HOW SHREWSBURY WON THE REVOLUTION… LET’S NOT PLAY LIBERTY OR DEATH!!!!!!!!!! (CHAPTER 2)

II

WHEREIN WARD LEADS A DARING SIEGE AT BUNKER HILL TO BE DEPICTED BY STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

 

PREVIOUSLY…

 

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JULY 1, 1775

 

IN A MOVE THAT WOULD LATER BE HONORED BY EVERY MBTA TRAIN ON THE WORCESTER LINE, ARTEMAS WARD STOPPED HIS MARCH TOWARD BOSTON AT FRAMINGHAM FOR NO OBVIOUS REASON.

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KNOX, GATES AND COLONEL WILLIAM WASHINGTON (COUSIN OF GEORGE) WOULD MARCH THROUGH THE DORCHESTER HEIGHTS AND FLANK BRITISH COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF THOMAS GAGE IN THE CAMP SOUTH OF THE CHARLES RIVER, HIS REGIMENT OF 499 STRONG ASSEMBLED IN A WELL-BARRICADED QUINCY MARKET. ENCAMPED OUTSIDE THE QUINCY FORTIFICATIONS WERE MAJOR HUGH MCKENZIE AND CAPTAIN CHARLES ASGILL (CLEARLY A 15-YEAR-OLD MILITARY PRODIGY).

MEANWHILE, GEORGE WASHINGTON WOULD LEAD A DIVERSIONARY ATTACK AGAINST THE FORTIFICATIONS NORTH OF THE CHARLES RIVER AT BUNKER HILL UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERALS ROBERT PIGOT AND HENRY CLINTON, AIDED BY ACTING COLONEL WILLIAM HEATH OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

WARD HIMSELF WOULD ALSO MARCH ON GAGE BY WAY OF THE WELLESLEY HILLS, PLANNING TO REINFORCE GREENE’S REGIMENT AND ENGAGE FROM THE SOUTHERN APPROACH.

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LATE IN THE DAY ON JULY 1ST, BATTLE WERE JOINED. COLONEL WASHINGTON’S TROOPS MET THOSE OF MCKENZIE, DEALING SIGNIFICANT LOSSES. COLONEL CADWALADER’S TROOPS WERE THE FIRST TO MEET THE GUNS OF THE BOSTON FLOTILLA, BRAVELY MARCHING ON IN THE FACE OF WITHERING FIRE.

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THAT NIGHT, TILGHMAN’S RANKS ADVANCED ON PIGOT’S FRONT LINES IN A JOINT ATTACK WITH HEATH AND CADWALADER. GENERAL WASHINGTON MET CLINTON’S LINES.  MEANWHILE IN THE SOUTH, GREENE’S RANKS HELD FIRM WHILE CONTINENTAL CAVALRY CONTINUED TO MAKE A MOCKERY OF REDCOAT LINES.

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GATES JOINED THE BATTLE JUST IN TIME TO RELIEVE THE CAVALRY, ALSO GRANTING KNOX JUST ENOUGH TIME TO POSITION HIS CANNON. IN THE NORTH, PIGOT MET HEAVY LOSSES WHILE A CARELESS ATTACK ON CLINTON’S FORCES COST WASHINGTON DOZENS OF TROOPS.

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THE NEXT MORNING, KNOX’S TROOPS FIRED THEIR FIRST VOLLEYS AT MCKENZIE’S FORCES. GATES AND GREENE PRESSED THE ATTACK. GENERAL THOMAS RELIEVED CADWALADER, WHO MARCHED SOUTHWARD.

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AFTER THE NEWS OF PIGOT AND MCKENZIE ROUTING, WARD MADE HIS MOVE. GATES ORDERED A BAYONET CHARGE (LED BY ONE OF HIS LIEUTENANTS) AGAINST THE INEXPERIENCED ASGILL.

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KNOX REACHED THE DORCHESTER HEIGHTS AND FEINTED A VOLLEY AT THE BOSTON HARBOR CAMP OF WILLIAM HOWE AND COLONEL JAMES FITZWALTER.

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THE CHARGE BY GATES SENT ASGILL’S TROOPS FLEEING. GAGE’S TROOPS WOULD MEET GATES NEXT, FOLLOWED BY A CANNONADE.

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BY THE MORNING OF JULY 3RD, GAGE’S TROOPS HAD FALLEN TO THE COMBINED FORCES OF GATES AND GREENE. AT DAWN, ARTEMAS WARD, NOW MUCH IMPROVED, MARCHED HIS REGIMENT OF 490 BUNKER HILL VETERANS NORTH TO STORM GAGE’S FORTIFICATIONS. WITH GAGE’S NAVAL SUPPORT WOEFULLY OUT OF POSITION AFTER A MISGUIDED ATTEMPT TO OVERTAKE WARD’S ENCAMPMENT AT BUZZARDS BAY, GAGE EVACUATED BOSTON.

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BUT THIS EVACUATION WOULD BE MUCH MORE DISORGANIZED.

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WHILE ATTEMPTING TO LEAVE THE CITY AND RENDEZVOUS WITH THE NAVY, GAGE’S HORSE BOLTED, THROWING HIM TO THE GROUND. BY THE TIME HE CAME TO, THE GENERAL FOUND HIMSELF STARING INTO A HALF A DOZEN BAYONETS HELD BY REVOLUTIONARY MILITARY POLICE.

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WARD STAYED TRUE TO HIS WORD.

GENERALS CLINTON AND HOWE WOULD JOIN GAGE AS CAPTIVES. FITZWALTER WOULD BE RELEASED.

IN WHAT WOULD LATER BE CALLED THE CAMBRIDGE CONVENTION BY BIZARRO HISTORIANS, ALL BRITISH FORCES CAPTURED AT BOSTON WOULD BE GRANTED PAROLE. THIS WOULD PLACE WARD IN THE CURIOUS PREDICAMENT OF BEING INUNDATED WITH LETTERS REQUESTING THE PRESENCE OF HIS HIGH-PROFILE PRISONERS AT VARIOUS HIGH-PROFILE SOCIAL GATHERINGS. WARD SAW THE SOIREES AS A MEANS OF PROPAGANDA, BUT WASHINGTON USED THEM AS A WAY TO BRING INTELLIGENCE TO THE SECRET COMMITTEE, BOTH A STRATEGIC DECISION AND A POLITICAL ONE AS COMMITTEE MEMBER BENJAMIN FRANKLIN FOUND HIMSELF AT ODDS WITH WARD’S FIERY PROSELYTIZING.

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IN THEIR RUSH TO RETREAT FROM BOSTON, GAGE’S TROOPS LEFT OVERFLOWING COFFERS AND FOOD STORES BEHIND. WARD BEGAN TO RESTORE ORDER IN THE NEW CONTINENTAL HEADQUARTERS OF BOSTON.

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GATES RECEIVED A COMMENDATION (WITH A SIZABLE GIFT) IN AN EFFORT TO PLACATE HIM, AS GATES ALSO EXPRESSED HIS OBJECTIONS TO BEING PASSED OVER BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN FAVOR OF WARD. MEANWHILE, NEWS OF THREE BRITISH GENERALS SURRENDERING THEIR SWORDS TO GENERAL ARTEMAS WARD SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE.

WARD’S LOSSES WERE GREAT INDEED WITH OVER 2000 WOUNDED OR KILLED CONTINENTAL SOLDIERS. BUT THE BRITISH LOSSES WOULD BE GREATER STILL: NEARLY 2000 BRITISH WOUNDED OR KILLED, 1000 PRISONERS AND THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER OF ENDLESS DEPICTIONS OF REDCOATS FLEEING FROM FARMERS. THE MAN ONCE DESCRIBED BY WASHINGTON AS ONE WHO COULD NOT ESCAPE “the smoke of his own chimney” (OH, PANS) HAD PROVEN MORE THAN EQUAL TO THE BRITISH ARMY, AND THE LEGEND OF “ARTEMAS THE BONELESS” WOULD BE BORN.

WE NOTE THE ORDERS WARD GAVE TO HIS REMAINING 1800 MEN BEFORE DISMISSING THEM:

A_WARD_LODIt is expected that every man, in every station and department, will now exert all his power for the salvation of America. Freedom and glory — shame and slavery, are set before us: let us act like men, like Christians, like heroes — and form a character for the admiration of posterity.

 

THE QUESTION NEXT WOULD BE WHETHER TO SECURE THE NORTHERN BORDERS OF CANADA, VENTURE SOUTHWARD TO SECURE THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN PHILADELPHIA, OR PERHAPS SOME COMBINATION OF THE TWO.

OUR MEMORY AM A BIT FUZZY…

 

…PERHAPS WARD HIMSELF MIGHT HAVE REMEMBER WHAT HE WOULD HAVE DONE???

 

NEXT UPDATE: CHAPTER 3

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One thought on “HOW SHREWSBURY WON THE REVOLUTION… LET’S NOT PLAY LIBERTY OR DEATH!!!!!!!!!! (CHAPTER 2)

  1. Rodrigo says:

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