The Battle of Saratoga is considered by many to be the turning point of the American Revolution. It helped to prove to the world that the American army was a powerful fighting force that they were capable of defeating the dominant British force in a major battle. The leader of the American force during this battle was Major General Horatio Gates and the leader for the British force was Major General John Burgoyne. As a result of this confrontation, other European countries, such as France, began to take interest in the Americans cause and supported them. .
Early in 1777, Lord George Germain, who was responsible for British war strategy, approved a plan suggested by Major General John Burgoyne. In the British Campaign of 1777, General Burgoyne wanted to advance three columns to meet in Albany, New York. Burgoyne was to lead an army south from Canada, another group of troops, led by Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger, was to join from Canada, and General Howe was to join from New York. The British wanted to take control of the Hudson River Valley and cut off New England from the other colonies and force an end to the American rebellion. General Burgoyne took off from St. Johns with around 9.000 men in June. On his way, he defeated American forces at Ticonderoga and Hubbardton with very little struggle. Unfortunately for Burgoyne, St. Leger's troops ran into Benedict Arnold and his American militia and he and his men were forced to retreat back to Canada. Even worse, General Howe's forces were fighting with Washington at the Battle of Brandywine and then the Battle of Germantown. This kept them from joining Burgoyne. Burgoyne then ran into a few more complications. His forces attacked General Gates' American forces at the Battle of Oriskany, but he was driven back. He attacked again at the Battle of Bennington, and was again driven back. General Burgoyne then spent three weeks at Fort Miller, in New York, to obtain provisions and build up a strategy.