Ti lecture to focus on legendary battle

TICONDEROGA What really happened at Rogers Slide? Bob Bearor, a Schroon Lake historian and author, will answer that question during a lecture, The Legend of Rogers Slide, in Ticonderoga Friday, March 7. He will be assisted by his wife, Holly. Scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Ti Community Building, the talk will benefit Ticonderoga's efforts to raise money for a Samuel deChamplain monument. Tickets for the talk will be $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students. Children age 12 and younger will be admitted free. The history of Ticonderoga doesnt begin or end at the entrance to the fort, Bearor said. I dont think there is a town that can boast the history of Ticonderoga. The lecture is the first of two events to mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle on Snowshoes. Saturday, March 8, Rogers Rock Campsite in Hague will host a snowshoe and ski rally to commemorate the battle 11 a.m.-2 p.m. For information call 543-6588 or 543-6590. Joe McCranels, co-chairman of the Hague event, said Bearor will participate. Period garb and gear are encouraged but not required, McCranels said. Prizes will be offered for most authentic garb and best race times. The Battle on Snowshoes took place March 13, 1758, near the site of the present Ticonderoga Country Club. Capt. Robert Rogers had been sent on a scouting mission from Fort Edward north toward Fort Ticonderoga. General Haviland, who gave the order for the mission, had originally planned on 400 men taking part but reduced that to 180, even though he had reason to believe the French knew of the expedition and were expecting 400 Rangers. The Rangers, which included several soldiers from the 27th Regiment of Foot, the Inniskillings, and from other units, wore snowshoes as they marched through snow four feet deep, with a rivulet to their left and a steep mountain separating them from Lake George to their right. Their advance guard saw the enemy and engaged them. Rogers believed they had routed the opposition but they were soon under attack by an additional force. Rogers estimated the main body to have been 600 French and Indians. The Rangers fought bravely, considering they were outnumbered and their numbers fell quickly. They made several successful attempts to prevent themselves from being flanked. But after an hour and a half of heavy fighting, their numbers were too few and they finally retreated. The Rangers lost about 125 who were killed or captured. Legend has it they were trapped atop a mountain near the present Rogers Rock Campsite in Hague. According to legend, they slid down a several-hundred feet rock face to Lake George to make their escape. Many dispute that account, claiming the soldiers could not have survived the slide. Bearor, author of The Battle on Snowshoes and several other books, promises to answer the controversy. Bearor organized re-enactments of the Battle on Snowshoes in 2000 and the Death of Lord Howe in 2001 in Ti. The Ti lecture is one of several Bearor will make to make the 250th anniversary of the battle. He is also speaking in Glens Falls, Plattsburgh, Albany, Utica, Rochester and Niagara. We are planning to use these appearances to help those less fortunate in the communities where we appear, Bearor said. Any worthy charity, be it for cancer/leukemia victims, perhaps a family recently devastated by a fire, or a returning wounded war veteran from Iraq or Afghanistan, I will donate any and all speakers fees and honorarium and all profits of the book sales will go directly to the charity selected.

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