Local Teacher Writes New Book on the Battle of Bennington
“This is the story,” the blurb on the back cover begins, “of the Battle of Bennington and the iconic Monument that commemorates the Patriot victory on August 16, 1777.” For Shaftsbury resident and CCV English teacher Phil Holland, it was a story worth retelling. His ‘Guide to the Battle of Bennington: the Bennington Monument,’ scheduled for publication on Battle Day itself on Tuesday, August 16, is 56 pages long and illustrated with 37 color maps, photographs and artworks. “I thought,” says Holland, “that visitors to Bennington – and all of us who live here, for that matter – needed a guide to a battle that helped shape the course of American history. The more I learned about it myself, the more fascinated I became. The personalities, tactics and the way the fighting played out in real time – if I were making a movie of it, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Holland’s book also tells the story of the construction of the Bennington Battle Monument, which itself involved a dramatic battle of competing designs; the false starts will make you love the finished Monument even more. Holland makes a case for the final design as an original work of art, and explains how an Egyptian obelisk came to be set above a New England valley. Grandma Moses famously included the Monument in the background of her painting of the battle itself. The painting, from the collection of the Bennington Museum, is reproduced in all its idiosyncrati, patriotic glory at the end of the book. The book is for sale at the Northshire, the Monument, and other outlets in Bennington County.