The Second Vermont Republic
Scattered recollections from the short life and long death of the Vermont Republic.
Excerpts from The Foggy Dew, a popular song (authorship unknown) about the Winter Rising in Vermont. The song was later adopted as the national anthem of the Second Vermont Republic
'Twas Yankee bade our wild geese go, that "Rhode Island might be free";
Their lonely graves are by Cape Cod's waves on the fringe of the great Maine Sea
Oh, had they died by Keyser's side or fought with great Jack Drew
Their graves we'd keep where Vermonters sleep, 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew.
Oh the night fell black, and the rifles' crack made perfidious Yankees reel
In the leaden rain, seven tongs of flame did shine o'er the lines of steel
By each shining blade a prayer was said, that to Vermont her sons be true
But when morning broke, still the war flag shook out its folds the foggy dew
Oh the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that July in the winter of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few,
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew
As back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when you fell in the foggy dew.
Excerpts from Captain ‘Landshark’s history of the North American War, Eight Years: a Continent in Fragments
‘…the war was not just a matter of armies fighting against each other. During the war, a number of guerrilla movements emerged; the Communist Union in Michigan, the fascist Supremacy League in the ICMAG and in the USNK, and the socialist Liberation Army of Vermont. Although many of these organisations managed to seize territory and indeed set up ‘states’ for short durations, they were largely the puppets of foreign powers, and none survived the war. Their main significance was a sign of the flagging trust of the American people in their governments; as the war dragged on, many sought refuge in extremist groups, thus intensifying the crisis…
The Vermont Revolution is generally considered to have begun with the January Offensive, when revolutionary cells across Vermont began an attack on towns across Vermont, ending with the fall of over 60% of the state to the so-called Liberation Army of Vermont, who proclaimed the Second Vermont Republic after the fall of Montpelier. However, this ignores the fact that tensions had been rising in Vermont for some time; guerrilla attacks by LAV cells had been reported since early April the previous year, and protests had been ongoing in most of Vermont against the New England war since at least August. Therefore, it is useful to see the Revolution as not a sudden event but an evolutionary process’
Recollections of John Imijin, 5th of November, 1997, Charlotte Amalie, Kennedy Islands
'We were just going down to the shops one day...we'd heard about the Vermont rebels, of course, but no one thought they were worth worrying about. It wasn't even a revolution, then, just a bunch of hippies hiding out in the forests taking potshots at New England soldiers.
Anyway, we were in the shops when we heard a loud noise down the street, like a car backfiring. I turned around to look. Everything next seemed to happen in slow motion; the windows shattered, I got knocked off my feet and got slammed into a shelf. I threw myself to the ground to avoid the broken glass, but a piece had gone into my cheek. It hurt like hell, and there's still a scar.
As it turned out, the Vermont separatists had driven a car full of explosives into the Kennedy Islands Legislature; fourteen people were killed, and the Governor only narrowly survived.
People try to make the Vermont separatists into heroes, fighting against oppression for freedom. That's bunk. They were terrorists, pure and simple, and the minute they killed civilians in a peaceful province thousands of miles from Vermont was the minute they stopped being freedom fighters and became terrorists.'
Recollections of Corporal John Lancaster of the First Battle of Montpelier, taken from an interview with The New York Times
‘It was the 22nd of January, two weeks after the start of the revolution. We rode into town on horses, each of us armed to teeth. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; it’s the twentieth century, who needs horses, right? Well, let me tell you, they were invaluable in the war. When you’re living up in the cold frozen mountains with no petrol and no spare parts, a horse is the only way of getting round quickly. Plus, if you get hungry, you can eat them.
Anyway, we rode into town; we got into a firefight with a small platoon on the outskirts, but nothing compared to what some people experienced. New England honestly never expected the revolution until too late, and they paid the price. We pretty much managed to steamroll the opposition; sure, we had technology from 30 years ago and a platoon to match, but they didn’t stand a chance no matter what. A lot of them were local Vermont boys, and they sure as hell didn’t want to fire on us just so King Ed got a few more tubs of maple syrup. Half of them defected as soon as they saw us.
Once we got to the State House, they’d pretty much given up. Governor Douglas came out peacefully, but a few of the Whig deputies put up a fight. I remember one of them had kept a gun under one of the chairs in anticipation of just this; he took out two of us before he went down. Otherwise, though, things went amazingly well. Governor Douglas resigned at gunpoint, and General Dean went up to his office. There, I got to see something I’ll never forget; I got to see General Dean sign the Constitution of the Republic of Vermont, and I’ll swear a tear went down his face. God bless Vermont’
Extract from On His Majesty’s Public Service by Lord LaRouche, Chancellor of New England 1992-2000, of the 25th of January, 1998
‘We’d heard that things were going badly in Vermont, but we didn’t realise how badly until we got word on the 25th that Governor Douglas had been taken prisoner, and Dean had set up some ‘provisional government’ over 60% of the state. We never saw him again, by the way; some LAV prison guards said they’d shot him just before we took Rutland, but we never did find the truth. Anyway, the privy council was absolute mayhem that morning. We were planning a big offensive up the Hudson in New York, and a Vermont civil war was the last thing we needed. It got the point where some counselors were actually proposing leaving Vermont to the LAV. I couldn’t believe my ears. These people, who had spent their lives in the service of New England, were prepared to let it be ripped apart by fanatics?
In the end, it all came down to His Majesty’s judgment. He was deep in thought for a few moments, then decided that we couldn’t give in to threats and violence. If one group of nuts could make the entire kingdom crawl to them, then democracy would be exposed as a sham. We had to cancel the Hudson offensive, but that was the only way to save New England.
After that, things calmed down a lot, because, after all, the King had spoken. It was agreed that we couldn’t return the province to Whig control; the situation had escalated far too far out of control for that. Instead, we decided to appoint General Bob Newman, the man who masterminded the attack on New York City, military governor. He would wield supreme power over Vermont, answerable only to the King; essentially a state-sanctioned dictator. Nothing like this had ever been done before; but then again, these weren’t normal times.’
Excerpts from fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_general_election%2C_1998
Translated from the French Wikipedia.
The Vermont general election of 1998 was the only election in the short lived Second Vermont Republic, following its declaration of independence from the Kingdom of New England. It was held on the 2nd of February, 1998. At the time of the election, the Liberation Army of Vermont only controlled 60% of the state, even though it claimed all of Vermont, and thus only half of Vermont’s population were able to vote in relative safety. Fighting still continues along the borders of the breakaway state even as voting commenced, and long afterwards. The election was a focus of controversy amongst New England loyalists, with the former dominant party, the New England Whig Party, boycotting the elections.
Howard Dean, President of the Republic of Vermont, had gained his position after the forced resignation of Vermont Governor Jim Douglas eleven days before, following the capture of Vermont in the First Battle of Montpelier and the proclamation of the Republic of Vermont. With no primary opposition and with widespread popular support, Dean was re-elected unanimously.
In the new unicameral Vermont House of Representatives, however, matters were different. Although party groupings did not exist until after the election, many candidates ran on pro or anti-Dean lines, with a large groundswell of anti-Dean sentiment in Bennington. Pro-Dean candidates formed the Socialist Party after the election, while anti-Dean candidates formed the Liberal Party. This proved the primary partisan divide during the life of the Republic of Vermont.
The election was not without controversy; Dean’s unanimous re-election was alleged to be due to Liberation Army intimidation of other candidates, while some candidates made allegations of vote-rigging in favour of the Socialist Party.
|Howard Dean||205, 342||100.0%|
House of Representatives
Excerpts from the Constitution of the Second Vermont Republic (based on the Constitution of the First Vermont Republic)
CHAPTER I A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE SECOND VERMONT REPUBLIC
I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
II. That private property ought to be subservient to public uses, when necessity requires it; nevertheless, whenever any particular man's property is taken for the use of the public, the owner ought to receive an equivalent in money. […]
VI. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family or set of men, who are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish, government, in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most conducive to the public weal.
VII. That those who are employed in the legislative and executive business of the State, may be restrained from oppression, the people have a right, at such periods as they may think proper, to reduce their public officers to a private station, and supply the vacancies by certain and regular elections.
VIII. That all elections ought to be free; and that all freemen. having a sufficient, evident, common interest with, and attachment to the community, have a right to elect officers, or be elected into office.
IX. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, and therefore, is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield his personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto; but no part of a man's property can be justly taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of his legal representatives; nor can any man who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if he will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any law' but such as they have, in like manner, assented to, for their common good. […]
CHAPTER II PLAN OR FRAME OF GOVERNMENT
SECTION I. THE REPUBLIC of VERMONT, shall be governed, hereafter, by a President, Council, and an Assembly of the Representatives of the Freemen of the same, in manner and form following.
SECTION II. The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives of the Republic of Vermont.
SECTION III. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a President and Council.
SECTION IV. Courts of justice shall be established in every county in this State.
Excerpt from an article by the Rutland Herald, of the 6th of March, 1998
‘Local council elections were held across Vermont yesterday, in the first local elections since the declaration of the Second Vermont Republic. In areas under New England control, the New England Whig Party maintained their dominance, winning over 80% of the total votal and a majority in each council.
In areas under Second Vermont Republic control, however, the result was very different. Nearly every Whig councelor lost their seat, as the New England Whig Party declared the elections illegitimate. Most candidates for office ran on pro or anti-Dean lines, with a landslide victory for candidates declaring their support for Dean. In a press conference this morning, the new pro-Dean mayor of Rutland, Tony Bossi, called for a ‘popular front’ to support Dean’s socialist program’
Excerpt from an article by the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, of the 4th of April, 1998
‘During the debate on the Nationalisation Bill, the first bill of President Dean’s Socialist Program to be introduced into the General Assembly, argument within the house became fierce; many dissidents spoke out against the threat posed by the bill to free enterprise, and against the potential for state corruption. In response, the bill’s supporters spoke of the need for nationalisation to end the monopoly by private companies over transportation services…
After a twelve-hour debate, the bill was carried, by 83 to 67. The bill’s supporters, who referred to themselves as Deanites, staged a press conference to announce the formation of the Socialist Party, in order to support Dean in the General Assembly. Representatives of those opposed to the bill were not available for comment.’
Excerpt from an editorial by the Bennington Banner, of the 9th of April, 1998
‘The recent Nationalisation Bill has divided the General Assembly, and introduced partisan politics to what has been so far a united nation. The bill’s supporters have formed the Socialist Party, in order to support President Dean’s legislative agenda; yesterday, the bill’s opponents staged a similar event in the formation of the Liberal Party, in order to oppose similar bills as a united front in the future.
This partisan divide goes far deeper than just a debate over a bill; it demonstrates the way in which Dean’s socialist program has split our newborn nation. The debate over the Nationalisation Bill goes far beyond its simple proposals; it is a debate over whether our nation shall be a socialist or a capitalist nation.’
Recollections of Corporal John Lancaster, taken from an interview with the New York Times
‘Even while the politicians were bickering over the colours of the flag in Montpelier, the war dragged on. We realised even from the beginning that the only way we stood a chance in hell was if we kept attacking deep into enemy territory, so they couldn’t regroup and strike back.
We were operating out of Waterbury, which was a border town between us and the New England-occupied areas; every day we’d ride into the forest and wreak hell. We controlled most of VT 100, so whenever they wanted to transport troops they’d have to go through the forests and farms, and whenever they did THAT they didn’t have a chance in hell. Through a bunch of traps, mines and ambushes, we made it so that any convoy heading for Burlington would have a hell of a shaky ride. More often then not they never got there at all.
Yeah, those were the glory days; nothing seemed beyond us then. One day we received the order to take Ferrisburgh, and we just DID it. We rode into town through the forest, locked up the mayor and planted the flag in the town square. Of course, that night they counterattacked, but the townsfolk were on our side back then. The poor saps drove into the centre of town and got picked off from all sides. It was a massacre.
Of course, once we got back to Waterbury we discovered they’d burnt the whole damn town to the ground. The whole damn town, and most of the woodland around it. They’d realised that they couldn’t stop us as long as we had Vermont to hide in, so they simply decided to obliterate Vermont.’
Excerpts from a speech by Jim Jeffords (L), to the Vermont General Assembly during the debate on the Health Care Bill, 5th of July, 1998
‘…we do not oppose the Second Vermont Republic. If we did, we would have joined the Whigs and boycotted the election. The great divide that separates us from our brethren on the other side of this chamber is not whether we are pro or anti-Vermont, but firmly rests in the hands of the person and ideology of President Dean.
We, the Liberal Party of Vermont, have been summoned from many causes. We are not bound by the ideology of the Socialist Party. But one thing is clear: we all stood for election as independent candidates, on the principle that we would preserve individual liberty, whether economic or social, from the menace of socialist tyranny. And so, we have come together as one great party, united by our commitment to a free Vermont, both from New England and from those within who would seek to oppress us.
The time has come to say something of the forgotten class-the middle class-those people who are constantly in danger of being ground between the upper and the lower millstones of the class war; the middle class who represent the background of this new and great nation. This great middle class has elected us here today, and we shall not fail them’
Excerpts from a speech by Bernie Sanders (S) to the Vermont General Assembly during the debate on the Health Care Bill, 5th of July, 1998
‘Like the Liberal Party, we of the Socialist Party were also called here as independents. But unlike the Liberals, who stood on a platform of negativism and opposition to the current administration, we came here because we supported Governor Dean’s vision for a better future. I try to think of the Socialist Party, not as putting an extra few cents into somebody's pocket, or making somebody President, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective - the light on the hill - which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Second Vermont Republic would not be worth fighting for.’
Excerpt from the Bennington Banner, 14th of July, 1998
Land Redistribution Bill Passed
Bernie Sanders' controversial Land Redistribution Bill was passed through the Vermont House of Representatives yesterday 77-73, after an emotional three-hour debate. Five Socialist representatives crossed the floor to vote against the bill, with the balance of power falling to independents Matthew Taylor, Jill Maybourne and Wayne Egan.
The bill will give the Secretary for the Interior power to redistribute private land to help the rural poor. However, this proposal has been highly criticised, with Liberal House Leader Jim Jeffords calling it 'an insult to freedom and to the principles which Vermonters are dying to defend.'
Excerpt from an editorial in the Boston Globe, 14th of July, 1998
'The communists in Vermont have always been working towards tyranny in their illegitimate republic, and yesterday's shameful display confirms it. Goodbye to objectivity, goodbye to free enterprise, goodbye to liberty when an arbitrary government of thieves and cut-throats has the power to control the lives of its citizens as it sees fit.
This war to preserve our union has taken on new impetus. The communists in Vermont have created a corrupt dictatorship, in which the arbitrary rule of 'President' Dean cannot be challenged. The abortion of an election witnessed in the captured territories earlier this year, in which not one person was permitted to stand against Dean, is living proof that if we fail in our cause, the people of Vermont will be forever condemned to slavery'
Recollections of Private Richard Newborn, LAV, to the Los Angeles Times
‘My first and pretty much only battle was the Battle of Chester, on the 22nd of July, 1998. We were pushing into Windsor County; we wanted to take Windsor so that we’d have a good base in which to attack New Hampshire. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, New Hampshire! When we couldn’t even hang onto a country where the people liked us! But that was the plan at the time; cut off their capability to strike by forcing them onto to fight on the home front. It was a pretty good plan, except it didn’t really work out all that much.
Anyway, Chester wasn’t so much a battle as a massacre. The town was supporting New England, who were using them to launch raids into our territory; one platoon got as far as Bennington, so it was obvious they had to be stopped. This meant one thing: obliteration. Sure, they were Vermonters, and it wasn’t nice, but war isn’t nice. You’ve got good guys and bad guys, and it’s your job to blow the bad guys to hell, even if they’re your friends and neighbours. That’s what they told us, anyway, and that’s what we did. We’d gotten some tech from New York that made the stuff we were used to using look like they’d been whittled or something. We surrounded the town, and hit them from all sides.
They didn’t stand a chance. We hit the town with rockets from up in the hills, and came charging in like Vikings or something. It was the middle of the night, so the soldiers were all in their pajamas and tired as hell. The commander even had a cup of hot cocao when we blew his damn New England head off.
Of course, Chester was full of civilians, 3000 of them, who just got caught in the crossfire. Most of them fled into the forests, but a damn great number of them got caught by us. And I swear to you; I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff, but I never saw anything as bad as what we did that night. We weren’t heroes, we were butchers. Nearly 200 civilians were killed before we declared ‘victory’. I got a big chunk of shrapnel in my right arm, so I got taken to a hospital in Bennington, where they discharged me. And that was my war.
I know some people out there’ll be thinking ‘Well, it was war; they were collaborators, it was justified’. Justified? What the hell can justify that?’
Excerpts from fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Knight_Returns
Translated from the French Wikipedia.
The Green Knight Returns was a 200-page sequential artwork (or 'comic book', to use the terminology of the 1940s) by Frank Miller, a Vermonter who drew and wrote the work in order to support the Second Vermont Republic. Only one issue of the work, which Miller intended to be the beginning of a continuing series, was completed. Although copies were made, almost all were destroyed in a firebombing raid on 1 August 1998 by New England bombers during a raid on Montpelier, which also killed Miller.
However, one copy survived, which was forwarded by Zach Braff, a New York soldier, to his friend Alan Moore, an anarchist recluse in Cornwall, England. There, Moore was inspired to continue Moore's work, and continued his saga. The Green Knight Returns was published by Corgi Books, and became world famous as the work that sparked off the Comic Book Revolution. A Californian film version is currently in pre-production.
As a child, Bruce Wayne, a Vermont millionaire, was forced to watch his parents gunned down by New England soldiers during the Winter Rising. While appearing a vacuous socialite to the outside world, he trained himself to become The Bat-Man, a guerrilla fighter who fought for Vermont independence.
However, he failed. In the present day (allowing Miller to lampoon King Edward I of New England), Wayne has given up his mantle as the Bat-Man, and sunken into despondancy. At the same time, the Second Vermont Republic is fighting a war for its survival, with bands of New England soldiers looting and killing across the countryside. Wayne is forced to return to his old guerrilla identity to protect his country.
The Bat-Man, also known as The Green Knight, strikes fear into the heart of New England, especially once he slays The Man Who Laughs, a psychopathic New England soldier who Wayne hideously scarred ten years before, and temporarily frees Vermont. In the end, however, he is forced to fight his old ally Ultiman, the hero of New York, who confrontes Bat-Man in order to stop the spread of socialism. The Bat-Man manages to defeat the superpowered Ultiman (a novel concept at the time; the cover of the graphic novel, depicting Ultiman crushing the Bat-Man with a car, aroused considerable attention at the time), but spares his life, expiring from a heart attack shortly afterwards. By his victory against Ultiman, the Bat-Man delivers a stirring message of hope to the Second Vermont Republic, and inspires them to fight for freedom.
After its publication, the book, which was not expected to have a wide audience, had an enormous cultural impact. The notion of ‘sequential art books’ had briefly been popular in the 1940s, but was largely regarded as a passing fad; The Green Knight Returns helped make such books mainstream. In addition, the book quickly dispelled any perception of such books as ‘childish’, with dark, adult themes dealt with within; The Man Who Laughs’ murder of Jason Todd, an accomplice of the Bat-Man’s, attracted a critical uproar due to its graphic violence.
On the whole, the comic was hugely successful, and sparked a series of similar books in many genres, which quickly became known as the Comic Book Revolution.
Recollections of Corporal ‘Rowmaster’, New York Third Partisan Brigade, of the 7th of August, 1998
‘...during the war, I led a brigade on supply runs into Vermont. New England had the whole place blockaded, so we had to go along the old Appalachian Trail, carrying every single bit of logistics the Vermonties wanted on our backs. It was hell, but it sure irritated the New Englanders.
Anyway, on the 7th we were crossing into Vermont when we noticed all the trees around us were dead. Just...dead, blackened, rotten. When we came to a ledge over the rest of the valley, we couldn't believe what we saw. The entire forest had just died. Every hill was covered with rotting stumps, and even the plants in the undergrowth were dead. It was horrible.
They call it Agent Orange; it's a German chemical, designed to wipe out entire forests. They sure as hell did it to Vermont. I wouldn't be surprised if half the plants in Vermont died that year.'
Recollections of Corporal Philip Chesterton, New England Defence Force
‘My platoon was stationed in Newfane, near the Rock River. We were on the front lines during August; the LAV were launching attacks east, hoping to penetrate New Hampshire.
They attacked us at night, nearly every god damn night in August. Sometimes they’d just shoot up a few sentries and burn a truck or two; other nights, they’d ride in like god damn Valkyries on their silly little horses and try to take the town. One night, the 20th I think, they actually managed to hold it for a few hours; we were forced out of town, and me and a few friends spent all night in a ditch along the West River. We sat there, sweating and freezing at the same time, as gunfire echoed around us and we heard the screams of the dying, ours and theirs. We couldn’t sleep, we couldn’t think; we just sat there, waiting for an LAV patrol to find us and fill us with lead. The waiting was the worst bit; the knowledge that any second, some commie’s going to find your rabbit hole and shoot you, but you just don’t know when. I swear, I wake at nights screaming because of that god damn time in the rabbit hole. And that was just one night. They attacked over and over and over again; by the end, you saw people get shot and blown apart and ripped to shreds by shrapnel and you just didn’t care any more, because every bullet that hit them was a bullet that didn’t hit you. By the end, we didn’t know if we were sane anymore.
Of course, that was just at night. The days were actually worse. The LAV may have been butchers, but they were consistent; they couldn’t attack at day, because we’d shred their ponies into mincemeat, so they decided to simply wait until the lights were down before attacking. The people in Newfane, though, they didn’t care for that. They hated us. Hated our guts. We were foreigners, aliens, killing their brothers and eating their food and occupying our land. So they fought back. There was no way of telling who was friend or foe, no way of telling when the attack would come or where from. Our CO, Colonel Robinson, got his throat cut one morning by his cleaner. Every day a pipe bomb or a stolen grenade or a Dean martini would take a few more of my friends out of Vermont and through the pearly gates.
The worst thing, the WORST thing, though, was the boredom. They say the Second Vermont Republic only controlled 60% of the state, but whoever wrote that was an idiot. We controlled the towns, sure, but that didn’t mean we controlled the countryside, and definitely not the forests. Anyone who left Newfane was sure to come back with an airduct or two in his head. So there was nothing to do all day, nowhere to go, nowhere to run. We just sat there, priming our defences, watching the sun, knowing that in a few hours, the light would vanish from the sky, and we’d go back to hell.
The Boston Globe published a big scoop about drug use amongst soldiers; they acted like it was a surprise. I swear, if any of those lily-livered fair-handed liberal journalists had seen what we’d seen, there wouldn’t be enough left of their minds to put on a postage stamp. Of course we used drugs. Wherever we went inside our heads sure seemed better than whatever we had out here.
Still, I suppose we did our job. Newfane was vital to the New Hampshire offensive by the LAV; without it, they couldn’t advance. By holding it, we forced them into attacking Burlington, and that was the biggest mistake they ever made’
Excerpts from Eric Campbell's 'The Front Line: Reports from the North American War', a compilation of eye-witness reports for the Sydney Morning Herald about the North American War. This article is dated from the 23rd of October, 1998, and refers to events on the 9th of September, 1998.
'...compared to Louisiana, the Vermont war was pretty placid; mostly ambushes in the forest, brief occupations of small, unarmed towns. But Burlington was different.
A multinational force, made up of the Liberation Army of Vermont, New York partisans and Quebecois mercenaries moved on the city. A small squadron of New Yorker boats moved across Lake Champlain, attacking the German ships stationed there.
The whole thing was a massacre. The LAV was a forest guerrilla group, not an army; once they got into the streets their guns were no match for German weapons and defences. Luckily, they had the population on their side; rioting broke out in the street, with up to 30 000 Vermonters smashing shop windows and burning New England offices to the ground. Once this happened, though, New England cut their losses and decided to flatten the town. Half the city was set afire from the sky, entire neighbourhoods burned to the ground. The LAV couldn't advance, couldn't retreat, as the entire city went up in flames around them. They were massacred from the air. The LAV reinforcements were cut off 5 miles from the town by German troops; ever since then, '5 miles' has become a catchcry for bitterness in Vermont, of the thwarting of hopes and the loss of dreams.
In the end, 5000 Vermont troops and nearly 10 000 civilians were dead; not much by the standards of the war, but enough to lose them the war'
Excerpts from Captain ‘Landshark’s history of the North American War, Eight Years: a Continent in Fragments
‘The fall of the Republic of Quebec to Commonwealth forces on the 21rd of September, 1998, had major consequences for the ongoing North Eastern War. Without Quebec invading from the north, New York was able to mount a major offensive against the occupying New England forces, aided by Commonwealth forces free from their Quebecois commitments. At the same time, Premier Breton retreated to Quebec City and, with the help of Communist militias, set up the People's Republic of Quebec. He quickly switched sides in order to secure New York support and attacked New England, later playing a major role in the pivotal Battle of Boston...
The fall of Quebec had one advantage for New England, however; New York forces became fully occupied in the invasion, and were unable to support the Vermont separatists. Had the Vermont armed forces been in ready condition, they would have been able to exploit the New York invasion to their benefit; unfortunately, the loss of the Battle of Burlington twelve days before left them unable to launch a convincing counter offensive against New England forces. For the next eleven months, the Liberation Army of Vermont lead a guerrilla campaign against the encircling New England forces, but were unable to stop the encroaching tide. By the end, Montpelier was effectively surrounded. It is interesting to speculate what might have happened had Governor Dean delayed in attacking Burlington by just a few weeks; but alternate history is never a profitable exercise.’
Recollections of Mary Rosefield, formerly of Boston, New England, of the 22nd of January, 1999
‘I was in South Station, in Boston. I was getting off the train to go to work. Sure, I’d heard about the Vermont war; but how could a bunch of commies in the hills affect us in Boston? I didn’t even know that it was the anniversary of the start of the war.
I might have thought some people were acting suspicious, but that could just be my memory playing tricks on me. And even if they were, so what? More than a hundred thousand people catch the train every day, most of them through South Station. I didn’t even think for a second the war would come to us… I first heard shouting; someone had fallen over and was throwing up. Well, that was odd, but not exactly worth shouting over. Then I saw the gas. My eyes started to sting. I tried to get away, but I was choking and my legs wouldn’t listen to me. It felt like my head was on fire…I fell to my knees, unable to move, unable to breathe. By the time I lost consciousness I was sure I was going to die…
They say it was sarin, bought from New York. I must have covered my mouth without knowing it; if I hadn’t, I’d surely be dead. I got taken to hospital and treated, but sarin doesn’t get away that easily. It could have cost me my life. Instead, it cost me my eyes. But still, I was lucky. 63 people weren’t.’
Recollections of Sergeant James Cantore, New England Defence Force, of the Battle of Bennington, 3rd of March
'Six days. Six days of absolute hell. Less than twelve hours of sleep the whole time, and the other 132 hours trying to blow the heads off strangers while trying not to get killed. And all the while, the bombs kept dropping, dust kept swirling and by the end, once you're covered in mud and blood and gore, you look more dead than alive...
I was born in Vermont, so I felt I had a pretty good idea of what the people were like. But they fought like animals; every block we took they wouldn't retreat, they simply wouldn't move until you went up to them and shot them at point blank range. It was something in their eyes. It was like...well, can you be a fundamentalist atheist? They really believed in their crummy little republic, really believed in socialism. By the end, that belief was all they had left...
It took six days, but we finally cornered them in, would you believe it, Memorial Park. The last of them shot himself rather than surrender. General Newman arrived a few hours later for the famous photo; you know, hoisting the flag of New England in the ruins of the town. That's bull. New England stands for liberty and justice and freedom; it doesn't stand for slaughter. By doing what we do, we profaned our flag and all that it stands for'
Extract from an article by the Bennington Banner, on the 5th of March 1999
'Local council elections were held in towns across Vermont yesterday, although voting was restricted to Addison, Rutland and Washington Counties in the wake of the fall of Bennington County two days ago. The most notable effect was the full implementation of the two-party system, with a large swing against the Socialist Party; voters spoke of discontentment with the Socialist Party, which was seen as being too linked to the LAV's recent defeats. Many spoke of a desire towards a better settlement with New England, which only the anti-administration Liberal Party could deliver...
The new Liberal mayor of Rutland, John Cassarino, spoke openly of a desire for peace, saying 'We Vermonters only desire freedom, not socialist tyranny. We cannot have socialism under New England, but we could have freedom. Words, not bullets, will decide the fate of Vermont.'
President Dean was unavailable for comment.'
Recollections of Captain John Lancaster of the Battle of Montpelier, 14th of August, 1999
‘Nineteen months; that was all we got. Sure, you can round it up to two years, but even then we got snuffed out before we ever got a chance. But still, I’ll never regret what I did. We were fighting the good fight, long after everyone else on the continent had lost every principle they had and started tearing into each other with rusty hooks. We had a two-party system, a free and fair election, and we even began on the land redistribution programs. We could have made things better. It’s a shame we never got the chance.
We fought street to street; unfortunately, there aren’t all that many streets in Montpelier, so we were stuffed before long. Quebecois support might have saved us, but they were too busy looting Connecticut to help. Fascist frogs. Governor Dean was killed when New England bombarded the State House, before breaking down the walls and rushing in. They've never said how he died; sure, the papers said suicide, but I'll never believe that. No one could have survived what they did to the place. Once we heard, we decided we needed to get out of town as soon as possible.
Before that, though, we got ambushed. We took cover, but we were outgunned and outmanned. That’s when I did something I’ll regret forever; I tried to make a break for it. Even as my comrades died fighting, I abandoned them to grisly deaths. God, it still gives me nightmares.
Anyway, I got hit while I was running; one went through my left shoulder, two went through my left leg and kept going, because by the time they’d finished there wasn’t much left of it. I was unconscious before I hit the ground. By the time I woke up, it was as if the Second Vermont Republic, my home, had never existed’.
Recollections of Corporal Philip Manne, LAV
'I joined the LAV just before Montpelier and the collapse of the Republic. We retreated into the Green Mountains, lived in caves off whatever we could steal or scrounge.
It was tough. Real tough. For starters, there wasn't a President anymore; the entire cabinet had been killed or captured, and the highest ranked officer still left was a Major. Sure, the upper ranks toyed with declaring someone or other a new President, but I think they knew it was pretty pointless. Even then, we knew that we could never retake Vermont.
Sure, we did some damage; we nearly got Governor Newman once while he was in Bennington. We used a shrapnel bomb, not because it would be effective but because we simply didn't have enough bullets to authorise an assassin. That's just sad. Anyway, the bomb went off, but someone shoved Newman out of the way. We killed ten people, mostly civilians. We led a few other attacks on soldiers and sentries and collaborators, but the failed Newman hit was pretty much our crowning accomplishment after the fall of Montpelier. See, without the SVR to back us up, we didn't have the logistics, the foreign support or the men to do anything really worth being proud of.
The real problem with continuing the war, though, was that the people's hearts just weren't in it. We should have known that from the moment they turned against the Socialists after Bennington. They'd tried fighting for freedom, and seen nothing but pain and misery. So many of our best and brightest were gone; Dean was killed in the fall of Montpelier, Miller got blown to bits, Jeffords was caught trying to escape and killed in the confusion, and Sanders was arrested and sentenced to life. There was no one left to wield the banner of revolution. Worse, no one seemed to want them to.
Sure, King Ed says the revolution ended when he blew up one little cave in the mountains, but the truth is, the revolution ended when the people just stopped caring. You can't win a war if the people aren't on your side, and you probably shouldn't try.'
Royal Proclamation of King Edward the First of New England, issued on 3 March, 2001
‘The last of the Vermont Communists have been crushed, with an air raid on their last stronghold in the Green Mountains. It has been two years since we won our most glorious victory at Bennington; now, the work in retaking Vermont we begun there has finally been completed. With this strike, the last of the civil war that has so troubled Vermont has been extinguished. Democracy has at last returned to Vermont.
Even as we fight against the New York war of aggression, we must never forget the sacrifices made in war. Today, as peace at last returns to the beautiful Green Mountain State, it can be safely said they did not die in vain. Let us forget the horrors of the last few years, and move on to a brighter future, together as brothers in the Kingdom of New England.’