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diligence and alacrity, so that by the dawn of day they had thrown up'a small redoubt, about eight rods square. : Such was the extraordinary silence which reigned among them, that they were not heard by the British on board their vessels in the neighbouring waters. The sight of the works was the first notice that the Lively man of war had of them, when the captain began firing upon themabout four in the morning. The guns called the town of Boston, the camp and the feet to behold a novelty which was little expected. The prospect obliged the British generals to alter the plan which they meant to execute the next day. They grew weaty of being cooped up in Boston; and had resolved upon making themselves masters of Dorchester heights, and securing the elbow room which general Burgoyne proposed enjoying. But the present provincial movement prevented the expedition. They were now called to attempt poffefsing themselves of Breed's hill: on which the provincials continued working, notwithstanding a heavy fire from the enemy's ships, a number of floating batteries, and a fortification upon Cop's hill in Boston, directly opposite to the little American redoubt. It is called Cop's hill, though the original name was Cope's hill, from the name of the first owner. ' An incessant shower of shot and bombs. was rained by the batteries upon the American works, and yet but one man was killed. The Americans continued laboring indefatigably till they had thrown up a small breaft-work, extending from the east side of the redoubt to the bottom of the hill, but were prevented completing it by the intolerable fire of the enemy. By some unaccountable error, the detachment which had been working for hours, was neither relieved, nor supplied
with refreshment, but was left to engage under these: disadvantages.
Between twelve and one o'clock, and the day exceeding hot, a number of boats and barges, filled with regular troops from Boston, approach Charlestown. The men are landed at Moreton's point. They consist of four battalions, ten companies of the grenadiers, and ten of light infantry, with a proportion of field artillery, but by fome oversight their spare cartridges are much too big for them, so that when the Americans are at length forced from their lines, there is not a round of artillery cartridges remaining. Major general Howe and brigadier general Pigot, have the command. The troops form, and remain in that position, till joined by a second detachment of light infantry and grenadier companies, a battalion of the land forces, and a battalion of marines, making in the whole near upon 3000 men. Generals Clinton and Burgoyne take their stand upon Cop's hill to observe and contemplate the bloody and destructive operations that are now commencing. The regulars form in two lines, and advance deliberately, frequently halting to give time for the artillery to fire, but it is not well-served. The light infantry are directed to force the left point of the breast-work, and to take the American line in flank. The grenadiers advance to attack in front, supported by two battalions, while the left, under general Pigot, inclines to the right of the American line. One or two of the continental regiments had been posted in Charlestown; but afterward removed to prevent their being cut off by a sudden attack; fo that the British are not hurt in the least by any musketry from thence, whatever may hereafter be pre
tended; neither do generals Clinton and Burgoyne perceive any *, though properly stationed for observing all that paffes. General Gage had for fome time resolved upon burning the town, when once any works were raised by the Americans upon the hills belonging to it t; and while the British are advancing nearer and nearer. to the attack, orders come to Cop's hill for executing the resolution; soon after a carcass is discharged, which fets fire to an old house near the ferry way; the fire spreads, and most of the place is instantly in flames. The houfes at the eastern end of Charleitown are fired by men landed from the boats. The regulars derive no advantage from the smoke of the conflagration, for the wind suddenly fhifting, carries it another way, so that they have not the cover of it in their approach. The provincials have not a rifleman among them, not one being yet arrived from the southward; nor have they any rifle guns; they have only common muskets, nor are these in general furnished with bayoners; but then they are almost all marksmen, being accustomed to sporting of one kind or other from their youth. A number of the Massachusetts troops are in the redoubt, and the part of the breast-work nearest it. The left of the breaft-work, and the open ground stretching beyond its point to the water side, through which there has not been the opportunity of carrying the work, is occupied partly by the Massachusetts
* General Burgoyne's Letter. + This resolution was assigned by a near female relation of the general, to a gentlewoman with whom the had been acquainted at school, as a reason why the other, upon obtaining a pass to quit Boston, should not tạrry at her father's (Mr. Cary's) house in Charlestown.
forces, and partly by the Connecticut, under capt. Nolten of Ashford, and the New Hampshire under colonelStark.
By the direction of the officers, the troops upon the open ground pull up the poft and rail fence, and carrying it forward to another of the fame kind, and putting some newly mowed grafs between them, form a flight defence in some parts. General Warren joins the Massachusetts forces in one place, and general Pomeroy in another. General Putnam is bufily engaged in aiding and encouraging, here and there as the case requires. The provincials are impatiently wait: ing the attack of the enemy. What scenes now offer to our view! Here, a large and noble town, confifting of about 300 dwelling houses, and near upon 200 other buildings, in one great blaze, burning with amazing fury, being chiefly timber, with but little exception. The only place of worship, a large commodious meeting house, by its aspiring steeple, forms a pyramid of fire above the reft. There, in Boston, the steeples, houses, and heights, are covered with the inhabitants, and those of the military, whose dury does not call them elsewhere. Yonder, the hills around the country, and the fields, that afford a safe and distinct view of the momentous contest, are occupied by Americans of all ages and orders. The British move on steadily, but Nowly, instead of using a quick step; which gives the provincials the advantage of taking furer and cooler aim. These reserve their fire, till the regulars come within ten or twelve rods, when they begin a furious discharge of small arms, by which the enemy is arretted, and which they return for some time without advancing a step. The Itream of American fire is fo inceffant, and does such
execution, that the regulars retreat in disorder, and with great precipitation toward the place of landing, and some seek refuge even in their boats. The officers are seen by the spectators on the opposite shore, running down to them, using the most passionate gestures, and pushing them' forward with their swords. At length they are rallied; but march with apparent reluctance up to the intrenchment. The Americans again reserve their fire, till the enemy come within five or six rods ; then discharge their well-directed pieces, and put them a second time to fight. Such is the loss already sustained, that several of the officers say, “ It is downright butchery to lead the men on afresh against the lines.” But British honor is at stake: thefe must therefore be carried. General Howe and the officers double their exertions. General Clinton perceiving how the army is staggered, passes over; without waiting for orders, and joins them in time to be of service. The. united and strenuous efforts of the different officers are again successful, notwithstanding the men discover an almost insuperable aversion to renewing the attack. The Americans are in want of powder, send for a fupply, but can procure none; for there is but a barrel and a half in the magazine. This deficiency difables them from making the fame defence as before ; while the British reap a further advantage by bringing some cannon to bear so as to rake the inside of the breast-work from end to end; upon which the provincials retreat within their fort. The regular army' now makes a decisive push. The fire from the ships and batteries and field artillery is redoubled. The officers in the rear goad on the foldiers, and the redoubt is attacked on three sides at once.