With a freshly kicked off Revolutionary War, the OG Tea-Partiers of Boston found themselves sieging a superiorly organized, and at the time equally supplied British garrison. The makings for a prolonged and costly battle appeared to beset the colonists from the start of the conflict. Yet thanks to hero and furniture stalwart Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, the Continental Army came upon a shit-load of potent fire-power with the shotless taking of Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain in New York. The fort contained a glut of cannons and artillery, perfect for dropping copious amounts of hellfire on the Red Coats.
However getting the important weapons from Point A to Point B was a tall task, and plans by Allen and his troops to move them elsewhere had been squashed once already by an infrastructurally challenged American side. Yet Henry Knox, a book-maker by trade but strategist and logistics man by necessity, had better and grander plans for the arsenal. A close confidant of General Washington since the commander’s arrival in Boston, Knox’s plan was unleashed with no cost spared for the trove of cannonry.
On this day, in 1775, Knox departed Ticonderoga with his prized guns, 59 in all at 119,000 pounds of cargo. He proceeded into the frozen American wilderness a man on a mission, traversing rock, water and snow, fighting not an enemy but rather sinking boats and cracking ice. A final move across the Hudson, over (and through) ice, all the guns reached the Berkshires in early January, and eventually finding their home on January 27th 1776.
The artillery would prove key to the Siege of Boston, opening fire from several positions on March 2nd. The cannons would find their way to Dorchester Heights, arming the Continental Army against the British in Boston and the harbor, harassing the troops and fleet in addition to the already raining artillery pieces. On March 17th, 1776 the British forces under General William Howe abandoned their Bostonian posts and fled to Nova Scotia.
Thanks to the intrepid vision and ballsy commandeering of Henry Knox, the besieged fell under the cannonade of Ticonderoga’s guns. Salute the true New England patriot today, the day the Noble Train of Artillery, or Knox Expedition, began in the American Revolution.