Even more problematic than the strategic failure of the Battle of Bennington were its psychological effects. The loss left the British frightened and dejected, evident in Thomas Anburey’s account of the period that followed, and forced them to set up camp in a vulnerable position on the East side of the Hudson River. As the first major battle of the Saratoga Campaign, both the Americans and the British would likely have viewed it as indicative of the relative capabilities of the two forces, and, more specifically, whether the rebels would be able to defeat the British Army in decisive combat. The overwhelming American victory could not have provided a clearer answer. Compounding the psychological blow of the loss, the precarious and humiliating camping position of the British Army following their defeat would have further increased their fear and dampened their morale. This likely contributed to the eventual desertion of their allies the Mohawks, which would surely have had more detrimental effects on their military capabilities.Equally, if not more, important were the psychological effects on the Americans of their victory. The first time a militia unit had fought skillfully and effectively in the whole war, the battle was a source of “great exultation” to the Americans and removed their fear of the Hessian troops. By improving morale, which had been low, due to the easy British victories at forts Ticonderoga and Edward, the American victory at Bennington inspired a notable increase in militia numbers. This surge in numbers likely helped the Americans defeat Burgoyne’s army first at the subsequent Battle of Freeman’s Farm, and then in the Saratoga Campaign as a whole. Thus, it is highly probable that the psychological effects of Bennington on the American forces contributed to the ultimate British failure.By proving to the Americans that victory over the British was possible, and to the British that their army was far from infallible, the Battle of Bennington gave the Americans a strategic advantage over the British that allowed them to win the Battle of Freeman’s Farm, psychological advantage over the British that was increased by their later victory at Freeman’s Farm and contributed to their ultimate victory over Burgoyne’s campaign.
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