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BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL AND BURNING OF CHARLESTOWN.

From a Print published shortly after the Revolution.

WASHINGTON TAKES COMMAND.

161

among those who fell was the distinguished patriot, General Warren. During the engagement Howe ordered Charlestown to be fired, and by night the greater part of the town was in ashes.

This act roused Benjamin Franklin's indignation and he wrote a letter to his former friend Strahan, a member of the English Parliament, which showed that though he was a man of peace yet he knew when to be angry. When General Washington heard how the Americans had fought at Bunker Hill he exclaimed, “ The liberties of the country are safe !”

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164. Washington takes Command of the Army; Expedition against Quebec. - Washington reached Cambridge and

took command of the army - a force of about Quebec ORLEANS

fifteen thousand poorly armed and untrained men— early in July (1775). Nothing was done that summer. But meanwhile Congress had learned that the British in Canada were intending to march down and attack points in Northern New York. To give them something else to think of nearer home, General Montgomery of New York set out to take Quebec. He descended Lake Champlain and captured Montreal. Benedict Arnold of Connecticut, one of the bravest soldiers of the Revolution, started with a force of over a thousand men to join in the attack. Setting

out from Newburyport, Massachusetts, Arnold Map showing Arnold's route to Quebec.

undertook to make his way from the mouth

of the Kennebec through the forests of Maine. He was six weeks getting across the wilderness. The suffering was so terrible that many men deserted, and the rest, after having been compelled to eat their moccasins, nearly perished. At last Arnold reached Quebec with his ragged, barefooted, halfstarved, and sadly diminished little army. Montgomery joined

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1 See copy of this letter in Franklin's handwriting on page 162.

him with a few hundred men, and with this small force they attempted, on the last day of the year (1775), to storm“ the strongest fortified city of America.” Montgomery was killed at the head of his troops, and Arnold badly wounded - it would have been a happy thing for the latter if he, too, had fallen dead on the field. A few months later the Americans were driven out of Canada.

165. Washington enters Boston; the British repulsed at Fort Moultrie. — Throughout the winter of 1775-76 want of artillery and powder prevented Washington from doing anything more than simply keeping up the siege of Boston. At length General Knox succeeded in dragging fifty cannon on ox-sleds all the way from Ticonderoga' to Cambridge. Early in March (1776) Washington seized Dorchester Heights (South Boston) overlooking Boston on the south. He got his cannon into position and then gave General Howe — who had succeeded Gage in command — his choice of withdrawing his forces from the town or having it battered to pieces about his ears. Howe took a good look, through his spy-glass, at the American guns on the Heights, and then gave the order to his men to embark (March 17 — St. Patrick's Day — 1776) for Halifax.

The following day Washington entered Boston in triumph. The British had left it never to return. With them went about a thousand Tories, as those Americans were called who opposed the war and wished to submit to the king. The Whigs, or patriots, now held a day of rejoicing, and Congress voted Washington a gold medal to commemorate his bloodless victory.

About midsummer (June 28, 1776) a British Aleet? attacked Fort Sullivan, on Sullivan's Island, in the harbor of Charleston,

1 See Paragraph 162. A distance of about 200 miles, most of the way through a country that was practically a wilderness.

2 General Clinton left Boston in the winter of 1776 and sailed to attack the Carolinas. He was joined there by a fleet from England under Sir Peter Parker and Lord Cornwallis. After their defeat at Fort Sullivan, Cornwallis and Clinton, with

went to New York.

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