Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March 1, 1776

"It is a prevailing opinion that something extraordinary will turn up in the course of a few days."

On 1 March 1776, American revolutionaries received the following intelligence suggesting a possible British evacuation from Boston: "We are told a gentleman, who came out of Boston last Friday, reports, that the enemy have taken away their mortars from Bunker' s Hill, and carried them to Boston; that a Council of War had been held in Boston for several days; that General Howe had advised...the Tories to leave the town; that all the vessels in the harbour that were not in the King' s service, were taken up to transport the Tories and their effects; and that it was surmised in Boston, that, should another battle ensue, and the Regulars be defeated, they would set fire to the town, and remove to some other part of the Continent."

Peter Force, editor, American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 4, p. 1483.
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