Following the evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga, American forces under Major General Arthur St. Clair sought safety with a hurried retreat to the southeast. The American general left a rear guard near the town of Hubbardton in present-day Vermont with Green Mountain Boys led by Colonel Seth Warner, Massachusetts troops under Colonel Ebenezer Francis and New Hampshire forces under Colonel Nathan Hale (not the executed American spy).
The British pursuit was headed by Brigadier General Simon Fraser, whose forces attacked the Americans early on July 7. Falling back to a secure position on Monument Hill, the Americans repulsed several vigorous British assaults. The tide of the battle turned when, after more than an hour of battle, German troops under the command of Baron Freidrich Adolf von Riedesel arrived. These disciplined forces entered the fray singing hymns to the accompaniment of a military band. Francis fell mortally wounded during this part of the fighting and the Americans eventually gave way.
The encounter at Hubbardton is regarded as an important American tactical victory because sufficient time was secured to allow St. Clair’s main force to proceed to safety in Castleton. Unlike earlier battles, the American troops continued to fight in a disciplined manner despite suffering heavy losses. Further, once they had achieved their aim, the Americans executed a dangerous but successful disengagement from the enemy and retreated to join St. Clair.
The British losses at Hubbardton were sufficient to end thoughts of further pursuit. The force returned to Fort Ticonderoga and linked up with John Burgoyne’s army.