With the help of the Duke of Bolton for whom his mother was housekeeper, Gates was able to secure a military commission to the 45th Foot. This enables him to serve in the French & Indian War where he initially met George Washington. It was difficult to advance in the British Army without sufficient and funds to continually purchase better commissions and the contacts to secure them. Gates was in and out of the army several times. With the outbreak of war, Gates went to Mount Vernon to offer his services, secured an appointment as a general of the Continental Army. Excellent at logistics, he lobbied for a field command which he got eventually securing an appointment as Major General of the Northern Division under General Schuyler. When Schuyler became ill in the summer of 1777, Gates succeeded him. He led the army during the defeat of General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga which is considered the turning point of the War. Trying to capitalize on his victory, he sent his reports directly to Congress instead of reporting to Washington and even found time to pay a secret visit to the Continental Congress to lobby to replace George Washington which wasn't successful. He had a spectacular failure with the Battle of Camden where he managed to lose 1000 troops and the army's baggage train which ended his field career and almost led to a court martial. His wife died. He proposed to General Montgomery's widow Janet; she refused him. In 1786 he married Mary Valens, settled in West Virginia and then moved to New York City.