TwHP Lessons

The Battle of Bennington:
An American Victory

[Painting] Alonzo Chappel's painting of The Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777.
(Collections of The Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont)


uring the summer of 1777, the British put in motion an ambitious campaign designed to isolate New England from the rest of the colonies and thereby crush the American rebellion. For two months, General John Burgoyne led his army down the Lake Champlain-Hudson River corridor toward Albany with apparent ease, capturing several American forts along the way. In August, however, he found himself in desperate need of provisions, wagons, cattle, and horses. Burgoyne then made the fateful decision to send an expeditionary force to the small town of Bennington, Vermont to capture these much needed supplies.

At the Battle of Bennington, which took place between August 14 and 16, the British army and its Canadian, Indian, and Loyalist supporters faced Patriots defending their newly proclaimed independence. What might have seemed like a minor victory for the Patriots contributed to the British defeat at Saratoga a few months later and thus helped decide who would win the American War of Independence.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Northeast United States
 2. British campaign of 1777

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. The British Forces
 2. The Americans
 3. The Battle of Bennington

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Lt. Durnford's map of the site of the
 Battle of Bennington

 2. The British position and the American attack

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. The People, the Cause, the Land, the Strategy
 2. Historical Language and Images
 3. Moments of Heroism

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The lesson is based on the Bennington Battlefield, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Bennington Battlefield has been designated a National Historic Landmark.



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