In any war, there are key battles that turn the tide and fortunes of war. In WWII, the battle of Midway was key. In the civil war, the battle of Gettysburg was key. In the Revolutionary war, the battle of Bennington was key in that it stopped Major General John Burgoyne's army, depriving him of supplies that led up to his defeat at Saratoga, galvanized colonial support for independence and helped bring France into the war. We had seen the Bennington Battle Monument, shown below, numerous times; however, the battle wasn't fought in Bennington but in Walloomsac, NY. That was our destination. In the prelude to Bennington, Burgoyne was marching down the Hudson River valley from Canada with the intent of splitting the rebellious colonies into two parts. In the process, he had won victories at Fort Ticonderoga, Hubbardton, and Fort Ann but those victories and the terrain traveled had put a big dent in his supplies. To solve the supply problem Burgoyne ordered Colonel Friedrich Baum to raid the American supply depot at Bennington, VT, (coordinates 42.888991, -73.216317, which is at the site of the monument) thinking it was lightly guarded. Baum set out with 800 men to do just that. Enroute, Baum got intelligence that the stores were more heavily guarded and he halted his advance at the Walloomsac River and requested additional troops from Fort Miller. His Hessian troops built a small redoubt on the heights overlooking the river and they waited for the reinforcements to arrive. Brig. General John Stark had been shadowing Baum and on August 14 and 15 he reconnoitered Baum's postion, saw Baum was outnumbered and attacked the position on the 16th. Below is a picture of the redoubt area (coordinates 42.938473, -73.304299) and peak of the overlook hill. Rider Two decided to walk up the hill (there was a park ranger who didn't want us to ride up) and look at the monuments. We asked the ranger what was going on with the tent and all the "fixins". He smiled and said Colonel Baum was going to speak later this afternoon. Walking to the top of the hill gives you the following view. Below is a map of the battle area, showing the redoubt area. Another view from the top of the hill, noting there is a stone map of the battlefield. Things I learned from the visit to the battle ground: Burgoyne had as many as 1500 men in total, including Brunswick dragoons, French Canadians, Hessian artiller and other German detachments, Native Americans, Loyalists and British regulars and marksmen. General John Stark had 1500 reinforcements camped in nearby Manchester, VT. Baum's forces drove off a small American scouting party before encamping on the hill. Stark attacked Baum from all directions, scattering the Loyalists and causing the Indians to flee. The relief column sent by Burgoyne to help Baum initially put Stark in jeopardy but Colonel Seth Warner's Green Mountain boys arrived to drive them from the field. Just down the road a bit from the NY battlefield on Rt 67 West is a classic old covered bridge - Buskirks Bridge. It doesn't really have anything to do with the battle but was in the vicinity so we paid it a visit. If you continue west on 67 to Mechanicsville and then go north on 32 until it splits onto Rt 4, you will come to the Saratoga battlefield where Burgoyne was defeated. This is a subject for another day. More pictures taken on the Bennington run will follow in a subsequent post, hopefully later today or tomorrow. BTW, there are some great views in the area if you/your steed doesn't mind getting off into the gravel.