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ce, where the brooks run to the Nashua, and the upland farms yielded but scanty returns to the hardest toil. The husbandmen in that region had already sent many loads of rye to the poor of Boston. In the coming storm they clustered. round William Prescott, of Pepperell, who stood as firm as Monadnoc, that rose in sight of his homestead; and on the day after the first mandamus councillors took their oath of office, they put their soul into his words as he wrote for them to the men of Boston: Bdetestation to the latest posterity? Let us all be of one heart, and stand fast in the liberties wherewith Christ has made us free; and may he of his infinite mercy grant us deliverance out of all our troubles. Such were the cheering words of Prescott and his companions, and they never forgot Chap. VIII.} 1774. Aug. their pledge. Everywhere the rural population of Massachusetts were anxiously weighing the issues in which they were involved. One spirit moved through them all. From the hil
of Acton; and drawing his sword, he cried, March. His company, being on the right, led the way towards the bridge, he himself at their head, and by his side Major John Buttrick, of Concord, with John Robinson, of Westford, lieutenant colonel in Prescott's regiment, but on this day a volunteer without command. Thus these three men walked together in front, followed by minute men and militia, in double file, trailing arms. They went down the hillock, entered the by-road, came to its angle wit Chelsea. From far and wide minute men were gathering. The men of Dedham, even the old men, received their minister's blessing and went forth, in such numbers that scarce one male between sixteen and seventy was left at home. That morning William Prescott mustered his regiment, and though Pepperell was so remote that he could not be in season for the pursuit, he hastened down with five companies of guards. Before noon, a messenger rode at full speed into Worcester, crying To arms; a fresh ho
and sisters took part in preparing the men of their households to go forth to the war. The farmers rushed to the camp of liberty, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs, without a day's provisions, and many without a farthing in their pockets. Their country was in danger; their brethren were slaughtered; their arms alone employed their attention. On their way, the inhabitants gladly opened their hospitable doors and all things were in common. For the first night of the siege, Prescott of Pepperell with his Middlesex minute men kept the watch over the entrance to Boston, and while Gage was driven for safety to fortify the town at all points, the Americans already talked of nothing but driving him and his regiments into the sea. At the same time the committee by letter gave the story of the preceding day to New Hampshire and Connecticut, whose assistance they entreated. We shall be glad, they wrote, that our brethren who come to our aid, may be supplied with military
to such an enterprise, the choice fell on William Prescott, of Pepperell, colonel of a regiment fromth death by the cord as rebels and traitors. Prescott and his party were the first to give the menrenching tools had passed the narrow isthmus, Prescott called around him Richard Gridley, an experie the Mystic. Without the aid of an engineer, Prescott himself extended his line from the east side e Chap. XXXVIII.} 1775. June 17. confidence, Prescott mounted the parapet and walked leisurely backnder their commander but little service. Yet Prescott was dismayed neither by fatigue, nor desertiopear again during the whole day, and asked of Prescott, that the intrenching tools might be sent offt. The way along the banks of the river to Prescott's rear lay open; he had remaining with him buore troops. The delay cost him dear. When Prescott perceived the British begin to land on the poThere the men of Connecticut, in pursuance of Prescott's order, took their station. Nature had prov[7 more...]
point of attack. As soon as he arrived there Prescott proposed that he should take the command; butundred and twenty-five hastened to the aid of Prescott; Worcester and Middlesex furnished more than e were, as yet, but the Connecticut men, whom Prescott had detached. The two field pieces had been allowed him no opportunity of consulting with Prescott; they fought independently; Prescott to defeny easy to be scrambled over, when the left of Prescott would be turned, and he would be forced to su and Knowlton, cheered on by Putnam, who like Prescott bade them reserve their fire, restrained themterval of about fifteen minutes, during which Prescott moved round among his men, encouraging them afrom the whole American line, there was, said Prescott, a continuous stream of fire, and though the in. If we drive them back once more, cried Prescott, they cannot rally again. To the enduring huthe ammunition was almost exhausted. Though Prescott had sent in the morning for a supply, he Cha[6 more...]
f these some had no more than one, none more than three or four rounds of ammunition left. But Prescott's self-possession increased with danger. He directed his men to wait till the enemy were withipoint of being surrounded, and no other reinforcements having arrived, at a little before four, Prescott gave the word to retreat. He himself was among the last to leave the fort; escaping unhurt, thk possession of Prospect Hill, where he encamped that very night. Repairing to Headquarters, Prescott offered with three fresh regiments to recover his post. But for himself he sought neither adva is the contemporary record, that during the battle no one appeared to have any command but Colonel Prescott, and that his bravery could never be enough acknowledged and applauded. The camp long repewar, who best knew the judgments of the army, has rightly awarded the highest prize of glory to Prescott and his companions. The British were unable to continue the pursuit beyond the isthmus. The