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‘  Roxbury, Brookline, Dorcbester, &c. For a few minutes the fire was brisk on both sides, and the British had here recourse to their field-pieces again; but the Provincials were now more familiar with them than before. Here the militia were so close on the rear of the British, that Dr. Downer, an active and enterprising man, came to single combat with a British soldier, whom he killed with his bayonet.’1 It was at this period that Hannah, wife of Deacon Joseph Adams, had her remarkable experience. A copy of her deposition on the event is presented in a note.2 A few particulars regarding the Danvers companies, which marched in advance of their regiment and engaged the enemy at Menotomy, are here given from an address commemorative of seven young men of Danvers, who were slain in the Battle of Lexington, delivered in the Old South meeting-house in Danvers, on the sixtieth anniversary of the battle, with notes, by Daniel P. King (Salem, 1835). Gen. Gideon Foster, who commanded one of the companies
2 ‘Hannah Adams, wife of Deacon Joseph Adams, of the Second Precinct in Cambridge, testifieth and saith that on the Nineteenth day of April last, upon the return of the King's troops from Concord, divers of them entered our house by bursting open the doors, and three of the soldiers broke into the room in which I then was, laid on my bed, being scarcely able to walk from my bed to the fire, not having been to my chamber-door from my being delivered in childbirth to that time. One of said soldiers immediately opened my curtains with his bayonet fixed, pointing the same at my breast. I immediately cried out, “For the Lord's sake, do not kill me!!” He replied, “Damn you!” One that stood near said, “We will not hurt the woman, if she will go out of the house, but we will surely burn it.” I immediately arose, threw a blanket over me, and crawled into a cornhouse near the door with my infant in my arms, where I remained until they were gone. They immediately set the house on fire, in which I had left five children and no other person, but the fire was happily extinguished when the house was in the utmost danger of being utterly consumed.’ Dated Cambridge Second Precinct, May 17, 1775. A sermon preached before the Honorable Congress of the Colony, at Watertown, Wednesday, May 31, 1775, by Samuel Langdon, D. D., President of Harvard College in Cambridge (published Watertown, 1775), contains in a note the following: ‘Near the meeting-house in Menotomy two aged, helpless men, who had not been out in the action, and were found unarmed in a house where the regulars entered, were murdered without mercy. In another house, in that neighborhood, a woman, in bed with a new-born infant about a week old, was forced by the threats of the soldiery to escape, almost naked, to an open outhouse; her house was then set on fire, but was soon extinguished by one of the children which had laid concealed till the enemy was gone.’
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