Burgoyne’s army occupied a large expanse of land, which probably extended as far south as today’s Dix Bridge on the Hudson River. Although Baum had bridge builders in his corps, some historians believe that he was in a hurry, and did not want to take the time to build a bridge across the Batten Kill at Clark’s Mills. Since they did not have a bridge, it was necessary for Baum’s troops to wade across the river; it was particularly challenging to keep their guns, powder and artillery dry. A dam on the east side of today’s Clark’s Mill Bridge now powers the Hollingsworth and Vose paper factory, and controls the water flow. The company has created boat launches that allow kayakers or rafters to “carry” around the dam.
We also passed quite a pleasant region, which was cultivated on both sides of the Hudson. We came to a traverse whose river emptied into the Hudson. For lack of a bridge, the corps had to walk up to their waists through the water, which was a most unpleasant and dangerous undertaking; for the current was so fast that one could hardly keep one’s balance.
Julius Wasmus August 11, 1777