Saratoga Campaign > Battle of Bennington

Battle of Bennington

Background

The Battle of Bennington was a battle of the American Revolutionary War, part of the Saratoga campaign, that took place on August 16, 1777, in Walloomsac, New York, about 10 miles (16 km) from its namesake Bennington, Vermont. A rebel force of 2,000 men, primarily New Hampshire and Massachusetts militiamen, led by General John Stark, and reinforced by Vermont militiamen led by Colonel Seth Warner and members of the Green Mountain Boys, decisively defeated a detachment of General John Burgoyne's army led by Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum, and supported by additional men under Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann.

Baum's detachment was a mixed force of 700 composed primarily of Hessians but also including small numbers of dismounted Brunswick dragoons, Canadians, Loyalists, and Indians.[7] He was sent by Burgoyne to raid Bennington in the disputed New Hampshire Grants area for horses, draft animals, provisions, and other supplies. Believing the town to be only lightly defended, Burgoyne and Baum were unaware that Stark and 1,500 militiamen were stationed there. After a rain-caused standoff, Stark's men enveloped Baum's position, taking many prisoners, and killing Baum. Reinforcements for both sides arrived as Stark and his men were mopping up, and the battle restarted, with Warner and Stark driving away Breymann's reinforcements with heavy casualties.

The battle was a major strategic success for the American cause and considered the turning point of the Revolutionary War; it reduced Burgoyne's army in size by almost 1,000 men, led his Native-American support to largely abandon him, and deprived him of much-needed supplies, such as mounts for his cavalry regiments, draft animals and provisions; all factors that contributed to Burgoyne's eventual defeat at Saratoga. The victory galvanized colonial support for the independence movement, and played a key role in bringing France into the war on the rebel side. The battle's anniversary is celebrated in the state of Vermont as Bennington Battle Day.

Saratoga Campaign Battles

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