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By J.P. Kellett & J. Davies

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We are every hour expecting an attack by land or water. All marketing from the country stopt ever since the battle. ” Peter had been unable to get any word about the women and children on the estate, and confessed that he did not even know if they were alive. ” he pleaded. , gave a clear picture of the situation and the hopes and fears of the citizenry. He had fully expected, “from the pitch of Madness and frenzy to which the Minds of the People had been wrought,” that Boston would be attacked shortly after the nineteenth of April.

This strongpoint would now accommodate ten twenty-four-pounders. The city was studded with steep hills and one of them, Fort Hill, commanding the lower edge of the crescent-shaped bay, had been a stronghold for a century or more. Gage had also fortified Barton’s Point, to the northwest, just opposite Lechmere’s Point on the mainland. While these efforts, in combination with the protection offered by ships of the Royal Navy, provided rather tenuous guardianship of the northern, southern, and eastern sides of Boston, the whole western flank of the city—along the Common and the foot of Beacon Hill—lay exposed, open to attack.

As Lieutenant John Barker of the King’s Own wrote on May 1: “We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Genl. Officers and Troops that are expected; we want to get out of this coop’d up situation. ” Many a man loyal to the Crown had been unable to guess what Gage was at, had failed to understand why he and his men had not put a quick end to the trouble long before now. ” “Suppose the colonies do abound in men,” Sandwich had cried, “what does that signify? They are raw, undisciplined, cowardly men.

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