May 10, 1775

This image depicts Ethan Allen confronting Caption de le Place while capturing Fort Ticonderoga by a night time, bloodless raid. The caption reads, “By what authority?! In the name of the great Jehova and the Continental Congress.”

Early in the Revolutionary War, the colonies barely had an army and had no artillery. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold launched plans to take Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point - East-Central New York on Lake Champlain - to capture the artillery for the colonies. Arnold had been appointed by the Massachusetts Congress to capture the fort, while Ethan Allen led a group of “Green Mountain boys” from the hills in Vermont.

On the morning of May 10, 1775, barely three weeks after Lexington and Concord, Allen and Arnold, leading 83 men across Lake Champlain, surprised the small garrison of 52. Without a shot being fired, all 52 British soldiers were roused from their beds to discover that they were prisoners. In Boston, the colonists were able to confront the British at Breed’s Hill (misnamed the Battle of Bunker Hill), June 17, 1775. Though they lost this battle, they inflicted heavy blows on the British army. That winter, Colonel Henry Knox’s expedition hauled 59 cannon and mortars to Boston by January 24, 1776 - 300 miles in two months. After the Continental Army secured Dorchester Heights, the British were forced to evacuate Boston.

Paper. W 23.4, L 19.5 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 1679