Green Mountain Boys

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American militia unit formed in Vermont in 1770 named after the Green Mountains, the section of the Alleghenies that runs through modern Vermont. Before the American War of Independence, the area had been disputed between New Hampshire and New York. New Hampshire had moved first, issuing land grants from 1749. By 1764 New Hampshire had chartered 131 townships in the territory. The following year New York also started to issue grants, including some that conflicted with earlier New Hampshire grants. The issue quickly led to conflict between groups of settlers.

The Green Mountain Boys were founded at Bennington (now in Vermont) in 1770 to resist a sheriff's party sent out from New York to expel settlers who had received grants from New Hampshire. The New Yorkers were successfully expelled. When conflict with Britain broke out in 1775 the leader of the Green Mountain Boys, Ethen Allen, decided to attack Fort Ticonderoga, a British stronghold that had been allowed to decay after 1763. Joined by Benedict Arnold the Green Mountain Boys attacked Ticonderoga on 10 May 1775, easily taking it from the small British garrison. The victory gave the rebels valuable artillery pieces which were taken to Boston to help in the siege. The Green Mountain Boys were also involved in the campaign that led to the surrender at Saratoga in 1777. On 4 August 1777 they contributed a sizable part of the militia force that defeated a British detachment attempting to raid the American arsenal at Bennington, and helped weaken Burgoyne's already under-strength force.

In the same year Vermont was declared an independent republic, a status it retained despite the claims from New York until 1791 when Vermont joined the United States as the 14th state.

How to cite this article:Rickard, J. (4 September 2003), Green Mountain Boys, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_greenmountain.html

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