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Hutchinson Eagle Scout Honored at the MNSAR Washington Day Luncheon

2016 MNSAR Eagle Scout Contest WinnerWyatt S. Hahn of the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America is the Minnesota winner of the SAR’s Eagle Scout Scholarship and Awards Program. Wyatt, seen here with the color guard and the MNSAR Eagle Scout Scholarship and Awards Program Chairman, Thor Erickson, was honored at the annual Washington Day Luncheon held at Jax Cafe on February 18, 2017. His father and mother were also in attendance. Wyatt read his patriotic essay about the Battle of Bennington which is presented below.

Wyatt’s application, four generation ancestor chart and his patriotic essay were sent to National SAR headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky to compete with other state winners for a $10,000 scholarship. $6,000 and $4,000 runner-up scholarships were also chosen.

The Battle of Bennington

By Wyatt S. Hahn – 2016 MNSSAR Eagle Scout Contest Winner

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, once stated, “December 7, 1941 is a day which will live in infamy.” August 16, 1777 is just the opposite. August 16, 1777 is a day which will not be remembered because of tragedy, but because of the effects it had on the Revolutionary War.

Many historians claim the Battle of Saratoga was the turning point of the American Revolution, and they are correct, but it was the events that led up to the Battle of Saratoga that set a course for American victory which includes the Battle of Bennington. The Battle of Bennington was the very beginning of the turn in the war where the United States began to prosper over the British forces.

The Battle of Bennington was short-lived, lasting only a few hours, but the preparation behind the battle was more time consuming. The British, led by General John Burgoyne planned to eliminate contact between New England and the other colonies, but this plan was cut short because of the recapture of Fort Ticonderoga by the British. As a result of the recapture, the Americans began evacuating the area near Orwell, Vermont causing the southward

movement of Burgoyne’s army to be temporarily stalled at Hubbardton. While the Americans took time to resupply and plan for the oncoming of Burgoyne’s forces, Burgoyne’s men had already prepared a plan to invade a depot in Bennington, New York where they would resupply.

On August 9, 1777, a unit of Burgoyne’s army, under the direction of General Friedrich Baum, was joined by a group of British marksmen and continued toward Bennington. On August 14th, General John Stark, commander of the American force, sent a detachment of men to survey the local area for Indians where they encountered Baum’s men. In surprise, the Americans retreated quickly and destroyed a bridge along the way in order to slow the progress of the British forces. The next several days brought heavy rains which prevented any battle from occurring.

On the morning of August 16th, the weather cleared and General Stark began to execute his attack on Baum’s troops who were now camped on a hillside near the Walloomsac River. Stark split his men into four different forces each of which would attack from a different side.

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At three o’clock that afternoon, Stark stated his famous words, “There are the Red Coats; they will be ours or tonight Molly Stark sleeps a widow.” When the British heard this phrase they began to retreat back into the woods where they ran into one of Stark’s forces. At five o’clock on the evening of August 16, 1777 the first shot of the Battle of Bennington was fired. The British and Americans engaged each other further in what General Stark described as “one continuous clap of thunder.”

Shortly into the battle Stark was captured and Baum was wounded, but each force continued to fight. The Americans followed the British forces and pushed them all the way to Saratoga, New York where the Americans annihilated the British in what became known as the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

The Battle of Bennington was an important battle In American history because it marked the very beginning of the turn for the better for the Americans during the Revolutionary War.
August 16, 1777 is not a day that should live in infamy, but a day that should live in victory.