General Horatio Gates
American Revolutionary War general
1728? - 1806

Horatio Gates was an American Revolutionary War general. He forced British General John Burgoyne to lay down his arms at Saratoga in 1777.

Gates was born in England, and entered the British Army as a boy. With George Washington, he survived General Edward Braddock's defeat in 1755 and served in America through the French and Indian War. In 1761, he served with General Robert Monckton at the conquest of Martinique. Gates retired from the army in 1765.

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Congress named Gates adjutant general. He later took command of the Continental Army in the North. After Saratoga, in the winter of 1777-1778, some, including members of the Continental Congress, wanted Gates to replace Washington as commander in chief. It has been claimed there was a plot called the Conway Cabal to force the change. But Washington kept his command.

Gates became president of the Board of War, and in 1780 he took command of American troops in the South. British troops under General Charles Cornwallis almost destroyed Gates's army at Camden, S.C., in August 1780. General Nathanael Greene replaced Gates in December. Congress ordered an inquiry into Gates's military conduct, but it was not made. Gates again served under Washington, and returned to his estate in Virginia after the war. Later, he moved to New York.

Contributor: Paul David Nelson, Ph.D., Prof. of History, Berea College.

SOURCE: IBM 1999 World Book

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