Overview and Summary of the Battle of Bennington
The Americans had a depot at Bennington, in Bennington County, Vermont - the battle was actually fought a few miles to the west along the Walloomsac River in New York. The depot contained vital supplies, stores and horses and was a prime target for the British. General John Burgoyne was running desperately short of supplies and provisions and sent over 800 troops through the Connecticut valley, under Friedrich Baum to capture the depot and the much needed supplies. His force consisted of British, German Hessians, American loyalists, and Indians from the Iroquois Confederacy. About 2,000 New Hampshire militia rushed to the defence of Bennington. General John Stark, who had fought gallantly at the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Battle of Trenton, took command. John Stark led the American charge against the British front, repeatedly charging up the hill where the British lay behind breastworks (temporary fortifications made of earth, thrown up to breast height to provide protection). The Battle of Bennington raged for two hours but the British force was overpowered by superior numbers and Friedrich Baum was forced to surrender. German reinforcements under the command of Heinrich von Breymann looked set to reverse the outcome but were prevented by the arrival of Seth Warner’s Green Mountain Boys, the Vermont militia that had been founded by Ethan Allen. The Green Mountain Boys drove the forces of Heinrich von Breymann away from Bennington taking over 700 prisoners and all of their arms.