The battle continued to go poorly and rumors filtered through the hospital tent.
“We’re outnumbered. Our mates kept shootin,’ but they were shootin’ more.” Abigail’s patient gasped for air as she stitched the wound in his chest.
“Try to rest, Private. You are safe here in hospital.” Abigail gave the distraught soldier another drink of rum—just a sip with supplies so low.
More arrivals to the marquee carried similar tales of one defeat after another. Abigail overheard Mr. Braithwaite pause long enough in his duties to declare, “How can an undisciplined group of farmers defeat His Majesty’s finest? I never thought this possible.” He wiped his face with angry hands and returned to his tasks.
Everyone in the tent appeared stunned as this news spread rapidly.
Abigail’s mind was a battlefield of emotions, relieved at the American victory yet terrified about the outcome for William. Was he lost to her forever?
Excerpt from Saratoga Letters
On this date in 1777, October 17, the battle that changed history ended when British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates. This astonishing event was the first great victory for the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was dubbed the “Turning Point” of the Revolution. Because of this surrender, France joined forces with the Americans and helped the “undisciplined group of farmers” to defeat the best trained army in the world at that time. It was a victory that changed the course of history.
It also changed my family’s history as one of the British soldiers who was forced to surrender that day to became a prisoner of war was my ancestor, Daniel Prince. On his way to POW camp, my 4th great grandfather escaped the line of prisoners and made his way to western Massachusetts, where he met and married a young woman named Mary. As a child, I was terribly embarrassed that my ancestor was a British redcoat. Yet as I grew up, this story took on a glint of romance in my writer’s muse and I have featured the Battle of Saratoga in two of my historical romance novels. They are:
Road to Deer Run