Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s August 16, 1777. I’m at the Battle of Bennington with teenage Yankee soldier Joseph Martin.
JG: “Joseph, the British are coming with more reinforcements. Look out! Look out!”
JM: “Mr. Gillespie, we have held off hundreds of red coats all afternoon. We can’t give in. We must fight on. Look, John, they’re leaving! They’re retreating! Hurray!”
The British surrendered seven hundred men and lost over two hundred, with the Americans losing only twelve men.
In Old Bennington, Vermont, the New Hampshire at the Battle of Bennington historical marker reads, “Erected in honor of Brigadier General John Stark and the 1400 New Hampshire men who came to the defense of Vermont in August, 1777. Assembling at Fort Number Four in Charleston, New Hampshire, Stark and his troops crossed the Green Mountains to aid in the defense of the newly-established State of Vermont. As the commander-in-chief of all the American forces from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York, General Stark had approximately 2000 men in all in the first phase of the battle. General Stark’s army defeated and captured a British detachment lead by Col. Fredrich Baum. Shortly after this triumph, with the assistance of Col. Seth Warner and his “Green Mountain Boys,” a relief column under Col. Heinrich Von Breymann was repulsed. By thus denying the enemy sorely needed supplies, these twin victories near Bennington on August 16, 1777, contributed notably to the total British surrender at Saratoga two months later and to the subsequent military alliance with France, the turning point in the War for American Independence.”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.