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The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.

“At this moment, the veteran and gallant Colonel Stark harangued his regiment, in a short, but animated address; then directed them to give three cheers, and make a rapid movement to the rail-fence which ran to from the left, and about forty yards in the rear of the redoubt, towards Mystic river.  Part of the grass, having been recently cut, lay in winnows and cocks on the field.  Another fence was taken up—­the rails run through the one in front, and the hay, mown in the vicinity, suspended upon them, from the bottom to the top, which had the appearance of a breast-work, but was, in fact, no real cover to the men; it, however, served as a deception on the enemy.  This wag done by the direction of the ‘Committee of Safety,’ as I afterwards heard.  That committee exerted itself nobly.

“At the moment our regiment was formed in the rear of the rail-fence, with one other small regiment from New Hampshire, under the command of Colonel Reid, the fire commenced between the left wing of the British army, commanded by General Howe, and the troops in the redoubt, under Colonel Prescott; while a column of the enemy was advancing on our left, on the shore of Mystic river, with an evident intention of turning our left wing, and that veteran and most excellent regiment of Welsh fusileers, so distinguished for its gallant conduct in the battle of Minden, advanced in column directly on the rail-fence; when within eighty or an hundred yards, displayed into line, with the precision and firmness of troops on parade, and opened a brisk, but regular fire by platoons, which was returned by a well-directed, rapid, and fatal discharge from our whole line.

“The action soon became general, and very heavy from right to left In the course of ten or fifteen minutes, the enemy gave way at all points, and retreated in great disorder; leaving a large number of dead and wounded on the field.

“The firing ceased for a short time, until the enemy again formed, advanced, and recommenced a spirited fire from his whole line.  Several attempts were again made to turn our left; but the troops, having thrown up a slight stone-wall on the bank of the river, and laying down behind it, gave such a deadly fire, as cut down almost every man of the party opposed to them; while the fire from the redoubt and rail-fence was so well directed and so fatal, especially to the British officers, that the whole army was compelled a second time to retreat with precipitation and great confusion.  At this time, the ground occupied by the enemy was covered with his dead and wounded.  Only a few small detached parties again advanced, which kept up a distant, ineffectual, scattering fire, until a strong reinforcement arrived from Boston, which advanced on the southern declivity of the hill, In the rear of Charlestown.  When this column arrived opposite that angle of the redoubt which faced Charlestown, it wheeled by platoons to the right, and advanced directly upon the redoubt without firing a gun.  By this time, our ammunition was exhausted.  A few men only had a charge left.

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