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established, by the testimony of those who did know him, to be tarnished by the breath of one who confesses that he did not. "Accept, my dear Sir, this feeble tribute to your from memory, one who knew him, respected him, loved him—and who wishes health and prosperity to you and all the good man's posterity. JOHN TRUMBULL. "Daniel Putnam, Esq."
I shall make no comment on the first anecdote by Col. Small, except that the circumstances were related by General Putnam without any essential alteration, soon after the Battle; and that there was an interview of the parties on the lines between Prospect and Bunker-Hill, at the request of Col. Small, not long afterwards.
Respecting the death of WARREN, there is a trifling disagreement. In the one case, we are to understand, that, after having expended your ammunition-during the height of conflict, and left while the redoubt was still possessed by the Americans, you your post, and deliberately traversed the field of slaughter, to rifle the dying and the dead of such portion of their "gill-cup" of powder, as they had not been spared to use, when-you saw Warren dead by a small locust tree!
In the other case, it is asserted, (with something like the appearance of truth indeed,) that he fell at the moment the redoubt was gained by the British-that he was seen by Gen. Howe to fall, and was yet alive when spoken to by Col. Small, after the retreat of the Americans.
Both statements cannot be true. You, perhaps, better than I, know to which the truth belongs.
You have undertaken, sir, to inform many who never saw Gen. Putnam, and some probably, who never before heard his name, of the public estimation in which he was held at the "commencement of the revolutionary war;" and it is no trivial consolation to the writer, after the unworthy means you have used to defame his character, that he is able to show from an authentic source, in what light he was viewed at the close of that war, by HIM who had the best means of knowing, and, of all other men, the best talents for judging of the merits and services of officers under his command.
Let the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY" be heard-for though dead, he yet speaketh, and his testimony will be respected when
the name and character of the subject of this address, shall be no longer remembered.
"Head-Quarters, 2d June, 1783.
"DEAR SIR,-Your favor of the 20th of May, I received with much pleasure. For I can assure you, that, among the many worthy and meritorious officers with whom I have had the happiness to be connected in service through the course of this war, and from whose cheerful assistance in the various and trying vicissitudes of a complicated contest, the name of a PUTNAM is not forgotten; nor will it be, but with that stroke of time which shall obliterate from my mind the remembrance of all those toils and fatigues through which we have struggled, for the preservation and establishment of the rights, liberties, and independence of our country.
"Your congratulations on the happy prospect of peace and independent security, with their attendant blessings to the United States, I receive with great satisfaction; and beg you will accept a return of my gratulations to you, on this auspicious event-an event, in which, great as it is in itself, and glorious as it will probably be in its consequences, you have a right to participate largely, from the distinguished part you have contributed towards its attainment.
"But, while I contemplate the greatness of the object for which we have contended, and felicitate you on the happy issue of our toils and labours, which have terminated with such general satisfaction; I lament that you should feel the ungrateful returns of a country* in whose service you have exhausted your bodily strength, and expended the vigor of a youthful constitution. I wish, however, that your expectations of returning liberality may be verified. I have a hope they may; but should they not, your case will not be a singular one. Ingratitude has been experienced in all ages, and republics in particular have ever been famed for the exercise of that unnatural and sordid vice.
"The secretary at war, who is now here, informs me that you have ever been considered as entitled to full pay since your absence from the field,† and that you will be considered in that light till the close of the war; at which period you will be equally entitled to the same emoluments of half pay or commutation as other officers of your rank. The same opinion is also given by the paymaster-general, who is now with the army, empowered by Mr. Morris for the settlement of all their accounts, and who will attend to your's whenever you shall think proper to send on for that purpose; which it will probably be best for you to do in a short time.
Alluding to the public dissatisfaction in Connecticut, and the clamor about half pay and commutation.
+ General Putnam had a paralytic stroke in the year 1780, (occasioned by long exposure to extreme cold weather,) which disabled him from service ever after.
"I anticipate with pleasure the day, (and I trust not far off,) when I shall quit the busy scenes of military employment, and retire to the more tranquil walks of domestic life. In that, or whatever other situation Providence may dispose of my future days, THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE MANY FRIENDSHIPS AND CONNECTIONS I HAVE HAD THE HAPPINESS TO CONTRACT WITH THE GENTLEMEN OF THE ARMY, WILL BE ONE OF MY MOST GRATEFUL
"Under this contemplation, and impressed with the sentiments of benevolence and regard, I commend you, my dear sir, my other friends, and, with them, the interests and happiness of our dear country, to the KEEPING AND PROTECTION OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
"I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
"To the Hon. Major-General Putnam."
Here, sir, is unequivocal evidence, either that WASHINGTON Was a man of guile, who said what he believed not, and commended whom he approved not; or that, penetrating as his mind was, it still remained fettered with "the shackles of a delusive trance," which "the PEOPLE were released from, when General Putnam's ephemeral and unaccountable popularity subsided, or faded away" ! !
But when did this happen? When were "the minds of the People released from the shackles of this delusive trance"? When were "the circumstances relating to Bunker-hill VIEWED and TALKED of in a very different light"? When was" the unfortunate Colonel Gerrish" considered" as the scape-goat" on whose head was laid the cowardice of General Putnam? His name has rested in peace and honour now thirty years, undisturbed by the sacrilegious pen of calumny; and NOT, till your "mysterious and inexplicable account of the Battle of Bunker-hill" found its way into the Port folio, was the public sentiment changed concerning him. Why else, was this publication so imperiously called for, that it became a " DUTY YOU OWED TO POSTERITY AND THE CHARACTER OF THE BRAVE OFFICERS WHO BORE A SHARE IN THE
HARDSHIPS OF THE REVOLUTION," to publish such a disgraceful. libel, and that too," without any private feelings to gratify" ? Sir-this veil is too thin to hide the ma of your heart, or the selfishness of your views. The truth, however you may strive to disguise it, is this:-As" Commander in Chief," your" bed "
of military honor" is shorter, than that a man can stretch himself on it "-and the "covering" for disgrace," narrower than that you can wrap yourself in it.”—Hence, resort has been had to a fictitious tale of the Battle of Bunker Hill, coupled with which, it is questionable if captain Dearborn's name was ever found, till you made yourself the hero of your own romance.
You might have sounded the trumpet of your own fame undisturbed by me, till you had wearied yourself with the blast.-But 'tis the command of God that we honor our Father, and "while I live, I'll speak," when any shall wantonly, and maliciously, endeavour to cast dishonor on his name.
That you have done so, is the sole cause of drawing this letter from one, who lives in retirement, without any immediate concern in public affairs, nor any wish regarding them, but that the country of his birth and best affections may long continue to enjoy the blessing of HEAVEN in such wise and virtuous councils, as will by a just dispensation of the benefits of a free government, ultimately unite all hearts in its support:-from one who has no personal knowledge of you; and who, though constantly with the army of the revolution from 1775 to '80, hardly recollects to have heard your name, till announced at the head of the war department. His impressions of your character from that time to the present, have been drawn from public opinion, and not from party prejudice or private animosity. It was not necessary in this letter, to state these impressions fully; nor has it in any case been done, but by comparison with the character you have unjustly assailed, and in seeking a motive for the cruel assault.
If, in doing this, any thing has escaped his pen bordering on severity, the provocation must be his excuse:-and where that is impartially weighed, the blame, if any, will rest, not on him, but on yourself.
There is yet one more passage to notice; and I have done. I allude to the declaration which you ascribe to Col. Prescott, as having been made" at the table of the late Governor Bowdoin."
It is not possible for me to prove that Colonel Prescott did not make such a declaration. But I have proved, that what you allege to have been said by him could not be true. It is well known that Col. Prescott sustained a high and honourable reputation; and that he
was well acquainted with General Putnam, and must have known ⚫ the opinions which the distinguished men of the revolution entertained of his individual and military character. It must, therefore, be left to the public to decide, whether it is most probable that Col. Prescott made the assertion which you have imputed to him; or whether, like many other representations you have made, it has no foundation in fact.
Many other mis-statements in your book might be noticed and refuted; but I am weary and disgusted with the pollution of its pages, and, as my sole object has been to vindicate a slandered character, I hasten to give you the name of
Brooklyn, Connecticut, 4th May, 1818.
FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.
By an act of Congress it has been provided, that, from and after the 4th day of July next, the flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and that the Union shall be 20 stars, white in a blue field. The same act also provides, that, on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star shall be added to the Union of the flag; which addition is to take effect on the 4th day of July then next preceding such addition. By this regulation the thirteen stripes will represent the number of states whose valour and resources originally effected American independence; and the additional stars (the idea of which has been borrowed from the science of astronomy) will mark the increase of the States since the adoption of the present constitution. This is the second alteration which has taken place in the flag of the United States, and we trust it will be the last.
The flag of the United States was first designated by congress, in a resolution which was passed on the 14th of June, 1777. According to that resolution the stripes were the same as prescribed by the act of the 4th instant; and the Union was thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation. By act of the 13th of January, 1794, the stripes and stars were both to be fifteen in number-to take effect from the first of May, 1795. This addition of two stars and two stripes to the flag was owing to the admission of the states of Vermont and Kentucky into the Union-the former on the 4th of March, 1791-the latter on the 1st of June, 1792. The flag as altered by the act of the 13th of January, 1794, is the present flag of the United States.