Bennington Battle Day

Bennington Battle Day

Vermont celebrates Bennington Battle Day every year on August 16th. The Battle of Bennington was fought in 1977 during the Revolutionary War. The main celebration occurs in Bennington, Vermont at the site of the battle.

A popular attraction is to ride up the elevator of the Bennington Monument, which offers views of the landscapes of Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York. The monument was built at the site of Bennington’s supply depot. The site is sometimes referred to as Old Bennington.

Beside a battle reenactment put on by historical societies, there are not many traditions observed on the holiday. Some commemorations may honor fallen soldiers. Schools may hold educational programs about the battle and the Revolutionary War. The 100th anniversary was marked by a series of speeches that were attended by President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The Battle of Bennington

This battle actually took place 10 miles from Bennington in Wallamoosac, New York. It is named after Bennington due to the supply depot that was located there. The battle is considered a turning point of the war. General John Stark led a force of 2,000 American troops consisting of state militia men and Green Mountain Boys members against Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum and General John Burgoyne’s army. The British Army troops had been recruited from Canada and Native American tribes alongside British soldiers.

Believing Bennington to only be lightly defended, Baum was heading to Bennington to raid the supply depots for horses and other supplies when Stark’s force met them in New York, who killed Baum and took many prisoners. The battle began again as the American forces were cleaning up the rain-soaked site when reinforcements came for both the British and the Americans. The British reinforcements led by Colonel Heinrich von Breymann retreated, but both sides suffered from heavy casualties.

The results of the victory make it a turning point for the Revolutionary War because:

  • It took 1,000 troops away from the British Army, 700 of which were captured.
  • The loss resulted in a loss of most Indian support
  • The British were prevented from acquiring supplies, for which they were in dire need.
  • Increased support for the Revolutionaries.
  • Helped lead to Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga.
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