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Extract of a Letter from an Officer in the Army at Boston to his friend in London


Extract of a Letter from an Officer in the Army at BOSTON to his friend in LONDON, dated AUGUST 12, 1775.

I shall give you some account of a most glorious victory obtained by the King' s Troops over the Rebel Army on the seventh instant. On the preceding day it was resolved to attack the enemy on Roxbury Hill. The difficulty of the attempt was easily foreseen, but, if successful, the glory obtained would be immortal. Agreeable to the resolution, early in the morning General Gage detached five thousand chosen men under the command of General Howe. It being dark when we began our march, and the carelessness of the enemy' s advanced guard favouring our design, we were close at the enemy' s lines before they had the least knowledge of our motion. The consternation that ensued upon the discovery is not easily described, nor shall I attempt it, that through the bravery of our officers, and the intrepidity of our soldiers, we forced the enemy' s intrenchments with a slaughter dreadful to think of. The number of the enemy killed is not exactly known, but we have made twenty-five hundred prisoners; amongst whom are General Putnam, General Lee, and several other officers of rank in the Rebel Army, who, in general, behaved with great resolution during the engagement. Our loss is very considerable, as the manner in which we attacked them into such immediate confusion on all sides, that they were unable to make any great resistance. Our greatest loss is by the death of a few brave officers, who fell in forcing the intrenchments. Among these is Colonel Pigot, whose conduct has gained his immortal honour. We have about one hundred and fifty men killed, and as many wounded. We have taken a considerable quantity of ammunition and military stores, as well as their cannon and every thing in the camp.

The glory which the Generals Howe and Burgoyne have acquired, will be recorded to the latest posterity; nor could any thing be more judicious than the disposition of our Troops, which was so well contrived that we attacked the enemy on all quarters at once with irresistible fury.

What will be the consequence of this overthrow is not yet known; but it has so far disabled the Rebels, that it will be impossible for them to take the field again for some time.

I am sorry my time will not permit me to give you a more circumstantial account, at present, of this very memorable action, but I will write again as soon as things are a little settled. At present the confusion is very great; provisions are tolerable plenty but dear. Our


men are in high spirits, and greatly flushed with their unparalleled victory. — London Publick Advertiser, September 12, 1775.