THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
The Pennsylvania Evening Post, Philadelphia
Saturday, July 1, 1775
This historic issue publishes two superb reports of the Battle of Bunker (Breed’s) Hill [June 17, 1775]. The first, a 29 line eyewitness report, dated, Worcester, June 21, gives a succinct but colorful account of the battle, “… [our troops] lines of circumvallation, on a small hill south of Bunker’s Hill in Charlestown, was in great forwardness…. about two the enemy began to land… and… marched up to our intrenchments, from which they were twice repulsed with great loss…. Though this scene was horrible, and altogether new to most of our men; yet many stood and received wounds, by swords & bayonets, before they quitted their lines. The number killed and wounded on our side is not yet known. Our men are in high spirits.”
A more detailed, 68 line account, by Thaddeus Burr, also appears. “… you will doubtless hear of the engagement of last Saturday, between our troops and those of the Army at Boston…. Last Friday evening, a detachment from the camp at Cambridge marched to Charlestown, and there took possession of Breeds-Hill…about two o’clock, when a large army of between four and five thousand men…under the command of General Howe landed on the back of the hill, and marched up with great seeming resolution towards our lines; our men reserved their fire till the enemy had advance very near, when a general engagement ensued; the fire from our lines was so excessive heavy, and made such a terrible slaughter as obliged the enemy twice to give way….”
These are some of the earliest published accounts of this major early battle in the American Revolution. The paper also reports on General Washington & other Revolutionary War news.
4 pp., 4to; disbound, a couple of minor spots and a touch of light foxing, but a very fine copy. The Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence in its July 6, 1776 issue, and one recently sold at auction for $722,500 to a dealer! We’ve only had two other newspapers reporting Bunker Hill, and they were sold long ago. In all probability this may be the last such issue we will ever see. For the very finest collection.