Tag Archives: Battle of Bennington

Trail to Mark Historic March From Fort Miller to Bennington

In August of 1777, German Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum found himself in a precaurious position as his dismounted cavalry trudged through an unfamiliar wilderness – on a continent seperated by the Altlantic Ocean from their European homes – accompanied by British marksmen, layalists, and Native Americans of uncertain discipline.

Speaking in only his native tongue, unfamiliar with war in the wilderness, wary of the rebels’ determination and having no understanding of the landscape that lay between him and his goal, Baum departed from Fort Miller to capture stores at Bennington. So begins the saga of “The Road to Walloomsac.” Continue reading

Vermont to Celebrate Battle of Bennington

August 16 is Vermont’s official state holiday—Bennington Battle Day, honoring the American victory over the British at the August 16, 1777 Revolutionary War battle. To celebrate the anniversary all of Vermont’s State-Owned Historic Sites will be open free on Monday, August 16 to Vermont residents and Vermonters at heart.

Four Vermont state historic sites help tell the story of the American Revolution. American forces withdrew from Mount Independence in Orwell, now the least disturbed Revolutionary War site in America, on July 5 & 6, 1777. The Hubbardton Battlefield in Hubbardton preserves the July 7, 1777, location of the Revolution’s only battle fought in Vermont. The next day the Vermont constitution was completed and signed at the Old Constitution House in Windsor. The 306 foot tall Bennington Battle Monument, the tallest structure in Vermont, marks the site of the arsenal British and German troops were trying to capture that August 16th day they were defeated at the Battle of Bennington.

At the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, see the new Education & Museum building and enjoy one of the best preserved presidential sites in the country.

For further information about the locations and hours of these sites, visit the Vermont state-owned historic sites web site: www.HistoricVermont.org/sites or contact John Dumville at (802) 828-3051.

Bennington Battle Monument Opens for 2010

Vermont’s tallest building is opening for business again, as the Bennington Battle Monument begins its season on Saturday, April 17. Built to commemorate the August 16th, 1777 Battle of Bennington – which actually took place in nearby Walloomsac, New York – this Vermont State Historic Site opened to the public in 1891, some four years after construction began in 1887, at a cost of $112,000.

The monument, a 306-foot stone obelisk, was constructed on the site of a Continental military storehouse that was the objective of the British attack. With his army short of ammunition, food and arms, British General John Burgoyne decided to attack the town of Bennington and capture the storehouse and its supplies, sending about 800 men into battle against what he thought was a militia force about half that size.

Instead, they ran into about 1,500 New Hampshire militiamen under General John Stark, who attacked after reportedly telling his troops, “There are the Redcoats- they will be ours or tonight Molly Stark sleeps a widow.”

After defeating the main British force, which also included Loyalist troops, Native Americans, and Hessian mercenaries, Stark found himself under attack by a force of roughly 500 British reinforcements sent to aid the original raiders.

But he rallied his men, and the timely arrival of Colonel Seth Warner and his 500 Green Mountain Boys turned the tide as the combined American force counterattacked and drove the British from the field.

Events for the season includes the Climb of Your Life fundraising stair-climbing race sponsored by the American Lung Association on June 5th- the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July- and Bennington Battle Day on August 14 and 15, which will feature an encampment, cannons, ceremonies and re-enactors on site.

On September 24th British Actor Howard Burnham will perform Banastre Tarleton: A dramatic encounter with the Revolutionary War’s ultimate villain.

The monument and gift shop, located in Old Bennington, will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily through October 31 and are fully accessible. Admission to the Monument is $2.00 for adults, $1.00 for children (ages 6 thru 14), and children 5 and under are free as are scheduled school groups. Tickets can be purchased in the gift shop, where a fine selection of quality merchandise relating to the battle and the monument, along with gifts, maple products, books and more is offered.

Further information is available online at www.historicvermont.org or by calling (802) 447-0550.

Spend an Evening with General Johnny Burgoyne

This Friday, September 18th the Friends of the Bennington Battle Monument will host an evening with Major General John Burgoyne who will give a humorous, rueful and accurate account of “what went wrong” in 1777. Burgoyne was sent to put an end to the rebellion in the colonies and secure the Lake Champlain and Hudson River corridor for England. His loss at the Battle of Bennington in August led to his ultimate defeat and surrender at Saratoga, the turning point in the American Revolution.

“Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne is portrayed by Howard Burnham, an English-born actor, author, educator and museum curator, touring the area on a journey to Saratoga and Fort Ticonderoga. Howard’s acclaimed one-man shows have played throughout England and have been on the BBC. His fully costumed dramatic monologues/lectures-in-character with Power Point last approximately 45-50 minutes. This is history with humor, a program that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The presentation, sponsored by the Friends of the Monument, will take place on September 18th at 7:30 p.m. in the Old First Church Barn on Monument Circle. It is free and open to the public, light refreshments will be served. For further information contact the Bennington Battle Monument at (802) 447-0550, information on Howard Burnham can be found on his website www.HowardBurnham.com.