General George Washington wrote his brother John the day after Saratoga: “I most devoutly congratulate my country, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence.”
When Roger Sherman of Connecticut, a signer of the Declaration of Independence heard of the Saratoga Victory, he declared, “This is the Lord’s doing, and marvelous in our eyes!”
Historian Edward Creasy identified* Saratoga as one of the 15 most important battles in World history!!
What makes the Saratoga victory so miraculous is the Providence of God that created the atmosphere and directed the steps of battle, and its results, to reveal His glory; or as Washington called it: “signal stroke of Providence.”
As I unpack this incredible story, it is critical that you look for God’s providence, which means God sovereignly works in history behind the scenes, using both good and evil, to bring about His good will.
The miracle victory of Saratoga does not begin on the battlefield but with two providential events happening simultaneously on two different continents.
1.First, even after the miracle victory at Trenton, the Colonial army was still losing more battles than they were winning. For example, at the battle of Brandywine**, the Americans encountered a horrific defeat, losing over 1200 soldiers. Emboldened by such a lop-sided victory, the British determined to attack quickly having regained the momentum. British Prime Minister Lord North decided to move General Howe’s 30,000 troops north from New York to Saratoga to join Burgoyne’s 7,000 for nearly 38,000 men, to crush the 9,000 American troops. However, rushing to go on a holiday, the Prime Minister forgot to sign the orders. In addition, reinforcements who were sent across the Atlantic were delayed by unexpected weather and arrived late to the eventual battle.
2.Second, simultaneously while the movements of troops were occurring Jane McCrea was murdered. After British General John Burgoyne, a.k.a. “Gentleman Johnny” captured Fort Ticonderoga, he marched his 7,000 man force down the Hudson River Valley, and made a treaty with the Mohawk Indians that included attacking and harassing the American settlements. However, what Burgoyne did not know was that one of his recruits was David Jones, who was an American ‘turncoat’. David is central to this story because he recently proposed marriage to Jane McCrea. So, after a recent Mohawk Indian raid, they returned to show Burgoyne some of the fruit of their labors. When they pulled out a female scalp, David was horrified, recognizing it as his fiancee’s, Jane McCrea. General Burgoyne was caught between a rock and hard place and was forced to tell the Indians to show restraint. The Indians were immediately insulted and left Burgoyne stranded deep in the forest. Immediately, the news hit America, and 15,000 men rallied to the cause.
Ironically, in direct defiance of General Horatio Gates's orders, and before becoming a traitor, Benedict Arnold took a regiment of American soldiers and attacked the British flank which directly led to the surrender of between 5000-6000 British troops! Arnold’s action propelled him to national prominence, and declared him the hero of the Saratoga!!
When King Louis XVI of France heard of the British surrender***, he entered the war on the side of the Americans, making the War for Independence a global war. Congress**** immediately proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving and praise*****.
This incredible story is not over yet! The Americans asked and received a pledge from the British prisoners of war that they would not again take up arms against the Americans, who subsequently returned to the British their arms---and three armed Americans---marched 6,000 British prisoners back to Boston and put them on ships back to England******!!
Oh my!!! The liberties of America were/are secured by the Sovereign God!!!
“That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is none else!”
*Sir Edward Creasy. ‘The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World from Marathon to Waterloo’, (New York, Harper Brothers, 1918) pg298.
** David Barton, ‘The American Story’, Wallbuilder Press, (Aledo Texas), pg 189-190.
***Susie Federer, Miracles in American History, Amerisearch, Inc., (P.O. Box 20163 St. Louis, MO 63123), pg55-56.
****Obviously, this debunks the liberal re-definition of the Separation of Church and State!!!!!
*****Journals of the Continental Congress (1907), (:854-855, day of thanksgiving and praise, November 1, 1777 [Evans #15679].
****** David Barton, ‘The American Story’, Wallbuilder Press, (Aledo Texas), pg 190.