Comitia Americana Medals -- Horatio Gates

Horatio Gates

Copper Libertas Americana medal.

Horatio Gates’ medal was awarded for the victory of the 1777 Battles of Saratoga. Gates had initially strived to receive command of the Continental Army; but his heavy support of defensive tactics paled in comparison with General George Washington’s victories at Princeton and Trenton. Thus Gates received command of the Northern Department instead of the Continental Army and relieved Philip Schuyler of his command. Gates was than technically in charge of the 12,000 continental troops who fended off British General Burgoyne’s advancing invasion into Saratoga from Vermont. The two Battles of Saratoga were won, in spite of Gates’s orders, by the earlier movements of Philip Schuyler and a group of aggressive field commanders including Benedict Arnold, John Stark, and Daniel Morgan. Gates remained far from the frontlines during the engagements, but received credit, and a medal, for the victories.