SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. >> It’s been 240 years since the turning point of the American Revolution at the Saratoga Battlegrounds, and yet blood stains of a wounded enemy soldier are still quite visible on the floor of the only remaining structural witness to those great battles — the Marshall House.
Marshall Family descendants soon will gather this weekend at that house for a reunion. But they will also be there to develop a plan to help preserve the structure and the history embodied in that house to ensure its survival for the study of that home, the battles and the American Revolutionary War.
“Saving a Witness to History – the Marshall House” is the theme of this reunion that will coincide with Schuylerville’s annual Turning Point Parade and Festivities, which has activities set for Saturday and Sunday. This event commemorates the surrender of the British Army to American forces in 1777 as a result of their defeat at the Saratoga Battlegrounds, now preserved as a National Park.
The Marshall House was occupied by the British during the closing days of the Battles of Saratoga and served as a refuge for the women and children accompanying the British army. It soon became a shelter for its wounded officers and men. Not knowing its use, the Americans believed it to be a British headquarters and rained cannon fire on the house. Three of the 11 cannon balls known to have struck the Marshall House are today on display in that very same home, now occupied by its current owners David Bullard and his wife, Dr. Hilary Tann.
For many years Bullard and Tann have welcomed Revolutionary War buffs, historians and other interested visitors where they are shown the historic home, the blood stains and the many artifacts from that period, including the stone cellar where the baroness, her three very young daughters, and a throng of wounded men sought shelter from the fighting
At the reunion, and as part of the Turning Point Weekend, the baroness will be impersonated as she recounts her adventures. Her diary is one of the few contemporary and very detailed accounts of that battle.
As plans develop for “Saving a Witness to History – the Marshall House,” details will be posted on The Marshall House website, www.themarshallhouse.org.