The American Revolution
Amos Farnsworth of Groton—in his diary—recounts his day at Bunker Hill.
… kiled and wounded great Numbers, and repulsed them several times; and after bearing, for about 2 Hours, as severe and heavy a Fire as perhaps ever was known, and many having fired away all their Ammunition, and having no Reinforsement: althoe thare was a great Boddy of Men nie By: we ware over-powered by Numbers and obliged to leave the Intrenchment …
Farnsworth, at Bunker Hill.
(June 17, 1775)
Saturday June ye 17 .
the Enemy appeared to be much Alarmed on Saturday Morning when thay discvered Our operations and immediately began a heavy Cannonading from a batery on Corps-Hill Boston and from the Ships in ye Harbour, we with little loss Continued to Carry on our works till 1 o’Clock when we Discvered a large Body of the Enemy Crossing Charles-River from Boston, thay landed on a Point of land about a Mile Eastward of our Intrenchment And immediately disposed thair army for an attack previous to which thay Set fire to the town of Charlestown. It is supposed that the Enemy intended to attack us under the Cover of the Smoke from the burning Houses, the Wind favouring them in Such a Design; While on the other side their Army was extending Northward towards Mistick-River with an apparant Design of surrounding our Men in the Works, And of cutting of any Assistance intended for our Relief, thay ware however in some Measure, counteracted in this Design, and Drew their Army into closer Order. As the Enemy approached, Our men was not only Exposed to the Attack of a very numerous Musketry but to the heavy Fire of the Battery on Corps-Hill, 4 or 5 Men of War, Several Armed Boats or Floating Batteries in Mistick-River. and a number of Field pieces. Notwithstanding we within the intrenchment, and at a Breast Work without, sustained the Enemy’s Attacks with [g]reat Bravery and Resolution, kiled and wounded great Numbers, and repulsed them several times; and after bearing, for about 2 Hours, as severe and heavy a Fire as perhaps ever was known, and many having fired away all their Ammunition, and having no Reinforsement: althoe thare was a great Boddy of Men nie By: we ware over-powered by Numbers and obliged to leave the Intrenchment retreating about Sunset, to a small Distance over Charlestown Neck. N. B. I Did not leave the Intrenchment utill the Enemy got in I then Retreated ten or Fifteen rods, then I receved a wound in my rite arm the bawl gowing through a little below my Elbow breaking the little shel Bone Another bawl struk my Back taking of a piece of Skin about as big as a Penny But I got to Cambridge that night, the Town of Charlestown supposed to contain about 300 Dwelling-Houses, a great Number of which ware large and elegant, besides 100 or 200 other Buildings, are almost all laid in ashes by the Barbarity and wanton Cruelty of that infernal Villain Thomas Gage
Oh the goodness of God in Preserving my life Althoe thay fell on my Right hand and on my left: O may this act of Deliverance of thine oh God lead me never to Distrust the, but may I Ever trust in the and put Confodence in no Arm of flesh. I was in great Pane the first Night with my wound
—Amos Farnsworth, Diary.
A tip o’the hat to American Minute.