Siege of Boston



On the 4th of July, Washington issued his first general order, in which he recommended sobriety, harmony, order, and the constant exercise of patriotism and morality, and a humble reliance upon God. On the 9th, he held his first council of war; and ten days afterward Adjutant-General Gates reported present, fit for duty, 13,743 men, and an enrollment of 16,770, all from the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Some riflemen from Maryland, Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania, led by Daniel Morgan, a man of sturdy frame and unflinching courage, who had seen service in the French and Indian War, joined the army soon afterward.

Washington immediately began the siege of Boston by so disposing his forces as to confine the British to the peninsula and the adjacent islands and shores. He arranged his army in three grand divisions, each division containing two brigades. The right wing was placed under General Artemas Ward, with brigadiers Thomas and Spencer. They were stationed at Roxbury. The left wing was commanded by General Lee, and consisted of the brigades of Sullivan and Greene. These occupied Winter and Prospect Hills. The centre was commanded by General Putnam. One of his brigades was commanded by Health, and the other by a senior officer of less rank than a brigadier, for Pomeroy had declined the office conferred upon him by the Congress. The Americans cast up strong lines of intrenchments between the extremities of the army. The British were strongly intrenched on Bunker's Hill, about half a mile from the battle-ground on Breed's Hill. Their sentries occupied Charlestown Neck; floating batteries were moored in Mystic River, near Bunker's Hill, and a twenty-gun ship was anchored at the ferry between Boston and Charlestown. On Copp's Hill, in the city, the British had a strong battery. The bulk of the army under General Howe (who had succeeded Gage in the chief command) lay upon Bunker's Hill, and some cavalry and a small corps of Tories remained in the city. Such was the relative position of the belligerent forces during the summer and early autumn of 1775.





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