Letter from William Prescott to John Adams, 25 August 1775
To order an image, navigate to the full
display and click "request this image"
on the blue toolbar.
Choose an alternate description of this item written for these projects:
- Coming of the American Revolution
- Bunker Hill
From the headquarters of the Continental Army in Cambridge (six weeks after Washington's arrival), William Prescott, who has commanded the colonial forces at Bunker Hill, writes to John Adams. Adams is representing Massachusetts at the sessions of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Interestingly, Prescott never mentions that the original orders were to fortify Bunker Hill, located just to the north, as the subsequent Committee of Safety report indicated. Historians to this day have been trying to piece together what happened during the council of war that Prescott held with his field officers on the night of 16 June. Why did they decide to build their entrenchments on the lower hill? Was it because it was closer to Boston and would be even more likely to force a confrontation? Who was involved in making this decision? Prescott provides the "State of Facts tho' imperfect & too general," as he tells Adams, but leaves us with many unanswered questions.