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[99] those who are inclined to credit the claim, it may kindly be hinted that colonels do not command their superiors in rank, to which it may be added that Colonel Prescott gave no order to General Putnam, from the beginning to the end, but Putnam ordered Prescott and forces all along the line, and was obeyed. And Putnam it was, who, while Prescott was safe in his fort, and never left it until it was taken by the British, braced the provincials in the open to the long and perilous contest by his indomitable spirit, taught doubting England and the world once for all that Americans could and would fight for their liberties, whatever the cost, and made a seeming defeat a real and inestimable victory. It made sure the final triumph, and Franklin, when he heard of it, wrote to his English friends, ‘England has lost her colonies forever,’ and she had.

What do all these incontrovertible facts mean? What is the one just and sure interpretation of them? Let us follow no false guides, however learned, eminent, or sincere they may be, but answer the question for ourselves. From time immemorial such men have been on the wrong side in almost every important controversy, historical, scientific, or what not. Time has proved how mistaken they were, whether the subject was slavery, witchcraft, the Ptolemaic theory, the story of Adam and the Fall, or any other. Majorities, however imposing and influential, are not always in the right. The history of Bunker Hill and Prospect Hill, in all its fullness, is a matter of greater moment than some seem to think. Each one must study it impartially as best he can, and decide for himself what is the truth it teaches, assured that the truth will finally prevail.

A. P. Putnam. Salem, December 30, 1903.

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