The British government ordered Sir Guy Carleton, the Governor of Canada, to help mount an offensive operation into New York from Canada. The expedition, commanded by Major-General John Burgoyne, was composed of 4,000 British regulars, 3,000 Hanoverian (German) troops, 105 Canadian militia, and 500 Iroquois.
The British force seized the American fort at Crown Point on 20 June 1777. When Burgoyne's force reached Ticonderoga on 1 July, the American garrison fled to the south. By 13 September, the British army had reached Saratoga, 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Albany on the Hudson River. There, American General Horatio Gates and his 12,000 troops confronted the British. Burgoyne pleaded with General Howe for reinforcements, but Howe refused to send any troops from the coast. Meanwhile, additional American troops arrived at Saratoga.
Faced with insurmountable odds and no hope of reinforcements, Burgoyne surrendered his army to General Gates on 17 October 1777.