudson from Canada to Albany, there to join Clinton, coming up from New York. But Clinton never stirred, and Burgoyne, on June 13th, bands playing and flags flying, set out with an army of trained British soldiers and German mercenaries commanded by Baron von Riedesel, who had with him his charming Baroness and their three small daughters. Readers of the current The Baroness and the General, by Louise Hall Tharp (see report p. 940- 1962) will find that story set in context here). On the fringe ranged Indian allies, who disobeyed orders to scalp only American soldiers, disrupted otherwise peaceful settlers, infuriated Burgoyne-- and vanished. Capturing the deserted posts of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, the army, defeated at Bennington, crossed the Hudson to plod down river through rain-sodden forests, hungry, cold, sniped at by Yankee riflemen under Daniel Morgan, to Saratoga, where the Americans under Gates and Benedict Arnold were waiting. On October 14th, Burgoyne, with no plan for retreat, his scant 4000 men ringed around by 12,000 American troops, surrendered, still hoping for rescue by Clinton. This tale of bravery and stupidity, of officers, great ladies, plain soldiers, small children and Indians is an essential for all Revolutionary War shelves. Literate readers who enjoy a true story brilliantly told will delight in it.

Publisher: Oxford