Ten Great Events in History
By James Johonnot

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Public Domain Books

Drawing of the Mayflower
From the collection of the
Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association

Chapter X. Lexington and Bunker Hill

1. The Pilgrims had passed away. Long years had elapsed since the last of the New England fathers had exchanged the earthly for the heavenly kingdom. The grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of the first immigrants possessed the soil. No aliens they, seeking a refuge in an unknown land, but the sturdy possessors of homes where they were born, and around which clustered all tender family ties. The passionate love for England, filtered through three generations, had moderated to a filial respect without impairing filial obedience.

2. Marvelous the change in outward conditions of that century and a half! Wave after wave of intelligent activity had passed over the land. Settlers’ fires hunted the track of Indians westward bound. On the site of primeval forests, fields of grain shimmered in the sun. The rude hut, hastily built for shelter, had given place to the comfortable farm-house and the elegant mansion. Village and city had grown up in the centers of trade. The mechanic arts had slowly made their way. Change vast, weighty, permanent–not sudden, but orderly growth–fruit of seed sown, but none the less marvelous for that.

3. Internal change had accompanied the external. Spiritual growth had gone hand in hand with increase of life’s comforts. Persecution as a means of conversion had disappeared before common dangers and sufferings. Intolerance had toned down into a mild form of bigotry. The shovel-hat of the parson and the flowing robes of the magistrate had lost much of their superstitious significance. The hard, self-imposed restraints of the Puritans had become less rigid at home and in public. Individual life was freer, fuller, and more complete.

4. So sped the years until after the French war–until the last of England’s rivals had been effectually subdued. Now England, for the first time, seems to have been brought face to face with her sturdy offspring. Now she deliberately made up her mind to make him useful–pay her debts, fight her enemies, subserve her interests first and always. So, with blustering words about rights, she imposed burdens, with significant hints in regard to chastisements; she withheld privileges; the cherishing mother in word and deed proving to be a veritable step-mother with the hardest of hearts.

5. Here trouble began. The son had an equal share with the parent in Agincourt and Magna Charta. He was confiding and unsuspicious, but the experience of three generations in the wilds had accustomed him to freedom, and had given him hardihood. His shoulders were broad, but it was difficult to bind burdens upon them against his will. As the policy of the parent dawned upon him, first came incredulous questioning, “What does this mean?"–then protest, showing the injury and suggesting “There must be some mistake!"–last, conviction of intended injustice, the hot wrath, and the emphatic statement, “I will not obey!” The angry note of defiance was heard rolling along the Atlantic coast from New England to Georgia. Descendants of Roundheads, Cavaliers, and Huguenots forgot their ancient prejudices and united against this common danger. Patrick Henry responded to the sentiments of Otis and Adams, and Virginia sent friendly greetings to the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

6. The madness that afflicted the last years of the life of George III seems to have taken possession of the British ministry. Exaction followed exaction in increasing intensity and number. The history of coercive legislation can scarcely find a parallel to that of the British Parliament for the fifteen years following the fall of Quebec. Withal, no excuse was ever made for injustice done, no sympathy was ever expressed for suffering inflicted, but all communication conveyed the stern purpose to subdue. Hungry for affection, the half-grown offspring turned his face toward England for the smallest caress, and the east wind brought back across the Atlantic full in his face the sharp crack of a whip.

7. Then came a period of aggression and resistance. The Stamp Act was passed, but stamp could not be sold, and the lives of stamp-venders became miserable. Soldiers crowded citizens upon Boston Common; citizens mobbed the soldiers; soldiers fired, killing five citizens, and were saved from destruction only by the active interference of the patriot leaders. This affray marked the first shedding of blood, and has gone into history as “The Boston Massacre.” Tea was taxed, but the matrons took to catnip and sage, and no tea was sold. Three cargoes of taxed tea were sent into Boston harbor, but a war-whoop was heard; the vessels were boarded by a band of painted savages, tomahawk in band; the tea-chests were broken up and the tea was thrown into the water. This last act demanded special punishment, and the Boston Port Bill shut up the port of Boston, allowing no ship to go in or out. The sympathetic people of Salem and Marblehead placed wharf and warehouse at the disposal of Boston merchants, softening the blow as much as possible. Relief to the suffering poor of Boston poured in from all sides, and the British ministry saw that the whole people were making common cause in resistance to oppression.

8. The next step is the vigorous use of the strong arm. Filial love must be forced in by means of bayonets, and affection secured by gunpowder and bullets. A strong force of soldiers under General Gage took possession of Boston. The troops were quartered in the City Hall and other buildings sacred in the eyes of the people to justice and peace. The city government was superseded by the military. Sentinels patrolled the streets. Arbitrary edicts took the place of law. Citizens were interfered with while in the pursuit of private business. For soldiers’ insults there was no redress. The leading patriots, John Adams, Joseph Warren, James Otis, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams, were hunted, and a price was set on their heads. Boston was in the strong hands of military power. Outwardly it was subdued, but beneath was a seething fire, ready to burst into flame when the moment for conflagration should arrive.

9. But Massachusetts was aroused. Town and country were one. The war spirit invoked engendered its kind. Committees of Safety were formed in every town. The drum and fife echoed from mountain to valley. The musket of the old war, the shot-gun of the sportsman, and the rifle of the hunter were brought from their resting-places and prepared for use. Forge and hammer were busy in making guns and swords. Minute-men in every hamlet prepared to march on the moment. Nor were the women idle; wheel and loom were busy as never before. The patriot soldier, starting for the front, was clad in serviceable home-spun, prepared by loving hands, and he departed amid the tears, prayers, and blessings of loving yet steadfast hearts.

10. The General Court of Massachusetts was convened. It was denounced and proscribed by General Gage, but in the eyes of the people its mandates had all the force of law. Taxes were levied and cheerfully paid. The colony was divided into military districts, and each one placed under the command of a competent officer. Powder, arms, and other military stores were collected, and all needful preparations were made for war. The other New England colonies fully shared in the excitement of Massachusetts. The note of alarm spread through the land, and a Continental Congress was called to meet at Philadelphia to consider the policy best to be pursued for the common weal.

11. But General Gage became impatient. He would strike a blow that would at once assert British power and terrify the whole rebel race. The mailed hand must be seen beneath the soft glove. The opportunity was not long wanting. A military depot at Concord, eighteen miles northwest of Boston, he determined to seize. A force of eight hundred men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn, was to set out on the evening of April 18th. The patriot leaders were early aware that some movement was on foot, and eager eyes watched for indications of its force and direction. But it was kept a profound secret, and it was not until the troops were upon the march that their destination could be guessed. Let the poet tell how the purpose was discovered and the news carried to the country:

Paul Revere’s Ride.

  12. Listen, my children, and you shall hear
  Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
  On the eighteenth of April, seventy-five.
  Hardly a man is now alive
  Who remembers that famous day and year.

  13. He said to his friend, “If the British march
  By land or sea from the town to-night,
  Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
  In the North Church tower as a signal light–
  One if by land, and two if by sea;
  And I on the opposite shore will be,
  Ready to ride and spread the alarm
  Through every Middlesex village and farm,
  For the country folk to be up and to arm."

  14. Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
  Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
  Just as the moon rose over the bay,
  Where, swinging wide at her moorings, lay
  The Somerset, British man-of-war:
  A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
  Across the moon like a prison bar,
  And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
  By its own reflection in the tide.

  15. Meanwhile his friend, through alley and street,
  Watches and wanders, with eager ears,
  Till in the silence around him he hears
  The muster of men at the barrack door,
  The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
  And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
  Marching down to their boats on the shore.

  16. Then he climbed the tower of the old North Church,
  By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
  To the belfry chamber overhead,
  And startled the pigeons from their perch
  On the somber rafters, that round him made
  Masses and moving shapes of shade;
  By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
  To the highest window in the wall,
  Where he paused to listen and look down
  A moment on the roofs of the town,
  And the moonlight flowing over all.

  17. Beneath in the churchyard lay the dead,
  In their night-encampment on the hill,
  Wrapped in a silence so deep and still
  That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
  The watchful night-wind as it went
  Creeping along from tent to tent,
  And seeming to whisper “All is well!"

  18. A moment only he feels the spell
  Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
  Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
  For suddenly all his thoughts were bent
  On a shadowy something far away,
  Where the river widens to meet the bay–
  A line of black that bends and floats
  On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

  19. Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
  Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
  On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
  Now he patted his horse’s side,
  Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
  Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
  And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
  But mostly lie watched with eager search
  The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
  As it rose above the graves on the hill,
  Lonely and spectral and somber and still.
  And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
  A glimmer, and then a gleam of light.
  He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
  But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
  A second lamp in the belfry burns.

  20. A hurry of hoofs in the village street,
  A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
  And beneath, from the pebbles in passing, a spark
  Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet.
  That was all! and yet, through the gloom and the light,
  The fate of a nation was riding that night;
  And the spark struck out by that steed in its flight
  Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

21. The British column moved on through the darkness with no sound save the steady tread of marching feet. At first, farm-house and hamlet were wrapped in a deep repose, but as the night wore on signs of life began to appear. At every cross-road, horsemen galloped off at their approach, and hurried lights at chamber windows showed that slumber had been suddenly interrupted. At day-break the invading force reached Lexington, a little village twelve miles from Boston. Here minute-men to the number of about one hundred and twenty, aroused by the cry of Paul Revere, had hastily assembled. They offered no opposition to the British troops, but stood silent spectators to the unusual sight.

22. The British column halted, and Major Pitcairn rode forward, and, in the most peremptory tone of command, cried out: “Disperse, you rebels! Throw down your arms and disperse!” No one obeyed, and he gave the order to fire. Out blazed the muskets, and what remained of the little group sought safety in flight. The British marched on, leaving on that peaceful common, under the very shadow of the church, eight figures stark and motionless in death. From this baptism of blood they moved on, regretful, perhaps, at the stern necessity of their action, but rejoicing that all opposition had been so easily and completely overcome.

23. On they sped. The sun arose in its glory to cheer them on their march. Their thoughts were jubilant as in fancy they posed as heroes before their fellows left behind. No vision of the dead men staring upward from the blood-drenched grass of Lexington haunted them. The silent march of the night had ended, and now they could press onward with clatter and song. The six miles to Concord were soon passed over. A strong guard was left at the bridge, for, with all his confidence, Colonel Smith was a skillful commander, and would neglect no precaution to secure the safety of his troops. So careful was he that he sent back a secret messenger from Lexington for more men. On press the exulting soldiers, on through the streets of Concord in search of the military stores. But lo! they had taken wings and flown to a place of safety. A few barrels of flour, half destroyed, a, few hundred cannon-balls thrown into wells, was the sole outcome of the intended destruction. The Committee of Safety had performed their duty discreetly and in time.

24. But hark! What means that musketry? Not the scattering fire of a skirmish, but volley answering volley! Has the impossible come to pass? Have the rebels dared to fire upon the king’s troops? But the firing grows warmer, louder. Hasten to the bridge lest retreat be cut off! The guards, sore beset, welcome the aid. Armed foes spring up on every side! They are behind, before–everywhere! No safety now but in instant, rapid retreat.

  25. “You know the rest. In the books you have read,
  How the British regulars fired and fled–
  How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
  From behind each fence and farm-yard wall;
  Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
  Then crossing the fields, to emerge again
  Under the trees, at the bend of the road,
  And only pausing to fire and load.”

26. Discipline and valor are of no avail here. Vollied musketry has little chance against backwoods sharpshooters occupying every vantage ground that their knowledge of the country enabled them to do. The day was wearing on. Noon found them a disorganized mass, flying through Lexington streets, the scene of their morning victory.

27. In the mean time Lord Percy, with eight hundred fresh troops and two field-pieces, is marching out on the Lexington road; not that any danger was apprehended, but simply as a precautionary measure. Between two and three o’clock, while yet two miles short of Lexington, ominous sounds of conflict smote his ears: not the rolling volleys and stately tread of victory, but the confused noise of fight and flight, betokening irretrievable disaster. The fresh troops were formed into a hollow square, and pell-mell the hunted fugitives came rushing into their place of refuge. Exhausted by their long march and hot fight, many of them fell prone upon the ground, “their tongues,” says a high authority, “hanging out of their mouths.”

28. But Lord Percy must not delay. Ten miles lie between him and safety, and many hours of day remain before darkness will lend its friendly aid. Short time for rest. Beat off the fierce and persistent attacks! Speed away while yet unsurrounded! A British army must never suffer the humiliation of defeat and capture by a horde of rebel Yankees. So through the afternoon the red-coats marched quickly, sullenly, dejectedly, fighting desperately for very life. The day closed as they neared the river, and under the starlight they embarked, finding safety and rest at last–not quite yet, for as the last boat left the shore a rifle blazed out, and one more victim was sent to atone for the wanton murder on Lexington Common.

29. The eventful day ended with a loss on the part of the British of two hundred and seventy-three, while the aggregate loss of the patriots was one hundred and five. Without discipline, and with the most reckless exposure to danger, they had inflicted a loss nearly three times as great as they had sustained.

30. The news of Lexington spread, everywhere producing wild excitement. The notes of warlike preparation were heard throughout the land. With deliberate purpose General Gage had sown the dragon’s teeth, and there literally sprung up a bountiful crop of armed men. Every village and every farm-house helped to swell the number. The remotest hamlet furnished its contingent. In distant Connecticut, gallant old General Putnam heard the news while plowing. Prompt as when he dragged the wolf from its den, he unyoked his oxen, left his plow in the furrow, and, leaping to his saddle, galloped to the fray. Fiery Ethan Allen, at the head of his Green Mountain Boys, was eager to march, but paused to execute that marvelous enterprise which secured for the patriot cause the formidable fortresses of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, with all their military stores. Day by day the multitude increased, until thirty thousand men were encamped around Boston, from Charlestown Neck to Dorchester.

31. From the evening of the Lexington fight General Gage was shut up in Boston. The patriots kept a strict guard on every road, and no parties were permitted to pass out or provisions to pass in. All supplies for the town came by sea. The officers chafed under the enforced inactivity. They would be done with the ignoble work of defense behind fortifications. They longed for an opportunity to regain the prestige lost on that fatal nineteenth of April. But General Gage was too wise a commander to risk the safety of his army, so he held the impatience of his officers in check and awaited events.

32. The patriot leaders were equally impatient. The enthusiasm of the moment must be turned to good account. The men were all unused to living in camps, and were peculiarly exposed to camp diseases and camp vices. Discipline had not yet counteracted the demoralizing tendencies of army life. The different divisions of the army were ranged under favorite local leaders, and while there was some show of order there was little or no concert of action. It was now the middle of June. Two months had elapsed since Lord Percy was driven back into Boston. All means to lure General Gage from the town had failed, and an aggressive movement was devised. It was resolved to take a new position threatening the town and the shipping in the port. The place selected was the highland on the Charlestown peninsula known as Bunker Hill, and the time fixed upon for the enterprise the night of June 16th.

33. Eight hundred men armed with shovels and picks assembled at six o’clock. The movement was known to be a perilous one, and every man felt that he took his life in his hand. President Langdon, of Harvard College, offered prayer with the ancient Puritan fervor. Colonel Prescott took command of the military operations and Colonel Gridley conducted the engineering. In early evening they set out. The march was in profound silence. With suppressed breathing and stealthy tread they made their way–an army of ghosts entering the land of shadows. But the grim faces of the officers and the clinched hands of the men showed more than ghostly purpose. About midnight the march ceased. Clear in the starlight they could see British ship and camp, and could hear the sentinel proclaim, “All is well.” A redoubt eight rods square was laid out, and these eight hundred husbandmen bent their seasoned muscles to the work. The embankment grew up in the darkness, and at day-break its six feet of height amply protected the workers within.

34. In the American camp all was excitement and expectation. Supporting parties were organized, supplies hurried up, and means for re-enforcement and retreat provided. It was now that the fatal weakness of the patriot organization was made manifest. Different leaders had notions inconsistent with each other, and divided councils led to indecisive action. The brunt of the coming engagement was left to one tenth of the patriot forces. Scarred veterans scented the battle from afar, and hastened to the front to share the danger and the glory. With no command, officers were content to act as volunteers and handle muskets. Putnam, with military foresight, took charge of the line of communication, and with true farmer instinct he converted two rail-fences and a field of new-mown hay into a line of serviceable breastworks reaching across Charlestown Neck into the country.

35. At day-break the astonished Britons gazed upon this vision of the night. A moment’s pause, then instantaneous, rapid action. That nocturnal growth threatened their very lives. Those audacious and insolent rebels must be swept from existence. Without orders the Boston battery at Copp’s Hill opened upon the redoubt as soon as it was discovered. Ships in the bay poured in furious broadsides. The cannonade awoke Boston from her slumbers. Citizens half dressed rushed into the streets. Every roof and steeple that commanded a view of the scene was soon crowded with anxious spectators, who remained there during the livelong day. Patriot and royalist mingled, and fierce passions and wordy wars accompanied the progress of the conflict outside. Exultation at patriot success was often too great to be suppressed, and wild cheers sounded from the house-tops and echoed through the streets.

36. So passed the forenoon. The little band on the hill, protected by the earth-works, worked on with speed and safety. The hurtling masses of iron aimed at their destruction either buried themselves in the yielding earth or passed overhead without injury. One man only paid with his life the penalty of his curiosity in looking over the breastworks. An early luncheon was served and then work again. But even iron muscles have their limit of endurance, and the earth-walls grew less rapidly as the day wore on, until at high noon work altogether ceased.

37. But what of the enemy! By this time they are aware of the uselessness of their cannonade. Other and stronger measures must be taken, and that on the instant. The military renown gained on so many battle-fields must not be lost in a conflict with rude peasants–the best point of vantage in a general war must not be lost to the king. Every sentiment of ambition and loyalty urged to action. A ship dropped down the river and took position to command Charlestown Neck. But the rail-fence and the new-mown hay resisted the shock, and the American line remained unturned. Rough old Putnam’s foresight became an important factor in the day’s conflict.

38. Suddenly the drum’s loud beat and the shrill scream of the fife startled all hearts into a fiercer life. The notes, with no tremor of fear, rang out sonorous, triumphant. For centuries such notes had led Britons to victory, and to-day British soldiers will do or die. Four thousand grenadiers, under Lord Howe, march down to the shore with the quick, elastic tread of soldiers upon a holiday excursion. In that resolute front and precision of movement there was little to raise the spirits or inspire hope in the hearts of the thousands of patriotic observers who were watching the movements with feverish anxiety. In perfect order they embark, and in perfect order they land upon the Charlestown shore. In their advance toward the silent redoubt no line wavered and no step faltered, though every man was aware of the fearful peril before him.

39. Within the little earth-work all was activity and expectation. Pomeroy, Stark, Putnam came to help–not to dictate. At the last moment General Warren, from the State Committee of Safety, unable to conceal his anxiety, came and took his place in the ranks. These officers all outranked Colonel Prescott, but neither of them would take the command from the officer who had proved himself capable and worthy of it. Shovels and picks gave place to rifles and muskets, and, as experienced eyes glanced along the death-dealing tubes, grave smiles lit up rugged faces at the thought of the welcome the enemy would soon receive. “Be steady! Be firm!” is the parting injunction of Putnam, as he takes his way to his command at the rail-fence. “We must conquer or die,” is the sentiment of Warren, as he grasps the musket of a common soldier, showing to the last that noble patriotism which makes his name so dear to all who love their country. “Keep cool. Wait until you see the color of their eyes! Aim at their red coats. Pick off their commanders!” are the fiery last commands of Prescott, as the scarlet column moved up the hill. Each soldier is in place, each eye unflinchingly is fixed on the enemy, and each right hand is pressed upon the musket, ready for the supreme moment.

40. The batteries, which had been covering the advancing columns, ceased as they neared the summit. An ominous silence succeeded the tumult of the preceding hours. No sound is heard but the short, quick words of command in the British ranks, and the steady tread of the marching files. The space had diminished to a few rods, and still a grave-like silence wrapped the redoubt. At the last moment had the hearts of the patriots failed? Did the near approach of the red-coats deprive them of their courage? By the double-quick, forward march!" rang out from the British lines. A sudden rush, and one deafening volley! Was it lightning from heaven that struck down every man in their first rank? Was it the earthquake’s shock that left those long lines of dead heaped like grass before the mower’s scythe? The rear ranks, paralyzed by the terrible disaster, held their ground, but no human courage could withstand the fire that blazed fierce and merciless from the redoubt. A moment’s pause, and then a wild, headlong flight to the sheltering boats on the shore.

41. As shouts of triumph went up from thousands of sympathizing hearts, the contending forces were in a state of intense activity. Within the breastworks Prescott, cool, deliberate, masterful, watched every detail and directed every action. Warren, Stark, and Pomeroy put soul into every movement. Putnam defended his own line, and sent the good news outward to cheer the thousands who had taken no part in the contest, and to urge immediate re-enforcements. In the British quarters new officers took the place of those who lay stretched on the hill-side; the men were rallied and reformed; new regiments came over from Boston, and again four thousand men breasted the hill and marched up to the breastworks with colors flying and drums beating. This time they were permitted to come within the reach of friendly greeting, when again a solid sheet of flame leaped forth from the breastworks, again covering the earth with the dead. The rear columns for a few moments stood fast, but nothing could withstand that hail of shot aimed to take life, and again they fled to the shore.

42. The day was wearing on. It was now five o’clock. If the Americans can hold on until the friendly darkness sets in, they may retain possession of Charlestown and force the British to evacuate Boston. General Ward was at Cambridge, trying in vain to secure order in time for action. General Knox ranged up and down the lines, frantically urging the men to follow him to the fray. Putnam, blazing with excitement and fully comprehending the danger, was everywhere animating and urging on the fresh troops. Now he sent almost frantic appeals for powder; now he implored the men in reserve to move at once, and now he rallied his own men to repel the attack upon his own lines. A considerable force was at last rallied to march, but upon reaching Charlestown Neck the firing from the British ships was so deadly that they dared not venture to cross. In the redoubt was the courage of despair. The powder had given out, and for many of the muskets only a single cartridge remained to meet the coming charge. But all remained firm while the sun slowly sunk in the west.

43. After their second repulse, the force under Lord Howe, cowed and demoralized, refuse to again advance into the jaws of death. The idea is gaining ground that the rebel position is impregnable, and that a wise policy demands that no more blood shall be shed in a vain endeavor to reduce it. The impetuous Sir Henry Clinton refuses to take this view of the situation, and his counsels are heeded. Every military resource at the command of General Gage is now brought into requisition. All the ships in the harbor are ordered to direct their fire upon the fort and the line of communication. New batteries are erected by competent engineers to sweep through the outer breastworks and render them untenable. The reserve forces are ordered up, and every available man is in the ranks. The charge must now be made on every side and the little band of eight hundred literally crushed by numbers. All this and the final charge must be made within the few hours of remaining daylight, or British power is forever at an end in America.

41. At last all preparation ends and the time for action arrives. Shot from the new batteries drive the defenders with severe loss within their interior defenses. The advance of the swarming enemies is met with a feeble, scattering fire in place of the volleyed death of the previous charges. Showers of stones and blows from clubbed muskets greet those who first mount the ramparts; but nothing could resist the last desperate bayonet charge of the British. The defenders of the fort slowly and sullenly retired before the overwhelming numbers of their adversaries. At the last moment Major Pitcairn meets his death, and thus expiates as far as possible his bloody orders at Lexington. At nearly the same moment General Warren, in the very rear of the retreating troops, is shot, sealing with his life his devotion to his country. That the retreating Americans were not annihilated was due to the rail-fence of General Putnam, and to his skill in holding the enemy in check while the flying fugitives found safety in the country.

45. The battle of Bunker Hill is ended. The cross of St. George flies over Prescott’s redoubt. Four hundred and fifty patriots and fifteen hundred Britons are killed, wounded, and missing. Eighty-nine British officers–numbers unprecedented–sleep in the dust. Patriot courage and endurance are found to equal patriot enthusiasm. Technically the battle is lost; morally it is won. Where Warren fell a nation is born. The Fourth of July records the fact–Yorktown attests the record. A nation is born–from the Pilgrims inheriting love of freedom, from stout Roger Williams toleration–a nation charged with the sacred mission of organizing human rights upon the basis of human liberty.


Preface  •  Chapter I. Defense of Freedom By Greek Valor  •  Chapter II. Crusades and the Crusaders  •  Chapter III. Defense of Freedom in Alpine Passes  •  Chapter IV. Bruce and Bannockburn  •  Chapter V. Columbus and the New World  •  Chapter VI. Defence of Freedom On Dutch Dikes  •  Chapter VII. The Invincible Armada  •  Chapter VIII. Freedom’s Voyage to America  •  Chapter IX. Plassey; and How An Empire Was Won  •  Chapter X. Lexington and Bunker Hill  • 

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