Archive for May, 2008

Caleb Haskell Diary – May 1775

Posted on: May 1st, 2008 by hauleymusic No Comments

The following was written by Caleb Haskell (born July 1, 1754 – died January 12, 1829), a fifer from Newburyport, Massachusetts.

May 5th, 1775. — At Newburyport, enlisted in the American army under the command of Capt. Ezra Lunt.

May 8th, Monday. — This morning our company was called together. We chose our sergeants and corporals. In the afternoon Mr. Parsons gave us a discourse suitable to the occasion from Judges 7th and 20th.

May 10th, Wednesday. — This morning we were paraded at town house. After attending prayers at Cary meeting-house and taking leave of our friends, we set out on our march. We took refreshments at Rowley, at night we put up at Ipswich.

May 14th, Sunday. — In the morning were relieved from guard. In the afternoon attended public worship in the meeting house; heard Mr. Noble from Ex. 32 chapter 7 to 12th verses.

May 16th, Tuesday. — This morning, between one and two pm. we were alarmed, preceded to our alarm post immediately; the alarm proved false.

May 17th, Wednesday. — A pleasant morning; the whole army was paraded in the afternoon on the common; in the evening about nine pm. we espied a large fire in Boston.

May 20th, Saturday. — I went to Watertown to see some canon and mortars that were brought in; this afternoon there was a man whipped and drummed out of the army for stealing.

May 21st, Sunday. — Attended public worship, heard Dr. Langdon, in the forenoon from Isaiah 26:11; in the afternoon from Chronicles 15:14.

May 22nd, Monday. — Today a party of the enemy came out and landed on Grape Island, near Weymouth, in order to take some cattle off the island. Our people in Roxbury discovered them. A number went over on the island and beat them off without the loss of a single man. Set fire to a barn and destroyed it with the hay, and brought the cattle off at night. I went on guard at Lechmere Point.

May 27th, Saturday. — Today a party of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire forces, about 600, went over to Noddle Island to bring off some cattle. The enemy landed on the island, and pursued our men till they got back to Hog Island, at which time an armed schooner, belonging to the enemy came to their assistance, and to prevent our people from leaving Hog Island – which she could not effect. Our people put a heavy fire of small arms upon the barges. Capt. Foster came with two field pieces and began to play upon the schooner, which soon obliged them to quit her. She then caught on Winnisimot ferry ways. Our people set fire to her and burned her to the water. We saved all that was not burned. We took four pieces of cannon, a number of swivels and some clothing, and brought all the cattle off both islands. In the engagement we had not one killed, and but three wounded, and those not mortally.

May 28th, Sunday. — This morning, held ourselves in readiness to assist our men fighting at Chelsea, which detained us from public worship. In the afternoon heard Dr. Langdon from John 3:16-17.

May 29th, Monday. — This day, a quantity of the spoil taken at Chelsea was brought to Cambridge. In the evening saw a large fire, supposed to be in Boston. Had a report that 1000 men would come out; held ourselves in readiness to meet them.

May 31st, Wednesday. — This day, the new Provincial Congress met at Watertown, before whom the Rev. Dr. Langdon preached a sermon well adapted to the occasion from Isaiah. 1: 26. Joseph Warren, esq. was chosen president and Mr. Samuel Freeman, secretary.