No Affiliation Alliance

Battle of the Minutemen BY R.J.Marco Book # 1 Invasion of America series

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COPYRIGHT 2012 by ROBERT MARCOCCIO
All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

First published in The United States of America in 2014 by Wolf Head Publications
Edited by Joseph Tatala

“A contract abrogated by one party, can no longer be binding on the other if we are menaced with royal power of authority, we justify ourselves in defending our indefeasible rights against despotism and tyrannical oppression. Coward alone will bend to unjust power, and slaves and sycophants only will yield both soul and body to the disposal of tyrannical masters. Should our efforts, under God, be crowned with the desired success, we shall obtain the honor of rescuing ourselves and posterity from vassalage; but if compelled to succumb under royal power, then will ours be the rebel’s fate, the scaffold and the gibbet will be glutted with their devoted victims.”

CHAPTER ONE
“Battle of the Minutemen”
April, 1775


         Awakening to the clamor of rabble outside his window, Malachi yelled down to his neighbor, John Wilson. “What is happening? “
         John looked up, and Malachi could see the seriousness in his face, and shouted back, “A large force of regulars are marching on out of Boston!”
         “How do you know this?” Not yet awake, John walks to below the window.
         “A rider has passed the alarm…Gage was observed crossing the bay from Boston at about midnight and we are gathering at the town hall. Are you coming?”
         Malachi was already dressing and turns about, seeing his wife sitting in the bed, worried.
         “What is happening?” she asks.
         Putting on his boots, the thoughts ran through his mind how to explain to her without causing worry. This had happened some months before in Salem and turned out to be a false alarm. “It’s probably nothing, Rosy, but I’m going to meet with the others to find out for sure.”
         “Well, don’t be staying out all night, Mister Frye will be expecting you to start building the pasture fence early and you should have a good night’s sleep.”
         “I will be back as soon as I know what is going on” he said, kissing her goodbye, “and I promise not to forget my obligations to Mister Frye.”
         The entire town is now awake and about the streets, as men carrying rifles assemble at the town hall, where Mister Morgan Beam – one of the leaders of the town militia was trying his best to organize the mob. “There is no telling what size of force the regulars are in and it is sure they will not attack until sunrise in the morning. This leaves us barely three hours to assemble and march to join Captain Parker in first defense at Lexington.”
         “If this is real, what will we do with our families, if we are not here to protect them?” shouted one man in the crowd.
         “Gage is going after the powder stores at Concord…your families will be safe for now. It is imperative however that we protect the arsenals cause without powder we have no defense. He cannot succeed.”

         The sixty militiamen who had gathered in the town center assembled and marched from Westford toward Lexington – the predestined rally point of the militia.
         Rosy watched from the window as her husband passed below with the others. Trying his best to smile and not show the worry inside, Malachi promises to be home by noon the next day, a reassurance to her that there’s probably nothing to worry about. “I have to go Rosy…explain to Mister Frye, I will start on his fence as soon as I return.”
         “You promise to be careful, Malachi…and if you cross paths with a rabbit or two along the way I can cook a stew.”
         “I will keep it in mind, Rosy.” Though it’s not a rabbit he be hunting, he mused to himself.
         Reaching the fork in the road leading to Lexington, the militia unit from Westford is joined by three other groups coming from the nearby townships and farms about the countryside. There are about two hundred men now and they seem to grow for a time by two or three men along the way. Some were on horseback; others rode in wagons, but most were on foot.
         The ranks filled with men of all ages and shapes. Those who could not keep pace with the younger men marched to the side of the road with others as they may be late to arrive, but would not be denied their fight against tyranny.
         The distant sky of this spring morning was clear with thousands of speckling stars that managed to peek through the new budding of the tree groves. Where the night drew to daylight the dawn formed a sliver of amber. What seemed so beautiful a morning was soon changed by a volley of shots heard off in a distance, followed by then another, until the firing became sporadic.
         In response, the pace began to pick up among the men, almost to a running pace. Parker’s Company was engaging the Royal army, which lasted more than the hour that it took to reach the village –It is six-thirty, April 19, 1775. Lexington Green had been overrun by a superior force of Regulars.The Lexington militiamen were scattered about the hills and woods to avoid being captured by the small detachment of troops that had been posted to secure the village by the British commander.
         Coming upon the remnants of Parker’s men, Morgan Beam asked a man, who was bleeding from an arm wound, “What happened?”
         “We formed ranks, and they came at us with a bayonet charge…but we did not fire first,” said a boy of fifteen who was fired upon as he had stood on the line in the commons.
         Morgan turned to the others from Westford. “A few of you remain here and tend to the wounded; the rest of you follow me. We’re going to Concord.”
         The militia from Westford forced marched and reached Concord at about eight o’clock in the morning, gathering in the woods a few miles north of the village, where Morgan and his men joined another group, led by General Joseph Hosmer. Hosmer had been elected weeks prior by the townships to be the acting adjutant of the minutemen. He seemed unsure and indecisive not fully knowledgeable about the incident at Lexington.

         Many of the militia leaders meandered about unsure of the events that had taken place in Lexington; the American units posted in Concord had fallen back into the hills west of the village. Not a single shot had been fired as the Regulars ransacked the buildings.
         John Adams and other members of the provincial Congress stood witness, as the soldiers dragged barrels of flour out into the main street breaking them open, while jeering at the American militia who watched from a safe distance.
         Hosmer gave instructions to Captain Isaac Davis to march his Acton Minutemen from their position in the northern hills into Concord to learn news and send word back with instructions. Until the General had a better idea of how to respond, he would keep his men out of sight, where they stood secluded in the thickets.
         An hour passes, and the men continue waiting anxiously in reserve. No orders are received as the sound of drums and fifes can be heard in the distance. Confusion grows, while Hosmer waits for word to come from Concord, along with instructions on what to do.
         Then there is the sound of several volleys and return fire, which lasts less than twenty minutes. Hosmer moves his men closer and observes the American units taking back the north bridge with this being accomplished their commanders then dispersed the unit into the hills to reassess the situation as they make a hasty camp and eat. Hosmer could see the red coats lying about the road and gully below dead. Blood had been drawn.
         A company of regulars that had advanced across the north bridge earlier returns, crossing the bridge where their fellow soldiers lay about dead and the Captain notes that some of his men were tomahawked, with their heads split open, but he cannot not stop for them looking to the hills he sees the rebels above him and dares not make a fight.
         The Minuteman Companies sit around campfires, eating a meal, but rising to their feet, they are prepared to defend should these regulars turn and fire on them. However, it had not crossed the Royal Commander’s mind to attack. Without certainty, he would restrain his men, noting they were outnumbered.
         Hosmer orders his men to spread among the tree line, but not to fire, as he watches the Regulars load wagons with pillaged property they had robbed from the shops and homes of Concord.
         The court and a few shops are engulfed by fire set by the soldiers. Billows of black smoke rose and are carried in the wind as the townspeople watch from the hills. The town manager and shop owners implore the Minutemen officer to intervene against the destruction of their property worried the fires could spread and all of Concord lost.
         John Adams, along with a few other members of the provincial Congress, which had been called to reconvene the day prior, share a concern for both his cousin Samuel and John Hancock, who were staying at the home of Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington, Hancock’s Uncle. If they were taken into custody, it would be a major blow to the resistance.
         The action for the moment had ceased, and Hosmer, with a group of men, went down into the American camp to confer with Colonel Barrett on a plan of action. They would not incite a war until they received word from Hancock or Adams that war has been officially declared.
         Barrett lived further along the road from the direction from which the Regular Company had returned, and with worry for his family, he sends two riders up the north road to his home to check on them. They return shortly, assuring him that, although the soldiers had ransacked his home searching for the Captain, his family was not harmed, and so he was relieved.
         A cease-fire was observed as the British claimed their dead and wounded from the North Bridge. It still did not seem to any of the men that war had truly broken out, though the tension was thick and on the countryside on verge of explosion, with even the slightest provocation.
         Though the fighting seemed to be over, militia and minutemen began to assemble across the country side with the news of Gage’s aggression. The news reached the village of Dedham, where a company of French War veterans who had served in the Quebec campaigns under General Wolfe assembled before the town church. Reverend William Gordon gave his blessing to the men who became enraged when a messenger arrived with the news about Lexington. With none in the company below the age of seventy, they sling their relic fire-locks and began to march eagerly toward Cambridge.
         At about nine o’clock that morning, Gage dispatches reinforcements under Lord Percy, who marches his men from Boston through Roxbury. In deliberate mockery and insult directed to Americans who had watched from the town, Percy orders his men parade past the spectators playing “Yankee Doodle”, having no idea of what lies ahead in wait before them.
         In response to the aggression, a group of selectmen from Cambridge tear up the bridge planks from the Old Bridge to delay the force. The Regulars, finding the planks nearby, reconstructed the bridge, while three regiments of infantry and two divisions of marines avoid the obstacle and continue marching through the shallow creek towards Concord. Unwittingly, the British main force separates from the convoy of provision wagons which had followed, waiting for the bridge to be refitted with boards, allowing the wagons to be captured by a regiment of minutemen led by Reverend Doctor Payson.
         At ten a.m., Doctor Warren rides into Charlestown to deliver the news and confirm that the account of activities in Lexington and Concord are true, and in response the men began to arm and assemble, preparing to retaliate.
         General Heath arrives in Cambridge and has his men tear up the planks of the Old Bridge again—this time building them into a barrier in preparation to meet the Red Coats as they return to Charlestown from Concord.
The captured wagons of supplies are formed into a line of defense, trapping the Royal army between two forces.
         At noon, Colonel Smith begins to march his men back to Boston. There is no speaking among the men as his men march along Lexington road from Concord. On his left flank his guard holds the high ground with his right flank protected by a brook.
         The woods, fields and hills are full of minutemen and militia who had followed along in silence, parallel to the enemy force, remaining just beyond the tree line. The silence is eerie, as no one on either side speaks, each aware of the other waiting for the first move of aggression.
         General Hosmer brought the provincials down from the north hill through the great field and now marches them along Bedford Road, joining up with the Minutemen from Reading and Medford, and then later with militia coming from Billerica. The British had stirred up a hornets’ nest, and as Colonel Smith marches his men back to Lexington, he observes the staggering number of men moving along the trees on both flanks – the air is thick with tension.
         The British crossed a small bridge at Merriam’s Corner and are now ordered to turn about to form in ranks. They take aim, being instructed to fire a volley over the heads of the colonist as a warning not to follow, but instead, the plan to discourage the rebels from following fails, as all hell breaks loose in a burst of lead which rains down relentlessly upon the regulars in the open field below that assume the volley not as warning but as to being fired upon them.
         The Commander looks surprised to see this rebel army appear from the hills and woods. Rabble with no organization in the way they fought – at random and at their own pace they fire repeatedly into the ranks of Red Coats attempting to hold the line.
         The Regular commander begins to fall back in organized ranks, one platoon covering the first, while the militiamen follow along, hidden within the cover of tree and stone walls that divide the plantations.
         The battle grows more intense, as the Regulars are caught in a crossfire that causes the British ranks to break and run in chaos. The commanders attempt to reorganize, but the men run past, until finally the commanders take a stance before their retreating army. By the threat of death, they force their troops to reorganize and stand to fight.
         Malachi, meanwhile, had reloaded several times and repeatedly shot into the ranks of regulars. He cannot help but think it is much like a turkey shooting.
         There is scarcely a place or tree to stand behind, with there being so many militiamen about. All were shouting and hooting, some swearing and others challenging as they shot independently and at will. The road and field below them were scattered with dead and wounded from the fleeing British army. It was a complete routing.
         At Fiske Hill Lieutenant Colonel Smith attempts to rally his men and is shot down by the minutemen in pursuit, a group of British soldiers carries him from the field toward the Buckman’s Tavern as fighting closed in to a bloody hand-to-hand struggle between individuals.
         The people of Lexington became victims once again to the Regulars, as while the Kings troops were in retreat they continue their mêlée to burn the homes and destroyed buildings in the town center. Captain Parker, who had reorganized his men re-engaged the enemy to push the Red Coats from Lexington, led an intense fight which ensued about the Lexington meetinghouse, attempting to save homes from further destruction.
         The British commander, severely wounded in his leg, is carted off to safety in a wagon, and the line again disintegrates. Again the colonials catch the Red Coats in a cross fire and as their ranks falters to the onslaught, the enemy breaks into a dead run to escape an otherwise certain death.
         For each militiaman that fell, ten of the Red Coats lay dead. All the way back to Cambridge the fight went, and the militia leaders were sure their men would eradicate the Red Coats completely, when a re-enforcement regiment came to the Regulars’ rescue.
         Lord Percy could hear the firing from a distance, but not knowing exactly what lays before him, he takes a defensive position just below Monroe’s Tavern and about a half mile from Lexington Meetinghouse. Here he establishes his battery, ready to support the retreating army.
         Below in the field his fresh troops formed into ranks and fired to protect the ravaged troops who fell to the ground, now safe, but with tongues hanging from their mouths, exhausted and beaten.
         Cannon fire begins to take apart the wooden and stone buildings in Lexington town center. Barns and homes, shops and churches, all fall victim to the cannon fire, and the Minutemen and Militia are slowed and halted from their pursuit. Percy finds the wagon carrying Colonel Smith and is informed of the monstrous numbers of enemy in pursuit.
         He could see that his cannons were effective in holding back the enemy, but Percy knows he cannot hold the rebels indefinitely.The remnants of Colonel Smith’s men rested as the cannonade continued. It would be dark soon and the Americans were well hidden in the trees, and he knew he would be disadvantaged out in the open. Without much option, Percy decides to fall back to Cambridge to regroup unaware of the rebel force in wait for his return.

         In Cambridge, Doctor Warren reinforces General Heath’s men with his own men from Charlestown and is now joined by the Dedham militia. Soon a regiment from Essex arrives, led by a company of Danvers men. Here they wait anxiously, listening to the shots in the distance as they grow in intensity, as the battle draws closer, soon it is upon them and Doctor warren waits until the enemy troops are in range before giving his command to fire.
         The British continue to burn homes and shops, and many civilians are butchered in retaliation for the loss of their comrades along the road –death came to innocent for no other reason than being in the wrong place. The confusion escalates as civilians in fear for their lives run into the streets and dash for the cover of the woods.
         The men at Cambridge, meanwhile, not wanting to cause any civilian casualties, hold fire until the people are clear of the line of fire. With fires burning and shells exploding, chaos is everywhere Doctor Warren gives his command. “Fire!” and the volley stops the retreating troops dead in the road.
         Percy stops surprised and quickly assess the situation making a moving action to get his men to safety, only to find his men heading directly at the Americans formed behind a barricade made of his captured supply wagons. With the direct path to Cambridge cut off, Percy is forced to change the direction of his retreat across the marshy fields, making it more difficult to cover his men with his cannon fire.
         Danvers’ men find themselves flanked from both sides and many are killed in their defense of Cambridge. They engage in hand to hand in many places; Doctor Warren was grazed by a musket ball and nearly lost his ear as the air about him thickens and cracks with the lead and shrapnel of exploding bombs.
         The British are met with the fierce defenses in West Cambridge and take many casualties. Managing to cross the marshy fields, they reach the road winding around Prospect Hill, where they could see Charlestown Neck em-battlements. By this time their ammo is almost completely spent, and without resupply, since their provision convoy was captured earlier by the colonials.
         Percy, being pursued by the main body of provincials—which keep up a continuing rain of lead at his rear—is also being flanked from Roxbury, Dorchester, and Milton units while Colonel Pickering leads a charge with his Essex regiment and is nearly successful in cutting off Percy’s escape. Their cannon are silenced by a shortage of shot and projectiles and so are pulled to safe distance so not to be captured by the rebels in pursuit.
         The British commander aligns his fleeing battery taking a last refuge in his artillery to save his men and engages the army in his pursuit long enough to allow the spectacle of Regular troops running in full flight to get to the safety of Charlestown Neck. All this time, meanwhile, the animated Doctor Warren swings his sword about the air, atop his horse, rallying the men to attack.
         General Heath, satisfied as he watches the regulars being herded into the peninsula, holds his men back, effectively cutting off the pursuit in to the Charlestown commons. They were within range of the war ships anchored in the bay, and begin to turn wagons up as barriers to protect against an attack should the enemy regroup and charge.
         Charlestown was in utter chaos as word that the British were slaughtering civilians spread. Many of the residents left behind in Charlestown were women and children or those too old to fight. Some made their way through the marshes to avoid the British troops, ultimately reaching Cambridge, and others took refuge in the clay pits located at the base of Green’s pastures at the base of Bunkers Hill.
         Major Pitcairn and Percy found Colonel Smith in a makeshift hospital with a surgeon attempting to mend the leg wound; Colonel Smith would die the next morning.

CHAPTER TWO
“The Evacuation”

April, 1775


         In the early part of April 18, messengers had been sent to all parts of the Massachusetts Bay providence for purpose of assembling the members of the provincial Congress to reconvene in an emergency session.
         Many of the delegates had just arrived home from the previous session in Concord which adjourned a few days earlier on the fifteenth, and were tending to their fields before planting spring crops. That night, after tending to their fields, they returned home and prepared for the journey to return to Concord in the next few days but were awakened in the early morning hour to the alarm of the liberty riders, warning of the marching of Gage’s army from Boston.
         Along the way information came to the delegates about the engagement at Lexington, which hastened their ride to Concord. They arrive, finding along the way, the inhabitants of Lexington putting out the flames of burning buildings. Many of the regulars lay about, dead, in the fields and roads. Some that were taken prisoner under armed guard were moving their fallen friends from the road to now clear a path for the wagons bringing the stores of ammunition, powder and cannon from Concord to the fight in Boston.
         The dead Lexington men and others who fell in the battle and have returned from Concord were brought to the meeting house. Reverend Clark says his words of prayer over them while their widows, family and friends say farewell.
         The members of Congress rode hard for the six miles to Concord, coming to Merriam’s Corner where the fight obviously had begun, since the roads from this point forward were clear of any dead.
         Upon arriving at Concord, they find the court and many of the buildings in the center of the village burned to smoldering ash and they are informed that the members of the Concord session were gathering at the Magistrate’s home.
         The Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Bay was not expected to be convened until May 10, and this tragedy caught them all off guard. For the next week, representatives of the various counties straggled in to Concord from the distant parts of the Providence. On April 22, Mr. Richard Devens called those assembled to order and read a dispatch received from Samuel Adams; instructions were that the assembly at Concord be reconvened at Four O’clock that day at Watertown.
         As the siege culminated, by late day on April 19, the Committee of Safety took up residence in Medford at the abandoned mansion of Isaac Royall, a former member of the town council, who went to Boston on April 15 to serve in the King’s regiment against the Colonies. He was joined by Joseph Thompson, a brick layer whose property was confiscated by the Committee, Malachi Smith and John Wilson, along with a platoon of men who load the bricks and lumber into wagons to later be used to build a barracks.
         Provincial President John Hancock, along with John and Samuel Adams, left at once for Hartford, with the aim of convincing the Provincial Congress of Connecticut to organize an army to support Massachusetts Bay, before riding onto Philadelphia.
         Battalions of minutemen and militiamen continued to march into Cambridge through Medford for five days. Fire boats were hastily constructed and were ordered by the Committee of Safety to be hidden along the Medford River in preparation for Gage attempting an attack on Medford.
         Over the next few days it looked as though every man from every village and township was gathered between Medford, Chelsea, Cambridge and Roxbury from places as far west as New Hampshire, and from the south from Rhode Island and Connecticut. It was a sight to see – all these men rising up against the Crown with the entire British army, under Gage, now being trapped inside the city. There was only one way to escape and that was by sea.

         In the first days after the battle, the people in both Charlestown and Boston attempted to leave the cities. The British and Loyalists abandoned Charlestown for Boston and the city became deserted, with the exception of those too old or sick to leave.

         In Boston there was a dispute between Gage and the Tories about allowing the citizens to leave. Gage feared that if the Provincials attacked the city, that these citizens could in turn attack his army from within, while the Tories argued that if these people were allowed to leave, they would surely join in arms against them.
         As a result of these fears, a deal was negotiated with the selectmen of Boston: if the citizens in Boston would agree to turn in their weapons and ammunition, they would be allowed safe passage to leave the city. Many agreed to the terms, and after submitting their weapons at Fuller’s Hall, they applied for permits to transport their belongings out of the city.
         Some made multi trips, with the multitudes of homeless to be taken in by committees organized by Abigail Adams. The fleeing populations of Boston and Charlestown were distributed throughout Cambridge, Medford, and Chelsea, and other communities willing to take them in. Others were sent at the first possible moment to live with other family members in other colonies, and in towns about the country side, where considerable compassion was extended to those who had lost everything.
         Among those in exodus from Boston were Henry Knox and his wife Lucy. Knox was a soldier present at the Boston Massacre five years earlier, and had become a sympathizer to the cause. Later, after his enlistment was over, he chose to open a successful book store which was regarded favorably among the intellectuals of the city. That is, until his business was ruined as a result of Gage’s policies, just like every other merchant in Boston. Knox decided to leave the city, but his petition was denied as he was considered so valuable by the British, due to his artillery training.
         But for this same reason, he secretly escapes from the city with his wife, who conceals his sword beneath her cloak as they cross the commons out of Boston, hiding among the crowds of fleeing Bostonians.
         Reaching Cambridge as his wife registers with the committees to find new residence, Knox immediately reports to Artemas Ward, and offers his services as an engineer, while also declining the commission he was offered. He is put to work designing fortifications around Roxbury, which his talent in constructing fortification later draws the attention of George Washington when he arrives in July.
         The Sons of Liberty messengers rode in and out of the headquarters and between camps, and then on to Philadelphia in an attempt to keep Congress abreast of news about the engagements. There is so much confusion, especially as to who is in command that the camps are in disarray, and the men are severely under-equipped.
         Hancock, who had been elected the President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in February, now stands before the Connecticut Provincial Congress making his plea for support of Massachusetts, which is now engaged in armed battle. The New England sister-state has no hesitation, and the immediate order is issued to raise more companies in support, and word immediately circulates the town and surrounding counties.

         Malachi and John Wilson marched with some of the others they met along the roads from Medford. They spent the better part of the day prior loading bricks and lumber, and then decided that they had come to fight, not to labor, and so left Medford to head for where the fight would be.
         The Minutemen, under direction of some of the Commanders, began to build fortifications at Roxbury. Wilson had a flier in his hand and read it aloud as he walked. “BY ORDER OF COMMITTEE: April 20, 1775; To the towns, villages and Hamlets of Massachusetts; You are to hasten and encourage, by all possible means, the enlistment of men to form an army, and to send them forth without delay. All are at stake. Death and devastation are the certain consequences of delay. Every moment is precious. An hour lost may deluge your country in blood, and entail perpetual slavery upon the few of our posterity that may survive the carnage…Sounds pretty serious, you think, Malachi?”
         “You’re damn right! The more the better, I think.”
         “You think we will be attacking Boston?”
         “Possibly.”
         “How are your rations holding up?”
         “I saw a few wagons a ways back…Say Morgan? Where can we get supplies…we need ammo and food.”
         “Your guess is as good as mine. You spot anything that looks like a headquarters, you let me know.”
         “Look – there seems to be something,” Wilson points as Minutemen are marched along the road into Cambridge. “I wonder if we will get uniforms like those.”
         “Right now I would settle for some powder and some grub,” Malachi says.
         “Who is that?”
         “That, my young man is Artemas Ward…he fought under Abercrombie in the Indian Wars. It is good to see a man like him here.” They would see many men of reputation walking about the camps, many vowing their service as nothing more than volunteers to the cause.
         Saturday April 22, the Provincial Congress met in Watertown to move Congress in a better position to direct the troop actions. As the first of many resolves, the Congress agreed it to be necessary that an army of more than thirty thousand was needed to be raise, and immediately a dispatch was composed and sent to all neighboring colonies with encouragement to enlist, sending men to Boston.
         Artemas Ward was appointed Commander-in-Chief with John Thomas as Lieutenant-General, second in command. An order was published and posted throughout Cambridge that any destruction of private property by soldiers would be punished, as the residents of Cambridge were already victims of battle and had left their homes in fear, seeking refuge in distant towns with relatives and friends.
         Colonel William Prescott stationed his five companies between Charlestown Road, Phipps Farm and Menotomy. The day prior, on the twenty-first, Colonel Prescott, Learned, and Warner marched their regiments to Roxbury and joined with General Thomas, who was already orchestrating the construction of fortifications with Henry Knox.
         On the 22, General Israel Putnam marches his companies from Watertown and Waltham to Cambridge, and before he is even settled to camp, Colonel John Stark and Sergeant Paul Dudley are ordered to secure Chelsea with three hundred men, while General Ward settled his command in Cambridge, at Harvard College.
         Colonel Robison of Dorchester, with barely seven hundred men, was giving the responsibility to guard the Boston Neck. He dispatched to Ward his situation, but for several days received no answer or reinforcements. Instead, what he did was march his men around his position, giving the enemy the false impression that there was a larger force than what was actually present.
         The situation of men leaving the area to take care of personal needs and to prepare their homes and family for when they did enlist caused an on-going uncertainty as to the size of the force from one day to the next. Since most were volunteers, they left and returned at their own will and no one knew who was present or who was in charge from day to day.
         In response to this chaotic lapse in organization, General Ward informs the Provincial Congress on April 24, by dispatch –

Gentlemen,
My situation is such, that if I have not enlisting orders immediately, I shall be left alone. It is impossible to keep men here, except something be done. I therefore pray that the plan may be completed, and handed to me this morning, that you, gentlemen of the Congress, issue orders for enlisting men.
I am, gentlemen, yours, A. Ward.

         On the twenty-sixth of April, Colonel Parsons, who had been called back to Hartford from the American camp at Cambridge, crosses paths with Captain Benedict Arnold, who had been leading a company of volunteers to Cambridge from Connecticut. They briefly discuss the artillery and condition of Ticonderoga, where the following day, upon reaching Hartford, Parsons meets with Christopher Leffingwell, Colonel Sam Wyllys, Thomas Mumford, Adam Babcock and Sylas Deane. All of them, as private citizens, were already engaging in arranging an expedition for general recognizance of Ticonderoga with instructions not to take action, but to report back to the Connecticut Provincial Congress with intelligence.

         In October 1774, the provisional Congress of Massachusetts had purchased several cannon which were originally stored in Boston, but as matters there escalated, these cannons were smuggled to safety in November by Mr. Gil and Mr. Benjamin Hall of Medford.
         On April 27, 1775, these cannons were now being ordered by the Committee of Safety to be sent to service in Cambridge under direction of Captain Foster of Medford. On this same day, Massachusetts Provincial Congress President John Hancock, in the company of Samuel Adams, leave Worchester en route to Hartford to meet with the Connecticut assembly. On their way they also encounter a Captain of the Connecticut militia, Benedict Arnold, who entertains them with the prospect of Fort Ticonderoga and is given the suggestion that he convey this intelligence to the Massachusetts Congress upon his arrival to Cambridge.
         Soon after, a company of New Hampshire soldiers, under the command of Colonel John Stark, were billeted in Medford as he took residence at the Royall mansion, where his wife joined him later to live while the siege lasted.
         A second Medford company began to form as the first company was already in service at Cambridge. It had joined with the Reading Minutemen en route to Concord to join in the battle already underway on the morning of April 19.
         There were so many men marching to this place or to the next that the grass pastures and hills turned to mud. Tents were set up where militiamen from the many towns and distant colonies gathered. Some drank to stay warm, others out of boredom, and the men would flank along the high hills overlooking the peninsulas, taking random shots at anything that moved inside the Boston or Charlestown commons.
         Malachi and Wilson are cutting down trees and between digging trenches and latrines, and building breastworks and redoubts, the two young men become exhausted and decide they had earned a rest. They sit with their backs against a tree.
         “You know, Malachi? This liberty fighting is not all it’s cracked up to be….We build, they build…Heck this war will last forever at this pace.”
         “I was thinking the same thing…I promised Rosy I would be home weeks ago…I miss her, you know.”
         “Well, there’s nothing keeping us here…I want to see my mom and let her know I am alright.”
         “Well then…let’s go.”
         “Shouldn’t we let someone know we are going?”
         “Who will miss us? Besides, most everyone we came with has gone home already.”
         And without another word they leave their tools leaning against the tree and start the long walk back to Westford, convinced the war will be still be here when they return.

CHAPTER THREE
“The Gathering Army”
May, 1775 – June, 1775

         Medford was the designated rally point for the New Hampshire minutemen, and so when Colonel Stark arrives, he is offered the residence of Mr. Royall by relatives, believing that Starks’ presence would save the property from further vandalism, an act of retaliation against their Uncle for his decision to join Gage’s army in Boston.
         In the weeks after Lexington, the providence of Connecticut responds to the urgency of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, and troops continue to arrive. The Connecticut assembly, on its own accord, appoints a committee with Dr. Johnson and Colonel Wolcott, both of whom desired to meet with Gage and hopefully negotiate a peace.
         The Massachusetts Committees animatedly object to this offer, not willing to give up the effort and sacrifice that had already been spent. Two letters were sent: one from the provincial Congress and another from the Committee of Safety, charging that the Connecticut Assembly did not fully understand the situation of Massachusetts, and that peace could not be satisfied until “…Gage and his army are driven from this land…”
         Morale was good; the men complained more for the lack of fight than for the lack of organization and supplies. Loyalist spies were everywhere, true, but no one cared so much, as they were usually well known and often sat about with the rest of the men in casual conversation. There were no plans to keep secret, no movements to hide, and often General Artemas would release some bogus information, so that these suspects would slither back through the lines and inform Gage of phantom shipments of ammunition, or of the arrival of new troops, though no significant arrival of either has reached camp in weeks.
         The entire month of May is spent building fortifications. A paper war develops between the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and General Gage, who declares; “the Colony was in rebellion and offers amnesty to the colonials to lay down their arms and surrender.” At this point the use of misinformation concealed the true American weakness: lack of gun powder.
         In time, the organized withdrawal of citizens from Boston began to deteriorate. The Tories, under General Ruggles, began to confiscate merchandise as it was being removed from the private shops, and then in further dissolution of previous agreements, they disallowed those leaving the city to take their rightful belongings, to the extent that it prohibited food from leaving the city.
         The loyalists believed that only those sympathetic to the rebel cause wanted to abandon the city, and therefore all the supplies and provisions that are taken with them would only aid the rebels against the Loyalist Association within the city.
         The provincial war council met, deliberating the concern of a direct engagement as more Crown war ships arrived in Boston harbor with re-enforcements, compelling the Committee of Safety to order that the militia officers of the surrounding towns need to muster every available man for the purpose of re-enforcing Roxbury and the Boston Neck, in order to counter the anticipated attack.

FORT TICONDEROGA AND CROWN POINT

         On April 30, shortly after his arrival with his company at Cambridge, a Captain of the Connecticut Militia presents his idea to capture the fort to the Committee of Safety at Cambridge, submitting for their review the following dispatch:

GENTLEMEN: You have desired me to state the number of cannon, etc., at Ticonderoga. I have certain information, that there are at Ticonderoga, eighty pieces of heavy cannon; twenty brass guns from four to eighteen pounders; and ten or twelve large mortars. At Skenesborough, on the south bay, there are three or four brass cannon. The fort is in a ruinous condition, and has not more than fifty men, at the most. There are large numbers of small arms, and considerable stores, and a sloop of seventy or eighty tons on the lake. The place could not hold out an hour against a vigorous onset.
Your most obedient servant,

Capt. BENEDICT ARNOLD

         A dispatch is sent to the Provincial Congress in Watertown immediately following the presentation of Arnold’s letter by the Chairman Joseph Warren, along with an inquiry as to how the committee should act upon the information received.
         On Friday, April 28, in Hartford, Connecticut – and unknown to the Massachusetts Bay committee –a group of private citizens has already assembled at the Town Hall in order to discuss the aggressions of the crown and the situation as it existed in Boston.
         It was debated among the participants that a small group of men could surprise and overpower the small number of men guarding the fortress at Ticonderoga with only little resistance. Edward Mott, a member of the Connecticut Provincial Congress, who suggested the scheme, was asked to join with Captain Noah Phelps and Bernard Romans to collaborate on a plan to take the fort.
         The Hartford Committee of Safety then issued to the men £300, which was used to raise sixteen men to make a reconnaissance of the garrison and to determine if it were possible to take the fort.
         Upon the party arrival at Pittsfield, they met with Colonel James Easton, and John Brown, Esq., and presented their plan for the fort – both of them then decided to join the effort. It was decided that traveling with the small force already assembled would lessen the chance of being discovered in their approach, and upon reaching the New Hampshire grants; they would seek to raise a suitable force for the siege.
         Colonel Easton and Mr. Brown saw there would be a problem with this plan since the people in the grants were poor and would probably not have the desire leave their families, so Easton proposes to raise men from his own regiment.
         Colonel Easton and Edward Mott then travel to Jericho and raise fifty men, then proceed on to Bennington, when they find, upon arriving, that the Grand Committee of New Haven is in an animated debate as to the plan for taking the two forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga. The hesitation of the group leaders comes out of the concern – that there may be possible objections from the Continental Congress, specifically for having acted on their own initiative, without prior approval from Congress.
         The arrival of the men from Connecticut cuts the debate short, with their assurance of approval, and so it throws the plan into motion. The fifty men of Easton joined with the one hundred men of Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys; plan to take Ticonderoga and Crown Point.
         On May 3, the formation of an entirely separate expedition was also beginning, as Captain Arnold’s plan to capture Fort Ticonderoga is approved by the Massachusetts Committee of Safety who place Arnold under orders to keep the action secret. The Massachusetts Congress issues him £100, a hundred pounds of gunpowder, ammunition, and horses, along with the instructions to recruit up to four hundred men on his route to seize the fort.
         Arnold is then commissioned a Colonel rank and is assigned two subordinate recruiting officers; Captains Eleazer Oswald and Jonathan Brown, who are immediately issued instructions to capture and hold the fort, and consequently to return to Massachusetts any weapons and ordnance that may be a benefit to the siege effort.
         At about this same time, a council of war has been called in Bennington, New Hampshire by Colonel Easton, who was the Chairman. It is then that Ethan Allen is voted to rank of Colonel and assigned to lead the forward force to secure the northward roads, in order to prevent any attempt that might be made to warn the fort of the coming attack. A second and larger force had assembled in Castleton and advanced to Ticonderoga the next morning.
         Colonel Arnold left Cambridge, reaching the disputed lands between New York State and New Hampshire Grants on May 6. Here he began to approach the villages and townships in order to find recruits, only to learn that the Hartford Committee of Safety had already authorized and funded a similar mission, and that Ethan Allen was already marching with his men, northward, to capture the fort.
         Colonel Arnold’s concerns are that if he is not present at the siege, he would lose any claim to remove the supplies, ammo, and artillery for Massachusetts. He disregards the act of recruiting men in order to attempt to intercept Ethan Allen at his headquarters in Bennington the following day.
         Arriving in Bennington just after sunrise, Colonel Arnold finds Allen has already left and is in Castleton – fifty miles north – waiting for supplies and more men.
         On May 8, Mott was selected Chairman of a second council of war in Castleton, where the plan of attack on Ticonderoga was finalized. It was determined that a group of thirty men under the command of Captain Herrick should be dispatched to Skenesborough and seek to take into custody Major Skene and his men.
         There they would commandeer all the boats they could find and proceed up the lake to Shoreham, to rendezvous with the main body led by Colonel Ethan Allen and James Easton, his second in command, with Captain Warner as third in command.
         Captain Douglas of Jericho was then sent to Panton to collaborate with his brother-in-law and to commandeer as many boats possible for the purpose of crossing the lake, and to bring them with haste to Shoreham. They managed to pose as fur traders, intent on reaching the fort to do business, which they took the boat Captain by surprise when they reached Hands Cove.
         Colonel Arnold arrived at Hands Cove on May 9, to find Colonel Ethan Allen and about one hundred and sixty men already encamped. Arnold shows Allen his orders and states that his intention is to assume command of all the men. Ethan Allen is elated to find the Massachusetts’ command also shares in the valuable goal of capturing the fort, but refuses to give up his command.
         Colonel Allen, Easton and Warner convene with Colonel Arnold, and in good faith reveal their plan to him, yet again Arnold insists upon taking command and leading the attack.
         Allen and Easton approach the men to propose the change of leadership, and a mutiny spirit is provoked among the men, placing the entire action in jeopardy. Realizing the failure of this mission would result in a greater catastrophe, Allen and Easton attempt to negotiate with the disenchanted troops, assuring them that the pay they had been promised by the Connecticut Congress would be equaled by the Massachusetts Congress.
         The men argued that “they enlisted under the presumption they would be led by officers they were familiar” and rather than submitting themselves to the probability of greater risk from the leadership of an officer of whom they know nothing, and by whom they might be unnecessarily sacrificed, they threaten to throw down their weapons and return to their families. They insisted that “they would rather forfeit their pay than to fight under the direction of a stranger.”
         With this firm stand being taken by the men, Ethan Allen and James Easton could not relinquish their authority to Arnold, not without insuring absolute failure of the mission. For this reason, Arnold was denied his request to take command of the operation.
         Later that day, Captain Noah Phelps, who had left days earlier disguised as a peddler to reconnoiter the fort, returns to report upon the fort’s poor condition and location of sentries – he reports this directly to Allen.
         The following morning, at one a.m., on the 10th of May, Samuel Herrick arrived with the boats from Skenesborough, and Captain Asa Douglas returns from Panton with more commandeered boats, thanks to the help of his brother-in-law’s men.
         The problem now is that there are only enough boats to carry 83 men across the lake, and Ethan Allen agrees to allow Arnold to join the attack, if he will contribute his ammo and supplies to the mission. Asa Douglas, after transporting the first group across the lake, makes a return trip for the rest. Ethan Allen disperses his men into positions in preparation to the attack. An hour passes before the second transport arrives, and Allen advances his men to within site of the fort.
         The sentry at the south gate sees the men approaching and takes a shot, but his rifle misfires and he throws the rifle down, running back into the fort shouting the alarm. Following close behind the hysterical sentry, Allen’s men rush the barracks where the British soldiers had been sleeping sound, and are now nudged awake by the long barrels of rifles in their faces.
         Colonel Allen, with Arnold following close behind, climbs up the stairs to the room of Captain Delaplace, who is awakened by his assistant Lieutenant, Jocelyn Feltham. Feltham stood before his commander’s door and insists upon having a reason “why and by what authority do you enter this fort,” to which Allen replied, “In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!” At that point, Captain Delaplace exits his room in full dress.
         “And you are…?” He inquires, baffled.
         “Colonel Ethan Allen, of the New Hampshire Green Mountain Boy regiment…your sword, Sir!”
         On the whole, the action had been swift and silent, and though two sentries did manage to get off a shot, not a single death occurs during the raid. And with the exception of one man who was cut by a bayonet during a scuffle with a sentry, no other men are injured.
         At about this time, a dispatch from General Gage in Boston (who also now realizes the strategic importance of the fort), reaches Colonel Carlton with instructions to muster and re-enforce Crown Point and Ticonderoga, unaware that the Americans had already taken the positions.
         On May 10, in Philadelphia, the second Continental Congress convened and had no knowledge of the capture of Ticonderoga, not until they receive an intelligence report from John Brown on May 17, at which point they saw it necessary to reiterate a letter dated from October 26, 1774, which had invited the French Canadians to attend the second assembly in May 1775, but there was no response.
         Immediately following the capture of the fortress, Colonel Arnold again attempts to take command of the fort and his frustration is magnified, as he attempts to seize the provisions and munitions for Massachusetts Congress, but is instead disregarded by Allen’s men, who plunder the provisions instead.
         Arnold, in his attempts to control the wild bunch, finds himself in direct confrontation, requiring Allen and Easton to stand between Arnold and the New Hampshire militiamen in order to defer a fatal confrontation. This prompts the following letter of authority.

SIR: Whereas, agreeable to the power and authority to us given by the colony of Connecticut, we have appointed you to take command of a party of men and reduce and take possession of the garrison at Ticonderoga, and the dependencies thereto belonging; and as you are now in actual possession of the same, you are hereby required to keep the command and possession of the same for the use of the American colonies, until you have further orders from the colony of Connecticut, or the Continental Congress.
Signed, per order of the committee of war,

EDWARD MOTT, Chairman of said Committee.

         On May 11, Edward Mott also sent a messenger to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Bay with a statement of the events taking place prior to the disputes between Allen and Arnold, hoping to satisfy any inquiry as to why the authority of Arnold was disregarded.
         It was Mott’s intent to demonstrate the operation was not only funded by the Hartford Committee of Safety, but that “the men assembled were under the command of Allen, Easton and Warner who were duly authorized by the Connecticut Committee of Safety and elected by a council of war committee,” with Arnold happening upon the scene, and making no contribution to the manpower whatsoever.
         Mott also expressed that the decision of command authority granted to Ethan Allen was based upon a fact that he raised the majority of the men assembled, second was Easton and third in command was Warner. Colonel Arnold arrived with no men under his command, yet had he contributed a sizable force, he may have had the right to earn the claim of command.
         The refusal to relinquish command to Arnold was decided, ultimately, by the men, and not by either Allen or Easton. Mott went on to suggest that Arnold should be removed, as his presence causes complications and deepens the disputes and confusion over who is in command.
         In the meantime, on May 12, more than four hundred men have already accumulated in the fort. Arnold had also sent a dispatch to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, reporting the situation and seeking their support. His immediate concern was fulfilling his mission and so he begins to take account and inventory of the artillery and ordnance present at the fort.
         Allen, meanwhile, sought to affirm his own authority by gaining the favor of Connecticut’s Governor, Jonathan Trumbull, and towards that end sent him four prisoners. “I make you a present of a Major, a Captain, and two Lieutenants of the regular establishment of George the Third,” he stated in his correspondence.
         That same day, a dispatch is received from Seth Warner, who under orders given by Ethan Allen had sailed a detachment up the river on the tenth, in order to capture Fort Crown Point. He reports that “due to strong head winds, the assault was delayed a day”, but he is now, “due to my men’s tenacity, fully in charge of the fort, along with its nine posted occupants, as of the day prior, the eleventh of May.”
         Colonel Arnold lay in his bunk unable to sleep. His mission has been frustrated by the rabble of drunk and disorderly, backwoodsmen, breaking into the stores of wine and food. “Shambles…it is all shambles.” He mutters to himself thinking of a plan to regain control over the mission and lays awake all that night.

CHAPTER FOUR
“The Deposition Hearings”
May 1775

         On May 13, General Putnam marched twenty-two hundred troops into Charlestown along the Main street fish market and made his troops a taunting spectacle, as they rested in full view of Boston at the Charlestown Ferry.
         The next morning he marched them back to Cambridge, in full view of the Copps Hill batteries, and yet not a single shot was fired by either side, encouraging the confidence for the colonial forces.
         All along the front line, the American soldiers were eager to attack and were growing tired of waiting for Gage to make the first move. At one point, on the seventeenth of May, they fired upon a barge they thought had come too close to Wheeler’s Point. General Ward, hoping this would provoke an attack in retaliation, gave orders to Colonel Henshaw, along with Major Bigelow and Major Baldwin, to prepare an ambush in the wooded area near the causeway.
         General Ward made a reconnaissance of the area personally, and with the exception of occasional cannon rounds being fired from British ships, no other skirmishes occurred. It was evident that Gage had little desire to provoke the rebels with the matters inside the city of Boston growing out of hand by the minute.
         That evening, it became apparent that Gage had his hands full maintaining order, as a large fire in Boston raged along Treat’s Wharf — retaliation for his proclamation which replaced the Captains of the engine companies. This provoked the fire companies, so they refused to put out the fires, which raged out of control, ultimately burning twenty seven stores, one shop, and four sheds. The damage was so immense it could be seen smoldering from the heights of Prospect Hill.
         Since the engagement at Lexington and Concord, the members of the Committee of Safety conclude that it is of great importance that depositions be collected from all witnesses of the unfolding events which had led to the first shots being fired at Lexington.
         In the chambers at Watertown, a committee was formed to question the sworn witnesses before Justices of the Peace William Reed, Josiah Johnson and William Stickney, and that from these compilations of testimonial transcripts, the events unfolded to the quiet room of delegates who were intent upon themselves to learn the facts.
         Word about the hearings regarding the accounts of April 18 and 19 were well known, and people came from the surrounding towns and villages to hear the testimony, as the Hall filled with spectators wanting to know more. Malachi and his wife Rosy – who refused to stay at home – listened to every word, which painted images of the engagement in their heads.
         A young man stood up to face the hearing Council and placed his hand on the bible, swearing his oath to the truth.
         “State your name for the Magistrates please, Sir.”
         “My name is John Harrington and I live in Lexington with my family, and I swear to be a witness to the murder of my Cousin Jonathan and Caleb by Gage’s men.” The crowd members shout in response, echoing their resentment of Gage, and the Council committee calls the spectators back to order.
         Judges Reed and Stickney lean back, knowing these proceedings were about to get emotional, but these depositions were vital, and must be transcribed and sent to the Continental Congress and then to English newspapers for publication. “I expect an orderly hearing…Anyone disturbing this will be removed.” Reed notifies the audience.

APRIL 18, 1775
         After a long day of tending to their herds and livestock, the men sat with their families around the dinner tables and spoke little about what was on their minds. It was not a matter of concern for the women and children.
         Later the men would meet at the taverns and meeting houses and cast about rumors or hearsay while they drank. Gage had sent other excursions into the countryside with little more intent than to harass the farms and towns, but tonight the men of Lexington would sleep little, knowing the Regulars would have to pass through Lexington-Green before marching onto Concord. The activities of preparation in the last week were no doubt drawing Gage to the powder stores like bees to honey.
         Lexington was a village consisting of a few houses of moderation, a meet-house and tavern with small farms scattered about the commons just outside of the town. In the country are taverns where locals gather, and many cousins and brothers and fathers and uncles speculated as to what could happen.
         Jonathan Harrington, who owned his farm, is situated directly in the path along the Lexington road. His concern was that his family – if the Red Coats marched to Concord – would be in danger. This he thought about as he walked from Buckman’s Tavern after the meeting.
         His wife listens to her husband intently, curious to his recollection of the things the men said, and as she lays in bed with her children asleep not far away, she watches her husband standing alert at the window. The wind blowing gusts through the trees was all that could be heard on this cold frigid night.

         At Wetherby’s Tavern, in Menotomy, just west of Cambridge, the members of the Committees of Safety and Supply dispersed their meeting. Mr. Gerry, and Colonel Lee and Orne went to their rooms, as Mr. Devens and Mr. Watson rode in a chaise back to Charlestown.
         On their way they spotted a group of Officers on horseback, and suspecting they may be in route to Wetherby’s to apprehend their friends, Devens and Watson turned about and use a short-cut to hurry back to the Tavern to warn their friends.
         From the windows of their rooms, Gerry, Lee, and Orne observe about nine officers passing before the tavern, but the patrol did not stop. With urgency, Mr. Gerry sends a messenger to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the officers in route. The rider takes a by-pass to avoid the British patrol, riding in haste to reach Reverend Clark’s home, where John Hancock hastily writes his response to Gerry:

Lexington, April 18, 1775.
Dear Sir: I am much obliged for your notice. It is said the officers are gone to Concord and I will send word thither. I am full with you that we ought to be serious, and I hope your decision will be effectual. I intend doing myself the pleasure of being with you tomorrow. My respects to the committee, I am your real friend,

JOHN HANCOCK

MIDNIGHT – Wednesday, April 19
         After a near fatal encounter with the hull of a barge as he rowed cross the Charles River, Paul Revere is now pounding on the door of Mr. Devens, eager to report the landing of troop barges at Phipps Farm. Devens takes Revere to his barn and helps saddle a horse, and Revere rides off into the night. “You must warn Gerry, Lee and Orne!” Devens shouts after the rider.
         At 12:20 a.m., Revere reaches Wetherby’s and warns the officers of the coming movement, he then goes into full gallop, reaching Medford about 12:40 a.m. on the morning of the 19th to wake Captain Isaac Hall, the captain of the minutemen. The town meeting bell is rung and the inhabitants wake to the alarm. Revere shouts to the farmers fast asleep, just as he warned those in his path to Lexington. “THE REGULARS ARE COMING OUT!”
         Reaching Reverend Clark’s house about one o’clock in the morning, he is stopped by eight militia guards posted to protect Adams and Hancock.
         “I must see Hancock.” Revere manages, still out of breath.
         “Sergeant Monroe gave me orders not to disturb the family with noise about the house.”
         “Noise! You’ll have noise enough before long – the Regulars are coming out!”
         The soldier enters the house and Reverend Clark comes from his room, still dressed in his sleeping gown. “What is it?”
         “A messenger from Boston, Sir.”
         Revere pushes past the guard with his urgent message. “Where are Adams and Hancock?” Both appear soon, after hearing their name mentioned. “Sir! A large body of the king’s troops, supposed to be a brigade of twelve or fifteen hundred, have embarked by boat from Boston, and have already landed at Phipps Farm in Cambridge, expecting to destroy the stores there and hither.”
         Adams turns to Hancock, “We’re about twelve miles Northwest of Boston…they will not reach us till first light.”
         “We need to get the men assembled in haste.” Hancock grabs his rifle and shouts to the soldiers on the porch, “Don’t just stand there…sound the alarm…wake everyone up!”
         Adams and Hancock have now gathered everyone on the commons, while Reverend Clark has rung the church bell, drawing everyone within hearing range to the village. Captain John Parker, who commanded the Lexington Militia, began to take roll call, and one hundred and thirty men were assembled. Adams pulls Parker aside, saying “There are a thousand men heading right for you. You cannot be expected to hold. Do not fire first; it must be their aggression which starts this.”
         “I understand, Sir…These boys are ready for a fight a long time coming. It will take great effort to keep them held back.”
         “Do not fire first,” Adams says firmly, and then turns to Hancock, armed and ready to fight.“You must leave.”
         “This is my place.”
         “No John, you are too important. These men will depend upon you more in your ability to rouse the other providences to join us. We must leave now!”
         In spite of Adam’s insistence for them to escape, Hancock would not leave until he knew more, and so he sent messengers to Cambridge to gather more information. The villagers meander about the open field, talking to neighbors and family, when Parker calls his men to order. As they assemble into a single rank, he then orders them to load powder and ball. Parker walks along the rank and comforts his men that it is nothing more than a rumor that Gage’s army was heading this way. “We have been instructed by Mr. Hancock and Mr. Adams not to fire. We do not want to bring upon ourselves or to our families any unnecessary consequence.”
         It is a chilly Wednesday morning. The militia stands in loose ranks, until a messenger returns, reporting that “there was no appearance of troops on the roads,” so Parker releases the men who went into nearby homes, or to Buckman’s Tavern to stay warm. It was assumed to be only another feint by Gage, meant to further harass the people, and with this, Hancock and Adams return to the Reverend’s home.
         Revere and Dawes met with Dr. Samuel Prescott on the road to Concord where they happened upon the patrol reported earlier by Gerry. Dawes and Prescott, who were known sympathizers to the cause, panicked and escaped over a stone wall, leaving Revere behind and caught.
         The officer interrogates Revere along with three other men from Lexington, “Who are you and why you are on the road tonight?”
         “I am visiting my cousin who lives in Concord.”
         “Who were the men you were with? And why did they run?”
         “I have no clue, Sir…they were men I met along the way and I did not ask their name.”
         After a short while Revere is released, and in haste he returns to Lexington to rejoin Adams and Hancock, who was waiting for any confirmation about an advancing force. As they sat in the parlor, Adams continues to beckon his friend to leave.
         When Revere knocks on the door and tells his story, Hancock decides it is time to leave. Revere, accompanied by Hancock and his fiancée, Dorothy Quincy, rode with Samuel Adams to Woburn, a town about two miles up the road from Reverend Clark’s house.
         There they took refuge in the home of the widow of Reverend Thomas Jones and made comfortable for the night. Samuel Adams paced about with nervous excitement…he could feel the danger stirring in the night air.
         The Regulars were led by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, and he marched his eight hundred men along the unfrequented paths which led through the marshes, where at times his men wade through waste high waters, to enter Cambridge along Old Charlestown and West Cambridge roads.
         The members of the committee warned by Revere earlier now watch the columns march below their windows. Then a sentry who had noticed them watching stopped, and an officer with a file of men detach from the column and hustled toward the Tavern. Gerry, Orne, and Lee escaped being arrested by jumping from the rear upstairs window into an adjoining field, half dressed.
         It was not long afterwards when the sounds of bells began to alarm the countryside. General Gage’s plan of silent attack is failed, and Colonel Smith gives immediate orders to detach six companies of light infantry ahead under command of Major Pitcairn, with orders to secure the two bridges at Concord.
         A short time thereafter, the patrol of officers returning from Lexington give an exaggerated report to Major Pitcairn, that a militia army of about five hundred men are gathering to engage him, and so the Major sends a messenger to inform Smith, who then dispatches his own messenger back to Boston. The message is to inform Gage they had been discovered and re-enforcements should be sent in support.
         Pitcairn’s men successfully arrest anyone coming up the road from Lexington. One of the messengers, Thaddeus Bowman, sent by Hancock to gather information on the advancement escaped into the woods, soon came galloping into the Lexington common about four-thirty in the morning, shouting. “Gage’s whole damn army is coming up the road!”
         Parker turns to his drummer, ordering him to hold cadence. He then becomes very calm and orders the alarm guns to be sounded, bringing all of the men from Buckman’s Tavern and the farm houses to re-assemble in the fields.
         “Sergeant Monroe? Form your company in two ranks a few rods north of the meetinghouse. And Sergeant? Do not fire unless fired upon first.”
         “Yes, Sir! All you men…come to order. Turn about…forward, march.”
         The first light began to break through the trees as Pitcairn’s men came to a halt. The officers taking the drum as a challenge formed ranks to face the rebels, this taking nearly twenty minutes.
         “Prime and load……Fix your bayonets!”
Major Pitcairn waited until his men were ready.
         “Double-quick forward!”
         Pitcairn saw an opportunity to flank the rebels by extending his guard beyond the enemy ranks, and expects the peasant army to disperse at the slightest show of force.
         Parker held his minutemen fast. “Do not fire until they do.”
         The men, mostly young, looked bewildered, as the regulars charged toward them, bayonets glisten in the early morning sunlight.
         Major Pitcairn is yelling at them, “Ye villains! Ye Rebels! Disperse! Lay down your arms!” But the Minutemen held their position to the last possible moment before Parker commands them to disperse for their own safety.
         Pitcairn fires his pistol into the dirt, expecting to send fear into the resisting farmers, but instead his men take this as an order to fire, and so it begins. Pitcairn thought he saw a flash come from a stone wall, and then his horse is wounded falling him to the ground.
         Then some of the militia fired back before fleeing the field. Two brothers, Isaac and Jeremy Brown, took refuge behind the stone wall and fired, while others ducked into the nearby houses and fired from windows and doorways.
         Jonas Parker fired his rifle, standing his ground. He refused to run from the regulars and attempted to reload, and was wounded. Raising his rifle to fire a second shot, he is run through by a bayonet and killed.
         Isaac Muzzy and Robert Monroe fell where they stood on the line, as Jonathan Harrington wounded in the first volley attempts to reach his wife, who is standing in the door of their farm house, when a second shot ends his life, just as he is reaching out to her hand and as she runs out to shield him from the bayonet of a charging soldier.
         The fight lasted more than an hour, and Caleb Harrington runs to Buckman’s Tavern to replenish his powder and is killed emerging to continue the fight.
         Samuel Hadley and John Brown were wounded and died trying to escape from the commons. Asahel Porter, of Woburn, was captured by the Regulars and later attempted to escape and was shot and killed trying.
         Most of the militia escaped up a road toward Bedford, while others took across a swamp to a rising ground north of the common. Smith’s men then formed a rank on the common firing a volley after the retreating rebels. In their victory they gave three “Hussars”. In all, ten others were wounded and more were taken prisoner and marched immediate back to Boston.
         Major Pitcairn looked about the field. He lost only two men and his horse. Women and children cries could be heard as they mourned over their dead men. “Why did you not lay down your arms?” He questioned the lifeless bodies at his feet. Coming onto the commons was Colonel Smith with the rest of his brigade. His men went through the farm houses and barns taking any man they found prisoner.
         “Gather your men, Major, we still have a matter in Concord to settle yet.”

         Six miles up the road is the larger town that sets between two hills, where a river snakes through it crossed by two wooden bridges. The road coming from Lexington enters by the south-east that runs along the base of the hill and leads past a church, a court house with a jail and groups of houses. The hill slopes fifty feet above the road and is table-topped, where on many Sundays families gathered at the liberty pole for picnics.
         On this Wednesday morning, the peaceful town is awakened to evacuate, and as a company of Militia and a company of Minutemen prepared in assembly, all the streets are consumed by anarchy. Colonel Barrett, a militia officer, along with his men, moved the stores of ordinances as they had been trained from Concord to a wooded area outside of the town.
         The people were being moved to safety, while Reverend William Emerson walked among them with the counsel and assurance of prayer to comfort the terrified women and children, many still dressed in sleeping gowns.
         Messengers had been sent to Lexington to gather information of the advancements of the regulars. At about 6 a.m., one of the messengers, Reuben Brown, returned with the startling news that the regulars had fired upon the men at Lexington, and were now in route to Concord.
         Two companies from Lincoln had arrived; they were minutemen under Captain William Smith, and the other company a militia under Captain Samuel Farrar. They parade their men and assembled in the common next to the Court-house. There they are approached by leaders of Concord and a few members of Congress that met earlier that day to prepare for such an event. John Adams cautioned their action, not knowing exactly what happened in Lexington.
         Captain Farrar is sent to meet the advancing enemy on the road to Lexington. Calling his men to order he marches his company from Concord, soon coming upon Colonel Smith approaching in the opposing direction.
         Back in Concord Captain Minot with his Alarm Company took a position on the Liberty Hill, which overlooks the town. There he observes the company under Farrar, returning to Lexington, and is then ordered to abandon the position and rejoins the rest of the command.
         Captain Smith is ordered to take a position upon the opposite hill, but instead joins with the Concord militia and fell further back about eighty rods taking a position behind the town and divides into two battalions. Colonel Barrett rides up with his men after hiding the stores of ordinances and is informed the enemy is less than a mile from town.
         The Regulars are upon them and hold on the skirts of the village. The sun reflects off their brass cannons. The American commanders hesitate, not knowing the exact circumstances of what happened in Lexington. Many of the townsmen shouted to fight the invasion, hearing the rumor that many are killed in Lexington.
         There was much confusion in the American ranks. Colonel Barrett orders his men to fall back beyond the North Bridge, about a mile from the town center.
         Colonel Smith (of the regulars) divides his army into two divisions and leads his grenadiers and light infantry down the main street, taking position in the town center, while the second division took the north hill (Liberty Hill) overlooking Concord.
         Colonel Barrett watches the Regulars taking positions with about two companies securing the North Bridge under Captain Laurie, and the remainder of the detachment, about three companies under Captain Parsons, continues up the road. Captain Barrett worries for his wife and children who are at home alone, just two miles along the road in the path of the advancing detachment, but can do nothing to save them.
         Captain Pole of the Regulars was sent with men to secure the South Bridge. The soldiers began to go through the homes and shops, smashing about sixty barrels of flour in the street, along with breaking windows and smashing furniture and destruction of other property. Flames began to emerge from the court-house and other buildings as the rampage continues. The British troops then cut down the liberty pole on the hill and shouted insults at the American rebels they could see from this vantage point. Colonel Smith admired his men doing havoc on the town in full view of the coward American militia, watching from the safety of the hills beyond town.
         About four hundred and fifty militiamen, led by acting adjutant Joseph Hosmer, gather on the high grounds above the North Bridge. As the American militia formed into a line along the trees, the enemy below is unaware of the building presence above them well concealed by the cover of woods while more men continued to arrive from the nearby towns of Carlisle, Chelmsford, Westford, Littleton and Acton.
         A few miles beyond Concord the town leaders, worried about the fate of Concord, confer with Colonel Barrett and other present officers. They could see the fires growing in the town and black billows of smoke, and the smell of cinder filled the air while watching the physical wreckage being done to their homes and shops by Gage’s army.
         Then it began, as Major John Buttrick marches his companies in direction of the North Bridge, with the instructions not to fire until fired upon. Lieutenant-Colonel Robison volunteered to accompany him and the Major offered the command to him because of rank, but Robison declined the offer. “Today, I am but another volunteer, Sir.” He said.
         At about 10 a.m., a company of from Acton, under Captain Isaac Davis, marched down into Concord and joined with Major Buttrick and Colonel Robison, as they marched in double file along the road toward the bridge. Other companies joined them as they marched past.
         Captain Laurie had his men post on the west shore of the bridge, but when he saw the Americans coming, called his men to fall back on to the east side. “Form in ranks! You men there, pull up the bridge planks so they cannot cross.”
         Major Buttrick saw this and gave his men the order to pick up pace, and when his men are within a few rods of the bridge, Captain Laurie gave his men the order to fire.
         Luther Blanchard, a fifer, was wounded in the first volley, and Captain Isaac Davis and Abner Hosmer were killed in the second. Major Buttrick turns to his men, “Fire fellow soldiers! For God’s sake, fire!”
         The exchange had men of both sides falling dead or wounded. The regulars are forced to retreat, overwhelmed by the minutemen and militiamen that rush over the bridge after them.
         After taking back the bridge, the Americans are given command to halt and are dispersed to the high grounds, taking the opportunity to eat and refresh themselves, as there was no plan to go any further.
         The returning British companies under Captain Parsons, who advanced as far as Colonel Barrett’s home, returned to Concord and crossed the bridge to find their comrades dead. One had been tomahawked and laid with his head split open, with Parsons making special note of the mutilations he saw.
         The Americans watched them pass below their position and did not attack them, with cause in fact that a declaration of war was not yet an issue. Parsons returns to the main body and reports that the men at the bridge are butchered and mutilated.
         Colonel Smith attempts not to provoke the incident further, then sent a man under a flag of truce to make conveyances to remove the dead and wounded from the bridge.
         Then for two hours he made preparations to return to Boston with as much stolen provisions as his wagons could carry, a near fatal delay for his whole detachment, as the aggressions at Concord and Lexington spread like wild fire through the rest of the colony and beyond.
         Coming into the vicinity were the minutemen and militiamen from New Hampshire, Rhode-Island, and Connecticut, and upon the news that blood was drawn on their Massachusetts brethren, their mood turned to vengeance and their joined resolve was to rid themselves and this land of the tyranny once and for all!

         Twenty eye-witness depositions in all were taken before the provincial congress of Massachusetts, with the documents printed for public review in the Boston Packet along with other letters from Parliament which had been intercepted, intent on reaching Gage over the past month but never arriving; they are to be sent forward to the Continental Congress in defense of the actions of the New England Providences.

         *The summary of events proceeding is based upon the actual accounts acquired by sworn deposition given by citizens regarding the events of April 18 and 19 in Lexington and Concord officially recorded in the journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts 1775

CHAPTER FIVE
“Skirmishes – Friend or Foe?”
Boston, Sunday Morning – May 12

         There is little action on either side that entire month, but as the month of May drew to a close, things began to happen, as the people of Weymouth spot two sloops in the escort of an armed schooner, sailing from Boston to Grape Island. The concerns of the citizens increase after they observe a number of British troops removing hay bales, which had been stored. They respond with urgency, sounding bells and shouting the alarms to rouse a group of militiamen from Weymouth, Braintree and Hingham. The men assemble on the point of land close to the island and begin to fire upon the troops.
         The militia Captain realizes the distance was too great and their weapons were ineffective at such range, calls for his men to cease fire. The cannon aboard the schooner forced the militia to fall back beyond their range and wait. As a flood tide flows in, the Americans board a lighter and sloop which are docked at Weymouth and head out to the island. The British soldiers, seeing the Americans land, hastily leave the island and watch from the departing schooner, as the Americans burn the remaining contents, barn and all. To remove any future temptations on the part of the British to confiscate livestock, the Militiamen transport the remaining cattle back to Weymouth.

UPPER NEW YORK STATE

         On May 14, Captain Brown and Oswald arrive aboard the schooner Katherine, which they had seized in Skenesborough. Colonel Arnold is elated by the capture of this prize, and after a simple ceremony before the fifty men enlisted by the two officers, Arnold renames the ship, Liberty.
The contentious wall built between Arnold and Allen over command issues continues to grow, especially with the Colonel being assigned the mission to recover the artillery and supplies for re-deployment to Boston. Allen’s order to occupy and hold the fort and wait further instruction also demonstrates the lack of unity and communication between provincial forces.
         Arnold, without notifying Colonel Allen of his intent, takes command of the schooner and sails off toward Fort Saint-Jeans, arriving on May 17, at eight o’clock p.m. The thirty-five men then transfer from the ship to a pair of bateaux, which they row to land on a beach not far from the fort; it is six o’clock a.m.
         The next morning, on May 18, Arnold and his men, finding no resistance, easily overpower the dozen soldiers posted there, and capture the fort. They find a second prize: the seventy ton sloop, the HMS Royal George, anchored in the fort dock.
         After Colonel Arnold and his men load all of the forts provisions, cannon and ordinances onto the captured HMS Royal George, Arnold orders his men to sink all the boats they cannot take, before sailing his small acquired fleet back to Ticonderoga. Along the way, Arnold celebrates through ceremony, changing the name from the HMS Royal George to the Enterprise, as he sails back across Lake Champlain.
While in route back to Ticonderoga, he encounters Allen and his men rowing four bateaux. Colonel Allen is annoyed by the insolence shown by Arnold and flags down the two ships and barges procured from Fort Saint- Jean.
         Ignoring his resentment of the officer, Allen climbs aboard the Enterprise to discuss the situation up river. Proud of his acquisitions, Arnold offers to share some of the provisions confiscated during the raid, and Ethan Allen accepts Arnold’s gesture with gratitude. Admittedly, Allen was caught up in his concern about Arnold sailing off unannounced, and in his haste to rally his own men to pursue the unauthorized endeavor, Allen’s men overlook taking any provisions of their own.
         Colonel Arnold informs Ethan Allen of the re-enforcements that are en route to the fort, but Colonel Allen is confident that his company of one hundred and fifty men can hold the fort and continues rowing the rest of the 100 miles, arriving at the fort that evening.
As his men climb from the bateaux to shore, Allen is approached by a Canadian merchant named Moses Hazen, on horseback. “Sir, I wish to inform you that that Major Charles Preston, in command of nearly two hundred troops, is coming along the very same road I have just come by.”
         Ethan, in haste, writes a message giving it to the merchant, expressing the urgency for delivery. The merchant agrees and rides off toward Montreal.
         Colonel Allen then sets a plan to ambush the advancing companies, but his men complain of exhaustion, after having rowed for almost two hundred miles upriver. In better judgment, Allen decides to return to his boats and cross the lake at Saint-Jeans where they made camp.
         The next morning the six cannons of the Regular troops woke the sleeping New Hampshire men with grape shot. With the camp exploding all about the scattering men, they take quick refuge in the bateaux, rowing with haste to escape the range of the cannon-fire. Three of the men ran into the woods instead of going to the boats, and are left behind.
         A detachment is sent across the river in pursuit and captures one of the men. The other two escape into the wilderness and make their way back to Ticonderoga by land.

May 17, Cambridge
         In receiving Colonel Arnold’s letter involving the disputes over authority, the Massachusetts provincial Congress resolves that a letter be sent to the Connecticut provincial Congress on the matter of Ticonderoga, acknowledging their approval that Colonel Ethan Allen remain in command of the Fort. Until, that is, the Second Continental Congress makes other appropriate decisions to the matter, also attempting to resolve the dispute between Arnold and Allen. Towards that end, they send the following dispatch:

GENTLEMEN: We have the happiness of presenting our congratulations to you, on the reduction of that important fortress, Ticonderoga; we applaud the conduct, both of the officers and soldiers, and are of opinion that the advantageous situation of that fortress, makes it highly expedient, that it should be repaired and properly garrisoned. In the meantime, as we suppose that there is no necessity for keeping all the cannon there, we should be extremely glad, if all the battery cannon, especially brass cannon, which can be spared from that place, or procured from Crown Point, which, we hope, is, by this time, in the hands of our friends, may be forwarded this way, with all possible expedition, as we have here to contend with an army furnished with as fine a train of artillery as ever seen in America; and we are in extreme want of a sufficient number of cannon to fortify those important passes, without which, we can neither annoy general Gage, if it should become necessary, nor defend ourselves against him; we are therefore, must, most earnestly, recommend this very important matter to your immediate consideration; and we would suggest it, as our opinion, that the appointing of Colonel Arnold to take charge of them, and bring them down with all possible haste, may be a means of settling any disputes which may have arisen between him and some other officers, which we are always desirous to avoid, and, more especially, at a time when our common danger ought to unite us in the strongest bonds of unity and affection.

We are, Gentlemen, &c.

         Arnold stands on the stern of his recent capture, the Enterprise, on the 21st of May, to watch Ethan and his men return, exhausted from their excursion up and down river.
         Colonel Arnold, before his enlistment, was a shipping merchant and seasoned captain. In the days after returning to Ticonderoga from Saint-Jean, Arnold commissions Captain John Stone to command the Enterprise and Captain Isaac Mathews to command the Liberty. He is also prompt in sending a dispatch to New York City, recognizing the need to recruit a number of experienced gunners and seamen to man the two vessels.
         The lone man took prisoner from Ethan Allen’s party a few days’ earlier escapes from his captors. His friends gather around to hear his experience, and later inform Allen of the news that four hundred regulars are intent on making every effort to cross the lake and recapture Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and are in fact constructing boats to cross the river.
         Arnold takes the initiative to send dispatches to Fort George and Skenesborough to rally support to defend Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Other dispatches were also sent by Arnold to Albany and to the Connecticut Congress for food and powder.
         Over time, the force under command of Ethan Allen dwindles in number when men leave to return to their families, and crops. Colonel Arnold, on the other hand, is persistent in his preparation to defend and maintain the fort at all cost. As a merchant, he’s travelled these routes and understands the strategic importance of this waterway.
         An express rider arrives at General Ward’s headquarters at Cambridge on May 25, the dispatch is received and forwarded to Watertown, where the Provincial Congress of Connecticut is in session. The letter is read before the delegates and echoes those disenchanted by the resolve of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. It states that both Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point are to be placed in the custody and charge of the providence of New York, “that the authority to remove the artillery and transport it to Boston was beyond the general congresses authority without allowing for the conferences between all parties claiming interest to them.”
         This news frustrates the members of Massachusetts’ Provisional Congress, who had insisted that the immediate and dire needs are amplified by the armed engagement occurring, are not to take second seat to the gratitude’s of diplomacy.
         “We are at war! Is it not clear to them in Philadelphia our plight to be faced, with most the powerful well-armed force in the entire world?          It is ludicrous to begin to contemplate how the reasoning of the Continental delegation wishes not to offend the delegation of New York State?” It is becoming apparent to the Massachusetts delegates that they face a more divisive foe within their own cause -Congress.
         Men were constantly coming and going from the fortifications around Boston. Malachi, Rosy and John Wilson returned to Westford after the deposition hearings and now, a few weeks later, Malachi walks back to Medford with John, after spending time at home getting matters in order and finishing Mister Frye’s fence.
         The two had been friends since they could remember, with Malachi marrying John’s older sister last summer. Arriving back in Medford on May 26, the two find the camp is restless with anticipation as speculation about Gage’s intent to break free of Boston spreads. With more ships arriving each day with supplies and troops, the speculation is assumed to be more factual than rumor that some major offensive is being prepared in Boston.
         “You men there!” shouts a Captain at the two young men walking past. Malachi and John stop, startled, as he demands, “have you enlisted yet?”
         “Not yet,” replies Wilson.
         “Then come over here and serve your country men.”
         “This is the New Hampshire regiment…isn’t it?”
         “Yes, it is, but under the orders of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, we are to enlist all men as Massachusetts Minutemen…come on and join…there is a one schilling incentive to join immediately.”
         “One shilling, you say? Where do we sign?” Malachi hurries to the table, and the Captain hands him a quill pen to sign. The Captain hands the men each a piece. The coins were barely in their pockets when the Captain barks, “Attention!”
Malachi and Wilson exchange a quick look, and then stand tall.
         “Good,” the Captain says, “You can join that group of troops there and help build the billets. Report to the Sergeant, but first sign the journal so you will be paid.”
         It was night by time they stopped working. The first night there and Malachi is pulled to guard a munitions wagon. He is relieved at midnight, and finds Wilson asleep when he returns to the barracks. Exhausted he lies in his bunk, watching the stars through the open roof of the unfinished building, until he falls asleep.
         The work day starts early in camp: digging latrines, cutting wood and cleaning the stables. And with all that being done, there is always the chore of stacking the hay.
         About eight o’clock a.m., things began to happen suddenly, as Colonel Stark musters his men, and by nine o’clock a.m. they begin to march toward Malden. No one informs the men what is happening, or where they are going so the speculation begins among the men as they march.
         About three hundred men from the New Hampshire Minutemen are marching along the main street out of Medford, while a group of women hand out chocolate to the men as they pass.
         The woods and farms along the road to Chelsea are full of blooming apple trees bearing the tiny green fruit, and in another month they would be ripe for the picking. It is hard to imagine being at war while in the midst of all this beauty, Malachi thinks.
         It is all a trifle too quiet, and were it not for all the men about carrying rifles and marching, one would notice no difference in the countryside since before the British aggressions of April 19.
         The first company of Starks’ men arrives in Chelsea about eleven o’clock a.m., and Stark intends to cross to Hog Island by way of Belle Island Creek and then follow the creek to Noddles Island.
         Once across the creek, Stark gathers his men along the embankment. He turns to his next in command.
         “Herd these cows back to camp. I’ll take a group of men up further to ensure that nothing is left to the enemy.”
         “Yes, Sir….should I leave some of the men here to protect your flank?”
         “Take the men back to camp and send a dispatch to General Artemas that I am burning the hay stores and farms on the islands.”
         “Yes, Sir….and good luck Sir,” he replies, departing hastily.
Colonel Stark stands to face his men and announces, “I need thirty men to volunteer.”
Without hesitation, Malachi and John’s hands go up, even before Stark’s sentence is finished. He looks at them and smiles. “You young men looking for a taste of action, huh?” he asks, remembering back before his first experience with battle. “Well, let us go make havoc and war, then.” Without another word, the Colonel turns and the men follow.
         As the larger group gathers the cows from the pasture, they head the herd back to the main camp in Chelsea neck, Stark led the smaller group north along Crooked Creek towards Noddles Island. Colonel Stark knew the risk of being caught by the Regulars and drove his men at a fast pace, soon arriving at the first farm.
Stark left men behind at every farm they passed along the way, with orders to kill all the livestock and then burn the barns and farms, leaving nothing behind that could be used by the enemy.
         Stark gave his order and the men took out their daggers and swords and began to cut the throats of the cows and hacked the chickens, pigs, lambs and goats, setting wagons and houses afire. No shots are fired as the order stands not to expend ammunition except in the direct engagement against Regular troops.
There is so much blood from the cows that Malachi grimaces at the ghastly massacre of stock animals. He wished he could save two of those cows and send them back to Westford; they would be a great start to owning his own farm.
         The militiamen restrain the farmers as they come from their homes to see what the commotion is about. Those who were loyalist spat and curse the militia. “Now you know how we feel,” the Corporal jeers back. The regulars would be denied the delight of fresh meat as Boston went into its first month of siege.
Colonel Stark posts Malachi on the point to watch for movement coming from the direction of the Regulars’ camps. He watches as the soldiers kill the livestock, watching as the farmers cry at the butchery, but he is not affected – this was war.
         Smoke billows thick and the smell of burning hay and wood from the barn structures begins to draw the fire from the Man-of-War ships anchored off the islands, which are now aware of the detachment of Americans raiding the islands.
         Then Malachi spots movement coming out of a gully, and he is scared, as he realizes a platoon of Regulars is heading up the road towards him. Hesitating briefly, the thought flashes through his head that he’s never before been face-to-face with the enemy; he cocks his musket, takes aim, and fires.
This was not the same as shooting from the hills in Concord. This time the soldiers are close enough he can see their faces. He fires a musket ball over their heads. It was just enough to make them hold their position long enough to allow him to run back to Stark and report.
         “The Red Coats are coming up the road!”
         “About how many?”
         “Maybe fifty or more.”
         “Let’s get going,” the Colonel replies, and begins to rally his men back the way they had come, with Malachi and John following close to foot, as Starks’ group rejoins the other groups who were also in retreat from the approaching Regulars.
         The crack of musket rifles echo and the sizzling wisp of musket balls cut through the air all around them. One hits a tree not far from Malachi, with a snapping crack that sends him in a flurry to run along with the others. A few of the men stop to cover the retreat, taking random shots to slow the advance of the Red Coats.
         Reaching Crooked Creek, Stark stands his ground to face the Red Coats. With all of his men concealed along this one embankment, Stark waits until the enemy is in range. They lie there in wait, as shells explode about them, launched from the same vessels that close in on their position along the inlet. Malachi is sure that if they wait any longer, the ships are going to cut them off from their escape.
         Stark forms his men in two ranks, and when the first rank fires into the Red Coats, the second rank steps forward between them and takes aim, and at Starks’ command, fires. The former rank reloads, steps forward, and takes aim. “FIRE!”
         The rotating ranks continue to fire and reload, until finally the Regulars begin taking heavy losses and bolt in full retreat.
         The New Hampshire men cheer, “Hussar! Hussar! Hussar!” Stark turns to them, saying, “They’ll be back with more men…let’s high-tail it back to camp before we are cut off.”
Stark runs his men all the way back to Hog Island, where he rejoins the main body of his command, to many hoots and hollering from the troops.
         Malachi and John walk among the three to four hundred sheep, cattle, horses and other livestock confiscated from the islands without a single casualty. Malachi turns to watch the black smoke rise from the burning farms, which by now is so thick it blocks the sky. He is not sure how he feels about what he has done, not yet grasping the need to burn the farms and butchering the livestock, as to him, these were just neighbors and common folk.
         Vice-Admiral Graves of His Majesty’s Navy surveyed the American troops on Noddles Island as they had attacked the farms. He orders his Rangers to engage the rebels, and orders two smaller ships to head up the channel to cut them off from escaping. Unfortunately, the captains of these two ships are unfamiliar with the tides and become trapped in the low tides of the inlets.
         By this time the men from Starks’ regiment gather at the Chelsea neck and engage the British navy and troops, who fire artillery from Noddles Island as well as barges and ships, in response to their bold excursion.
At nine o’clock p.m., General Putnam arrives with about four hundred re-enforcements to find a schooner had run aground in shallow waters. Putnam laughs in disbelief. “They are swamped! Sergeant! Bring up the cannons!”
         As a second ship attempts to pull the first ship free from the sandy bog, forty marines fire from her deck, the smaller sloop finding it hard to navigate while towing the other ship in these shallow waters, and are near to finding herself in the same predicament as the first ship.
         It is a three quarters moon, and in the light General Putnam can see the commander of the stuck ship shouting obscenities from her deck to the commander of the second ship. There were a dozen or so soldiers in the water, waist deep, pulling hard on the ropes tied to the ship’s stern.
         General Putnam, intrigued by his enemy’s predicament, walks out until he is waist high in the water, and calls out with the candor of friendship, “Ho to you there, Captain? You seem to be stuck in the mud….I was wondering, Sir, if I could offer you some assistance in surrendering that ship?”
The British commander, infuriated and humiliated, responds by ordering his cannon to fire a shot in response.
         “Very well, Sir,” says the General, and Putnam walks back to the shore. His cannon arrive shortly afterwards, and he turns to the artillery Captain. “Aim at the second ship….I am sure this scuttled ship has supplies we can use, and I don’t want to lose her.”
         “They will burn her for sure.”
         “Let us work our men to the opposing shore and lay a blanket of fire from both sides. See those men in the water? Give them a taste of fire.”
         “Yes, Sir!” He turns to his men and orders, “Aim at the men in the water first. Then take on the second ship…and make your shots count – we are low on powder and shot.”
         For nearly forty-five minutes, the two colonial cannons raise havoc on the second ship, which tried to return fire, but her position made it difficult for her cannons to take range and site of the rebels, who position themselves at an angle in order to render the ship’s cannon ineffective against them.
The scuttled ship did not dare fire its cannons, in fear that the concussion from the cannons would sink her deeper into the mud.
         Lieutenant Thomas Graves, Admiral Richard Graves’s nephew, saw no hope as his men fire from the decks of his ship the “Diana”. He was sure that re-enforcements would arrive soon, and so decides that rather than be taken prisoner, he would take refuge on the Britannia until those reinforcements arrive.
         General Putnam lines his men along the embankment and it becomes a turkey shoot for the men sending a hail of musket balls and cannon shot so thick at times that the Red Coats can do little more than huddle the decks or be shot to pieces. Finally, the Captain of the Britannia withdraws to a safe distance, fearing they too would be beached in the shallow water.
         The crews of both of His Majesty’s ships watch as the rebels, under command of Major Isaac Baldwin, leads twenty men aboard the Dianna. Lieutenant Graves admits to himself his mistake, “I should have burned her.”
         Now the rebels have ammunition and cannons, as he watches them hoist the four pounders from the deck. For more than an hour the rebels pillage the ship of all that is of value and by three that morning, the Major lights a fire to the ship from the base of the hull, using stacks of hay for kindling.
The rebels cheer as they fire recklessly at the Britannia, until at last, the Captain suggests to the Lieutenant, “There’s not much we can do for her now…it will be best for us to go before we too get stuck.”
         “Regretfully I must agree.”
Colonel Stark and his men watch the melee from their positions along Chelsea Neck, as un-salvaged ordinances explode aboard the burning ship, and his men respond by cheering to each of the explosions.
         Things became quiet, until the sun rose, and the British firing began again to bombard the troops at Chelsea Neck. The munitions, cannons and other supplies salvaged from the ship were put to quick use, and they return fire upon the Royal Crown’s warships.
         In the next weeks, other raids were ordered along the many islands and are successful in recovering cattle, horses, pigs, lambs and sheep, insuring the Americans short of supplies and powder that they would be far better off than the regulars for eating, who were already reduced to eating salt rations in Boston.
         The next few nights Malachi and John Wilson slept deeply, any place they could – under wagons and sometimes even happily accommodated by a farmer with a barn. For the first time they felt like soldiers and not common laborers

CHAPTER SIX
“The Prisoner Exchange”
June 5 1775

         It is mid-morning and the heat of the day is palpable. The barn door swings open and the sergeant enters the relative coolness, where Malachi and John are stacking bales of hay.
         “You men, I got a detail for you…come with me,” he orders. They grab their rifles and follow him to meet four other men, standing in a rank and guarding a wagon full of captured British soldiers. “You will join the Lieutenant and his detachment to escort these prisoners to Cambridge. You will report to the supply and take three meal rations and your bedding…I advise you to hurry and get those matters taken care of now.” The sergeant walked over to the wagon, recognizing one of the prisoners, his neighbor from Boston. “Good morning, Johnny…how is your mother?”
         “She is well, Lawrence…and yours?”
         “She is well too…how is your leg?’
         “It pains me, but I’ll be alright.”
         “When you reach Cambridge a doctor will take care of it…and Johnny, say hello to Elsa for me…I hope she is well, too.”
         “I will tell her when I see her.” The wagon starts off with a jolt.
         “Farewell, Lawrence, my friend, less that fate we meet again in the sights of our rifles,” the prisoner calls out to the sergeant, who nods sympathetically, in regret, as the detail begins to march with the two new recruits falling in as other wagons continue pass.
         The newly formed United Army of New England Providences is not technically “united”, in the sense that it remains four separate armies of four separate state countries. Yet all are joined together in this common cause.
         The enormity of confusion resulting from the lack of communication between each of the distinct armies arises not only due to geographical distance between the separate provincial congresses, but also due to the lack of clear leadership, cause by the failure of in the commission of officers.
         All held together by a thread of cooperation between each government, as they agree to support a defense of their sister nation, Massachusetts. This partnership is further stabilized by a voluntary submission on the part of all to be subordinate to the Massachusetts Congress, otherwise anarchy and chaos would soon follow.
         Beginning in 1633, with the establishment of the new settlements of Winsor, followed by Hartford, Connecticut in 1636, the tensions begin to grow between the natives and the English settlers.
         The Indians were being provoked further and further, as the European populations grew into the townships of Springfield Massachusetts, New Haven and Rhode Island, causing disputes over hunting grounds and water rights, causing many of the Native chiefs to call powwow councils of their people in organized protest against the intrusions of the white settlers. This uneasiness eventually leads to the New England providence’s organizing under a charter of union: The ARTICLES of CONFEDERATION of the UNITED COLONIES of NEW ENGLAND.
         General Gage fails to understand that military partisanship and protocol is already existent between these providence’s, in the event of emergencies developing along the frontier. This union was effective throughout the “King Phillips War” from 1675 to1676 and again during the French and Indian invasions from 1754 to 1763 – the first “world war” of nations.
         The common union of defense was not a new idea, but a practical commitment long establishing the camaraderie among New Englanders, and Gage’s failure to understand or acknowledge this exiting partnership would become the seed of his own destruction.
         The wagon with the wounded British soldiers rumbled along with the guard marching behind. The Lieutenant rode upon his horse, leading the wagon along the dirt road into the countryside. Birds sung in the trees, as a deer watched from a distance. The sound of a rushing brook gives voice to the serene beauty of the woods around them. More than once, the prisoner detail pulls aside on the road to allow a company of troops marching in ranks toward Chelsea to pass.
         Coming into Medford, a group of women, led by Sarah Bradlee Fulton, greets the soldiers with sandwiches and refreshments. One woman walks to the wagon with the prisoners.
         “Hold it there ma’am…I wouldn’t get too close.”
         “These men need to eat…my goodness! These wounded men need their bandages changed before they get infected.”
         “They will get doctoring when we arrive at Cambridge,” replies the Lieutenant, a little defensively.
         “Lieutenant? I believe we are fighting against tyranny…should this mean that we must then become the tyrant ourselves?”
         “No ma’am.”
         “Then please – order your men to take these men to my home so I can change their dressings.”
         “Sorry ma’am, but I can’t do that.”
         “Then at least to the side of the road, sir, please?” She looks at him imploringly.
         Weakened by the softness of her features and vulnerable to a pretty face in general, the young officer gives in. “Well…alright, ma’am…men, you heard the lady. Help those prisoners out of the wagon.”
         Malachi and John helped the prisoners lay on the ground, as the group of women began to take off the dirty bandages and wipe the wounds clean with fresh water. The American soldiers sat on Mrs. Fulton’s front porch, waiting and eating their lunch.
         Another woman approached with a pan of chocolate fudge, walking along the ranks of American soldiers and Red Coat prisoners. “Thank you, Miss…thank you,” Malachi gushes in appreciation, savoring the sweet tart chocolate. This life’s not so bad sometimes, he thinks to himself, reveling in the chocolate.
         It was sundown when the detail reached Cambridge. The Lieutenant reports his arrival to the headquarters located in the administration building of the college. A stockade was built nearby holding other prisoners captured during the battle of Concord. The Lieutenant locks the gate after Malachi and John Wilson help the last of the wounded soldiers inside.
         “You men better find a place to bunk for the night, there’s no rush getting back to Chelsea,” he informs them.
         The Lieutenant goes back into the headquarters to find General Ward and Thomas in a debate. He catches only the very last part of the argument. “I agree with the necessity of fortification at Dorchester and Charlestown Neck, but it is not a shortage of artillery that is my concern…unless we receive a re-resupply in the next few days, there will only be eight barrels of powder between the two batteries, forty-eight barrels are all that exist in the entire providence. How do I defend without powder, we are defenseless against a direct attack on our positions.”
         “Philadelphia must be made aware of this situation.”
         “I have sent several dispatches already…any movement in force by Gage will surely break our lines, and not for lack of manpower or weapons. Powder…the whole damn success of this defense depends on powder.”
         “And they drag their feet and expect success…damn these fools in Philadelphia…what do they expect of these men?” The two generals turn to the lieutenant who salutes them sharply and reports. “I have brought several prisoners to the stockade, sir.”
         “Very well, dismissed…” Ward returns his conversation to Thomas and finishes. “Maybe now we can get the necessary reconnaissance…I must know what is happening inside the city.”

         As the two young men began their search for quarters to sleep, they are approached by a young Captain. “You two, come with me.” Without question they follow. “Your names are?” he asks.
         “Malachi Smith.”
         “John Wilson.”
         “Malachi, John – we have a simple mission to accomplish. You are now part of my detail for a prisoner exchange. You will get yourself fed, resupplied and will rest in the guard house until called…is that understood?”
         “Yes Sir,” they answer in unison.
         The guard house was an abandoned house next to the college. Most of the house is in use by officers and ranking non-commissioned officers. Those selected for guard duty are restricted to the parlor with a few mattresses strewn about the room. Two other soldiers have already found a place and rest. John turns to Malachi, “Home sweet home,” he grins.
         Around nine o’clock p.m., Captain Chester returns and calls the men to gather in front of the guard house. The detachment consists of twelve men. The guards on watch escort the British prisoners from the stockade and form two ranks in the road. The American soldiers walk along the edges of the road as they parade the prisoners towards Charlestown.
         Brigadier-General Putnam rode before the detachment with Doctor Joseph Warren. They are flanked on both sides by Major Dunbar and Lieutenant Hamilton. A chaise driven by Lieutenant Potter follows behind the two carts, carrying British wounded who are guarded by three privates. They are assigned to each of the prisoner carts that have been secured for the detail from the Wethersfield Company.
         About midnight, the detail arrives at the Penny Ferry, and Putnam, standing on the dock, gives a signal using a lantern. A launch slips from the darkness and ties up to the pier, and Major Moncrieff, a British Marine officer from the HMS Lively, steps from the boat and approaches his old friend, General Putnam.
         Malachi watches in wonder as the two adversaries greet each other with great affection. There is no animosity between the two, which eases some of the tension of the situation, as the British prisoners are helped into the waiting boat. With the last prisoner being carried aboard being wounded, the gang plank is pulled away as the boat pushes off the pier and glides back into the darkness from which it came.
         The British Major and the American General, now surrounded by the other officers, then go inside the home of Doctor Foster. Malachi peers in through the lighted window and turns back to John. “It’s a party? What I would give to be an officer.”
         “It does seem a bit unfair,” agrees John.
         Captain Chester is watching out on the water. Finally, he sees a signal and goes to knock on the house door. It opens with Major Dunbar standing in the light. “They are on their way,” he informs the Major.
         At three o’clock a.m., the boat ties up to the pier. Captain Chester stands with a journal, turned to a clean page which is dated June 6, 1775. “You will say your name clear and loud as you un-board and I will log you into the journal which I will be submitting to the commander, and securing a draft of back pay on your behalf.”
         Malachi moves in close and can see the deplorable sight of the prisoners as they un-board, each calling out their names as they do so, some weak with fever. One-by-one: John Peck…James Hews…James Brewer…Daniel Preston…Samuel Frost…Seth Russell….Joseph Bell…Elijah Seaver…Ceasar Augustus (a negro servant). All were taken prisoner during the battles of Concord and Lexington, or during the British exodus back to Charlestown in their retreat.
         They were all brought into Captain Foster’s home and then fed with drink. They were not brutalized by their captors, but from the neglect of medical treatment, their wounds were now infected, and so a cruel punishment of another, inadvertent type had been inflicted, nonetheless.
         General Putnam made specific note to his friend as to how well Massachusetts Army had treated the prisoners of Gage’s army, expects in the future, that his men would be treated as such.
         Major Moncrieff saluted, “Good-bye, my friend,” he uttered, and stepped aboard the launch, giving a farewell wave of his hand, before disappearing into the dark. It was to be the first of many prisoner exchanges that would take place over the next years, and one of many times brother and friend would cross paths on the battle front.

June 15
         With breastworks built in Cambridge and along Cambridge Road near to the base of Prospect Hill, General Thomas and his force of about four-thousand Massachusetts men now occupy Roxbury, with General Greene at Jamaica Plains, with the support of General Spencer’s regiment of Connecticut men.
         The Army Central Corp was under General Ward, stationed in Cambridge at the Harvard College and consisting of fifteen Massachusetts regiments, a battalion of artillery under Colonel Gridley, and General Putnam’s Connecticut regiment attached.
         The men are kept board in a city of tents, some finding refuge in the college and church of Cambridge, creating in total a defense line that extends from Inman’s farm, to Wetherby’s Tavern, to Prospect Hills, down to Lechmere’s Point, forming a semicircle front line of fortifications.
         The left wing of defense is under General Gerrish’s regiment at Chelsea, with Colonel Stark at Medford and Reed at Charlestown Neck, with sentinels posted at Penny Ferry and Bunkers Hill.
         Across the Bay, the British have a battery set up on Copps Hill, and another at Barton’s Point along the foot of Leverett Street in a close proximity to Charlestown, a mere half-mile across the Charles River. Ships with re-enforcement’s continue to arrive each day and Boston has now become so overwhelmed with troops that the newly arriving troops are forced to bunk aboard the ships in which they came.
         The Committee of Safety determines to fortify the two positions at Charlestown Peninsula and Dorchester Heights, as these are the most probable targets for Gage’s pending attacks.
         A dispute raged between the American commanders, with General Ward and Doctor Warren arguing heatedly against the other officers, who want to provoke a direct engagement against Gage. The argument carries on to late in the evening, and centers upon the lack of supplies and organization of the army.
         Even at this date in the evolving conflict, commissions to officers are not yet approved by the general Congress in Philadelphia, which creates massive confusion about who, precisely, is in charge. Meanwhile, some of the units beyond Boston and Massachusetts providence would not acknowledge orders given to them by officers whom they did not recognize, and this lack of organization will become a foundation for defeat in the coming battle.
         Eventually, intelligence is received from citizens and Colonials who have deserted from the British Army encampment in Boston. The word is that Gage is preparing to sally out of the city. Ready or not, the Committee determines that a direct engagement will be inevitable, and so they must act. To allow the British access to either site currently being defended without any contest or opposition whatsoever would only bring about a worse overall result. So it is by resolve that on the following day, the plan would go into effect, to fortify the two positions of Dorchester and Bunkers Hill.

CHAPTER SEVEN
“The Battle of Charlestown”
June, 16 1775

         The Union Jack flies high over Gage’s artillery batteries on Copps Hill in Boston, as General Artemas Ward surveys the enemy’s position and the fortifications in progress about the countryside through his field piece. It is a spectacular blue sky on this hot day, with the temperature blazing for the last few weeks in the upper nineties.
         Artemas worries that, although he has Gage’s force contained on the Boston peninsula, the alarming increase in ships anchoring in the bay is foreboding the inevitable: that Gage will soon make an attempt to break his army free. Bound by the lack of gun powder, the Colonial army must refrain from assaulting Boston, leaving him with a singular choice to contain.
         The mission that is evolving in the many camps is secret to its purpose, as Malachi and John are assigned to a detachment of privates that load about five-hundred shovels and picks into wagons.The day is long and hot with men preparing cartridges, and counting fifteen musket balls, with one new flint for issue to the preparing troops as they pass along in line.
         Further down in another line, along the Cambridge commons, the troops receive three meal provisions each, and there is little doubt that something is about to happen. Some of the men are convinced that it is a simple march into the view of the enemy and back, and decide not to take the rations, expecting to be back in camp early the next morning; it’s a decision they would come to regret.
         Colonel Richard Gridley receives the appointment as the Chief Engineer of the Massachusetts Provincial Army and is responsible for building the fortification on the Charlestown Peninsula with Captains Gridley, S.R. Trevett and Callender, who also assist in organizing a train of artillery to insure the men load the correct ordnance and cannon cartridges into wagons.
         Trevett walks along the train checking the harness to the teams pulling the six four-pounder cannons, insuring they are correct and straps adjusted. Callender inspects the cannons that arrive earlier that morning to Cambridge from Medford, and runs his hand along the cold brass; they are fine pieces of work.
         At six o’clock p.m., the commands of Colonel Prescott and Colonel Richard Gridley muster and assemble in the common of Harvard College, where Reverend Dr. Langdon, President of the college, offers prayer to the men.
         At nine o’clock p.m., the commanders call their men to assemble, and under dark lanterns the columns are paraded to the Charlestown Neck by Colonel Prescott. There he rests the men along the incline to Bunkers Hill, where he is prompt to order Captain Nutting to march his company of men into Charlestown.
         The Commanders who gather on the crest of Bunkers Hill debate about the most strategic position from which to build the fortifications. Artemas Ward’s plan is to build the fortifications on the larger hill, but now Colonel Prescott is insisting to alter the plan because in the field he sees a better advantage in constructing the fortifications on the lower hill instead.
         Captain Gridley, standing in the background, listens to the annoying bicker, and with impatience to start working, he reminds Prescott and the other officers present to make a decision. “Gentlemen, may I remind you that the time is short, and by morning we better have our asses covered, before that barrage of cannon lands on our heads and blow our asses off!”
         There was already little time to accomplish the deed, let alone waste valuable time to argue over it and cause further delay. The ranking officers scowl at the subordinates tone, and then agree to Prescott’s plan, as the final decision was his privilege of rank to make.
         The men file past the wagons, receiving trenching tools, and are full of concern, fearing that their work would no doubt bring about attention and draw a cannonade upon them. It is mid-night and a calm warm breeze blows in from the bay as they begin to dig. The fear of discovery is incentive to work quickly and steady all that night, constructing the fortifications, with every man knowing once the sun rises, their deed is likely to bring about severe consequences.
         Colonel Prescott wins the debate that the position on the lower hill of Russell pasture gives the army a better advantage for resisting a beach landing that will protect their flank. He expects the attack will come from the west and Charlestown. As a result of this rational assumption, he has the fortifications facing front toward Charlestown, where the cover of the city would protect such a landing giving Gage’s army a place to stock munitions and supplies.
         The peninsula is a group of several hills, with two smaller mounds to the west of Bunker’s Hill, places he remembers families gathering for Sunday picnics after church. He is certain that his moving the fortifications to the smaller hill below him in old man Russell’s pasture – which overlooks Greens Pastures that extends to the east toward Morton Hill – will enable his force to engage the enemy along the entire front.
         His strongest argument in insisting upon this change is that the perspective from Bunker’s Hill creates a blind spot beyond the crest of the lower hill, and this will obscure the direct line of fire of his cannons and rifles. He must deny the enemy force the ability to have a safe zone to reassemble before attacking in force.
         The men on the lower hill stack arm their rifles, and with shovels and picks in hand, disperse along the line with the caution having been issued orders not to speak and to work in silence, not to tip off the Red Coats of their presence on the hill.
         From where he stands on Bunkers Hill, Colonel Prescott surveys the land and can see the flickering candle lights in the distant homes on Morton’s Hill, along the Eastern point of the Peninsula. He further observes there is fresh cut hay in one field and a tall grass that rolls out towards the Mystic in the other; separating his position from Morton; giving his men a kill zone of more than a hundred yards.
         Each of these obstacles is an advantage to his men whom will be posted along the rail and stone fences that dissect the fields before him. Surveying every detail of the potential battlefield, Prescott notes that to the southwest at the base of the smaller hill is the small village of Bunker Hill Township with several brick kilns. The homes there are a row of wood houses built along the slope and will create another safe place for the enemy, and while wishing he had more men, he decides he will have to post at least a company to defend the position.
         To the northeast is an apple orchard with its trees reaching full blossom. The land between the two hills is gullied and likely to be slushy from the rain over the past few days, no doubt insuring that the cannon mobility, required in a moving battle, will also require more men to assist, a disadvantage to be sure.
         He plans his defense out in his mind, and with a good fortification, Prescott is sure his men will hold the position, but he is also a realist, and his concern now focuses on the thirty plus ships and barges with lanterns flickering on their decks and masts, anchored all about the bay. All are heavily armed and in range of every square inch of ground of the peninsula.
         The work continues through the night, as Colonel Prescott, along with Major Brooks, goes along the sentinel post at Penny Ferry and listens as the British lookouts aboard the ships call every half hour, “All is well!”
         Prescott then sends Captain Maxwell and a party of men to patrol along the lower Charlestown shore and ferry landing, to watch for and report any enemy movement.
         The men are silent as possible, picking and shoveling dirt into gabion baskets, with a chain of men passing the buckets to the others who were piling the dark rich soil high between fascines of bundled branches, and then covering the heaps with sod taken from the fertile fields.
         These redoubts will provide protection to the men from the impending cannonade they all expect once the sun exposes the new work. Colonel Gridley’s concern is the amount of work to be done. How much of these breastworks will be complete before morning and to how intense a response will Gage have?
         From this position the Colonial cannons could fire upon Copps Hill in Boston, but this position too will be within range of every ship in the bay; taking this aggressive position would without doubt provoke a response. This all the men knew.

         On this same day in Canada, a Loyalist expedition is led by the British Indian Agent Guy Johnson, which arrives at Fort Ontario and gathers leaders of the Mohawk, Iroquois and Huron people to oppose the Colonial rebel forces. This is the largest gathering of Indians since the French Wars thirteen years earlier. Now, 1,500 warriors assemble in Montreal in conference with British General Carleton, who delivers war belts to the tribes that upon accepting the gift would obligate the Indian tribes to be ready for service.
         Most of the Indian nations decide to remain neutral, in spite of favoring the alliance with the European king who promises treaties with them for land. This tactic by Parliament is suspect to the colonials, as it appears to be an attempt to establish an army loyal to the Crown here in America and draws more Colonial support to separate from England.
         Similarly, the recruiting of slaves with the offer of freedom also becomes a device of Parliament, which since 1763 has fallen under the influence of former executives of the East India Trade Company.
         Only the local clans of Oneidas and the Tuscarora’s of the Six Nations choose to side with the Colonial’s, with many of the tribes declining to side against King George III, because they have seen the expansion of towns and farms as an encroachment upon their land rights.
         The division of the Confederacy of Six nations in the summer of 1777 will play a major role in the Indian government’s destruction, and will become a linking cause in future retaliation by the American Colonials against all Indian’s for their aligning with the British.

June 17, sunrise Boston
         The heat of the of the new day lit by the amber horizon soon sheds light on the new fortifications under construction by the Americans, and the report is brought to the attention of the Captain of the HMS Lively in his quarters.
         Gage holds a council of war the day prior on the 16th, and decides his attack will begin at Dorchester Heights on the 18th. Little does he expect, as he lies in his bunk resting, to be awakened in the first light on June 17 to the HMS Lively cannons that are now firing upon the fortifications which had been built on Charlestown peninsula.
         Admiral Graves awakes abruptly, hurrying to his deck to see what is drawing the fire. He then has his flagman signal the Lively Captain, Thomas Bishop, to cease fire at once.
         General Gage is prompt to call a second council of war to discuss this new threat, with General Sir Henry Clinton advocating an immediate response before the redoubt is complete. His proposal to attack places General William Howe with the leading force of five hundred men, poised for a direct frontal attack, while his own force of five hundred men will land further up the Mystic River, an attempt to flank the American position.
         Howe is animated in his debate against the plan, leaving the decision to General Gage to endorse the plan given by General Howe, one that notes that the construction of the redoubt facing Charlestown exposes the redoubt’s left flank.
         The disadvantage of this plan is that the amphibious attack needs to wait until 2:00 p.m. for high tide, giving the rebel’s another ten hours to build the fortifications and to re-enforce.

         It is a rude awakening as John Wilson and Malachi sat up to the first reckoning volley of cannons being dealt by the HMS Lively. He and his friend John went out of their tent at Cambridge and from where they stand, they can see the bombardment of the men who were actively building the fortifications on the peninsula; they are soon joined by a group of soldiers who also gather to watch the evolving spectacle.
         The cannonade went on for a half hour, but then stops as suddenly as it began. After a short interval of silence, the battery at Copps Hill begins to fire, a signal to the other ships about the bay to join in. This round of firing lasts until about seven o’clock a.m., but then ceases, abruptly changing to an eerie silence.
         In that time, the first casualty of Bunkers Hill occurs. Asa Pollard of Billerica is hit and dies from a piece of shrapnel that splits his skull, and a dispute between Colonel Prescott and the regiment chaplain Dr. McClintock disrupts the work of the men, until prayers are said over the young man’s body.
         The men, being mostly young farmer boys, begin to re-think their assumptions of glory, as they bury their friend’s body in the trench outside of the breastwork. In despair, some of the men closest to Asa walk off, saddened and shocked, and Colonel Prescott, recognizing the possible disaster if the other men should begin to follow, he decides the men need both a distraction and inspiration. He mounts a parapet and runs along the breast work, with bombs exploding around him wildly, almost daring the enemy to shoot him.
         From Copps Hill in Boston General Gage observes the strange behavior and hands his field glasses to councilor Willard, Boston’s town manager. “Do you recognize the farmer in the frock?”
         “Yes, I do…he is Colonel William Prescott.”
         “Will he fight?”
         “Yes, sir, he is an old soldier and will fight as long as a drop of blood remains in his veins.”
         “You know this officer well?” Taking back his field glasses he continues to observe the officer.
         “Of course, sir, I shared a Sunday meal with him just last week at my home…he is my sister’s husband.” Gage looks at the councilor and wonders just how close to the friends of his enemy he stands.
         Even in this early morning hour, the heat begins to take effect. The inexperience of the younger provincials causes suffering, those who did not follow orders in taking food provisions are out of water and hungry.
         The young officers approach Colonel Prescott who urge for him to send for re-enforcement and provisions, especially water. Prescott is confident that Gage will not attack and he refuses for the moment to seek re-enforcement or provisions, expecting those accommodations to be automatic by the plan of General Ward. Unfortunately, the lack of communication between the two companies of minutemen placed these men, designated for reinforcement, lounging just beyond the neck, waiting for orders to advance that never come.
         The movement of troops in Boston is plain for all to see from the fortifications. The bombardment ends, giving the men and officers a chance to evaluate their hunger, thirst and fatigue. Again the officers make implications to Prescott about the situation with the men, and this time he agrees to send for support and provisions, sending Major Brooks.
         Major Brooks attempts to use one of the artillery horses, but Captain Gridley refuses him, objecting that he may need the horse to move the artillery to safety. Instead Brooks walks the two mile distance to headquarters in Cambridge, taking away valuable time in rallying more men for the task.
         General Putnam returns to headquarters just before sunrise, requesting General Ward re-enforce the position on Bunkers Hill, but he is unable to convince Ward of the necessity, and Ward orders only one third of Starks’ reserve regiment to muster.
         Putnam and Stark choose the companies and assemble in the commons, and with powder being scarce, each man receives only fifteen balls and a gill cup full of powder.
         Malachi and John work together making cartridges, with John rolling the paper around a gauging stick and sealing the bottom and Malachi filling a measure of power into the package and sealing it shut.
         Twenty men assist in this preparation, and those chosen for the re-enforcement take the munitions and place them in their cartridge pack.          “Good Luck,” Malachi says as the soldiers pass, and he can see in the faces of the men that this is different from any other excursion that had come before.
         At about ten o’clock, Major Brooks arrives at headquarters and reports the movement coming out of Boston. With this news Ward halts the release of Starks men, until Gage commits his army to a landing point and launches his attack. This frustrates both Putnam and Brooks, both who knew the desperate situation of the men at the fortifications.
         In Cambridge, the committee of safety is in session and has become aware of the situation evolving in Boston and on the Charlestown peninsula. The Committee President, Dr. Joseph Warren, urges that Ward send the re-enforcements to Prescott and that the first third of Starks men march from Cambridge to re-enforce the position. General Ward then sends a dispatch to Chelsea ordering the remaining New Hampshire regiments under Stark and Reed to muster and parade to Charlestown.
         It was becoming more evident as the bombardment of the peninsula grew heavier by the hour that an attack was coming. With this fear, the committee of safety sends dispatches to the selectmen of every surrounding town, asking to send all available power stores to Watertown where the provincial congress was in session.
         Artemas knew that Cambridge would fail in preparation for an assault; the fortifications were incomplete or non-existent, exposing Cambridge to fall to the enemy was leaving Watertown as the last strategic defense if Gage were to break free of the peninsula.
         By eleven o’clock the bombardment of Bunkers Hill escalates to the effect of halting all the work on the breastworks. The men hunker down within the protection of the partially complete redoubt, awaiting the promise of water and food.
         Prescott wishes there would have been enough men to start a fortification of the higher hill, but given the lack of time and shortage of manpower, he admires these young men for what they have completed on the lower hill. He looks out from an opening in the redoubt and can see men loading into the barges at Long Wharf across the river.
         General Putnam rides up in a hurry. “We must get the entrenching tools loaded in the wagons and remove them before the attack, or else risk losing them.”
         “No, if I allow the tools to be carted off, the men will leave and not return…I need every man here,” Prescott responds.
         “Re-enforcements are coming…we have shortages of every kind and must salvage the tools for other construction of other fortifications…this is foolish!” he shouts.
         “Then I am a fool, sir…but I will not and I cannot reduce my manpower by even one man,” Prescott insists. He hands Putnam his field glasses. “Take a look…I’ve counted about forty transports! Gage is coming.”
         Ignoring the Colonel, Putnam shouts to the men, “I need volunteers to carry away the entrenching tools.”
         The men, hearing this request, do not hesitate to grab shovels and picks and hurry up the taller hill, where they are met harshly by General Heath, who with drawn sword menacing slashes and threatens, “Get Ye back to post or I’ll take thee myself where you stand!” making them drop the entrenching tools and return to the breastworks. Putnam gallops up the hill in a fury, where he and Heath exchange scowling looks, then without a word, Putnam gallops away.

         In Boston the streets crowd with soldiers and the citizens watch from their windows. Cannons and horses pulling munitions and provision wagons assemble in line along the many piers of the North Boston neighborhoods.
         Gage stood upon Copps Hill where he could watch his army assemble, and though his officers prefer the plan to flank the enemy fortification by landing at the neck, Gage refutes the idea, fearing his army will be caught between the two forces: one entrenched and fortified, and the other an army of greater numbers. Had he known there was barely forty barrels of gun powder in the entire province, he may have risked the plan.
         “Raise the flag,” Gage orders a soldier, who hoists up a blue signal flag, announcing the beginning of the spectacle. All firing from the ships stops for a brief moment, leaving dead silence, and then it is as if every gun in the fleet explodes at once, thrusting up with a dramatic convulsion of force that reverberates in an impact of ordnance, assaulting the redoubt in one great impact that sends the men inside to the ground for cover. There was no longer any doubt – It had begun!
         Citizens from all over, in every town within sight of the Charlestown peninsula, climb to the roof of their home to watch. Some say prayers for the souls of men about to engage in the ensuing battle. The clamor of church bells competes with the reckless burst of cannonade; smoke and the smell of burnt powder fill the air. No one knows which town’s militia and minutemen are in the action, and many weep in disbelief, being witness to the horror unfolding before their eyes and fearing for loved ones. War was upon them – God help them all!

         The forty transports land along Morton Point, as Prescott watches the boats unload and then promptly return to Boston to receive more awaiting troops. All the time the bombardment continues with an effective cannon assault being waged on the neck, cutting re-enforcements off. Things were looking bleak and many of the men worry they had been abandoned to die.
         A young Lieutenant walks up to Prescott, “The men have determined we are doomed if we stay…there is no water and these men are exhausted, uncle.”
         “What sacrifice we make here is more important, to let the enemy know we will not run from them as cowards. We are fighting for more than land and glory…we fight for liberty – for us and our families and those born after. You tell them that.”
         “I will, Uncle.”
         “Do not call me Uncle,” he replies.
         The eighteen year old Lieutenant smirks at his uncle, salutes, and hurries off. There are many relatives here. Fathers and sons, cousins and brothers, and even a few grandfathers, all stood along the breastworks, about to make a stand.
         Things begin to unfold before the Colonial’s eyes, as British Regulars form ranks along the Mystic shore line. Prescott calls on Captain Knowlton to take his Connecticut Company to form a defense against a possible flanking maneuver at the base of Bunkers Hill eastern slope.
         Knowlton led his men from the redoubt to the pasture below where a fence made of a two foot wall of stone stood, supporting two wooden rails. Using the wooden rails from a fence behind the primary position, Knowlton presses his men to hurry and construct a forward defense that runs parallel to his defensive position and fills the space between the two fences with the newly cut grass, laying in the field before them. He is hoping this will reduce the impact of British cannon fire when it comes. Captain Gridley places two cannons at the rear of the redoubt in support of Knowlton’s position and would wait there for the British to advance.
         At three O’clock Colonel John Stark arrives in a hollow between Winter and Ploughed Hills, just beyond the heavy bombardment of Charlestown neck. He is met by General Putnam.
         “I want you to assign half your men to assist the men already building the fortifications on the higher hill.”
         “Yes sir.” Stark turns to face his men. “Our brethren need our help, so let us not delay. To liberty, men!” The men cheer, “Huzza! Huzza! Huzza!”
         Captain Dearborn’s concerns are about the barrage they will be marching through, and suggests, “I think a fast-pace march would be appropriate, sir.”
         “Nonsense, do not fear death, welcome it! Besides, one fresh soldier is more effective than ten exhausted,” and with that, he leads his men on a casual march through the bombardment without one single casualty.
         Reaching the summit of Bunkers Hill, he reserves part of his men to begin the construction of the fortifications on the higher hill. He assesses the battle unfolding, and could see immediately that the barricades do not extend far enough toward the Mystic, leaving the left flank open. He marches the rest of his men to join Knowlton’s men and extend the fence and line down to the Mystic shore.
         Malachi and John, just arriving with Starks’ Company, flinch as the bombs go off around them. They are between the short wall and the fence, stacking hay as other soldiers grab handfuls of hay and carry it to them from the field beyond the fence. A bomb shell lands close to Malachi and the concussion knocks him down. For a moment he is dazed, but he comes about with John shaking him, until he answers his concerned friend. “Malachi? Malachi? Are you alright?”
         It was the first time either of them had really considered their own death. “I think so,” he replies. Colonel Stark comes over expressing his concern, “You hurt, boy?” Malachi stands up. “No…I’m not hurt, just shook me, that’s all.”
         Stark moves along the line with Knowlton and orders Lieutenant Nathaniel Hutchins down a nine foot embankment. He tells him to hastily build a stone wall of beach rock across the twelve feet of beach along the Mystic River.
         Howe can see from the beach that the eastern flank of the fortification does not extend all the way to the shore, and orders several six-pounders to engage the rebel force defending the fence.
         Achieving a vantage point, the British artillerymen prepare to unload a barrage of deadly fire and find that they have a supply of twelve pound ordnance for their six pounder cannon. The artillery captains must use the grape shot, and are not close enough for effective use of the ordnance. This failure, not to take advantage of the rebel weakness, is nearly fatal to the entire operation.
         By this time, Colonel Reed, whose men are standing idle at the neck, decides to take initiative, despite the lack of orders, and joins Stark and Knowlton at the fence. While the Massachusetts regiments under Colonel Jonathan Brewer, Colonel John Nixon, and Colonel Moses Little re-enforce the men under Colonel Ephraim Doolittle and Colonel Ebenezer Bridge – who is defending the breastwork – they greet the waiting men with water and some food, which the men ate and drank in the haste of starving men.
         Captain Callender arrives with three cannons and positions them between the gaps among Captain Gridley’s artillery pieces and in the opening between the unfinished breastworks and the fence where Knowlton’s men are in station.
         Colonel Prescott sends a messenger to Charlestown to recall Captains Nutting and Perkins companies, since Gage is landing his forces in Morton. In Charlestown, the companies there are firing shots at the ships, picking off sailors and causing havoc about the crews of the fireboats and Men-of-War in the bay.
Copps Hill Battery’s response to this harassment is to fire upon Charlestown with “hot shots”, setting fire to the structures they hit, discouraging the snipers and creating a protective veil of smoke for the troops in their advance up the slopes against the rebel enemy.
         Soon the town of Charlestown is on fire and plumes of thick black smoke began to cross the field, as the few remaining civilians in the town attempt to escape, dodging the bombardment along the peninsula. Gage’s through his spy glass mistaken these civilians to be rebels in retreat adding to the confusion.
         Doctor Joseph Warren arrives just before the advancement of the British up the slope, and the men in the redoubt have the encouragement that they are not cast aside, as they see the men of stature now joining them to share in this fate, whatever it may be.
         In the field and assessing the structure and position of Knowlton, Stark and Reed, along with General Putnam, pace back and forth along the firing line on his mount as the Regulars were forming into ranks preparing to engage. Putnam comes across the sixty-nine years old General Seth Pomeroy with a musket at the fence. “Would you assume to be in charge, sir?” Putnam offers to the general his command out of respect Pomeroy turns to looks up at Putnam upon his horse answering, “Today I make my stand for liberty as a volunteer Israel.” and returns his attention back on the barges crossing the river.
         Three companies move from the fence to the village of Bunker Hill assembling along the main street at the foot of the pastures. Captains Wheeler, and Crosby extend their companies to protect the extreme right of the fortifications on the lower hill of Russell’s pasture from being flanked.
         From his mount Putnam observes a second wave of Regulars disembarking their transports at the Old Battery and Marlin’s shipyard. He estimates nearly three thousand men are gathering on the beach. The men who land at these locations are forming in ranks that will advance directly for the redoubt under General Pigot.
         The men on both sides are sweltering to the sunny summer afternoon heat bearing down on them. The fire coming from Copps Hill now focuses on the entrenchments while the Red coats, watch as they assemble in to ranks. Roxbury is now under fire from the southern batteries at Boston Neck. It seems as though the entire country side was in violent convulsion.
         Smoke billows from the ships and the black smoke coming from the burning town changes direction and instead of covering the advancement of the British it blew out to sea obscuring the vision of the ships firing upon the peninsula.
         Thousands of spectators watch from roofs and high grounds in the country. Smoke of Charlestown burning could be seen as far away as Salem and Concord as the bells of every town church of the surrounding villages and towns were ringing the alarm. Men begin to assemble as word that Gage is landing his army in Charlestown reach Artemas Ward in his headquarters.
         The Committee of Safety watches from Cambridge Headquarters, while General Ward’s aide brings the commander his horse. Artemas still suffering from an acute illness mounts his horse just as a rider from Watertown arrives handing him a dispatch informing him that; the powder he request has arrived, but from thirty six barrels only twenty-four were available as the selectmen from the towns held back what they felt is their reserve in defense of their own.
         Artemas fumes over the news and knowing then, he cannot attack he is forced to change his orders to his officers to fortify and defend. They must hold Gage to the confines of Charlestown peninsula and without much choice he fortifies the line along the peninsula to contain Gage instead of pouring his army in to defend the fortification on Bunkers hill.
         The sound of drummers signal the beginning of the advance as Howe marches his right wing into the field toward the fence line while his cannons fire to protect their advance, but the “grape” shot is ineffective against the rebel position.
         Howe’s Grenadiers land and are directed by him to march up the beach along the Mystic in an attempt to flank the enemy, while General Pigot marches his men up the slope directly against the redoubt and breastwork. The Regulars move forward under the burden of the heat and weight of a full gear pack. They are half the distance from the fences, and yet not a shot from the enemy is fired upon them, giving the troops confidence that they can reach the redoubts and fences. But the first obstacles prove to be hard to break and their formations falter into chaos.
         Inside the redoubt Colonel Prescott moves about, encouraging his men. “Do as I say and they will never breach our walls…hold all fire until I give the command.”
         Along the fence Putnam rode back and forth with the same order, “Do not fire until they are upon us…you are all marksmen – don’t one of you fire until you see the white of their eyes.” This order was passed along the entire defense by the subordinate officers and Sergeants.
         Anxious, a few of the men from the redoubt fire, and Prescott rushes to their position threatening to shoot the next man himself who disobeys his orders, while his officers run along the top of the parapet kicking up any rifles from taking aim to prevent the reoccurrence.
         In Gallop, Putnam directs his saber to a young lieutenant at the fence position and scolds, “You fire that rifle again young sir and I will run you through.” The young man knows it is a promise that will be kept.
         Callender’s artillery opens fire on the flanking guard marching up the beach, with Starks’ troops forming in three ranks behind the hastily built beach wall lying in wait. Lieutenant Hutchins peers through a slight gap between the rocks, and in one gallant command, he stands to order his men, “Stand! Ready! Fire!”
         Without much thought Malachi and John stand with their muskets cocked and blast the ranks of the Royal Welch Fusiliers point blank. Before there was even time to think, twenty men lay dead a few feet in front of the wall in a lump of shredded flesh. A second blast follows in chorus and another twenty fall dead to the volley. The intensity of the fire forces the Regulars to retreat and to re-form before advancing a second time.
         John looks to Malachi. “My God,” he gasps. Malachi cannot believe the horror of what he had just been part. Lieutenant Hutchins hit the young men hard on their backs with his hand, “Snap out of it you two…load your weapons and prepare for a second assault.”
         All along the firing line and redoubts the order resounds, “Fire!” and every rifle explodes in point blank fury into the leading ranks.
         “Fire at the white belts and the fancy coats – These are their officers!” shout the experienced officers to the men on the American line.
         The Colonial’s use the fence to rest their pieces, giving them more accuracy as officers are pointed out by a sergeant who challenges the men, “There! See that officer! Let’s have a shot at him!”
         Volley after volley, the Americans fire until the British ranks break and retreat. The Huzza of victory can be heard coming from the redoubts and breastworks where some of the men have run out beyond the breastworks wanting to pursue, but the officers running before the men constrain them to return to the breastworks.
         The inhabitants watching from distant roof tops also cheer and are heard by the men at the breastworks and fence. Colonel Prescott is proud of his men and walks among them with praise and congratulations. The men are beaming with newfound inspiration, now that they have proven to themselves that the British are not invincible.
         General Putnam rides up the slope to Bunkers Hill to urge the troops there to re-enforce the forward line on the lower hill. From his position Putnam sees many of the troops are stopped beyond the neck by the barrage of fire that consistently and with effect range hits every square inch of the entry of the peninsula.
Putnam rides hard to reach the stagnant troops attempting to move these men under Colonel Gerrish, who needs the General’s blunt persuasions to move the units forward, but Gerrish stops his men short when they reach the larger hill. A majority of the men from Medford, under Colonel Henry Gardner, help construct the fortifications on the higher hill, with the remainder of Starks’ men scattering along the fence and others file to the redoubt.
         The fusiliers and light infantry take three attempts at breaching the wall on the Mystic shore, then retreat back to their boats after taking heavy losses and sail to find another landing point.
         Malachi looks beyond the wall at the carnage and notices the sand is dyed red with blood, draining into the Mystic. It would be a sight he would remember to the day he dies. Howe’s command attacking the fence persists, but soon he too must follow Pigot’s retreat from the redoubt.
         The simmering hot day was calm in contrast to the man-made whirlwind of havoc and chaos about the peninsula as Charlestown burned to the ground with buildings crumbling, while cannonades fired from ships and barges continued all through the day. Bodies lay in the open fields and now ranks can be seen forming for a second attack.
         The Colonial’s are not without casualties, and the men complain about being low in ammunition. Musket balls whiz past them, finding home in someone close by with a gruesome thud and agonizing cry of pain.
         The grass and dirt is red, mixing to become a muddy fertile soil. Men began to escort family members with wounds from the field, as Prescott and his Captains tried to turn them around to stand their ground, but some of the men had already spent their ammunition and saw little purpose in staying.
         Howe finds he has lost his entire staff in the first attack, but reforms his ranks to begin an advance again. The drums begin cadence as the ranks advance in the same order as the first. The men along the breastworks and fences stand confident that they will resist this attack also.          Gage this time moves his cannons along the road to within three hundred yards, and in line with the fence line to place a severe and effective fire on the enemy position. The advancing ranks, unlike during the first attack, now fire as they are marching up the incline.
         Three of Callender’s artillery pieces are hit and he withdraws his remaining cannons to the higher hill. His withdrawal angers Putnam who blocks the artillery being pulled away from the forward position, “The cartridges are too big for my cannons! I must remove the cannon to safety.”
“Make them work…get back along the line, Captain,” Putnam aims his pistol at Callender’s head, who, although reluctant, returns to the fence until the battle ensues, taking his first opportunity to desert the field, along with some of his men who abandon the artillery in its place.
         Howe stood on the field with a protective circle of his aides and fellow officers. In one moment he stands in this crowd, and in the next he stood alone, as all the others around him perish in a sudden volley of lead from the enemy line along the fence.
         Ward, now on his mount, shouts orders to the companies assembling to re-enforce, but in the confusion some of the officers mislead their men to other positions, or are ignored by men who did not recognize orders from anyone except their direct commanders, some which were already in the fight.
         The Royal ranks move in to find the pasture fences are difficult to tear apart, slowing down their advance. The bodies of their comrades become an additional obstacle along with the tall grass.
         As before, the Americans wait until they are in point blank range before they open fire, and again the first ranks are slaughtered. Volley after volley, the Americans rain lead upon the advancing British ranks, which press on with veteran fortitude and refuse to allow these ragtag rebel forces to repel them again. This stubbornness and the incentive to prevail causes this second attack to suffer even worse casualties than the first, and the men falter and run from the field in full flight, with many survivors of the onslaught taking refuge aboard the transports and refusing to leave them. Again the Americans celebrate with hussars and men standing upon the breastwork wall taunting the British troops.
         The British officers argue with Howe, who insists upon assembling another attack. “It is suicide,” one officer objects, “It is the most defensive position we have ever encountered.” He swears.
Howe remains firm in his conviction, not willing to accept defeat. Some of his officers report hearing the rebels along the breastworks calling out for ammunition, adding to Howe’s incentive to try again.
         It took every effort for the British officers to threaten and force their men into ranks, and there is a very long interval between the second and third charge, a pause that gave the Americans the confidence that there will not be another attack.
         Colonel Gardner arrives from Cambridge with Captain Patterson’s regiment late in the afternoon, and joins the battle. Putnam is intent on building the second fortification on the higher hill and deploys half of the arriving troops to help the others, who are already flinging shovels full of dirt from the trench.
         During the course of the battle, Artemas Ward receives his official commission to the rank of Major-general by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, and Ward is the first to hold this rank in the Massachusetts Provincial Army. Angry, he scoffs at the promotion and its timing-he is now the official scapegoat if things end badly.
         His promotion also led to the promotion of Jonathan Ward, who is a second cousin to Artemas, to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, then assuming the command of the Connecticut regiment.
         Major Scarborough Gridley, Colonel Richard Gridley’s son, receives orders to march his artillery companies to support Charlestown, but instead he marches his companies to Cobble Hill to fire upon the frigate Glasgow.
         Across the river after witnessing the disarray in Howe’s attack from Copps Hill Battery, General Clinton crosses the river with four hundred re-enforcements to assist the assault. The soldiers who survived the first two attacks refuse to fall into ranks and the officer’s poke and jab at them with swords, promising certain death either as a soldier or as a coward.
         Howe had made adjustments to his initial plan with Clinton’s recommendations to move his artillery closer and in direct line of the breastwork and redoubt. This new plan is to begin in the advancement of the ranks without distinction of the first two assaults with one exception: that instead of the assault being directed at the fence, Howe’s advancement would feint left and combine a direct attack with Pigot’s men exclusive to the redoubt, with the expectation to overwhelm the enemy position there.
         Again Pigot forms his ranks to make the direct attack against the redoubt and breastworks, and Howe’s men form ranks together with the fresh soldiers under General Clinton and again the drums began to beat cadence to the ranks’ advance. Prescott looks through his porthole baffled at the enemy persistence.
         Howe’s third assault advances to almost the place where hundreds of his men had fallen under the enemy fire, and then he directs his men for the first time to attack the redoubt with a bayonet charge. “Double quick march!”
         Two cannon that follow Howe’s ranks turn and begin to fire upon the rear of the redoubt, where Lieutenant Prescott’s young nephew is already bleeding profusely from a wound in his shoulder and taking refuge from the battle as this place.
         He sees the feint, calling to his uncle, and attempts to load and fire a shot into the advancing ranks now coming from the east. His uncle turns to his beckoning to witness his nephew’s body shred apart from a burst of grape shot.
         Prescott is momentarily stunned by the loss of his nephew, but takes hold of his wits and with tenacity not to be defeated begins to organize his men in a last stand to defend the position by arranging the men with ammunition to move to the front ranks behind the breast work.
Many of the men at the redoubt are down to their last shot. Prescott orders that the cartridges of the disabled cannons be opened and the powder distributed to the men. Some of the men with muskets load the barrels with stones, being without musket balls.
         The Colonel then moves those that have bayonets to form a second rank, and after the first rank depletes their ammo, the men with bayonets are to become the next defense, while those already out of ammo prepare to fight with whatever they have: butts of rifles, swords, hand knives, even sticks and rock, if it need be.
         Putnam saw at this moment that without ammunition, defeat was imminent, and sends his son, Captain Israel Putnam Jr., to inform Artemas that without the resupply of ammunition the redoubt and position at the fence would fail.
         In receiving this dispatch from the young Captain, General Artemas Ward knew his powder stores are barely enough to resist a direct attack on Cambridge. He must hold Gage to the confinements of the peninsula or else all is lost – Charlestown peninsula would need to be sacrificed to maintain the siege.
         Captain Putnam refuses the order to hold positions at the peninsula fortifications and rallies his father’s regiment marching them with a contingent of Spencer’s men toward the battle. Artemas maintains his decision to re-enforce the breastworks at Prospect Hill and Lechmere Point to contain Gage to the confines of the neck understand the young Captain refusal to abandon his father.
         Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ward took his new command of the Connecticut regiment to re-enforce Colonel Sargent’s position in defending against an attack by the British by way of Willis Creek.
         General Putnam orders Captain Trevetts as he arrives on Bunkers Hill to “man the abandoned cannons and bring them back to the position at the fence”.
         Colonel Stark saw the feint maneuver and although some of his officers shout for him to give the order to flank the exposed rear of the British ranks, Stark knows it will have little effect. Instead he gives his men the order to fall back in order, giving cover to the men escaping from the redoubt.
         Major Pitcairn, who led the bayonet charge at Lexington, is shot twice as he advances his men up the slope. He uses a tree to pull himself up to breach the breastwork wall shouting, “Now for the glory of the marines!” The waiting Colonial ranks respond to his tenacity with four shots that send him back over the wall with mortal wounds which he will die of sometime later.
         The redoubt is in full breach and the Colonial’s who have spent the last rounds begin to falter. Prescott, hacking with his sword, fires his last pistol round into the face of a charging Red Coat as a round tears through his jacket so close it burned his flesh as it passed. The battlements are run over, but still he is determined to hold, with his attention drawn to a calling voice, “Retreat the Men! For God sake! Save the men!”
Doctor Joseph Warren takes two steps and is shot down dead.
         Prescott, now out of shot, stands fast as a soldier aims down on him, taking his shot, and again another musket round passes so close it tears through the cloth of his frock. There is nothing more to do except to die, but not today, he resolves, and he gives the hurting order to retreat.
         As the men come out from the redoubt, Colonel Stark’s men lay a covering fire to protect Prescott’s retreat, never turning their backs to the enemy the entire course back to the neck.
         At this point, the men who have fought along the breastworks and redoubt were using whatever they had to fight the Regulars with, including rocks, sticks, rifle butts, feet and hands, but even so they are driven from the hill, with bayonets and cannon firing as they flee, taking their heaviest loss of life during the battle.
         Malachi carries his friend John from the field with a wound from a musket ball in the foot. Stark calls to his men to again retreat, and after two hours of fighting, the peninsula is lost, due to lack of round and powder rendering the men no longer able to continue the fight. Fifteen thousand Militiamen stood watching from the fortifications separating the neck from Cambridge, forcing Howe to hold his men back from pursuit. Howe stands on the high hill watching the rebels in their retreat. His casualties are heavy and he’s lost his most experienced officers, and although he’s technically won the day, he cannot take pleasure, failing to break the siege.
         The Americans fall back to the defenses along a line, confining the British to the Charlestown Neck, as General Putnam stares out over the scene, surveying the appalling sacrifice of good men, he braces, expecting Gage’s army to follow up in an attempt to break loose from the peninsula.
         Some of the men who were safe behind the battlements risk their safety to help those with wounds from the field, Colonel Prescott looks to Putnam and is speechless, his eyes mix with anger and betrayal, knowing his men needed only to have re-supplied, then they would have held. Captain Trevett with his men manages to save one of the six cannons brought into the battle. The people who witnessed the battle are at a loss. Why did Artemas Ward not attack having such numbers stationed at the fortifications? Artemas saw the futility in the winning of a single battle – to lose the objective of siege.
         Putnam sends Major McClary to get bandages and medical supplies to take care of the men with wounds that lay about the battlements. The men, friends, and some family tend to the most critical.
         The Major rides to Medford where his New Hampshire Company is stationed, returning with the supplies. He is in the company of Medford women who volunteer to nurse the men. Later that day the Major leads a recon of Bunkers Hill, now under the occupation of British troops. He is discovered and is killed. Major McClary is the last man to fall that day on the field of Bunkers Hill.
         Wagons carrying the wounded begin to arrive at the field hospital in Cambridge, where Surgeon John Warren began to worry about his older brother Joseph. As he tended the wounds of men he hears rumors about his brother being shot. With urgency he leaves the hospital and heads for the battlefield, crossing paths with Colonel Prescott, who witnessed his brother being shot in the back of his head and with regret assured him Joseph was dead.
John refuses to accept this and must find his brothers body. Though he is distraught over his loss, he braves the active bombardment to make his way to within the site of the battlements now under the control of Howe’s men.
         Holding up his white surgeon’s jacket, he is cautious in his approach to a group of soldiers, who shout at him to stop, but John Warren’s need to see his brother is greater than any concern for his own life, as he continues to beg with them to let him pass.
         He is within a few feet of the battlements, as one soldier came at him with his bayonet. John pleads with the soldier, but the soldier has no compassion, being witness to his own friends being slaughtered barely a few hours earlier, and so thrusts his rifle at the rebel, catching his side.
         John falls to the ground and looks about at the horror in the faces of men in their last moments of mortality. Rising to his feet, he stands to face the soldier, and without another word, manages his way back to the hospital. There, alone in his grief, he sutures his own wound, with his deepest pain being the lost of his best friend, his brother.
         Over the next few days, depositions would be taken; Captain Callender would be brought up on charges of cowardice, and Major Gridley for willful disobedience to the orders to support the battle with his artillery. Both were court-martialed and dismissed from service.
         For many years, the men and officers who fought this battle spoke little of it, and it was not until the perspective of hindsight that this battle is recognized for its importance, and for the valor of the men that fought it, those deserving of the commendation for their sacrifice of that day.

Writers note
         Accounts of the Battle of Bunkers Hill were collected from officially sworn depositions recorded in the journal of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and also the Journal of the Second Continental Congress. The enactments are drawn conclusions by cross reference based upon several sources including these depositions. The assumptions of some dialog in this dramatic exchange are fiction as in the heat of any battle there are no official records in such specific detail. The town located at the base of the smaller hill was the Township of Bunkers Hill and it was burned to the ground by American troops shortly after the battle so that British troops could not use the structures as billets – it was not rebuilt after the war. Military deposition of operations that destroyed that town have confirmed this as fact. The tradition of all historian reference to any battle is the location of the nearest town the battle was fought and in this circumstance that is the township of Bunkers Hill – so despite the argument that the battle took place on BREES hill, the facts establish the Battle of Bunkers Hill is the true identity of this battle.

CHAPTER EIGHT
“After the Battle”
June, 1775

Sunday, June 18
          General Thomas watches the transports carry more troops across to Charlestown from Boston. From this vantage point of Prospect Hill, he sees the bodies of the fallen that litter the battlefield and thinks; how tragic, a waste of good men.
          The Red Coats take possession of the fortifications which had been built by Prescott’s men just prior to the battle. There seems to be a lack of ambition for any further engagement, which surprises him somewhat, that Gage will not pursue his victory.
          The defeat of the previous day encourages the colonial’s effort toward constructing battlements, an effort which had otherwise lingered over the past few months, being the subject of an enormous effort of every soldier and officer of every rank.
          The bombardment continues all day and night, with flashes made by exploding bombs that light in a sporadic display all along the neck, as the wounded continue to be brought into the hospital, with the less critical being brought in transport by wagon to Medford, where a field hospital was set up by the local women of that town.
          The Committee of Safety circulates a flier to all the towns of the providence, informing the inhabitants about Gage’s occupation of Charlestown. Likewise, as the town anticipates his march on Cambridge, it also incites the town leaders and selectmen to rally every available man and converge on Cambridge as soon as possible, in a state of readiness to engage the enemy.
          Abigail Adams sits in her husband’s study, writing to John, who is in Philadelphia, about the terrible battle. She describes to him the continuous bombardment that began at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, and how it still continues as she writes now at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.
          Malachi sits with his back to a tree, his skin red from flash burns from the musket fire occurring in close proximity. Holding his hand in front of him, he examines the bruises on his knuckles and the cuts on his hands, not able to recall how they had gotten there. He is numb, and the scene about him seems surreal, as men carry wounded in from the battle to the hospital, which is already filled beyond capacity. His rifle lies at his side. He could never imagine such death and horror, and now, for the first time, he thinks of what he’s done, the specific acts he’s committed, re-playing them over and over again in his mind he remembers the last moments…
          The Regulars had come over the battlements, with their bayonets glistening in the hot summer sun. This was when the militia men began to falter. John Wilson swung his rifle, fending off first one then another Red Coat, both of whom kept trying to pierce him with their bayonets. All the men have spent their ammo, and the one minute it takes to reload seems an eternity, so the battle swiftly turns to hand- to-hand combat. Wilson stumbles backwards as the Red Coat charges at him, and he fires his last shot, the musket ball going through his own foot and hitting the Red Coat in the knee, the man immediately falling to the ground writhing in pain.
          Malachi remembers fighting through a blur of frenzied activity to reach his friend, and once there, helping his friend to his feet. Together they had made it back to the battlements, with lead, rocks and fire all about them bursting in thunderous explosions, but he shakes his head to clear the thought. He is safe now. By God’s grace, he has survived.
          Later, he visits his friend in Cook’s Hospital in West Cambridge. John lies in a cot, staring at the wall.
“How are you feeling? I brought you something to eat,” Malachi offers.
          “Thanks, I am famished….I lost a couple of toes, that’s all. I will be alright.” He looks around the room. Other men were not so fortunate.
          “Everything is in chaos, John…no one knows what’s happening. I saw a General digging a trench. I lost track of where Colonel Starks’ regiment is…I guess I’ll just wander about until I find him.”
          “I tried to sleep…I keep seeing the face of the young soldier trying to pierce me with his bayonet…I pulled the trigger, but wasn’t expecting it to fire…I must have forgotten to discharge in the confusion earlier,” his voice trails off. “It was madness.” He shakes his head slowly.
          Outside the sound of cannons exchange fire as more wounded are brought into the building. Surgeons in the next room amputate a man’s limb as he cries out for them to stop. The scene is ghastly. “You should be out of this place in a few days,” Malachi says.
          “Sooner if I can help it.” Two orderlies come over to a bed next to him and remove the dead soldier. A few minutes later they return with another soldier, this one with bandages covering his face. The room is full of moans and whimpers of suffering. The scent of blood, burnt flesh and excrement combine to create the foulest stench either had ever known before.
          “This fighting for liberty is not all it is cracked up to be…is it, Malachi?”
          Later that day, it begins to shower rain and the enemy’s new concern is now diverted to keeping the powder dry and the cannon fire ends. Many expect that it is more than probable for the British to attempt to pursue their victory through the night, and push their force from the Charlestown Peninsula. This fear increases the level of alert in every man on the front line, while the same anxiety is shared by each and every woman and child of every local town and village in the Boston vicinity.
          Across the bay in Boston, the streets are full of their own horror of battle, where hundreds of wounded echo the sounds of moaning and the pitched wailing of mourners finding love ones, dead, fills the night air. So many officers and good men lost, and to gain so little. Any prior assumptions of victory are lost to a sense of loss and dejection – the price that has been paid is too high. Gage walks among the awful sight and he regrets his underestimation of the rebel forces.
          The Tories meet at Fugliers Hall, worrying about revenge from the town inhabitants, fearing the city itself will burn down around them in their sleep. The day after the battle, fear of retribution on both sides causes an even worse toll upon the state of mind of troops, whether Tory or patriot, fears and anxieties abound among all within and beyond the limits of Boston proper.
          Each faction worries about what treachery the one will cause to the other. In the immediate days following the battle, the leaders of the Loyalist groups gather fifty men to form patrols to assist in the protection of Boston.
          Gage obsesses over his own fear that many of the rebel sympathizers still possess arms in secret, and this fear of retaliation from within his own encampment inspires his latest proclamation: a warning that any civilian caught with arms will be shot immediately and without trial as an enemy to the crown.
          Charlestown burns, leaving only smoldering ruins. The next day, some civilians who had taken refuge in Boston from Charlestown after the 19th of April, cross the river to search about the destruction. They have lost everything, as they find not a single building left standing. The beautiful gardens of flowers are wilted from the heat of fires; not even a picket fence survives the blaze.
          Gage has no intention of forcing a fight, and instead prepares a defense in self-preservation, and fortifies both the Boston Neck and Charlestown Neck. His adversary, General Ward at Cambridge, does the same, and still the resupply of necessary powder fails to arrive, and so Artemas Ward sends another desperate plea to the Continental Congress for powder.
          In Medford, a field hospital is camped south of the bridge, formed by a local committee of women and led by Sarah Bradlee Fulton. Along with the many women of Medford, she nurses the wounded as best as she can. In some circumstances they even find it necessary to perform amputations. It is difficult and heart-wrenching work.
          In Cambridge, two more field hospitals are set up, one at Reverend Cook’s home in West Cambridge, and the other at the house of Governor Oliver at the Gerry estate. The prisoners taken that day are brought to the Boston Prison and given treatment for their wounds, but many die regardless and are buried in a nearby field.
          Lieutenant-Colonel Israel Putnam Jr., searches with concern for his father, and unexpectedly happens upon him pounding rods into the ground along with the troops on Prospect Hill. Nearly four thousand troops were encamped on and about the hill, which holds a vantage point, being of such a height where all enemy and friendly positions are able to be observed.
          News circulates about the death of General Joseph Warren. Many good men and officers met their end on the peninsula, and family members and volunteers converge on Cambridge to find out the fate of loved ones. It would be many days before an accurate count and status of dead and wounded will be compiled and posted. Until the immediate danger of a pending attack passed, the construction of breastworks, ramparts and fosses occupy every man, from private to general.
          The New Hampshire regiments, with the support of Colonel Poor’s men, work to fortify Winter Hill. Here the largest of the forts is surrounded by numerous entrenchments, and at night it becomes a hazard to walk the grounds, given the dangerous possibility of falling into one of the open trenches.
          The spread of small pox begins to emerge, as General Gage uses this tactic of spreading among the rebels disease by forcing many of the sick from Boston out into the countryside. Those infected stumble into American camps where precautions are taken to care for those with the infection, but the disease indiscriminately takes its toll of a number of children and the very old through the summer months. It is only a prelude of the epidemic to occur the next year.

Philadelphia – Second Continental Congress
          Based upon the intelligence reports arriving by the hour, the situation of Ticonderoga and Crown Point demonstrates the significant importance of capturing these two forts.
          The squabbling between officers over command seems petty now, compared to the more evolving circumstances developing in Montreal and Quebec, where the English and Canadian Indian representatives are in convention with the Chiefs of the Six Nations, an attempt to enlist them on the side of the Crown against the Colonies.
          Captain Phelps arrives with a dispatch from Colonel Arnold from Crown Point. He has sent mortars back to Ticonderoga and is preparing to hold the fort, expecting a larger force of Regulars under command of Governor Carlton’s Canadian militia to attack at any moment.
          Other communications came from Albany, confirming the providence of New York will accept the responsibility to furnish all provisions: food, equipment, ammunition to include whatever amounts of powder it will require to arm the forts. The first of these provision trains arrives at Ticonderoga just prior to receipt of the letter.
          A Committee of Supply is sent to Ticonderoga and Crown Point to take charge of the artillery and move these pieces to the south end of Lake George.
          The Connecticut Provincial Congress informs the Continental Congress of the four companies of men being sent to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and insures the order of five hundred pounds of powder will follow at the soonest possible opportunity.
          Still, the insistence of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress is clear. They continue conveying the urgency to have the artillery re-deployed to Boston, and the lack of progress in that regard is frustrating. It seems the members of the Continental Congress have become deaf and blind to the military actions taking place in Boston.
          Colonel Arnold, finding it hard to sleep, sits at his desk aboard the Enterprise and writes to the Massachusetts Committee of Safety:

Crown Point, May 29, 1775

GENTLEMEN:
          I was equally surprised and alarmed this day, on receiving advice, via Albany, that the Continental Congress had recommended the removing of all the cannon, stores, etc., at Ticonderoga to Fort George, and evacuating Ticonderoga entirely, which being the only key of this country, leaves our very extensive frontiers open to the ravages of the enemy, and if put into execution, will be the entire ruin of five hundred families to the northward of Ticonderoga. I have written to the Congress and given my sentiments very freely, with your instructions to me, as I fancy they have had no intelligence of my appointment or orders. Colonel Allen has entirely given up the command. I have one hundred and fifty men here, and expect, in two or three weeks, to have my regiment completed, and believe they will be joined by a thousand men from Connecticut and New York. I have sent to Lake George, six large brass and iron mortars and howitzer, and one brass and three iron twelve pounders; and shall pursue your orders with all the dispatch in my power.

I am, Gentlemen, with great respect, your most obedient and humble servant.

BENEDICT ARNOLD

          The order for a full withdrawal from these two forts is re-evaluated because of this letter, and a unanimous vote rescinds the order to move the artillery from Ticonderoga. The New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts Provincial Congresses then amend the order to Arnold and Allen, indicating that only artillery and ordnance in surplus is be redeployed to Fort George.

          On June 15, the First Continental Congress appoints Colonel George Washington as the Commander in Chief of the Army. While Washington is in Philadelphia he begins raising an army accumulating from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina militias.
          At Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the complication over who is in command continues, as Colonel Benjamin Hinman arrives at Crown Point with a Connecticut regiment of 1,000 men, insisting he take command of the Forts.
          Colonel Arnold refuses to relinquish his command of Crown Point, stating that the orders Colonel Hinman presents indicate Hinman is in command of Ticonderoga only, and they do not specifically include Crown Point.
          The Massachusetts Provincial Congress, already attempting to quell the current situation, with Colonel Arnold disputing Ethan Allen’s authority of command at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, finds the situation is now exacerbated by a new conflict over command with the Connecticut commander. It is mandated that a delegation be sent to the fort to resolve this situation, and the new commission arrives on June 22.
          The delegates order Colonel Arnold to relinquish his command to Colonel Hinman, meaning Arnold would become his subordinate. Arnold becomes visibly agitated, and refuses, believing his previous actions have earned him command, and justify his disobedience.
          On June 24, Arnold resigns his commission and gives up his command, returning to his home without the any indication of gratitude or acknowledgment for his service. He has spent £1,000 of his own money in the effort to capture the fort, and now must petition for reimbursement from a penniless and seemingly unappreciative Congress.
          The men under Arnold’s command became mutinous after being incited by Arnold that their previous service is invalid and their pay forfeited.
          The Massachusetts Committee, being accosted by the mob of angry men, assures them receipt of their pay upon verification of their service. Using the money brought with them, the delegation pays the men with cash and joins them into the ranks of the companies under Colonel Hinman. The fight for liberty hangs by a mere thread.

CHAPTER NINE
“The Commander in Chief”
July, 1775

         A mixed company of fifty-nine Tuscarora’s and Oneidas Indians arrived from Stockbridge and began nightly raids into the enemy encampment on the Charlestown and Boston peninsulas, killing or capturing British sentries and bringing them back to camp as prisoners.
         For the next weeks skirmishes break out as the British test the American fortifications. Several alarms are sent out to alert the minutemen of a fear that Gage is ready to break out from the Boston and Charlestown peninsulas, and so the men are kept on high alert both day and night.
         General Thomas is supervising his men with a team of oxen pulling his only twenty-four pound cannon up the steep slope of Roxbury Heights. This task takes the better part of the early morning, and after setting the heavy piece weighing in at 5,000 pounds to its position, he and his men rest.
         The General walks over to the cannon and looks out at the Boston common, surveying the activity of troops being marched about the grassy grounds. He then orders his artillery Captain to load and fire, placing the first round squarely in the middle of the parade grounds on Boston Neck, sending the soldiers scattering for cover.
         The General revels in the chaos it causes and orders two more shots to follow. “That’ll give them something to think about!” he shouts in jubilation.
         On the second day of July, the batteries at Boston Neck open fire on Roxbury, setting fire to a house. The militia and minutemen put great effort into putting out the fire before it spreads, much to the gratitude of the homeowner who had run about, frantic at the thought of losing all his belongings.
         In Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress begins to raise the first continental army, which consists of ten companies of riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
         As these units assemble and prepare to march to Cambridge, the Continental Congress finds itself in the heat of a debate concerning the new commissions for commanding officers, beginning with the appointment of George Washington as Commander-in-chief over John Hancock.
         Many in the ranks are in opposition to the placement of General Israel Putnam over General Spencer and General Seth Pomeroy over General Thomas. Pomeroy, upon receiving his commission, agrees with this opinion and so declines the appointment, leaving it to fall upon Thomas.
         General Spencer, on the other hand, feels he has been snubbed for political reasons, and rides off discontent, only to return days later at the beckoning of friends who remind him that the cause is about liberty and not glory or fame. He humbles himself to approach and report to his commander, General Putnam, with apologies for his behavior.
         George Washington, after his appointment to Commander-in-Chief of the Army, leaves Philadelphia on the twenty-first of June for New York City where he spends the next week and receives word about the defeat on Bunkers Hill while en route from that place to White Plains immediately changing his course direct to Boston. He is met along the route by a committee sent from the provincial Congress of Massachusetts at Springfield.
         Washington later arrives in Cambridge headquarters on July second, about two o’clock in the afternoon, and he is led by a company of light Calvary. Crowds of civilians surround his entourage marching along the road.
         Artemas Ward meets with the Commander of the new army and they go into the headquarters, where Ward and his staff brief Washington on the immediate situation.
         Upon entering the camp, Washington, taking note of the troops he is to command, finds their condition is appalling, especially the disarray of the camp. He wastes no time in expressing his discontent with the brunt of his blame falling on General Artemas Ward. He is deliberate also in placing his blame on the failure of the general’s subordinate officers having a more direct contact with the enlisted.
         The next morning Washington, in company of Ward, rides to Watertown and appears before the provincial Congress of Massachusetts.
         “While we applaud that attention to the public good manifested in your appointment, we equally admire that disinterested virtue and distinguished patriotism, which alone call you from those enjoyments of domestic life, which a sublime and manly taste, joined with a most affluent fortune, can afford, to hazard your life, and to endure the fatigues of war, in defense of the rights of mankind, and the good of your country.”
         General Washington then rides to Medford, where he takes residence with Colonel Stark and his wife at the Royall mansion and sleeps sound after his long journey. The following morning, he rises at daybreak to a hearty breakfast prepared by Mrs. Stark, a small indulgence before he is set to officially take command of the army.
         The officer of every regiment which was not active in the field at that time musters his men into ranks and parades them into the commons of Harvard, where the formal change of command from General Artemas Ward to General George Washington is to take place.
         The armies that gather from the many counties of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and the arriving companies from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia all stand amidst the Massachusetts army regiments and militia.
         The ranks buzz with hearsay and speculation as to what is about to take place. It suddenly grew quiet, as six mounted horses rode to stop before the assembly of men. The tallest figure sat in the middle of the others, and is, without doubt, General Washington.
         Captain Griffin, from his mount, calls the troops to attention, preparing to read the general orders of the new commander. Clearing his throat, he shouts loud enough for all the men in the ranks to hear.
         “Head Quarters, Cambridge, July 4, 1775…it is here and so be it ordered to follow…exact returns to be made by the proper Officers of all the provisions ordnance, ordnance stores, powder, lead working tools of all kinds, tents, camp kettles, and all other stores under their respective care, belonging to the armies at Roxbury and Cambridge. The commanding Officer of each Regiment to make a return of the number of blankets wanted to complete every man with one, at least…The Honorable Artemas Ward, Charles Lee, Philip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam Esquires are appointed Major Generals of the American Army, and due obedience is to be paid them as such. The Continental Congress not having completed the appointments of the other officers in said army nor had sufficient time to prepare and forward their Commissions; any officer is to continue to do duty in the Rank and Station he at present holds, until further orders…The General most earnestly requires, and expects, a due observance of those articles of war, established for the Government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness…Thomas Mifflin Esquire: is appointed by the General one of his Aid-de-Camps. Joseph Reed Esquire, is in like manner appointed Secretary to the General, and they are in future to be considered and regarded as such…The Continental Congress having now taken all the Troops of the several Colonies, which have been raised, or which may be hereafter raised for the support and defense of the Liberties of America; into their Pay and Service. They are now the Troops of the UNITED PROVINCES of North America (at this the troops cheer); and it is hoped that all Distinctions of Colonies will be laid aside; so that one and the same Spirit may animate the whole, and the only contest be, who shall render, on this great and trying occasion, the most essential service to the great and common cause in which we are all engaged…It is required and expected that exact discipline be observed, and due subordination prevail through the whole Army, as a failure in these most essential points must necessarily produce extreme hazard, disorder and confusion; and end in shameful disappointment and disgrace…The General most earnestly requires, and expects, a due observance of those articles of war, established for the Government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness; and in like manner requires and expects, of all Officers, and Soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine Service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense…..” The Captain looks over at the General, concerned that he is perhaps expecting conduct beyond what these men are capable of, but then he goes back to his reading of the general orders.
“…All Officers are required and expected to pay diligent attention to keep their men neat and clean; to visit them often at their quarters, and inculcate upon them the necessity of cleanliness, as essential to their health and service. They are particularly to see, that they have straw to lie on, if to be had, and to make it known if they are destitute of this article. They are also to take care that necessaries be provided in the camps and frequently filled up to prevent their being offensive and unhealthy. Proper notice will be taken of such Officers and men, as distinguish themselves by their attention to these necessary duties…The commanding Officer of each Regiment is to take particular care that not more than two men of a Company be absent on furlough at the same time, unless in very extraordinary cases …Colonel Gardner is to be buried tomorrow at 3 o’ clock, p.m. with the military Honors due to so brave and gallant an Officer, who fought, bled and died in the Cause of his country and mankind. His own Regiment, except the company at Malden, to attend on this mournful occasion. The places of those Companies in the Lines on Prospect Hill, to be supplied by Colonel Glovers’ regiment until the funeral is over…No person is to be allowed to go to fresh-water pond for fishing or on any other occasion as there may be danger of introducing the small pox into the army…It is strictly required and commanded that there be no firing of cannon or small Arms from any of the lines, or elsewhere, except in case of necessary, immediate defense, or special order given for that purpose…All prisoners taken, deserters coming in, persons coming out of Boston, who can give any intelligence; any captures of any kind from the enemy, are to be immediately reported and brought up to Headquarters in Cambridge…Captain Griffin, myself (he pauses and clears his throat) is appointed Aide-de-Camp to General Lee and to be regarded as such…The Guard for the security of the stores at Watertown, is to be increased to thirty men immediately…A Sergeant and six men to be set as a Guard to the Hospital, and are to apply to Doctor Rand …Complaints having been made against John White, Quarter Master of Colonel Nixon’s Regiment for misdemeanors in drawing out provisions for more men than the Regiment consisted of; a Court Martial consisting of one Captain and four subalterns is ordered to be held on said White, who are to inquire, determine and report…The General desires that some carpenters be immediately set to work at Brattle’s Stables, to fix up stalls for eight horses, and more if the room will admit, with suitable racks, mangers, et cetera…”

         Returning the orders to his pouch, Captain Griffin calls the men to attention. Two officers step from the first ranks carrying a flag. They attach it to the sling of the same flag pole that once flew the flag of the Crown. On April 19, the crown flag was exchanged to the solid red flag with the embroidered inscription: AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN.
         Now in respectful ceremony of drum roll, this flag is slung down and the first flag of the United Army is hoisted upwards to the cheers of the ranks. The Continental colors flag which bore thirteen red and white stripes with a Union Jack in its upper corner wavers in the wind. Malachi stood in awe as it rose, thinking to himself, “This is who I am now.”
         Captain Griffin is taken by the sight, too, and then turns to the new army and releases them to their commanders. The men parade from the field and head back to their encampments, where they are given further instructions to clean up their messes and tend to their attire as best they can. There are many men who still do not have uniforms, resulting in a rag-tag appearance for many of the units.
         Later that same day, General Washington, along with his second in command, General Charles Lee, rides through each of the camps. “Look at this rabble….a disgrace. There has to be discipline, Charles…there must be dignity and pride for us to win this war….look there, are my eyes deceiving me, Sir, or is that a Captain shaving a Private? Good Lord, there must be distance between the men and officers…Look at this! Officers playing cards with Sergeants and Privates? We must get to the bottom of this in establishing order of rank as the first principle we must endow…make this a priority in your staff meeting.”

         John Wilson was out of the hospital for two weeks, but stays in camp bunking with the Liberty Express riders. Malachi, returning from Chelsea, enters the tent to find his friend sitting and talking with two riders. “Say, friend…I’m glad you have not left before I bid you a fair journey!”
         “Malachi! I thought you forgot me.”
         “Not a chance…here’s a letter to bring to Rosy.” John takes it and tucks it carefully inside his shirt.
         “Malachi, I would like you to meet Isaac Sears from New York, and Peter Covenhoven of New Jersey, they just arrived this morning….Master Isaac says the Liberty boys are looking for riders and I am considering the offer…what do you think?”
         “What about your foot?’
         “I think most of my service will be done from the saddle and will not matter much…but first I will return home and give the foot a time to heal better.”
         Malachi shakes the hands of the two men, whose clothes are splashed in dust and mud from their long ride. “You get to go all over?”
         “From Canada, to south of the Carolina’s,” Isaac responds.
         “They got need of more riders, Malachi.”
         “My enlistment will not be up for another eight months, maybe then.”
         “I got to do something in this war, Malachi…I just cannot expect to sit home and watch.”
         “You be safe…they hang riders when they are caught.”
         “Hanged, blown apart by cannonades, run through by bayonets…it’s all the same, is it not?”
         “You have made your point…did you hear about General Washington’s arrival?”
         “Everyone in the country including Gage has heard by now. Were you at his assembly yesterday?”
         “Yes, and mere feet away as he rode through camp earlier, too.”
         “So what do you think of your new Commander?” asks Isaac.
         Malachi turns to Sears. “I have heard of his actions with the French and Iroquois Indians. It shall be my honor to be under his command.”
         “Well, old friend…it looks as if it is time for me to go…and gentlemen, as soon as my foot is ready, you shall be hearing from me.”
         “We look forward, Sir,” and he shakes his hand. John picks up his bags and limps using a cane for support from the tent with Malachi.
         “When you see your sister, give her a great big kiss for me.”
         “Rosy will be expecting you to return soon, so you take care and do not be a hero. Stay low, move fast and shoot first!”
         “You make sure she knows I will be safe…tell her I miss her so much.”
         “I will, brother in-law…do not come home dead.”
         It is the first time since they were little boys that they have gone in different directions. Malachi waves one last time to his friend, as he disappears over the hilly road.
         In the days following his arrival, Washington stations one thousand men in and around Medford. The homeless refugees from burnt-out Charlestown and the persons fleeing Boston both felt safe with the new commander.
         As winter came, the trees in the “Charlestown Wood Lots” help keep the patriots warm. The soldiers took special pride in the chopping of these trees, as General Gage had once issued a proclamation to keep those same trees off limits, except for the use as prime wood in the construction of His Majesty’s ships.
         The new army relies upon the surrounding communities to contribute rations and oil for lamps. Thomas Brooks, Esq. supplies the camp at Winters Hill with wood during the winter months. Sarah Bradlee Fulton, the organizer of the field hospital in Medford, volunteers to carry messages to and from Boston during the siege. Among her many dangerous exploit, she also smuggles food and medical supplies into the ravaged city for those family and friends who are too ill to leave.
         A committee is formed by Abigail Adams to oversee the management of the poor and displaced. They also take the responsibility to provide an area of quarantine for those who had been deliberately sent out of Boston by General Gage, who had known these people were sick with smallpox. There is not a doubt that the General’s intent is to use the disease as a weapon to ravage the countryside among the colonial rebels.
         That year, nearly fifty-six people die of the disease, twenty-three are children. The price for liberty begins to mount a toll on the innocent. But the true cost and wreckage of the war will not yet be felt; it will yield its worst results later as the wage of war escalates.

CHAPTER TEN
“Qui Transtulit Sustinet!”
July, 1775 – August, 1775

In the days following the change in command, George Washington evaluated the entire battlefield for its defenses. The scarcity of gunpowder confounded Washington, and so he dispatched an express to the delegation in Philadelphia for emergency resupply. In the meantime, the line between both necks was dependent upon only the valor and courage of the men holding the positions, with only nine cartridges distributed to each man.
Washington noted, too, that his men were spread too thin along the fortifications which extended from the Mystic to the Charles River. He realized the Regulars had more experience and discipline and so could launch an attack by their own will against any position of their choosing, including where his fortifications were weakest.
The potential threat of the Regulars having the instinct to overrun the American line at any moment challenges Washington to train, organize, and teach discipline to these raw recruits, as quickly as possible, while at the same time engaging in an active defense.
On July 9, Washington holds a council of war with his staff officers: Major Generals Artemas Ward, Charles Lee, Phillip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam, along with Brigadier Generals Seth Pomeroy, Richard Montgomery, Davis Wooster, William Heath, Joseph Spencer, John Thomas, John Sullivan, and Nathaniel Greene; are greeted by Washington as they enter his office.
Billy Lee pours a sherry for each of the officers who share idle talk until Washington calls them around a map he has stretched out on his desk.
Before dissolving into the details of his plan Washington begins with his first order of the council resolving in the appointment of the new adjutant general, Horatio Gates, who receives the rank of Brigadier General. The war council now focuses on the map before them that escalates to animated debate, as to whether they will attack or maintain the present fortification; considering the shortages in supplies, powder and training as the central issue.
In spite of the unanimity of his subordinate officers protesting the idea of direct engagement, Washington insists to his Generals that they must calculate on a speculation and hope for an opportunity to arise.
The staff calculates the troops of British to be about 11,000, and in order to respond to that number, to support the idea of direct attack against Boston, will require the American force to consist of not less than 22,000 men. The last roll call acknowledges there are about 17,000 men assembling in the camps of Roxbury and Cambridge, including the sick and absent. This council continues late into the evening, concluding that the prudent thing to do is maintain their current positions and contain the enemy to Boston.
Each morning after regimental prayer, new orders are read by commanders to their troops. General Washington and Lee kept a presence among the men and would ride along the front every day. The Officers distance themselves from associating with the enlisted. To encourage discipline, a code of punishment for insubordination is typically thirty to forty lashes for the offense.
Tents speckle the fields, the orchids and the commons, as cows, oxen, horses and sheep graze in the plush fields of green. Fields of corn are eaten down to the stalks and wood thickets are cut bare of trees in preparation for winter. The tents were not uniform in their construction and varied in materials – wood, canvas, earth and thickets and every possible combination of those materials – all very much to Washington’s displeasure.
Whale-boats sail from the bay, watching the British ships and sending signals to spotters along the shore. They watch for suspicious movement that could indicate preparations for attack along one of the beaches to the south or north. It is assumed that Gage intends to break free of Boston and Charlestown at his first opportunity, and Washington implores constant readiness, so as to not be being caught off guard.
As the days, pass more soldiers arrive from the providences of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia – these are the original continental army. They were much more disciplined and orderly than the New England army remnants from the first attack of Lexington.
As they arrive, they post along the entrenchments of Boston and Charlestown neck, and soon make it a sport to pick off British sentries and officers, the riflemen making some astounding shots at two hundred and fifty yards. Dress attire for these Virginia troops is a white frock shirt with a round hat, earning the admiration of the scantily dressed New Englanders.
On Thursday July 20, under the direct orders of General Washington, a day of observance to prayer and fasting is led by the regimental clergy. The men came to worship with rifles and ammunition, in the event that Gage chose this moment to attack.
Reverend Mister Leonard, Chaplain to General Putnam’s regiment, saw before him on display the union between the men of different state countries when a thousand soldiers simultaneously ended their prayer with an echoing “AMEN”.
General Putnam himself emphasizes the conclusion of the prayer and commands a cannon to fire once. On the projectile he orders the inscription ‘An appeal to Heaven’, and on its opposite side the words “Qui Transtulit Sustinet!” He who transplanted sustains us!
The British troops along the peninsula’s ramparts, upon hearing the cannon blast, are in sudden alarm, certain that this mass display of worship preempts a major assault.
Earlier that morning General Heath orders an attachment led by Major Vose to land on Nantasket Point, and his men burn the lighthouse, drawing fire from a man-of-war upon being discovered at day break.
The structure burns, sending flame and billows of black smoke to be seen for miles around. Major Vose then transports his men by boat to Point Shirley, where a troop of Regulars attacks their position, but Vose and his men drive the Regulars back to their own boats.
Vose remains alert, watching the movements of the boats until he is sure they will not return. But when he attempts to return back to the mainland, he finds the tide has gone out, leaving him and his men cut off from the mainland until the next morning. But, when he does return, he does so gallantly, proudly herding a group of fresh young colts his men have found on the island as their prize.
The next day he and his men return to Nantasket Point to finish the burning of the last wood structures of the light house and find a thousand bushels of barley and a large quantity of hay hidden beneath the floors.
In their return, a schooner and several barges converge on their position, and during a hasty escape back to the main land, two men are wounded. General Washington’s gets a report of the action from Vose. It is read aloud before the ranks of men and Washington commends Vose’s men for their heroic deed of the past few days. The men are proud; Washington knows he must keep encouraging his men to excel beyond their lack of training.
On the early morning of July 30, the American lines along Roxbury are called to alarm as five hundred British troops march from Boston Neck to begin the construction of breast works designed to protect their guards, those targeted by the American riflemen. The American riflemen snipe a dozen or more British before mid-morning in a sporting game, exchanging bets, with a head-shot bringing in two shilling and a downed officer bringing five.
Early the following morning at about one o’clock a.m., a British floating battery commenced firing upon both positions on the opposing shores of the Charles River at Sewell’s Point, while the picket guards from Boston neck make a move on Roxbury, prodding their way inland from the Neck and then burning George’s Tavern in their effort. General Lee thwarts the advance by sending reinforcements to the site to successfully driving back the British attack, killing several enemies and securing the area by doubling the guard.
The British attempt to rebuild the lighthouse on Nantucket point, and the American commander is prompt to dispatch a detachment of three hundred men on the morning of the thirty-first. The detachment is led by Major Tupper and manages to re-capture the position, killing twelve enemies. The Major marches forty more prisoners to the stockade in Roxbury after the battle.
Boats launch from a man-of-war in a futile attempt to reinforce the work detail, which had been meeting with steady fire from the Americans who brought a three pounder cannon on their venture. Major Crane and his artillery crew destroy one of the boats with a direct hit, killing several enemy soldiers. One American soldier from his crew dies in the exchange, with three others receiving wounds. Before reporting to the hospital, the Major helps bury his one man on the island before they leave.
General Washington calls a second council of war on August 3, where his concern about the shortage of gun powder causes his requisition of the surrounding townships to turn over their powder to the main army. A letter is sent to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, making them aware that there was less than 9,937 pounds in their stores and the situation was critical.
The ineffectiveness of Congress to raise supplies is due to the fact that the congress has no authority to mandate a collection of taxes or ability to enforce compliance to their orders.
At this time the state and the Continental Congress serve only as provisional authority only in the capacity of the coordination to raise money, purchase and distribute of supplies. Much of the purchasing is from the manufactures in scripts of promissory notes, usually depending exclusively on the business owner’s patriotic notions, as the congressional treasury is empty. For now, most of the funding comes from private loans and public donations to the cause, those which the preachers collect during Sunday mass throughout the Massachusetts providence. Roger Morris uses his entire fortune to finance the war for independence over the next years, keeping the cause alive.
Many people manage to escape from Boston, along with many soldiers who desert the British force to now fight for the Americans. Families reunite under the continental union flag, hoisted over the headquarters at Harvard College. Meanwhile, the British deserters provide intelligence to Washington, who savors every detail about the plight of his adversaries in Boston, with eyewitness confirmation of the cities deterioration.
The siege was weighing heavily on the crown’s military as well as the civilian populations in Boston. The Tory inhabitants of Boston are reduced to eating rotted salt pork and fish. The soldiers indulge to spend their pay on west indie rum or the local country brand of rotgut to kill their hunger and the spread of small pox, which has been worsened by the exhausting heat of summer, and looms over the entire city.
Gage finds his situation overwhelming, with the suspicion of spies among the civilians, and he enforces his authority against the population, arresting many prominent businessmen such as Mister Lovell and Mister Leach, who spent sixty five days as prisoner for suspicion of spying. Peter Edes, the son of the printer Benjamin Edes, and Mr. William Starr, who spent seventy-five days in prison for concealing fire-arms in their homes, are other targets. John Gill, Edes’ partner also spent twenty-nine days in prison for printing articles that Gage charges are promoting treason, sedition, and rebellion in his newspaper, but instead of the punishment eliminating such offenses, his prosecution draws more sympathy from the population of Boston to the cause and ideal of independence.
Gage finds he is losing control and can no longer handle the large civilian population, especially being short on food ration. He decides to solve his problem by ridding himself of his responsibility, and so posts his newest order – the notification inviting the inhabitants to leave the city. This drew more than two thousand requests in less than two days after its posting.

NOTIFICATION
All persons who are desirous of leaving the town of Boston are hereby called upon to give their names to the town major forthwith.

By order of his Excellency the general,
JAMES URQUHART, Town Major

Boston, 24 July, 1775
On August 2, an American rifleman on an evening patrol is captured, falling into enemy hands, and as the sun rose, his body can be seen hanging from the ramparts in plain view of his unit. This enrages the Virginia men, who have spotted the uniform of riflemen, and in retaliation the other American riflemen march to the lines and begin to attack the British troops. A relentless revenge of sharpshooting lasts all day, with even the slightest appearance of soldier or officer in the British ranks becoming an immediate victim.
On August 6, Captain Daniel Morgan arrives in camp with his company of Virginia riflemen. He manages to march his men 600 miles from Winchester Virginia in twenty one days. After feeding his men, they took positions along Charlestown front where “Morgan’s Riflemen” show off their modified rifles to the other rifle companies. The rifle barrels’ walls are turned thin with curved groves inside, which made them light and more accurate, much to the dismay of any regular officers who ventured to peek over the battlements.
It became known to General Washington through testimony given by deserters from Boston that the prisoners taken during the battle of Charlestown Peninsula are suffering abuses and wounds neglect by Gage’s guards, and many became sick while others endured amputation of limbs and death as a result of neglect.
General Washington and Gage had met, fighting side by side at the battle of Monongahela, twenty years earlier, and had continued correspondence over the years. This time Washington writes an invigorating letter that challenges the honor of his opponent and he has it sent by express on August 11.
Gage returns in a response that reeks of arrogance and insult, to Washington’s charges of mistreatment of the American prisoners:
“Britons, ever preeminent in mercy, have out-gone common examples, and overlooked the criminal in the captive. Upon these principals, your prisoners, whose lives, by the laws of the land, are destine to the cord (to be hung), have hitherto been treated with care and kindness, and more comfortably lodged than the kings troops in hospitals; indiscriminately, it is true, for I acknowledge no rank that is not derived from the king.”

August 13, 1775 General William Gage

Furious, Washington orders the British officer prisoners of rank that are separate from enlisted soldiers to be sent to the harsher confinements of North Hampton jail. He then responds to Gage’s letter;

“You effect, sir, to despise all rank not derived from the same source with your own. I cannot conceive one more honorable than that which flows from the uncorrupted choice of a brave and free people-the purest source and original fountain of all power. Far from making it a plea for cruelty, a mind of true magnanimity and enlarged ideas would comprehend and respect it.”

August 20, 1775 General George Washington

Malachi drills in preparation for attack along with his company under Colonel Stark. They did this from morning to dusk and then relieved the men at the breastworks for ten hours. Upon returning to his bunk he falls into a comatose state of sleep. At sunrise he is rousted from his bunk to practice with bayonet and parade once more. Malachi rationalizes – if this is the life of a soldier – so be it!

By the KING,
A PROCLAMATION,
FOR
SUPPRESSING REBELLION AND SEDITION
GEORGE R.

WHEREAS many of Our Subjects in divers Parts of our Colonies and Plantations in North America, misled by dangerous and ill designing men, and forgetting the Allegiance which they owe to the power that has protected and supported them; after various disorderly acts committed in disturbance of the public peace, to the obstruction of lawful commerce, and to the oppression of our loyal subjects carrying on the same; have at length proceeded to open and avowed rebellion, by arraying themselves in a hostile manner, to withstand the execution of the law, and traitorously preparing, ordering and levying war against us: And whereas there is reason to apprehend that such rebellion hath been much promoted and encouraged by the traitorous correspondence, counsels and comfort of divers wicked and desperate persons within this realm: To the end therefore, that none of our subjects may neglect or violate their duty through ignorance thereof, or through any doubt of the protection which the law will afford to their loyalty and zeal, we have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue our Royal Proclamation, hereby declaring, that not only all our Officers, civil and military, are obliged to exert their utmost endeavors to suppress such rebellion, and to bring the traitors to justice, but that all our subjects of this Realm, and the dominions thereunto belonging, are bound by law to be aiding and assisting in the suppression of such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous conspiracies and attempts against us, our crown and dignity; and we do accordingly strictly charge and command all our Officers, as well civil as military, and all others our obedient and loyal subjects, to use their utmost endeavors to withstand and suppress such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which they shall know to be against us, our crown and dignity; and for that purpose, that they transmit to one of our principal Secretaries of State, or other proper officer, due and full information of all persons who shall be found carrying on correspondence with, or in any manner or degree aiding or abetting the persons now in open arms and rebellion against our Government, within any of our Colonies and Plantations in North America, in order to bring to condign punishment the authors, perpetrators, and abettors of such traitorous designs.

Given at our Court at St. James’s the twenty-third day of August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy five, in the fifteenth year of our reign.

God save the King.

After a short stay at home and after much obsession over the turn of events at Ticonderoga, Benedict Arnold convinces himself to travel back to Cambridge, after learning about the arrival of the new Commander in Chief, George Washington. Realizing the was new opportunity and not wanting to be sitting aside idle, Arnold packs his bags in a hurry arriving in Boston on September 11 and requests to meet with Washington with a plan to offer.

CHAPTER ELEVEN
“The First Winter”
August, 1775 – December, 1775

         In London, Lord Dartmouth receives a correspondence from General Gage in America that discourages him from persisting with the current course, although requesting Gage remain in command of the British Army in America where he regretfully feels it necessary to intervene.

         “The trials we have had show the rebels are not the despicable rabble too many have supposed them to be; and I find it owing to a military spirit, encouraged among them for a few years past, joined with an uncommon degree of zeal and enthusiasm, that they are otherwise.”

         …..It is the feeling of Gage that the conquest of the colonies cannot come easily, and will require a relentless persistence of a multitude of attacks, requiring the British troops to be deployed to various positions along the coast if there is to be any hope for success. His date of correspondence: August 25, 1775.
Previous to receiving this dispatch from Gage, an intelligence report was sent ahead with the details on the Battle of Charlestown Peninsula and is read before Parliament. The thought of openly violent action by the colonies sends the Parliament into rage about the incompetence of the current military leadership and its failing to contain these rebels. It results in an immediate dispatch to General Gage in America reaching the British American headquarters in Boston on the ship Cerberus. Gage sits in his office reading the letter, with ominous premonition in its insinuation of failure.

         “From the tenor of your letters, and from the state of affairs after the action of the 17th, the king is led to conclude that you have little expectation of effecting anything further this campaign, and has therefore commanded me to signify to you his majesty’s pleasure, that you do, as soon as conveniently may be after you receive this letter, return to England, in order to give his majesty exact information of everything that it may be necessary to prepare, as early as possible, for the operations of the next year, and to suggest to his majesty such matter in relation thereto as your knowledge and experience of the service enable you to furnish.”

         …..In the packet, Gage finds a second letter for General Howe. Gage places this in his desk, bearing the instruction for Howe to open it upon assuming command in Boston. Gage walks to his window and looks out at the harbor, knowing this is the end of his time in America; he will no doubt begin his retirement battling shame and humility.
         The colonials have their own problems, as well and it is the intent of the Continental Congress to keep the Indians out of the conflict. But General Schuyler learns of an Indian agent, Guy Johnson, who is attempting to solicit the aide of the Mohawk and Iroquois to join the Crown against the American rebels. Schuyler knows he must meet with the Oneidas and Tuscarora tribes to explain the issues at stake, why the colonies want separation from Britain, while emphasizing that the colonists are at war to preserve their rights. The assembly of chiefs agrees to remain neutral, with one Mohawk chief asserting, “It is a family affair.”
         While Schuyler is at the Indian conference in Albany, he learns that Montgomery is leading 1,200 troops from Fort Ticonderoga up to a forward position at Île aux Noix in the Richelieu River.
         Montgomery receives a reconnaissance report indicating that General Carleton at Fort Saint Jean is presently re-enforcing and has ships under construction. He knew that to wait was to give back control of Lake Champlain to the British command, and so, without hesitation, Montgomery takes the initiative to challenge the action.
         General Schuyler receives a dispatch alerting him of Montgomery’s move and meets the column en route. The harsh winter is already taking its toll and Schuyler is taken by pneumonia. Together the two generals arrive at Île aux Noix on September 4 and begin to make plans to attack the fort.
         On September 6, the forces row up the river to Fort St. Jeans, and as the detachment makes their way through the marshes along the outskirts of the fort; they are caught by surprise by a war party of Caughnawaga Indians under command of Claude de Lorimier and Gilbert Tice. General Schuyler, by this time, is grievously ill, and he remains in the boat while Montgomery leads the detachment toward the fort.
         After the skirmish, the American detachment retreats to the boats and builds a breastwork that draws cannon fire from the fort, forcing the Americans to fall back into their boats to a position a mile beyond the cannon range.
         Here Moses Hazen arrives and informs Schuyler and Montgomery of the preparedness of the fort for siege, and, after a council of war, Schuyler decides to abandon the mission and return to Île aux Noix. But on the morning of September 8, re-enforcement’s arrive under David Wooster, and the attack on the fort begins.
         Seth Warner dispatches Ethan Allen and John Brown to recruit more troops, and they leave camp that day. Allen goes to the Caughnawaga village and convinces the chief to remain neutral, which is agreeable to the Chief, who has been holding resentment against the British commander Carleton for his lack of support for the Caughnawaga warriors during the first encounter with the Americans a few days prior.
         On September 10, Montgomery leads one thousand men, returning to the original landing point. While choosing to remain in the boat his force wanders lost in the swamp in two separate units that, by chance, happen upon each other and mistakenly take the other for the enemy, resulting in six men being shot. After that incident, Colonel Rodolphus Ritzema is unable to convince the men to continue, and in disorganization the Americans return to the boat, complaining vehemently at the commanding ability of Ritzema.
         A scout arrives to camp with news that the British warship Royal Savage is approaching, and while the American command staff is in conference designing a plan of attack, the troops – without so much as a good-bye – begin to march south to Île aux Noix, leaving their commanders to return to the empty camp after the meeting ends.
         Schuyler dispatches a letter with Allen and Brown to Colonel James Livingston to raise a Canadian militia. That group becomes the First Canadian Regiment of the Continental Army, and by September 15, Livingston’s militia force of 300 men succeeds in cutting off Fort Chambly from communication with Montreal.
         Further north, the Oneidas intercept a Mohawk war party en route to the fort and convince them to remain neutral, but bad weather delays the Americans’ attempts to return to Fort Saint Jeans, thus making for a grueling cold week of exposure, causing many of the troops to fall ill. On September 16, a company of 250 New Hampshire men under Colonel Bedel arrives to a hearty welcome.
         General Schuyler’s condition continues to worsen, as his personal battle with pneumonia deteriorates, further forcing him to turn over full command to Montgomery. Being of no further use on the expedition, Schuyler decides to return to Fort Ticonderoga, arriving there with his escort on September 23. But by this time he is so weak his men must carry the General to quarters in a litter.
         On September 17, now under full command, Montgomery moves his army north by bateaux. The flotilla of boats fit with cannon sail toward Fort Saint Jean, clinging close to the shore line and expecting the HMS Royal Savage to appear at any moment to oppose them.
Montgomery sends John Brown with a detachment to block the road going north from the fort to Montreal, where his men capture a wagon train of supplies en route to Fort Saint Jeans.
         The men at the fort witness the capture and Colonel Preston in haste assembles a small force of men to retrieve the supplies. Brown sees the gates to the fort open and the detachment coming for him. So he has his men hide the provisions and supplies in the woods and leads his men back toward the main body.
The exchange of gunfire gains the attention of Montgomery, who responds by leading Bedel’s New Hampshire Company to aid Brown, successfully forcing Preston’s men to retreat to the fort without recovering the supplies.

Boston September 2, 1775
         Benedict Arnold returns to Cambridge after his replacement at Crown Point and reports to General Washington with a plan. He proposes to Washington that he intends to lead an invasion force from an easterly route in the hopes of flanking Carleton’s army in Quebec City. His intention is to support Schuyler’s advance army that is already marching north from Fort Ticonderoga to the Isle of Montreal.
         Washington approves the idea without knowledge about the route Arnold is taking and assigns 1,100 troops. A company of riflemen under Captain Daniel Morgan of Virginia is also sent to accompany Arnold, as well as Roger Enos and Aaron Burr who leave from Fort Western on boats, September 25.
The lack of knowledge about the terrain of this country will begin an expedition through rugged frontier land that will prove to be fatal to the mission’s success.

         Here in Boston, more than a thousand men work feverishly building the battlements on Plough Hill under a constant barrage of fire from the batteries in place on Bunkers Hill and the floating batteries anchoring in the bay.
         Once the fortifications on this hill are complete, teams of oxen and men pull the heavy cannon to the heights, where the troops begin to return fire on Bunkers Hill and destroy the floating Battery, bringing a salute of “huzzahs!” from the men who watch the exchange from many of the battlements along the Roxbury line.
         Malachi works with the other men to bury the fascines of the redoubt in the open with bombs exploding all around him. After these many months of the same, he, like the others, has become indifferent to the constant bombardment. Maybe, he thinks to himself, he has just become numb to it all.
         When on duty you remain alert, but he finds it is easier to catch a few winks after he is relieved under the cover of the fortifications than it is to sleep in a tent in the field under the presumption of a false safety. He often worries a stray shell would wake him dead.
Here in the bunker he, for some unexplained reason, feels safer. A fellow soldier next to him wakes him from a strange dream.
         “Are you okay, buddy?”
         Malachi looks around, and mutters, “Yeah.” With his mouth dry, he takes a swig of water from his canteen and rubs some in his eyes. “What’s going on?”
         “Not much…some lieutenant came by earlier to collect a few men for patrol…I didn’t mean to wake you, but it sounded like you were having a bad dream.”
         “I don’t remember…probably better I don’t. What time is it, anyway?”
         The second soldier pulls a time piece from under his jacket. “Two in the morning,” he says. Four more hours and the mess tent will begin to serve breakfast; Malachi lays back on his bed roll listening to the occasional bomb explode in the distance.
         The food is corn meal mostly and some bacon or a scrap of beef tough enough that it can be of used to sole a man’s boot. Sometimes when on patrol Malachi returns famished and actually enjoy the scraps. Mostly he thought of his Rosy and her home cooked meals she labors putting together for him when he is home. This makes him think of his enlistment, which is coming to an end in January. He doubts he will re-enlist, the way he’s been longing for home, good hot food and a soft feather mattress with a comfortable pillow under his head he swears to himself he will never depart from it again.
         He has seen so much death since summer, and though at first it bothered him, now he feels accustomed to it. The older men say he is now a seasoned veteran, but rather he feels a sense of something lost, like something inside him is now dead.
         A few weeks ago, some units came in from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and he met a group of the men from that company on a detail. He became friends with William Simpson from a town called Lancaster, and on their off-duty hours they frequented a nearby tavern to relieve some of the boredom, stress and loneliness of being away from loved ones.
         They spoke about their homes, exchanging memories of family and friends, and soon became friends themselves. One day, while digging a trench, William is hit in the foot by shrapnel during a bombardment. It is a ghastly wound, and Malachi helps carry his friend to Cooks Hospital, where the doctors commence to amputate his leg from the knee.
         Malachi stays to give his friend hope that everything will be alright, as the doctor’s hack away at his friend’s torn flesh. After William blacks out from the pain, Malachi returns to the hill, just as the floating battery was sunk and joins the men in their jubilance.
         Later, after Malachi’s relief arrives, he returns to Cooks Hospital to see his friend. The nurse comes to inform him his friend succumbed to his wound earlier. So he went down to the tavern and drank one for his seventeen year old friend, sitting alone in a far corner, remembering the other faces, now dead, in his head. Malachi decided it was better not to make any new friends, and so he kept distance between himself and any new attachments.
         That same cold September 2, General Washington composes a strategy to begin to organize a Navy. He does this by ordering that all local fishing vessels be fit with cannon and is now appropriated with discretion to the purpose of intercepting and intelligence – gathering from any seized British supply vessels.
         The provincial Congresses of both Connecticut and Rhode Island encourage privateers with bounties, offering a percentage on the value of shipments found aboard ships.
         Again Washington implores Congress by dispatch, emphasizing the necessity and benefit of the weaponry that is sitting idle at Fort Ticonderoga for redeployment to Cambridge. The success of the siege depends upon it. This time he sends his Secretary, Colonel Joseph Reed, to appear before the Congress to emphasize the desperation; he receives no return correspondence on the matter. It is as if Congress has decided to ignore the situation in Boston.
         Notification reaches the many communities that an army is mustering to join in the Quebec campaign under Colonel Benedict to support General Schuyler. On September 11, thirteen companies with more than a thousand men assemble on the Harvard commons in preparation to begin their march north.
         The troops, in parade formation, march from Cambridge, reaching Mr. Neal’s Tavern just outside Medford shortly before sunset where the men use the meeting house to rest for the night. Some of the more fortunate men, being from Medford, take advantage of having family nearby, using the rare opportunity to spend those last moments with wives and children – or, as the young unmarried men did, choose to spend that last night at home with their parents.
         The next morning, the troops assemble and parade to Newbury Port, forty five miles northeast of Boston, and wait there until the 18th. Here in this small town, men continue to arrive each day, then board one of the eleven anchoring sloops and schooners, where they wait aboard before these vessels that will carry them on to the next leg of the expedition.
         Once aboard, the men sleep about the decks of the ships, where many become sea sick. In the early morning, the anchors are away and the small fleet sets a course for the Kennebec River. Malachi wants to go, but the rumors about the Arnold incident at Fort Ticonderoga convince him against it. It’s a decision he will not regret later.

Isle De Montréal
         General Montgomery begins his siege of Fort Saint Jean on September 17 as more than one thousand men from New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire arrive and have successfully cut communications from the fort to Montreal.
         On September 24, Allen decides, once he reaches Longueuil, he will capture Montreal with his new recruits. But on the 25th he is taken captive. This premature attack raises an alarm around the local countryside, resulting in the mustering of 1,200 men of the Loyalist militia from rural the districts outside Montreal. These troops are left to linger for several weeks without instructions or leadership by Carleton, and eventually they returned home to tend their harvest.

Boston, September 29, 1775
         General Clinton took command of the battlements on Charlestown peninsula where the design and strength of the fortification drew him to conclude that only six hundred men, under the command of two field officers, will withstand an attack by the entire rebel army.
         From Cambridge, Washington observes the enemy movement and building of defenses. He returns to his headquarters angry, showing his frustration. His Servant pours the commander a sherry, as the commander sits behind his desk.
         As much as General Washington sought to begin his offensive against Boston, he too knew his limitations and the potential risk, and so composes yet another letter to the Continental Congress on October 5, 1775:

         “The enemy in Boston and on the heights of Charlestown are so strongly fortified, as to render it almost impossible to force their lines, thrown up at the head of each neck. Without greater slaughter on our side, or cowardice on theirs, it is absolutely so. We therefore can do no more than to keep them besieged, which they are to all intents and purposes, as closely as any troops upon earth can be, that have an opening to the sea. Our advanced works and theirs are within musket-shot. We daily undergo a cannonade, which has done no injury to our works, and very little hurt to our men. These insults we are compelled to submit to for want of powder, being obliged, except now and then giving them a shot, to reserve what we have for closer work than cannon distance.”
G. Washington.

         It is a painful frustration for the Commander, knowing that each day he wastes waiting for more powder to arrive allows the enemy to fortify and re-enforce, where each day the potential increase of casualties among his men rises, insuring only a greater sacrifice of good men.
         On October 10, 1775, General Gage boards the Cerberus man-of-war returning to England. His command of the British Army in America is assumed by General Howe. This change in command is met with relief from British troops, who had en masse lost their confidence in Gage.
         General Howe, entering his new command headquarters, finds the dispatch from Lord Dartmouth in place squarely in the center on the empty desk, with its instructions written clearly on the envelope. Gage was to hand the letter over to Howe upon his departure, and carefully Howe opens and reads his new orders.

         “The King having ordered the commander-in-chief to repair to Britain, and that, during his absence, Major-general Carleton should command his majesties forces in Canada, and upon the open frontiers, with the full powers of commander-in-chief; and that Major-general Howe should have the like command within the colonies on the Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to West Florida inclusive – orders are hereby given to the troops to obey the said major-general accordingly”

         He then sits down behind the bare desk and lists the letter. It will be his first log in his Orderly Book as the new Commander-in-chief of the British Army in America.
         Drawing from his experience from the 17th of June, Howe reasons that although the rebel army lacks in supply and training, the underestimation of their raw will and courage is the cause for the losses to his own forces during that one battle.
         It staggers him, considering the amount of effort it had taken for one night of work on the part of the rebels, under one man. Even an incomplete force and in low supply – it would be certain that any direct attack he might plan to initiate against the rebels at Roxbury or Cambridge, even with complete reinforcement of battlements, would be suicidal.
         He writes about this hazard in a letter on October 9 to Lord Dartmouth, suggesting the evacuation of Boston for a regroup and in order to penetrate further south. Howe specifically states that the strategic position at Boston restricts him to a self-defense-only campaign, with little expectation for success.
         At this point, with winter coming, Howe becomes determined to have his men focus on the preparation of quarters, and later in the coming spring, when the five battalions he expects to arrive from Ireland are here, the advantage will be his.
         Howe anticipates using those troops to provoke incursions along the coast to force the Rebel forces to spread along a long narrow line of defense. Other than this, he will make no noise or effort to break out from Boston or Charlestown until spring, saving the diminishing resources that still remain in the city to survive the winter.
         General Washington, as he makes his rounds among his men, takes account of the activity in Boston – particularly in an area in the south city, were the large hay barns stood, taking special notice that the British troops were pulling down the wooden structures (to reuse for fuel, he assumes).
         Along the smaller hill of Green’s pastures at the foot hill of Bunkers Hill, he admires the neat rows of tents and the professional appearance of the enemy soldiers as they parade along the summits.
         Closer and in view of the American fortifications, the British hung their deserters. In contrast to this horrid sight, he notices a sermon for men, hid with protection from a grove of apple trees, presumably safe from the shot of the Maryland riflemen.
         That night, Malachi pulls guard duty detail at the Cambridge Headquarters. This is the prime highlight of all duties, because this station is inside the stone building and his post is outside the General’s office, where a hearth burns a warm fire. Earlier, things were a bit hectic, as a council of war was held and generals and brigadier-generals sat about the lounge. This made him somewhat nervous. His post gave him range to hear the shouting voices challenging Washington’s plan, and he keeps his ears open, hoping to learn what is happening.
         When the haggling that sometimes turns belligerent is over, the other generals leave and things become very quiet. The General’s personal servant came by with a tray and Malachi opens the door for him. He could see the General sitting in a soft arm chair lost in thought.
         “Would you like a glass of wine, George?” his servant asks.
         “Yes, please,” the General answers softly. Malachi could sense the two were respectfully familiar in privacy.
         “They did not agree with the plan?”
         “No. It is agreeable that to wait gives the enemy an advantage to resupply and re-enforce, but to attack now? We risk failure because of a shortage of powder. Yet with all that is hanging in the balance, the Continental Congress cannot collect the very ingredient that will decide the fate of Liberty….Attack is the correct action, and I cannot.” Malachi closes the door and stands at his post.
         Washington’s servant stays with the General for a long time. Malachi’s relief is Private Jessup from E company. They talk briefly and Malachi leaves. His energy spent he returns to his tent with the sky still dark and full of twinkling star lights. He gives them a glance and he wonders if God is looking down upon him now.
         The bright morning sun and crisp morning air woke his hunger and he stops at the mess to eat meeting again with Private Jessup just getting off his shift.
         They sit under an oak tree, bare of leaves, lucky it hasn’t been chopped down for fire wood yet, and they eat their breakfast. Jessup reveals he is just seventeen, having joined the fight in a passionate moment to avenge his two older brothers who had perished on Bunkers Hill. He wonders how they died and Malachi thinks for a moment not actually wanting to revisit that event, but he says to the young private. “Anyone there, died heroes.”

         The month of October went by without much activity in Boston. Howe begins to impose strict constraints on the inhabitants of the city, requiring them to form into civilian companies and patrol the precincts. He disallows anyone from entering or leaving the city without permission and threatens to shoot anyone who resists. He also releases orders disallowing anyone who has been given permission to leave to take with them any more currency than five pounds.
         Washington fumes over the news of the despicable abuse of civilians. He responds by writing to Connecticut Governor Trumbull and Rhode Island Governor Cooke, suggesting for them to arrest all Tories. It becomes a war of tit-for-tat, and General Washington knows with the coming of spring this will all change, as he knows re-enforcement’s will arrive from London. He sits in his arm chair looking out the window at the view of Boston across the bay and he worries for the failure of the whole nation, for his inability to express to those who have the power to supply powder the urgency for such re-supply.

The Siege of Fort Saint Jean
         There are five forts built along the Richelieu River, and to take Montreal, the capture of both forts Chambly and Saint Jeans is essential.
         With two armies, one moving north from Ticonderoga under the command of Montgomery and the other coming from the east under the command of Arnold through the wilderness, the campaign to liberate Canada develops.
         On October 10, Colonel Morgan and his advance company reach the Kennebec River; the locals refer to it as the Dead River. From here his men row their bateaux until they reach the lower Dead River, where they must detour through a portage inlet to avoid the rapids ahead of them. Removing their boats, the men carry them across marshes, and negotiate the steep slopes and rocky land to a position above Long Falls.
         From there Morgan leads his men up the north branch of Dead River and across a chain of ponds where again they have to carry their boats across land and up a height of mountains in order to reach the watershed of Quebec’s Chaudière River. Here they incur their first casualties, when a rope breaks and three men fall to their death. They are buried by friends in unmarked graves along the river bank.
         Benedict Arnold leads his expedition along the twist of rocky ranges of mountains with two Indian guides directing him to the least dangerous path. The Colonel sent ahead two Indian couriers to inform General Schuyler of the second attack force that he is leading from the east.
Colonel Arnold’s mistake is made by sending a second dispatch to the Mister Mercer in Quebec, a sympathizer of the cause, with pertinent information about his force, including the date of his troops’ arrival in Quebec.
         Neither of these letters reaches their destination, instead ending up in the hands of Lieutenant Governor Cramahe, who is in command of the garrison at Quebec while Sir Guy Carleton marches re-enforcement’s to Fort Saint Jeans.
On October 18, the First Canadian regiment of the Continental army under Colonel James Livingston begins its attack on Fort Chambly and receives its surrender two days later on October 20.
         British General Carleton attempts to retake the fort on October 30, but after an intense battle, he was unable to breach its stone walls and so withdraws his troops back to Montreal.
         When news of Chambly’s fall reaches Fort Saint Jeans, the Loyalist militia begins to desert the post while Montgomery’s army continues battering the fort with a continuous bombardment leading to the surrender of Fort Saint Jeans on November 3.
         The commander of Fort Saint Jeans, Major Charles Preston, without hope of re-supply or re-enforcement, lowers his standard and hoists the white flag of surrender. Huzzahs echo from the American line and Montgomery meets the Major, who emerges from the fort to surrender his sword. Among the names of prisoners listed on the roll manifest is a young British officer named Lieutenant John André, who is forward to Fort Ticonderoga by bateaux.
         Following the surrender of Fort Saint Jeans, General Montgomery marches his army towards Montreal arriving on November 8, where again the Loyalist militia begin to desert Carleton’s command. Carleton, assessing the situation, determines the defense of Montreal is impossible and retreats to Quebec City.
         Montgomery reaches Saint Paul’s Island by mid-day to learn that Carleton has already board his ships with his regulars, preparing to abandon the city. As the sun rose on November 9, his men row across the Saint Lawrence River to reach Pointe-Saint-Charles and, without a fight, Montgomery marches his army into Montreal City as a liberator to cheering crowds on November 13.
         General Carleton, now in flight up river, is in a battle with nature that hampers his escape. A gale force wind makes his voyage upstream to Sorel impossible, allowing an expedition of Americans to cross the river ahead of him, cutting off his escape.
         The bateaux carrying a flag of truce delivers to Carleton the demand for surrender, claiming that gun batteries are in deploy further upriver with orders to destroy the British convoy if they attempt to sail to Sorel.
         That night, Carleton and a small escort of his men climb down rope ladders to small boats and flee into the wilderness to avoid capture, taking a trail through the swamps and marshes until they are a safe distance away. Carleton and his men happen upon a small farm and house, interrupting the sleeping inhabitants by commandeering two small boats. The farmer and his wife watch, as the soldiers row in the direction of Quebec City, wondering why the officer is so far off the main road to the city.

Boston, November 4, 1775
         A British fleet of two gunships, two sloops and two transports with six hundred men leaves the port of Boston. They are sailing north toward Falmouth. By early morning of the following day news of the venture reaches the American headquarters at Cambridge; the successful attack made by the British took the town for all of its supplies, burning the city to the ground for retaliation against the resistance. To Washington, this shows the vulnerability of the siege, being unable to close off Howe’s access to open by sea.
         That same morning an attack on Lechmere’s Point by four hundred British Regulars to secure a herd of cows meets with failure, as the combined commands of Colonel Woodbridge and his 25th Massachusetts regiment with Colonel William Thompson’s Pennsylvania regiment wade across waist high freezing water to re-enforce the position and cut off the attack.
         The British made off with only ten cows in exchange for two soldier’s lives. This was part of Howe’s plan to survive the winter – to appropriate fresh meat as needed at intervals throughout the next months.
         As the mood and morale in Boston deteriorate, General Howe makes a proclamation on November 6 as follows:

         “Whereas the present and approaching distresses of the many inhabitants in the town of Boston, from the scarcity and high prices of provisions, fuel, and other necessary articles of life, can only be avoided by permitting them to go where they may hope to procure easier means of subsistence. Inhabitants wishing to leave this town are requested to leave their names with the town major before twelve O’clock of the ninth.”

         Disorder began to take over the city as plundering and house-breaking are met without mercy by Howe in ruthless attempts to keep order. Soldiers as well as citizens are hung, and many others receive lashes up to a thousand strokes on their bare backs – without even gender making a difference, as in a case of a British private who is made to watch as he pleads for mercy for his wife who receives punishment for stealing bread for her children to eat.
         Hung by her arms from a stockade, the soldier’s young wife with her clothes torn from her back in a public display as the crack of the whip and her screams of agony echo off the cobble stone court is a sight that makes many apply to leave the city under Howe’s new invitation.
         The tyrant now turns on to his own, as this inbred disease of oppression consumes the civility of all, reducing this once great city to a mass of wretched in besiege. Clear to even a blind man, their only hope of survival is to desert the city on small boats, to flee and escape across the bay and river under the cover of darkness.
         The noose around the city pulls taut on November 12, when the Nautilus man-of-war engages a privateer that is driven aground in a cove off the town of Beverly. The people of the small town react by sailing out to the grounded ship with lighters and salvaged its guns.
         The man-of-war races to reach the privateer ship first, but also finds it aground in the shallow tide. Soon His Majesty’s ship comes under fire from the cannons brought to shore by the ship’s crew, who fire upon the vessel from the docks of Salem and Beverly to protect their ship from capture.
         After three hours, the tide rises and the man-of-war escapes. The privateer ship also surges with the tide and the crew collects their guns from the shore, receiving little damage from the confrontation, pursuing the man of war from a safe distance.
         Each day George Washington receives intelligence reports on the condition of his men, supplies, and contact with the enemy, but what worries him most was the coming of winter. In December, many troops with experience will leave rather than endure the winter in short supply of rations and other necessities. This, he knows, will require that he train new raw troops in the early Spring when experienced British re-enforcement’s are due to arrive.
         With this ugly truth weighing on his mind he calls into his headquarters a twenty-five year old volunteer who had helped engineer the construction of many of the redoubts along Roxbury, Henry Knox. They sat for hours in friendly chat that somehow found its way into the subject of artillery. Washington points out the advantages of Dorchester Heights and the devastation he could cause to his enemy from it. “If only I had such artillery…” Washington concludes.
         It is then that the former British artillery Captain Knox brings up the subject of Fort Ticonderoga. “A detachment of engineers and mechanics must be sent there with a purpose to bring these cannon and mortar back to Cambridge. We cannot depend on Congress…we must act upon our own instincts.”
         Washington, impressed by the young man’s assertiveness, beckons Knox. “You must go to Major General Schuyler, and get the remainder from Ticonderoga, Crown Point, or St John’s. If it should be necessary, from Quebec; if in our hands, the want of them is so great, that no trouble or expense must be spared to obtain them,” Washington says, passionate to the deed, staring into the younger man’s eyes with great expectation.
         “I understand, Sir.” And for the rest of the night he and Washington review the maps of the route he will travel, with Knox giving special notation to the mountain ranges of the Berkinshire Mountain, an ominous obstacle to negotiate his way over in the New Hampshire Grants.
         On November 16, Knox is given the mission to take about four hundred men to Fort Ticonderoga and retrieve the heavy artillery from that place and bring it to Boston. The map he carries is a supposed route. Knowing the terrain is treacherous, Knox will have to rely on his own sense and skills.
         Henry knew that the roads from Cambridge to the New Hampshire Grants were in good condition, but in the grant settlement, where wagons and carts were not to be found, only walking paths exist with simple paint symbols showing the path northward, found upon trees.
         Getting to Ticonderoga is a simple task in comparison to the return trip. Nonetheless, it must be done and it is his responsibility now and this presumption keeps him awake—not of fear or regret for taking the challenge – but from the excitement, as he lies in his bunk thinking of what he will need to accomplish the deed.
         On November 17, Knox departs Cambridge with £1000 to finance the mission. His first destination is New York to buy the necessary supplies. Knox looks back on the scene of Boston as he is leaving, knowing that he has no option to fail. He watches as his men march past him, they are young and strong and he expects their best effort.
         For the days prior, the news of the expedition circulates around the camps and this time Malachi cannot resist the temptation for adventure. He has never been beyond the Boston area and the expectation to cross mountains and rivers and see the state of New York and maybe Canada appeals to him. He leaves a letter with the liberty boys for delivery to Rosy, letting her know he loves her very much.
         General Washington wrote two letters. The first is to General Phillip Schuyler in Albany, commander of the northern region, instructing him to assist Henry Knox by any means, and the second is a plea to the Second Continental Congress to intervene in the dispute over the weapons being made by the New York Governor who intends to retain the weapons at Ticonderoga for his own states defense.
         Across the bay on this same day, General Howe issues an order to form three new companies, specifically to enlist and arm Loyalists to the crowns army. He places the command of these companies under Brigadier-General Ruggles, declaring them to be known as the Loyal American Associators. He went further to order that they distinguish themselves by a white sash tied round the left arm.

Saint Lawrence River-November 19, 1775
         The expedition to Canada, led by Arnold, is harsh and the men endure the cold and rugged terrain that claims many of their lives. Through swamps and freezing water they wade, to cross over mountains and climbing through gully paths. The men stagger; weary, their stomach panging from hunger, their friends and brethren dying from malnutrition and sickness. Many give up and turn back the way they have come – though this may be as fatal a choice as those choosing to continue ahead. Altogether they end up burying more than two hundred men along the way, in graves doomed to obscurity and forgotten.
         The men fall weak over felled trees, unable to lift their feet over them. Munitions are low due to supplies that had become lost to capsized bateaux as they rowed across the many rivers or carried the boats when the rapids became too strong against them. Men die from exposure to the freezing water and are carried away by rapid currents.
         On November 9, after a four a hundred mile expedition across uncharted wilderness, Arnold’s army emerges, reaching the first signs of civilization. His force of eleven hundred men dwindles to barely six hundred – suffering from exhaustion, sickness and starvation. But Arnold continues to push his men to the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. He knows if they stop, the expedition is over.
         The men rest along the shore of the river, but Arnold, anxious to reach Quebec City, rouses his men to gather boats for crossing the river. A strong storm moves in, delaying his crossing for three days. On November 12, Arnold completes the crossing and makes camp on the Plains of Abraham, less than one half mile from the city walls.
         Arnold’s men, though within sight of the fort walls, are at a great disadvantage, since the terrain of the path chosen by Arnold through the wilderness made it impossible to bring cannon or mortars.
         Scouts observe a mobilization inside the fort, reporting to Arnold that there may be an attempt by the fort commander to sally from the city. Arnold, knowing the condition of his troops, decides to withdraw to Point-aux-Trembles, twenty miles upriver, to wait for Montgomery.
         On November 19, the British fleet attempting to leave Montreal surrenders to Montgomery, who boards the flagship of General Carleton who escapes away in the night in civilian clothes. Montgomery is surprised to find Moses Hazen, who is a prisoner in chains below the decks with other prisoners.
         Much of Montgomery’s army departs due to expiring enlistments after the fall of Montreal, reducing his army in strength. The dispatches sent by Arnold never arrive and he is unaware of Arnold’s position to his south.
         General Wooster is left in charge of Montreal, while General Montgomery sails three hundred men using boats captured at Montreal to sail toward Quebec, leaving Montreal on November 28. Along the way he joins forces with James Livingston’s regiment upriver on the 29th.
         This force of five hundred men happens upon Arnold’s men on December 2, camping at Point-aux-Trembles. Montgomery and Livingston are shocked to find Arnold’s men in such a deplorable state. Montgomery immediately has the supplies and ammunition’s seized in Montreal distribute.
         Arnold walks with Montgomery and Livingston along the boats fix with cannon and on December 5, the forces move back into position on the Plains of Abraham and on December 6, the siege of Quebec begins with an early morning bombardment.
         While Montgomery, Arnold and Livingston plan the attack on the city, the owner of a local iron works, Christophe Pélissier comes to their camp and offers to supply ammunition, bombs, and cannonballs for the siege of Quebec.
         General Montgomery took this opportunity to attempt to negotiate the premise of a provincial convention for the purpose of the Canadian’s electing representatives to the Second Continental Congress. Pélissier is cautious and will not commit suggesting they wait to after Quebec fall to the siege.
         Montgomery is certain that Quebec will fall to him and writes a letter to General Schuyler, requesting that a Congressional delegation be sent to take up diplomatic activities at the soonest possible opportunity.
         Unfortunately, as did one of the previous communique sent by Arnold to Schuyler, the message is intercepted and Quebec is fortified by Carleton, who arrives from Fort Saint Jean to take command of the Quebec City on November 19.

Boston Friday November 24, 1775
         Three hundred men, women, and children gather on Hancock Wharf with many of them malnourished and sick. General Ruggles and his Loyal American Associators file those who volunteer to leave the city aboard boats, denying anyone attempting to take possessions that same privilege. Those who chose to leave are deemed by Ruggles to be traitors and rebel sympathizers, and are spat upon, with some even being bashed with rifle butt.
         The frigid winds howl and sleet rains upon the decks as the ships embark on the short but dangerous maneuver up the icy Mystic River to Chelsea. The ships now lower their row boats into the water about one hundred yards off the coast line and load the refugees into the small boats casting them off in the freezing river without oars. The Loyalist laugh taunting them before Ruggles orders to turn the ship about returning to Boston.
         The boats full beyond capacity with men, women and children use their bare hands to row the boats to the shore of Port Shirley in Chelsea. Without food, blankets, or extra clothes only the will to survive gave the men, women and children the strength to resist the freezing temperatures.
The day is cold and the sharp wind has the inhabitants of Chelsea secluded in the comfortable warmth of their cottages as the exile found the docks desolate. It is a small group who use their last strength to walk the mile to town and finding the first farm cottage pound upon the door.
         The door opens to a startle old man finding these wretched beggars on his door step. “We are freezing…can you help us?”
         “Who are you? Where are you from?” The old man hesitates to let the strangers in his home.
         “I am William Brenton, and we are all from Boston…We just arrive on your shore by boat and have no food or blankets…There are more too weak to walk on the wharf…children and women.”
         “My God…come in…come in at once.” The old man’s wife comes up to ask. “What is the matter, Samuel?”
         “Get the Whiskey and make something to eat…I must go to find the reverend.” And he grabs a warm coat leaving the house to find help.
         The cruelty of this deliberate abandonment is met with the warmth of compassion from the town people. The churches open their doors, and meeting halls provide protection from the wind and elements and though the town people are low on food supplies for themselves they feed the strangers giving them blankets and fresh water.
         They were thin, starving and sickly in appearance…no one could have imagined these people are their brethren from across the bay. These vagrants, from prestigious families accustomed to the indulgences of wealth and prosperity, are now reduce to this despicable state strip of all dignity and hopelessly destitute.
         In the next day regardless of the care many die from the exposure and the risk of small pox endangers those who help and many too are expose to the disease and die for their good cause and Christian dedication to help their neighbors.
         On November 29, the American schooner Lee under command of Captain John Manley captures the British brigantine Nancy seizing her bountiful cargo of ordinance, supplies and food provisions en route for Boston. A valuable catch, but in no comparison to the affect it has on Boston that is expecting and depending on the ships delivery.
         When notice of its capture reaches the city the people in their helplessness take matters beyond human restraints resorting to pillaging the empty shops about the city. In response Howe orders an executioner to accompany the provost marshal with orders to hang any person who destroys property or steals without prior order and without trial. The bodies of thieves hang for days from lamp post until a friend or family member secretly retrieves the body in the after midnight hours at risk to themselves for the deed.
         By December 14, Howe authorizes the demolition of the Old North Church that’s steeple held the lantern signal announcing the coming out of Red Coats and one hundred old wooden houses for use as fuel. Soldiers sat at their post and grew insolent about the situation. Many contemplate desertion and those who attempt and are caught are hung on the Boston commons.
         Martial law turns Boston from a garrison to a prison where even the most loyal to the crown threaten to desert the city. The idea of free air in the hills and the poverty of destitution were more desirable than this!
         On December 15, Major Robert Rogers arrives under parley at Winter Hill and meets with General Sullivan and request to meet with General Washington.
         General Sullivan knowing of Roger and his unsavory reputation from the Indian Wars suspects the majors intents and sends a dispatch to Washington with council on the suspect’s intent. Being warn of the rascal Washington refuses to allow the Major free passage as it is conclusive it is the intent of the Major to gather intelligence on the positions at Cambridge. Sullivan is unsure but also suspects that Rogers is an assassin paid for by Loyalist and the target is the general.
         On December 30, Howe relieves Admiral Graves who he charges with failing to protect the store ships from the Privateers replacing him with Admiral Shuldham. This came as a shock to many as Graves’s returns to England in disgrace.

The Battle for Quebec- December 31, 1775 – Sunday
         Montgomery attempts to attack the city on December 27, but a brutal winter storm moves in, stalling his advancement. In that time, a sergeant from Rhode Island deserts and delivers Montgomery’s plan to attack the city, forcing the General to make changes in his original plan.
         The new plan calls for two feints against Quebec’s western walls, under the commands of Jacob Brown and James Livingston.          This diversion will converge with attacks by the main force on lower town.
         Arnold plans to lead a separate attack and breach the walls at the north end of the lower town. Montgomery will follow along the St. Lawrence River and break through the walls of the lower town, meeting up with Arnold to combine their assault forces on the Upper Town. This new plan is kept in the confidence of the senior officers this time.
         On December 30, another storm begins and Montgomery advances his men, hoping to use the storm for cover. Jacob Brown led 100 militia men, and Livingston 200, against the northern gates. Montgomery commands a force of about 300 New York men, with Arnold leading the largest force of about 600, along with six-pounder cannons pulled along by sled for his attack on the lower town.
         At four thirty a.m., Jacob Brown fires a flare, letting the other positions know he is in position, and the battle for Quebec begins with his commanding his men to fire upon the Cape Diamond Bastion, while Livingston’s men open fire on the St. John’s Gate to draw Carleton’s force to the diversion and away from the main attack. Montgomery and Arnold, seeing the flares, advance their companies in direction of the lower town.
         Montgomery leads his men down the steep, snow-heaped path towards the outer defenses. The heavy snow fall over the last week makes the advancement slow and hazardous, as the storm’s veracity increases into a blizzard. The wind howls, blowing blistering gusts of blinding snow into the faces of the men as they push themselves forward. Their feet and hands are numb from the cold grip on their rifles cold steel, trying to keep their powder dry.
         The men plunge through the high drifts of snow, and it’s more hazardous than either Arnold or Montgomery expect. The men struggle to advance in the waist deep snow, falling into holes, not knowing where solid ground is beneath the blanket of white. A few of the men find themselves sliding down embankments and into the stream that runs along their path of attack.
         Once Montgomery’s men reach the palisade of the outer defenses of the city, he sends his platoon of carpenters to saw a large hole through the wall. With their fingers chapped from the cold, the men work hard to cut the frozen fascines of wood, pulling the debris aside for the men to pass through.
         They now come upon a second palisade, where Montgomery himself takes up a saw and begins to cut into the fascines. The men pull away the debris and look through the hole, where Montgomery observes a two story building. Fifty men enter through the hole and form into ranks.
         Cautious Montgomery watches for movement in the structures as he leads his men forward…so far not a shot is fired at them. It assures the General that his plan is working and Carleton’s main force is drawn away by Brown and Livingston.
         Carleton, realizing the attacks on the northern walls is actually a feint, moves his men back into the city and readies them for the main force to attack. Montgomery realizes this too late and when he sees the stockade windows of the blockhouse open, exposing the soldiers inside, he desperately orders his men to charge.
         Carleton holds his men’s fire until his enemy is in close proximity of the blockhouse, waiting until the last possible moment, orders a rain of lead and cannon grape shot that rips into Montgomery’s men, with the general taking a direct hit from grape shot – taking off his head.
         The horrid sight of men’s flesh being torn by the grape shot sent the remaining men to retreat, with less than a third of the men managing back through the hole in the palisade. Aaron Burr, who is with Montgomery, looks back into the hole at the carnage and knows that they do not have enough man power to win a direct attack, and so holds the men to their position.
         As the battle begins to unfold, unaware of Montgomery’s death and the failure of the second unit to enter the city, Arnold advances with his main body to the northern barricade of the lower town, passing the British gun batteries undetected.
         It is not until the advance party turns into a street lined on both sides with rows of buildings that something seems amiss. All is quiet as they advance up the street, where it seems all at once fire comes from every window and doorway.
         The angle of the soldiers inside the protection of the buildings made it impossible to return fire, and Arnold charges his men forward to escape the gauntlet of fire, hoping to find cover ahead of them. Instead he finds him and his men in a trap of a narrow street and a second defense that immediately opens fire.
         Caught in crossfire, Arnold attempts to re-organize a second charge to break the barricade, and falls to the ground when shot in his ankle. With bullets whizzing past, a dozen of his men lift the Colonel, protecting him with their own bodies to remove him from the battlefield.
         Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Morgan is coming into the city in a second wave with his riflemen and while crossing paths with Arnold he is passed command to continue the attack. His riflemen begin to pick off the soldiers in windows and doors and find themselves at the first barricade. Laying down a deadly fire, Morgan’s men advance and take the fortification, but a lack of knowledge of the city layout leads him into a section of narrow twisted streets and he finds himself lost.
         Exposed and in the open, Morgan orders the advancing troops to break into the buildings to get out of the weather and the direct fire coming from the enemy. Many of the men are complaining that their powder is wet, and Morgan has them empty their powder onto dining tables to dry.
         Carleton moves his men in and surrounds the colonials firing cannons into the buildings. A counterattack on the captured barricade overcomes the American troops that hold it, trapping Morgan and three hundred of his men in the lower section of Quebec City.
         At ten a.m., with no route to escape and under heavy fire, Morgan surrenders to Carleton, ending the battle in defeat.
         Remnants of Arnold’s force remains in position outside of Quebec, and he immediately sends dispatches with Moses Hazen and Edward Antill to Wooster, Schuyler, and the Congress for re-enforcement’s. The company surgeon packs his ankle in the cold snow to numb the pain and slow the bleeding. Aaron Burr sadly informs Arnold of Montgomery’s death. It is a disaster.

CHAPTER TWELVE
“The Knox Expedition”
November 17, 1775 – January 25, 1776

         The twenty-five year old Henry Knox leaves Cambridge for Albany New York on November 17, leading a small guard detachment to buy and deliver supplies for the expedition he has been assigned by General Washington, while his younger brother William is leading the main force to Ticonderoga. Upon Henry’s arrival, he hires any available teamsters from New York to join the detachment. Hiring a schooner to transport the supplies and teamsters up the North River from New York City to Fort Ticonderoga was the easy part. It was the effort to get from Lake Chaplain to Boston that presented the real challenge.
         Resting in his cabin with his servant Miller, Henry did some calculations in his head, as to how much rope he would need. On a small pad that he refers to often, he jots down ideas and equipment that comes to his mind that is necessary to prepare for any endeavor they may encounter. He can only imagine the details taken from the maps to the scale of the endeavor, never having been to the Berkshires himself. His training as a British artillery officer will play a major role in what he is about to do. Henry’s knowledge and ability as an artillery officer had encouraged General Gage to solicit Knox in taking a commission for the crown, but after his experience of May 5, 1770, when his squad had fired upon unarmed civilians in the streets of Boston, killing three men, he since had no stomach for the oppressive policies of enforcement against the people of Boston. Even his book store was destroyed by Parliamentary oppression. No, he could not be a part of this appalling breach of English rights.
         Knox spends £521 on provisions and supplies and gets his first taste of the difficulty of moving the train across a terrain that ranges from roads to hills, runs across rivers and up a creek, then up a steep mountain and back down again. This is the mission first assigned to Colonel Benedict Arnold. He can only imagine the problems that await him when he reaches the fort.
         The commission promised to him by Washington had not yet reached Cambridge before he left, and so he still is generally recognized as being a civilian volunteer. This may have ultimately been a greater advantage to him than any rank, as his actions were thought by the teamsters to be more motivated by the deed itself, than for the ambitious manipulations of rank and privilege.
         On December 4, 1775, Knox reaches Fort George and sends a messenger to the gate to let the sentries know his troops were approaching up the road, not to fire upon them. As his teamsters and guard enter the fort he was met by the Colonel and was immediately informed his brother left two days earlier for Ticonderoga.
         As the men camp for the night, Henry finds himself sharing a cabin with a young British prisoner named Lieutenant John André taken prisoner during the attack on Montreal. He is in temporary holding until a prison guard is to escort him and others to Philadelphia for interrogation. The two men share conversation and Henry is happy to learn of the fall of Fort Saint Jean. On other terms, Andre’ and he could have been good friends, having many common interest.
         On December 5, after a windy ride up river on a barge, Knox meets with the commander of Ticonderoga, Colonel Hinman. He is allowed to inspect the condition of the pieces, some which some are still submerged in water along the shoreline, and gives orders to the mechanics to build new carriages for the cannon, as these existing ones are weather beaten and rotted leftovers from the French and Indian war from fourteen years ago. In their current condition, they will never last the journey.
         Many of the pieces are salvaged from the fallen walls by Colonel Arnold and his men after the capture of the fort in May. Major-General Phillip Schuyler, the then-commander of the Northern Department, has inspected the fort while nursing his health after returning sick from the Montreal campaign. By his direct authority, he approves the redeployment of the extra artillery to Washington and suggests the best choice of weapons, but Knox will make the final decision. Schuyler then leaves for Albany.
         That night, Henry and his younger brother stand upon the rampart and take in the view of a perfect sunset. It is a beautiful place, with waterfalls and rushing currents, and Henry knows all these things of admiration in the next weeks will become the difference-makers regarding his success in this venture.
Knox takes notice that Ticonderoga is situated on an angle of land, forming the western shore of Lake Champlain that is South Bay. On the eastern shore is Mount Rattlesnake, and on the western shore is another high mound called Sugar Hill. It is about one hundred and ten miles north of Albany and is surrounded on three sides by water, and on the north-west side it is well-defended by the old French lines and several blockhouses.
         As South bay is the inlet to the lake, the works are of original construction by the French, in 1756, and maintain a high importance by both the French and English for its strategic location, as commanding the pass directly from Canada to the provinces of New York and New England. Henry wonders why Gage chose not to reinforce the positions and on December 7, Knox sits in his quarters and writes a letter to General Washington;

 

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,

I arrived here yesterday, and made preparation to go over the Lake this morning, but General Schuyler reaching here before day, prevents my going over for an hour or two. He has given me a list of stores on the other side, from which I am enabled to send an inventory of those which I intend to forward to camp. The garrison at Ticonderoga is so weak, the conveyance from the fort to the landing is so difficult, the passage across the Lake so precarious, that I am afraid it will be ten days, at least, before I can get them on this side. When they are here, the conveyance from hence will depend entirely on the sledding; if that is good, they shall immediately move forward; without sledding, the roads are so much gullied, that it will be impossible to move a step.

General Schuyler will do everything possible to forward this business. I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your Excellency’s most obedient humble servant,

HENRY KNOX.

  1. S. General Schuyler assures me, that although the navigation through Lake George should be stopped, yet, if there is any sledding, they shall move on another way.

 

         On the morning of December 7, 1775, Henry Knox begins the preparations for his expedition south, as he leads the train from the fort, across land, to the northern point of Lake George, where the four, six, and twelve pounders are loaded onto a scow to be sailed around the peninsula and into the River La Chute, which he estimates to be about four hundred yards wide.
         By the morning of December 8, the two trains are assembling along the shore to be loaded into the scow.
         His men unload the artillery, first from the transports, as crews work on mending the poor roads to accommodate the heavy loads.
         The heavy loads make their way up river about a half mile before landing at the Portage Road Bridge. Henry takes in the beautiful sight of the lower falls that thunder near the bridge’s opposing shore. He breathes in the fresh crisp morning air knowing the adventure of his life has begun, and all will weigh on him heavily for the next months.
         This is the first stage of the operation from Lake Champlain. The inventory includes forty-three heavy brass and iron cannons, six coehorn, eight mortars, and two howitzers. In total, Knox selects 59 pieces including two “Big Berthas”, which are eleven feet long and weigh about 5,400 pounds each. This is, to be sure, his biggest challenge, as it will take a team of Oxen and thirty men to hoist and manhandle the enormous pieces up and down steep inclines and across ravines.
         Upon reaching Portage Road Bridge landing, Knox and his men begin to unload the artillery, and it will now have to be loaded onto Ox carts and transported over the bridge to the north end of Lake George.
         While Knox coordinates the first train to Lake George Landing, his younger brother William serves as the scow captain and is prompt to return to Fort Ticonderoga to retrieve a second load of mortars and cannon. Henry watches as his brother waves before disappearing around the point. He knew of no other he can trust with so dangerous a task, and is glad to have William along.
         The men and beast are exhausted as the roads are filled with gullies and fissures made by rushing water crossing them. The worst of them have to be filled by the road teams, crews that advance for miles before the convoy, preparing the conditions of the road or making road as they go. Knox let his men rest for the night and on December 9; they begin to load the boats, waiting to take the artillery further down river.
         At three o’clock p.m., Knox leads the expedition from a smaller boat toward Sabbath Day Point, enduring heavy head winds. The weather-beaten men are forced to take shelter on the boats from the frigid air, with their faces and fingers chapped from the cold. At nine o’clock in the evening they reach the Point and are met by a group of Indian hunters, who accommodate the white men with roast venison and much appreciated warm fire.
         Some men arrive later in a bateaux to report that the scow Knox’s brother William captains has floundered upon submerged rocks, and though it is not severe damage, their attempt to free themselves has broken most of their ropes. They have now come to retrieve new rope and some additional hands to resolve the situation. The group leaves in the early morning, returning back up river to rescue the scow.
         The crew returns later that day and enjoys the rest, and as they enjoy their meal, a sergeant informs Knox that they prefer to set out again. Knox calls his servant Miller to get his baggage, and they join the men in the boat. Not long after leaving the camp, a wind picks up on the river. After braving the cold for nearly four hours, the men and Knox are forced to land and build fires, around which they huddle close for the rest of the night as temperatures went below freezing.
         The next day is frustrating; as the ice is beginning to form on the river and the battle with the wind is ferocious, it overwhelms Knox and his men, who land at Bolton Landing to spend the night, taking full advantage of the new surroundings to sleep and stay warm.
         Waking early, around sunrise, Henry Knox and his crew continue down the river and close to eleven a.m. they reach the south end of Lake George. Here he waits for the rest of the flotilla to catch up. His concern is the weather – will it stay mild enough to keep the lake from freezing over before the other boats arrive? Meanwhile he sends a dispatch to Captain Palmer in Stillwater to prepare as many sleds and oxen teams as possible to haul the cannon.

 

Fort George December 12, 1775

Capt. Palmer, Sir.

I must beg that you would purchase or get made immediately 40 good strong sleds that will each be able to carry a long cannon clear from dragging on the ground and which will weigh 5400 pounds each & likewise that you would procure oxen or horses as you shall judge most proper to drag them. I think that you may be able to purchase sleds that are already made which by strengthening might Do – the sleds that they are first put upon are to go to camp near Boston – the Cattle as far as Albany or Kinderhook where we must get fresh ones.

Henry Knox

         ith thoughtful consideration of the difficulty experienced these days prior, Henry decides for practical purposes that Fort George will be the staging ground for preparing the artillery for the next length of transport.
         He settles his men here for a bit, but worries about the long delay of the other boats. He is growing extremely anxious, pacing to and fro all the next day with the anticipation of seeing the first of the boats coming around the point, but instead they are no place in sight.
         At the end of his wits and deeply concerned, Knox then sends a boat back up the river, hoping to learn the situation of his brother and the others. When the boat returns later that night, they brought the bad news that the scow has floundered and sunk because of a mishap involving one of the heavy cannons while at moor at Sabbath Day Point. But his brother William assures the scow and its cargo is not lost and still salvageable. Two days later, William, his crew and the artillery arrive at Fort George to be met by an elated older brother, proud of his younger brother’s tenacity.
         By December 15, all the boats and artillery arrive and are loaded to shore. When he is sure he will not need the carters any longer, he authorizes Captain John Johnson to pay the different carters for use of their cattle in dragging the cannons from the north landing point of Ticonderoga, where they had first loaded the boats to begin the trip, south to Lake George. He also authorizes payment to the boatmen as this part of the expedition is complete.
         The following day, on December 16, Knox and his men secure the artillery, mortars and ordinance inside Fort George. He sits with his brother near a warm fire, drinking New England Tea distilled personally by one of the Green Mountain Boys own.
         “You did well, William.”
         William tells his older brother all about the near disaster and how hard the boaters and men worked to save the scow.
         “We have a long ways left to go William and we have people depending on us to succeed with this venture…we must push on…unfortunately we must wait on the sleds to arrive and must then pray for snow.”
         That night Henry spends writing letters and keeping his diary. The next morning he sends a dispatch to Albany addressed to General Phillip Schuyler:

 

 

 

Sir,

We have been so fortunate as to get the mortars and cannon safely over the lake to this place – I arranged with Capt. Palmer of Stillwater to get proper conveyances for them from here. We are apprehensive of a difficulty at Albany for want of a proper snow.

I am not well enough acquainted with the road after we cross at the half moon to know whether it be practicable to keep on the east side of the river entirely to Kinderhook -I expect Capt. Palmer up with the teams on Tuesday or Wednesday and I expect to move as far as Saratoga if the sledding continues as at present – from thence we must wait for snow. I wrote to Mr. Livingston at Albany for 500 fathoms 3 inch rope to fasten the cannon to the sleds – It has not yet arrived.

Fort George,

Henry Knox

December 16, 1775

There are many things to do in preparation, including gathering supplies and rations, searching for sleds and fixing the carriages that are damaged along the way. In the short way they have come, Knox has learned to expect challenges at every length of the way back to Boston. With little else to be done until the sleds arrive, he and his men relax. That night, in the flickering candle light, he wrote to General Washington his progress report:

 

Fort George Dec. 17, 1775

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,

I returned from Ticonderoga to this place on the 15th instant, and brought with me the cannon, &c.; it having taken nearly the time I conjectured it would to transport them here. It is not easy to conceive the difficulties we have had in getting them over the Lake, owing to the advanced season of the year, and contrary winds; three days ago it was very uncertain whether we could have gotten them over until next spring; but now please God, they shall go. I have made forty-two exceedingly strong sleds, and have provided eighty yoke of oxen, to drag them as far as Springfield, where I shall get fresh cattle to carry them to camp.

The route will be from here to Kinderhook, from thence into Great Barrington, in Massachusetts Bay, and down to Springfield. There will scarcely be any possibility of conveying them hence to Albany or Kinderhook, but on sleds, the road being very much gullied. At present the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga, about twenty-six miles; beyond that, there is none. I have sent for the sleds and teams to come up, and expect to begin to move them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next; trusting that between this and that period we shall have a fine fall of snow, which will enable us to proceed further and make the carriage easy. If that should be the case, I hope in seventeen days to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery, the inventory of which I have enclosed. I have been particular with respect to their dimensions, that no mistake may be made in making their carriages, as there are none here, or implements of any kind. I also send a list of those stores, which I desired Colonel McDougall to send from New York. I did not then know of any thirteen-inch mortars, which was the reason of my ordering but few shells of that size; but I now write to him for five hundred one-inch, two hundred five-and-seven-tenths inches, and four hundred seven-and-one-half inches. If these sizes could be had there, as I believe they can, I should imagine it would save time and expense, rather than have them cast. If you should think otherwise, or have made provisions for them elsewhere, you will please to countermand this order.

There is no other news here of Colonel Arnold, than that, from Colonel McLean’s having burnt the houses round Quebec, Colonel Arnold was obliged to go to Point-aux-Trembles, about six miles from the city, and that General Montgomery had gone to join him with a considerable body of men, and a good train of artillery, mortars, &c.

There are some timid, and some malevolent spirits, who make this matter much worse; but from the different accounts which I have been able to collect, I have very little doubt that General Montgomery has Quebec now in his possession. I am, with the utmost respect, your Excellency’s

Most obedient, humble servant,

HENRY KNOX.

 

         Knox began to get impatient, even though the sleds arrived as scheduled, because the lack of snow places the entire expedition in a standstill. He is convinced that he must expedite the venture by traveling ahead to prepare the next leg of transport in Albany, so after giving William full instructions on what he expects him to do, on the morning of December 24, Henry and his servant start walking south to Fort Miller.
         There Henry meets a supporter of the cause, Judge Dewer, who procures for him a sleigh, and after a short rest, Knox continues on to Stillwater, where he and Miller will board a ferry to reach the west side of the Hudson. As he crosses he smiles, seeing the river is nearly completely frozen.         
         This is good, because the train will have to cross the river on the ice and will need the ice to be thick enough to support the weight of the Big Berthas. After reaching Saratoga, Knox and his servant find a tavern and dine.
         Snow is falling, and at about three o’clock, Knox begins again toward Albany. His trip is soon cut short as the snow falls harder, making it a difficult time for the horses. So he decides to spend the night at the next tavern he comes upon along the road.
         The stable keeper takes the horse to the barn and Henry and Miller go inside.
         “Ensign Tavern…home sweet home for the night, Miller,” he says, removing his coat and hat hanging them on the back of a chair.
         “My clattering bones and teeth are glad to hear this, Sir,” Miller manages, freezing from the cold.
         Knox walks up to the bar and orders two liqueurs to warm the cold in them.
         “Excuse me, Sir…but what town are we in? The snow has everything covered.”
         “You are in New City.”
         “How much further to Albany?”
         “About eight miles…would you be ordering something to eat?”
         “Perhaps in a while, what I am interested in is a room for the night and something strong to warm my bones.”
         “Last door on the right,” the tavern owner says, as he pours them drinks to the brim.
         “And I thank you, Sir,” says Knox, as he pays for the drinks and room.
         The next morning on December 26, Miller woke Knox to inform him of the deep snow that had fallen throughout the night. This is good, Knox thinks, until he begins again towards Albany. There is at least two feet of snow on the road and at places drifts twice as high, making the horses work very hard to pull the sleigh.
         The horses, finally exhausted under the strain, refuse to go further and Knox and Miller lead the horses on foot, walking the next four miles in three feet deep snow. With feet and hands frozen, with their ears burning from the cold, Knox is sure they will both die from exposure.
         The wind howls viciously, blowing cutting swirls of snow drifts into their faces, and almost ready to submit himself to his exhaustion, Knox spots a farm house ahead. The two fight the blistering storm to make their way to the farm, knocking hard on the door.
         The farmer is surprise to see anyone, and lets the strangers in. After finding out what they were about, he offers his two horses to the men. Knox and Miller enjoy a hearty breakfast and warm fire. With the storm outside, gusting winds cause the shutters and windows to shake with the force. It gives them no choice except to rest and dry their wet clothes before the fireplace. Warm and comfortable, only Knox’s determination and duty drives him to brave the cold and snow once more.
         Finally he reaches Albany and meets with General Schuyler, and over the next couple of days discusses a plan to locate equipment – especially rope – and sends it north to assist the train. The General rounds up some men to go along, and sends his personal wagon master and officers to solicit from the farmers and merchants some sleighs with horses or oxen, in exchange for a promise of 12 shillings per day for sixty-two days.
         On December 31, as the battle for Quebec City begins, the first sleds loaded with cannon left Fort George under the leadership of the younger Knox. The snow made the trek southward manageable, but when they reach Stillwater they find themselves in a stalemate, with the Hudson River being too frozen for the ferry to sail across and the ice being too thin to support the weight of the cannon train.
         His older brother Henry once owned a book shop in Boston, and William remembers reading in a book on military tactics about a method to help expedite the frozen ice by Roman soldiers. The younger Knox then employs this idea. He has the men working the train break holes in the iced over river just a little ways from their path. He then orders everyman available to form a chain in order to scoop water from the frozen river and bale the water across this plotted path, creating a bridge made of thick ice where the sleds are to travel.
         To test the ice’s strength, a young soldier volunteers to lead the first oxen out onto the ice. One of the older men ties a rope around the brave man’s waist, while the others stand ready to help pull him from the icy water if a mishap takes place.
         Slow, Malachi steps the heavy beast out onto the ice, which creaks and moans beneath the weight. Careful not to spook the beast, he gives the oxen a chance to settle before he continues. Inch by inch, the sled begins to drag onto the ice as the spectators gather together, grimacing as the first weight of the 24 pounder and a small mortar rest wholly on the ice with a crack and a creek. Miraculously, it holds.
         With a safe spacing between the first sled and the next, the experienced teamsters tie long leads between the oxen and the sleds for distribution of the weight. The expedition begins to cross the river.
         William Knox watches from the opposite shore as the teams make their way over the ice, and when the first sled carrying the 24 pounder finds earth again, William takes a deep breath of relief.
         “Keep it moving. We cannot stop or risk being stuck.”
         Malachi can feel the blood returning to his face, as he has never been so scared in his entire life. Even on Bunkers Hill, he had no time to think about dying and not until after did it sink in about the danger, but what he did just then, he thought about each step to be his last if the ice broke scared the living bejeeber’s out of him.
         Each step the ice cracks under him and the weight of the oxen and wonders that he may not have taken a single breath the entire way across – he breathes now proud.
         On the January 4, the first sled arrives in Albany led by Malachi hauling the 24 pounder and Mortar. Henry Knox is so elate he hugs the young man leading the team. As twenty men pulling ropes assisted by the team of oxen hump the big Bertha up the steep grade a crowd of astonish onlookers who assemble to watch.
         By the morning of January 5, four Eighteen pounders make it to Albany. It is then during the early afternoon their elate spirits are sack by the news that the second 24 pounder had broken through the ice and is lost.
         With the weather clearing the sun had thinned the ice and the Hudson becomes impassible stranding the majority of the train on the opposite side of the Hudson. Responding to this new situation Knox sent word to his brother William to move the crossing further down river and cross the Mohawk where the ice is possibly thicker and the river narrower.
         The morning of January 7 – more bad news comes. William ignores his older brother’s instructions to move down river, and another of the cannons is lost attempting to cross the Hudson to Renesselaer, sending Knox into a fury that saw his expedition begin to fall apart.
         In desperation, he then made a public appeal to the people of Albany to help the success of this mission, and arrives at the point of crossing with a large group of men and equipment to assist the teamsters in their miss-adventure crossing the ice.
         At eight o’clock on the morning of January 8, and taking advantage of the cold night air to thicken the ice, Knox begins to coax the teams across the ice while the workers from Albany fish the cannons that broke through the ice back to land.
         By the end of a long hard day, Knox is content that with the help of the men from Albany and the caution and steady tenacity of the teamsters he is successful to recover all of the lost artillery pieces with 23 of the sleds successfully crossing the river to continue on to Albany.
         On January 9, as the last sleds pull across the river and arrive in Albany, the first sleds arriving the day prior are now leaving. Henry Knox rides ahead to coordinate the next leg of the expedition from Claverack, New York. From there on January 10 the first sled cross the border into Massachusetts with a new adventure about to begin.
         That night he sits about a warm fire with the Teamsters. First he will encounter the Greenwoods forest where there are no roads and the advance detachment is hard at work hacking a path.
         A hundred men cut a road between the trees while teams of laborers haul the heavy trunks aside. Some of the teams of Oxen are pulling up stumps that the sleds cannot clear in their path. It was slow, hard and exhausting work, but is the only way back to Boston.
         Another group of fifty men drag away the trunks to build a bridge across chasms and ravines. It is a greater danger to navigate through creeks and avoid being swallowed in the swamps hidden beneath snow cover. For this danger they tie ropes around point men to walk in front of the sleds.
         Then to reach the most treacherous part of the expedition – the crossing of the Berkshire Mountains — which command every ounce of experience of the teamsters and their ability to rig and hump the loads, oxen, sleds, cannons and ordinances up the heights. Knox writes in his diary:

 

“almost a miracle that people with heavy loads should be able to get up and down such hills as are here…Climbed Mountains from which we might have seen all the Kingdoms of the Earth.”

 

         Ropes broke and ordinance dangle, sometimes by hair threads, but fortunately most injuries are minor – twist of ankles or sprained backs from slipping on slick rocks and ice. For the most part, things ran smoothly, considering that the teamsters are civilians and not soldiers. Although at this time of the war, most military discipline is non-existent. Even Henry Knox, at this time (who officially did not receive his commission as a colonel yet), is in fact a civilian volunteer. And as the expense of the expedition grew, he even covers the excess cost from his own pocket.
         Up until his appointment by Washington, Knox is not enlisted into the Massachusetts provincial army, nor is he incorporated into the Continental Army when Washington arrived. He is by fact a former British soldier, who escaped from Boston just after the first shots at Lexington.
         From the heights of these mountains the men rest, taking in the splendid view. They can almost see Boston, Malachi imagines. The men make warm fires and prepare for the cold night ahead, as the wind begins to pick up. Knox hopes that the snow will hold until they are down from the heights of the mountain.
         By night fall on January 12, the train descends the east side of the Berkshires, and Knox begins to lead his expedition on its final leg to Boston. They will pass through the town of Loudon and Blandford, and Knox, after supervising the final carts up onto the mountain, comes upon his lead column, which stops because there is not enough snow to continue.
         The New York Teamsters demand their pay and want to return home. Knox haggles with them about the contract they had made and refuses to pay them until they complete what they had agreed to. After several hours of standoff, Knox makes them a deal; that if they will go as far as possible with his man Solomon Brown of Blandford leading, to reach Westfield eleven miles ahead – he would pay them in full regardless if they made it to Westfield. The New York teamsters believed likely the teamsters from Blandford had little chance of success agree.
         On January 13, the Knox expedition enters Westfield and is met by the curious inhabitants, many whom had never seen cannon before. To appease the wonder-filled crowd, and to his own enjoyment of fireworks, Knox has a mortar unloaded from a sled and displays it for the people, even firing off several shots of powder (with no ball) to happy cheers of children and adults alike.
         The old and young explore the cannons inside and out. Children play about them, as the men sat and rested. The townspeople offer food and drink, and the men of the train explore the local cider and whiskey with the same curious delight as the townsfolk did their cannons and sleds.
         The next day, after a restful sleep, the New York teamsters agree to go further, but when they reach Springfield, they feel they have gone beyond their terms, and Knox pays them for their services just as the Massachusetts teamsters from Westfield transfer the sleds to their own oxen and horses.
         As the artillery train passes through Framingham, the lumbering train of heavy artillery crosses paths with John Adams of the Second Continental Congress on his travels home. The congressman is astonished to see the long train coming up the road. He cheers on the beautiful sight, and Knox tips his hat respectfully as he passes. Crowds begin to form along the road as riders announced the arrival of the convoy of artillery.
         On January 25, Henry Knox halts the train before Harvard College to cheers and huzzahs from the men that gather about the train. Henry dismounts and meets General Washington on the steps of his Cambridge Headquarters. “I deliver to you, Sir…your noble train of artillery from Ticonderoga.” Washington emotionally moved congratulates Knox warmly, “Thank You.”

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
“The Grand Union”
January 1776

         Since the siege began eight months ago various flags are display about the different camps. Some are flags identifying regiments and the many towns and providence’s they represent. They range in description from a snake with thirteen rattles with a fourteenth rattle budding with a motto inscribe venting the attitude “Don’t tread on me!” Another flag is the union flag that bears a solid red banner with thirteen blue streamers with the inscription “An appeal to Heaven.
         At sunrise of the morning of January 1, 1776 the first aggression of the year by the British is made against the rebels that contain them in siege. A single drummer beat a cadence as he and a sergeant carrying a white flag of truce is led by an officer emerging from behind the battlements of Boston neck. The officer is then escort to the Cambridge Headquarters of General George Washington where upon arriving the four guards station at the headquarters bring the officer to stand before Washington who receives the officer with due respect.
         The officer presents to Washington a copy of the king’s speech made before parliament in specific regards to the American rebellion and a British union flag of the crown is to be of use as a signal of concession to the demands of an American surrender.
         “You can return to General Howe and let him know I will confer with my staff and he will have his answer by dusk.” Washington shows little emotion before the courier concealing the insult insinuating from the communication.
         After the British officer leaves Washington turns to his secretary, Reed and with constraint says. “Send dispatches to all units within the battlements and have all available officers and troops not on the forward line to assemble at Mount Pisgah by Three O’clock.”
         Mount Pisgah was part of the lower slopes of Prospect Hill where a thirty foot flag pole is erect in full view of the British in Boston. Today the flag flying in display is the Continental Union flag with its blue streamers embroidered upon it in defiance “An appeal to Heaven”. Colonel Reed stands on the height of the flag mound with George Washington, Lee, and Thomas, as the colonel calls the regiments to order. When they settle he begins;
         “This morning a courier was received from General Howe with a delivery of proclamation from the King. (This drew boos and insults at the crown.) “…It was accompanied by this flag. It is by the direct order of General Washington that you men assemble here. The General appeals to you to make choice of decision bearing the remarks of the King as the liberty in which we fight for is yours and not his choice to vacate if so be it…I read to you the proclamation in its entirely;

My Lords gentlemen,

         The present situation of America, and my constant desire to have your advice, concurrence and assistance, on every important occasion, have determined me to call you thus early together. Those who have long too successfully labored to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentations, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions, repugnant to the true constitution of the colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great-Britain, now openly avow their revolt, hostility and rebellion. They have raised troops, and are collecting a naval force; they have seized the public revenue, and assumed to themselves legislative, executive and judicial powers, which they already exercise in the most arbitrary manner, over the persons and property of their fellow-subjects: And altho’ many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them…The authors and promoters of this desperate conspiracy have, in the conduct of it, derived great advantage from the difference of our intentions and theirs. They meant only to amuse by vague expressions of attachment to the Parent State, and the strongest protestations of loyalty to me, whilst they were preparing for a general revolt. On our part, though it was declared in your last session that a rebellion existed within the province of the Massachusetts Bay, yet even that province we wished rather to reclaim than to subdue. The resolutions of Parliament breathed a spirit of moderation and forbearance; conciliatory propositions accompanied the measures taken to enforce authority; and the coercive acts were adapted to cases of criminal combinations among subjects not then in arms. I have acted with the same temper; anxious to prevent, if it had been possible, the effusion of the blood of my subjects; and the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; still hoping that my people in America would have discerned the traitorous views of their leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world…The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important, the spirit of the British nation too high, the resources with which God hath blessed her too numerous, to give up so many colonies which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at much expense of blood and treasure…It is now become the part of wisdom, and (in its effects) of clemency, to put a speedy end to these disorders by the most decisive exertions. For this purpose, I have increased my naval establishment, and greatly augmented my land forces; but in such a manner as may be the least burdensome to my kingdoms….I have also the satisfaction to inform you, that I have received the most friendly offers of foreign assistance; and if I shall make any treaties in consequence thereof, they shall be laid before you. And I have, in testimony of my affection for my people, who can have no cause in which I am not equally interested, sent to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon a part of my Electoral troops, in order that a larger number of the established forces of this kingdom may be applied to the maintenance of its authority; and the national militia, planned and regulated with equal regard to the rights, safety and protection of my crown and people, may give a farther extent and activity to our military operations…When the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, I shall be ready to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy! And in order to prevent the inconveniences which may arise from the great distance of their situation, and to remove as soon as possible the calamities which they suffer, I shall give authority to certain persons upon the spot to grant general or particular pardons and indemnities, in such manner, and to such persons as they shall think fit; and to receive the submission of any Province or Colony which shall be disposed to return to its allegiance. It may be also proper to authorize the persons so commissioned to restore such Province or Colony, so returning to its allegiance, to the free exercise of its trade and commerce, and to the same protection and security as if such Province or Colony had never revolted-Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I have ordered the proper estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you; and I rely on your affection to me, and your resolution to maintain the just rights of this country, for such supplies as the present circumstances of our affairs require. Among the many unavoidable ill consequences of this rebellion, none affects me more sensibly than the extraordinary burden which it must create to my faithful subjects-My Lords, and Gentlemen, I have fully opened to you my views and intentions. The constant employment of my thoughts, and the most earnest wishes of my heart, tends wholly to the safety and happiness of all my people, and to the re-establishment of order and tranquility through the several parts of my dominions, in a close connection and constitutional dependence. You see the tendency of the present disorders, and I have stated to you the measures which I mean to pursue for suppressing them. Whatever remains to be done, that may farther contribute to this end, I commit to your wisdom. And I am happy to add, that, as well from the assurances I have received, as from the general appearances of affairs in Europe, I see no probability that the measures which you may adopt will be interrupted by disputes with any foreign power.”
         The men in the ranks can hardly be constrained as their insolence and rage is shouting from the battlements along the Charlestown neck. Reed rides alongside the other generals and says to Washington. “I think we have their answer, Sir.”
         “Burn it.”
         “Excuse me Sir?”
         “Burn the speech before the men…now.”
         Reed is assist by Lee, and Thomas holding a lit match to the parchment until it ignites with Reed holding the flaming speech above his head for all to see. The men cheer to rallying by their commanders in deafening display of defiance. Reed returns to Washington. “What next, Sir?”
         “Lower the continental and raise this flag.”
         Reed turns to the color guard. “Strike the colors.” The crowd draws to a silence as the Colonial Continental colors flag is lowered. Reed retrieves the flag sent by General Howe. Washington rides up to him. “Not that one…raise this!” And hands Reed the flag he has been saving for such an occasion. His hopes were to hoist it above Boston after it was liberated, but he knows this is just the inspiration in defiance he needs. Reed is confused, but delivers Washington’s flag to the color guard.
         The soldier takes the flag and attaches it to the sling and up it raises. The men stand silent as they never saw this flag before admiring how it demands respect wavering in the breeze. It is the largest flag any of them have ever seen and sure to be seen by Howe in Boston.
         Washington watches the faces of the men – this was who they are now – they are no longer a rebel army, they are a united army for the cause of liberty. Even though there is no declaration of independence or formal governments officially organized – the Continental colors waving thirteen red and white stripes and union jack in its upper corner – is now replaced. Wavering high and proud in its place is Washington’s Grand Union flag that bore upon it thirteen Red and White stripes with thirteen stars representing each of the providence’s of the American colonies. Colonel Reed calls the troops to attention followed by a long silence as the moment sets in upon the men.
         The men stand in awe at this new flag realizing his significant in ultimate defiance as it denounces the crown letting Howe know; they are no longer British citizens, but American’s and the troops surge from a dead silence to cheers. Reed returns to Washington. “What does it mean?”
         “It is my answer to Howe. General Thomas? Have your artillery commence fire on the neck battlement in thirteen volleys…one for each American province.”

         From the battery on Copps Hill in Boston General Howe watches through his field glasses as the flags change.          In his presumption that the flag rising is the flag of the crown he is elate that the American’s chose alliance and agree to submit.
         The Regular soldiers along every fortification on the Charlestown peninsula and northern em-battlements of Boston cheer as they assume to have won the victory. In their joy they come out from the shelter of the battlements onto the commons of both necks in jubilant celebration which is short live when suddenly the explosions of the thirteen American cannons open fire upon them with thirteen resounding volleys that blast the fortifications on the Charlestown neck sending the men who mistook the change of the flag as an American surrender scurrying for cover.
         Each volley is endorsed by the American’s from all the camp and battlements in a hussar after each volley. Howe confused checks the flag again finding that the flag hoist in response to his terms of surrender is not the flag of the crown, but one he had never encountered before. He will be learned soon enough that it is to be called the “Grand Union” of the United Provinces of the Continental Army. The tenacity of his adversary in defiance, is punctuate by artillery and hussars that are heard from the ramparts of the enemy fortifications that left no doubt it; will be liberty or be death under terms of their own free will!
         In Virginia Royal Governor Dunmore evacuates Norfolk with troops, loyalist and slaves he promise freedom to if they fought for the Crown onto five men of war and six sloops and schooners waiting in the harbor.
         swore to burn the city on New Years and at four a.m., on the first day of the new year the bombardment of hot shot began. By eleven that morning after the intense cannonades the most prosperous city in the colony was set on fire and over the next two days its inhabitants watch helpless as it burns complete to the ground.
         Part of Dunmore’s fleet would later join with a larger fleet sailing from London and anchor off of New York City. The remainder of his fleet is split between Jamaica and Florida where the slaves he promise freedom to are sold back into slavery.
With all that is occurring in the past days George Washington is facing the first of much dissolution as many of the experience regiments begin to leave for home. Their enlistments are up and now in the dead of winter as the British still accumulate in numbers he must recruit and train raw troops.
         Washington’s worry is from a direct attack at this moment by Howe will have devastating results and likely to prevail to defeat the American revolt entirely.
         Intelligence reports to Washington that a small fleet is departing from the Massachusetts Bay under General Henry Clinton during the night. Washington assumes the fleet is heading to New York to seize the port there. Instead the fleet heads to North Carolina with orders to destroy every town that resist allegiance to the crown.
         On January 5 there is activity in the New Hampshire camp. Loud and jubilant cheers from the men gather around Colonel Stark addressing his regiment with news from the provincial Congress of New Hampshire drawing curious inquiry from the other camps.
A messenger enters the headquarters and is escort to Washington. “Sir! The Colony of New Hampshire has provided a statement denouncing King George III and has established itself a sovereign state under its own Constitution.”
         The General contemplates to himself…It has begun.
         As the men dismiss from their enlistment broke down their camps and prepare to leave, Washington sends an inspector about them with an offer to purchase the personal weapons these men brought into battle in the first days of Lexington and Concord.
         The men sneer at the inspector’s offers with great offense taking by the low value given to their property and they make no secret of what they think charging they are being robbed with some of them refusing to give up their rifles.
         General Washington calls the men to ranks and speaking to their senses he reasons that there is more at stake than just monetary value. The rifles must be purchase out of necessity to supply them to any new recruits and because the funds in the army treasury were scant it could not be afforded to pay the top dollar they are of rightful value. He further apologizes for the insult his inspectors insinuate in their offer and he appreciates their sacrifice continuing to appeal to the men’s conscience by speaking to them as another man and not from the command of rank. Reluctantly the men took the low value and left for home.
         On the morning of January 8, General Lee and a company of men leave Cambridge for New York City to secure and fortify the best defense of the city. Later that same day General Putnam orders a detachment of two hundred men under Major Knowlton to join with brigade-majors Cary and Hendly to cross the mill-dam from Cobble Hill.
         At nine O’clock Major Cary led his group to the furthest houses in a row that ran along Main Street of Bunker Hill Township. His mission is to burn the wooden structures at the furthest end which are slowly being demolished by the British for fuel.
         In the meantime Major Hendly has his men begin to burn the houses nearest to the dam. Some of the men are premature in setting the fires to the closest building and an alarm is sound. Immediately the two groups of American’s come under fire and hastily set fire to the buildings while falling back to the dam.
         Across the bay in Boston the Officers and privilege Tory faction are enjoying a play making a mockery of the rebels’ siege emphasizing the burlesque figure of Washington in a ridiculously large wig and uncouth gait and rusty sword with his servant following also carrying a rusty rifle.
         It is precisely this moment when a sergeant of the guard enters the stage and announces the alarm; The Yankees are attacking our works on Bunker Hill!”
         Thinking this is part of the mockery people laugh and ignore the warning. It is not until Howe himself stands up from his chair and shouts. “Officers to your alarm post!” The crowds begin to disperse with women fainting and cry out.
         The Americans and their mission successful return to Cobble Hill with five prisoners and fourteen houses in full flame that could be seen from Boston. One of the guards post in a house is killed resisting the American’s but no American’s are injured.
With much on his mind, Washington takes comfort in a glass of wine. He writes in his journal:

January 14, 1776
         The reflection upon my situation, and that of this army, produces many an uneasy hour, when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in, on a hundred counts; fewer still will believe, if any disaster happens to these lines, from what cause it flows. I have often thought how much happier I should have been, if, instead of accepting of a command under such circumstances, I had taken my musket upon my shoulder and entered the ranks: or, if I could have justified the measure to posterity and my own conscience, had retired to the back country, and lived in a wigwam. If I shall be able to rise superior to these, and many other difficulties which might be enumerated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger of Providence is in it, to blind the eyes of our enemies; for surely, if we get well through this month, it must be for want of their knowing the disadvantages we labor under.”

         Little did Washington know that at that same moment he logs these reservations two groups of British, one embarking from Castle Island and the other from Boston consisting of several hundred grenadiers and light-infantry are rowing across the bay toward Dorchester Heights. Fortunately as the first boats land ashore the American guards manage to sound the alarm before being over taken and captured by the enemy.
         to the alarm is immediate as the seventy American guardsmen station on the heights open fire. The British officers not knowing the strength of the force entrench upon the hill decide to retire the plan that depends on secrecy and surprise and in the many months to come a bizarre twist of fate, weather, and circumstance that do insinuate the possibility; that perhaps, providence does have more than just a finger in the part of this?

         On January 16, Washington calls a second council of war for the new year. News arrives reporting the death of General Montgomery and the defeat at Quebec. With the lack of troops holding the siege at Boston, Washington cannot afford to send an army to continue the Canadian campaign.
         He reiterates the previous dispatch from the Continental Congress to attack Boston and destroy the city.

         “It is indispensably necessary to make a bold attempt to conquer the ministerial troops of Boston before they can be reinforced in the spring, if the means should be provided, and favorable opportunity should be offered.”

         John Adams arrives to confer with Washington on the matter along with James Warren who both attend this council. They support Washington’s judgment to attack and the other generals submitted to agree sighting in objection to the attack that they thought it is impractical at this time when they are short in the number of experience troops and suffer the lack of powder.
         Washington sent requisitions to the townships of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut to raise thirteen regiments of militia and to have them delivered to Cambridge by the first of February hoping by the time these men arrive, the bay will be frozen over enough that he can launch an attack directly on Boston over the ice.
         On January 25, the first column of artillery arrives from Fort Ticonderoga and immediately Washington orders it to be proportion between Lechmere’s Point to cover the Charlestown neck, and Cobble Hill to re-enforce against any attack attempt against Cambridge with mortars being erect on Lambs Dam in Roxbury to harass the Boston Neck.
         Washington dines with his staff in celebration and toast to the hero who finally receives his commission “To Colonel Henry Knox…Thank you for your ample train of artillery!” Washington toast. “To Colonel Henry Knox!” All the joint chief officers who are present acknowledge.
         There is now ample powder and ordinances in camp. Things are about to change as the stalemate begins to slide toward the favor of the Americans.

         Since the siege began eight months ago various flags are display about the different camps. Some are flags identifying regiments and the many towns and providence’s they represent. They range in description from a snake with thirteen rattles with a fourteenth rattle budding with a motto inscribe venting the attitude “Don’t tread on me!” Another flag is the union flag that bears a solid red banner with thirteen blue streamers with the inscription “An appeal to Heaven.
         At sunrise of the morning of January 1, 1776 the first aggression of the year by the British is made against the rebels that contain them in siege. A single drummer beat a cadence as he and a sergeant carrying a white flag of truce is led by an officer emerging from behind the battlements of Boston neck. The officer is then escort to the Cambridge Headquarters of General George Washington where upon arriving the four guards station at the headquarters bring the officer to stand before Washington who receives the officer with due respect.
         The officer presents to Washington a copy of the king’s speech made before parliament in specific regards to the American rebellion and a British union flag of the crown is to be of use as a signal of concession to the demands of an American surrender.
         “You can return to General Howe and let him know I will confer with my staff and he will have his answer by dusk.” Washington shows little emotion before the courier concealing the insult insinuating from the communication.
         After the British officer leaves Washington turns to his secretary, Reed and with constraint says. “Send dispatches to all units within the battlements and have all available officers and troops not on the forward line to assemble at Mount Pisgah by Three O’clock.”
         Mount Pisgah was part of the lower slopes of Prospect Hill where a thirty foot flag pole is erect in full view of the British in Boston. Today the flag flying in display is the Continental Union flag with its blue streamers embroidered upon it in defiance “An appeal to Heaven”. Colonel Reed stands on the height of the flag mound with George Washington, Lee, and Thomas, as the colonel calls the regiments to order. When they settle he begins;
         “This morning a courier was received from General Howe with a delivery of proclamation from the King. (This drew boos and insults at the crown.) “…It was accompanied by this flag. It is by the direct order of General Washington that you men assemble here. The General appeals to you to make choice of decision bearing the remarks of the King as the liberty in which we fight for is yours and not his choice to vacate if so be it…I read to you the proclamation in its entirely;

My Lords gentlemen,

         The present situation of America, and my constant desire to have your advice, concurrence and assistance, on every important occasion, have determined me to call you thus early together. Those who have long too successfully labored to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentations, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions, repugnant to the true constitution of the colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great-Britain, now openly avow their revolt, hostility and rebellion. They have raised troops, and are collecting a naval force; they have seized the public revenue, and assumed to themselves legislative, executive and judicial powers, which they already exercise in the most arbitrary manner, over the persons and property of their fellow-subjects: And altho’ many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a sufficient force shall appear to support them…The authors and promoters of this desperate conspiracy have, in the conduct of it, derived great advantage from the difference of our intentions and theirs. They meant only to amuse by vague expressions of attachment to the Parent State, and the strongest protestations of loyalty to me, whilst they were preparing for a general revolt. On our part, though it was declared in your last session that a rebellion existed within the province of the Massachusetts Bay, yet even that province we wished rather to reclaim than to subdue. The resolutions of Parliament breathed a spirit of moderation and forbearance; conciliatory propositions accompanied the measures taken to enforce authority; and the coercive acts were adapted to cases of criminal combinations among subjects not then in arms. I have acted with the same temper; anxious to prevent, if it had been possible, the effusion of the blood of my subjects; and the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; still hoping that my people in America would have discerned the traitorous views of their leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a subject of Great Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world…The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important, the spirit of the British nation too high, the resources with which God hath blessed her too numerous, to give up so many colonies which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at much expense of blood and treasure…It is now become the part of wisdom, and (in its effects) of clemency, to put a speedy end to these disorders by the most decisive exertions. For this purpose, I have increased my naval establishment, and greatly augmented my land forces; but in such a manner as may be the least burdensome to my kingdoms….I have also the satisfaction to inform you, that I have received the most friendly offers of foreign assistance; and if I shall make any treaties in consequence thereof, they shall be laid before you. And I have, in testimony of my affection for my people, who can have no cause in which I am not equally interested, sent to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon a part of my Electoral troops, in order that a larger number of the established forces of this kingdom may be applied to the maintenance of its authority; and the national militia, planned and regulated with equal regard to the rights, safety and protection of my crown and people, may give a farther extent and activity to our military operations…When the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, I shall be ready to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy! And in order to prevent the inconveniences which may arise from the great distance of their situation, and to remove as soon as possible the calamities which they suffer, I shall give authority to certain persons upon the spot to grant general or particular pardons and indemnities, in such manner, and to such persons as they shall think fit; and to receive the submission of any Province or Colony which shall be disposed to return to its allegiance. It may be also proper to authorize the persons so commissioned to restore such Province or Colony, so returning to its allegiance, to the free exercise of its trade and commerce, and to the same protection and security as if such Province or Colony had never revolted-Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I have ordered the proper estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you; and I rely on your affection to me, and your resolution to maintain the just rights of this country, for such supplies as the present circumstances of our affairs require. Among the many unavoidable ill consequences of this rebellion, none affects me more sensibly than the extraordinary burden which it must create to my faithful subjects-My Lords, and Gentlemen, I have fully opened to you my views and intentions. The constant employment of my thoughts, and the most earnest wishes of my heart, tends wholly to the safety and happiness of all my people, and to the re-establishment of order and tranquility through the several parts of my dominions, in a close connection and constitutional dependence. You see the tendency of the present disorders, and I have stated to you the measures which I mean to pursue for suppressing them. Whatever remains to be done, that may farther contribute to this end, I commit to your wisdom. And I am happy to add, that, as well from the assurances I have received, as from the general appearances of affairs in Europe, I see no probability that the measures which you may adopt will be interrupted by disputes with any foreign power.”
         The men in the ranks can hardly be constrained as their insolence and rage is shouting from the battlements along the Charlestown neck. Reed rides alongside the other generals and says to Washington. “I think we have their answer, Sir.”
         “Burn it.”
         “Excuse me Sir?”
         “Burn the speech before the men…now.”
         Reed is assist by Lee, and Thomas holding a lit match to the parchment until it ignites with Reed holding the flaming speech above his head for all to see. The men cheer to rallying by their commanders in deafening display of defiance. Reed returns to Washington. “What next, Sir?”
         “Lower the continental and raise this flag.”
         Reed turns to the color guard. “Strike the colors.” The crowd draws to a silence as the Colonial Continental colors flag is lowered. Reed retrieves the flag sent by General Howe. Washington rides up to him. “Not that one…raise this!” And hands Reed the flag he has been saving for such an occasion. His hopes were to hoist it above Boston after it was liberated, but he knows this is just the inspiration in defiance he needs. Reed is confused, but delivers Washington’s flag to the color guard.
         The soldier takes the flag and attaches it to the sling and up it raises. The men stand silent as they never saw this flag before admiring how it demands respect wavering in the breeze. It is the largest flag any of them have ever seen and sure to be seen by Howe in Boston.
         Washington watches the faces of the men – this was who they are now – they are no longer a rebel army, they are a united army for the cause of liberty. Even though there is no declaration of independence or formal governments officially organized – the Continental colors waving thirteen red and white stripes and union jack in its upper corner – is now replaced. Wavering high and proud in its place is Washington’s Grand Union flag that bore upon it thirteen Red and White stripes with thirteen stars representing each of the providence’s of the American colonies. Colonel Reed calls the troops to attention followed by a long silence as the moment sets in upon the men.
         The men stand in awe at this new flag realizing his significant in ultimate defiance as it denounces the crown letting Howe know; they are no longer British citizens, but American’s and the troops surge from a dead silence to cheers. Reed returns to Washington. “What does it mean?”
         “It is my answer to Howe. General Thomas? Have your artillery commence fire on the neck battlement in thirteen volleys…one for each American province.”

         From the battery on Copps Hill in Boston General Howe watches through his field glasses as the flags change.          In his presumption that the flag rising is the flag of the crown he is elate that the American’s chose alliance and agree to submit.
         The Regular soldiers along every fortification on the Charlestown peninsula and northern em-battlements of Boston cheer as they assume to have won the victory. In their joy they come out from the shelter of the battlements onto the commons of both necks in jubilant celebration which is short live when suddenly the explosions of the thirteen American cannons open fire upon them with thirteen resounding volleys that blast the fortifications on the Charlestown neck sending the men who mistook the change of the flag as an American surrender scurrying for cover.
         Each volley is endorsed by the American’s from all the camp and battlements in a hussar after each volley. Howe confused checks the flag again finding that the flag hoist in response to his terms of surrender is not the flag of the crown, but one he had never encountered before. He will be learned soon enough that it is to be called the “Grand Union” of the United Provinces of the Continental Army. The tenacity of his adversary in defiance, is punctuate by artillery and hussars that are heard from the ramparts of the enemy fortifications that left no doubt it; will be liberty or be death under terms of their own free will!
         In Virginia Royal Governor Dunmore evacuates Norfolk with troops, loyalist and slaves he promise freedom to if they fought for the Crown onto five men of war and six sloops and schooners waiting in the harbor.
         swore to burn the city on New Years and at four a.m., on the first day of the new year the bombardment of hot shot began. By eleven that morning after the intense cannonades the most prosperous city in the colony was set on fire and over the next two days its inhabitants watch helpless as it burns complete to the ground.
         Part of Dunmore’s fleet would later join with a larger fleet sailing from London and anchor off of New York City. The remainder of his fleet is split between Jamaica and Florida where the slaves he promise freedom to are sold back into slavery.
With all that is occurring in the past days George Washington is facing the first of much dissolution as many of the experience regiments begin to leave for home. Their enlistments are up and now in the dead of winter as the British still accumulate in numbers he must recruit and train raw troops.
         Washington’s worry is from a direct attack at this moment by Howe will have devastating results and likely to prevail to defeat the American revolt entirely.
         Intelligence reports to Washington that a small fleet is departing from the Massachusetts Bay under General Henry Clinton during the night. Washington assumes the fleet is heading to New York to seize the port there. Instead the fleet heads to North Carolina with orders to destroy every town that resist allegiance to the crown.
         On January 5 there is activity in the New Hampshire camp. Loud and jubilant cheers from the men gather around Colonel Stark addressing his regiment with news from the provincial Congress of New Hampshire drawing curious inquiry from the other camps.
A messenger enters the headquarters and is escort to Washington. “Sir! The Colony of New Hampshire has provided a statement denouncing King George III and has established itself a sovereign state under its own Constitution.”
         The General contemplates to himself…It has begun.
         As the men dismiss from their enlistment broke down their camps and prepare to leave, Washington sends an inspector about them with an offer to purchase the personal weapons these men brought into battle in the first days of Lexington and Concord.
         The men sneer at the inspector’s offers with great offense taking by the low value given to their property and they make no secret of what they think charging they are being robbed with some of them refusing to give up their rifles.
         General Washington calls the men to ranks and speaking to their senses he reasons that there is more at stake than just monetary value. The rifles must be purchase out of necessity to supply them to any new recruits and because the funds in the army treasury were scant it could not be afforded to pay the top dollar they are of rightful value. He further apologizes for the insult his inspectors insinuate in their offer and he appreciates their sacrifice continuing to appeal to the men’s conscience by speaking to them as another man and not from the command of rank. Reluctantly the men took the low value and left for home.
         On the morning of January 8, General Lee and a company of men leave Cambridge for New York City to secure and fortify the best defense of the city. Later that same day General Putnam orders a detachment of two hundred men under Major Knowlton to join with brigade-majors Cary and Hendly to cross the mill-dam from Cobble Hill.
         At nine O’clock Major Cary led his group to the furthest houses in a row that ran along Main Street of Bunker Hill Township. His mission is to burn the wooden structures at the furthest end which are slowly being demolished by the British for fuel.
         In the meantime Major Hendly has his men begin to burn the houses nearest to the dam. Some of the men are premature in setting the fires to the closest building and an alarm is sound. Immediately the two groups of American’s come under fire and hastily set fire to the buildings while falling back to the dam.
         Across the bay in Boston the Officers and privilege Tory faction are enjoying a play making a mockery of the rebels’ siege emphasizing the burlesque figure of Washington in a ridiculously large wig and uncouth gait and rusty sword with his servant following also carrying a rusty rifle.
         It is precisely this moment when a sergeant of the guard enters the stage and announces the alarm; The Yankees are attacking our works on Bunker Hill!”
         Thinking this is part of the mockery people laugh and ignore the warning. It is not until Howe himself stands up from his chair and shouts. “Officers to your alarm post!” The crowds begin to disperse with women fainting and cry out.
         The Americans and their mission successful return to Cobble Hill with five prisoners and fourteen houses in full flame that could be seen from Boston. One of the guards post in a house is killed resisting the American’s but no American’s are injured.
With much on his mind, Washington takes comfort in a glass of wine. He writes in his journal:

January 14, 1776
         The reflection upon my situation, and that of this army, produces many an uneasy hour, when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in, on a hundred counts; fewer still will believe, if any disaster happens to these lines, from what cause it flows. I have often thought how much happier I should have been, if, instead of accepting of a command under such circumstances, I had taken my musket upon my shoulder and entered the ranks: or, if I could have justified the measure to posterity and my own conscience, had retired to the back country, and lived in a wigwam. If I shall be able to rise superior to these, and many other difficulties which might be enumerated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger of Providence is in it, to blind the eyes of our enemies; for surely, if we get well through this month, it must be for want of their knowing the disadvantages we labor under.”

         Little did Washington know that at that same moment he logs these reservations two groups of British, one embarking from Castle Island and the other from Boston consisting of several hundred grenadiers and light-infantry are rowing across the bay toward Dorchester Heights. Fortunately as the first boats land ashore the American guards manage to sound the alarm before being over taken and captured by the enemy.
         to the alarm is immediate as the seventy American guardsmen station on the heights open fire. The British officers not knowing the strength of the force entrench upon the hill decide to retire the plan that depends on secrecy and surprise and in the many months to come a bizarre twist of fate, weather, and circumstance that do insinuate the possibility; that perhaps, providence does have more than just a finger in the part of this?

         On January 16, Washington calls a second council of war for the new year. News arrives reporting the death of General Montgomery and the defeat at Quebec. With the lack of troops holding the siege at Boston, Washington cannot afford to send an army to continue the Canadian campaign.
         He reiterates the previous dispatch from the Continental Congress to attack Boston and destroy the city.

         “It is indispensably necessary to make a bold attempt to conquer the ministerial troops of Boston before they can be reinforced in the spring, if the means should be provided, and favorable opportunity should be offered.”

         John Adams arrives to confer with Washington on the matter along with James Warren who both attend this council. They support Washington’s judgment to attack and the other generals submitted to agree sighting in objection to the attack that they thought it is impractical at this time when they are short in the number of experience troops and suffer the lack of powder.
         Washington sent requisitions to the townships of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut to raise thirteen regiments of militia and to have them delivered to Cambridge by the first of February hoping by the time these men arrive, the bay will be frozen over enough that he can launch an attack directly on Boston over the ice.
         On January 25, the first column of artillery arrives from Fort Ticonderoga and immediately Washington orders it to be proportion between Lechmere’s Point to cover the Charlestown neck, and Cobble Hill to re-enforce against any attack attempt against Cambridge with mortars being erect on Lambs Dam in Roxbury to harass the Boston Neck.
         Washington dines with his staff in celebration and toast to the hero who finally receives his commission “To Colonel Henry Knox…Thank you for your ample train of artillery!” Washington toast. “To Colonel Henry Knox!” All the joint chief officers who are present acknowledge.
         There is now ample powder and ordinances in camp. Things are about to change as the stalemate begins to slide toward the favor of the Americans.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
“The Liberation of Boston”
February, 1776 to March, 1776

        On February 9, 1776 it comes to Washington’s knowledge through daily reports from his commanders that there are nearly two thousand men in the camps that have no firelocks assign to them. This becomes his most guarded secret fearing that such information reaches Howe it may encourage him to attack.
        Left with no alternative Washington orders that those men have issue spears in the event of a British attack which seems bizarre to the men who receive orders to report to the armory to receive this primitive weapon instead of issue of a rifle. The men muse about it.
        That same evening a company of Howe’s men cross the ice of the frozen bay and set fire to several homes along Dorchester Heights.
        Washington holds a council of officers on February 16 after ten regiments of militia and a large train of supplies and ammunition arrive. He again submits his plan before the council of war to take the offensive, but his officers again caution him to wait. They council that the fortifications on Dorchester Heights must commence with the intent to draw the enemy into attacking the position while an excursion across Noddles Island diverts Howe’s attention with the provocation that it is the more probable assault will come from the north-east instead.
        On February 18, Washington sends a letter to Congress;

To have the eyes of the whole continent fixed with anxious expectation of hearing some great event, and to be restrained in every military operation, for want of the necessary means to carry it on, is not very pleasing, especially as the means used to conceal my weakness from the enemy conceal it also from our friends, and add to their wonder.

        That same day Doctor John Morgan arrives as the newly appointed director-general of the hospitals, replacing Doctor Church. After reporting to Washington with congressional orders he begins a systematic arrangement of the medical department beginning with a reduction of surgeon mates.
        Washington can sense the manifestation in the officers and soldiers that display an anxious desire to engage with the enemy. Either a general assault on the town of Boston, or the erection of works on the heights of Dorchester, or both, is generally suppose to be in contemplation by rumor control among the troops.
        The frozen ground of winter and the cover of snow make the job of fortification at both necks trying and difficult. General Washington orders the placement of two heavy 18 pounders to face the battlements on Bunkers Hill with platforms to be built for mortars in preparation of the coming offensive.
        Cobble Hill is also reinforced and has in addition to three twelve pounder cannons, a half dozen smaller six and eight pounders are add in their support. The lines are reinforced by the ten regiments’ arriving by the hour and in good cheer. The commanders see the morale is boost for the men already manning the fortifications.
        On February 26, General Washington appears before the Massachusetts provincial Congress to inform them of his intention to take possession of Dorchester Heights and request they alert the surrounding militia’s in region of Dorchester and Roxbury to prepare to assist and repair to these lines when the signal is given and the offensive operation begins.
        The men watch with anticipation the preparations in prelude for some major event. Several regiments of militia arrive from the country; and orders for surgeons and mates to prepare lint and bandages, to the amount of two thousand, for fractured limbs and other gun-shot wounds are circulated from Cambridge to Medford.
        Washington later that day writes a letter to the Continental Congress informing them the assault they been awaiting is about to begin…he writes:

        I should think if anything will induce (the British) them to hazard an engagement, it will be our attempting to fortify these heights, as, on that event taking place, we shall be able to command a great part of the town, and almost the whole harbor, and to make them rather disagreeable than otherwise, provided we can get a sufficient supply of what we greatly want.”

        Washington makes every effort to avoid mentioning shortage of gun powder in his communications as he never trusted the exposure of this shortage; that it may fall into the hands of the enemy.
        As word reaches the surrounding townships and the solicitation of new volunteers of militia begin to arrive. Men build fascines, and screw hay for entrenchment as the secondary forces prepare along the banks of the Charles River with forty-five bateaux capable of carrying eighty men each are ready in support of two floating batteries laying hid in one of many inlets which make up the Massachusetts Bay. Washington wants to have everything in strategic placement as he is certain the operation on Dorchester will draw the enemy and encourage an all out offensive from Boston. He knew his plan will not fail and will hold back nothing to encourage nothing less than a decisive battle to conclude this siege.
        On March the eve of the second, Washington begins his bombardment of Boston with all batteries from Cobble Hill, Lechmere’s Point, Lambs Dam and Roxbury releasing a barrage of fire on the city and both necks sending the Red Coats scattering about for cover as Washington watches from Prospect Hill with his spirit heighten by his new ability to inflict wreckage upon his enemies main camp.
        Thanks to his new artillery delivered by Colonel Knox who is standing next to Washington enjoying the fireworks that transform every structure they land to splinters and the frantic captains of the anchor ships in the bay into evasive maneuvering to avoid being sunk. Havoc and chaos shower the streets Boston with flame and fire.
        British batteries fire back smartly hitting positions on Roxbury and Prospect Hills and all along the battlements on both necks. This bombardment last all through the night and subsides in the early morning of Sunday March 3, to begin again that night as the sun set that last until the next morning. The intent is to keep a covering fire to distract the enemy attention from the operation to fortify Dorchester. The fire is so intense that the brass mortar, “the Congress”, and two other canon burst wounding the soldiers that man them and are brought to the hospital.
        On Monday March 4, the cannonade begins again, but this time as the inhabitants of Boston secure the fires set by the hot shot they resolve to take personal safety, as General Thomas marches two thousand men under a full moon taking the possession of Dorchester Heights.
        At seven O’clock a covering party leads the way to take positions along the hill base and forward slopes as the twenty carts of trenching tools make their way up the steep slopes hasten by twelve hundred troops that push and pull the heavy carts full of digging tools in the first phase to build the fortifications.
        In the second phase a train of three hundred carts load with a thousand fascines and hay bale is driven to Dorchester Heights. The troops in the past few days constructed these fascines in the safety of Roxbury under command of the Quarter-master general, Colonel Mifflin, now move into position and by eight o’clock these fascines are hastily stack into place while those with shovels bury them with earth. The digging is hard at first until they were below the freeze line about eighteen inches and mist come from the ground.
        The fortifications extend to within a quarter mile range from points closest to the enemy positions of Boston Neck and almost half that distance to Castle Island. The thunder of cannons conceal the noise of the digging a stone’s throw from British fortifications. Malachi comments to a soldier nearby. “Any closer we can save our cartridges and dual with our bayonets.”
        It is the sixth anniversary of the celebrate remembrance of the Boston Massacre, March 5, that the British command look out from his battlements to see the redoubts upon the heights now overlooking Boston. Howe remarks to his secretary. “The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army could have done in a month.”
        Admiral Shuldham meets with Howe and in his opinion the security of the entire fleet is in as much jeopardy as is the army. “There is, but two alternatives; attack the positions and drive out the American’s or evacuate the city as there is no means left to defend.”
        Howe’s decision owes to the honor of his men and himself. He cannot simply abandon the city since it is the original cause of the entire war. This Howe feels this will become too deep a disgrace for his men to bear; to go without a fight; and he calls his generals to a war council to plan an attack on Dorchester Heights.
        Twenty-four hundred men under Earl Percy prepare transports at Castle Williams, as American General Thomas watch from the redoubt as they prepare. The assumption and speculation of events brought inhabitants from the surrounding area’s to gather on the hills and house roofs in anticipation to see a replay of Bunkers Hill. It is apparent that this is mounting into a battle far beyond expectation as the two great forces flex and build menacingly in opposition.
        The men on Dorchester stack barrels full of dirt and stones in front of the redoubts to roll down the steep slopes to break the ranks and the legs of the British as they climb the slopes in their advance while George Washington himself rode up to the fortification and shouts to his men. “Remember it is the fifth of March, and avenge the death of your brethren.” He continues up and down the line encouraging and inspiring his men that this is the moment of decision. “Liberty or death!” He rallies. The men respond to their commander. “Hussar! Hussar! Hussar!” The day of reckoning is upon them.
        As this is happening, four thousand troops are mustering in Cambridge commons. The first of two divisions is being led by General Sullivan and the other under General Greene with General Putnam in charge of it all. Putnam orders the columns of men and supplies to parade to the Charles River and the awaiting transports.
        Malachi watches the mobilization from the defense he helped build during the night and as the day light reveals on the heights at the two newly built forts in considerable forwardness, he marvels that they are without doubt sufficient for a defense against small arms and grape-shot.
        The amount of labor during the night is most incredible and in the morning light is attracting a tremendous cannonade from the forts in Boston, and in tandem with the shipping in the harbor percussions rattle the fascines. Even those stout of heart worry in silence knowing Howe will put every resource he has against this position. The question in their hearts will soon be answered, “Is this the day I meet my maker?”
        Cannon shot are continually rolling and rebounding over the hill; and it is astonishing to observe how little the soldiers pay attention to the burst going off about them.
        During the fore noon Malachi observes the expectation of witnessing the awful battle scene as the royal troops are set in motion to land on Dorchester shore. The hills and elevations in this vicinity gather with spectators to witness deeds of conflict and Malachi hopes the show will prove the gallant worth of these mortal men facing the horror of mortality.
        His Excellency General Washington is their joy in this animate state and they cheer him as his horse gallops from one end of the fortifications to the other waiving his sword above him as he rides as if to entice the tyrant enemy to come hither and get justice for all the people to watch!
        Malachi looks up and down the line assure that each man knows his place, and is resolute to execute his duty. These are the preparations for blood and slaughter and looking up at the heavens he prays “Gracious God, if it be determined in thy providence that thousands of our fellow-creatures shall this day be slain, let thy wrath be appeased, and in mercy grant that victory be on the side of our suffering, bleeding country!” Two soldiers next to him conclude. “Amen, brother.”

        Howe’s generals continue to prepare in what has the potential of becoming the bloodiest and most destructive battle between these two armies. Only providence can intervene as it does on this day of March 5, as the wind begins to howl blowing swirls of icy snow into the faces of the men of both armies the anticipation of the battle to come builds with intensity around them seemly having as much effect on all nature about them.
        Seemingly from no where’s this squall of freezing rain whips up preventing the British ships from advancing to the rendezvous point. It is plain observations to the officers of both armies that the surf on the shore where the ships must land have become in a short time impossible to negotiate and will cause more destruction to the landing force than the enemy station along the line at the crest of the hill.
        The following day is the same if not worse weather and while the British lay now under the siege of nature, the American’s continue to reinforce with rain pelting down mixing with sleet and snow forcing Howe to decide regretfully to withdraw his forces back to the city which in itself is no easy task against the elements.
        General Washington swears in frustration to see Howe turn his army back to Boston. After all these months Washington is ready to prove the worth of his army and now in the moment of glory, the engagement he savors for so long is to be foiled by the weather and is his deepest disappointment. His commanders focusing now to insure the powder remains dry. The pelting rain prevents Washington from encouraging the fight with a bombardment to draw Howe back to the fight. Washington looks up at the heavens for a moment he wants to curse the God, but accepts that the almighty and his providence and is not his place to question.
        Howe’s decision to return to Boston did not save his army from becoming stranded in the bay for two days unable to dock and unload the men to shore. His army aboard the ships is exposed to the mercy of the enemy guns that have range of every corner of the bay and city with no possibility to defend themselves against the attack. His army sat in the bay like defenseless ducks in a pond.
        This prompts Howe to call an assembly of officers and makes a speech before them. He is convinced to stay in Boston will result in total annihilation of the army and his first duty is to save his men. General Ruggles protest his decision demanding that he fore fill his promises to protect the loyalist and their property, but Howe can only resolve that he will not abandon them to the rebel forces and take them all to Nova Scotia with the army.
        A troop of drummers and a small detachment sent by Howe to negotiate conveyances for the departure of his army and the loyalist inhabitants are met at the Roxbury line by Colonel Learned who carries the conveyance to headquarters.

Boston, March 8, 1776

        As his Excellency General Howe is determined to leave the town, with the troops under his command, a number of the respectable inhabitants, being very anxious for its preservation and safety, have applied to General Robertson for this purpose, who, at their request, has communicated the same to his Excellency General Howe, who has assured him that he has no intention of destroying the town, unless the troops under his command are molested during their embarkation, or at their departure, by armed force without; which declaration he gave General Robertson leave to communicate to the inhabitants. If such an opposition should take place, we have the greatest reason to expect the town will be exposed to entire destruction. Our fears are quieted with regard to General Howe’s intentions. We beg we may have some assurances that so dreadful a calamity, and not be brought on by any measures without. As a testimony of the truth above, we have signed our names to this paper, carried out by Messrs. Thomas and Jonathan Amory and Perter Johonnot, who have, at the earnest entreaties of the inhabitants, through the lieutenant-governor, solicited a flag of truce for this purpose.
Signed:
       JOHN SCOLLAY,
       TIMOTHY NEWELL,
       THOMAS MARSHALL.
       SAMUEL AUSTIN.

        The messengers were held within a nearby fortification and protect by American officers from harm by the Virginian’s who thought they will be suffice as morning practice until the next day when Colonel Learned returns from headquarters.

Roxbury, March 9, 1776

       Gentlemen,-Agreeably to a promise made to you at the lines yesterday, I awaited upon his Excellency General Washington, and presented to him the paper handed to me by you, from the selectmen of Boston. The answer I have received from him was to this effect: “That as it was an unauthenticated paper, without an address, and not obligatory upon General Howe, he would take no notice of it.”
        I am, with esteem and respect, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,
EBENEZER LEARNED

        For months, first by General Gage and then by Howe, who stand behind their defenses in the occupation of this property they had no right to hold; Washington saw this attempt for parley after this long and drawn engagement of attacks and harassment of the people to be insult rather than fair negotiation for an unmolested withdrawal.
        Throughout the entire countryside suffering and loss of innocent life to cruel tactics of indiscriminate exposure of plague were recklessly spread among the population. For this the thought of parley in apparent tone, more a threat than a plea requires a demand of justice and Washington decides not grant free passage. He saw by wording to being more of an ultimatum, expressing that should his men fire upon the city, Howe will use this excuse to burn the city to the ground.
        Washington paces his office in wanting this violent entanglement between the two armies though it is his duty to seek the way to rid this country of the tyrant, with the least possible need for destruction and death. In retaliation to this threat Washington gives the order to move a battery to Birds Hill which is the extreme north-east edge of Dorchester Neck-close enough to the British position on the Boston Neck to spit in the eye of the enemy.
        By the end of the day on the ninth, Washington begins to build fortifications on Nooks Hill which is even closer to the heart of Boston in Dorchester. That night a large detachment is working with a fire burning bright behind the hill highlighting their work, taunting the British commander who knew this position will have him at Washington’s mercy and Howe gives his order to fire upon the position from batteries at Boston Neck and Castle William.
        The people of Boston are panic stricken as the American’s return fire. They will not be given safe passage and this prompts Howe to expedite the evacuation under exchange of cannonade throughout the night.
        On March 10 the British commander issues a proclamation that all linens and woolen goods be delivered to Crean Brush who will have them loaded aboard the Minerva and Elizabeth while the horse transports are brought to Castle Williams.
        A large detachment of Grenadiers and light infantry along with two regiments took positions at the skirts of the city to cover the withdrawal of troops from the Boston Neck battlements, while the men of war ships, the Chatham and Fowey cover the withdrawal from Charlestown Peninsula by water.
        As this happens, Washington and his staff observe the troop movements as Howe’s departing army destroy artillery carriages, dumping power and ammunition from the Boston Wharfs in to the bay. Cannons are being heaved over the side of ships to make room for the civilian passengers that carry with them anything they think is at value.
        With regret the Loyalist look about their homes as they are being evicted from the city. Most are born and raised in these places now left empty and abandoned feeling compelled to flee the city with not knowing to what treatment they will be subject to when the British troops are gone and the American rebel army takes possession. It is their own preference of choice to leave with clear conscience the guarantee of safety assured to be in the care of the British military.
        On January 11, Crean Brush described by most as a conceited and arrogant Tory from New York leads parties of Tories in pillaging the abandoned stores and looting everything of value back to the ships. This encourages other lawless factions to join in the pillage expanding the looting from shops to the homes destroying anything they cannot steal with some of the mobs setting houses afire.
Sailors receive orders by their officers to break open shops and loot the stores, and the exodus from Boston has become a demoralized free for all.

        George Washington grew impatient and suspects that Howe is stalling the evacuation. He worries that a reinforcement of Howe at this time will change the situation drastically against his army and on January 13th he calls a council of war to meet at General Ward’s quarters in Roxbury. From this meeting Washington determines that the battery placement on Nooks Hill must be complete, and that five regiments and a rifle battalion will assemble and march for New York the next morning, the 14th of January to join with General Lees men that left in December.

        On January 15, another proclamation is post by Howe that requires all civilian inhabitants to stay in the confines of their homes while the army loads onto the ships. That night an easterly wind blows in off the bay that forces the soldiers to take refuge in the barracks. The weather conditions in Boston delay further evacuation until the seventeenth with rain mixing with sleet and gale force winds adding to the displeasure of retreat.
        It is not until the seventeenth when a fair wind blows and the rain stops to allow the last of the ships to be load with the civilians. Howe boarding the last ship turning to his Admiral and gives his order to away anchor and set sail from the bay.
        The civilians line the ship rails and not a sound is heard above a whimper of sadness of these people force to give up all they own for their loyalty to the crown. Howe feels shame for his failure to protect them and retires to his cabin to be alone.
        On the day prior to this on the sixteenth Washington pushes the British by installing the batteries on Nooks Hill which drew fire from Boston. Washington gave orders to hold the position, but not to fire.
        Howe sees the American’s do not intend to return fire and decides to evacuate the town without further delay and on Sunday morning at nine o’clock on March 17, the garrison station at Bunkers Hill parades from the fortifications to Morton point where they board the waiting barges back to Boston. From there they join the civilian groups and board ships awaiting departure from the wharves of Boston.
        As the last ships sail from Massachusetts Bay, General Artemas Ward, and General Washington have their men assemble for parade. On the Charles River where General Putnam waits encamp since the fifth of March he received the order to sail his army consisting of several regiments down the river and lands at Sewall’s Point.
        Putnam saw the British force leaving Bunkers Hill, but can still see two sentries standing their post and orders two men to go see. What they found are two wooden sentries and immediately shout back. “It’s all clear!”
        Putnam has a detachment take the position at Boston Neck and orders another detachment to land in Boston by boat while the rest of his army returns to Cambridge to take possession of the Charlestown Peninsula.
        From Roxbury General Ward orders Colonel Learned to parade his troops and take possession of Boston from the south where upon his arrival at the Boston Neck, the Colonel sends a rider ahead to recon the battlements, but his horse mid ways along rears and falls over throwing the man to the ground. The soldier gets up hurt from the fall and searches the ground to find the British had scattered caltrops about the fields and roads to enter the town. “The bastards scattered crowfeet. “He shouts to the Colonel who turns to his mounted regiment. “Dismount and leave your horses here. Sergeant! Have a company of your men search the fields and collect these devices.”
        The soldier in the field takes his pistol and shoots the horse crippled and suffering. The men immediately find and collect hundreds of these four prong spikes into bastion baskets and bury them deep on the commons.
        Colonel Learned comes to the iron gate of the city secure by chains shut and shoots the locks off that secure it. His men open the gate being the first to look upon the wreckage and gasp at the site that many of the men call home.
        As they make a slow advance to reach the north portion of the city the devastation goes beyond imagination with entire blocks of houses have been wrecked and are heaps of wood piles left in ruin intend for use as fuel. The Colonel shouts to his men, “Do not touch anything yet…especially about the field hospitals where there still may be small pox, or cholera and God knows what else about…Secure the wharfs and the battery on Copps Hill.” Learned can see that the British left behind ammunition and cannon and many other important military equipment and supply. He relaxes himself convince this is not trap and looks about with a personal eye now. He walks to a post that is covered with billings and proclamations and other post orders and wonders what did go on here?
        On the flag staff erected on Copps Hill the Colonel orders the American Union Flag to raise…Boston was theirs and the siege was over! Cheers can be heard from Chelsea, Cambridge and Roxbury. Learned looks across the river to Charlestown that is in total ruin.
        Bells begin to ring in every county and every town village, cannon fire, and men shot rifles into the air as the entire countryside celebrates the victory of the siege of Boston. General Washington watches from his mount and the sweet taste of liberty fill them all.
        For now the men walk about gallant heroes and Washington will let them savor the victory for the next days, but it is just the beginning and his officers are soon to convey discipline upon their men as they prepare to defend, while others prepare to march to York Island where General Washington anticipates Howe will land his army.
        Howe leaves a few ships behind and they linger about just beyond the Massachusetts Bay in watch of the American’s who in turn fire upon the ships from battery positions on Noddles Island; eventually the British ships leave to rejoin their fleet.
        It was not until Wednesday, the 20th, that the main force of troops are permit to enter the city. While marching through the streets, the inhabitants that did remain appear at their doors and windows’ expressing their gratitude’s and joy of liberation. Even so Malachi can see in their faces as he marches that the people are not altogether free from a melancholy of gloom after the ten tedious months of siege.
        The streets are strewn with rubble and debris and the burnt out buildings present a scene which reflects disgrace on their late occupants, exhibiting a deplorable desolation and wretchedness and hint of the harsh conditions these people were forced to endure, with lamp post displaying rope remnants of the many that hung there in public display for miscellaneous crimes.
        By March 22, people who chose to flee Boston begin to return to the city with many finding nothing left to come back too, but are greeted by neighbors full of friendly solicitude and embrace the others misfortune with hospitality and offer shelter until new homes could be erect amidst the rubble of war.
        Malachi and his platoon march to the wharfs where they are to billet and finds himself truly interest to witness the tender interviews and fond embraces of those who have been long separated, but it is particularly distressing as buildings are set aside for quarantine of those stricken with small-pox that are left behind.
        After making his bedding the sergeant releases the company and Malachi wanders the street of this unfamiliar place to find the Old South Church, a spacious brick building near the centre of the town. He enters the brick building to find that it is incomplete in destruction but walks to stand before a small wooden cross missed by the vandals and prays for being spared death finishing he says. “…and let Rosy know that I love her dearly, Amen.”
        Paul Revere returns to find his shop strip clear of all his belongings and meets with his old friend Robert to stand on a vacant lot where the Old North Church once stood. From here it all began for them as they look across the bay and wonder if it can ever be the same again in this place.
        On March 26, 1776 the provincial government of the providence of South Carolina ratifies to law its first state Constitution and becomes the second independent state country to denounce the authority of King George III and replaces the European system of monarchy with an American system of three independent branches.
        On March 29, General George Washington is the guest of honor before the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. It is determine that the remains of Major-general Joseph Warren be remove from the burial site on Greene’s pasture (identified later by historians as Breeds Hill) and move the body to a vault under Stone Chapel in Boston.
        On April 8, the late general’s body is carry into the over full church in an elegant coffin with an eulogy perform by Perez Morton, Esq. expressing the great moral character of the deceased with a ceremony conducted by the society of Free Masons as Joseph Warren was the societies grand master at that time of his death. General George Washington sits in the first row of pews as Morton reads a dedicate poem in honor of the fallen patriot.
        “Let laurels, drench’d in pure Parnassian dews,
Reward his mem’ry, dear to every muse,
       Who, with a courage of unshaken root,
       In honor’s field advancing his firm foot,
       Plants it upon the line that justice draws,
       And will prevail or perish in her cause.
       ‘Tis to the virtues of such men man owes
       His portion in the good that Heaven bestows.
       And when recording History displays
       Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days;
       Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died
       Where duty Placed them, at their country’s side;
       The man that is not moved with what he reads,
       That takes not fire at their heroic deeds,
       Unworthy of the blessings of the brave,
       Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.” -Cowper.
       Malachi stands squeeze in a corner by the abundance of people that stood in the isles along the walls. His invitation to witness this great ceremony is as part of a detachment of a guard assign to Washington’s protection and one of his lifelong experiences he will reflect many times upon during his course of service and with the many others who crowd into this place of worship to pay last respects that resound in conclusion to these words, in a warm heartfelt dedication to all those lost, with a solemn.
AMEN

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