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
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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.