Americans Take Ticonderoga - History

Americans Take Ticonderoga - History


From the narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen, first published in March 1779.

Ever since I arrived to a state of manhood and acquainted myself with the general history of mankind, I have felt a sincere passion for liberty. The history of nations doomed to perpetual slavery, in consequence of yielding up to tyrants their natural born liberties, I read with a sort of philosophical horror; so that the first systematical and bloody attempt at Lexington eo enslave America thoroughly electrified my mind and fully determined me to take part with my country.

And while I was wishing for an opportunity to signalize myself in its behalf, directions were privately sent to me from the then colony (now state) of Connecticut to raise the Green Mountain Boys, and (if possible) with them to surprise and take the fortress Ticonderoga. This enterprise I cheerfully undertook; and, after first guarding all the several passes that led thither, to cut off all intelligence between the garrison and the country, made a forced march from Bennington and arrived at the lake opposite to Ticonderoga on the evening of the ninth day of May, ~775, with two hundred and thirty valiant Green Mountain Boys; and it was with the utmost difficulty that I pro" cured boats to cross the lake. However, I landed eighty-three men near the garrison, and sent the boats back for the rear guard commanded by Col. Seth Warner. But the day began to dawn, and I found myself under a necessity to attack the fort before the rear could cross the lake; and, as it was viewed hazardous, I harangued the officers and soldiers in the manner following:

"Friends and fellow soldiers, you have, for a number of years past, been a scourge and terror to arbitrary power. Your velour has been famed abroad and acknowledged, as appears by the advice and orders to me (from the general assembly of Connecticut) to surprise and take the garrison now before us. I now propose to advance before you and in person conduct you through the wicket-gate; for we must this morning either quit our pretensions to velour, or possess ourselves of this fortress in a few minutes; and, in as much as it is a desperate attempt (which none but the bravest of men dare undertake), I do not urge it on any contrary to his will. You that will undertake voluntarily, poise your firelocks!"

| The men being (at this time) drawn up in three ranks, each poised his firelock. I ordered them to face to the right, and, at the head of the centre
file, marched them immediatel a centry posted, who instantly snapped his fusees at me. I ran immediately
toward him, and he retreated through the covered way into the parade within the garrison, gave a halloo and ran under a bomb-proof. My party who followed me into the fort, I formed on the parade in such a manner as to face the two barracks which faced each other. The garrison being asleep (except the centries), we gave three huzzas which greatly surprised them. One of the
centries made a pass at one of my officers with a charged bayonet and slightly wounded him. My first thought was to kill him with my sword; but, in an
instant, altered the design and fury of the blow to a slight cut on the side of the head; Upon which he dropped his gun and asked quarter, which I readily granted him, and demanded of him the place where the commanding officer kept. He shewed me a pair of stairs in the front of a barrack, on the west part of the garrison, which led up to a second story in said barrack, to which I immediately repaired, and ordered the commander (Capt. Delaplace) to come forth instantly, or I would sacrifice the whole garrison; at which the captain came immediately to the door with his breeches in his hand, when I ordered him to deliver to me the fort instantly, who asked me by what authority I demanded it; I answered, "In the name of the great Jehovah ant the Continental Congress."

The authority of the Congress being very little known at that time, he began to speak again; but I interrupted him and, with my drawn sword over his head, again demanded an immediate surrender of the garrison; to which he then complied, and ordered his men to be forthwith paraded without arms,as he had given up the garrison. In the mean time some of my officers had given orders, and in consequence thereof, sundry of the barrack doors were beat down, and about one third of the garrison imprisoned, which consisted of the said commander, a Lieut. Feltham, a conductor of artillery, a gunner, two serjeants and forty four rank and file; about one hundred pieces of cannon, one 1 3-inch mortar and a number of swivels.

This surprise was carried into execution in the gray of the morning of the 10 th day of May, 1775. The sun seemed to rise that morning with a superior lustre; and Ticonderoga and its dependencies smiled on its conquerors, who tossed about the flowing bowl and wished success to Congress and the liberty and freedom of America.... Col. Warner with the rear guard crossed the lake and joined me early in the morning, whom I sent off without loss of time, with about one nundred men, to take possession of Crown Point, which was garrisoned with a serjeant and twelve men; which he took possession of the same day, as also upwards of one hundred pieces of cannon.

But one thing now remained to be done to make ourselves complete masters of Lake Champlain: This was to possess ourselves of a sloop of war, which was then laying at St. John's; to effect which, it was agreed in a council of war to arm and man out a certain schooner, which lay at South Bay, and that Capt. (now General) Arnold should command her, and that I should command the batteaux. The necessary preparations being made, we set sail from Ticonderoga in quest of the sloop, which was much larger and carried more guns and heavier metal than the schooner.

General Arnold, with the schooner sailing faster than the batteaux, arrived at St. John's and by surprise possessed himself of the sloop before I could arrive with the batteaux. He also made prisoners of a serjeant and twelve men, who were garrisoned at that place. It is worthy [of] remark that as soon as General Arnold had secured the prisoners on board and had made preparation for sailing, the wind which but a few hours before was fresh in the south and well served to carry us to St. John's, now shifted and came fresh from the north; and in about one hour's time General Arnold sailed with the prize and schooner for Ticonderoga. When I met him with my party, within a few miles of St. John's, he saluted me with a discharge of cannon, which I returned with a volley of small arms. This being repeated three times, I went on board the sloop with my party, where several loyal Congress healths were drank.

We were now masters of Lake Champlain and the garrisons depending thereon.

Uncover the causes of the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain

April 19, 1775. Four hundred British regulars approached the small village of Lexington, Massachusetts. Eighty men of the local militia meet them on the town green. "Stand your ground" their commander shouts. "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war let it begin here." How did it come to this? Why are these American subjects facing down there King George III and his empire?

The rallying cry is, "no taxation without representation." For ten years, the American colonists have protested the taxes levied by the British crown. The protests are sometimes eloquent and sometimes violent. No matter the method, the Americans have no voice in the British government. Most colonists are not yet ready to break away, yet they are determined to defend their rights to assembly, free speech, trial by jury, taxation by their own representatives, and to bear arms.

The controversy explodes on that April morning. Two British companies form a line of battle on the Lexington Green. A British officer orders the militia to disperse. Most of the men began to scatter, but a few stubbornly stand their ground. A moment later, a shot rings out, who fired that first shot heard around the world may never be known. The British then unleash a full volley into the militia. When the smoke clears, eight Americans lay dead, and another nine are wounded.

In search of a rumored stockpile of American weapons, the British advance to Concord. Word of the movement spreads among the American Patriots. At Concord, the British find only remnants of the Patriot stockpile. The real weapons are in the hands of the militia. Three hundred Americans attack the British column near the Concord River. The British withdrawal. The Americans pursue, and it devolves into a running battle.

More militiamen, sometimes called Minutemen, arrive using country paths to ambush their exhausted foes. British soldiers are killed or wounded continuously. Most run out of ammunition. Some consider surrendering. The British limp back into Boston having lost nearly 300 men. Almost miraculously, the American Patriots win their first battle, but the revolution has only just begun.

Within weeks, Boston is surrounded by an army of New England militia. As news of the first victory spreads, other Americans take action. In May, a group of men who call themselves the Green Mountain Boys, seize Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York. In June, the British attack an American position near Boston, a rise known to the locals as Bunker Hill. As a red coat battle lines approach, an American commander tells his men, "not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

The British are slaughtered. Although the British capture the hill, American morale rises as British morale plummets. Despite these early successes, American leaders know that they will need more than enthusiastic militia to win the conflict. The Continental Congress in session in Philadelphia, creates the Continental Army and appoints George Washington, a member of the Virginia delegation, to lead it.

Washington rushes to join the Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts telling Congress that he will need heavy artillery to drive the British out of Boston. In January, he orders Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocates independence from Great Britain, to be read aloud to his soldiers in order to strengthen their resolve for the cause. Washington is aided by 25-year-old Henry Knox, who spends the winter removing cannons from Fort Ticonderoga and bringing them to Boston. Despite having to sled across frozen rivers and scale snowy mountains, Knox doesn't lose a single gun.

By March of 1776, the American artillery is in place. Unwilling to suffer a bombardment or risk another attack, the British evacuate the city. Washington watches as the fleet sails away. He knows the enemy will soon return in even greater numbers. The question is where?

That Patriots face enormous challenges. The British empire wields incredible power. To win the revolution the Americans will need foreign support. In early 1776, France begins to secretly send weapons to the colonists. But before the French will do more, the Americans need to demonstrate their determination. On July 4, 1776, congressional delegates sign the Declaration of Independence, signaling to France that the United States of America is committed to victory and capable of achieving it. The war for independence has officially begun.

Washington moves the Continental Army from Boston to New York anticipating a British attack. By the end of June, 19,000 Patriots have joined him. And then the British return. One hundred and thirty ships carrying more than 20,000 soldiers sail into New York harbor. One amazed American exclaims that "all of London is afloat."

August 22, the British land on Long Island sweeping aside the American defenders at the battle or Brooklyn. Washington skillfully retreats across Manhattan to Harlem Heights. In September the British land on lower Manhattan and capture the city then dislodge the Americans from the defenses of Harlem Heights. Washington retreats again. Part of the Army withdraws North to White Plains, while another occupies a strong position astride the Hudson at Forts Washington and Lee. William Howe, the British commander defeats Washington in the battle of White Plains on October 28th.

In November, he decides to remove the threat to his rear at Forts Washington and Lee. The battle of Fort Washington is a disaster. Three thousand Americans are overwhelmed and captured by the British assault. Four days later, the British crossed the Hudson and capture Fort Lee.

Washington's army is reduced to but a few thousand men. With morale low and enlistment set to expire, he retreats across New Jersey into Pennsylvania. All that is stopping the British is the Delaware River and the coming winter. Convinced the rebels are all but defeated, the British spread out in numerous outposts throughout New Jersey. Washington must rekindle his army's confidence. He tells his men that if you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country, which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. Thomas Paine writes a second pamphlet, The American Crisis, which circulates around campfires and steals the resolve of the Patriots.

On Christmas night, 1776, Washington makes good on his promise. He moves his forces across the ice-choked Delaware River. It is a desperate and dangerous maneuver, but it works. His men gather on the opposite bank, and Washington launches a surprise attack on Trenton New Jersey.

The battle of Trenton is a storing American victory. Over 1,000 Hessians are captured along with six cannons, and enough supplies to outfit several American brigades. Seven days later, Washington presses his advantage, outmaneuvering the main British army and striking the garrison at Princeton. He wins another victory and captures nearly 200 British regulars. With his army rejuvenated, Washington marches to Morristown and settles in for the rest of the winter. There was almost constant skirmishes between Patriots and British foraging parties, forcing the New York City British-controlled garrison to rely on supplies bought by sea.

In the spring of 1777, the British devise a plan to isolate New England from the other American colonies. Three columns are ordered to converge on Albany, New York. One column is stopped at Fort Stanwix. One disregards the plan and instead moves toward Philadelphia, defeating an American force at the Battle of Brandywine and capturing the American Capital. Washington attempts to recapture this city, but is defeated at the Battle of Germantown.

Afterward, he moves his army to Valley Forge for the winter. The third British column meets heavy resistance from partisan fighters, giving the Americans time to assemble a large force near Saratoga. The fighting at Saratoga rages from September to October. Victory sways in the balance. Finally, the Americans surround the British army and force them to surrender.

The Continental Army suffers through a brutal winter at Valley Forge but holds together. Discipline actually improves due to the training regimen implemented by Baron von Steuben, a European officer who lends expertise to the cause. It is one of the war's greatest displays of American determination. In the wake of the American victory at Saratoga, France signs an alliance with the United States and declares war on Britain.

Threatened by the French fleet, the British abandon Philadelphia. Washington pursues them across New Jersey. On June 28, Washington attacks a British rear guard at Monmouth, New Jersey. Although the battle is inconclusive, the winter training at Valley Forge has paid off. The Continentals had stood firm against British regulars who continue their movement to New York.

Throughout 1778, Washington maintains pressure on New York City. The countryside between the armies becomes a no man's land of spies, forging parties, and skirmishes. Unable to make headway in the Northeast, British strategists shift their focus to the southern colonies, where a guerrilla war had raged since 1775. They're banking on the support of Southern loyalists. In December, the British establish a foothold by capturing Savannah, Georgia. Months later, French troops join the Americans in an attempt to recapture Savannah, but the allies suffered severe losses and are unable to retake the city.

The Southern offensive continues into 1780. On May 12, a British army captures Charleston, South Carolina, along with more than 5,000 American soldiers and nearly the entire American force in the South. American reinforcements rushed to the Carolinas, but they fare little better. In August, another American army is crushed at the Battle of Camden. The countryside is still engulfed in a vicious partisan war. Neighbors take up arms against each other. The British troops burn homes and farms in their search for Patriots. They harden the revolutionary resolve of the Southern people.

In October, a force of more than 1,000 British loyalists is annihilated at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Washington sends more men to the south where they unite with Patriot militia fighters. Daniel Morgan leads the Americans to a major victory at Cowpens. But years of campaigning forced him to retire. Nathaniel Greene takes over.

In a grueling campaign in early 1781, he grinds down the British forces during a series of strategic retreats toward the Dan River. Greene is able to keep one step ahead of the British. He crosses on February 14, and the British without boats, are unable to pursue, the race is over. After a brief rest, Greene, now reinforced, re-crosses the dam.

On March 15, at Guilford Courthouse, Greene finally faces the British, fighting them to a bloody standstill.

After Guilford, Cornwallis withdraws his battered and exhausted army toward Wilmington. Soon after, he marches north to Virginia, hoping to stop the flow of men and supplies into the southern colonies. With Cornwallis gone, Greene swiftly re-enters the Carolinas. At Utah Springs, though a draw, Greene inflicts enough casualties to compel a British withdraw to Charleston, where Greene pins them for the rest of the war.

Thwarted in the north and in the south, British strategists now try to attack the center. Cornwallis marches into Virginia and chases a continental force before marching his weary army to Yorktown in July 1781, where he expects reinforcements by sea. On September 5, the British and French fleets battle each other off the Virginia Capes. The French are victorious, and Cornwallis is cut off.

A combined American and French force marches south and lays siege to the British on September 26. On October 14, American defense units storm two British [INAUDIBLE]. Cornwallis realizes there will be no reinforcements, no escape. He surrenders. More than 8,000 soldiers about one-fourth of all British troops in the United States are taken prisoner.

News of Yorktown reaches London in late November 1781. In February 1782, the British parliament adopts a resolution against further prosecution of offensive warfare on the continent of North America. The final treaty of peace is signed in September 1783.

After eight years of war, the longest war ever fought in North America. The United States win their independence. The American Revolution began the most important experiment the world has ever witnessed. Can people govern themselves? Can they treat each other as equals? Can liberty produce power? So far through many rigorous tests, America has answered-- yes.

Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

In the wake of the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, American leaders began to put into motion plans for aggressive action. Samuel Adams and others had been convinced that when war came, the British would attempt to isolate New England from the other colonies. The most obvious method of doing so was to send an army southward from Canada over the 'superhighway' of the era — up the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain, then to Lake George, the Hudson River and on to New York City while capturing strategic points along the way. Adams was serious enough about this concern that he dispatched an agent to Canada to assess the population's loyalties. He hoped that the Canadians, especially those of French descent, might join the rebellion. The agent did not provide an encouraging report, however, noting that Yankees were probably more hated in Quebec than the British, who had improved relations markedly through the Quebec Act in 1774. Rebel leaders turned to consideration of a more modest strike against the British. Fort Ticonderoga, a major point of contention during the French and Indian War, was now an inviting target for several reasons:

  • It occupied a strategic point between lakes Champlain and George
  • The fort held a supply of cannon and other artillery, items badly needed by the rebel forces
  • The fort was lightly defended.

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The ship was laid down as Hancock on 1 February 1943 at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., renamed Ticonderoga on 1 May 1943, and launched on 7 February 1944, sponsored by Miss Stephanie Sarah Pell. She was commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 8 May 1944, Captain Dixie Kiefer in command. [3]

Ticonderoga remained at Norfolk for almost two months outfitting and embarking Air Group 80. On 26 June 1944, the carrier shaped a course for the British West Indies. She conducted air operations and drills en route and reached Port of Spain, Trinidad, on 30 June. For the next 15 days, Ticonderoga trained intensively to weld her air group and crew into an efficient wartime team. She departed the West Indies on 16 July and headed back to Norfolk where she arrived on 22 July for post-shakedown repairs and alterations. On 30 August, the carrier headed for Panama. She transited the Panama Canal on 4 September and steamed up the coast to Naval Base San Diego the following day. On 13 September, the carrier moored at San Diego where she loaded provisions, fuel, aviation gas, and an additional 77 aircraft, as well as the Marine Corps aviation and defense units that went with them. On 19 September, she steamed for Hawaii where she arrived five days later.

Ticonderoga remained at Pearl Harbor for almost a month. She and Carina conducted experiments in the underway transfer of aviation bombs from cargo ship to aircraft carrier. Following those tests, she conducted air operations – day and night landing and antiaircraft defense drills – until 18 October, when she exited Pearl Harbor and headed for the western Pacific. After a brief stop at Eniwetok, Ticonderoga arrived at Ulithi in the Western Caroline Islands on 29 October. There she embarked Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander, Carrier Division 6, and joined Task Force 38 (TF 38) as a unit of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman's Task Group 38.3 (TG 38.3). [3]

World War II Edit

Philippine campaign Edit

The carrier sortied from Ulithi with TF 38 on 2 November 1944. She joined the other carriers as they resumed their extended air cover for the ground forces supporting the Battle of Leyte. She launched her first air strike on the morning of 5 November. The aircraft of her air group spent the next two days pummeling enemy shipping near Luzon and air installations on that island. Her aircraft bombed and strafed the airfields at Zablan, Mandaluyong, and Pasig. They also joined those of other carriers in sinking the heavy cruiser Nachi. In addition, Ticonderoga pilots claimed six Japanese aircraft shot down and one destroyed on the ground, as well as 23 others damaged.

Around 16:00 on 5 November, the enemy attacked with a group of kamikaze aircraft. Two of the suicide aircraft penetrated the American combat air patrol and antiaircraft fire to crash into the aircraft carrier Lexington. Ticonderoga emerged from that attack unscathed and claimed a tally of two splashes. On 6 November, the warship launched two fighter sweeps and two bombing strikes against the Luzon airfields and enemy shipping in the vicinity. Her airmen returned later that day claiming the destruction of 35 Japanese aircraft and attacks on six enemy ships in Manila Bay. After recovering her aircraft, the carrier retired to the east to resupply.

She refueled and received replacement aircraft on 7 November and then headed back to continue operating against enemy forces in the Philippines. Early on the morning of 11 November, her aircraft combined with others of TF 38 to attack a Japanese reinforcement convoy, just as it was preparing to enter Ormoc Bay from the Camotes Sea. Together, the aircraft accounted for all the enemy transports and four of the seven escorting destroyers. On 12–13 November, Ticonderoga and her sister ships launched strikes at Luzon airfields and docks and shipping around Manila. This raid destroyed the light cruiser Kiso, four destroyers, and seven merchant ships. At the conclusion of the raid, TF 38 retired eastward for refueling. Ticonderoga and the rest of TG 38.3, however, continued east to Ulithi where they arrived on 17 November to replenish, refuel, and rearm.

On 22 November, the aircraft carrier departed Ulithi once more and steamed back toward the Philippines. Three days later, she launched air strikes on central Luzon and adjacent waters. Her pilots sank the heavy cruiser Kumano, previously damaged in the Battle off Samar. Later, they attacked an enemy convoy about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Kumano in Dasol Bay. Of this convoy, cruiser Yasoshima, a merchantman, and three landing ships were sunk. Ticonderoga ' s air group ended their day of destruction with an aerial battle which cost the Japanese 15 aircraft shot down and 11 destroyed on the ground.

While her air group fought the Japanese, Ticonderoga ' s shipboard crew also went into action. Just after noon, a torpedo launched by an enemy aircraft broached in the wake of the light aircraft carrier Langley, announcing the approach of an enemy air raid. Ticonderoga ' s gunners manned their battle stations defending against both conventional and suicide attacks on the task group. Her sister ship Essex was set afire when one of the kamikazes crashed into her. When a second suicide aircraft tried to attack the stricken carrier, Ticonderoga ' s gunners joined those firing from other ships in shooting it down. That afternoon, while damage control parties worked on Essex, Ticonderoga recovered aircrew which the damaged Essex and Intrepid were unable to receive. The following day, TF 38 retired to the east.

TF 38 stood out of Ulithi again on 11 December and headed for the Philippines. Ticonderoga arrived at the launch point early in the afternoon of 13 December and sent her aircraft aloft to blanket Japanese airbases on Luzon while Army aircraft attacked those in the central Philippines. For three days, Ticonderoga airmen and their comrades launched airstrikes on enemy airfields. She withdrew on 16 December with the rest of TF 38 in search of a fueling rendezvous. While attempting to find calmer waters in which to refuel, TF 38 steamed directly through a violent, but unheralded, typhoon. Though the storm cost Admiral William Halsey's force three destroyers and over 800 lives, Ticonderoga and the other carriers managed to ride it out with a minimum of damage. Having survived the battle, Ticonderoga returned to Ulithi on 24 December.

Repairs occasioned by the typhoon kept TF 38 in the anchorage almost until the end of the month. The carriers did not return to sea until 30 December 1944 when they steamed north to hit Formosa and Luzon in preparation for the landings on the latter island at Lingayen Gulf. Severe weather limited the Formosa strikes on 3–4 January 1945 but also hampered enemy operations. The warships fueled at sea on 5 January. Despite rough weather on 6 January, the strikes on Luzon airfields were carried out. That day, Ticonderoga ' s airmen and their colleagues of the other air groups increased their score by another 32 enemy aircraft. 7 January brought more strikes on Luzon installations. After a fueling rendezvous on 8 January, Ticonderoga sped north at night to get into position to blanket Japanese airfields in the Ryūkyūs during the Lingayen assault the following morning. However, foul weather, the bugaboo of TF 38 during the winter of 1944 and 1945, forced TG 38.3 to abandon the strikes on the Ryūkyū airfields and join TG 38.2 in pounding Formosa. [3]

South China Sea combat Edit

During the night of 9–10 January, TF 38 steamed through the Luzon Strait and then headed generally southwest, diagonally across the South China Sea. Ticonderoga provided combat air patrol coverage on 11 January and helped to bring down four enemy aircraft which attempted to snoop the formation. Otherwise, the carriers and their consorts proceeded uneventfully to a point some 150 to 200 mi (240 to 320 km) off the coast of Indochina. There, on 12 January, they launched their approximately 850 aircraft and made a series of anti-shipping sweeps during which they sank 44 ships, totaling over 300,000 long tons (300,000 t).

After recovering aircraft in the late afternoon, the carriers moved off to the northeast. Heavy weather hindered fueling operations on the 13th–14th and air reconnaissance failed to detect any worthwhile targets. On 15 January, fighters raided Japanese airfields on the Chinese coast while the carriers headed for a position from which to strike Hong Kong. The following morning, they launched anti-shipping bombing raids and fighter sweeps of air installations. Weather prevented air operations on 17 January and again made fueling difficult. It worsened the next day and stopped replenishment operations altogether, so that they were not finally concluded until 19 January. The force then took a course generally northward to retransit Luzon Strait via Balintang Channel. [3]

Attacks on South Japanese islands Edit

The three task groups of TF 38 completed their transit during the night of 20–21 January. The next morning, aided by favorable flight conditions, their aircraft hit airfields on Formosa, in the Pescadores, and at Sakishima Gunto. While it allowed American flight operations to continue through the day, it also allowed for Japanese kamikaze operations.

Just after noon, a single-engine Japanese aircraft scored a hit on Langley with a glide-bombing attack. Seconds later, a kamikaze swooped out of the clouds and plunged toward Ticonderoga. The aircraft crashed through the ship's flight deck abreast of the No. 2 5 in (130 mm) mount, and its bomb exploded just above her hangar deck. Several aircraft stowed nearby erupted into flames and men were killed. While the crew were ordered into action to save the endangered carrier, Captain Kiefer conned his ship skilfully. First, he changed course to keep the wind from fanning the blaze. Then, he ordered magazines and other compartments flooded to prevent further explosions and to correct a 10° starboard list. Finally, he instructed the damage control party to continue flooding compartments on Ticonderoga ' s port side which induced a 10° port list which dumped the fire overboard. Firefighters and aircraft handlers completed the dangerous job of dousing the flames and jettisoning burning aircraft.

Other kamikaze then assailed the carrier. Her antiaircraft gunners shot down three which all crashed into the sea, but a fourth aircraft struck the carrier's starboard side near the island. Its bomb set more aircraft on fire, riddled her flight deck, and injured or killed another 100 sailors, with Captain Kiefer one of the wounded. Ticonderoga ' s crew continued their efforts and were spared further attacks. They brought her fires completely under control not long after 1400, and Ticonderoga retired. [3]

Repair and relaunch Edit

The stricken carrier arrived at Ulithi on 24 January but remained there only long enough to move her wounded to hospital ship Samaritan, to transfer her air group to Hancock, and to embark passengers bound for home. Ticonderoga cleared the lagoon on 28 January and headed for the U.S. The warship stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor en route to the Puget Sound Navy Yard where she arrived on 15 February. Captain William Sinton assumed command in February 1945.

Her repairs were completed on 20 April, and she cleared Puget Sound the following day for the Alameda Naval Air Station, Alameda, California. After embarking passengers and aircraft bound for Hawaii, the carrier headed for Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 1 May. The next day, Air Group 87 came on board and, for the next week, trained in preparation for the carrier's return to combat. Ticonderoga stood out of Pearl Harbor and shaped a course for the western Pacific. En route to Ulithi, on 17 May, she launched her aircraft for what amounted to training strikes on Japanese-held Taroa in the Marshalls. On 22 May, the warship arrived in Ulithi and rejoined the Fast Carrier Task Force as an element of Rear Admiral Radford's TG 58.4. [3]

Preparing for the Japan campaign Edit

Two days after her arrival, Ticonderoga sortied from Ulithi with TF 58 and headed north to spend the last weeks of the war in Japanese home waters. Three days out, Admiral Halsey relieved Admiral Raymond Spruance, the 5th Fleet reverted to 3rd Fleet, and TF 58 became TF 38 again for the duration. On 2–3 June, Ticonderoga fighters struck at airfields on Kyūshū in an effort to neutralize the remnants of Japanese air power – particularly the kamikaze – and to relieve the pressure on American forces at Okinawa. During the following two days, Ticonderoga rode out her second typhoon in less than six months and emerged relatively unscathed. She provided combat air patrol cover for 6 June refueling rendezvous, and four of her fighters intercepted and destroyed three Okinawa-bound kamikazes. That evening, she steamed off at high speed with TG 38.4 to conduct a fighter sweep of airfields on southern Kyūshū on 8 June. Ticonderoga ' s aircraft then joined in the aerial bombardment of Minami Daito and Kita Daito islands before the carrier headed for Leyte where she arrived on the 13th.

During the two-week rest and replenishment period she enjoyed at Leyte, Ticonderoga changed task organizations from TG 38.4 to Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan's TG 38.3. On 1 July, under the flag of Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague, she departed Leyte with TF 38 and headed north to resume raids on Japan. Two days later, a damaged reduction gear forced her into Apra Harbor, Guam, for repairs. She remained there until the 19th when she steamed off to rejoin TF 38. On the 24th, her aircraft joined those of other fast carriers in striking ships in the Inland Sea and airfields at Nagoya, Osaka, and Miko.

During those raids, TF 38 aircraft found the sad remnants of the once-mighty Japanese Fleet and bagged battleships Ise, Hyūga, and Haruna as well as an escort carrier, Kaiyō, and two heavy cruisers. On 28 July, her aircraft directed their efforts toward the Kure Naval Base, where they pounded an aircraft carrier, three cruisers, a destroyer, and a submarine. She shifted her attention to the industrial area of central Honshū on 30 July, then to northern Honshū and Hokkaidō on 9–10 August. The latter attacks thoroughly destroyed the marshaling area for a planned airborne suicide raid on the B-29 bases in the Marianas. On 13–14 August, her aircraft returned to the Tokyo area and helped to subject the Japanese capital to another severe drubbing.

On the morning of 16 August, Ticonderoga launched another strike against Tokyo. During or just after that attack, word reached TF 38 to the effect that Japan had capitulated.

The shock of peace, though not so abrupt as that of war almost four years previously, took some getting used to. Ticonderoga and her sister ships remained on a full war footing. She continued patrols over Japanese territory and sent reconnaissance flights in search of camps containing Allied prisoners of war so that air-dropped supplies could be rushed to them. On 6 September – four days after the formal surrender ceremony aboard MissouriTiconderoga entered Tokyo Bay. [3]

Her arrival at Tokyo ended one phase of her career and began another. From Tokyo, she embarked homeward-bound to Bremerton Navy Yard in Puget Sound and was again put to sea on 20 October 1945. After a stop in Pearl Harbor in November to alter the carrier to accommodate additional passengers for the Operation Magic Carpet voyage, she steamed to Okinawa, Japan, to pick up servicemen and returned home with a Typhoon on her back reaching Alameda Navy Yard in Oakland, CA in December 1945. She disembarked her passengers and unloaded cargo before heading out to the Philippines at Samar to pick up another group of veterans. Leaving Philippines in early January 1946, she headed home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard outside of Seattle, WA delivering an estimated two to four thousand returning servicemen and unloading armaments and ammunition before entering the Bremerton Navy Yard to prepare for inactivation.

Almost a year later on 9 January 1947, Ticonderoga was placed out of commission and berthed with the Bremerton Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. [3]

Redeployment in the Pacific Edit

On 31 January 1952, Ticonderoga came out of reserve and went into reduced commission for the transit from Bremerton to New York. She departed Puget Sound on 27 February and reached New York on 1 April. Three days later, she was decommissioned at the New York Naval Shipyard to begin the extensive SCB-27C conversion. During the ensuing 29 months, the carrier received numerous modifications – steam catapults to launch jets, a new nylon barricade, a new deck-edge elevator and the latest electronic and fire control equipment – necessary for her to become an integral unit of the fleet. On 11 September 1954, Ticonderoga was recommissioned at New York, Captain William A. "Bill" Schoech in command.

In January 1955, the carrier shifted to her new home port – Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia – where she arrived on the 6th. Over the next month, she conducted carrier qualifications with Air Group 6 in the Virginia Capes operating area. On 3 February, she stood out of Hampton Roads for shakedown near Cuba, after which she returned via Norfolk to New York for additional alterations. During the late summer, the warship resumed carrier qualifications in the Virginia Capes area.

She visited Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend to participate in the International Air Show. To demonstrate the power of her new steam catapults, on three consecutive days she launched North American AJ-1 Savages while standing at anchor in the Delaware River. Ticonderoga next participated in tests of four new aircraft – the A4D-1 Skyhawk, F4D-1 Skyray, F7U Cutlass, and F3H-2N Demon. [4] Ticonderoga then returned to normal operations along the East Coast until 4 November when she departed Naval Station Mayport, Florida, and headed for Europe. She relieved Intrepid at Gibraltar 10 days later and cruised the length of the Mediterranean during the following eight months. On 2 August 1956, Ticonderoga returned to Norfolk and entered the shipyard to receive an angled flight deck and an enclosed hurricane bow as part of the SCB-125 program.

Those modifications were completed by early 1957, and in April she got underway for her new home port – Alameda, California. She reached her destination on 30 May, underwent repairs, and finished out the summer with operations off the California coast. On 16 September, she stood out of San Francisco Bay and shaped course for the Far East. En route, she stopped at Pearl Harbor before continuing west to Yokosuka Japan, where she arrived on 15 October. For six months, Ticonderoga cruised the waters from Japan in the north to the Philippines in the south. Upon arriving at Alameda on 25 April 1958, she completed her first deployment to the western Pacific since recommissioning. [3]

Vietnam Edit

Pre-conflict operations Edit

From 1958–1963, Ticonderoga made four more peacetime deployments to the western Pacific. During each, she conducted training operations with other units of the 7th Fleet and made goodwill and liberty port calls throughout the Far East. Early in 1964, she began preparations for her sixth cruise to the western Pacific and, following exercises off the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands, the carrier cleared Pearl Harbor on 4 May for what began as another peaceful tour of duty in the Far East. The first three months of that deployment brought normal operations—training and port calls.

Initial actions Edit

On 2 August, while operating in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, the destroyer Maddox reported being attacked by units of the (North) Vietnam People's Navy. Within minutes of her receipt of the message, Ticonderoga dispatched four, rocket-armed F8E Crusaders to the destroyer's assistance. Upon arrival, the Crusaders launched Zuni rockets and strafed the North Vietnamese craft with their 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon. After the efforts of Ticonderoga and Maddox, one boat was left dead in the water and the other two damaged.

Two days later, late in the evening of 4 August, Ticonderoga received urgent requests from the destroyer Turner Joy — by then on patrol with Maddox — for air support in resisting what the destroyer alleged to be another torpedo boat foray. The carrier again launched aircraft to aid the American surface ships, and Turner Joy directed them. The Navy surface and air team believed it had sunk two boats and damaged another pair.

President Lyndon Johnson responded with a reprisal to what he felt at the time to be two unprovoked attacks on American seapower and ordered retaliatory air strikes on selected North Vietnamese motor torpedo boat bases. On 5 August, Ticonderoga and Constellation launched 60 sorties against four bases and their supporting oil storage facilities. The USN attacks reportedly resulted in the destruction of 25 PT-type boats, severe damage to the bases, and almost complete razing of the oil storage depot. For her quick reaction and successful combat actions on those three occasions, Ticonderoga received the Navy Unit Commendation. [3]

Stand-down Edit

After a return visit to Japan in September, the aircraft carrier resumed normal operations in the South China Sea until winding up the deployment late in the year. She returned to the Naval Air Station North Island, California, on 15 December 1964. Following post-deployment and holiday stand-down, Ticonderoga moved to the Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard on 27 January 1965 to begin a five-month overhaul. She completed repairs in June and spent the summer operating along the coast of southern California. On 28 September, the aircraft carrier put to sea for another deployment to the Orient. She spent some time in the Hawaiian Islands for an operational readiness exercise then continued on to the Far East. She reached "Dixie Station" on 5 November and immediately began combat air operations.

1965–66 deployment Edit

Ticonderoga ' s winter deployment of 1965 and 1966 was her first total combat tour of duty during American involvement in the Vietnam War. During her six months in the Far East, the carrier spent a total of 116 days in air operations off the coast of Vietnam dividing her time almost evenly between "Dixie" and "Yankee Stations", the carrier operating areas off South and North Vietnam, respectively. Her air group delivered over 8,000 short tons (7,300 t) of ordnance in more than 10,000 combat sorties, with a loss of 16 aircraft, but only five pilots. For the most part, her aircraft hit enemy installations in North Vietnam and interdicted supply routes into South Vietnam, including river-borne and coastwise junk and sampan traffic as well as roads, bridges, and trucks on land. Specifically, they claimed the destruction of 35 bridges as well as numerous warehouses, barracks, trucks, boats, and railroad cars and severe damage to a major North Vietnamese thermal power plant located at Uong Bi north of Haiphong. After a stop at Yokosuka, Japan, from 25 April-3 May 1966, the warship put to sea to return to the United States. On 13 May, she pulled into port at San Diego to end the deployment. [3]

On 5 December 1965, a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was lost overboard while the aircraft carrier was 80 miles (130 km) from Kikai Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. [5] The aircraft was being rolled from a hangar bay onto an elevator. The aircraft had mounted on it a B43 nuclear bomb. The pilot, Lieutenant JG Douglas Webster, the A-4E Skyhawk, BuNo 151022, of Attack Squadron VA-56 "Champions", and the nuclear weapon were all lost. [6] No public mention was made of the incident at the time and it would not come to light until a 1981 United States Department of Defense report revealed that a one-megaton bomb had been lost. [7] Japan then asked for details of the incident. [8]

1966–67, 1967–68 deployments Edit

Following repairs she steamed out of San Diego on 9 July to begin a normal round of West Coast training operations. Those and similar evolutions continued until 15 October, when Ticonderoga departed San Diego, bound via Hawaii for the western Pacific. The carrier reached Yokosuka, Japan, on 30 October and remained there until 5 November when she headed south for an overnight stop at U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Subic Bay in the Philippines on 10–11 November. On 13 November, Ticonderoga arrived in the Gulf of Tonkin and began the first of three combat tours during her 1966–1967 deployment. She launched 11,650 combat sorties, all against enemy targets located in North Vietnam. Again, her primary targets were logistics and communications lines and transportation facilities. For her contribution and that of Air Wing Nineteen to Operation Rolling Thunder, Ticonderoga was awarded her second Navy Unit Commendation. [3]

She completed her final line period on 27 April 1967 and returned to Yokosuka, from which she departed again on 19 May to return to the United States. Ten days later, the carrier entered San Diego and began a month-long, post-deployment stand-down. At the beginning of July, she shifted to Bremerton, Washington, where she entered the Puget Sound for two months of repairs. Upon the completion of yard work, she departed Bremerton on 6 September and steamed south to training operations off the coast of southern California.

On 28 December 1967, Ticonderoga sailed for her fourth combat deployment to the waters off the Indochinese coast and arrived on Yankee Station in January 1968. Ticonderoga was on Yankee Station for the beginning of the 1968 Tet Offensive. Nearly coincidental with the Tet Offensive, the siege of Khe Sanh began and Pueblo, an American spy ship, was seized by the North Koreans and taken to Wonsan harbor. The aircraft carrier Ranger was immediately deployed to the coast of North Korea, beginning Operation Formation Star. Approximately a week later, Ranger was relieved off Korea by Ticonderoga and returned to Yankee Station. Enterprise joined Ticonderoga and strikes were planned against seven MiG airfields with approximately 200 MiGS. These strikes were never executed and Ticonderoga returned to Yankee Station to resume her role in the Tet Offensive. [ citation needed ] Between January 1968 and July 1968, Ticonderoga was on the line off the coast of Vietnam for five separate periods totaling 120 days of combat duty. During that time, her air wing flew just over 13,000 combat sorties against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces, most frequently in the continuing attempts to interdict the enemy lines of supply. Between line periods, she regularly returned to Subic Bay and Naval Air Station Cubi Point for rest and replenishment. She also made port visits at Singapore and Hong Kong. On 9 July, during her fifth line period, LCDR John B. Nichols claimed Ticonderoga ' s first MiG kill. The carrier completed that line period and entered Subic Bay for upkeep on 25 July. Ticonderoga then proceeded for her homeport in Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, California arriving on 17 August 1968 after a one-day delay in the fog off San Diego in the San Clemente Channel. Shortly thereafter, Ticonderoga moved to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for repairs and certain conversions to handle the A-7 Corsair attack jet and to prepare for her fifth combat cruise in February 1969. [3]

Final deployments Edit

During the first month of 1969, Ticonderoga made preparations for her fifth consecutive combat deployment to the Southeast Asia area. On 1 February, she cleared San Diego and headed west. After a brief stop at Pearl Harbor a week later, she continued her voyage to Yokosuka where she arrived on the 20th. The carrier departed Yokosuka on 28 February for the coast of Vietnam where she arrived on 4 March. Over the next four months, Ticonderoga served four periods on the line off Vietnam, interdicting Communist supply lines and making strikes against their positions.

During her second line period, however, her tour of duty off Vietnam came to an abrupt end on 16 April when she was shifted north to the Sea of Japan. North Korean aircraft had shot down a Navy reconnaissance aircraft in the area, and Ticonderoga was called upon to beef up the forces assigned to the vicinity. However, the crisis abated, and Ticonderoga entered Subic Bay on 27 April for upkeep. On 8 May, she departed the Philippines to return to "Yankee Station" and resumed interdiction operations. Between her third and fourth line periods, the carrier visited Sasebo and Hong Kong.

The aircraft carrier took station off Vietnam for her last line period of the deployment on 26 June and there followed 37 more days of highly successful air sorties against enemy targets. Following that tour, she joined TF 71 in the Sea of Japan for the remainder of the deployment. Ticonderoga concluded the deployment—a highly successful one, for she received her third Navy Unit Commendation for her operations during that tour of duty—when she left Subic Bay on 4 September. [3]

Ticonderoga arrived in San Diego on 18 September. After almost a month of post-deployment stand-down, she moved to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in mid-October to begin conversion to an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft carrier. Overhaul and conversion work began on 20 October, and Ticonderoga was redesignated CVS-14 the next day. She completed overhaul and conversion on 28 May 1970 and conducted exercises out of Long Beach for most of June. On 26 June, the new ASW support carrier entered her new home port, San Diego. In July–August, she conducted refresher training, refresher air operations, and carrier landing qualifications. She operated off the California coast for the remainder of the year and participated in two naval exercises-HUKASWEX 4–70 late in October and COMPUTEX 23–70 between 30 November and 3 December.

During the remainder of her active career, Ticonderoga made two more deployments to the Far East. Because of her change in mission, neither tour of duty included combat operations off Vietnam. Both, however, included training exercises in the Sea of Japan with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. The first of these two cruises also brought operations in the Indian Ocean with units of the Thai Navy and a transit of Sunda Strait during which a ceremony was held to commemorate the loss of the cruisers Houston and HMAS Perth in 1942.

In between these two last deployments, she operated in the eastern Pacific and participated in the recovery of the Apollo 16 Moon mission capsule and astronauts 215 miles SE off Christmas Island during April 1972. The second deployment came in the summer of 1972, and, in addition to the training exercises in the Sea of Japan, Ticonderoga also joined ASW training operations in the South China Sea. That fall, she returned to the eastern Pacific and, in November practiced for the recovery of Apollo 17. The next month, Ticonderoga recovered her second set of space voyagers near American Samoa at decimal -17.88, -166.11. The carrier then headed back to San Diego where she arrived on 28 December. On 22 June 1973, Ticonderoga recovered the Skylab 2 astronauts near San Diego.

Ticonderoga remained active for nine more months, first operating out of San Diego and then making preparations for inactivation. On 1 September 1973, the aircraft carrier was decommissioned after a board of inspection and survey found her to be unfit for further naval service. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 16 November 1973, and arrangements were begun to sell her for scrap. She was sold for scrap 1 September 1975. [3]

Ticonderoga received five battle stars during World War II and three Navy Unit Commendations, one Meritorious Unit Commendation, and 12 battle stars during the Vietnam War. [3]

Fall of Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga had fallen into American hands at the beginning of the War for Independence and was regarded by many as an unassailable guardian of the rebels’ northern frontier. The British had tried an invasion from Canada in 1776, but had been thwarted on Lake Champlain by the heroic efforts of Benedict Arnold and his men. The Americans blithely allowed Ticonderoga to become vulnerable its manpower and store of arms and supplies were low. The prevailing opinion was that any movement of British troops from Canada would be in the direction of Philadelphia by way of the St. Lawrence River, the Atlantic Ocean and, most likely, Chesapeake Bay. Major General Arthur St. Clair (pronounced Sinclair) had replaced Horatio Gates at the fort in June. His ability to gather intelligence about John Burgoyne’s movements was restricted by the interference of Indians with American scouts. When word did reach Ticonderoga that the British were approaching, St. Clair believed that a show of force was likely, but that no real attempt would be made to take the fort.

Burgoyne had left St. John’s on June 17 and arrived in the waters near Ticonderoga at the end of the month. St. Clair slowly began to realize his predicament he knew his reputation would never survive a surrender and pinned his hope on holding the fort against a direct British assault. Burgoyne, however, refused to cooperate and began preparations for a static siege. In a decisive stroke, the British installed cannon atop Mount Defiance, a hill south of the fort that had not been defended by the Americans. From that position, the British easily dominated Fort Ticonderoga. During the dark hours of July 5, St. Clair and his forces evacuated the fort, heading south at breakneck speed by boat and over land. A handful of troops left behind had been instructed to put up a brief show of force against the British in the morning, then join their comrades in retreat. Those soldiers were found drunk and asleep the next morning when the British occupied Fort Ticonderoga without opposition. Burgoyne left about 1,000 troops at the fort and quickly began to pursue the fleeing Americans.

Americans Take Ticonderoga - History

Fort Ticonderoga was a fort located in upstate New York between Lake Champlain and Lake George. There were three battles that took place there during the Revolutionary War.

Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

The capture of Fort Ticonderoga took place early in the Revolutionary War on May 10, 1775.

The Green Mountain Boys were a local militia led by Ethan Allen. They were given the task of taking over the fort for the patriots. They were joined by Colonel Benedict Arnold from Boston. At first the Green Mountain Boys did not want to fight under Colonel Arnold, but eventually Ethan Allen and Arnold agreed to a joint command.

The Green Mountain boys began to sneak across the river during the night. However, only around half of the men had crossed the river by the time the sun rose. Rather than wait on the rest of the force to cross, Ethan Allen decided to attack.

There was only one guard on duty at the south gate where they first approached. When his musket misfired, the guard ran away and the way was open for the patriots. They quickly entered the fort and took the 48 British soldiers by surprise. When approaching the leaders of the fort, Ethan Allen yelled out that he was taking the fort "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Fort Ticonderoga 1775 by Heppenheimer and Maurer

No one was killed in the attack. The main reason for the Americans to take the fort was to get control of its cannons. The cannons were moved to Boston where they were used to help end the Siege of Boston.

Siege of Fort Ticonderoga

The fort was held by the Americans and was used to defend New York from a British attack from the north. Guarding the fort were 2,000 soldiers under the command of General Arthur St. Clair. General St. Clair had requested more soldiers from George Washington, but Washington didn't believe that the British would attack.

However, in early July of 1777 the British did attack. They brought a large force of 8,000 soldiers under the command of General John Burgoyne. Burgoyne realized early that Ticonderoga was vulnerable to an attack from the high ground of Mount Defiance. He positioned his artillery atop the mountain and began to surround the fort.

When St. Clair saw that the British had large guns in place on top of Mount Defiance, he knew he had no chance to keep the fort. He ordered his men to retreat and gave up the fort to the British. The loss of the fort was a huge blow to the Americans.

On September 18, a force of 500 men led by Colonel John Brown attempted to take back the fort. There were around 700 British troops garrisoned at the fort. Brown was unable to take back the fort, but he did manage to rescue 118 American prisoners while capturing 293 British troops. The fort was held by the British for the rest of the war, but held little significance. It was abandoned by the British after the surrender at Yorktown in 1781.


In July of 1851, Victoria’s first gold rush began and before the end of the year, gold fever had spread across Australia and beyond. Workers on Victoria’s sheep farms, lured by tales of gold, abandoned their posts and went in search of their fortunes. In an effort to fill the resulting labour shortage, Britain’s Emigration Commission was sponsoring emigrant families from Scotland, Ireland and England who wanted to seize the opportunity to become farm workers in Australia.

The amount expended out of the public funds for the conveyance of emigrants was, up to the end of 1851, about 800,000/., of which about 4,500/. was derived from Parliamentary votes for sending out free emigrants to those colonies which have received convicts, and 102,000/. obtained from the emigrants themselves. The remaining sum of about 653,000/. was furnished from the land revenues of New South Wales and South Australia, or the general revenue of the Cape of Good Hope.

Morning Post, Tuesday 03 August 1852

The Colonial Land and Emigration Commission was established by a Commission from Queen Victoria on 14 January 1840. Emigration from all parts of the United Kingdom had grown rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. In fact, 2,640,848 people had emigrated between 1847 and 1851 compared to 1,218,176 in all the years prior to 1847 and in 1852, numbers were expected to exceed 500,000 persons. 1 Coleraine Chronicle, Saturday 07 August 1852 The Commission was responsible for the management of land sales in the colonies of Britain. They prepared emigration schemes, chose emigrants who would receive free or assisted passages, chartered ships and ensured the safety of the emigrants by regulating conditions on the ships and appointing surgeons and matrons to accompany each voyage.

In June of 1852, the Government Emigration Commissioners chartered the American clipper ship, the Ticonderoga, to take emigrants to Australia. Registered at 1100 tons to the Black Star line, the Ticonderoga was to be captained by Thomas Boyle. As an American ship, she carried 48 crew members, well short of the British legal requirement of six crew to every 100 tons. It was rumoured that the American Ticonderoga was chosen because her owners had underbid British owners.

Government and the Shipowners – Within the last few days the Ticonderoga, an American vessel of 1,100 tons register, has been chartered by the Government Emigration Commissioners to take out emigrants to Australia from this port. Some persons assert that this employment of a foreign vessel was an act of necessity, resulting from the scarcity of suitable British ships others state that a preference was given to the Ticonderoga because her owners accepted rather lower sum per head for the emigrants than a British owner would take.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, Saturday, 26 June 1852

On 4 August, 1852, the Ticonderoga left Liverpool, bound for Melbourne, Australia with 814 emigrants on board, most of them Scottish farm workers and shepherds.

Tragically, less than a week into the voyage, disease broke out aboard the ship and by 12 August, the first passenger died. In the weeks that followed, more and more passengers became ill, due at least in part, to poor ventilation, overcrowding and increasingly unsanitary conditions. The surgeon superintendent, Dr J C Sanger, and his assistant surgeon, Dr James William Henry Veitch soon began running out of medical supplies. More passengers died.

After ninety hellish days at sea, the Ticonderoga limped into Hobson’s Bay flying the yellow flag of quarantine.

“The Argus ‘ of November 5, 1852, reported that when the vessel arrived. all provisions, medicine and medical comforts had been consumed, and that the Government immediately sent the schooner Empire and the harbour master (Captain Ferguson) with supplies of fresh meat, live stock, vegetables, porter, wine, spirits, and medicine. Dr Taylor, of the ship Ottillia, who had had great experience with the fever, was dispatched to assist with the sick. A further report on November 9 stated that there were in all 300 patients suffering from fever.

The Government had taken over two houses belonging to Messrs Sullivan and Cannon as hospitals, and had also purchased the ship Lysander as a quarantine hulk. The sick began to improve on removal to the shore, where they were sheltered in improvised tents provided by the Government, but none the less, during the next six weeks 82 more passengers died and were buried in an improvised cemetery.

Terrible State of Affairs on Board an Emigrant Ship at the Port Phillip Heads

Intelligence was brought to Williamstown, on Wednesday evening last, by Captain Wylie, of the brig Champion, from Adelaide, that a large ship, named the Ticonderoga, ninety days out from Liverpool, with upwards of 900 government emigrants on board, had anchored at the Heads. A great amount of sickness had occurred among the passengers, more than a hundred deaths having taken place, and almost a similar number of cases (typhus fever) being still on board. Nor was this all. The doctor’s health was so precarious that he was not expected to survive, and the whole of the medicines, medical comforts. &c, had been consumed. The authorities in Williamstown, immediately furnished the government schooner Empire, with the necessary supplies of live stock, beef, mutton, milk, vegetables, porter, wine, spirits, and a medicine chest, and Dr. Taylor, of the Ottillia, a gentleman of much practical experience, went down in her to the Ticonderoga yesterday, to take charge, accompanied by Captain Ferguson, the Harbour Master. The Lysander, ship, has also been taken up by Government as a Quarantine Hulk, and proceeds to her destination at the Heads this day, having on board stores sufficient for all hands for three months, when further, arrangements will be made, which we trust will ameliorate the fearful state of things on board. The foregoing are the only particulars known to our reporter at present, but, at all events, this case clearly exhibits the cruelty and ill-judged policy of crowding such a number of people on board a single ship, no matter her size, for a lengthened voyage.

Argus, November 5

As the weeks of quarantine wore on, debate was waged in the Melbourne newspapers about whether or not overcrowding aboard the Ticonderoga contributed to the outbreak of disease. One anonymous letter, written to the Argus at the end of 1852 claimed that the surviving passengers appeared emaciated. He described the ship as being unclean and further charged that unconscionable haste and little care had been taken when the sick were transferred to the quarantine area from the ship. A few days later, Dr. Sanger, the Surgeon Superintendent from the Ticonderoga responded in a letter of protest to the Editor of the Argus.

Sirs–A garbled and false representation respecting the state of the ship Ticonderoga having appeared in the Argus of Friday last, written by a person who signs himself ” Observer.” I beg you will allow me the space of a few lines to disabuse the public on that subject, more particularly as that statement unjustly reflects on the conduct of the Captain and Officers of the vessel, those gentlemen having evinced the most hearty desire for the welfare of the emigrants throughout the whole of her disastrous voyage. So far from the generality of the people being in an emaciated condition, as” Observer” seems to imply, the fact is, that out of nearly 600 only two were sent to the hospital, about a dozen were suffering more or less from diarrhorea or debility, none severely : the rest were in perfect health. The apparently unseemly haste with which the passengers were hurried over the side was caused by the impatience of the captain of the steamer, who would not wait a moment even to allow the husband of the mother of the seven-week’s infant to join his wife with the child. When the people were re-embarked from the Sanitary Station on the Monday previous, the ship was perfectly clean : but it having been necessary to take down the berths and destroy them for the purpose of thoroughly purifying the vessel, the passengers were obliged for the few days they remained on board to lie on the decks, thus causing an untidy appearance, and a difficulty of attending minutely to cleanliness. As regards the Government officials, I can testify that the greatest pains were taken to thoroughly eradicate the disease before granting the ship pratique, and not a single case of infectious disease existed at the time the vessel left Point Nepean.–I am, Sir, Your most obt. servt, J. C. SANGER, M.D., Surgeon Superintendent ship Ticonderoga.

The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, January 4, 1853

On the passenger manifest, the list Ticonderoga passengers who had died continued for five pages.

In all 168 souls lost their lives either on the voyage or later during quarantine. Out of the 307 male passengers, 69 died. Out of the 339 female passengers, 99 died. Among the dead were 86 children, of which 23 were infants under a year old.

Americans Take Ticonderoga - History

Messrs. Deane, Wooster, Parsons, and others undertook the affair. Tiley applied to the assembly for a loan, which was furnished, to the amount of about eighteen hundred dollars, on which they gave bonds to be accountable. General Gage had set the example of attempting to seize upon military stores, and by so doing had commenced hostilities so that retaliation appeared more than warrantable, even an act of self-defence.

The expedition went on with rapidity. Several militia captains pushed forward to Salisbury to acquaint Messrs. Blagdens with the design, and to procure their assistance. One was ill, the other joined in the proposed manoeuvre. After a little deliberation, they concluded upon spending no time in obtaining men but, having provided a sufficient quantity of powder and ban, set off on horseback for Bennington to engage Colonel Anen. They conferred with him upon their arrival and then remained with others to bake bread, and prepare other necessaries, while the colonel went on to raise the men who were wanting, and who were to meet the managers at Castleton. While these were on their way to the place of ren- dezvous, they were met by a countryman, apparently an undesigning honest travener, but who was eithel himself well-skilled a,nd a principal, or had been well-tutored by some one or other, that had either suspected or gained knowledge of the expedition, and meant to render it abortive. They addressed him, "From whence came you?" "From Ty left it yesterday," at such an hour. "Has the garrison received any reinforcement?" "Yes I saw them there were a number of artillery men and other soldiers." "What are they doing? Are they making fascines?" "Don't know what fascines are. They are tying up sticks and brush in bundles, and putting them where the walls are down." Mr. Samuel Blagden put many ensnaring questions about the dress and trimmings of the men, &c. The answers tended to confirm the man's story. The company was staggered and it being debated in council, whether they should not return, as they had no cannon, it was determined by a majority of one only to proceed.

At Castleton they met Colonel Allen with his men, and altogether made two hundred and seventy persons two hundred and thirty of them were Green Mountain boys, so naned from their residing within the limits of the Green Mountains, as the Hampshire grants are denominated, from the range of green mountains that runs through them. They are a brave hardy generation, chiefly settlers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Sentries were placed immediately on all the roads, to prevent any intenigence being carried to Ticonderoga.

After the junction at Castleton, Colonel Arnold arrived, with only a single servant. The day after his getting to Cambridge with his volunteer company, he attended on the Massachusetts committee of safety, and reported that there were at Ticonderoga, eighty pleces of heavy cannon, twenty of brass from four to eighteen-pounders, ten or a dozen mortars, a number of small arms, and considerable stores and that the fort was in a ruinous condition, and as he supposed garrisoned by about forty men. Upon this the committee, on the 3d of May, appointed him a colonel of four hundred men, whom he was to enlist and march for the reduction of Ticonderoga. The colonel was known only to Mr. Blagden. A council was called his powers were examined and at length it was agreed, that he should be admitted to join and act with them, that so the public might be benefited. It was settled, however, that Colonel Allen should have the supreme command, and Colonel Arnold was to be his assistant: with which the latter appeared satisfied, as he had no right by his commission, either to command or interfere with the others, who were not only out of the Massachusetts line, but the subjects of another colony. The names of the leaders, besides what have been mentioned, were Messrs. Motte, Phelps, (two brothers) Bigelow, Bull, and Nichols, beside Colonels Easton, Brown, and Warner, and Captain Dickinson.

After it had been determined in a council to set off the next morning early for "Ty," and some of the managers had retired, a second council was beld, and it was concluded to proceed that very night, leaving Messrs. Blagden, Bigelow, and Nichols, with a party of men, thirty in all, officers included, to march early in the morning for Skeensborough, and secure Major Skeen, his negroes and tenants. This council might have been occasioned by the return of Captain Noah Phelps, who the day before, having disguised himself, entered the fort in the character of a countryman wanting to be shaved. In hunting for a barber, he observed everything critically, asked a number of rustic questions, affected great ignorance, and passed unsuspected. Before night he withdrew, came and joined his party, and in the morning guided them to the place of destination.

Colonel Allen, with his two hundred and thirty Green Mountain boys, arrived at Lake Champlain, and opposite to Ticonderoga, on the 9th, at night. Boats were procured, with difficulty, when he and Colonel Arnold crossed over with eighty-three men, and landed near the garrison. Here a gispute took place between the colonels the latter became assuming, and swore he would go in first the other swore he should n,pt. The gentlemen present interposed,. and the matter was accommodated, upon the footing that both should go in together. They advanced alongside of each other, Colonel Allen on the right hand of Colonel Arnold, and entered the port leading to the fort, in the gray of the morning, (May 10.) A sentry snapped his fusee at Colonel Allen, and then retreated through the covered way to the parade the main body of Americans followed, and immediately drew up. Captain De la Place, the commander, was surprised abed in his room. He was ordered to give up the fort upon his asking by what authority, Colonel Allen replied, " I demand it in the name of the great Jehovah, and the Continental Congress." The Congress knew nothing' of the matter, and did not commence their existence till some hours after. When they began their session, they chose the Honourable Peyton Randolph president, and Mr. Charles Thomson secretary, each with a unanimous voice and having agreed "That the Reverend Mr. Duche he requested to open the Congress with prayers tomorrow morning," and appointed a committee to acquaint him with their request, adjourned till the next day. Had Captain De la Place been upon the parade with his men, he could have made no effectual resistance. The fort was out of repair, and he had but about thirty effectives. Could he have gained timely intelligence, he might have procured a reinforcement from St. John's.

After Colonel Allen had landed, the boats were sent back for the remainder of the men under Colonel Seth Warren but the place was surprised before he could get over. Immediately upon his joining the successful party, he was sent off to take possession of Crown Point, where a sergeant and twelve men performed garrison duty but the greatest acquisition was that of more than a hundred pieces of cannon. The complete command of Lake Cham- plain was of high importance to the Americans, and could not be effected without their getting possession of a sloop-of-war lying at St. John's, at the foot of the lake. It was determined to man and arm a schooner lying at South Bay, and that Colonel Arnold should command her and that Colonel Allen should command the batteaux, a name generally affixed to boats of a particular construction, calculated for navigating the lakes and rivers, and drawing but little water, though heavily laden. The wind being fresh from the south, the schooner outsailed the batteaux, and Colonel Arnold surprised the sloop. The wind shifting suddenly to the north, and blowing fresh, in about an hour's time Colonel Arnold sailed with the prize and schooner for Ticonderoga, and met Colonel Allen with his party.

The surprise of Skeensborough was so conducted that the negroes were all sec,ured, and Major Skeen, the son, taken while out shooting, and his strong stone house possessed, and the pass completely gained, without any bloodshed, the same as at Ticonderoga. Had the major received the least intimation, the attempt must have miscarried for he had about fifty tenants near at hand, besides eight negroes and twelve workmen.

Colonel Allen soon left Ticonderoga under the command of Colonel Arnold, with a number of men, who agreed to remain in garrison.

When the news of Ticonderoga's being taken reached the Continental Congress, they earnestly recommended it to the committees of the cities and counties of New York and Albany, immediately to cause the cannon and stores to be removed from thence to the south end of Lake George but that an exact inventory should be taken of them, "in order that they may be safely returned, when the restoration of the former harmony between Great Britain and these colonies, so ardently wished for by the latter, shall render it prudent, and consistent with the overruling law of self-preservation." Whatever may have been the drift of a few in Congress, that body wIshed to keep the door open for an accommodation. This was apparent in the advice they gave the New Yorkers, three days before the preceding recommendation. The city and county of New York applied to them for information how to conduct towards the troops expected there. The Congress resolved, "That it be recommended, for the present, to the inhabitants of New York, that if the troops which are expected should arrive, the said colony act on the defensive, so I long as may be consistent with their safety and security that the troops be permitted to remain in the barracks, so long- as they behave peaceably and quietly, but that they be not suffered to erect fortifications, or take any steps for cutting off the communication between the town and country and that if they commit hostilities or invade private property, the inhabitants should defend themselves and their property, and repel force by force that the warlike stores be removed from the town that places of retreat, in case of necessity, be provided for the women and children of New York and that a sufficient number of men be embodied, and kept in constant readiness for protecting the inhabitants from insult and injury."

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