The End of One Battle, the Start of Another

The battle didn’t end there for Sir Guy Carleton. From the Jersey and the Washington, Sir Guy had about 110 prisoners. With these he practiced a psychological warfare in enlightened ways. Specific examples include moments when he would praise the rebel’s bravery to his officers while they (the prisoners) were present. He also ordered his surgeon to “to treat the wounded as they were” British soldiers. [17] This was a good tactic on Carleton’s part, because when the prisoners were later released at Ticonderoga, one could easily tell that the they were having second thoughts about the fight for independence. In fact, Colonel Trumbull’s opinion was that “the kindness with which they had been treated ...appeared to me to have made a very dangerous impression.[18] As a countermeasure to this, General Gates ordered the newly freed to move on to Skeensbourough. As the rebels waited for the final blow to fall, the invasion of America sputtered out because of Carleton’s philosophy of kindliness instead military vigor through tempering warfare with mercy” and Pringle’s blunders. [19] In fact, Lt. Starke(Lady Maria), Lt. Longcraft (Loyal Convert), and Lt. Schanke (Inflexible) wrote in a letter to Capt. Pringle “that in preparing and fitting out the fleet and also in the operation afterward, no officer or other person employed therein had so small a share as yourself.[20] Starke, Longcraft, and Schanke accused Pringle of not making an attack plan, of not giving orders after the battle was joined, permitting the rebels to escape, and of cowardice in delay of pursuit. [21]

Thus was the battle of Lake Champlain. The rebels were defeated, but the inexperienced colonials had thwarted an invasion from Canada which might have hastened the end of the Revolution in favor of the British. Arnold’s bravery coupled with Carleton’s reluctance to fight a decisive battle forced the British to abandon the lakes and withdraw to Canada to wait out the coming brutal Winter of 1776.