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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 5/10/1775
5/30/2011 6:10:23 PM

Second Continental Congress assembles as Fort Ticonderoga falls...


General Ethan Allen and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold lead a succsssful attack on Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate New York, while the Second Continental Congress assembles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Continental Congress faced the task of conducting a war already in progress. Fighting had begun with the "Battle of Lexington" and "Battle of Concord" in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 and Congress needed to create an official Army out of the untrained assemblage of Militia laying siege on Boston, Massachusetts.

The transformation of these Rebels into the Continental Army was assisted by the vicotry of the Vermont and Massachusetts Militia under the joint command of General Ethan Allen and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold at the British Garrison at Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. Their major achievement was to confiscate enough British cannon to make the Patriot Militia into an Artillery barrage.

General Allen and more than one hundred of his "Green Mountain Boys" had already decided to take Fort Ticonderoga when Brigadier General Arnold arrived with formal Military Commissions from Massachusetts to Connecticut and a Militia of his own.

The "Green Mountain Boys" were unwilling to follow anyone but General Allen into battle, so General Allen and Brigadier General Arnold shared command as the Patriot Militia surprised and overwhelmed the Fifty Redcoats in the isolated Garrison, who were completely unaware of the bloodshed in Massachusetts.

The cannon seized at Fort Ticonderoga and the next day at Crown Point, also on Lake Champlain, allowed the new Continental Army under General George Washington to drive the British from Boston, Massachusetts the following spring. Ironically, General Allen and Brigadier General Arnold would eventually be accused of treason against the Patriot cause they had served so well in its earliest and neediest moments.

General Allen avoided conviction for his attempt to reattach Vermont to the British empire in the unstable days of the new republic. Brigadier General Arnold's name however, became synonomous with "Traitor" for his attempt to sell Fort Arnold (West Point) New York to the British in 1780.



(K) (HST)



Ethan Allen American Patriot
American General
Benedict Arnold American Patriot
Brigadier General
George Washington American Patriot
President, USA


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