Editor’s Note: VFTB’s crack team of researchers and military historians has uncovered a never-before-seen collection of letters between two heroic British generals who served nobly during the American Revolutionary War: General John Burgoyne and General William Howe. (Yes, they are actual historical figures.)
This sampling of correspondence describes their strategy to defeat the rebellious colonials at the Battle of Saratoga in the fall of 1777.
While some may question the authenticity of these letters, (which I find astonishing), the circumstances around the build-up to this historic battle, which played a pivotal role in turning the tide of the Revolutionary War, are essentially true. – TEJ
17 August 1777
To My Esteemed Comrade, General Howe,
It has been a long, arduous passage from our wilderness encampment in the Canadian territory. But it is with great pride that I share the news of our brilliant victory over those scoundrel rebels of New York colony, as the King’s brave young soldiers clashed with those ruffians and overwhelmed their defenses at Fort Ticonderoga. As the sun sets, the colours of His Majesty King George’s Kingdom of Great Britain wave proudly against the smoke-filled skies.
I remain confident our plan to join forces, yours from the south and mine from the north, on the fertile plains of Saratoga will cut off those groggy, ill-mannered hooligan colonials from their New England brethren, thus ensuring for the two of us the highest honour. Perhaps a knighthood shall be in order, ol’ chum?
Long live our King.
General John Burgoyne
(P.S. my faithful wife Catherine, Duchess of Strathmore, enjoyed your jovial demeanor at our last encounter and asks of your wellbeing.)
31 August 1777
To My Noble Servant of Our King, My Esteemed, General Burgoyne,
It has been nigh to a fortnight since your correspondence informing me of your glorious victory over those vulgar plowboys of New York colony. Alas, I am still tethered to our encampment here along the banks of the Delaware, betwixt the shores of Philadelphia and Camden, seeking provisions and reinforcements. As soon as they arrive, it will be with the swiftest alacrity that I shall decamp and reconnoiter my forces to rendezvous with your fine men on the fields of Saratoga, where, God and the King be willing, we shall prevail and vanquish those pesky rabble-rousers, thus bringing to a rightful conclusion this senseless spillage of tea in our harbors. I shall send word of my impending arrival and look forward to joining forces before the next full moon.
Yours in the Service of our King,
General William Howe
(P.S. That is kind of the fair Duchess Catherine to ask. Pass on to your lovely wife, I am solid of spirits, except for of an odd rash of late. Do say, will the fair duchess’s carriage be following you south with each undoubted triumph?) (more…)