Battle of Saratoga

When British General John Burgoyne began his Northern Campaign from Canada through New York in 1777, he brought with him a variety of artillery—the best available at the time. One such artillery piece was this three-pounder cannon, cast in bronze in England in 1776. Weighing over 200 pounds, the cannon fired an iron ball weighing about three pounds, thus, the name three pounder cannon.

Facing the American Continental Army at a place called Bemus Heights, north of the modern-day Village of Stillwater in Saratoga County, the British army fought two battles: one on September 19 and the other on October 7. After an American victory on October 7, the British retreated north to Saratoga (today Schuylerville), where after a siege and negotiating terms of surrender, the mightiest army in the world surrendered to the newest on October 17, 1777.

The victory at Saratoga brought much-needed aid to the American cause, and the Battles of Saratoga are considered a turning point in the American War for Independence. This cannon was one of forty-seven artillery pieces surrendered to the American Army at Saratoga. It was engraved with the honors of war several years later at West Point: “Surrendered by the Convention of Saratoga / Octr. 17. 1777.” Today, the Saratoga trophy cannons are icons of the American victory during the Revolutionary War.

 

Magnifying Glass
Trophy Cannon (British Light Three-Pounder Cannon)
Cast by Jan and Pieter Verbruggen, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, England
1776
Cast bronze on reproduction wood and iron cannon carriage
Courtesy of Saratoga National Historical Park, SARA-3725
Magnifying Glass
The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, October 16, 1777
John Trumbull
c. 1822–1832
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery, Trumbull Collection, 1832.7