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patriot militia in the American Revolution. The Green Mountain Boys began in 1770 at present-day Bennington, Vermont, as an unauthorized militia organized to defend the property rights of local residents who had received land grants from New Hampshire. New York, which then claimed present-day Vermont, disputed New Hampshire's right to grant land west of the Green Mountains. The Green Mountain Boys stopped sheriffs from enforcing New York laws and terrorized settlers who had New York grants, burning buildings, stealing cattle, and administering occasional floggings with birch rods