As an administrator for 26 years in the Albany City School District, Bruce Venter never did a whole lot of teaching. Since he retired nearly 10 years ago, all that has changed.
An Albany native and graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Venter has taken his passion for history and forged a second profession for himself, schooling people about the American Revolution.
Along with being president of America’s History, his own tour and conference company, he has written a book titled “The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America.” He will discuss the book at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Canfield Casino as part of the Saratoga History Museum’s Solomon Lecture Series.
The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America
WHAT: A book presentation and lecture
WHERE: Saratoga Springs History Museum, Canfield Casino, 1 E. Congress St., Saratoga Springs
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
HOW MUCH: Free
MORE INFO: 584-6920, saratogahistory.org
“Hubbardton was a British victory, a tactical victory that ended up having a very positive strategic value to the American cause,” said Venter, referring to a small but significant battle during the American Revolution early in the summer of 1777.
“The Americans saved their army because of the rear guard action they fought, and the British had enough casualties , which I believe affected their army by the time they got to Saratoga. It all ended at Saratoga in defeat, and I think I make some good points in the book how Hubbardton had a huge impact on that.”
A former assistant superintendant of finance and operations for the Albany school district, Venter now lives in Goochland County, Virginia with his wife, Lynne. After graduating from CBA, he went on to get his four-year degree in history at Manhattan College and then his doctorate in education administration from the University at Albany.
Since moving to Virginia, he has created his own company, providing tours and conferences for history buffs like himself.
“We do all kinds of tours, and many of them are American Revolution tours,” he said.
“Of course, being in Virginia, a lot of them are Civil War tours. But we also do French and Indian War tours, and we even head out west to do Indian war tours like Custer’s Battlefield in Montana. We’ve been in business about fi ve years and things are really going well. We had a conference in Williamsburg about the American Revolution last March and we sold out.”
Hubbardton is located in western Vermont, about 20 miles northeast of Whitehall. Although the Battle of Bennington was an even bigger and more significant engagement during the summer of 1777, it was actually fought within New York.
“Hubbardton is the only battle of the American Revolution fought in Vermont,” Venter said. “It’s a beautiful pristine battlefi eld, and I think it was very important to the American cause. There was a book published about the battle but it went out of print about five years ago so I decided to write another one. It’s been a lot of fun working on it.”
NEW BOOK ON TAP
The History Press published Venter’s work on Hubbardton, and he has another book coming out in January published by Oklahoma Press called “Kill Jeff Davis,” about a Union cavalry raid on Richmond during the Civil War.
The Solomon Lecture Series will continue on July 23 with a walking tour of the Italian Gardens led by Lew Elia. Two programs for the month of August will be announced soon.