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May 2, 2009

Hubbardton site of only Revolutionary battle in Vt.

[-BULLET-] Hubbardton site of only Revolutionary battle in Green Mountain State

if you go


Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site, 5695 Monument Road, Hubbardton, Vt. Phone: (802) 273-2282. Open Wednesday through Sunday, late May through mid-October.

For all that Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys have become legends for their fighting in the American Revolution, only one Revolutionary War battle took place on Vermont soil.

Bennington, you say? No, most of that shooting occurred just over the New York border.

Oh, it must be Mount Independence, across from Fort Ticonderoga. No, again. That winter encampment saw plenty of death from disease but nary a shot fired out on those grounds.

The lone skirmish in Vermont came at Hubbardton, on a scenic hillside just north of Castleton. Preserved as Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site, this one-time battleground now couldn't be more peaceful.

TENACIOUS PATRIOTS

A well-planned visitor center gives the basic outline of the fighting at Hubbardton, placing it in the context of the war.

British leadership pinned its hopes on a three-pronged approach. Gen. John Burgoyne would travel down Lake Champlain from the north. Gen. William Howe's troops would march up along the Hudson River from New York City. And Gen. Barry St. Leger would come from the west, through the Mohawk Valley. In this way, the rebellious New England colonies would be split apart from the equally contentious states of the mid-Atlantic and upper South.

The strategy didn't account for the tenacity of the young American patriots. Benedict Arnold, with the first American Navy, may not have defeated the British soldiers and sailors at Valcour Island in 1776, but he delayed them long enough to force a retreat back to Canada for the winter. St. Leger's brigades were held off by furious fighting at Oriskany and Fort Stanwix.

As for Howe, he somehow decided not to head north at all.

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