Battle of Hubbardton Summary
The Battle of Hubbardton was a military engagement between the United States of America and Britain that took place on July 7, 1777, during the Saratoga Campaign of the American Revolutionary War, in the New Hampshire Grants — present-day Vermont. It was part of the British invasion of New York that was led by General John Burgoyne.
After American forces evacuated at the Siege of Fort Ticonderoga, British General Simon Fraser chased after the Americans and caught up with them near Hubbardton. The American commander, General Arthur St. Clair, left Colonel Seth Warner and his regiment — the Green Mountain Boys — in Hubbardton along with Colonel Nathan Hale and the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, to help protect the rear of the army, which was still en route to the town. St. Clair took the main force and marched to Castleton.
Fraser attacked early in the morning of July 7. The Americans took a strong defensive position on Monument Hill and pushed back several British attacks. However, British reinforcements arrived and forced the Americans to retreat. Although the British won the battle, they suffered heavy losses at the hands of Warner’s Regiment, which hampered Burgoyne’s plan to capture Albany.
Battle of Hubbardton Facts
- Date Started: The fighting started on Monday, July 7, 1777.
- Date Ended: The fighting ended on July 7, 1777.
- Location: The battle was near Hubbardton in the New Hampshire Grants, which is in present-day Vermont.
- Military Campaign: The battle was part of the Saratoga Campaign.
- Who Won: The British won the fighting at the Battle of Hubbardton, but the United States won a tactical victory.
Battle of Hubbardton Events
American forces left Fort Ticonderoga. A portion, under the command of General Arthur St. Clair, went southeast into Vermont toward Hubbardton.
British General Simon Fraser chased after the Americans with his men, which included grenadiers, infantry, regulars, Loyalists, and Native American Indians. Burgoyne ordered General Friedrich Riedesel to take Brunswick Grenadiers and Jägers and reinforce Fraser.
The march was difficult and the American forces became spread out, and the rear guard fell behind. The rear guard was the 11th Massachusetts Regiment, under the command of Colonel Ebeneezer Francis. When St. Clair arrived at Hubbardton, he gave his men a break and gave Francis time to catch up, but Francis was still far behind.
St. Clair decided to march on to Castleton with the main army and left two regiments to waif for Francis. The first regiment was Seth Warner and the Green Mountain Boys. The second regiment was the 2nd New Hampshire under the command of Colonel Nathan Hale.
Warner was in command, due to his familiarity with the area. When Francis and the rear guard finally arrived, they decided to make camp in Hubbardton, because the men were exhausted.
On July 7, Fraser attacked the Americans early in the morning, just as the Americans were breaking their camp and preparing to begin the march to join St. Clair.
The British attacked Hale’s New Hampshire regiment first and scattered the Americans.
Warner and Francis formed their troops into a line that ran through woods and over hills and fought back. The strong defensive position on Monument Hill allowed them to repel repeated attacks from the British.
Francis tried to move his men around Fraser’s left flank around the same time as Riedesel ordered an attack on the right flank of the American line, which allowed the British forces to gain the advantage.
The American line collapsed and they were forced to retreat. As they left the battlefield, Colonel Francis was shot and killed.
Battle of Hubbardton Outcome
The outcome of the Battle of Hubbardton was a tactical victory for the British because they forced the Americans to retreat.
The outcome of the battle was also a strategic victory for the Americans because Fraser lost so many men that he was unable to continue his pursuit of St. Clair.
Warner and his men stayed in the area and conducted raids on British forces and Loyalist farms.
Battle of Hubbardton Interesting Facts
It is the only battle that took place in Vermont during the American Revolutionary War.
The British buried Colonel Francis with their dead, out of respect for him.
Battle of Hubbardton Leaders
Prominent American Military Leaders
- Seth Warner
- Nathan Hale
- Ebeneezer Francis
Prominent British Military Leaders
- Simon Fraser
- Friedrich Riedesel
Battle of Hubbardton Casualties
The total estimated casualties at the Battle of Hubbardton were around 1,040 killed, wounded, or missing.
The Americans suffered as many as 840 casualties.
The British suffered as many as 200 casualties.
Battle of Hubbardton Significance
The Battle of Hubbardton is important because of the casualties the Americans inflicted on the British. The loss of men weakened Burgoyne’s larger army, but he still tried to push on to capture Albany. However, his forces failed to capture Fort Stanwix and then lost the Battle of Bennington and the Battle of Bemis Heights to the Americans. As Burgoyne and his men tried to escape, they were surrounded by the American army under the command of Horatio Gates and forced to surrender. The American victory over Burgoyne convinced the French to recognize the United States as an independent nation and to provide military aid to fight the British.
Battle of Hubbardton Battlefield Marker
A marker was erected in 1989 to commemorate the Hubbardton Battlefield. It reads:
Here on July 7, 1777 a successful rearguard action by Colonel Seth Warner’s Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire troops ended British pursuit under Generals Frazer and Reidesel. Thus, General St. Claire’s American army, retreating from Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, was saved to fight near Bennington and Saratoga. Burgoyne’s 1777 drive to divide the colonies, first resisted at Hubbardton, ended in defeat at Saratoga.
Battle of Hubbardton Timeline
This timeline shows how the Battle of Hubbardton fits into the events of the Saratoga Campaign.
- July 2–July 6, 1777 — Siege of Fort Ticonderoga
- July 6, 1777 — Battle of Skeneseborough
- July 7, 1777 — Battle of Hubbardton
- July 8, 1777 — Battle of Fort Anne
- August 2, 1777 — Siege of Fort Stanwix
- August 6, 1777 — Battle of Oriskany
- August 16, 1777 — Battle of Bennington
- September 19, 1777 — First Battle of Saratoga, Freeman’s Farm
- October 7, 1777 — Second Battle Saratoga, Bemis Heights
- October 17, 1777 — Surrender of Burgoyne’s Army
Battle of Hubbardton Video
This video provides a detailed overview of the Battle of Hubbardton.