For several days prior to June 16, 1775, farmers from Woburn
, and Bedford
had passed through Medford
over the turnpike on their way to Charlestown
neck, where they congregated at the old tavern located where Sullivan's Square Park
As they passed the smithy many stopped to replace a shoe lost by their horse on the way thither.
This increased patronage obliged Harry Bond
to continue his work late into the night, so that it afforded a good excuse for the gathering of so many citizens at the shop where was being discussed in secret the projected movements of the Continental Army
,—as it was known by them that a determined stand was to be made and earthworks thrown up at Bunker Hill
within a few days.
The preparations for the battle had been so quietly and secretly carried on that the Tories at the Royall House
were in entire ignorance of what was transpiring so near them.
Had they been informed they would doubtless have apprised General Howe
, and the British
troops would have been landed in Charlestown
early enough to have prevented the gathering of the American
The slaves at the Royall House
, true to their instinct of freedom, kept the patriots of Medford
informed of every movement made at their home.
The hot blood of Harry Bond
, which he had inherited from his Irish ancestors who had withstood a siege of a hundred days in 1689 in defence of right, was fully aroused, and after closing his shop on the night of June 16 he informed his wife that on the morrow he should shoulder his gun, go to Bunker Hill
, and do what he could for his country, even to the giving of his life if it became necessary.
The morning of the 17th showed to the astonished Britishers
the earthworks erected on Breed's Hill
The engagement, as we know, opened by the firing of guns from the fleet in the harbor and from the redoubt on Copp's Hill
, the Americans
reserving their fire