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Castleton was a crossroad during the American Revolution. On July 6-7, 1777, Major General Arthur St. Clair and about 2,500 American troops encamped near Castleton. The troops were retreating from British pursuit that began at Fort Ticonderoga the day before. The American troops would move through Castleton and then travel east to Rutland, then turn south to Manchester and finally head southwest to Fort Miller. Just south of Fort Miller, they would be reinforced and defeat the British at the Battles of Saratoga. 

Two years earlier in May 1775, Ethan Allen, Seth Warner, Edward Mott, John Brown and Benedict Arnold and a force of about 250 American troops encamped here at the farm of Richard Bentley. They were here to make final plans to seize Fort Ticonderoga from the British. George Washington needed the cannon and munitions held at Fort Ticonderoga for the siege of Boston. 

Ethan Allen and Seth Warner had about 200 Green Mountain Boys from Vermont. Edward Mott had about 16 Connecticut men. John Brown had about 40 men from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Colonel Benedict Arnold from Connecticut brought a commissioning from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Since this was the first time Americans were considering an offensive action against the British, they were no doubt risking their very lives. 

Their plan was for a small party to move west to Skenesborough to capture boats from Major Philip Skene, the great Tory landholder of the region. The boats would then be used to cross Lake Champlain. Ethan Allen would go north ahead of the group to spy out the land near Fort Ticonderoga. The main body would rendezvous with Ethan Allen later that evening. They would then cross Lake Champlain under the cover of darkness and surprise the British in the morning. 

The place where the meeting took place is marked in Castleton. Between the Birdseye Diner and the congregational church, you will see what looks like a veterans memorial with American flags flying. This "memorial" is actually a large stone that marks the meeting place. 

Breakfast in Castleton
Have breakfast at the Birdseye Diner. Be sure to ask what the breakfast special is. 

While you're having breakfast at the diner, remember that not far from this very spot in May of 1775, Ethan Allen, Seth Warner, Edward Mott, John Brown and Benedict Arnold had breakfast at the farm of Richard Bentley. 

Fort Warren Just down the road at the intersection with East Hubbardton Road (a half-mile east on Route 4A), you will find two markers for Fort Warren and the American retreat. Both markers indicate that Fort Warren stood on this site from 1777-1779. After the loss of Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, Fort Warren became a part of a string of forts built across the state for the defense of Vermont. North of these forts all the way to Canada became a demilitarized zone. Those that remained in or entered the area did so at their own risk.


Battle of Hubbardton
7 Miles North

Directly east is the elevation for Fort Warren built in 1779 for defense of the Northern Frontier. The road from the north was the route of American retreat before Burgoyne protected by Colonel Seth Warner's rear guard action at the Battle of Hubbardton, July 7, 1777.

Enroute to the Hubbardton Battlefield, VT 

American Encampment. There are no markers between Castleton and the Hubbardton Battlefield, but there should be one about two miles south of the battlefield. It is here where General St. Clair and his forces were encamped when they heard gunshots that marked the beginning of the Battle of Hubbardton. It was the early morning hours of July 7, 1777. They broke camp quickly and were in Castleton just a few hours later.

Onto the Hubbardton Battlefield

Back to a Revolutionary Day