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General Ward, Bunker Hill


Letter signed, General Ward July 26, 1775. Orders the Company to supply the Beaver with one Barrel of rum and four barrels of beer for General Putnam's fatigued men on Prospect Hill (Bunker Hill) 5 1/2 x 5 "

The American Revolutionary War began with the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. After this encounter, the colonial forces pursued the British troops back to Boston and initiated the Siege of Boston, effectively cutting off all land access to the city. Initially, General Ward led the colonial forces from his sickbed in Shrewsbury, later relocating his headquarters to Cambridge. During this time, he was named the commander of the forces from both New Hampshire and Connecticut participating in the siege. His primary focus was on organizing and addressing supply issues. In May, additional British forces arrived by sea, and General Ward learned of their plan to attack Bunker Hill in June. He issued orders to fortify the area, leading to the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, where command responsibilities were shared among General Israel Putnam and Colonel William Prescott. Around the same time, the Continental Congress was forming the Continental Army, and on June 17, they appointed Ward as a major general, making him second in command to General George Washington. He was among the original four major generals in the Continental Army alongside Charles Lee, Philip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam. Over the following nine months, Ward played a crucial role in transforming the assembled militia units into a more organized and cohesive Continental Army. When the British evacuated Boston on March 17, 1776, Washington led the main body of the army to New York City. Meanwhile, General Ward assumed command of the Eastern Department and held this position until March 1777 when he had to resign from the army due to declining health.

General Artemas Ward

1727 - 1800

Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

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