Burgoyne, John

Burgoyne, John (1722-1792) British General and Politician: Although Burgoyne was in Boston during the Battle of Bunker Hill, he was without command. He traveled to Britain, then returned to America in 1776 with reinforcements for Sir Guy Carleton in Quebec. He returned to Britain, then came back to America again in 1777 to command an army that was directed to enter New York via Canada and join Sir William Howe's troops at Albany. In the midst of this mission, however, Burgoyne and his troops were defeated and taken prisoner by Horatio Gates at Saratoga. It is not clear to what degree Burgoyne was responsible for the British defeat at Saratoga, one of the major turning points of the war. Although he earned the nickname "Gentleman Johnny," implying a casual attitude toward his military responsibilities, modern historians feel that Burgoyne was a competent and innovative leader. When he was released in 1778, Burgoyne sailed to Britain, where he took a seat in Parliament and spoke out against the war.