“Don’t Shoot Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes!” was the order given JUNE 17, 1775, by Colonel William Prescott to troops on Breed’s Hill, adjacent Bunker Hill, guarding the north entrance to Boston Harbor. They were aiming at 2,300 British soldiers, under General Howe, marching at them with bayonets fixed. Twice the Americans repelled them until they ran out of gunpowder. The British then burned the nearby town of Charlestown.
This first action of the Continental Army saw over 1,000 British killed, and nearly 500 Americans. This same day, 300 miles away in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress drafted George Washington’s commission as commander-in-chief, for which he refused a salary.
Washington wrote to his wife, Martha:
Dearest…It has been determined in Congress, that the whole army raised for the defense of the American Cause shall be put under my care, and that it is necessary for me to proceed immediately to Boston to take…command…I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preserved, and been bountiful to me.
I…got Colonel Pendleton to Draft a Will…the Provision made for you, in case of my death, will, I hope, be agreeable.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.