The first source that will be evaluated is The Saratoga Campaign, by Donald Linebaugh and William Griswold. In the book, Linebaugh and Griswold detail the events of the Saratoga campaign from an archaeological perspective, with a focus on the two Battles of Saratoga. This source is relevant to the investigation because it includes a description of the Battle of Bennington and its effects. The origin of this source makes it valuable because both of the authors have PhDs in fields relevant to the book’s subject matter and have conducted extensive archaeological research in the Northeastern U.S, and these qualifications likely allowed them to construct an especially thorough and accurate description and investigation of their subject material. The origin may also be a limitation because the authors’ American nationality may imbue their work with pro-revolutionary one-sidedness. The content of this source may limit its value because the main focus is on discussing archaeological evidence, so it likely does not contain potentially valuable information from other sources. The purpose of the source (to convey the results of archaeological investigations in the Saratoga area to the general public) may be a limitation as works intended for mass consumption are often less detailed than those intended for use by historians, but it may also add value as the archaeological perspective on historical events is not one that is often considered.The second source that will be evaluated in depth is With Burgoyne from Quebec, an account of service in British general John Burgoyne’s army during the Saratoga campaign written by Thomas Anburey, an officer in Burgoyne’s army. The source is relevant because in the account, Anburey describes what he believes to be the causes and effects of the failure of the British Army at Bennington. The origin of this source both augments and limits its value. As a British officer, Anburey was privy to exclusive discussions of the army’s condition, which could have enabled him to more accurately identify the effects on the British Army of the loss at Bennington. This gives the source greater value. However, the fact that he was a participant in the conflicts he describes may have caused him to attempt to depict the British army in a sympathetic light, imbuing his text with a pro-British slant. The content of the source is a likely limitation because it only includes information available within the British army at the time, and so may not be a thorough picture of events. Anburey’s purpose—to entertain, not to chronicle objectively—is a possible limitation as it may have caused him to embellish or sensationalize some details.
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