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June 25, 1775 Letter from John Burgoyne to Lord Stanley, Page 2 of 3

was over Charles-Town, where the strength of the enemy lay; he had under him Brigadier-General Pigot: Clinton and myself took our stand (for we had not any fixed post) in a large battery directly opposite to Charles-Town, and commanding it, and also reaching to the heights above it, and thereby facilitating Howe's attack. Howe's disposition was exceeding soldier-like; in my opinion it was perfect. As his first arm advanced up the hill, they met with a thousand impediments from strong fences, and were much exposed. They were also exceedingly hurt by musquetry from Charles-Town, though Clinton and I did not perceive it, till Howe sent us word by a boat, and desired us to set fire to the town, which was immediately done. We threw a parcel of shells, and the whole was instantly in flames. Our battery afterwards kept an incessant fire on the heights: it was seconded by a number of frigates, floating batteries, and one ship of the line.

"And now ensued one of the greatest scenes of war that can be conceived: if we look to the height, Howe's corps ascending the hill in the face of entrenchments, and in a very disadvantageous ground, was much engaged; and to the left the enemy pouring in fresh troops by thousands, over the land; and in the arm of the sea our ships and floating batteries cannonading them: strait before us a large and a noble town in one great blaze; the church steeples, being of timber, were great pyramids of fire above the rest; behind us the church steeples and heights of our own camp covered with spectators of the rest of our army which was not engaged; the hills round the country covered with spectators; the enemy all anxious suspence; the roar of cannon, mortars, and musquetry; the crush of churches, ships upon the stocks, and whole streets falling together in ruin, to fill the ear; the storm of the redoubts, with the objects above described, to fill the eye; and the reflection that perhaps a defeat was a final loss to the British empire in America, to fill the mind; made the whole a picture


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