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into the military line. His professional as well as political abilities were of the highest order. Though energetic, he was prudent and judicious in debate, generous, and, to his honour be it said, liberal towards those who entertained opposite sentiments respecting the controversy in which he was engaged an example worthy of serious remembrance and imitation.
To the most undaunted resolution in the field, he united the softer virtues of domestic life-and embellished the wisdom of a profound statesman with the eloquence of an accomplished orator.
He had been an active volunteer in several skirmishes which had occurred since the commencement of hostilities, in all of which he gave strong presages of capacity and distinction in the profession of arms. But the fond hopes of his country were to be closed in death, not, however, until he had sealed with his blood the charter of our liberties, not until he had secured that permanence of glory with which we encircle the memory, whilst we cherish the name, of WARREN.
Since our former notice of the Battle of Bunker's Hill, we have received a variety of documents, proceeding from the testimony of survivors who were in a situation, on that day, to enable them to judge of all the events connected with it; and, to the eminent character who collected them, we beg to offer our warmest acknowledgments.
The general accuracy of the plan of operations near Bunker's Hill, given in our last number, has met the approbation of his excellency John Brooks, governor of Massachusetts, major general Dearborn, Dr. A. Dexter, and the Hon. William Prescott, of Boston, son of the gallant colonel Prescott, of whom honourable men. tion is made in accounts of this battle; the Hon. James Winthrop, of Cambridge, and John Kettell, esq. Deacon Thomas Miller, and Dr. Bartlett, of Charlestown, who have expressed concurring opinions in favour of it, as being a faithful outline. Two doubts only were suggested.
1st. As to the position of the abbatis or hay-fence, which was hastily got up just before the action, and
2d. As to the pieces of cannon represented behind it, and which are mentioned in the references.
General Dearborn thinks that the rail-fence was farther in ad. vance towards Breed's hill than is represented on the plan, and that it was nearly in a line with the breast-work. Dr. Dexter is of the same opinion. So also is Deacon Miller. Upon describing the present known objects which the line of fence would pass over, it was considered by Dr. Bartlett, to whom the ground is familiar, that the description, in fact, supported the plan. Judge Winthrop is satisfied that the position of the fence on the plan is correct. The account which follows was kindly committed to paper by himself.
« As far as I can recollect, I believe the plan to be generally correct. The railed fence was, I think, as far as a quarter of a mile from the curtain belonging to the redoubt. There was room for a body of troops to enter that way, which was one circumstance that discomfited our men. There was no such grove as is represented on the plan. There were two or three trees near the fences, and, I believe, not more than that number. I remember two field pieces at the rail fence which covered our left. When I first got there, generals Warren and Puinam were standing by the pieces and consulting together. Very few men were at that part of the lines. I went forward to the redoubt, and tarried there a little while. Mr. James Swan and myself were in company. Finding that a column of the enemy were advancing toward our left, and not far from Mystic river, we pointed them out to the people without the redoubt, and proposed that some measure should be taken to man the fence, which, when we passed, we had considered as slightly guarded. We two, in the style of the times, were appointed a committee for that purpose. We went directly to the rail fence, and found a body of men had arrived since we had left it. Possibly three hundred would not be an estimate far from the truth. As soon as we had got to the middle of the line, the firing commenced from the redoubt and continued through our left. The field pieces stood there, and nobody appeared to have the care of them. After an obstinate dispute, our people were driven from the redoubt, and the retreat was rapid from our whole line. I saw one or two young men, in uniform, try to muster a party to bring off the field pieces, but they could not succeed. « In coming
down Bunker's Hill, at the place where the British built their fort, I met a regiment going up, and joined company, still in hopes of repelling the invaders. I since learned that it was Col. Gard. ner's regiment. He being badly wounded was removed, and his regi. ment was not deployed.
“ When the firing commenced from the redoubt, the smoke rose from the lower part of the street. A man near me pointed to it as the smoke from the guns.' This shows that the fire was in a line with the redoubt and the middle of the rail fence. By laying a ruler from the middie of the rail fence, as marked upon the plan, and over that side of the fort next the main street, it will cross the northern side of the square where the court-house stood. After the destruction of the town, the places of the court-house and meeting-house were cleared of the ruins to form the present square. An irregular mass of buildings was also removed in front of the present hotel, and extended that corner of the square to its present magnitude. As well as I can conclude from this statement, I am inclined to believe the plan nearly correct.
General Dearborn does not recollect seeing any cannon at the place indicated on the plan; and is confident there were none. Deacon Miller is of the same opinion. Governor Brooks thinks differently, and Judge Winthrop's letter distinctly affirms that two field pieces were on that part of the ground. It appears, however, from the whole of the evidence, that little or no use was made of them.
Some of the witnesses expressed an opinion, that there was no such break between the breast-work and the hay-fence, as is represented on the plan; but there was a line of that sort of imperfect defence extending from the breast-work to the shore. It is so represented in the plan of the action in Stedman's History of the American War (English edition, quarto). A line drawn on Lieut. De Berniere's plan from the lower end of the breast-work to the hay-fence, will correspond, as to the lines of defence, with Sted. man's plan. It appears that the British grenadiers received a very heavy fire from the place marked P, and, it is not probable that the troops from whom that fire proceeded were altogether unprotected. Indeed there are three angular figures represented at that place in De Berniere's plan, which are not very intelligible, and were probably meant to indicate unfinished intrenchments, or some other description of defence. Judge Winthrop's letter, however, mentions the accuracy of the plan in this particular also.
Particulars respecting the action, collected from the gentlemen consulted, as above mentioned.—The men who first went on the hill in the evening of the 16th, and constructed the works, were in number about one thousand, detachments principally of Prescott's, Bridge's, and Fry's regiments. Colonel Prescott had the command. Three companies of Bridge's regiment were not included in the order. Captain Brooks (now governor Brooks) command. ed one of these companies. He obtained colonel Bridge's consentto accompany him, and was on the ground the whole night, as a volunteer, without his company. Early in the morning of the 17th a man was killed at the redoubt by a fire from one of the ships in Charles's river. A council of war was held in the redoubt, which captain Brooks attended. There was some diversity of opinion as to the course to be pursued, and what message should be sent to the commander in chief at Cambridge, general Ward. Some one urged that they ought to be relieved, after the fatigues of the night, and that the works required to be manned with fresh troops to withstand the expected attack. To this proposal colonel Prescott was decidedly opposed. “No,” said he, "the men who erected the works, will defend them.” It was determined to request the other three companies of Bridge's regiment to be sent as a reinforcement. Captain Brooks was despatched to Cambridge in performance of this duty,a service not a little hazardous, on account of an incessant fire maintained by the ships and gun-boats across Charlestown neck, which it was necessary to pass. General Ward objected to weaken his force by detaching more troops from Cambridge. It could not be done, in his opinion, without indiscreet and unjustifiable risk of that important post. The whole plan of the enemy could not be conjectured. A diversion might be attempted in aid of the main operation, and a general attack might be facilitated by abstracting any larger portion of the means of defence. He thought also that a sufficient number was already on the field. Whilst deliberating on this subject, Richard Devens, esq. of Charlestown, had an interview with the general, in the course of which he vehemently remonstrated against what he unerstood to be the determination. Mr. Devens was one of the
committee of safety, ard, from his station and character, his opis nion, so decidedly expressed, had a preponderating influence. The companies were ordered to proceed.
General Dearborn was captain of a company in colonel Stark's regiment. That regiment, and colonel Reed's, both from NewHampshire, went on the ground on the 17th, just as the British troops were advancing from their first position. He was at the hay-fence on the American left. He does not know by whom, or when it was constructed. There were but few men at that post when it was occupied by the New Hampshire troops. He describes the repeated repulses of the light infantry and grenadiers in that part of the line, as in all the published accounts. He recognized among the British troops, the twenty-third or Welsh fusileers, so distinguished at the battle of Minden. These he knew by their uniform, having particularly noticed them on parade at Boston in 1774. General D. when a prisoner at Quebec in 1776, conversed with an officer of the British 47th regiment, who confirmed Stedman's account of the blunder in sending shot from Boston during the action, of dimensions larger than the calibre of the field pieces. The general conceives that a diversion might, and ought to have been made, by the officer in command on Bunker's hill, who had troops sufficient for the purpose, and that it would have had the good effect of relieving, in some degree, the pressure on those in the lines an opinion corroborated by that of colonel Prescott in his remarks upon this subject to several of his friends.
Judge Winthrop entered the field on that memorable day, attached to no military corps. He was young and ardent in the interesting cause, and yielded to feelings which impelled him to be active on the occasion. (See his observations.)
Dr. Dexter was a spectator of the battle from the Malden side of Mystic river. His situation was particularly favourable to a distinct view of what took place on the British right wing. He saw the light infantry and grenadiers retreat twice to the shore. Upon their second repulse, before they advanced again, the men pulled off their coats, and marched up to the final attack stripped of that garment. It was at this period, probably, that they laid down part of the load with which, Stedman says, they were injudiciously encumbered-kn:ipsacks, with three days provisions!
John Kettell, esg. was a soldier in captain Perkins's company of colonel Little's regiment, from the county of Essex. The whole regiment contained about eight hundred men. This regiment marched to the hill just before the action commenced. He at first went into the redoubt, which was full of men, and they were not wanted at that place; they then repaired to the breast-work, and hay.fence, taking post as they were wanted.
Deacon T. Miller was an ensign in captain Harris's company, colonel Gardner's regiment. The division of the regiment ordered to the ground, amounted to about three hundred men. He went on just at the commencement of the action, and was at the hay. VOL. XI.
fence, but mentions no particulars of any interest not already well known and published.
Remarks --The accounts given of Bunker's hill battle immedi. ately after it took place, are singularly meagre and imperfect. In Ede's Gazette, of Monday the 17th, the subject is disposed of in one short paragraph, and so defective was the state of information at Watertown, where the gazette was published, that the editor speaks of the engagement as continuing when the paper was put to press, at nine o'clock on Monday morning. This can but refer to the shots occasionally exchanged between the two parties, the Bri. tish, occupying Bunker's hill, and the Americans, posted on Pros
In “ Almon's Remembrancer," is an article of intelligence from the New York Gazette of June 26, detailing accounts respecting the action brought by express to that city. It states the number of British troops engaged at about three thousand, the Americans fifteen hundred. The defence of posts and rails is there said to have been performed by captain Knowlton, with four hundred of the Connecticut forces. This corresponds with an account now given by Mr. Adams, who lives in that part of Charlestown without the Neck, and at whose house Knowlton's company was quartered. He says, the company went on the hill in the evening of the 17th, by order of general Putnam. There were between eighty and ninety men in the company. After their return, they mentioned to Mr. Adams, among other matters, the pulling up a string of fence, carrying it to other fences, filling the interval with newly mown grass, and fighting, most of them, behind this slender protection. Captain Knowlton and his lieutenant Keyes were experienced officers, having served in the French war which closed with the peace of 1763. The loss in that company was three killed, and the same number wounded.
The following article, copied from a Providence newspaper, of July 15, though it may not be satisfactory as respects the number of killed and wounded, yet serves to show the several regiments to which the troops engaged belonged.
“ The following is an exact return of the killed, wounded, and missing of the American army in the action of June 17, at Charlestown, viz. Regiments. Killed & Missing.
Wounded. New Hampshire-Col. Stark's?
6 Massachusetts-Col. Scammon's