Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

19 had any right to command Prescott; and more hopeless: it is almost on a par with that of free agency, or the origin of evil. It would be as preposterous to deny that Putnam was the commander, even if the army was not a legal one, as for British historians to have denied that Washington was the commander in the battles he fought, because they said he was not a lea:al commander, and Gen. Howe said he was no General, only Mr. Ac.: though he found to his sorrow, that Washington and Putnam both were generals, and out-gene- ralled hirn, — Putnam at Bunker Hill, and Washington ever afterwards. There is poor encouragement for any one to enter into this question of the legality of the organization of the army, W’hen Pres. Adams, sen. and Judge Tudor failed under it so egregiously. They both jumped into this quickset hedge, and the author shuts his eyes and follows them. The result is, Pres. Adams doubts whether any one was authorized to command the troops of all the colonies; and whether any one, except the old militia Gen. Pomeroy, a volunteer with no command over an individual in Cambridge, had a right to command the troops of Massachusetts. Judge Tudor doubts with him. The author is positive that the army was one of allies only, and Putnam a mere volunteer. Putnam was no more a volunteer than the whole army at Cambridge was a volunteer army, or than the governments of the colonies who sent the troops there were volunteer governments ; and they were in fact mere governments de facto, without constitutions, or conventions to form any. New Hampshire, rather the worst off in this respect, had two separate governments, — the royal, under the very popular and conciliatory Gov. Wentworth; and the rebel, under a convention ; and both were in operation for a month after the battle. But just as much legality and constitutionality as there was in these governments, so much there was in the consolidation and organization of the army under Gen. Ward. The facts were perfectly well known to all three of the colonies, and their tacit consent and approbation was as binding on them as if it was expressed by their regular enactments enrolled and recorded.