Lest We Forget: 17 June 1775 – Bunker Hill
The Day; perhaps the decisive Day is come on which the fate of America depends.
—Abigail Adams, Letter to John Adams
On that day, Patriot Outlaws met the British in battle on the hills of Charlestown, Massachusetts.
The Red Coats won the Battle, but their losses were so horrific [especially among the Officers] they never dared venture out of Boston again.
A disorganized army of Colonists under shaky and sometimes non-existent command, fought bravely and held off the damned British as long as they could.
Their Spirit must never be forgotten.
From a letter written by Peter Brown, Colonial Soldier, on 18 June 1775, to his mother in Rhode Island [re-paragraphing mine]:
…The enemy landed, fronted before us, and form’d themselves, in an oblong square in order to surround, which they did in part — after they were well form’d they advanced towards us in order to swallow us up, but they found a Choaky mouthful of us, ‘tho we could do nothing with our small arms as yet for distance, and had but two Cannon, and no Gunner, and they from Boston, and from the shipping firing and throwing Bombs, keeping us down, till they almost surrounded us.
— But God in Mercy to us fought our battle, and tho’ we were but few in number, and suffer’d to be defeated by our enemy, yet we were presrev[ed] in a most wonderful manner, far beyond our expectation and to our admiration for out of our Regiment there were but 37 kill’d 4 or 5 taken captive, about forty seven Wounded
& Oh may I never forget Gods distinguishing Mercy to me, in sparing my Life, when they fell on my right hand, and on my left, and close by me, they were to the eye of reason no more expos’d than myself. — When the Arrows of death flew thick around me, I was preserv’d while others were suffer’d to fall a prey to our Cruel enemies. O may That God whose Mercy was so far extended in my preservation, grant me his grace to devote my future Life to his divine service
Nor do I conclude that the danger is yet over, unless God in his Mercy either remove our enemy, or heal the breach — but if we should be call’d again to action I hope to have courage and strength to act my part valiently in defence of our Liberties & Country trusting in him who hath hitherto kept me, and hath cover’d my head in the day of battle, and altho’ we have lost four out of our Company & several taken captive by the enemy of America, I was not suffer’d to be touch’d.
From a letter written by Samuel Adams to his wife Elizabeth on 28 June 1775 from Philadelphia:
MY DEAR BETSY,
Yesterday I receivd Letters from some of our Friends at the Camp informing me of the Engagement between the American Troops and the Rebel Army, in Charlestown. I cannot but be greatly rejoycd at the tryed Valor of our Countrymen, who by all Accounts behavd with an Intrepidity becoming those who fought for their Liberties against the mercenary Soldiers of a Tyrant. It is painful to me to reflect upon the Terror I must suppose you were under on hearing the Noise of War so near you. Favor me, my dear, with an Account of your Apprehensions at that time, under your own hand. I pray God to cover the heads of our Countrymen in every day of Battle, and ever to protect you from Injury in these distracted Times. The Death of our truly amiable and worthy Friend Dr Warren is greatly afflicting. The Language of Friendship is, how shall we resign him! But it is our Duty to submit to the Dispensations of Heaven, “Whose Ways are ever gracious, ever just.” He fell in the glorious Struggle for the publick Liberty.
The Dr. Warren referred to is Dr. Joseph Warren, who was in charge of the Massachusetts Rebels in the absence of Samuel Adams.
He had been commissioned a Major General in the Massachusetts Militia, but insisted on serving as a Private during The Battle Of Bunker Hill. From Wikipedia:
Warren was appointed a Major General by the Provincial Congress on June 14, 1775. He arrived where the militia was forming and asked where the heaviest fighting would be; General Israel Putnam pointed to Breeds Hill. He volunteered as a private against the wishes of General Putnam and Colonel William Prescott, who requested that he serve as their commander. Since Putnam and Prescott were more experienced with war he declined command. He was among those inspiring the men to hold rank against superior numbers. Warren was known to have repeatedly declared of the British: “These fellows say we won’t fight! By Heaven, I hope I shall die up to my knees in blood!” He fought in the redoubt until out of ammunition, and remained until the British made their third and final assault on the hill to give time for the militia to escape. He was killed instantly by a musket ball in the head by a British officer (possibly Lieutenant Lord Rawdon) who recognized him. This account is supported by a 2011 forensic analysis. His body was stripped of clothing and he was bayoneted until unrecognizable, and then shoved into a shallow ditch.
British Captain Walter Laurie, who had been defeated at Old North Bridge, later said he “stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain.” His body was exhumed ten months after his death by his brothers and Paul Revere, who identified the remains by the artificial tooth he had placed in the jaw….
The Enemy Within we face today is even more barbaric.