NPS Saratoga National Park
  • Home
  • Downloads
  • Return to Portal
  • 106. Wilkinson Trail --Station F

    A trail marker post labeled Station F, Wilkinson Trail.

    Track 7: Station F 

     At Station F you have a choice to either continue on the Wilkinson Trail straight ahead or turn left and take the short cut Liaison Trail marked by the thin brown posts marked with an L. If you want to hike the shorter Liaison Trail, listen to track F and G as your next two audio tracks...then skip to audio track N when you arrive at the next thick grey post marked station N. 

     "The thought of fighting for their country and for freedom made them braver than ever" --Baroness Frederika von Riedesel 

    On the morning of Sunday, September 21, two days after the battle of Freeman's Farm, a letter was delivered to Burgoyne from the British commander in the city of New York, General Sir Henry Clinton. According to this letter, Clinton was willing to send 2,000 troops north from the City to exert pressure south of Albany and make General Gates divert some troops to cope with this new threat. 

    Burgoyne decided to wait for this diversion before he moved again against the American troops. For the next 16 days the two sides were encamped more or less facing each other; less than two miles separated the opposing armies. 

    The Americans continued to strengthen their defensive fortifications and Bemis Heights, while the British constructed their own fortifications, represented by the red topped posts, some of which you might see nearby. Burgoyne's men felled hundreds of trees to construct several defensive "redoubts,"a name coming from the French term for "temporary field fortifications." Each redoubt was built of walls formed with heavy logs. 

    These positions were staggered to defend a 2-mile span west of the Hudson River, with each redoubt intended to provide supporting fire to those nearby. The soldiers also cut hundreds more trees to clear areas in front of these redoubts so the American enemy would have no hiding places near the British lines. Such massive clear-cutting for these works left much of the land bare.  

    The British kept working, and waiting...