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“ [79] the enemy; adding, that about 700 men were close behind, on their way from Salem to join the militia. Had these arrived a few minutes sooner, the left flank of the British must have been greatly exposed, and suffered considerably; perhaps their retreat would have been cut off. As soon as the British gained Bunker's Hill, they immediately formed in a line opposite to the neck; when our General [i. e. the author] judged it expedient to order the militia, who were now at the common, to halt, and give over the pursuit, as any further attempt upon the enemy, in that position, would have been futile.” 1

The following extracts, now first published, touching the events of the 19th of April, 1775, were taken from private papers

1 As Heath is a valuable authority, and his Memoirs are rare, we continue a few extracts from his work, regarding the disposal of the militia after the battle:

‘Our General [Heath] immediately assembled the officers around him, at the foot of Prospect Hill, and ordered a guard to be formed, and posted near that place, sentinels to be planted down to the neck, and patrols to be vigilant in moving during the night; and an immediate report to him, in case the enemy made any movements. The militia were then ordered to march to the town of Cambridge.; where, after forming and sending off another guard to the points below the town, the whole were ordered to lie on their arms.’

An alarm occurred about midnight, that the enemy were coming up the river, which proved to be an armed schooner, probably sent to make discovery, and got aground, and continued so till the next tide. Had there been a single fieldpiece with the militia, she might have been taken; the marsh was too deep to approach sufficiently near to do any execution with small arms, and the first day's hostilities of the ever memorable American war, were, on their part, without a single piece of cannon in the field! After inserting the fact that ‘Gen. Whitcomb was in this day's battle,’ Heath continues, as follows:—

‘On the morning of the 20th, our General ordered Capt. John Battle of Dedham, with his company of militia, to pass over the ground which had been the scene of action the preceding day, and to bury such of the slain as he should find unburied.’ The assignment of alarm-posts, and feeding the assembled and assembling militia, are minutely described, and ‘our General’ closes with the following observations on the battle:

After speaking of the British losses in killed, wounded and missing in the battle on the 19th, and also of the losses of the militia, he continues, ‘It might have been expected, that in a retreat of so many miles, the British loss would have been greater; but it is to be remembered, that as they kept the road, the fences (a large proportion of which are stone-walls) covered their flanks almost to the height of their shoulders. It will also be observed, that the wounded of the militia did not bear the common proportion with the killed, and is an evidence that the British did not choose to encumber themselves with prisoners, either wounded or not, as the marks left at Watson's, Corner [see Paige's Hist. Camb, 411], and on the height above Menotomy meeting-house, evinced. Nor was the dashing in of many windows, the firing of musket-balls into the houses, in some of which there were only women and children, or the soldiers leaving their ranks, and going into the houses to plunder (in consequence of which a number lost their lives), marks of humanity or discipline.’

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