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In the fall of 1777, the British commander General John Burgoyne and his men were advancing along the Hudson River, but the Americans soon stopped them. After Burgoyne had retreated to the heights of Saratoga, the Americans surrounded them and on October 17, Burgoyne surrendered to General Horatio Gates (center), commander of the American forces. Gates is shown ushering Burgoyne and his men to a tent for refreshments, in a gesture of good will. The surrender was a turning point in the American Revolution, demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.