Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

29 he obstinately remained till even the Leonidas company of Charlestown, and Trevett’s noble corps, left him alone. But, even then, Gen. Putnam it was who saved the honor of his country, as he had already secured for her all the advantages of victory in the battle, by rallying his troops again on Prospect Hill within cannon-shot of the enemy, who did not dare to follow him; and he made a drawn battle of it. Seventy-five years since, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought. Who the commander was has ever since remained a mystery. Maj.-Gen. Ward was the commander-in-chief of the army at Cambridge; Maj.-Gen. Warren, the next; Brig.-Gen. Putnam, the third in command; and Col. Prescott, another officer of the army. Gen. Ward, from headquarters, ordered the preparations for the battle, and the general movements and disposition of the troops during the day. But, from want of staff officers, he was unable to ascertain or to direct the particular movements and manoeuvres of the troops during the day. He was the commander of the general movements out of the field. Had Napoleon, with his numerous staff, been in Ward’s place, history, without hesitation, would have recorded him the commander. Warren * was on the field, and, notwithstanding he declined to issue any orders, was authorized so to do whenever he pleased. His situation was nearly identical with that of the admiral, who declined giving any orders to his fleet, and merely directed that “ every commander of a ship should kill his own bird.” Warren, then, was the authorized, and for many years the supposed commander, as he was the distinguished hero, martyr, and volunteer of the battle. Gen. Putnam was the actual, and, on Warren’s declining, the authorized commander of Bunker Hill Battle. He was “ the bright particular star,” to which, during all the storm and tempest of the battle, every eye was turned for guidance and • Warren was at Ward's quarters ; and, on the British coming out, Ward called him from his bed, as he promised to do, to go to Bunker Hill without any known restriction.