Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

8 Putnam and a large reinforcement about noon. “ Gordon says one thousand men under Prescott intrenched ; Gen. Putnam is busily engaged in aiding and encouraging here and there as the case requires.” 11 Dr. Thatcher says, Prescott headed the detachment, and retained the command,” that is, the command of it. Frothingham says this is unequivocal in favor of Prescott. Instead of that, Thatcher is unequivocal in favor of Putnam’s command, by placing him at the head of all the officers, in the following words: — “ Generals Putnam, Warren, Pomeroy, and Col. Prescott were emphatically the heroes of the day.” “ Pitts says, it appears to me there never was more confusion and less command; no one seemed to have any but Col. Prescott.” “ Gen. Heath says, Prescott was the proper commanding officer in the redoubt.” And Heath says, and Frothingham in another place quotes it as an instance of a collision between Putnam and Prescott, that Putnam rode up to the redoubt, and told Col. Prescott that the intrenching tools must be sent off; and that Col. Prescott, though he remonstrated against it, obeyed the order. Gen. Lee, in his memoirs of the war in the Southern States, has what is called an obiter dictum, a few words foreign to his subject, in which he remarks that Gen. Howe found his enemy posted on Breed’s Hill, 11 commanded by Col. Prescott.” The author gives no explanation of Lee’s words, nor does he claim that they mean any thing more than Prescott’s command of his detachment and the redoubt on Breed’s Hill. Lee quotes no authority, and was no authority himself. He knew nothing about the battle. His ignorance was so gross, that he says the Americans had no artillery. Lee states, however, that Prescott received no promotion in the army of the United Colonies. It is impossible, then, that he could have been the commander of the battle. Judge Tudor throws no light on the subject: he says, “There was no authorized commander ; Col. Prescott appeared to have been the chief; ” “ the whole business appeared to have been conducted without order, or regular command.” Our author adds the words of Col. Prescott’s son: “ Neither Gen. Putnam nor