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Letter from John Bromfield to Jeremiah Powell, 21 June 1775

Letter from John Bromfield to Jeremiah Powell, 21 June 1775

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"no refreshment"
In this account written four days after the battle, a man from Newburyport, north of Boston, recounts what he has heard of the events of June 16 and 17 -- beginning with the difficulties of the colonists working to fortify the hill in Charlestown. He passes on to his friend a description of what happens when the provincial forces laboring away realize that British troops are heading right toward them, coming across the water from Boston. He describes the actions that follow and particularly the role of the two Newburyport companies. And he then describes the "greatest loss" of all.

Questions to Consider

1. In his reporting of the Battle of Bunker Hill, what things is Mr. Bromfield uncertain about? Where does he seem to have more details? What might account for what he knows and what he does not know?

2. What examples of heroic and less-than-heroic actions does he cite?

Further Exploration

3. Who was Major Joseph Warren and why was he "universally lamented in the camp"? How does the description of his last action help us to understand how he was viewed by the colonists?