In Walloomsac, New York about ten miles from Bennington on August 16, 1777 a rebel force of ~ 2000 men under the command of General John Stark engaged a contingent of General John Burgoyne‘s British troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum. Stark’s New Hampshire and Massachusetts militiamen were reinforced by Vermont militiamen under the command of Colonel Seth Warner and some of the Green Mountain Boys. The Battle of Bennington was a part of the larger Saratoga Campaign which would turn out to be the turning point in the American War for Independence. Baum’s detachment of about 700 Hessians was sent by Burgoyne to gather supplies needed for the greater battle effort in Saratoga. During a heavy rainstorm Stark’s men were able to envelope Baum’s men taking many prisoners and killing Baum. Reinforcements for both sides arrived but Stark and Warner were able to drive away the British reinforcements with heavy casualties. The outcome of the battle was that the British had lost approximately 1000 men that may have been instrumental in the forthcoming Battle of Saratoga, they did not acquire the much needed supplies and many of their Native American allies abandoned them and went home. The victory at Saratoga sent a positive message to the fledgling Colonial cause and was a major factor in bringing about French support to their war efforts.
The Bennington Battle Monument is a 306 foot high stone obelisk commemorating the battle. President Rutherford B. Hayes attended the anniversary of the battle in 1877 and many plans were discussed by the local historical society to build a monument. The final plan was approved and the monument was completed in 1889 for a cost of $112,000 a sizable sum for the time. There is an elevator going to the top of the monument where you can see three states on a clear day.
There is a visitor center where you can purchase tickets to the top of the monument.
There are a number of statues and historical placards honoring some of the participants in the battle.