On May 10, 1775, Fort Ticonderoga was captured by a small force of American Patriots led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold. They surprised and captured, without significant injury or incident, the small British garrison at the fort, and looted the personal belongings of the garrison. Cannons and other armaments from the fort were transported to Boston and used to fortify Dorchester Heights and break the stalemate at the Siege of Boston.
After seizing Ticonderoga, a small detachment captured the nearby Fort Crown Point on May 11. On May 18, Arnold and 50 men boldly raided Fort Saint-Jean on the Richelieu River in southern Quebec, seizing military supplies, cannons, and the largest military vessel on Lake Champlain.
Although the scope of this military action was relatively minor, it had significant strategic importance. It impeded communication between northern and southern units of the British Army, and gave the nascent Continental Army a staging ground for the invasion of Quebec later in 1775. It also involved two larger-than-life personalities in Allen and Arnold, each of whom sought to gain as much credit and honor as possible for these events.