On an initially foggy morning of October 17th, 2016, the Saratoga Battle Chapter, SAR participated
in the annual surrender day ceremonies at Fort Hardy Park in Schuylerville, New York. This annual
event is sponsored by the Town of Saratoga and the Village of Schuylerville. Local historian Bill
Reynolds was master of ceremony. Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Saratoga National Historical
Park Superintendent Amy Bracewell both addressed the gathering. Also present were Schuylerville
Mayor John Sherman and Mike McLoughlin, Deputy Supervisor Town of Saratoga.
L to R front row: Walloomsac Battle President John Sheaf, Mike McLoughlin, Deputy Supervisor
Town of Saratoga, Schuylerville Mayor John Sherman, Saratoga National Historical Park
Superintendent Amy Bracewell, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner back row: Empire State SAR President
Duane Booth, Saratoga Battle Chapter SAR President Douglas Gallant, Saratoga Chapter DAR Regent
Heather Mabee at podium: Bill Reynolds
The event included 5th graders from Schuylerville Central and 4th graders
from Salem Central who came to witness the reenactment of this historic event. Two of the
Schuylerville students read essays they had written about the events leading up to surrender
day and/or the people involved. Saratoga National Historical Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer and
Town Historian Sean Kelleher recreated British General John Burgoyne sword surrender to
American General Horatio Gates. Ranger Schnitzer had a group of students demonstrate
"grounding their arms" as the British soldiers would have done.
Students grounding their arms at the direction of Saratoga Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer
British General Burgoyne (Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer) surrendering to Continental
General Gates (Sean Kelleher, the Saratoga Town Historian)
Wreaths honoring all American military were laid by John Sheaff, President Walloomsac Battle Chapter;
Douglas Gallant, President Saratoga Battler Chapter; Heather Mabee, Regent Saratoga Chapter, NSDAR;
and Duane Booth, President, Empire State Society)
Chapter members Mike Companion, Peter Hormell and Mike Skelly were present with other
re-enactors from the 2nd Continental Artillery firing a cannon to the delight of the students.
One group of students was even treated to a formal demonstration where each step of the firing
sequence was explained and executed - including Fire!
L to R: Bradley Allen, Pete Hormell, Mike Companion, Al Bartlett, Mary Skelly, Mike Skelly
The event is held every year on October 17th and the students really enjoy themselves,
and learn about history right in their own back yard.