While these efforts strengthened the American position, Mount Defiance, which overlooked the fort, was left undefended as the garrison commander, Brigadier General Arthur St. Clair, lacked the men to fortify it. Arriving at the fort with 7,800 men, Burgoyne quickly emplaced guns on Mount Defiance. Recognizing the fort was vulnerable, St. Clair ordered it abandoned and withdrew south on July 5, 1777. Moving in, the fort was lightly garrisoned and formed a link in the supply line for Burgoyne’s advancing army.
In September, troops under Colonel John Brown raided the fort and succeeded in freeing 118 American prisoners and capturing 293 British soldiers. Following the British defeat at Saratoga, the fort was largely abandoned in November 1777. While it remained a base for the occasional British raiding party, it never again possessed strategic significance.
Fort Ticonderoga – Preserved
Passing through several hands, the fort property was purchased by William Ferris Pell in 1820. In 1909, efforts were made by the Pell family to restore the fort and it opened later that year in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain by European explorers. Founded in 1931 by Stephen Pell, the Fort Ticonderoga Association now oversees the fort and its restoration.