Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Samuel Whittemore

Don't know the name, eh?

Owens provides a bit of history.

Whittemore was one of  [t]hose too young, too old, and too female to be part of the organized militia of their day. These were the “alarm listers.”

...The oldest man to fight that fateful day was an alarm-lister named Samuel Whittemore, a 78-year-old veteran of three American wars in the King’s service.

While Lord Percy’s relief column attempted to link up with Regular forces under attack by colonial militias, Whittemore set up behind a low stone wall near his home and attacked the 47th Regiment of Foot by himself.

Whittemore’s aimed fire did enough damage to the column that an assault was ordered upon his position.
Whittemore is documented to have killed one man from this assaulting force with his musket, then killed one and severely wounded another with horse pistols he’d removed from the body of French officer he’d dispatched decades before. Whittemore was in the act of drawing his ornate French Calvary sabre—again, taken from another French officer who “died suddenly” according to Whittemore, more than 20 years before—when half his face was shot away at point-blank range. Whittemore’s horrified relatives watched from a distance as the nearly 80-year old patriarch of their clan was bayoneted thirteen times by the Redcoats, and left for dead in a pool of his own blood.

He survived, by the way, for 18 years.

Oh, there's more.

The proximate, immediate cause of the first American Revolutionary War was an attempt to capture powder and shot, cannon, and community food stores...

That's the part to remember.  Taxation was part of it, but not 'proximate.'  Quartering was part and proximate, but not immediate.

The gun-takeaway?  That was the spark that lit the fire.

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