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fuggested the necessity of a powerful army on the side of America. They took notice, that the inhabitants of many of their sea-ports, had removed, and were removing their families and effects, to avoid destruction from the ships of war; and expressed their confidence in the wisdom and ability of the continent to support them,
so far as it should appear necessary for the common • cause of the American colonies. .
The committee of safety wrote to the governor and company of Connecticut, most earnestly pressing them to send immediately three or four thousand men, that so an important poft might be secured, which otherwise the enemy would be likely to possess themselves of, as soon as their reinforcement arrived. The troops were desired to be forwarded in companies as fast as they could be got ready. They sent also to Rhode Island, and urged their marching a body of troops to assist on the like occasion. They proceeded to resolve, “ That the public good requires that government in full form ought to be taken up inimediately.” Advice was receiv. ed, that a number of transports with troops were just
arrived at Boston from England.. s. The provincial congress resolved, “ That general
Gage has, by the late transactions, and many other
half of the militia, and all the minute men under their command, forthwith to Roxbury, that so the Bria tish troops might not come and pollets themielves of that post. Before it was properly strengthened, general Gage entertained such design. General Thomas who cominands there, gained information of what was in tended, on the day it was to be executed. His whole force consisted only of seven hundred men. The post comprehended a large broad high hill. A road leads to the top of it, visible in some parts, to persons at the entrance into Boston ; it passes over the hill and descends into a hollow, from whence you can turn off, and passing circuitously enter again upon the said road. The general took advantage of this circumstance, and continued marching his feven hundred men round and round the hill, by which he multiplied their appearance, to any one who was reconnoitring them at Boston. The dress of the militia was extremely various, and consisted of their common clothing, which prevented the difcovery of a deception, that might otherwise have been foon detected, had they worn a uniform and possessed regimental ensigns. This warlike imposition most pro'bably prevented general Gage's attacking and carrying the post, by the possession of which he would have had it in his power to direct his march to any part of the country he pleased. The colonels of the several regiments were ordered to repair immediately to Cambridge, · with the men they had inlisted; and part of the cannon and stores to be removed to fome distance for security; and breast works to be erected at different places, to prevent the enemy's passing into the country from Bafton neck, and to annoy them if they crossed the river
and advanced through Charlestown, or if they attempted going by water to Medford. The Massachusetts congress concluded on difarining the disaffected inhabitants; and that no person should move with his effects out of the colony, unless leave was granted. .
They resolved upon a letter to the eastern tribe of Indians, to secure their friendship, and engage them on the side of the colonies, and proposed to raise a company of them to serve in the war. Four days after, the committee of safety voted, that captain John Lane have inlisting papers for raising such company. The provincials reprobate in the bitterest terms, the idea of the Indians being employed by the ministry against themfelves; so that there is a seeming inconsistency in their attempting to engage them against the British troops. But let it be remembered, that the Indians will probably take part with the one side or the other; for through a restless warlike temper, they are not in common difposed to observe a neutrality; and that there is a wide difference between employing them against armed foldiers, and letting them loose upon defenceless settlers, men, women and children.
Skirmishes were occasioned at different times and places, by the attempts of each party to carry off stock from the small islands, with which the bay of Bofton is agreeably interspersed, and afforded the mixt fpectacle of ships boats and men engaged by land and water. These small engagements were not trifling in their consequences. The advantage was generally on the side of the Americans, which elated their fpirits. They also learnt from them to face danger, and to run hazards ; and it is by being habituated to these, that probably the greatest quantum of courage is acquired. Frequent skirmishes are good preparatives, by which to qualify raw soldiers to fight as veterans in set battles. ..
Two Noops, and an armed schooner with soldiers, 21, failed to Grape Island to get hay. The provincials fol, lowed them as soon as the tide admitted, drove them off by their approach, burnt all the hay, about eighty, ton, and brought off the cattle from the island. - A committee having been appointed to inquire what 24. was the stock of powder in certain towns, reported, that in thirty-nine towns in Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth and Worcester, there were 67 ) barrels. The rest of the towns in the colony had none worth mentioning. How painful a circumstance, the small quantity of powder, to those Americans, who have any idea of the great consumption which war occasions ! The want of it had been sensibly felt for some time; and therefore, beside the adoption of other measures, orders were given for the importation of that, and other military stores ; but it must be long before they can be procured in this way, should they come fafe.
· The Cerberus arrived at Boston with the three gene. 25. tals, Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne. They were so assured in their own mistaken apprehensions, that there would be no occasion to draw the sword in support of ministerial measures, that they had prepared to amuse themselves with fishing and other diversions, instead of expecting to be engaged in military service. They were astonished at the situation of affairs, and when in company with generals Gage and Haldiman, asked how the fortiè happened. General Haldiman answered, “I
knew nothing about it, till the barber came in to shave me, and said, that the troops were gone out and that they had been fighting. I did not choose that he should know I got my information from him. I therefore called my footman, and sent him out upon a frivolous errand, well knowing, that if there was any truth in what the barber reported, he would bring me word of it, which he did. In this way I became acquainted with what had happened.” The newly arrived generals. declared their surprise in the significant looks which fol
lowed this relation from the second in command. May About fix hundred of the Massachusetts and New 27. Hampshire forces were employed to bring off the stock
from Hog Inand and Naddles Island, which lie conti, guous: the intervening passage is fordable at certain times of the tide. A party went on and fired the hay and barn on Noddles Inand, an which a number of marines crossed from Boston; and, upon the provincials-retreating to Hog Inand, were decoyed down to the water fide, when a hot action commenced, which did not close with the day. The king's troops amounted to some hundreds, and were supported by an armed fchooner of four six pounders and twelve swivels, an armed Noop, and the barges all fixed with swivels. The provincials were commanded by general Putnam. Dr. «Warren's zeal and courage would not admit of his remaining at a distance: upon hearing what was going forward, he repaired to the spot to encourage the men. They had two pieces of artillery, which were well serv, ed, and did considerable execution. The night was 'very dark, but the action continued all through it. To.. ward morning the schooner got aground upon Winni