1775, Two Hundred Twenty-Five Years Ago

The Battle of Bunker Hill

Early on the morning of June 17, Gen. Thomas Gage, governor of Massachusetts and commander in chief of British forces in North America, awoke in his Boston home to learn of a serious new threat. On the Charlestown peninsula, which was connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, rebel soldiers were building military fortifications on a rise known today as Breed’s Hill. If left alone, they would surely fortify neighboring Bunker Hill as well. Gage conferred with his officers and decided on an immediate attack. Read more »

Prescott’s War

A civilian adventurer gave us the best artist’s record of America in Vietnam.

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Men Of The Revolution: 1. Dr. Joseph Warren

Warren took the lead in creating the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Refusing to leave Boston like the other radical leaders, he died in the fighting on Breed's Hill in 1775

Personal charm and affability are traits not commonly issociated with revolutionaries, and rarely has an agent of social upheaval been held in such universal esteem by his contemporaries as was Dr. Joseph Warren. He seems to have been a man nearly everyone liked, and his qualities come down to us in those dignified adjectives of the eighteenth century—gentle, noble, generous. So it is difficult to know if it was because of these characteristics or in spite of them that he was one of a handful of provincials most feared by British officialdom.

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Providence Rides a Storm

Had a tempest not thwarted his plans, George Washington might have lost the Revolution in the first major operation he commanded

That George Washington drove the British out of Boston in early March 1776 is known to almost every schoolboy who has studied the American Revolution, but a disturbing aspect of this crucial event is not recognized even by most of the experts. One may read biographies of Washington, and military histories of the Revolution, without coming on more than a stray hint. This omission has undoubtedly occurred because the story flies in the face of the traditional Washington legend.Read more »

“The Decisive Day Is Come”

The battle between rebels and redcoats that should have taken place at Bunker Hill was fought at Breed’s instead. It was the first of many costly mistakes for both sides

The port of Boston in June, 1775, resembled a medieval castle under siege. Since the engagements at Lexington and Concord on April 19, General Thomas Gage and some 5,000 British regulars had been bottled up in the town by a force of rebellious colonials that numbered between 8,000 and 12,000 men.

 
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‘The Smoke, The Thunder, The Roar Of The Battle…”

It is an interesting paradox that, of the two most famous paintings of Bunker Hill, the one that most suggests a real battle was painted by Pyle, the illustrator who lived long afterward, and not by John Trumbull, the painter who saw it (albeit from a distance) and served briefly in the Revolution (see AMERICAN HERITAGE , June, 1958).