Orwell in Addison County, Vermont — The American Northeast (New England)
German Hut – 1777
Mount Independence State Historic Site
“Our men built huts out of boards to protect themselves from the cold weather.”
- Lt. Von Hille, October 22, 1777
During the American occupation from July 1776 to July 1777, soldiers constructed a breastwork of logs and stone along the top of the rocky slope here. In June 1777, to further strengthen this land approach, they added three artillery batteries.
After the British gained control of Mount Independence and Ticonderoga on July 6, 1777, the garrison of British and German regiments encamped in tents in this area, near the fortifications facing south and southeast to their American enemies. When Americans raiding parties attacked the two forts on September 18, soldiers rushed to the lines and slept on their arms in readiness. The German Prinz Friedrich Regiment manned the line of works extending from the present day parking lot to the well-preserved second, or southern, battery at the end of the Southern Battery Spur Trail.
Lieutenant von Hille of the Prinz Friedrich Regiment recorded in his diary some events of the day:
“The regt. immediately hurried to the alarm place, the comp[any] of M.G. von Stammer to Battery 1, the companies of M. von Hille, Capt. Von Tunderfelt and Capt. Dietrichs behind the line up to Battery No. 2, where the comp[any] of L.C. Pratorious
The tents proved to be uncomfortable as the nights grew colder. Von Hille wrote on the night of October 20-21, “there was a heavy snow and frost.” The next day “[o]ur men built huts of boards to protect themselves from the cold weather.” The huts were built against this south-facing slope for shelter from the cold northwest winds.
The small depression next to the trail is all that remains of one of the German hut sites in this area.
When this site was studied in 2001 in preparation for the construction of this trail, archaeologists retrieved numerous artifacts. Some musket balls, a grenade, and metal parts from a musket may be telling witnesses of the raid of September 18, 1777. Many artifacts were remnants of building materials: numerous nails of varying types, hinges, charcoal from burnt wood, brick, and glass. Also found were some belongings of the soldiers who lived in this hut. One of the most striking was a blue cufflink. Other items were bones (perhaps from food preparation), bits of wine bottles, and a two-tined fork.
Erected by Mount Independence State Historic Site.
Location. 43° 49.341′ N, 73° 22.837′ W. Marker is in Orwell, Vermont, in Addison County. Marker can be reached from Mount Independence Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is along the walking trail in Mount Independence State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Orwell VT 05760, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The American Southern Defenses – 1776-1777 (within shouting distance of this marker); British Blockhouse - 1777 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lake Champlain and the American Revolution (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Southern Battery – 1777 (about 400 feet away); Foundation -1776 or 1777 (about 500 feet away); Storehouse - 1776 (about 600 feet away); Third Brigade Encampment – 1776 (about 700 feet away); Heritage Travelers over the Years (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Orwell.
More about this marker. The left of the marker contains a map indicating the site where the marker is now located. It has a caption of “The German Prinz Friedrich Regiment was encamped in this area. ‘Plan of the Situation on Mount Independence near Carillon Before the Retreat.’ 1777.” Under this is a picture of the “Blue glass cufflink found in the 2001 archaeological investigation. Collection of the Mount Independence State Historic Site.” The upper right of the marker features two photographs of the two-tined fork found in the 2001 archaeological investigation, from the Collection of the Mount Independence Historic Site.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers are found on the walking trails in Mount Independence State Historic Site.
Also see . . . Mount Independence State Historic Site. Vermont State Historic Sites. (Submitted on May 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,176 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.