Thursday, June 16, 2011

Battle of Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, about two o'clock in the afternoon intense anxiety prevailed at the intrenchments on Breed's Hill.

The patriot band who raised them had witnessed the brilliant landing of the British veterans, and the return of the barges to Boston. They saw troops again filling the boats, and felt, not without apprehension, that a battle was inevitable. They knew the contest would be an unequal one, — that of raw militia against the far-famed regulars, — and they grew impatient for the promised re-enforcements. But no signs appeared that additional troops were on the way to support them. Teams were impressed to carry on provisions; barrels of beer arrived; but the supply of refreshments that reached them was so scanty, that it served only to tantalize their wants.

It is not strange, therefore, the idea was entertained that they had been rashly, if not treacherously, led into perilous position, and that they were to be left to their own resources for their defence. "The danger," Peter Brown wrote, " we were in made us think there was treachery, and that we were brought here to be all slain. And I must and will venture to say there was treachery, oversight, or presumption in the conduct of our officers."

This idea, however, must have been dispelled, as characters who had long been identified with the patriot cause, who were widely known and widely beloved, appeared on the field to share their perils, and assured them that aid was at hand.

Battle of Bunker HillThis image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923, in this case c1909, are now in the public domain.

These images are also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case Edward Percy Moran ("Percy") (1862 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1935 in New York City), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year.

General Pomeroy, a veteran of the French wars, as brave as he was patriotic, asked of Ward a horse to take him to the field; and one was supplied. On his arrival at the Neck, he declined to expose the horse to the severe fire that raked it, and coolly walked across. He joined the force, gun in hand, at the rail-fence, and was welcomed by cheers.

The defences of the Americans, at three in the afternoon, were still in a rude, unfinished state. The redoubt on the spot where the monument stands was about eight rods square. Its strongest side, the front, facing the settled part of the town, was made with projecting angles, and protected the south side of the hill. The eastern side commanded an extensive field. The north side had an open passage-way. A breastwork, beginning a short distance from the redoubt, and on a line with its eastern side, extended about one hundred yards north towards a slough. A sally-port, between the south end of the breastwork and the redoubt, was protected by a blind.

These works were raised about six feet from the level of the ground, and had platforms of wood, or steps made of earth, for the men to stand on when they should fire. The rail-fence has been already described. Its south corner was about two hundred yards, on a diagonal line, in the rear of the north corner of the breastwork. This line was slightly protected; a part of it, however, — about one hundred yards, — between the slough and the rail-fence, was open to the approach of infantry. It was the weakest part of the defences. On the right of the redoubt, along a cart-way, a fence was made similar to the one on the left. The redoubt and breastwork constituted a good defence against cannon and musketry, but the fences were hardly more than the shadow of protection.

TEXT CREDIT: Battle of Bunker Hill

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