- Gates, Horatio
died April 10, 1806, New York, N.Y., U.S.English-born American general.He served in the British army during the French and Indian War. In 1772 he immigrated to Virginia, where he sided with colonial interests. He was made adjutant general of the Continental Army (1775) and succeeded Gen. Philip Schuyler in New York (1777). Assisted by Benedict Arnold, he forced the surrender of British forces under John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga (1777). Congress then chose Gates as president of the Board of War. Supporters, including Thomas Conway, sought to have Gates replace George Washington, but the plan failed, and Gates returned to his New York command. In 1780 he was transferred to the South, where he attempted to oust the British forces under Charles Cornwallis but was defeated at the Battle of Camden, S.C. An official inquiry was ordered, but charges never were pressed. He retired to Virginia, then freed his slaves in 1790 and moved to New York.
* * *▪ United States generalborn c. 1728, Maldon, Essex, Englanddied April 10, 1806, New York, New York, U.S.English-born American general in the American Revolution (1775–83) whose victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga (Saratoga, Battles of) (1777) turned the tide of victory in behalf of the Revolutionaries.Gates first served in North America in the French and Indian War (1754–63), emerged as a major, and returned to England. In 1772 he immigrated to the region that is now West Virginia. Sympathizing with colonial complaints against the crown, in 1775 he was made adjutant general of the Continental Army, and in 1777 he superseded General Philip Schuyler (Schuyler, Philip John) in northern New York. In the two battles of Saratoga his army forced General John Burgoyne (Burgoyne, John) to surrender, partly, however, because of the previous maneuvers of Schuyler and the initiative of General Benedict Arnold (Arnold, Benedict). Congress next elected Gates president of the Board of War. At the same time a group of army officers, among them General Thomas Conway (Conway, Thomas), became involved in a plan to replace General George Washington with Gates. The “Conway Cabal” soon collapsed, and in the spring of 1778 Gates returned to his command in New York. Transferred to the south (June 1780), Gates was disastrously defeated by Lord Cornwallis (Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye) at the Battle of Camden (Camden, Battle of), South Carolina, on August 16. An official inquiry into his conduct was ordered but charges were never pressed. After the war Gates freed his slaves, moved to New York, and served one term in the state legislature.
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