A Connecticut construction executive seeking to build a mine on the upstate New York site of a Revolutionary War battle has offered to sell the property.
Gino Vona wants to build a mine on the 165-acre parcel he owns in the town of Fort Ann, near the Vermont border. The property includes Battle Hill, where American and British forces clashed in July 1777.
British Gen. John Burgoyne learned that Continental Army forces were in retreat from Ft. Ticonderoga and dispatched as many of his 8,000 troops as possible. But by the time they caught up with the Patriot army in Ft. Ann, only about 200 British military members were there to face off against 600 rebels.
The Americans decided to attack first and in a two-hour battle nearly routed the British. However, Indian war whoops convinced them that reinforcements were on the way so they retreated. The “reinforcement” turned out to be just a single resourceful British officer.
While the British nominally won the battle, a recent study by Binghamton University’s Public Archaeology Facility say contemporary documents show the battle delayed Burgoyne’s march, which played a key role in his eventual defeat at Saratoga. That battle convinced the French that the rebels had a chance of winning and they then came out openly in support.
Town officials said that the American Legion and other local organizations could work with the town to buy the site if the price was reasonable.
Excavations conducted on the property in 2014 by an archaeological team from Binghamton University found that the battlefield is larger than first thought.