Archive for June, 2008

Caleb Haskell Diary – June 1775

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

The following is a continuation of the Caleb Haskell Diary.

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

June 2nd, Friday. — This morning a man belonging to Haverhill hung himself in a barn. A number of men with artillery went about their business in private.

June 3rd, Saturday. — This morning our men at Chelsea took a barge with two men near Deer Island; took two men and 400 sheep, and a number of cattle from off the island. In the afternoon the army were all drawn up on the common, when two men were whipped, and one drummed out for stealing. In the evening the barge that was taken was brought to Cambridge on wheels.

June 4th, Sunday. — This morning attended public worship at Cambridge; heard Mr. Cleveland of Cape Ann, from Isaiah 1st; 21, 22 and 23. In the afternoon went to Watertown; heard Mr. Woodward of Weston from Psalm 126: 5.

June 6th, Tuesday. — Today General Putnam went to Charlestown, and exchanged six prisoners with General Gage, and brought our men to Cambridge.

June 8th, Thursday. — A very dry season. This morning a bad woman was taken up in camp, in the afternoon was doused in the river and drummed out of town.

June 9th, Friday. — This morning our regiment was paraded. We had an alarm; heard that 1400 of the enemy were landed at Noddle Island.

June 10th, Saturday. — Today our people at Chelsea went over to Noddle Island, set fire to a building improved by the enemy for a store, and laid it in ashes. Those that lay near by fired on them several times, but did no damage. There is now no building left there.

June 14th, Wednesday. — Today a number of trumpets arrived from Boston, with reinforcement of horse and foot; were ordered in readiness for a battle.

June 15th, Thursday. — Making all preparations for a battle.

June 16th, Friday. — This morning I went on guard. In the evening a party was ordered to Bunker Hill in Charlestown for entrenching.

June 17th, Saturday. — This day begins with the noise of cannon from the ships firing on our men entrenching on Bunker Hill. The firing continues all the fore part of the day; but one man killed. We were alarmed at Cambridge; heard that the enemy were landing at Charlestown. The army set out. We found the town in flames, and the Regulars ascending the hill; the balls flying almost as thick as hailstones from the ships and floating batteries, Corps Hill and Beacon Hill in Boston, and the ground covered with the wounded and dead. Our people stood the fire for some time, until the enemy had almost surrounded us and cut off our retreat. We were obliged to quit the ground and retreat as fast as possible. In this engagement we lost the ground and the heroic General Warren; we had 138 killed and 292 wounded. The loss on the enemy side were 92 commissioners, 102 sergeants, 100 corporals and 700 privates. Total 994.

June 18th, Sunday. — Early this morning were employed making cartridges and getting in readiness for another battle. A large reinforcement came in from the country. At noon we were alarmed again. Marched to Prospect Hill which we were fortifying; were ordered to halt and wait for orders from the General. Marched back again; had orders to hold ourselves in readiness to march at the first notice. The enemy kept up a continual firing upon us at Prospect Hill, which we were fortifying. At 9 in the evening received orders to go down to the hill, march to headquarters. Received new orders to go back to our quarters and hold ourselves in readiness.

June 19th, Monday. — The daylight comes on with the noise of cannon from Bunker Hill and floating batteries discharging at us on Prospect Hill which continues all day. The enemy set the upper end of Charlestown on fire. We mounted picket guard.

June 20th, Tuesday. — On guard this morning; we passed muster in the afternoon; in the evening were relieved from guard.

June 21st, Wednesday.-Pleasant weather. We continued entrenching on Prospect Hill without disturbance.

June 22nd, Thursday. — Today we were sworn and received one month pay.

June 23rd, Friday. — This day we were ordered to Prospect Hill, where we were stationed. Went down, pitched our tents, went to entrenching.

June 24th, Saturday. — This morning were alarmed by the enemy marching towards our lines. In the afternoon there was hot firing at Roxbury. Two of our men went down to set the enemy guard house on fire; they both were killed. Three houses set on fire at Roxbury by shells thrown from the fortification, but by the expedition of the people they were put out. We built booths with turf and brush and moved into them.

June 25th, Sunday. — This day is showery. We drew our tents and pitched them in the orchard below Prospect Hill. In the evening a number of Indians went down to the enemy sentinel and fired on them. Killed five and wounded one.

June 26th, Monday. — This morning is pleasant. In the afternoon we struck our tents and moved them about a quarter of a mile, and pitched them on a hill adjoining Prospect Hill.

June 28th, Wednesday. — This morning we were paraded; marched to our alarm post in the fort, where we exercised two hours over the breastwork.

June 29th, Thursday. — This morning at 3 am, 3 men were punished; one had 79 stripes for challenging his officer, one had 39 stripes for stealing, and one rode the wooden horse for abuse to his officers. In the evening had a hot firing at Roxbury on both sides.