ardent and active friend of the cause of the colonies, and his rank was now that of lieutenant-colonel. His coming was hailed by all with greatest enthusiasm, and was worth, says Colonel Drake, the historian, an accession of ten thousand men to the movement on foot at that critical juncture. It was decided that a large New England or American army should be raised, and a stirring appeal was speedily sent broadcast to this end; and as the quota from Connecticut would be about six thousand men, Putnam hurried back to that state to put matters in train for their swift recruitment, organization, and march. As soon as he had done this, he hastened his return to Cambridge before them with a company of his own, and with a drove of sheep for the suffering patriots of Boston. He was stationed by General Ward, the commander-in-chief, at Cambridgeport, nearest Boston, and at a most exposed and important point in the siege of that city, and the hardy yeomanry of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island straightway came rushing in large numbers to headquarters, in response to the call. It was decided by the Committee of Safety, when they learned that the enemy was about to sally forth from Boston for an attack, that Bunker Hill should at once be fortified; and accordingly they ‘recommended to the Council of War that the above-mentioned Bunker's Hill be maintained by sufficient force being posted there.’ As Putnam was plainly the ruling spirit of the Council, he probably had much to do with designating Prescott and his thousand Massachusetts and Connecticut men for the service. He was anxious to bring the foe out of their pent-up quarters, and fight them at once on more ‘equal terms.’ He had just been made brigadier-general by his adopted state, and he was now made general superintendent of the detachment. Said Colonel Samuel Swett in his story of the Battle--of Bunker Hill, which was published in 1818, and was declared by Alden Bradford, the historian of Massachusetts, ‘The Christian Examiner,’ and other highest authorities, to be the most correct and perfect of all the earlier accounts of the engagement, whatever additional details have since been gathered: ‘General Putnam, having the general superintendence of the expedition, and the
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.