The naval Battle of Valcour Island took place on October 11, 1776, on Lake Champlain. The battle is generally regarded as one of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War, and one of the first fought by the United States Navy. The Continental Army had retreated from Quebec to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point in June 1776 after British forces were massively reinforced. They spent the summer of 1776 fortifying those forts, and building additional ships to augment the small American fleet already on the lake. British General Guy Carleton had a 9,000-man army at Fort Saint-Jean, but needed to build a fleet to carry it on the lake. By early October, the British fleet, which significantly outgunned the American fleet, was ready for launch. On October 11, Benedict Arnold drew the British fleet to the strait between Valcour Island and the western shore, a position he had carefully chosen to limit British advantages. In the battle that followed, many of the American ships were damaged or destroyed. That night, Arnold snuck the American fleet past the British one, beginning a retreat toward Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Unfavorable weather hampered the American retreat, and more of the fleet was either captured or grounded and burned before it could reach Crown Point. Upon reaching Crown Point Arnold had the fort's buildings burned and retreated to Ticonderoga. (more...)
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, his reign officially began 11 October 1735, lasting for 60 years. Named Hongli, he chose the era nameQianlong, meaning "heavenly prosperity". Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity and great military success in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire. Qianlong abdicated the throne at the age of 85, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, fulfilling his promise not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.