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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 3/17/1776
3/11/2011 10:29:17 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]


British evacuate Boston, Massachusetts


British troops are force to evacuate Boston, Massachusetts following General George Washington's unsuccessful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts, which overlooks the city from the south.

During the evening of March 4 1776 American Brigadier General John Thomas, under orders from General Washington secretly led a force of eight hundred troops and one thousand two hundred workers to Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts and began fortifying the area.

To cover the sound of the construction, American cannons, besieging Boston, Massachusetts from another location, began a noisy bombardment of the outskirts of the city. By the morning, more than a dozen cannons from Fort Ticonderoga had been brought within the Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts fortifications.

British General Sir William Howe hoped to use the British ships in Boston Harbor to destroy the American position but a storm set it, giving the Americans ample time to complete the fortification and set up their artillery.

Realizing their position was now indefensible, eleven thousand British troops and some one thousand Loyalists departed Boston, Massachusetts by ship on this day, sailing to the safety of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The bloodless liberation of Boston, Massachusetts by the Patriots brought an end to the eight-year British occupation of the city, known for such infamous events as the "Boston Massacre", in which five colonists wsere shot and killed by British soldiers.

The British fleet had first entered Boston Harbor, Massachusetts on October 2, 1768, carrying one thousand soldiers. Having soldiers living among them in tents on Boston Common, "a standing Army", in Eighteenth Century parlance, infuriated Bostonians. For the victory, General Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was presented with the first medal ever awarded by the Continental Congress.



(K) (HST)




George Washington American General
John Thomas American Brigadier General
William Howe British General


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