Bennington is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, United States. It is one of two shire towns (county seats) of the county, the other being Manchester. The population was 15,764 at the 2010 census. By population, Bennington is the largest town in southern Vermont, the third-largest town in Vermont (after Essex and Colchester), and the sixth-largest municipality in the state (after Burlington, Essex, Rutland, Colchester, and South Burlington). Bennington is home to the Bennington Battle Monument, which is the tallest structure in the state of Vermont.
First of the New Hampshire grants, Bennington was chartered on January 3, 1749 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth and named in his honor. It was granted to William Williams and 61 others, mostly from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The town was first settled in 1761 by four families from Hardwick and two from Amherst, Massachusetts. They were led by Capt. Samuel Robinson, who camped in the river valley on his return from the French and Indian War.
The town is known primarily for the Battle of Bennington, fought during the Revolutionary War (the battle was actually fought a few miles to the west in New York). On August 16, 1777, Gen. John Stark’s 1,500 New Hampshire Militia defeated 800 troops of German mercenaries, local Loyalists, Canadians and Indians under German Lt. Col. Friedrich Baum. German reinforcements under the command of Lt. Col. Heinrich von Breymann looked set to reverse the outcome, but were prevented by the arrival of Seth Warner’s Green Mountain Boys; the Vermont militia founded by Ethan Allen.