New Finds about the Battle of Bennington

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A week from this Saturday, on February 2 during free Community Day at the Bennington Museum, join the Curator of the Bennington Museum Jamie Franklin at 2:00 pm when he presents “A Battle of Bennington Veteran’s Portrait Rediscovered – and Acquired.”  Learn about the fortunate circumstances that led to Bennington Museum’s acquisition of a tintype and miniature portrait of Lt. Jonathan Holton, a soldier in the Battle of Bennington. A Lieutenant of the Nichols Regiment, Holton was wounded at Bennington on August 16, 1777.  His wound is visible in the portrait which is on view Early Vermont Gallery along with the watercolor. 

Franklin’s brief presentation serves as the introduction to “Sipp Ives – a Black Green Mountain Boy Killed at the Battle of Bennington” a talk given by Phil Holland and Lion Miles exploring the often overlooked stories of the black soldiers who fought in the American Revolution.

Background

In 1837, 90-year-old Daniel Brown made a pension declaration on behalf of a fellow Revolutionary War captain’s widow in which he recalled “a black man on the ground that was mortally wounded” at the Battle of Bennington. Lion Miles has identified that man as Sipp Ives, from the settlement that later became Cheshire, Mass. Miles and Holland will speak about what we know – and don’t know – about Ives, who enlisted in Col. Seth Warner’s regiment, known as the Green Mountain Boys, in 1777, the year of the Battle. The arrival of the Green Mountain Boys on the battlefield turned the fight decisively against a corps of reinforcing German auxiliaries and sealed the American victory. The role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War and of other blacks at the Battle of Bennington will also be addressed. 

Bios of Presenters

Leroy Williams -  Prisoners Taken at the Battle of Bennington  (detail) August 16, 1777 Oil on canvas, 72 x 144 inches Painted for the Museum in conjunction with the WPA Collection of Bennington Museum

Leroy Williams - Prisoners Taken at the Battle of Bennington (detail)
August 16, 1777 Oil on canvas, 72 x 144 inches
Painted for the Museum in conjunction with the WPA Collection of Bennington Museum

Following a career as a Navy and commercial airplane pilot, Lion G. Miles, MA has devoted himself to the study of the Battle of Bennington and other Revolutionary-Era subjects. He is an expert on the Stockbridge Indians and has published a Mohican dictionary. He has made many presentations on the Battle, including some to Bennington audiences. He was instrumental in identifying the German prisoners who died in custody in Bennington after the Battle, and whose names are inscribed on the common grave in the Old Bennington Cemetery. He has lectured on blacks in the Berkshires and contributed research to Gary Nash’s Friends of Liberty (2012). He lives in Stockbridge, Mass.

Phil Holland is a writer and voice actor. He is the author of A Guide to the Battle of Bennington and the Bennington Monument, “Robert Frost in Bennington County,” and The Dance Must Follow. He has made public presentations on the Battle of Bennington and was Program Coordinator of the 2018 CVHNP Local Heritage grant to the Bennington Museum for a public education project on the Battle. He lives in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

About the Museum
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont.  Beginning on February 1, the museum is open 10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Tuesday, closed Wednesday February through May.  It is wheelchair accessible.   Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18.  Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum store.  Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Bennington Museum is a member of ArtCountry, a consortium of notable art and performance destinations in the scenic northern Berkshires of Massachusetts and southern Green Mountains of Vermont, including The Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art , Williamstown Theatre Festival (20 minutes away); and MASS MoCA (25minutes away). Visit ArtCountry.org for more information on these five great cultural centers.