In 1775, Fort Ticonderoga's location did not appear to be as strategically important as it had been in the French and Indian War, when the French famously defended it against a much larger British force in the 1758 Battle of Carillon, and when the British captured it in 1759. After the 1763 Treaty of Paris, in which the French ceded their North American territories to the British, the fort was no longer on the frontier of two great empires, guarding the principal waterway between them. The French had blown up the fort's powder magazine when they abandoned the fort, and it had fallen further into disrepair since then. In 1775 it was garrisoned by only a small detachment of the 26th Regiment of Foot, consisting of two officers and forty-six men, with many of them "invalids" (soldiers with limited duties because of disability or illness). Twenty-five women and children lived there as well. Because of its former significance, Fort Ticonderoga still had a high reputation as the "gateway to the continent" or the "Gibraltar of America", but in 1775 it was, according to historian Christopher Ward, "more like a backwoods village than a fort."
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