WebHeader_Grove.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support NHPR and the NH Food Bank this holiday season.

Why Vermont Celebrates The Battle (Of Bennington) That Was Fought In New York

Yes, that's right. This Bennington Battlefield marker is in New York State where the battle was actually fought.
Yes, that's right. This Bennington Battlefield marker is in New York State where the battle was actually fought.

It seems like one of those little Vermont oddities to outsiders: Vermont's state government closes down every Aug. 16 to commemorate an armed conflict that took place across the river in New York State. We'll get all the details of the Battle of Bennington.

The 306-foot Bennington Battle Monument was dedicated in 1891.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR
The 306-foot Bennington Battle Monument was dedicated in 1891.

Vermont Historical Society Executive Director Steve Perkins joins us to recount the details of the skirmish that involved 3,800 soldiers, including 2,350 fighting for the American side. We'll also hear about events that are planned for this weekend in Bennington.

British Gen. John Burgoyne was leading a campaign to cut New England off from the other states in the summer of 1777. Running low on horses and supplies, he dispatched forces under Lt. Col. Friedrich Brown to Bennington, where what Burgoyne's troops needed was available.

On the afternoon of August 16, the local militia led by Gen. John Stark, a hero at the Battle of Bunker Hill, surprised the British while they were encamped at Walloomsac, New York. Stark's troops were joined by Col. Seth Warner and the Green Mountain Boys. 

Col. Seth Warner led the Green Mountain Boys at the Battle of Bennington.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR
Col. Seth Warner led the Green Mountain Boys at the Battle of Bennington.

In heavy fighting, there were 977 casualties. The Americans had 30 killed and 40 wounded, while the British lost 207 lives and had 700 soldiers missing or captured.

Broadcast live on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

 

Copyright 2019 Vermont Public Radio