Baum Site 25: The Second Battle of Bennington

Listen to the Road to the Battle of Bennington Site 25 Audio Narration:


Second Battle of Bennington Marker. Photo by Andrew Alberti.

A stone monument with a bronze plaque, located west of the battlefield on Route 67, marks where Stark and Warner encountered Breymann in what is considered the second engagement of the Battle of Bennington. Breymann arrived too late to reinforce Baum, and found himself and his contingent of 500 men faced with over 3,000 Rebel militiamen. He was quickly routed back the way he came.

We too withdrew new with great speed while I was still busy dressing wounds. Then, following the regiment in a great hurry, I stumbled over a big, fallen tree about 300 paces from our entrenchment. When I got up, the enemy came rushing over our entrenchment and 3 quickly took aim and fired at me. I again fell to the ground behind the tree and the bullets were dreadful, whistling over me and beyond me. I remained lying on the ground until the enemy urged me rather impolitely to get up. One grabbed me by the arm and another said he should kill me, whereupon he placed the bayoneted of his gun with tightened trigger on my chest. He asked whether I was a Britisher or a Hessin. I told him I was a Braunschweig surgeon, shook hands with him, and called him my friend and brother; for what does one not do when in trouble. I was happy they understood me (Freund und Bruder) for that helped so much that he withdrew his gun. But he now he took my watch, looked at it, held it to his ear and put it away [in his pocket]. After this, he made a friendly face and was so human that he urged me to take a drink from his wooden flask. He handed me over to his comrades, who started anew to search my pockets. One of them took nothing but my purse in which, however, were only 14 piasters (specie). He continued eagerly looking for money both then left, whereupon the third began searching my pockets. This one took all my small items as my knife, my paper, my lighter, but he did not find the best; they were so dumb that they did not see the pockets in my overcoat. Thus, I saved my Noble pipe. Now they made me sit down on the ground. There was still some shoot shooting down near the bridge and I was terribly worried because I believed myself to be the only prisoner. I blamed myself in my mind for not having retreated earlier and faster, but as some other prisoners were brought to this spot, I was soon rid of my anxiety. These assured me that they all were prisoners and so I calmed down. It is surely ture that a man likes to have company in his misfortune, — and would a man in misery not fall into a kind of despair if he were persuaded to be the only miserable one of his kind!—When one of the enemy heard that I was a CHIRURGUS [surgeon], he led me behind our entrenchment to dress the wound of his son, who had been shot through the thigh. Now I saw what effect our cannon and musket fire had, since the enemy had suffered great losses here. General Stark, who in attire and posture was very similar to the tailor Muller in Wolfenbuttel, had commanded the corps of the Americans against us. As he now saw me dressing the wounds of the first, he ordered me to bandage several others of the enemy, but I hurried toward our entrenchment because there were dragoons and Hesse-Hanau Artillerymen in need of my help. But the Americans did not allow me any time but pulled me along by force. We went past my trusty tree that had warded off so many bullets from me. Here I found some of my instruments and bandages, etc. …

We came to the bridge where Liet. Colonel Baum had stood; our men had taken this route for their retreat and some of them had run through the water. Many had been killed or wounded in their flight; all the rest had been taken prisoner. They [the rebels] did not capture one single Savage.

Julius Wasmus, August 16, 1777