The Green Mountain Boys
Americans from all 13 Colonies – now all states in the U.S. – played vital roles in the War of Independence. But the first rebel victory of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga, was won by a militia of less than 100 men, known as the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont.
Ethan Allen bought land in the New Hampshire Grants in 1770. But the British crown gave all of that same land to New York, ignoring the New Hampshire land grants. Allen and his cousin Remember Baker started the “Green Mountain Boys,” a militia force, to protect their land, keeping New York settlers, the “Yorkers,” out of Vermont. They drew their name from the Green Mountains of Vermont. Vermont would later become the 14th state in 1791.
When the American Revolution started in 1775, Ethan Allen with 83 colonist militia men, and help from Colonel Benedict Arnold, crossed a lake at dawn to surprise attack and capture the British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga. It was America’s first victory of the Revolutionary War, and big morale booster for the American cause.
Their success kept American soil safe from British invasion through Canada. They went on to fight in other battles, including the Battle of Bennington, a very important victory for the early American rebels.
It may be that if the “Boys” had not successfully taken the fort, the Americans would not have won their independence. When the war ended, the Green Mountain Boys went home to protect and work their lands.
The Green Mountain Boys flag was green, of course, with thirteen stars representing each of the colonies they fought for. A group still exists today, in the form of Vermont’s National Guard. The 134th Fighter Squadron flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon.