The battle of Hubbardton, fought in the green hills of Hubbardton in the early morning of July 7, 1777, was the only Revolutionary War battle fought entirely in what would become Vermont soil. It is one of the most successful rear-guard actions in American history. It was here that British Lieutenant General John Burgoyne's seasoned and well-trained Regulars met the resistance and bravery of Americans in battle for the first time. Lasting between three to five hours, the battle involved approximately 1,200 American soldiers from Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and 850 British and 180 German troops.
Although a British tactical victory, the battle at Hubbardton is considered by many to be an American strategic victory in the larger Northern Campaign of 1777. Under the skilled military leadership of Seth Warner and Ebenezer Francis, the Americans showed that not only could they fight, but that they could also successfully disengage from a pursuing enemy. Casualties suffered on both sides were high given the number of troops engaged. The extent of British losses and the firm and skillful resistance offered by the Americans against some of Lieutenant General Burgoyne’s best troops indicated a stiffening American resistance. That resistance yielded its first victory at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, and subsequently at the two pivotal battles at Saratoga in September and October of 1777.
The establishment of Hubbardton Battlefield was one of the earliest attempts to preserve and commentate a Revolutionary War site, initiated by a local grassroots effort that included veterans and eyewitnesses to the event. The marble battle monument placed in 1859 is one of the oldest Revolutionary War battle monuments in the United States. This initial mid-19th-century effort was followed by official state involvement in the acquisition, development, and management of the site. Since 1937, the State of Vermont’s Division for Historic Preservation has owned and operated the Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site.
Military historians note that of all the Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields in the United States, Hubbardton Battlefield is the most evocative of the period in which the battle took place. The setting and views from the battlefield are much as they were in 1777, with open meadows and sweeping views of the Green, Taconic, and Adirondack mountains. Visitors to this hallowed ground can take in the natural setting, tour the museum, and walk in the footsteps of history.