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Jeduthan Baldwin journal, 8 December 1775-14 March 1776

Jeduthan Baldwin journal, 8 December 1775-14 March 1776

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"Shot & Shells thrown ... into Boston"
With the British Army in firm control of the city of Boston, Washington knows it is important to keep it bottled there, unable to attack the surrounding areas. He continues the process of fortifying the nearby strong points in Cambridge, Dorchester, and other areas. To do so, he relies on large companies of soldiers on fatigue duty: performing duties not related to fighting, such as digging trenches and building fortifications. For Washington to succeed, he needs the expertise of engineers like Captain Jeduthan Baldwin of Brookfield.

Questions to Consider

1. Why look at Baldwin's journal? What information does he tell us that we might not find elsewhere?

2. What kind of a man is Baldwin? What can you tell about his education, rank, and skills? Is he a valued member of Washington's army? How can you tell?

3. Look at the entry for 12 February. What are the colonial troops doing? Does this tie into any of the other reports on colonial supplies that you've read?

4. According to Baldwin, what kinds of people visit the camp?

Further Exploration

5. Look at the language and the details that Baldwin chooses. How is Baldwin's journal different from Henry Knox's? [Click here to view Knox's journal.] What sorts of things are the same?

6. Look at a map of the colonial and British forces during the Siege of Boston. Why is Lechmere's Point such an important place to fortify? What other places does Baldwin mention? Find them on the map. Would you have picked the same places as Washington did to build fortifications? Defend your answer!