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GOV. DUNMORE COMPELLED TO FLEE.
in arms merely for rights to which, as British subjects, they believed themselves entitled. The people of Charlotte were the first to declare in favor of complete independence.
293. The governors of the colonies had received orders to secure all arms and military stores collected by the people. According to these instructions, Lord Dunmore, on the 20th of April, seized on the powder in the magazine at Williamsburg, Va. The people, with Patrick Henry at their head, demanded restitution, and the governor had to pay for the powder in full. The amount (about $1,500) was transmitted to Congress. After fortifying his residence, the mortified Dunmore issued a proclamation against Henry and his associates. This incensed the people, and some intercepted letters written by the governor, in which he grossly misrepresented the colonists, added to their indignation. Justly alarmed for his safety, Dunmore took refuge on board of a British vessel. About the same time, the governors
of North and South Carolina were obliged to pursue a similar course.
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
294. THE British army in Boston was increased in May, 1775, to 10,000 men, by reënforcements from England and Ireland, commanded by Generals Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne. On the 12th of June, Gage issued a proclamation offering pardon to all who would abandon the cause of the colonies, except Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were declared outlaws.
295. The American army, though larger than that of the enemy, was poorly equipped and disciplined. Their officers, What were the people of Charlotte the first to advocate ? 293. What orders had the governors of the colonies received ? What did Lord Dunmore do on the 20th of April, 1775? What action was taken by the people? What was the result ? What governors had to pursue a similar course ?
294. How was the British army increased in May, 1775? What was the substance of the proclamation issued by Gage in June ? 295. How did the American
however, were men who had seen service. Ar'-te-mas Ward, of Massachusetts, held the chief command. On the 16th of June, it was ascertained that Gen. Gage intended to seize and fortify Bunker Hill. At nine o'clock at night, Colonel Prescott was despatched from Cambridge with a thousand men to anticipate the movement. Mistaking Breed's Hill for Bunker's in the darkness, they commenced intrenching themselves on the former eminence, which was nearer to Boston, and more exposed to the fire of the British ships. The name of Bunker Hill, however, is universally given to the engagement that followed. The men worked with the utmost diligence, and so noiselessly that they were not discovered till dawn, either by the ships or the British sentinels on Copp's Hill, Boston, whose “ All's well!” they distinctly heard at intervals through the night.
The surprise of the British may be imagined, when, at daybreak on the 17th, they beheld a strong intrenchment, six feet high, commanding their camp. A strong battery planted there would force them to evacuate the city. Gage called a council of war, and it was agreed that the Americans must be driven from their position. Three thousand veterans were detached for this duty, under Generals Howe and Pig'-ot. The Americans ceased working as they saw their enemies land at Morton's Point, and hoisted the flag of New England. They were but 1,500 in number, deficient in ammunition, exhausted by labor, and suffering from hunger and thirst; yet they were sustained by an undaunted spirit. Generals Putnam and Warren had now joined their ranks. The latter, though only 35 years of age, was distinguished no less as a physician than as president of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. He had no military experience, and was urged not to expose himself in battle; but the sound of the cannon wooed him to the field. On his arrival, Col. Prescott offered him the command, as his superior officer; but War
army compare with the British? What is said of their officers ? What was agcertained on the 16th of June? What defensive measures were taken by the Americans ? Give an account of the occupation of Breed's Hill. How did the Americans spend the night? What did the British behold in the morning? What course was agreed upon in a council of war? How many men were detached for
211 ren replied that he had come to learn, and, borrowing a musket, served bravely as a private.
At three o'clock, the British ships and batteries poured in a terrible fire on the redoubt. The first American that fell was horribly mutilated, and his comrades, unaccustomed to such sights, crowded around. Fearful of the effect, Colonel Prescott ordered that he should be instantly buried. “He is the first man that has been killed,” said he, “and he is the last that will be buried to-day. To your posts, my gallant fellows, and let every man do his duty.” And every man did his duty.
296. The British troops moved slowly in perfect order up the attack? Under what generals ? Where did they land ? [See Map.-What isthmus connects the peninsula on which Charlestown stands with the main-land ! How high is Breed's Hill, on which the battle took place ? In what part of Boston is Copp's Hille] What did the American troops do, when they saw the British land! What was the condition of the Americans? By whom were they joined? What is said of Dr. Warren ! At three o'clock, what was commenced by the British? What took place when the first American was killed ? 296. Give
the hill. The Americans awaited their approach in silence. They had been ordered to reserve their fire till they saw the whites of the enemies' eyes, and Gen. Putnam aided in restraining their impatience. When the British had reached the prescribed point, Prescott waved his sword above his head and shouted FIRE! A deadly discharge was poured upon the advancing columns. Platoon after platoon was swept down; the ranks were broken, and the survivors hastily retired. They were rallied for a second charge under cover of a smoke produced by the burning of several hundred wooden houses in Charlestown, which the British had wantonly set on fire. Again the Americans lay perfectly quiet, till the enemy were within ten rods of the redoubt. Again they swept down officers and men, and again the British veterans retreated. Gen. Clinton now crossed with 1,000 fresh troops. It was resolved to make another attack, though some of the officers declared that it was leading their men to certain death. After a few moments' rest, during which, in the face of a destructive fire, a small party of Americans crossed Charlestown Neck and joined their countrymen, the British troops a third time commenced the ascent.
The patriots, as before, poured in a galling fire; they shot down a number of officers, and wounded Howe himself. Unfortunately, however, their ammunition gave out. The British rushed up to the parapet, and, as they mounted it, were received with stones and clubbed muskets. Resistance being hopeless, Prescott ordered a retreat. He himself and Warren were the last to leave the redoubt. The latter, having done good service, was about joining his companions, when he received a musket-ball in the head, and was instantly killed. In him America lost one of her truest friends. The British general, on hearing of his fall, said it was worth that of 500 ordinary rebels.
an account of the first charge of the British. Of the second. Who now arrived on the field ? What was it resolved to do? What did some of the officers declare? How were the Americans reënforced? How was the third charge of the British received ? What obliged the Americans to retreat ? Who were the last to leave the redoubt? What befell Warren ? What did the British general say
297. The retreat of the provincials was bravely covered by detachments of their countrymen who had occupied a position in the rear during the engagement. Evening found them safely encamped at Prospect Hill, a mile from the battle-ground. They had lost 115 killed, 305 wounded, and 32 prisoners. On the British side, 226 were killed, 828 wounded and missing. The battle had taken place in sight of the whole people of Boston. The roofs and steeples, as well as the surrounding hills, were filled with anxious women and children, whose destinies depended on the issue of the day. The Americans had the decided advantage, though the Brit ish, remaining masters of the field, claimed the victory.
298. Israel Putnam, familiarly known as “Old Put”, one of the heroes whose names are embalmed in the glories of Bunker Hill, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, 1718. He emigrated to Connecticut, and his life from early youth was full of romantic adventures. At one time we see him descending into the wolf's den, and shooting her by the light of her own glaring eyes; at another, actively engaged in the French and Indian War, now saving a comrade's life at Crown Point by killing a French sentinel, and anon escaping from his enemies with twelve bullet-holes in his blanket. In 1756, he found himself the prisoner of a party of savages, who, after driving him for miles under a heavy load, bound him to a stake, and prepared to burn him to death. Already had the flames scorched his skin, when a French officer burst through the crowd, scattered the brands, and saved his life. Shortly afterwards, Putnam was surprised by Indians just above the rapids in the Hudson. A glance showed him that his only chance of escape lay in threading the channel of the boisterous passage. With amazement his pursuers saw his boat leap into the seething waters, shoot through yawning whirlpools, dash past hidden rocks, and at last dart out into the placid waters far below.
on hearing of his fall ? 297. By whom was the retreat of the provincials covered ? Where did they encamp? What was the loss on both sides ? Who had witnessed the engagement? Which side gained the victory? 298. Where was Gen. Putnam born? To what colony did he emigrate? What is said of his life from early youth? Mention some of his early exploits. What happened to him in 1756 ?