Diary aids understanding of Battle of Valcour Island

Valcour Island/File

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The rediscovery of a Revolutionary War diary belonging to one of the American commanders of the Battle of Valcour Island is offering historians a fresh first-person view of the fight that historians credit with helping the fledgling United States of America survive.

The diary of Col. Edward Wigglesworth, the third in command of the American fleet during the Lake Champlain battle that began 242 years ago Thursday, was thought lost. But it was rediscovered earlier this year by an amateur historian.

Excerpts from the diary had been published decades ago, but students of the battle wanted the original.

Previously published excerpts contained minor errors that delayed historians' ability to identify a gunboat found on the lake bottom.

Historians say the Battle of Valcour Island made possible the 1777 American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)