Track 15: Station N --Battle at Breymann's Redoubt
In his fortified camp, Burgoyne decided in early October that he could not wait much longer for Clinton's support. Faced by a growing American army, no arriving reinforcements of their own, and with supplies rapidly diminishing, the British army became weaker with each passing day. Burgoyne had to choose between advancing or retreating. Plagued by severe supply shortages, desertions and faced with the onset of colder weather, he was forced to take the initiative.
At mid-day on October 7th, 1,500 officers and men commanded by Generals Burgoyne, Philips, von Riedesel and Fraser marched out of camp along wooded roads which led them into Simeon Barber's farm field. Here they found wheat which they stopped to forage.
American pickets were driven out of their Barber farm outpost. Returning to the American camp, they sounded the alarm that a British force was moving towards the American left flank. General Gates sent word to "order on Morgan and begin the game."
A combined force of Continental troops and militia advanced to attack the British. As hostilities started, Burgoyne returned to camp to prepare the defenses in case of attack.
"That memorable day, the seventh of October when our army was again rallied for battle about twelve o'clock, our tents were struck and baggage wagons loaded... Everything made ready. Every man drawed a gill of rum and were ordered to march for the field of battle which had already commenced...the battle was flying thick and fast."
–American Sergeant James Selkirk, Colonel James Livingston’s Battalion of Forces
Musket balls started flying, then cannons boomed across the field of battle.
The two armies became fully engaged.