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General Gage to the Earl of Dunmore



Boston, June 26, 1775.

This Town was alarmed on the seventeenth instant, at break of day, by a firing from the Lively, ship-of-war, and a report immediately spread that the rebels had broke ground, and were raising a battery on the heights of the peninsula of Charlestown, against the Town of Boston.

They were plainly seen and in a few hours a battery of six guns played upon their works. Preparations were instantly made for landing a body of men, and some companies of Grenadiers and Light-Infantry, with some battalions and field, artillery, amounting in the whole to two thousand men, under the command of Major-General Howe and Brigadier-General Pigot, were embarked with great expedition, and landed on the peninsula without opposition, under cover of some ships-of-war and armed vessels.

The Troops formed as soon as landed. The rebels upon the heights were perceived to be in great force, and strongly posted. A redoubt, thrown up on the sixteenth, at night, with other works, full of men, defended with cannon, and a large body posted in the houses of Charlestown, covered their right, and their left was covered by a breastwork, part of it cannon-proof, which reached from the left of the redoubt to the Mistick River.

Besides the appearance of the rebels' strength, large columns were seen pouring in to their assistance; but the King' s Troops advanced. The attack began by a cannonade, and notwithstanding various impediments of fences, walls, &C˙, and the heavy fire they were exposed to from the vast numbers of rebels, and their left galled from the houses of Charlestown, the Troops made their way to the redoubt, mounted the works, and carried it.

The rebels were then forced from other strong holds, and pursued until they were entirely driven off the peninsula, leaving five pieces of cannon behind them. Charlestown was set on fire during the engagement, and most part of it consumed. The loss they sustained must have been considerable, from the vast numbers they were seen to carry off during the action, exclusive of what they suffered from the shipping. About one hundred were buried the day after, and thirty found on the field, some of whom are since dead. About one hundred and ninety of the King' s Troops were killed, and a great many wounded.

This action has shown the bravery of the King' s Troops, who, under every disadvantage, gained a complete victory over three times their number, strongly posted and covered by breastworks. But they fought for their King, their laws, and constitution.