In 1777 the British forces moving south from Canada drove the Americans back into the fort, then hauled cannon to the top of undefended Mt. Defiance, which overlooked the fort.
“Where a goat can go, a man can go, where a man can go, he can drag a gun” – Maj. Gen. William Phillips quote as his men brought cannon to the top of Mt. Defiance in 1777
Faced with bombardment, Arthur St. Clair ordered Ticonderoga abandoned on July 5, 1777. Burgoyne’s troops moved in the next day.
The colonials quickly withdrew across the Lake to Fort Independence on the Vermont side of the Lake. They soon abandoned that fort as well and retreated south in disarray. The rear guard left to delay the British at the Lake Champlain crossing was reportedly too drunk to fire their cannon, and the colonial army was fortunate to withdraw to the Hudson Valley without major losses. Some of those forces were able to reach Saratoga in time to join the battle there.