The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.
manoeuvres with more zeal.  At one time a rumor reached us that the British fleet had bombarded Boston, and, I tell you, the men did turn out.  Some of them wanted to march right down to Boston.  Everywhere the people were crying ‘to arms! to arms!’ and we thought the war had commenced, sure enough; but it didn’t just then.  However, there was about thirty thousand men on the march to Boston, and they wouldn’t turn back until they found the report was a hoax.  Soon after, the Provincial Congress met, and they ordered that a large body of minute-men should be enrolled, so as to be prepared for any attack.  The people of our province took the matter into their own hands, and organized a body of minute-men without orders.  Our company was included.  We were all ready for fight, but were determined that the red-coats should strike the first blow; so we waited through the winter.  In March, Gage saw that great quantities of powder and balls were taken out of Boston into the country, in spite of his guard on the Neck.  Every market wagon, and every kind of baggage, was stowed with ammunition.  He then sent a party of troops to Salem to seize some cannon and stores our men had placed there; but Colonel Pickering, with a few men, made such a show, that the red-coats marched back again, without accomplishing their object.  Our chief deposit of stores was at Concord, up here about twenty miles from Boston; and when our militia-general found that Gage was sending out parties to sketch the roads, with the aim of getting our stores into his hands, he sent word to our company to be on hand, and, if we could, to come up near Concord.  John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and all of our other big men, left Boston and went to Lexington, to keep the people moving and ready for an attack.”

“Dr. Warren stayed in Boston,” interrupted Pitts, “to keep the others informed of the movements of the red-coats.”

“Yes,” continued Kinnison; “the royals, as Deacon Slocum used to call ’em, didn’t hate Warren as much as they did John Hancock and the Adamses.  Well, when Captain Williams heard of what General Gage was after, he told us we had better be prepared to march at a minute’s warning.  Gage sent eight hundred troops, under Colonel Smith and Major Pitcorn, on his rascally errand.  They started from Boston about nine o’clock on the night of the eighteenth of April, never thinking that our men knew anything about it—­but we were awake.”

“Wait a bit,” said John Warner, one of the veterans who had not yet spoken.  “I’ll tell you something.  I was in Boston when the red-coats started, and knew that the country militia were ready to protect the stores.  I was standing on the Common, talking to a few of my friends of my own politics, when I said rather loud, ’the British troops will miss their aim.’  ‘What aim?’ inquired a person behind me.  ’The cannon at Concord,’ replied I as I turned to see who asked the question.  The man was dressed in British uniform, and he walked away as I turned to look at him.  One of my friends whispered to me that it was Lord Percy.  Soon after, guards were set at every avenue, and nobody was allowed to leave the city.”

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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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