(Ticonderoga, NY) Experience an exciting living history event and battle re-enactment at Fort Ticonderoga highlighting Major Robert Rogers and the Battle on Snowshoes on Saturday, February 21, from 10 am – 4 pm! Visit the French Garrison in the middle of winter inside Fort Ticonderoga and tour through opposing pickets of British rangers and French soldiers, both well trained and adapted to frontier, winter warfare. At 2 pm on Saturday, visitors will experience the hectic tree to tree fighting in a recreated battle. Watch as the rangers make a brave stand against superior odds, only to retreat through the deep woods. Event tickets are $10. Members of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Ambassador Pass holders and children age 4 and under are free. For more information call 518-585-2821 or visit www.fortticonderoga.org.
Visitors will be invited to tour Fort Ticonderoga as it appeared in the winter of 1758, and meet the Native American warriors, French soldiers, and Canadians, who delivered the rangers’ worst defeat. See how Natives Americans and French soldiers alike survived the deep winter at this remote military post. More adventurous visitors can take a hike led by a historic interpreter through the uneasy quiet of opposed pickets of soldiers in the deep woods. In these tours visitors can see how rangers kept a vigilant watch for subtle signs that might reveal their ferocious enemy.
“The Battle on Snowshoes event recreates the savage fight between Robert Roger’s rangers, and a mixed French force of regular soldiers, malice, and allied native warriors on March 13, 1758,” said Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga. “This event is designed to be a rich experience for both participants and visitors alike. It will investigate the myths and facts of Robert Rogers and explore why his exploits in the North Woods still fill the popular imagination today.”
Major Robert Rogers force of both volunteers from the 27th foot, and his own rangers headed out on an extended scout from Fort Edward along Lake George, following an attack on a similar patrol from Captain Israel Putnam’s Connecticut rangers. Hiking on snowshoes due to the three feet of snow, the tracks of Roger’s force were spotted on its march up the west side of Lake George. Near the north end of Lake George, Major Rogers’ advanced scouts spotted their French counterparts. Rogers and his Rangers took up positions in a ravine, setting his force in ambuscade to await whatever French patrol would come to meet him.
The French patrol that met Roger’s men proved far larger than he imagined, and in this Battle on Snowshoes, the rangers’ ambush was itself surrounded and overwhelmed. In deep woods on deep snow, the rangers were forced to retreat with heavy casualties as the French regulars, malice, and natives pressed home their attack. Despite brave stands along the way, this retreat quickly became chaotic as rangers, Roger’s included, ran for their lives from superior numbers of French.
10 AM Site Opens to Visitors
10:15 AM Guided Tour of Fort Carillon (Begins at the American Flag)
Examine the historic walls and landscape of Fort Carillon and delve back into its early years as a remote, but vital French outpost. Imagine the snow-drifted walls and barracks alive with activity in the winter of 1758 as its soldiers sortied to meet another of Robert Rogers’ patrols.
11 AM Guided Tour of Petite Guerre in the North Woods (Begins at the American Flag—Winter Footwear Recommended)
Beginning from Fort Carillon, take a guided hike into the deep woods around Ticonderoga to encounter Rogers’ Rangers taking a brief respite and weighing their options as they consider what Native warriors or French soldiers might lurk behind the next ridgeline.
12 PM "Their Attire Is No Longer the Ancient One, Made of Skins" Winter Adaptations among Natives in the Colonial Period (Inside the Mars Education Center Great Room)
Join Michael Galban, Public Historian at Ganondagan State Historic Site, as he discusses winter survival and technique among the Native inhabitants of eastern NY. This lecture will focus on the cross-cultural nature of life in the Northeast woodlands.
1:15 PM Guided Tour of Fort Carillon (Begins at the American Flag)
Examine the historic walls and landscape of Fort Carillon to explore its early years as a remote but vital French outpost. Imagine the snow-drifted walls and barracks alive with activity in the winter of 1758 as its soldiers sortied to meet another of Robert Rogers’ patrols.
2 PM Battle on Snowshoes (Begins at the American Flag—Winter Footwear Recommended)
Follow guides out to the deep woods to the west of Fort Ticonderoga to watch the ambush of Rogers’ Rangers become a fight for survival as they struggle to escape back to Fort Edward. See Native warriors and French soldiers overwhelm and shatter Rogers’ 180-man patrol.
2:30 PM Vestiges of Les Troupes (Inside the Mars Education Center Great Room)
Join Fort Ticonderoga Curator of Collections Matthew Keagle to examine what the French troops stationed at Fort Carillon left behind. See what the archeological evidence reveals about the material conditions of French military life on the front lines of New France.
3:00 PM Guided Tour of Fort Carillon (Begins at the American Flag)
Examine the historic walls and landscape of Fort Carillon, to delve back into its early years as a remote, but vital French outpost. Imagine the snow-drifted walls and barracks alive with activity in the winter of 1758, as its soldiers sortied to meet another of Robert Rogers’ patrols.
4 PM Site Closes to Visitors
Available 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Soldier’s Quarters (Ground floor the Soldier’s Barracks and Officer’s Barracks)
Which is more important to you: staying warm or personal space? See how French soldiers lived in their quarters inside the barracks and see how messes of soldiers worked together to keep each other in fighting shape.
Officer’s Quarters (Second floor of the Officer’s Barracks)
From a real bed to a servant, from goose comfit to red wine, see how French officers still live like gentlemen at this remote front-line post.
Exhibit: Pork, Pigeon, & Pottery (Ground Floor of the Soldiers’ Barracks)
In this exhibit of original artifacts recovered from the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga explore the meals of soldiers and officers who served inside this ‘Old French Fort.’
Exhibit: It Would Make a Heart of Stone Melt (Ground Floor of the Soldiers’ Barracks)
Smallpox was a very real threat for armies fighting along Lake Champlain. In this visually compelling exhibit see how this disease, as well as battlefield wounds, was handled in the Revolutionary War.
Exhibit: Founding Fashion (Downstairs in the Mars Education Center)
From original 18th-century uniforms to real remains of clothing from the American Revolution, explore this great presentation of myths and realities of clothing from the great campaigns that made Ticonderoga so famous.
Photo: Historic Interpreters from Fort Ticonderoga recreate the Battle on Snowshoes Event, February 21. Credit Fort Ticonderoga.