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June 25, 1775 Letter from John Burgoyne to Lord Stanley, Page 1 of 3

The following Description of the Action near Boston, on the 17th of June, is taken from a Letter written by General Burgoyne to his Nephew Lord Stanley.

"Boston, June 25, 1775.

"Boston is a peninsula, joined to the main land only by a narrow neck, which on the first troubles Gen. Gage fortified; arms of the sea, and the harbour, surround the rest: on the other side one of these arms, to the North, is Charles-Town (or rather was, for it is now rubbish), and over it a large hill, which is also, like Boston, a peninsula: to the South of the town is a still larger scope of ground, containing three hills, joining also to the main by a tongue of land, and called Dorchester Neck: the heights as above described, both North and South, (in the soldier's phrase) command the town, that is, give an opportunity of erecting batteries above any that you can make against them, and consequently are much more advantageous. It was absolutely necessary we should make ourselves masters of these heights, and we proposed to begin with Dorchester, because from particular situation of batteries and shipping (too long to describe, and unintelligible to you if I did) it would evidently be effected without any considerable loss: every thing was accordingly disposed; my two colleagues and myself (who, by the bye, have never differed in one jot of military sentiment) had, in concert with Gen. Gage, formed the plan: Howe was to land the transports on one point, Clinton in the center, and I was to cannonade from the Causeway, or the Neck; each to take advantage of circumstances: the operations must have been very easy; this was to have been executed on the 18th. On the 17th, at dawn of day, we found the enemy had pushed intrenchments with great diligence, during the night, on the heights of Charles-Town, and we evidently saw that every hour gave them fresh strength; it therefore became necessary to alter our plan, and attack on that side. Howe, as second in command, was detached with about 2000 men, and landed on the outward side of the peninsula, covered with shipping, without opposition; he was to advance from thence up the hill which


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