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The British Attack on Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery -- October 1777

Nice example of Faden's battle plan of the actions on the Hudson River, extending from Haverstraw Bay and Verplanks Point to just North of Fort Montgomery.

In the south, the Transports at Kings Ferry are shown, with notes on the troop landings on October 6 & 7 and a detachment sent west to occupy the pass. Up river near Fort Independence, the Preston Come. Hotham, Tartar, and Mercury are shown, along with the Galley's under Wallace. To the west, several overland movements are noted, including Vaughan & Tryon's and Campbell's detachment. Near Ft Montgomery are several burning Galley's & Frigates, along with a battle & path of retreat of the Americans.

On October 6, 1777, a combined force of roughly 2,100 Loyalists, Hessians, and British regulars led by Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton attacked Forts Montgomery and Clinton from the landward side (which was only partially completed) with support from cannon fire from British ships on the Hudson River. The land columns attacking from west of the fort consisted of the New York Volunteers, the Loyal American Regiment, Emmerich's Chasseurs, the 57th and the 52nd Regiments of Foot. By the end of the day, both forts had fallen to the British, who burned the forts and tore down the stonework buildings.

The battle was a pyrrhic victory for the British, however, as the campaign against Forts Montgomery and Clinton caused delays that would give American forces the upper hand at the Battle of Bemis Heights in Saratoga. The reinforcements for which British General John Burgoyne was waiting were held up, and Burgoyne was forced to surrender at Saratoga ten days later with his reinforcements still far to the south.

William Faden Biography

William Faden (1749-1836) was the most prominent London mapmaker and publisher of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His father, William Mackfaden, was a printer who dropped the first part of his last name due to the Jacobite rising of 1745. 

Apprenticed to an engraver in the Clothworkers' Company, he was made free of the Company in August of 1771. He entered into a partnership with the family of Thomas Jeffreys, a prolific and well-respected mapmaker who had recently died in 1771. This partnership lasted until 1776. 

Also in 1776, Faden joined the Society of Civil Engineers, which later changed its name to the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. The Smeatonians operated as an elite, yet practical, dining club and his membership led Faden to several engineering publications, including canal plans and plans of other new engineering projects.

Faden's star rose during the American Revolution, when he produced popular maps and atlases focused on the American colonies and the battles that raged within them. In 1783, just as the war ended, Faden inherited his father's estate, allowing him to fully control his business and expand it; in the same year he gained the title "Geographer in Ordinary to his Majesty."

Faden also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801, a map of Kent. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts.

Faden was renowned for his ingenuity as well as his business acumen. In 1796 he was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts. With his brother-in-law, the astronomer and painter John Russell, he created the first extant lunar globe.

After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice. He died in Shepperton in 1826, leaving a large estate.