The Capture of Ticonderoga (1775)


~ by James Still ~

Fort Ticonderoga was located on a key military corridor between Canada and the Hudson River.  Military supplies captured at Ticonderoga were later used to force the British to evacuate Boston.  Ethan Allen recorded the event:

“… the first systematical and bloody attempt at Lexington, to enslave America, thoroughly electrified my mind, and fully determined me to take part with my country[.]…  directions were privately sent to me… to raise the Green Mountain Boys, and, if possible, to surprise and take the fortress of Ticonderoga.  This enterprise I cheerfully undertook; and… arrived at the lake [Champlain] opposite to Ticonderoga, on the evening’ of the ninth day of May, 1775, with two hundred and thirty valiant Green Mountain Boys[.]…  I landed eighty-three men near the garrison, and sent the boats back for the rear guard… but the day began to dawn, and I found myself under a necessity to attack the fort, before the rear could cross the lake…

The garrison being asleep, except the sentries, we gave three huzzas which greatly surprised them.  One of the sentries made a pass… with a charged bayonet[.]…  My first thought was to kill him with my sword; but in an instant, I altered the design and fury of the blow to a slight cut on the side of the head; upon which he dropped his gun, and asked quarter, which I readily granted him, and demanded of him the place where the commanding officer [was] kept; he showed me a pair of stairs in the front of a barrack… which led up a second story… to which I immediately… ordered the commander… to deliver me the fort…  he then complied, and ordered his men to be forthwith paraded without arms…  This surprise was carried into execution in the grey of the morning of the tenth day of May, 1775.” Ethan Allen, The Capture of Ticonderoga, Mar 25, 1779

James Still (May 2015),

“The sun seemed to rise that morning with a superior luster; and Ticonderoga and its dependencies smiled on its conquerors, who tossed about the flowing bowl, and wished success to Congress, and the liberty and freedom of America.” Ethan Allen, The Capture of Ticonderoga, March 25, 1779

“… the barrack doors were beat down, and about one third of the garrison imprisoned… [and] about one hundred pieces of cannon, one thirteen inch mortar, and a number of swivels.”  Ethan Allen, The Capture of Ticonderoga, March 25, 1779