Sunday, July 5, 2020

ARP156 The Siege of Fort Henry




We are still working our way through August 1777 where so much has been happening.  Much of it has been in upstate New York as General Burgoyne made his way from Canada toward Albany. I’ve mentioned in earlier episodes that a big part of the British war effort was making use of their Indian allies throughout North America.

British-Native American Relations 

The relationship between the British government and North American tribes during this period is one that is often ignored or misunderstood by casual students of the Revolutionary War.  I think many have expressed a belief that the British pretty much ignored the Indians and kept separate from them most of the time.  Every so often a pompous British general would give some condescending speech to the native tribes when the British needed them to go to war, or to take more of their land, but otherwise, there was not much interaction.

Fort Henry (from Wikimedia)
This was not the case.  Like any effective empire, the British government maintained regular relations with native tribes through Indian agents.  I’ve already mentioned Sir William Johnson, who was an Iroquois agent for decades and who was important during the French and Indian War.  I also mentioned his son and nephew, John Johnson and Guy Johnson who continued his work during the Revolution and who were actively involved in supporting the Burgoyne campaign in 1777.  These are only a couple of examples of hundreds of men who worked as Indian agents for the British Empire.

Indian agents were effectively ambassadors, whose purpose was to maintain relations between the British and local tribes.  But unlike most ambassadors, who leave the home country for a few years, go to work in a foreign embassy, and then return home, Indian agents generally devoted their lives to the position.  These are men who had been adopted into tribes, often took native wives and began families whose children would also often serve as Indian agents themselves.  They lived fully within the tribes, sharing the same hardships and challenges that faced the rest of the tribe members.

This brings me to another canard.  Many people tend to think of Indians as a nomadic people who lived as savages and had minimal interactions with the European colonists, and that most of those interactions were in wartime.  This also was not the case.  There were some tribes who did move about more than others, although these tended to be further west and typically involved following regular annual patterns of migration for food gathering.  But a great many tribes lived in one place.  Many natives owned private land, built plantations, and lived much like the colonists.  Some even owned black slaves.  They often grew cash crops for sale in Britain, and had extensive interactions with the neighboring colonists.

I’m not saying the natives lived in the same integrated communities as the Europeans.  That was pretty rare.  But the groups did have pretty close relationships in most cases for purposes of trade and to prevent any disputes from getting out of hand.

In part because of the longstanding relationships of British agents with their tribes, most native groups tended to support the British.  This was not just because agents regularly provided tribes with gifts and other benefits, which they did, but also because agents convinced many tribal leaders, truthfully, that the British government was the one thing standing between these tribes and groups of colonists who wanted to push them off their lands.  Colonists had for decades been trying to push westward and settle new lands and their colonial populations grew. The main thing preventing them from doing so was policy from London that prevented western settlements that would likely result in more warfare with the natives.

Native Populations

Way back in Episode 4, I gave an overview of the native tribes that were relevant to the colonists in this era.  For a quick recap, the Algonquin speaking tribes had been pushed back into Canada in the decades before the war.  Their rivals, the Iroquois, were centered in upstate New York.  The Iroquois confederacy was made up of six tribes which had come to dominate territory as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Illinois by developing a trading relationship, first with the Dutch, then with the British, which gave them access to guns and other technology.  This allowed them to dominate their neighbors.

Gen. Burgoyne addressing Tribal Chiefs (from art com)
As I’ve discussed in recent episodes, the Revolution divided the Iroquois, with many of the larger tribes ultimately siding with the British.  Two smaller tribes backed the patriots.  This schism led to the end of the Iroquois Confederacy as a regional power.

Historically, the Iroquois claimed neutrality, but tended to favor the British and support British policy.  They took on the role of chief negotiator with the British on behalf of other tribes that they claimed to control.  Other mid-Atlantic tribes, such as the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee, had been forced to move west as the Iroquois ceded their lands to the colonists.  These tribes tried to keep the peace most of the time because they simply did not have the power to resist without being destroyed.  However, they were generally hostile toward the colonists who had pushed them off their native lands and always looked for an opportunity to prevent further encroachments.

Farther to the south, the Cherokee dominated the areas in the western Carolinas.  The Cherokee had risen up and attacked in early 1776 at the instigation of British agents.  The patriots had crushed the Cherokee and forced them to cede even more land and move further west, see Episode 102.

South of the Cherokee were the Creek, who had some involvement in Georgia, but largely left the fighting to the Seminole in Florida who supported the British.

As I discussed back in Episode 151, the British had tried to involve native warriors as part of what became known as the Saratoga Campaign into upstate New York. More than a thousand warriors participated directly with the British and Germans in that campaign.

But aside from those warriors, British agents also attempted to stir up other warriors that would hopefully distract the Americans and force them to deploy more soldiers elsewhere.  This would improve the chances for Burgoyne’s expedition in upstate New York.

Beginning in late 1776 and into 1777, Delaware and Mingo warriors began a series of attacks on settlers in the Ohio valley. They did not have the numbers to strike eastward at larger settlements, but frontier villages in what is today Ohio and Kentucky fell victim to a great many attacks.

One common tactic would be to attack an isolated farm or just kill a farmer out in his field.  When the local militia assembled and tried to chase down the killers, they would retreat, giving the indication that they were a small group of renegades.  They would let the militia chase them for miles until they led the militia into an ambush of a much larger group of Indians.  The warriors would then fall on the militia, which had ventured too far from the protection of their forts.

Edward Hand

To combat the native warrior threat, General Washington assigned General Edward Hand to protect the American frontier.  Hand moved his command to Fort Pitt, modern day Pittsburgh.

Edward Hand had been born in Ireland in 1744.  He attended Trinity College in Dublin where he received enough medical training to become a surgeon’s mate with the British regulars.  In 1767, his regiment sailed to Philadelphia where Ensign Hand was stationed at Fort Pitt with the British Army.

Gen. Edward Hand
(from Rockford Plantation)
In 1774, he had resigned his commission and moved to Lancaster to begin a medical practice.  A year later he got married.  Around that same time, he also took up a leading role in Pennsylvania’s patriot movement, forming a regiment of Associators.

Hand was among the first Pennsylvanians to join the Siege of Boston.  He took a commission as a lieutenant colonel in Colonel William Thompson's 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.  One of the first regiments of riflemen to join the New England Army after George Washington took command.  Hand became Colonel of the First Continental Regiment.

During the British invasion of New York in 1776, Hand commanded a group of twenty-five soldiers who held off 4000 British trying to land at Throg’s Neck, see Episode 112.  That defense was only possible because of the British leadership’s ridiculous choice of a landing site, but still an impressive feat.  Remember also Colonel Hand was second in command of a brigade defending Trenton when General Cornwallis was attempting to retake the town.  After the French General Fermoy simply turned his horse and ran way, it was Hand to took command and commanded the delaying action that prevented the British from entering Trenton until shortly before dusk.

Ohio Valley

A few months after his leadership in the Princeton Campaign, Congress promoted Hand to brigadier general and sent him to Fort Pitt in his first independent command.  Congress tasked him with handling the hostile Indian attacks all along the frontier.  Congress had planned to provide General Hand with two thousand soldiers and supplies to embark on a campaign through Indian territory and wipe out tribal villages and food stores as had been done with the Cherokee War in the western Carolinas a few months earlier (see Episode 102).

By the summer of 1777, the native violence in the Ohio Valley was not seen as pervasive enough to justify an all-out patriot attack.  At the time, only a small number of warriors were on the warpath.  An all-out assault on native lands might actually increase the level of hostility against frontier settlers.  As a result, Congress called off the campaign, but left General Hand at Fort Pitt with a smaller garrison, ready to respond as needed.

Col. Henry Hamilton
(from Wikimedia)
At the same time, British agents were doing their best to motivate local tribes in the Ohio Valley to attack the patriot settlements.  Agents visited tribal councils, handed out muskets, scalping knives, war paint, and other necessities for a campaign, and encouraged warriors to attack.  In Detroit, British Colonel Henry Hamilton, no relation to Alexander Hamilton, offered to pay for patriot scalps if warriors returned with them.  He became known among the Indians as “hair buyer.”

In some areas, native warriors took control of frontier areas, guaranteeing the safety of anyone who declared allegiance to the King.  All others were told to leave within a week or be massacred.  Many patriots fled as a result.  Much of this happened in western New York and had been expected to be applied further south in the Ohio Valley.  But after the defeat at Fort Stanwix, most of the native leaders abandoned the effort.

Even so, local tribes, the Wyandot, Shawnee, Mingo, and Delaware, did continue their attacks in the Ohio Valley.  Settlers who remained, typically remained in or near forts that provided protection against Indian raids.  One such fort was Fort Henry in what is today Wheeling, West Virginia.

Colonists had built the fort in 1774, during the violence with the natives that eventually became Lord Dunmore’s War (see Episode 44).  At the time, it was called Fort Fincastle which was one of the Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore’s titles: Viscount Fincastle.  After Independence, Patriots renamed the fort after the new Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry.  It was a small wooden stockade meant to hold a few dozen people.  It was bounded by a river on two sides, as well as a ravine on the third side, meaning it could only be attacked from the east.

The Siege

General Hand sent out a warning in early August that there was a good chance of an Indian attack.  Most of the locals took shelter in Fort Henry, and local militia began patrolling for Indian warriors.  After several weeks of finding nothing and with harvest season upon them, many of the locals returned home

On September 1, 1777, one local man, who we only know as Mr. Boyed, and his slave rode out to tend to their horses.  They ran into an ambush near the fort, where six warriors attacked them.  Boyd was shot dead, but his slave returned to the fort.

Receiving word of the attack, Captain Samuel Mason and his company of fourteen soldiers rode out from Fort Henry to track down the small group of Indian attackers.  The company found the six warriors retreating into the fog, and pursued them.  Suddenly, the troop found itself surrounded by a much larger Indian ambush into which the smaller group had lured them.  The Indians massacred and scalped the militia, with only two of them managing to escape and run back to the fort, pursued by warriors.

Hearing the sound of gunfire, another militia captain at the fort, Captain Joseph Ogle, rode out with another company to provide support to Captain Mason’s returning company.  However, Ogle’s men ran into the same raiding party that had already massacred Mason’s company and were now turning on them.  Most of Ogle's company was killed although the captain and a few of his men were able to take cover and eventually make their way back to the fort.

The situation inside the fort was pretty desperate.  With most of the militia defenders killed in the initial ambush the fort only had twelve men to defend the fort and about eighty women and children.

The attackers were led by a Wyandot Chief named Pamoacan, and with about 200 warriors from various local tribes.  They also had with them an Indian agent.  As the warriors took up positions around the fort and waved the scalps of the garrison’s former comrades, the British agent marched up to the fort with a drummer signaling parlay.  He announced that he could guarantee the King’s protection to those inside the fort if they surrendered immediately.  Otherwise, the warriors would storm the fort and kill everyone.

The fort commander, Colonel David Shepard, refused the offer.  With that, the warriors attempted to storm the fort by battering down the main door.  They were unable to do so.  Both sides kept up a heavy rate of fire for the rest of the day and overnight.  The twelve defenders inside the fort had women reloading their guns as they shot, in order to keep up a higher rate of fire than their small numbers would ordinarily allow.

The following day, September 2, the warriors attempted to use a battering ram to knock down the front gate, but the door held.  They also tried to set fire to the forts walls, but again the defenders drove them back. Late that day, the warriors pulled back to organize for a final assault on the fort.

McCulloch’s Leap

Things looked pretty bleak for those inside the fort, but that evening, a group of militia reinforcements arrived by canoe.  Colonel Andrew Swearengen and fourteen soldiers slipped into the fort under cover of darkness, doubling the size of the garrison.  A short time later, another group of forty mounted militia rushed past the surprised warriors and into the fort.  The fort defenders opened the doors to let in the reinforcements.

However, as the Indians pursued, they had to shut the doors before the commander of the reinforcements, Major Samuel McCulloch could make it inside.  McCulloch turned his horse toward the pursuing Indians and managed to dash through their lines without being harmed.  As he rode past his attackers, he ran into another Indian raiding party which left him surrounded.

McCulloch's Leap (from Wikimedia)
Warriors surrounded McCulloch on three sides, with a cliff preventing him from escaping on the fourth.  Considering his options, McCulloch opted for the cliff.  According to contemporary stories, McCulloch spurred his horse and leaped off the cliff.  The Indians rushed up to the edge, expecting to see a dead horse and rider at the bottom.  Instead, they saw McCulloch had somehow landed safely and ridden away.  The event later became celebrated in local lore as “McCulloch’s Leap”

Now, if you are skeptical that a horse and rider could jump off a 300 foot cliff and simply ride away, you are not alone.  My suspicion is that it was a very steep hill which McCulloch was able to ride down with a combination of good horsemanship and luck.  In any event, he did survive and escape.

The Siege Ends

The warriors returned their attention to the fort.  Where they had once faced twelve defenders, they now faced more than sixty.  Although they still outnumbered the garrison by more than three to one, Indians were never good at assaulting forts, and did not want to press their luck.

Fort Pitt (from Wikimedia)
They spent the night dancing and demonstrating in front of the fort to terrify the occupants.  The next day, the warriors burned all of the outbuildings, crops, animals and anything else of value that they could not take with them.  As they did this, some of the attackers continued to fire on the fort, but did not attempt an all out assault on the walls as they had done the two previous days.  Chief Pamoacan withdrew his warriors and went in search of other targets.

Casualties of the siege are again contradictory by source, but somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five militia were killed in the attack, with another five or so wounded.  The Indians suffered at least one dead and nine wounded, although since the natives carried off their dead and wounded and did not keep good records, casualties might have been higher.

Aftermath

Following the siege, Virginia’s Governor Henry and General Hand both wanted to begin the campaign against the native villages that they had planned months earlier.  However, Congress simply could not spare the soldiers at the time.  This was in the middle of the Saratoga Campaign in New York and General Howe’s assault on Philadelphia. Those campaigns took precedence over the frontier.

The patriot offensive in revenge for Fort Henry would have to wait.  The campaign against the natives would take place the following year in 1778, but that is going to have to wait for a future episode.  For the moment, General Hand retrenched his small force at Fort Pitt, and waited for the right time to act.

Next Week: General Howe finally lands his army in Maryland and begins his advance on Philadelphia.

- - -

Next  Episode 157 British Landing & Cooch's Bridge (Available July 12, 2020)

Previous Episode 155 Battle of Bennington

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Further Reading

Websites

General Edward Hand: http://www.jlgh.org/Past-Issues/Volume-13-Issue-1/Gen-Edward-Hand.aspx

Stevens, Paul L. “‘To Keep the Indians of the Wabache in His Majesty's Interest’: The Indian Diplomacy of Edward Abbott, British Lieutenant Governor of Vincennes, 1776–1778.” Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 83, no. 2, 1987, pp. 141–172, www.jstor.org/stable/27791068 (free to read with registration)..

The Fort Henry Story: https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/the-fort-henry-story-by-klein-and-cooper/3699

The Story of Fort Henry: http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh1-2.html

Free eBooks
(from archive.org unless noted)

Callahan, James M. History of West Virginia, The American Historical Society, 1923.

De Hass, Wills History of the early settlement and Indian wars of Western Virginia, H. Hoblitzell, 1851.

Stone, William L. Border Wars of the American Revolution, Vol. 1, Harper & Brothers, 1845.
by Stone, William L. (William Leete), 1792-1844

Books Worth Buying
(links to Amazon.com unless otherwise noted)*

Calloway, Colin G. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities, Cambridge Univ. Press,

Calloway, Colin G. The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation, Oxford Univ. Press, 2018

Graymont, Barbara The Iroquois in the American Revolution, Syracuse Univ. Press, 1972

Waller, George M. American Revolution in the West, Burnham, Inc. Publications, 1976.

Williams, Glenn F. Year of the Hangman: George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois, Westholme Publishing, 2005

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Episode 155 Battle of Bennington




Last week, we left off with General John Stark’s New Hampshire militia army marching to occupy Bennington, Vermont, where the Americans maintained a supply depot.  At the same time, German Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum led a force of over one thousand loyalists and Germans detached from Burgoyne’s army to capture Bennington.

Alert listeners may have noticed a trend that when two opposing armies try to occupy the same town, a battle usually occurs.  That will be the case today as the two armies clash in what became known as the Battle of Bennington.

Cambridge

As I mentioned last week, Colonel Baum’s column moved slowly through the wilderness.  They left Fort Miller on the Hudson River on August 11, 1777.  Two days later, an advance force of about fifty Indians had reached Cambridge, New York, a small village of a few houses just over 15 miles away.  Baum’s main column was still in transit.

In Bennington, less than twenty miles from Cambridge, General John Stark received word of enemy warriors in Cambridge and that they were the vanguard of a larger enemy column.  Stark deployed about two hundred men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William Gregg to reconnoiter the enemy and intercept any advancing scouting parties.  That evening, August 13, Gregg’s force set up camp at a grist mill just outside of Cambridge.

Battle of Bennington (from RevWar US)
The next morning, Baum’s column was up before dawn and on the march.  By around 8:00 AM on the 14th, the advance of his column reached Cambridge.  Gregg’s patriots opened fire on the enemy but quickly retreated into the woods before doing any damage.  Baum reported only one Indian warrior wounded.  As the British column repaired the bridge that had been destroyed, an optimistic Colonel Baum said that he had made contact with the enemy and that he continued to advance on Bennington, with an expected arrival in two days.

In response to Baum’s request for reinforcements, sent several days earlier when he received his first intelligence about the size of the enemy, General Burgoyne had ordered the deployment another German, Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann at the head of about 600 more Brunswicker soldiers.  Breymann’s column, however, did not leave until August 15th.  The slow moving relief column was on its way, but would not be able to catch up with Baum’s column for several days.  Baum continued on toward Bennington.  He was not certain that the enemy was as large as his intelligence suggested, and even if it was, they were just local militia, who probably would not stand and fight.  Waiting for reinforcements would only give the enemy time to remove the supplies at Bennington that Baum wanted to capture.

As Baum advanced that day, his men ran into another minor skirmish with the militia.  One Mohawk Chief who led too far in advance of the lines was killed.  Baum had about 100 Native American warriors with him, but relations were not good.  The Indians tended to be in the forefront and took most of the casualties.  They also frequently stopped to loot.  What booty they did not want themselves, they often tried to sell to the army.  Baum, however, did not have cash to pay them. Indians who had captured most of the horses so far, simply drove them off or killed them rather than let their allies have them for free.

Baum advancing on Bennington (from Bennington Museum)
Baum’s force continued to advance, but quickly ran into more of the enemy.  American Colonel Gregg had sent word to General Stark that they had made contact with the enemy.  Stark deployed more soldiers to advance and challenge the German offensive.  He also called for reinforcements from the Continentals posted at Manchester.

By the end of the day on August 14th Colonel Baum had placed his men and artillery in a defensive position on a hill just to the east of Cambridge.  The two sides both sent out skirmishers to probe the enemy lines and determine the position and strength of the enemy.  Late in the day, and continuing all day on the 15th, a downpour kept both armies contained.  Both were waiting for reinforcements anyway.

While there were no major clashes on the 15th, the Americans reported killing about 30 Indian warriors.  The British speculated that the Americans were targeting the Indians for revenge.  The memory of Jane McCrea’s murder and the slaughter of other locals was still fresh in everyone’s mind.  Most of the Indians who were not killed, thought this was an opportune time to go home.  They had more loot than they could carry.  Their allies were not interested in buying any of their prizes, and they had no interest in hanging around for a major battle where they might be used as cannon fodder by their allies.  Those who did remain were discouraged and remained behind with the baggage.  At the same time most of the Indians were leaving, local loyalists added more than one hundred volunteers to supplement Baum’s forces.

On the other side, General Stark pulled in more of his own militia.  He also received a group of Stockbridge Indians from Massachusetts who had marched out along with other Massachusetts militia and Continentals led by Colonel Seth Warner to support the New Hampshire militia.

The Battle

When the weather finally cleared on the morning of the morning of August 16, the two armies prepared for battle.  Baum had put his German dragoons on the high ground, forming a redoubt at the top of a hill.  His cannons covered the bridge they would need for their retreat back to Cambridge if necessary.  He deployed his few remaining Indians as well as several hundred loyalist volunteers in a second defensive redoubt further to the south.  This second redoubt was somewhat removed and isolated from the main force and would be the first target of attack by the Americans.

Stark had held a council of war with his colonels on the night of August 14 to develop a plan of attack. Because the 15th was so rainy, they waited until the 16th to put their plan into action.  Stark divided his army into four divisions.  He knew that he outnumbered the enemy and hoped to hit the entrenched defenders from multiple sides at once.  Lieutenant Colonel Moses Nichols would lead 250 New Hampshire soldiers on a march around the enemy’s left flank so that they could attack the German redoubt from the North East.  At the same time Vermont Colonel Samuel Herrick would take 300 soldiers around the enemy’s right flank, ford the Walloomsac River and attack the enemy from the south. Colonels Thomas Stickney and David Hobart would take more New Hampshire Militia and directly assault the loyalist redoubt from the southeast.  Stark would personally lead a 300 man force to storm the German redoubt in a frontal assault from the southeast as well.

By the afternoon of the 16th, the men were ready for battle.  General Stark gave a short speech to motivate his men.  He pointed to the enemy and, referencing his wife, said something to the effect of “There are the redcoats and loyalists, and they are ours or Molly Stark sleeps a widow tonight.

The attack was set to begin at 3:00 PM.  Colonel Nichols made a last minute request for reinforcements and received another 100 men.  Since Nichols had the longest march, the orders were for him to attack when in position. The sound of the gunfire would be the signal for the other divisions to attack.

Nichols and Herrick both hit the German redoubt with a sudden opening volley.  Firing on both sides opened up.  Stark described it as the hottest engagement he had ever witnessed, like a continuous clap of thunder.  The Americans outnumbered the Germans, but the Germans held the high ground and were backed by cannons.

The intense fire only lasted for a matter of minutes before the Americans charged the redoubt and engaged in a vicious hand to hand combat with the defenders.  The Germans broke ranks and fled down the hill with the enemy in pursuit.  The battle devolved into chaotic hand to hand combat between men fighting with swords, bayonets, and using their muskets as clubs.  Within a half hour the German redoubt had collapsed, with all the defenders dead or prisoners.

Battle (from Bennington Museum)
In the loyalist redoubt about 250 loyalists were entrenched on high ground led by Lieutenant Colonel John Peters of the Queen’s Loyal Rangers.  Stafford’s Americans approached the redoubt through a ravine that prevented the enemy from seeing their approach.  When the Americans attacked, they were practically inside the redoubt.  Colonel Stafford ordered the Americans to charge, but was shot down in the first volley.  He soon realized he was just hit in the foot and stood back up to continue to rally his men.

The fighting at this redoubt was some of the fiercest.  These loyalists and patriots were often men who had grown up together in the region and knew each other well.  One of the men who shot Stafford later said that he knew him personally but still took careful aim to drop him.  He was stunned when Stafford stood up again after he thought he had killed his former friend.

As Colonel Peters rallied his loyalist defenders, he heard an enemy shout “Peters, you damned Tory, I have got you” as he bayoneted Peters in the chest.  Peters recognized his attacker as his old schoolmate, and now patriot militia Captain Jeremiah Post.  Peters fired his musket at Post at point blank range, killing him instantly.

With the German dragoon and loyalist redoubts overrun, General Stark could focus almost all of his divisions on the remaining central defensive position under the command of Colonel Baum himself.  Baum’s remaining Brunswickers were heavily outnumbered and quickly running out of ammunition.  They realized that they could not hold out for reinforcements.  Baum ordered a desperate charge into the enemy lines in an attempt to break out and retreat.  The Americans did not give way, leading to more hand to hand combat with swords, bayonets, and muskets used as clubs in a desperate struggle for survival.  Colonel Baum took a bullet during this fighting and collapsed with a mortal wound. The remaining Germans still alive had to surrender, with only a few scattered soldiers escaping into the woods.

Breymann’s Relief Column

By 5:00 PM, the battle was over except for the Americans hunting down a few enemy soldiers hiding in the woods.  Baum’s Loyalist leader, Philip Skene had left before the battle began, trying to find von Breymann’s relief column and get them to hurry forward.

Battlefield Map (from RevWar US)
The night before Breymann had camped about seven miles from Cambridge.  After the battle, Breymann would take criticism for not reaching Baum in time to support him.  Many historians have pointed out that Baum and Breymann did not like each other, and that Breymann might have deliberately moved slowly in order to let Baum fail.  But it had taken Baum three days to march as far as he did. Breymann made that same march in two days.  His men were similarly clothed in a way that was not suited for wilderness marching, and several rather large field cannons with him had to be hauled over hills and across streams.  Remember also that the 15th, when he left, was a day of hard driving rain, so hard that the two sides did not even attempt battle.  Breymann’s relief column had to march through that same storm.

Still a few miles from the battle scene, Breymann met up with Skene and a few other Tories who had escaped battle.  Skene told Breymann that the battle was still raging and that he should hurry his reinforcements forward to battle.  Breymann began to deploy his soldiers when a group of armed men on horses rode toward them.  Skene told Breymann they were loyalists, but it turned out they were not. They men fired on the Germans, killing Breymann’s horse and wounding the colonel.

Angered, Breymann ordered his men forward, and brought up his field cannons.  Most of the Americans were still miles away, engaged in mopping up operations.  They were looting Baum’s supplies as well as the dead and wounded enemy.  The small patriot force under Colonel Herrick that engaged with Breymann was far outnumbered and began to retreat back toward the main army.  Since the Americans were mostly armed with rifles, they could inflict devastating fire on the pursuing Germans, while keeping enough distance that the Germans armed with muskets could not effectively return fire.  Breymann’s officers were particular targets for the American riflemen, and took a disproportionate number of the casualties.

Prisoners after the battle (from Bennington Museum)
With the superior numbers and use of artillery, the German relief force moved forward.  Miles away, a messenger reached General Stark to inform him of the enemy relief column headed his way.  Stark had to scurry to reorganize his militia.  He had not taken many casualties in the first battle, but many of his men were either off looting, or removing prisoners back away from the battlefield.  His army had lost all its organization and now he faced a new incoming army of unknown size.

Colonel Seth Warner had arrived on the scene ahead of his reinforcements, who were still marching from Manchester.  Warner worked with General Stark to set up skirmish lines with the soldiers available.  Hearing the firing, more militia dropped what they were doing and rushed to the sound of battle, giving the Americans more troops.  Even so, the Germans still outnumbered the American defenders.  Breymann detached a regiment under Major von Barner to turn the American right flank.  As the Germans attempted to flank the American line, Warner’s 130 Continentals and another 200 rangers arrived at the battle in time to push back the Germans.  Breymann sent in another several hundred men to flank the Americans but found they could not do so.

After several hours of fighting, the German relief force realized that Baum’s forces were already gone.  They had taken heavy casualties themselves, and were in danger of being overrun.  By 8:00 PM the sun was setting.  Breymann ordered his soldiers to retreat.  They abandoned their cannons, their carts, even their wounded, as men fled the field.  A third of his force was killed or captured.  Breymann escaped with his wounds and marched his remaining force back toward Burgoyne’s army.

Aftermath

The battle had been a brutal one, especially for the Germans.  Nearly all of Baum’s army was killed or captured.  Von Breymann’s relief column lost a third of their men.  In total, the Americans took over 700 prisoners, including 30 officers.  Only nine of Baum’s soldiers escaped capture.  Another two hundred or so loyalists were also killed or captured.  Native American casualties were not recorded, but were a high proportion of those involved as well.  Of the nearly two thousand men committed to the battle, Burgoyne’s forces took a nearly 50% casualty rate.  Instead of capturing much needed weapons, supplies and horses, they had lost around a thousand irreplaceable soldiers, as well as a few of their cannons.  By contrast, the Americans had suffered only about thirty killed and forty or fifty wounded.  Among the dead was Seth Warner’s brother Jesse.

The Americans treated the Germans and the few British regulars captured as prisoners of war, Many wounded went untreated for days, and some reported a few prisoners killed by their guards.  But most of the Germans capable of walking were marched back to Bennington.  After a few days, the Americans marched the captives to Boston where they were held as prisoners of war.

Bennington Memorial (from Wikimedia)
The Indians and Tories did not fare quite as well.  I’ve actually read no accounts of Indian prisoners.  Any wounded on the battlefield were likely dispatched where they lay.  The loyalist prisoners were considered criminals.  The level of hatred against former friends and neighbors, sometimes even relatives, had reached such intensity that there was no respect for prisoners of war.  Many were marched back to Bennington to be tried as traitors and hanged.  There are also quite a few accounts of large numbers of prisoners being tomahawked or shot in the back of the head rather than being taken anywhere.  Some thought a quick death was too good for them and dragged prisoners to death behind horses.

General Stark became a national hero.  Patriots toasted his victory across the country.  New Hampshire’s Assembly awarded their hero general a new suit.  Less than two months later, the Continental Congress finally commissioned Stark as a brigadier general in the Continental Army.  Stark’s army did not fare quite as well.  His 1500 man force remained in the area for a few weeks.  During that time, a measles epidemic swept through the camp.  About half of his force either died or became unfit for duty as a result.

For the British, the battle was devastating.  It meant the loss of most of Burgoyne’s remaining Indian auxiliaries. Those who survived, returned home.  The loss of the Brunswickers and loyalists eliminated about one-sixth of his total army, soldiers that he could not replace nor afford to lose.

The two surviving leaders, Colonel von Breymann and Philip Skene, blamed each other for the loss.  Skene was highly critical of how slow Breymann moved to relieve Colonel Baum.  Had he arrived earlier in the day, he could have provided the necessary reinforcements.  Breymann attacked Skene for telling him that Baum still needed rescuing, even though Baum’s army had already been defeated.  Breymann said that, had he known that, he never would have taken his men into battle against a superior army.

Following Bennington, Burgoyne, who had up until that time used Skene as a trusted advisor on local issues, no longer sought his counsel.  Skene and Colonel von Breymann both remained with the army as it continued its march south.

- - -

Next  Episode 156 The Siege of Fort Henry

Previous Episode 154 John Stark Raises an Army

Click here to donate
American Revolution Podcast is distributed 100% free of charge. If you can chip in to help defray my costs, I'd appreciate whatever you can give.  Make a one time donation through my PayPal account.

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Further Reading

Websites

Battle of Bennington: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/revolutionary-war/battles/bennington

Battle of Bennington: https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/battle-of-bennington

Battle of Bennington: https://www.britishbattles.com/war-of-the-revolution-1775-to-1783/battle-of-bennington

Barbieri, Michael "Bennington Fatally Delays Burgoyne" Journal of the American Revolution, June 11, 2013: https://allthingsliberty.com/2013/06/bennington-fatally-delays-burgoyne

Hargreaves, Reginald “Burgoyne and America's Destiny” American Heritage Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 4, June 1956: https://www.americanheritage.com/burgoyne-and-americas-destiny

The Bennington Battle Monument: https://www.benningtonbattlemonument.com

Free eBooks
(from archive.org unless noted)

Anbury, Thomas Travel through Various Parts of North America, Vol. 1, William Lane, 1789.

Baster, James (ed) The British Invasion from the North: The Campaigns of Generals Carleton and Burgoyne from Canada, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1887.

Bird, Harrison March To Saratoga General Burgoyne And The American Campaign 1777,
Oxford Univ. Press, 1963

Brandow, John H. The story of old Saratoga; the Burgoyne campaign, to which is added New York's share in the revolution, Brandow Printing, 1919.

Clay, Steven E. Staff Ride Handbook for the Saratoga Campaign, 13 June to 8 November 1777, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2018 (US Army Website):.

Eelking, Max von, (translated by Stone, William L.) Memoirs of Major General Riedesel, Vol. 1, J. Munsell, 1868.

Hall, Henry Davis The Battle of Bennington, Monpelier, 1896.

Hadden, James Hadden's Journal and Orderly Books, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1884.

Hudleston, Francis J. Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne : misadventures of an English general in the Revolution, Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1927.

Luzader, John Decision on the Hudson, National Park Service, 1975.

Moore, Howard P. A Life of General John Stark of New Hampshire, New York self-published, 1949.

Riedesel, Friederike Charlotte Luise, Freifrau von Letters and journals relating to the war of the American Revolution, and the capture of the German troops at Saratoga, Joel Munsell, 1867.

Stone, William Leete, The Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne  and the expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger, Albany, NY: Joel Munsell, 1877.

Walworth, Ellen H. Battles of Saratoga, 1777; the Saratoga Monument Association, 1856-1891, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1891.

Books Worth Buying
(links to Amazon.com unless otherwise noted)*

Furneaux, Rupert The Battle of Saratoga, Stein and Day 1971.

Gabriel, Michael P. The Battle of Bennington: Soldiers & Civilians, History Press, 2012 (book recommendation of the week).

Ketchum, Richard M. Saratoga, Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War, Henry Holt & Co, 1997.

LaBree, Clifton New Hampshire's General John Stark, Peter E. Randall, 2007.

Logusz, Michael O. With Musket and Tomahawk, The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777, Casemate Publishing, 2010

Luzader, John F. Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution, Casemate Publishers, 2008

Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates, Yale Univ. Press, 1990.

Polhemus, Richard & John Stark; The Life and Wars of John Stark, French and Indian War Ranger, Revolutionary War General, Black Dome Press, 2014.

Rose, Ben Z. John Stark: Maverick General, Treeline Press, 2007

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Episode 154 John Stark Raises an Army




This week we are back in upstate New York.  By the beginning of August 1777, General Burgoyne’s Northern Army had reached the Hudson River.  To the west, Fort Stanwix was still under siege, awaiting General Arnold’s relief force that I discussed a couple of weeks ago.  We last left General Burgoyne following the murder of Jane McCrea which has helped to spur patriot opposition to his army and also preceded some of his Indian warriors abandoning the mission and going home.

The American defense, however, was still in complete disarray.  General Phillip Schuyler was trying to rally an army of both Continentals and militia near Fort Edward to stop Burgoyne’s march on Albany. But after the loss of Fort Ticonderoga, many Americans had lost faith in the army.  Desertions were far outnumbering the small numbers of reinforcements that General Washington had sent marching north to join Schuyler.  General Burgoyne had taken Fort Edward, again without a fight.

General Schuyler moved to the other side of the Hudson River, using the river as a barrier between the Continentals and Burgoyne’s British.  He moved the Americans further south toward Saratoga, still with no apparent plan to mount a stand.

John Stark

With the bulk of the Continental Army still in New Jersey, and having to remain there to face General Howe’s army in New York City, the only way to stop Burgoyne’s northern army was to call out the militia and hope that they were up to the task.

A key figure in the effort to mobilize the militia was a former Continental colonel named John Stark.  You may recall that Colonel Stark played a key role in the battle of Bunker Hill, which I discussed back in Episodes 65 and 66.

 Gen. John Stark
(from Wikimedia)
Stark was a New Hampshire native.  When he was in his twenties, he was captured by Abenaki warriors and taken to Canada.  There, he and another prisoner were forced to run a gauntlet.  This was a common practice among natives to beat and humiliate prisoners.  The men had to run through a row of warriors armed with sticks.  The warriors would beat them as they ran through.  Prisoners would try to run thorugh as fast as they could before they were beaten to death.  Instead, Stark grabbed the stick of the first warrior in line and proceeded to beat the warrior.  The Chief was impressed by Stark’s bravery and fighting ability that he permitted him to live and hunt with the tribe over the winter.  He was adopted into the Chief’s family. The following spring, Stark was part of a prisoner exchange that allowed him to return to New Hampshire.

As a member of the New Hampshire militia, Stark had fought in Canada during the French and Indian War.  At that time, he had risen to the rank of captain in Rogers’ Rangers.  Stark resigned his commission after refusing to attack the Abanaki village where he had lived a few years earlier.  He had no wish to attack his adopted parents and fellow tribe members.  Instead, he ended his military service in the French and Indian War early.

After the battle of Lexington, Stark accepted a colonelcy in the New Hampshire militia and marched his regiment to join the Provincial Army just outside Boston.  He led one of the few units that actually marched out onto Bunker Hill to support Colonel Prescott’s defenders on Breed’s Hill.  There, he commanded the American left wing where his men tenaciously fought off several British assaults.  His men provided covering fire as the main force on Breed’s Hill was overrun and had to escape.

His leadership landed him a colonelcy in the new Continental Army once Washington took command.  Stark’s regiment provided support for the northern army that had been pushed out of Canada.  After British General Guy Carleton opted not to attack Fort Ticonderoga in late 1776, Stark’s regiment was redeployed to Pennsylvania in time to join General Washington’s campaign to take Trenton and Princeton.  Stark commanded the American right wing at the Battle of Trenton.

So Colonel Stark had played a key role in most of the battles and campaigns of the war so far.  His leadership was conspicuous, brave, and effective. He seemed to be one of the best field officers in the Continental Army.

Gen. Enoch Poor
(from Wikimedia)
After Washington settled in Morristown for the winter, he directed Colonel Stark to return to New Hampshire and raise more volunteers.  While in New Hampshire, Stark learned that Enoch Poor, another New Hampshire colonel had been promoted to general in February 1777.  This was the day the Baltimore Congress promoted nine generals.

Stark was outraged that Poor received the promotion for New Hampshire rather than him.  Poor had also been promoted as a militia colonel just after Lexington.  But Poor kept his regiment in New Hampshire while Stark’s was fighting multiple battles.  Poor had participated in the Quebec campaign, but his combat experience was minimal compared to that of Stark.  Poor had been a politician before the war and had contacts in the Continental Congress that probably resulted in him receiving the one general’s commission slated for New Hampshire.  Poor’s promotion was one of a great many frustrations that Stark had experienced in the Continental Army.  A month after Poor’s promotion, Stark resigned his commission in the Continental Army and returned home, once again cutting short his military service.

New Hampshire Militia

In July 1777, after Burgoyne captured Fort Ticonderoga, the patriots were in desperate need of soldiers to contest this invasion.  However, most of their best leaders and soldiers were already with Continental Army, either with Washington in New Jersey or Schuyler in New York.  There was no real front line defense of New England.

New Hampshire offered Colonel Stark a commission as a brigadier general in the New Hampshire militia.  Stark was still embittered by his experience in the Continental Army, but wanted to put his military leadership to use in defending his home.  He accepted the commission with the explicit understanding that he would not take orders from Continental officers.  He would fight to defend New Hampshire, but he was finished with the Continental Army.

John Langdon
(from Wikimedia)
Next, New Hampshire needed hard money to pay and equip the militia.  You cannot raise an army on patriotism alone, even when the enemy is at your front door.  Fortunately, one of its leaders, John Langdon, stepped forward with $3000.  Langdon was a longtime patriot, an early member of the Committee of Correspondence for his state.  You may remember him from Episode 51, when he led the 1774 attack on Fort William and Mary at Portsmouth.
Langdon had accepted a colonelcy in the New Hampshire militia, but he was more politician than soldier.  He had been Speaker of the New Hampshire Assembly and also served in the Continental Congress.  Langdon also ran a fleet of privateers, which had earned him some serious coin in the first couple of years of the war.

When he put up the money, he figured he would be reimbursed if the Americans eventually won.  If not, he would probably be hanged as a traitor anyway.  Signing bonuses for soldiers and proper supplies to support them, along with the knowledge that they could be under attack any day, led militia to flock to New Hampshire’s defense.  Knowing that General Stark would lead them also influenced many to join.  He was a well respected officer and a leader of men.

Within a few weeks, General Stark had raised a force of nearly 1500 militia, about twenty-five companies.  General Stark spent that time organizing and training his men.  Most of his militia were frontiersman, familiar with the region and experienced Indian fighters. Many older men had combat experience from the French and Indian War.  Stark focused on organizing the men into units and drilled fighting as a unit.

By early August, he sent about half of his force to Manchester, Vermont.  Stark remained in New Hampshire organizing the remainder of his force and then marched to catch up with his advance force in Manchester.

When he arrived, he found his soldiers preparing to march south to join up with Schuyler’s Continentals near Fort Edward in New York.  General Benjamin Lincoln had already arrived on the scene and issued the order. Stark and Lincoln had a private conversation, the details of which are not known.  However, the gist of the discussion was that Stark told Lincoln that the New Hampshire militia would remain where they could defend New Hampshire.  They were not under the command of continental officers and were not going to New York.

This actually fit in with General Schuyler’s original plans.  He wanted to maintain a force in Burgoyne’s rear that could harass the enemy as it moved south toward Schuyler’s main army near Saratoga.  General Washington had already approved this plan.  But as Burgoyne moved south against Schuyler’s dwindling army, Schuyler changed his mind and wanted to consolidate  his army for a large scale stand that would stop the British movement southward.  To do that, he wanted Stark’s militia to move to join them in New York.

Benjamin Lincoln
(from Wikimedia)
Stark, however, was not interested in doing this, and made clear that he would not put himself or his army under the command of Continental officers.  General Lincoln was a good enough politician to realize that Stark could not be pushed or bullied into joining up with the main army.  If Stark quit and went home again, most of his army would probably follow him.  Rather than lose this desperately needed army entirely, Lincoln agreed not to push the issue.  After Schuyler learned of the situation, he agreed with Lincoln’s assessment.

But that did leave Lincoln with little to do.  Schuyler had ordered Lincoln to command any New England forces while Schuyler commanded the main army in New York.  But since the only significant forces still in New England were Stark’s militia army, which would not listen to him, Lincoln did not have much of a command.  After a few days, Lincoln went back to New York to be with the main army under Schuyler.

On August 8, Stark moved his army from Manchester to Bennington.  The town was a patriot supply depot and a likely target for a British attack.  It was about thirty miles southeast of Saratoga.  If the British opted to move into New England and march toward Rhode Island, Bennington would be a key transit point.  Stark left the remnants of Seth Warner’s Continentals, who had survived the Battle of Hubbardton, to occupy Manchester and left General Lincoln with that small force as well.  Stark’s militia army marched off to encamp in and around Bennington.

Burgoyne’s Raiding Party

As Stark prepared his army, General Burgoyne was looking at the region and planning his next steps.  By this time, Burgoyne had accomplished what most British strategists thought would be the most difficult part of his campaign, capturing Fort Ticonderoga.  The Americans had abandoned the fort without a fight, after seeing vulnerabilities in their defenses that would have resulted in the destruction or capture of the garrison.  Instead, American General Arthur St. Clair retreated southward, hoping to get reinforcements so that he could make a stand.  Burgoyne had continued to move south, albeit slowly as Americans felled hundreds of trees to block his army’s path, By the time  his army reached the Hudson river, it had faced no serious and sustained opposition to his offensive.

Stark leading NH Militia (from British Battles)
This was not to say that everything went according to plan.  Burgoyne had hoped to capture the Continentals at Fort Ticonderoga.  Almost all of the garrison had escaped and had bloodied the British pursuers in a rearguard action at Hubbardton.  Most of Burgoyne’s Indian allies had abandoned him after he put restrictions on them for the murder of Jane McCrea and other civilians.  The second wing of the British offensive under General Barry St. Leger was still stuck besieging Fort Stanwix in early August.

After the difficult wilderness march to Fort Edward, Burgoyne found his army increasingly cut off from his resources in Canada.  He had opened a supply route from Fort George, which had helped some of his artillery and heavier supplies to catch up with the main army.  But an army of thousands also needed food.  It also needed many more horses to carry all the equipment further south to engage with the enemy.

Burgoyne also learned that the main British Army under General Howe, would not be moving up the Hudson Valley to join forces.  Rather, Howe had taken his army south to conquer Philadelphia. At the same time, the scattered Continental Army was collecting its soldiers and being supplemented by militia armies, particularly the large militia army under General Stark.  All of that meant that Burgoyne found his army increasingly isolated.

The conservative move would have been to pull back to Fort Ticonderoga and call an end to the offensive until either Howe’s army would be ready to assist in the Hudson Valley, or London sent a larger army through Canada.  But Burgoyne had gotten this command by criticizing his superiors for being too conservative.  He was not going to fall into that same trap and delay his victory for another year.  Doing so, might have resulted in London sending another general to finish the job for him.  No, Burgoyne was determined to press on and capture Albany.

Germans marching to Bennington (from British Battles)
Although Burgoyne did not have good intelligence of Stark’s militia army preparing to move against him, he did have more general information that the Americans were gathering, and had reason to fear an attack from New England on his rear.  He had planned to send a detachment of Germans to sack Manchester, then move south, eventually reconnecting with the advancing main army near Albany.  Burgoyne’s hope was that the detachment would pacify the region, collect Tory volunteers, and also gather much needed supplies and horses.  Many of the German troops were cavalry.  They had come to America without horses, hoping to become mounted troops when the opportunity presented itself.  The army also found itself in need of more horses to use as pack animals.

This was a pretty audacious mission.  Less than a thousand soldiers, mostly Germans who did not speak English.  Were marching out on a more than 200 mile round trip through wilderness with very little intelligence about what faced them.  The leader of the German troops, and Burgoyne’s second in Command General Von Riedesel thought this was a crazy amount to expect from his soldiers.  After a few days of discussions, Burgoyne reduced the scope of the march to move on the depot at Bennington, capture horses and supplies there, and recruit as many loyalists as they could to join Burgoyne’s army.

To lead the raid on Bennington, Burgoyne selected Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum a German Brunswicker officer who led a regiment of dragoons.  A dragoon is a soldier that normally rides a horse, but unlike a cavalry soldier, dragoons tend to dismount before going into battle and fight without their horses.

In Baum’s case, his men had no horses at all.  They were marching around with heavy boots and equipment designed for riding.  Baum hoped to capture hundreds of horses in the Connecticut Valley to equip both his own men, as well as for the army more generally.

Baum was a career officer who had seen combat in the Seven Years War.  However, he had no experience with wilderness fighting and had never commanded more than a regiment.  I also spoke no English at all.

Burgoyne also deployed with Baum a few British regulars, as well as some of the remaining Native American scouts that remained with the army. Also with Baum was Philip Skene, the Tory militia officer who had assured Burgoyne that most of the region held loyalist views and would rise up to support the army when they arrived.  Burgoyne tasked Skene with raising local recruits and getting them to join local regiments in support of the king.

On August 9, Baum left Fort Edward with about 650 soldiers, almost all German speaking Brunswickers, and a few cannons.  His men moved about eight miles downriver to Fort Miller, which the Americans had already abandoned.  There, he waited for a day for the Native American warriors and the British regulars that would accompany them.  When the regulars were not available, Baum received another one hundred Germans to supplement his detachment.  He also collected several hundred local loyalist volunteers, either at Fort Miller or over the next couple of days while marching.

Movement was slow.  The Germans, outfitted with heavy boots and long wool coats were sweltering in the August heat.  Because they still did not have enough horses, the soldiers had to carry much of their supplies.  The footpaths they used made transporting carts or the artillery exceedingly difficult.  As a result, the column made slow progress over the next few days.

Among the civilians, a great many professed support for the king.  Some of them joined the column as volunteers.  Skene did his best at recruitment.  Many others, after swearing an oath of allegiance, were given documents identifying them as loyalists and permitted to move about.  Some of these were apparently American spies who counted troop levels and reported their intelligence about the size and direction of the force back to Stark.

At one point, Baum’s advance force captured a few patriot prisoners who had been herding cattle.  From prisoner interrogations as well as information from loyalists, he learned that the supply depot at Bennington did not just have a small garrison but rather an army of between 1500 and 1800 men.  Even with the loyalists volunteers that he had recruited, Baum had just a little over 1000 men himself.  If this intelligence was correct, he could be marching toward a superior enemy who had entrenched defenses.

Baum forwarded this intelligence to Burgoyne, along with a request for reinforcements to join his column as soon as possible.  Meanwhile he pressed forward, on toward Bennington.

- - -

Next  Episode 155 The Battle of Bennington

Previous Episode 153 Staten Island and Setauket

Click here to donate
American Revolution Podcast is distributed 100% free of charge. If you can chip in to help defray my costs, I'd appreciate whatever you can give.  Make a one time donation through my PayPal account.

You may also donate via VenmoZelle, or popmoney (send to mtroy1@yahoo.com)

Click here to see my Patreon Page
You can support the American Revolution Podcast as a Patreon subscriber.  This is an option for people who want to make monthly pledges.  Patreon support will give you access to Podcast extras and help make the podcast a sustainable project.




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Click here to go to my SubscribeStar Page



Further Reading

Websites

Battle of Bennington: https://www.britishbattles.com/war-of-the-revolution-1775-to-1783/battle-of-bennington

Battle of Bennington: https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/battle-of-bennington

General John Stark: https://www.historynet.com/general-john-stark-a-patriot-who-rose-above-rank.htm

Law, Robert R. “GENERAL JOHN STARK.” Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, vol. 5, 1905, pp. 104–112. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42889852

Foster, Herbert D., and Thomas W. Streeter. “STARK'S INDEPENDENT COMMAND AT BENNINGTON.” Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, vol. 5, 1905, pp. 24–95. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42889850

Free eBooks
(from archive.org unless noted)

Anbury, Thomas Travel through Various Parts of North America, Vol. 1, William Lane, 1789.

Baster, James (ed) The British Invasion from the North: The Campaigns of Generals Carleton and Burgoyne from Canada, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1887.

Bird, Harrison March To Saratoga General Burgoyne And The American Campaign 1777,
Oxford Univ. Press, 1963

Brandow, John H. The story of old Saratoga; the Burgoyne campaign, to which is added New York's share in the revolution, Brandow Printing, 1919.

Clay, Steven E. Staff Ride Handbook for the Saratoga Campaign, 13 June to 8 November 1777, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2018 (US Army Website):.

Eelking, Max von, (translated by Stone, William L.) Memoirs of Major General Riedesel, Vol. 1, J. Munsell, 1868.

Hadden, James Hadden's Journal and Orderly Books, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1884.

Hudleston, Francis J. Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne : misadventures of an English general in the Revolution, Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1927.

Luzader, John Decision on the Hudson, National Park Service, 1975.

Moore, Howard P. A Life of General John Stark of New Hampshire, New York self-published, 1949.

Riedesel, Friederike Charlotte Luise, Freifrau von Letters and journals relating to the war of the American Revolution, and the capture of the German troops at Saratoga, Joel Munsell, 1867.

Stone, William Leete, The Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne  and the expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger, Albany, NY: Joel Munsell, 1877.

Walworth, Ellen H. Battles of Saratoga, 1777; the Saratoga Monument Association, 1856-1891, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1891.

Books Worth Buying
(links to Amazon.com unless otherwise noted)*

Furneaux, Rupert The Battle of Saratoga, Stein and Day 1971.

Gabriel, Michael P. The Battle of Bennington: Soldiers & Civilians, History Press, 2012.

Ketchum, Richard M. Saratoga, Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War, Henry Holt & Co, 1997.

LaBree, Clifton New Hampshire's General John Stark, Peter E. Randall, 2007.

Logusz, Michael O. With Musket and Tomahawk, The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777, Casemate Publishing, 2010

Luzader, John F. Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution, Casemate Publishers, 2008

Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates, Yale Univ. Press, 1990.

Polhemus, Richard & John Stark; The Life and Wars of John Stark, French and Indian War Ranger, Revolutionary War General, Black Dome Press, 2014 (book recommendation of the week).

Rose, Ben Z. John Stark: Maverick General, Treeline Press, 2007

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.