Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

9 any other officer ever exercised or claimed any authority or command over Col. Prescott, or the detachment, before or in the battle.” It follows not that they had no right to do so. The author attributes to Col. Scammans an anonymous note in a newspaper, written perhaps by the editor, saying, “ As there was no general officer who commanded on Bunker Hill, was it not Whitcomb’s duty to have been there ? ” This probably meant early in the day when Scammans met Whitcomb, and Putnam was not on the hill. But the author omits to mention here, that in the same paper it appears from witnesses under oath, and not denied, that Scammans, during the battle, sent to Gen. Putnam, at Bunker Hill, to see if he was wanted, and that his regiment went to the top of Bunker Hill; “ after which Gen. Putnam came up, and ordered the regiment to advance within hearing of Col. Scammans.”* We have gone through Mr. Frothing- ham’s list of authorities; and in the whole of them there is not the shadow of an excuse for his conclusion, “ that no general officer was authorized to command over Prescott during the battle.” But, if these authorities were trumpet- tongued in support of his conclusion, it would remain one of those things which no evidence can prove. The author is dealing with hard characters: Ward, Warren, Putnam, and Prescott, are not rag babies, that an historian may bend and distort according to his fancy. The whole kingdom of Great Britain could not bend one of them. Yet, if this story be true, Ward, a stickler for the authority and dignity of officers according to their rank, imposed on Warren and Putnam the insulting restriction of fighting the battle, shorn of half their authority and command ; and these high-spirited and gallant heroes submitted to so ignominious a condition. Still worse ; • The author's mode of stating evidence, by this extract of a note out of a whole trial, equals the clergyman who fulminated the following text against the Haunting top-knots our foremothers wore on their heads: — “ Top-knot, come down,” leaving out the other words of “ Let him on the house-top not come down.” Colman, in his “ Broad Grins,” describes a very large man as three single gentlemen rolled into one : our author has contrived to roll up most of Scammans's officers, who testify in his case, into a single witness. Page 164.