Bunker Hill (Dispatches)

Derby Mercury/July 28, 1775

LONDON (Thursday) July 17, There are some Particulars to be remarked in the list of the killed and wounded of General Gage’s Army, that are very uncommon, such as one Drummer only, and fifteen Serjeants being killed, and seven Captains and only nine Lieutenants. But our surprise at those circumstances will cease, when it is considered that the men were to march through a town in the hands of the enemies, and consequently were exposed to the firing from houses, in by-lanes, and other Places on their March.

By Express from Bristol, brought by a Ship from Philadelphia, we have Advice that General Washington had marched from Virginia to Boston at the Head of a Thousand Volunteers, to take the supreme Command at Boston, where he was expected to arrive on the first or second of July. It is asserted with Confidence (says a Correspondent) that the Ministry are assured from Boston, that the Provincial Rebels will not be able to keep together a Month longer, being already in great Want of Bread as Well as other Necessaries. It is, therefore, proposed to throw away no more Lives on a Rabble that seem ready to melt away of themselves. In case this measure should be followed, some of the Regiments at Boston are to be transported to New York; and are to march from that Town along Hudson’s River, in Order to meet Governor Carleton, to take their Winter’s Quarters in Albany, and to fall upon the Back of New England the beginning of next Season, should not their internal Distress force the Rebels into Submission before that Period.

Extract of a Letter from Boston, June 22.

The Loss in the Action of the 17th, on each Side, is supposed to be nearly equal; nor can we wonder it should be so, when we consider that 1400 Men forced a Redoubt defended by 1600, who might have defended it against three Times their Number. Our Officers have suffered much, no less than 86 being killed and wounded. Among the killed of the Rebels is Dr. Warren, who commanded at the Redoubt; and 30 wounded Prisoners were taken, four of whom are since dead. The Troops are now busy in fortifying the Hill that commands Charlestown Neck; and the Rebels are fortifying a Hill about halfway between that and Cambridge, from which I expect to find them dislodged in a few Days. Had this Post not been taken, it was the Intention of the Rebels to have set Fire to Boston that Night; instead of which the whole Town of Charlestown is in Ruins; their Leader and Orator Warren is slain and they must now be convinced that British Troops are capable of driving them from their strongholds, tho opposed by vast superiority of Numbers.”

Part of a genuine letter from Boston, brought by the Cerborus Frigate, dated June 23.

“Before this reaches you, you’ll have learnt that Americans are not deficient in either Courage or Discipline, and are good Marksmen, as your Officers know very well. An Account of the late Action on Bunker’s-Hill, on the back of Charlestown, you will have in General Gage and General Howe’s Letters. I will only teil you that General Howe was sent out with two thousand five hundred Men, or better, to dislodge a Body of our Troops on Bunker’s Hill. When the troops began their march, the Ships threw Carcasses into Charlestown, and burnt it entirely. It was a pretty Town but now there is not one House standing. It is nothing but a Heap of Ruins. Let this Dispute end which Way it will, though you never can conquer us, this once fair and opulent Province is ruined. All America will revenge our Cause! On the first Attack your Troops gave Way. They did not expect so heavy a Fire. General Howe rallied them for near a Minute he was quite alone. His Aid de Camp was killed by his Side. The Officers brought up their Men and suffered for their Temerity. General Clinton with another Corps presently followed. General Putnam who had not quite 4000 Connecticut Men though the whole Army was coming, and without the least Disorder, or even being pursued a single Step, left Bunker’s Hill and went to another Hill, about half a Mile further, where he has remained ever since without the least Disturbance. If the Mercenaries had offered to march a Yard after him, General Ward, with his New England Men, was ready to give a good Account of them. General Howe is gone back to Boston, having had better than two-thirds of his Men killed and wounded. Believe me, you cannot succeed in this mad and wicked Attempt to conquer. Every Hill will be disputed with you, and every Inch of Ground. Two more such Actions will destroy your Army. We can afford to lose ten Men to your one; and have three Times your Number at last.

We are informed, you intend to bombard and burn our seaports. You may. But we will destroy the lighthouses and beacons: and in the first high wind all your men-of-war will be entirely wrecked on our coast. We shall get plunder in return for our towns being destroyed, and you will lose your navy. I wish your king may see his error before it is too late. We love and honor the English nation. But the ministry and parliament do not do justice to the people; who we know, do not approve of the American massacre.”


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