Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

24 ment Association. Putnam, he says, early urged Ward to have the heights of Charlestown fortified, who, with Warren, objected the want of powder and battering cannon. Ward hoped for peace and reconciliation with the enemy, and wished to continue on the defensive.. Putnam said we should gain peace only by the sword, and he wished only to draw out the enemy so as to meet them on equal terms. He frequently reconnoitred the heights; and, just before the battle, Ward agreed to put two thousand men under him to form intrenchments and defend them. General Putnam went with half this force to Breed’s Hill the night of the 16th, repairing at dawn to Cambridge for the other thousand to relieve the fatigue-party; but the cannonade of the enemy called him instantly back. Gov. Brooks went on to the ground with Gen. Putnam, and was present whilst he assisted in laying out the works. Col. Trumbull, with the army at the time, says the detachment went under the command of Gen. Putnam and Col. Prescott. Judge Grosvenor, an officer of the army at the time, and in the detachment, says “ Putnam was with them; and, under his immediate superintendence, ground was broken and the redoubt formed; and that he commanded the troops engaged afterwards.” Pres. Stiles, of New Haven College, recorded in his Diary, that Putnam took possession of Bunker Hill the night of the 16th. Pres. Dwight, of the same college, says Putnam was the commander of the battle. Rev. Dr. Whitney, the pastor and most intimate friend of Gen. Putnam, states explicitly Gen. Putnam’s own declaration to him, that the detachment was at first put under his command, and that with it he took possession of the hill, and ordered the battle from the beginning to the end. il These facts,” he says, “ Gen. Putnam himself gave me soon after the battle, and also repeated them to me after his life [by Humphreys] was printed.” This is in a note of Dr. Whitney to his funeral discourse on Gen. Putnam, 1790, and repeated in his letter, 1818. Col. Putnam, in his letter to me, confirms Dr. Whitney’s declarations as to his father’s assertions. Frothingham thinks they may have mistaken the