By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield
June 16, 1775, marked the day when Corporal Amos Farnsworth knew his prayers had been heard and the war against Great Britain had God's approval.
The Revolutionary War's military maneuvers changed seemingly overnight during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Acting under orders from Artemas Ward, some thousand colonial militiamen grabbed shovels, picks, cannon, and guns and followed Colonel William Prescott to Bunker Hill. The newly formed Continental Army had decided to take a stand and fight the pompous British Redcoats atop this peninsula.
They built earthen fortifications by the moon's glow that overlooked Boston, located on the Charlestown Peninsula, on Breed's Hill throughout the night. The order had been to construct fortifications atop Bunker Hill, but Prescott chose first to dig in on Breed's Hill, which was closer to Boston.
Prescott was aware that his small band of militiamen was outnumbered two to one. His militiamen were scantly armed and less equipped to fight off a large military force. Still, the time had come to take a stand for freedom.
Corporal Amos Farnsworth understood that if they were going to win this war, they had to, at some point, confront the enemy. Running and hiding behind stone walls and trees, emulating the Indians they had fought earlier during the French-American war had its advantages. Still, he'd heard the grumblings among his fellow militiamen. He was as tired as they and had grown weary of fancy-footing around stone walls and dodging bullets.
Commander of the British force, General Gage, whistled “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” thinking to himself that tomorrow would be a dandy day to squish the life out of these rebels who thought they stood a chance to win over the well-trained forces of his Majesty's Army.
This ragged band of farmers would taste the sharp steel of British discipline. Yes, he, with his well-armed British soldiers would stamp out these farmers turned militiamen. Gage could have envisioned the Patriots running home to hide beneath their beds.
General Gage planned to teach those obstinate rebels a lesson they would never forget. How dare this so-called Continental Army think they could best his well-trained British Army.
On the afternoon of June 17, 2,200 British Redcoats advanced. Nothing. Had Gage made a mistake? Had his intelligence been mistaken? Or had those white-liver tree-hugger cowards hightailed it off Bunker Hill and back to the woods?
Suddenly, the top of the hill erupted in flames!
American General Prescott watched with satisfaction as the British fell like scythed wheat and performed a high-stepping two-step running back down the hill!
The British re-formed and went up again. And again—"Don't fire unless you see the whites of their eyes!" Prescott yelled. Their ammunition now dangerously low, they waited until the Redcoats were within a few dozen or so yards from them, then the Patriots let loose with a barrage of musket fire, throwing the British into full retreat mode.
The inevitable arrived—there was not one bullet to share amongst the ragged band of Patriots. Bravely they fought on with picks and shovels and then dove into full hand-to-hand combat.
The British won the Battle of Bunker and Breed's Hill. Charlestown Peninsula fell beneath British control. But for the inexperienced Americans like Corporal Amos Farnsworth, who escaped yet to fight another day, the battle was a morale-builder.
Patriot gunfire had cut down some thousand enemy troops, with more than two hundred killed and eight hundred wounded. One hundred Americans perished and a little over three hundred others injured.
From Corporal Amos Farnsworth’s diary, we get a small glimpse of what that battle curtailed and what consumed the thoughts of these courageous men:
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust …You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day…A thousand may fall at your side…but it shall not come near you" (vss 1, 5, 7).
Three weeks later—on July 2, 1775—George Washington arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to command the Continental Army.
In 1843, the Bunker Hill Monument—221-foot-tall granite obelisk—was erected as a monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill. The monument is located on Breed’s Hill, where most of the fighting took place with these words engraved: Battle of Bunker Hill: June 17, 1775.
CHRISTIANITY—ROMANCE—PATRIOTISM –True-to-life romance that will inspire your faith.
Waltz with Destiny: Book 4 of the Destiny series: A story-book romance swirls into a rendezvous with destiny. A story-book romance swirls into a rendezvous with destiny.
The splendors of Detroit's ballrooms spin Esther (McConnell) Meir around like a princess in a fairy tale when she meets the handsome Eric Erhardt. Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and suddenly it’s a battle for survival. Eric is drafted into the Army and faces insurmountable odds traveling up the boot of Italy.
“…I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor…” Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse
Catherine says, "My readers inspire my writing!" She is an award-winning author. Her inspirational historical romances include Wilted Dandelions, her faith-based Destiny series Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.
She has written two pictorial history books. Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.
Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books, Baker Books, Revell, CrossRiver Media Publishers, and Bethany Book House Publishers.
She and lives with her husband of 48 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township, Michigan. Catherine loves spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!
https://www.ushistory.org/us/11d.asp American revolution