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pretty quiet day, but what to-morrow will bring forth God only knows." On Monday, the appointed evening, she continues: "I have just returned from Penn's Hill, where I have been sitting to hear the amazing roar of cannon, and from whence I could see every shell which was thrown. The sound, I think, is one of the grandest in nature, and is of the true species of the sublime. 'Tis now an incessant roar; but oh, the fatal ideas which are connected with the sound! How many of our dear countrymen must fall!

"I went to bed about twelve, and rose again a little after one. I could no more sleep than if I had been in the engagement; the rattling of the windows, the jar of the house, the continual roar of twenty-four pounders and the bursting of shells givs us such ideas, and realize a scene to us of which we could scarcely form any conception. I hope to give you joy of Boston, even if it is in ruins, before I send this away."

On the Monday evening thus graphically described, as soon as the firing commenced, the detachment under General Thomas set out on its cautious and secret march from the lines of Roxbury and Dorchester. Everything was conducted as regularly and quietly as possible. A covering party of eight hundred men preceded the carts with the intrenching tools; then came General Thomas with the working party, twelve hundred strong, followed by a train of three hundred wagons, laden was fascines, gabions and hay screwed into bundles of seven or eight hundred weight. A great number of such bundles were ranged in a line along Dorchester Neck on the side next the enemy, to protect the troops, while passing, from being raked by the fire of the enemy. Fortunately, although the moon, as Washington writes, was shining in its full luster, the flash and roar of cannonry from opposite points, and the bursting of bomb

shells high in the air, so engaged and diverted the attention of the enemy that the detachment reached the heights about eight o'clock without being heard or perceived. The covering party then divided; one-half proceeded to the point nearest Boston, the other to the one nearest to Castle Williams. The working party commenced to fortify, under the directions of Gridley, the veteran engineer, who had planned the works on Bunker's Hill. It was severe labor, for the earth was frozen eighteen inches deep; but the men worked with more than their usual spirit; for the eye of the commanderin-chief was upon them. Though not called there by his duties, Washington could not be absent from this eventful operation. An eloquent orator has imagined his situation"All around him intense movement; while nothing was to be heard excepting the tread of busy feet and the dull sound of the mattock upon the frozen soil. Beneath him the slumbering batteries of the castle; the roadsteads and harbor filled with the vessels of the royal fleet, motionless, except as they swung round at their moorings at the turn of the midnight tide; the beleaguered city occupied with a powerful army, and a considerable non-combatant population, startled into unnatural vigilance by the incessant and destructive cannonade, yet unobservant of the great operations in progress so near them; the surrounding country, dotted with a hundred rural settlements, roused from the deep sleep of a New England village by the unwonted glare and tumult.”*

The same plastic fancy suggests the crowd of visions, phantoms of the past, which may have passed through Washington's mind on this night of feverish excitement.

* Oration of the Hon. Edward Everett at Dorchester, July 4th, 1855.

"His early training in the wilderness; his escape from drowning, and the deadly rifle of the savage in the perilous mission to Venango; the shower of iron hail through which he rode unharmed on Braddock's field; the early stages of the great conflict now brought to its crisis, and still more solemnly, the possibilities of the future for himself and for Americathe ruin of the patriot cause if he failed at the outset; the triumphant consolidation of the Revolution if he prevailed.”

The labors of the night were carried on by the Americans with their usual activity and address. When a relief party arrived at four o'clock in the morning, two forts were in sufficient forwardness to furnish protection against smallarms and grape-shot; and such use was made of the fascines and bundles of screwed hay that, at dawn, a formidablelooking fortress frowned along the height. We have the testimony of a British officer already quoted, for the fact. "This morning at daybreak we discovered two redoubts on Dorchester Point, and two smaller ones on their flanks. They were all raised during the last night, with an expedition equal to that of the genii belonging to Aladdin's wonderful lamp. From these hills they command the whole town, so that we must drive them from their post or desert the place.

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Howe gazed at the mushroom fortress with astonishment, as it loomed indistinctly, but grandly, through a morning fog. "The rebels," exclaimed he, "have done more work in one night than my whole army would have done in one month."

Washington had watched, with intense anxiety, the effect of the revelation at daybreak. "When the enemy first discovered our works in the morning," writes he, "they seemed to be in great confusion, and, from their movements, to intend an attack."

An American, who was on Dorchester Heights, gives a picture of the scene. A tremendous cannonade was commenced from the forts in Boston and the shipping in the harbor. "Cannon shot," writes he, "are continually rolling and rebounding over the hill, and it is astonishing to observe how little our soldiers are terrified by them. The royal troops are perceived to be in motion, as if embarking to pass the harbor and land on Dorchester shore to attack our works. The hills and elevations in this vicinity are covered with spectators to witness deeds of horror in the expected conflict. His Excellency, General Washington, is present, animating and encouraging the soldiers, and they in return manifest their joy, and express a warm desire for the approach of the enemy; each man knows his own place. Our breastworks are strengthened, and among the means of defense are a great number of barrels, filled with stones and sand, and arranged in front of our works, which are to be put in motion and made to roll down the hill to break the legs of the assailants as they advance."

General Thomas was re-enforced with two thousand men. Old Putnam stood ready to make a descent upon the north side of the town with his four thousand picked men as soon as the heights on the south should be assailed: "All the forenoon," says the American above cited, "we were in momentary expectation of witnessing an awful scene; nothing less than the carnage of Breed's Hill battle was expected."

As Washington rode about the heights he reminded the troops that it was the 5th of March, the anniversary of the Boston massacre, and called on them to revenge the slaughter of their brethren. They answered him with shouts. "Our officers and men," writes he, "appeared impatient for

the appeal. The event I think must have been fortunate; nothing less than success and victory on our side."

Howe, in the meantime, was perplexed between his pride and the hazards of his position. In his letters to the ministry he had scouted the idea of "being in danger from the rebels." He had "hoped they would attack him." Apparently, they were about to fulfill his hopes, and with formidable advantages of position. He must dislodge them from Dorchester Heights or evacuate Boston. The latter was an alternative too mortifying to be readily adopted. He resolved on an attack, but it was to be a night one.

"A body of light infantry, under the command of Major Mulgrave, and a body of grenadiers, are to embark to-night at seven," writes the gay British officer already quoted. "I think it likely to be a general affair. Adieu balls, masquerades, etc., for this may be looked upon as the opening of the campaign."

In the evening the British began to move. Lord Percy was to lead the attack. Twenty-five hundred men were embarked in transports, which were to convey them to the rendezvous at Castle Williams. A violent storm set in from the east. The transports could not reach their place of destination. The men-of-war could not cover and support them. A furious surf beat on the shore where the boats would have to land. The attack was consequently postponed until the following day.

That day was equally unpropitious. The storm continued, with torrents of rain. The attack was again postponed. In the meantime, the Americans went on strengthening their works; by the time the storm subsided General Howe deemed them too strong to be easily carried; the attempt, therefore, was relinquished altogether.

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