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  • 115. Wilkinson Trail --Station C

    A trail marker post labeled Station C, Wilkinson Trail.

    Track 16: Station C --Battle at Breymann's Redoubt continued

    At Station C you are going to bear right and head back towards Station B and the visitor center. 

    In the course of ferocious fighting at Barber's Wheatfield, British forces began to withdraw from the field towards Balcarres' Redoubt at John Freeman's Farm, now outlined by white posts with red tops. 

    The fortification at Breymann's Redoubt ran about 100 yards long and was seven feet high. It was named after Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Breymann, who initially commanded 600 German and American Loyalist troops at this fortification. The two sets of posts configured in small squares to the right signify two cabins manned by French Canadian militia.

    As the British retreated from Barber's Wheatfield, Brigadier General Simon Fraser rode back and forth along the British lines in order to rally the troops. As he did, he was mortally wounded, possibly from a rifleman’s bullet.

     "Towards three o'clock in the afternoon, instead of my dinner guest arriving as expected, poor General Fraser, who was to have been one of them, was brought to me on a stretcher, mortally wounded. The table, which had already been set for diner, was removed and a bed for the General was put in its place. I sat in a corner of the room, shivering and trembling." –Baroness Frederika von Riedesel

    While Balcarres’ Redoubt at Freeman's Farm held strong, here at Breymann's Redoubt, by late afternoon, the fewer than 200 German and Loyalists there proved no match for the more than 1000 Continental and militia troops who circled the defenders, capturing the fort. It was during the attack on the Breymann Redoubt here that Arnold was severely wounded in the left leg. Arnold's "boot monument" is off to your right in the stand of trees.

    "At this stage in the action, General Benedict Arnold, while galloping up and down our line...received a musket ball which broke his leg and killed the horse under him. He was about 40 yards distant from me and in fair view." –Samuel Woodruff, Connecticut Militia

    The Americans' final surge that day overwhelmed the Germans and Loyalists defending this position and drove the British back toward Balcarres Redoubt. The fall of this redoubt exposed the rear of Burgoyne's camp and was perhaps THE crucial hour in the battle, as Americans gained control of the back door to the entire British line. 

    Only the darkness saved Burgoyne from immediate disaster. Many men of both armies died that day; British losses were punctuated by the killings of Lieutenant Colonel Breymann and General Fraser. Their deaths foreshadowed the eventual end to Burgoyne’s plans for 1777, and the surrender of his army.