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Historical Cannon brought back to Battlefield

The National Parks Service is pleased to announce the return to Saratoga Battlefield, one of the cannons captured by the victorious American army in 1777. An original six pounder cannon seized from the British in the climatic attack on October 7, 1777 will be on display at the Saratoga National Historical Park Visitor Center on Routes 4 and 32 in Stillwater from Saturday, June 7 through Oct. 30.

Events planned include a presentation in the Visitor Center by author Doug Cubbison entitled Burgoyne's Cannon, the history of the artillery seized in the American victory at Saratoga. On Saturday Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. the "Commemoration of the American Victory at Breymann's Redoubt." A ceremonial event on the exact groud where the cannon was captured, with music, a reenactment of events, accounts of Benedict Arnold describing pivotal moments of the Oct. 7 battle and presentation of wreaths to honor those who died.

On loan from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremeont, OH, the cannon is on of 35 pieces of artillery that American forces seized from British General John Burgoyne's defeated army. "What makes this gun unique," notes Saratoga NHP Curator Christine Robinson "is that we can determine within a few feet as to where it stood. This is one of two cannons seized at Breyman's Redoubt, which fell to the Americans on Oct. 7, 1777. The victorious Americans later engraved the barrel of the cannon giving us the precise date and location of its capture."

Robinson also notes the blank space intentionally left on the barrel's engraving. "This is as much of a nod to Benedict Arnold as the Americans might give. By the time of the cannon's engraving, Arnold had changed sides, betrayed his country, cause and comrades. While they recognized his personal bravery while serving for the American cause, his treason was not something that could be forgiven."

For more information about his and other events at Saratoga National Historical Park, please call the park's visitor center at 664-9821, or visit on the web at www.nps.gov/sara.

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