American Hero: Samuel Whittemore (80 Years Old!) Attacks Redcoats on April 18, 1775


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Connecticut Yankee
July 4, 2006, 09:11 AM
http://bobhartwell.com/AmericanRevolution.htm

As darkness began to set in, colonials began to attack the front of the column. There were a few cavalry units made up of older, experienced men who rode to within shot of the front of the column, dismounted and fired with great accuracy, then mounting and riding away only to reappear elsewhere. Now and then, the Regulars would fire cannon scattering the Militia who would quickly materialize again as the British column approached Menotomy. At Jason Russelís house, British soldiers invaded the house killing eleven Americans, including Russel who was later found bayoneted at the foot of the stairs. The floor was carpeted in blood. The British captured Americans and killed them as prisoners in Russellís orchard. There would be no peace at the end of this Day (the Russel House, 1740, shown at right, is located on Jason Street near Massachusetts Avenue and Route 60 in Arlington.).

Again, the Brtitish, having not forgotten the atrocity at Concord, lost control of themselves and began a rampage through the Town killing any defenseless people who got in the way and burning the houses. They stole anything they could as they defied their officersí orders. Meanwhile, the colonials harassed the Regulars as before always conspiring to set an ambush somewhere. Samuel Whittemore, aged seventy-eight, set up his own ambush behind a stone wall in Menetomy and waited for the British column. He fired five shots before a British detachment was sent to his position. They shot him in the face and bayoneted him thirteen times, leaving him in a pool of blood. Found alive, he was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford who held no hope. Whittemore died eighteen years later at the age of ninety-six.

A monument in Arlington, Massachusetts reads:

Near this spot, Samuel Whittemore, then 80 years old, killed three British soldiers, April 19, 1775. He was shot, bayoneted, beaten and left for dead, but recovered and lived to be 98 years of age.

Actions during the British return to Boston during the Battle of Lexington and Concord: The story is that British soldiers returning from the Battles of Lexington and Concord were spotted by Samuel Whittemore(1694-1786?) in Menotomy (modern Arlington). He loaded his musket, and took aim at the approaching soldiers from behind a nearby stone wall. He fired, killing one of the British troops. He then drew his dueling pistols and killed another soldier with his pistols. Having no time left to reload before the soldiers advanced to him, he drew a sword and advanced toward the British, attacking them with his sword. He was shot, bayoneted, and beaten by the infuriated troop of British soldiers.

Villagers came to remove his body after the British left. They were amazed to find him still alive. They removed him from the field, and he lived to recover from his wounds. He lived until he was 91 years of age, and was regarded by the locals as a hero of the revolution.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Whittemore"

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XavierBreath
July 4, 2006, 09:22 AM
Wow!

armoredman
July 4, 2006, 09:27 AM
Now where are the men of this caliber now? Hear, hear, for the true hero!

Edit - thanks for the link, a truely stirring account.

AirForceShooter
July 4, 2006, 09:34 AM
how many of us today would defy legal authority at the risk of our own lives?

The answer scares me, a LOT.

AFS

4v50 Gary
July 4, 2006, 09:37 AM
Thanks C-Yankee for that link. Never been to those historic sites myself and never saw that website before you posted the link.

Imaginos
July 4, 2006, 09:47 AM
People in this modern age are too comfortable and sensitive to physical hardship. Back then people were tough or dead.

It was a miracle that this man did not die of infection. This man survived in spite of no anesthesia, no antibiotics, no MRI, no microsurgical procedures, no sterilization, or any of the modern medical "necessities" we think we are accustomed to. A real tribute to stubborness and a good lesson in survival mindset.

When I was going through the police academy, we had a lecture from a Viet Nam veteran who had been shot in the 12 times at close range. One of those rounds resulted in his right arm being amputated below the elbow. The rest went into his chest, abdomen, and legs. He was a Lt. working patrol in his small department. He could reload his High-Power almost as fast as a man with 2 hands, and he held multiple black belts.

His lecture talked about survival mind set, and how a lot of soldiers and LEOs die from survivable injuries due only to their attitude. They give up, decide that they are supposed to die, and do it. Mr. Whittemore didn't give up. Would you?

oweno
July 4, 2006, 09:51 AM
and here's the story of John Burns of Gettysburg...

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The Hero of Gettysburg

The following thrilling narrative was related by B. D. Beyea, who spent several days on the battle-field in search of the body of Captain C. H. Flagg, who fell in that terrible fight:

"In the Town of Gettysburg live an old couple by the name of Burns. the old man was in the war of 1812, and is now nearly seventy years of age; yet the frosts of many winters have not chilled his patriotism, nor diminished his love for the old flag under which he fought in his early days. When the rebels invaded the beautiful Cumberland Valley, and were marching on Gettysburg, old Burns concluded that it was time for every loyal man, young or old, to be up and doing all in his power to beat back the rebel foe, and , if possible, give them a quiet resting-place beneath the sod they were polluting with their unhallowed feet. The old hero took down an old State musket he had in his house, and commenced running bullets. The old lady saw what he was about, and wanted to know what in the world he was going to do. "Ah," said Burns, "I thought some of the boys might want the old gun, and I am getting it ready for them." The rebels came on. Old Burns kept his eye on the lookout until he saw the Stars and Stripes coming in, carried by our brave boys. This was more than the old fellow could stand. His patriotism got the better of his age and infirmity. Grabbing his musket, he started out. The old lady hallooed to him: ,Burns, where are you going? O, says Burns, I am going out to see what is going on. He immediately went to a Wisconsin regiment, and asked them if they would take him in. They told him they would, and gave him three rousing cheers.

The old musket was soon thrown aside, and a first-rate rifle given him, and twenty-five rounds of cartridges.

The engagement between the two armies soon came on, and the old man fired eighteen of his twenty-five rounds, and says he killed three rebels to his certain knowledge. Our forces were compelled to fall back and leave our dead and wounded on the field; and Burns, having received three wounds, was left also, not being able to get away. There he lay in citizen's dress and if the rebs found him in that condition, he knew death was his portion; so he concluded to try strategy as his only hope. Soon the rebs came up, and approached him saying: Old man what are you doing here? I am lying here wounded, as you see, he replied. Well but what business have you to be here? and who wounded you? our troops, or yours? I don,t know who wounded me; but I only know that I am wounded, and in a bad fix. Well what were you doing here?- what was your business? If you will hear my story, I will tell you. My old woman's health is very poor, and I was over across the country to get a girl to help her; and coming back, before I knew where I was, I had got right into this fix, and here I am. Where do you live? inquired the rebels. Over in town, in such a small house. They then picked him up, and carried him home and left him. But they soon returned, as if suspecting he had been lying to them, and make him answer a great many questions; but he stuck to his old story, and they failed to make anything out of old Burns, and then left him for good.

He says he shall always feel indebted to some of his neighbors for the last call; for he believes some one had informed them of him. Soon after they left a bullet came into his room, and struck in the wall about six inches above where he lay on his sofa but he don't know who fired it. His wounds proved to be only flesh wounds, and he is getting well, feels first-rate and says he would like one more good chance to give them a rip.

Rich K
July 4, 2006, 10:34 AM
Give me some men who are stout hearted men.

kjeff50cal
July 4, 2006, 11:50 AM
Give me some men who are stout hearted men.

Here, Here!!! **==

el44vaquero
July 4, 2006, 11:51 AM
Good read on an outstanding individual.

thebigc
July 4, 2006, 12:13 PM
wow a true hero i live in the same town that this happend in and have never heard this story before im going to go looking for the monument so i can honor him this july 4th.

Smokey Joe
July 4, 2006, 12:21 PM
Well, you know the advice: Never fight with an old man.

He's had time to learn all the dirty tricks you haven't, and if he is willing to fight you it's because he has already decided the stakes are worth it.

Here's to Angry Old Men! God grant we all live to join their ranks.

Tory
July 4, 2006, 02:20 PM
John Burns, the War of 1812 veteran who was wounded 3 times and left on the field after fighting in line, in the open, with the Iron Brigade at McPherson's Farm, Gettysburg on 7/1/1863. He was also in his eighties at the time.


OOOPS! - Apologies to Oweno for the duplicate post.

Walt Rauch
July 5, 2006, 09:57 AM
"Old farts

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, you know the advice: Never fight with an old man.

He's had time to learn all the dirty tricks you haven't, and if he is willing to fight you it's because he has already decided the stakes are worth it.

Here's to Angry Old Men! God grant we all live to join their ranks.
__________________
God Bless America"

We old men, having drunk fully from the cup of life, do not fear and may well welcome the rider of the pale horse.

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