Baum Site 3: An Altered Landscape

Listen to the Road to the Battle of Bennington Site 3 Audio Narration:


Looking North at Champlain Canal Lock 6. Courtesy of
Looking North at Champlain Canal Lock 6. Courtesy of

The landscape surrounding the Hamlet of Fort Miller has changed dramatically since the Revolutionary War era. The old Champlain Canal cut through the landscape on the east side of route 4, and the Barge Canal was constructed on the west side. The sidecut for the man-made waterway has created a man-made island, accessible by several single-span bridges that cross the Champlain Canal. The German surgeon Julius Wasmus describes the landscape.



Leaving tents and baggage behind, we set out at 5 o’clock this morning, marched our left through the camp of the Breymann Corps and attached ourselves to the baggage of the Fraser Corps, that had likewise set out on the march; our march continued along the Hudson River. We found both banks of this river settled with rather well-built houses in German style, which were all empty; the families had fled into the wilderness with all their belongings just for fear of the Germans. The beautiful wheat and rye fields were going to ruin; they were all ripe. We passed several bridges and places where the enemy had camped. We also saw grapes, although not ripe, as well as many bilberries, raspberries and blackberries on both sides o the well laid-out military road. It was noon when we entered the camp at Fort Miller. Here, we composed the right wing of the Fraser Corps and, facing Albany, camped close by the Hudson River, which was flowing on our right. On a height on our left, we saw a magnificent building, several respectable houses, as well as various sawmills and gristmills, which were all empty. We made huts with boards which were lying about in large quantities near the sawmill.

-Julius Wasmus, August 9, 1777