Bennington, Battle of

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BENNINGTON, BATTLE OF (16 August 1777). In mid-August 1777 the British general John Burgoyne planned a raid on the American stores at Bennington, Vermont. His purpose was fourfold: to encourage the Loyalists, frighten New England, replenish his stock of provisions, and mount a regiment of heavily equipped German dragoons. Accordingly, these dragoons, lumbering along on foot in their enormous jackboots and stiff leather breeches, were made the nucleus of a raiding force of about 800 Tories, Canadians, Indians, and English under the command of the German colonel Frederich Baum. Nearing Bennington, Baum learned that the American general John Stark had assembled about 1,500 troops at Bennington to oppose him, and he sent to Burgoyne for reinforcements. Colonel Heinrich von Breyman, with about 500 men, was sent to his aid.

In the meantime, Stark, hearing of Baum's advance, marched to meet him. His attack on the afternoon of 16 August exposed severe weaknesses in the English lines: Baum's command was too widely dispersed; his auxiliaries were scattered; and his regulars, hastily entrenched on a hill overlooking the Walloomsac River, were surrounded and most of them captured. Meanwhile, Breyman, ignorant of the battle, approached. Stark, now reinforced by Colonel Seth Warner with 350 men, re-formed and attacked. The Germans retreated and were pursued until dark. The Americans took about 700 prisoners. The victory did much to improve the morale of the American forces.


Bird, Harrison. March to Saratoga. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Ketchum, Richard M. "Bennington." The Quarterly Journal ofMilitary History 10, no. 1 (1997): 98–111.

Shalhope, Robert H. Bennington and the Green Mountain Boys. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

A. C.Flick/a. r.

See alsoBurgoyne's Invasion ; German Mercenaries ; Green Mountain Boys .

Bennington, battle of

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Bennington, battle of, 1777. On his march south from Canada to split the rebellious American colonies, Burgoyne found himself at Fort Edward short of supplies. He dispatched a raiding force under a German officer, Baum, with 800 scratch troops to Bennington. There they were confronted on 16 August by a force twice their size under John Stark. Baum was killed and his expedition wiped out. The loss of men made Burgoyne's position still more hazardous.

J. A. Cannon

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Battle of Bennington

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