#Onthisday in 1777, the Battle of Bennington, a battle of the American Revolutionary War, part of the Saratoga campaign, that took place. This is an imagine of a German Horseman Saber from The History of Weapons of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann and drawings by George C. Woodbridge was published by Bonanza Books (NY) in 1976 which is part of the Historian’s Crawshaw Historical Book Collection.
A detachment of Britsh General John Burgoyne’s army led by German Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum of dismounted Brunswick dragoons, Canadians, Loyalists, and Indians totaled around 700 was sent to raid Bennington in the disputed New Hampshire Grants area for horses, draft animals, and other supplies. Unfortunately, Burgoyne had faulty intelligence as he ran into 1,500 militiamen under the command of General John Stark at Walloomsac, New York. This fatal mistake would cost Burgoyne one of his commanders when Baum fell and many casualties. and supported by more men under German Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann. This victory set the stage for the defeat of Burgoyne at the Battles of Saratoga. A selection from the book explained:
German Horseman Saber
It is believed that heavy-hilted saber of this type were carried in America by the Brunswick Dragoons (dismounted) accompanying General Burgoyne, and probably by other German unit’s here. A crude brass lion-head pommel and Capstan rivet top the leather-wrapped grip….
From the pike to the pistol, the sword to the rifle, George C. Neumann traces the weapons of the Revolutionary War period. Drawing upon his own and numerous public and private collections, the author has assembled far and away the most complete gallery available of polearms, swords, firearms and military accessories. 1200 photographs and a bonus short 500-year evolutionary history of the world’s hand firearms. Neumann assembled what is known as The Neumann Collection of Revolutionary War militaria for Valley Forge NHP so that present and future generations of Americans can gain a better understanding of the lives of those soldiers who were encamped here. This is the largest publicly owned collection of Revolutionary War artifacts known in the world that was designed to create an accurate awareness of the American soldier’s pledge for freedom.
(Town Historian Sean Kelleher fondly remembers Neumann and Woodbridge. Kelleher grew up as a reenactor in particular serving in the Brigade of the American Revolution who was lead by Neumann, Woodbridge and others. Neumann was a great and enthusiastic historian, who shared his passion for the founding of our nation with everyone he came in touch with. Kelleher vividly remembers Neumann narrating tactical weapons demonstration. His voice becoming excited and strained as the demonstration would reach the highpoint. Neumann used his knowledge, enthusiasm and voice to bring the American Revolution to life for many spectators of reenactments across the East Coast.)
George C. Neumann, (29 March 1926 – 4 April 2014) was born in New Britain, Connecticut. He attended New Britain High School, Wesleyan University, Princeton University and Harvard Business School. On February 5, 1955, he married Diana L. (Martell) Neumann, and together they had two children: Douglas and Bruce. Neumann worked as a New York City based business executive at various companies, including Johnson and Johnson, Canada Dry and Good Humor. He was a noted expert on the subjects of antiques and colonial military accoutrements and authored several books and periodicals on those topics. In 1979 George sold his extensive private collection of Revolutionary War weapons and artifacts to the National Park Service. Neumann was a founding member of the Brigade of the American Revolution and Third New Jersey Regiment historical reenacting organizations. A man of principle, he was dedicated to God, his country, and his family. He served honorably in the United States Navy during World War II. He was committed to the preservation of the history of America with a focused interest on the ideals of the Founding Fathers. He was a stalwart citizen of the community in which he lived and a man whose life was centered around his family and friends.
Crawshaw Historical Book Collection
William and Helen Crawshaw are retired librarians who live in the Town of Saratoga. William or Bill was the head of the reference department at the Crandall Library and a board member of the Glens Falls Lions Club. Helen was the children`s librarian at the Saratoga Spring Public Library. Bill and Helen have been active for many years in the Saratoga County League of Women’s Voters. The Crawshaw’s also operated the well respected “Book in Hand” book shop for 32 years. They had an extensive collection of New York books and donated many of their local books to the Town of Saratoga Historian’s office.
The Crawshaw Historical Book Collection is part of the Town of Saratoga Historian’s collection. The collection is open by appointment. You may contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org