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Subject: Westford, MA at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Source: History of the Town of Westford in the County of Middlesex, Massachusetts 1659 - 1883. by Rev. Edwin R. Hodgman, A. M. Lowell, Mass: Morning Mail Company, Printers - 1883


The Battle of Bunker Hill
In this battle, as well as in the struggle at Concord Bridge, Colonel Robinson participated. He was then in Prescott's Regiment, which occupied the redoubt. A tall man, of commanding presence, he stood in the front, "in shape and gesture proudly eminent," exposed to instant death, yet doing his duty; now leaping upon the parapet, a target for the advancing foe, and now reconnoitering, with the ill fated McClary, the position of the enemy to find the best way of repelling his per- sistent attacks; showing himself everywhere the efficient officer and the strong-hearted man.

In the list of companies in this battle, there is given one of which Joshua Parker was captain, Amaziah Fassett, first lieutenant, and Thomas Rogers, second lieutenant. Parker and Rogers were from West- ford, and Fassett was born here, but was then a resident of Groton. Parker was a sergeant in Captain Underwood's Company, and Rogers held the same rank in Captain Bate's Company, at Concord Bridge. Fassett was taken prisoner at Bunker Hill and died in Boston July, 1775.

The following is the muster-roll of Captain Parker's Company, including only the names of Westford men. They were in Col. William Prescott's Regiment:

Perry, Blodgett and Holmes "enlisted into the artillery Company, May 24, 1775." Joseph Minott and Jonathan Hadley, both of Westford, were killed in battle June 17, 1775. Abijah Mason, also of Westford, died in camp July 30, 1775. This return of Captain Parker's Company, in the Tenth Regiment of Foot, commanded by Col. William Prescott, was made Sept. 27, 1775, and without doubt, Minott, Hadley, and Mason were members of it.

The company of Capt Abijah Wyman, of Ashby, was in Col. William Prescott's regiment in that battle. The return, made Oct 3, 1775, includes the following men from Westford:

Thomas Comings, Second Lieutenant; Daniel Dudley, Corporal; Philip Robbins, Corporal.

Thomas Robbins Caesar Bason
Oliver Barrett David Cowdry
Ebenezer Corey Simeon Kemp
David Fish Thaddeus Read
Abner Kent Daniel Whitney
Jeremiah Robbins

In all 14 men. The return states that "Cesor Bason died June 17."

Mr. Francis Tinker in his sketch of Ashby, in Drake's History of Middlesex County, Vol. I, p. 223, says that Lieutenant Comings and ten men in Captain Wyman's company, were from Westford, but he does not give names.

In regard to Caesar Bason, this anecdote is told on good authority. In the battle he found his powder was nearly gone and putting in his last charge, he exclaimed, "Now Caesar, give 'em one more." He fired and was himself shot, and fell back into the trench. Tradition intimates that Leonard Proctor went to Cambridge on the day before the battle and was on or near the ground. Mr. Tinker states that Jacob Bascom, of Westford, was killed. No such name occurs in our records, and there was probably a mistake in putting Bascom for Bason. Bason was a color- ed man and perhaps the servant of James Burn. There is some uncert- ainty as to his real name. In 1773 "Caesor Burn was paid 4 shillings for four crows killed in this town."

Colonel Prescott, in a letter to John Adams, says: "I commanded my Lt. Col. Robinson and Maj. Woods, each with a detachment, to flank the enemy, who, I have reason to think, behaved with prudence and courage." It is stated that when the British were advancing some of the Provinc- ials fired without orders, so eager were they for the fray. This made Colonel Prescott angry. "His Lt. Col. Robinson ran round the top of the parapet and threw up the muskets." (Colonel Swett's Narrative, p. 34.)

Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
Used with permission by Janice Farnsworth

Rev War Index

Westford, MA at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Created May 13, 2000
Copyright 2002
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