The Battle of Valcour Island
In the autumn of 1776 Benedict Arnold, whose name in American annals is now synonymous with treachery, saved the embattled Colonies from a crushing British-Canadian blow by his gallant naval delaying action upon the waters of Lake Champlain. By John A. Barton.
“That the Americans were strong enough to impose the capitulation of Saratoga was due to the invaluable year of delay secured to them in 1776 by their little navy on Lake Champlain, created by the indomitable energy and handled with the indomitable courage of the traitor, Benedict Arnold.”
Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan
On the morning of October 11th, 1776, a clumsy flotilla of sixteen American ships creaked in the lee of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. A courageous army officer limped about the deck of his flagship, the Congress, impatient for the first sign of the British squadron that was advancing with assurance into his prepared ambush.