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Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century fort built at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain in upstate New York in the United States. It was constructed by the French between 1754 and 1757 during the Seven Years' War, often referred to as the French and Indian War in the USA, and was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again to a lesser extent during the American Revolutionary War.
The site controlled a river portage alongside the mouth of the rapids-infested La Chute River in the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) between Lake Champlain and Lake George and was strategically placed in conflicts over trade routes between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley. The terrain amplified the importance of the site. Both lakes were long and narrow, oriented north–south, as were the many ridge lines of the Appalachian Mountains extending as far south as Georgia, creating the near-impassable mountainous terrains to the east and west of the Great Appalachian Valley that the site commanded. The name "Ticonderoga" comes from the Iroquois word tekontaró:ken, meaning "it is at the junction of two waterways".
During the 1758 Battle of Carillon, 4,000 French defenders were able to repel an attack by 16,000 British troops near the fort. In 1759, the British returned and drove a token French garrison from the fort merely by occupying high ground that threatened the fort. During the American Revolutionary War, the fort again saw action in May 1775 when the Green Mountain Boys and other state militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured it in a surprise attack. The Americans held it until June 1777, when British forces under General John Burgoyne again occupied high ground above the fort and threatened the Continental Army troops, leading them to withdraw from the fort and its surrounding defenses.