Friends of the Bennington Battlefield
The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield is a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation, development, and promotion of the ground on which a pivotal battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Bennington, was fought in the hamlet of Walloomsac, New York, on August 16, 1777. On that day American forces under General John Stark, including militia from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York, as well as Col. Seth Warner’s Continental regiment, won a decisive and consequential victory against a detachment of British, German, Canadian, Loyalist, and Native troops sent by British General John Burgoyne to raid a Continental storehouse in Bennington.
The members of the group, in collaboration with the managers of Grafton Lakes State Park, under the administration of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) of New York, seek to generate public interest and appreciation of the site, and to explore it archaeologically and topographically, with the objective of gaining and sharing knowledge of the Battle.
2023 at the Battlefield – Improved Visitor Experience!
Good things have been happening at the Bennington Battlefield in the past three years, and this year was no exception as we gear up for the important 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Bennington in just four years- 2027.
The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield are pleased to have been the recipients of grant funding through the Parks and Trails division of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Additionally, through the generosity of the American Battlefield Trust, more of the important acreage of the Battle area has been purchased and given to OPRHP, enlarging and preserving the historic site.
Through grant funding, the Friends have created and installed new interpretive signage on the Battlefield, updating and expanding interpretation into other areas: the baggage wagons site, the Bridge location and field adjacent, the Tory Fort on the other side of the Walloomsac, and the approach to the breastwork on “Hessian Hill.” In 2022, the Friends, through grant funding, created and added an audio tour to the Battlefield, accessed by QR codes on the panels that can connect to your cell phone.
In 2020, Michael Kasler, a descendant of a Battle veteran, gifted a faithful replica brass 3- pounder cannon for display on Hessian Hill. It is a fully functional piece, and has already been fired on ceremonial occasions. The park has 2.7 miles of hiking trails throughout the site, and are a great place to enjoy peace and quiet and the beauty of nature on a summer’s day. David Pitlyk, the Site Assistant, conducts hiking tours regularly during the season.
The Friends have planned a summer’s worth of events for the Battlefield
- BATTLE DAY COMMEMORATION
You are invited to attend a commemoration and wreath laying at the Bennington Battlefield on Wednesday, August 16. The program begins at 7 pm and includes a wreath laying ceremony and artillery salute.
- “Voices of the Fallen” August 5 & 6 – “Voices of the Fallen” is a theatrical and historical experience grounded in research. Historically dressed actors will bring to life people from both sides of the conflict who lost their lives at the Battle of Bennington, giving voice to those who did not live to tell their stories. Among these are the Mohawk leader of the Native contingent that joined the British on their ill-fated raid on Bennington (played by Mohawk actor Steven Thompson.) Other characters include the leaders of the German and Loyalist forces in the Battle, Patriot Militiamen, a Black private in Warner’s Green Mountain Boys, and a Brunswick lieutenant who was among the last to fall, and who hears his wife’s voice through her letters (translated from the original German.)
- “Voices of the Fallen” November 11 – Two performances will be offered at the Bennington Theater on Main Street in Bennington at 4 pm and 7 pm. Admission is $15.
This program is part of a series of events sponsored by the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield and the Hoosick Historical Society, supported in part by a donation from the Tri State Area Federal Credit Union. “Voices of the Fallen” will have two encore performances at the Bennington Performing Arts Center on Veterans Day, November 11, 2023, with details to follow this fall.
Statue of John Stark
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
The Friends of the Bennington Battlefield, in collaboration with the Hoosick Township Historical Society, are pleased to announce a major corporate donation from the Tri State Area Federal Credit Union. Jim Martinez, President, presented the Friends and the Hoosick Township Historical Society, our collaborators in this season’s series of events, with a $5000 check at the Battlefield on Monday, April 24. The Tri State Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution of about 4,000 members, with offices in Hoosick Falls and Bennington. Formerly the Hoosick Federal Credit Union, it was established in 1953. Mr. Martinez, grew up in Hoosick Falls and has lived in Bennington.
Support the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield!
The Friends of Bennington Battlefield invites you to join our ranks in preserving, promoting, and interpreting the history of our local battlefield. The friends are eager to expand their membership, and look forward to your participation. Card carrying members receive discounts at the Louis Miller Museum and the Bennington Monument gift shops. If you are interested in supporting, please contact Joyce Brewer at the Louis Miller Museum (166 Main Street, Hoosick Falls 518-686-4682), or complete the SUPPORT form that you can download by CLICKING HERE.