the ground, which made the labor one of infinite difficulty, it was not until the last days of February that the redoubts were completed.’ The severity of the season must have lessened in January to permit the operations thus to go on to success, and to justify these words of the same month from an officer whom the colonel thus quotes: ‘The bay is open,—everything thaws except “Old put.” He is still as hard as ever crying out for “Powder! Powder! Ye gods, give us Powder!” ’ It may have been a frequent cry with the General, and no wonder; but we doubt very much whether he raised it on the ‘slopes’ of Prospect Hill in the ‘sloppy winter’ of June and July, 1775, when all accounts attest that only then was he ever there, and that the weather was extremely hot. An Essex county man once presented, with other charges, a bill to his neighbor for the use of a horse and sleigh for a June ride, whereupon the latter said that he would see if he had jotted down the circumstance, but he could hardly remember that he had ever taken a sleighride in June. We can better credit the statement, ‘Everything thaws here except “Old put.” ’ I copy thus fully these various allusions to General Putnam's service on Prospect Hill, all the more because they are a juster treatment of the patriot warrior than that which certain writers have meted out to him in their accounts of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Some facts with reference to that momentous event seem to me to be necessary here, as showing more clearly in what capacity and by whose authority he led his broken army, after the engagement, to Somerville, and what was the significance of his command and work on and around its famous height. All know with what alacrity Putnam, as soon as he heard of the Battle of Lexington, left his plough in his field at Pomfret, his Connecticut home, and flew horseback to Cambridge and Concord, where, after an all night's ride of a hundred miles, he arrived the next morning, and immediately consulted with the patriot committees and authorities there. His military exploits for ten years in the French and Indian wars had given him great renown as a brave, energetic, and resolute soldier, full of resources and love of country. He had already shown that he was an
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Literary men and women of Somerville .
Charlestown School in the 17th century.
Historical Sketch of the old Middlesex Canal .
The Prospect Hill Park Celebration.
Israel Putnam and Prospect Hill .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.