The Battle of Hubbardton is the only American Revolution battle which took place entirely in Vermont. The date was July 7, 1777.
Every year, you can attend the reenactment of the battle on Sunday morning. Around 2 to 300 hundred reenactors come from New England, New York state and sometimes Canada to spend the weekend there.
And every five years there is a larger commemoration with around 1,000 reenactors (next time in 2012). It seems that it’s an event very much enjoyed by reenactors because they can camp right on the site, and trust me, the landscape is gorgeous, in the middle of fields surrounded by typical Vermont hills.
In 2008, I was fortunate enough to attend the event, and the light was very unique, as at sunrise the weather was somewhat stormy. I have to say that I was particularly happy with my photos that day (see below)! I guess I was not the only one to like them: a few weeks later I got a call from a publisher who wanted to use them in a book on re-enactments!
So, what exactly happened on this early morning of July 7, 1777? Americans, the famous Green Mountain Boys, had retrieved from Mount Independence as they had seen the British on the other side of the lake at Fort Ticonderoga.
The British caught up with the Americans early the next morning, in Hubbardton. It was a short battle on this early morning of July 7, 1777… approximately 2 hours, from 8 AM to 10 AM. The American troops had to withdraw, but the British losses were high, and it is said that it was the “beginning of the end” for the British General Burgoyne!
This is what Carl Fuller, site interpreter at Hubbardton Historic Site is sharing with us about this wonderful event:
“The reenactors themselves have told me many times they love it because they are allowed to camp in the same fields and portray the battle on the same fields where it actually happened. They like the idea of having the room to do this portrayal without being stuck in a small area between buildings or off somewhere where people can’t find them. Reenactors come from all over New England, New York, and sometimes Canada.
Once they arrive at Hubbardton and even though they may not have been here before everything seems to fall into place. Camps are set up and everything becomes “18th century”. Everyone remains in costume the entire weekend, eating, sleeping, and fighting as they would have in the year 1777.
Some of the reenactors have found ancestors who took part in the battle of Hubbardton and for this weekend they become that person. On this weekend, you may see American, British, German, and Native American camps.
During the day, tours are given through these camps by the reenactors themselves. Children are taught drilling and marching and told about other things children did to help out around camp.
The women in the camps show people what they did as part of the camp life. Sometimes, prisoners are taken, and court-martials are done. Tours of the battlefield are done throughout the weekend.
Narrated tacticals are done on both days with the big reenactment on Sunday morning at 8 AM. There are even sutlers selling their wares. There is something here to see and do for all ages.
Make no mistake, this is hallowed ground but weren’t these people fighting to allow us to do what we do today. We honor them by doing these portrayals. Our freedom was won by many battles such as this one and in numbers participating it may be considered small but it was an important stepping stone in determining the British downfall in the northern colonies during the American Revolution.”