Bunker Hill Diary of Amos Farnsworth, a corporal in the Massachusetts militia
Friday June '6. Nothing done in the forenoon; in the afternoon we had orders to be ready to march. At six agreeable to orders our regiment readied and about sun-set we was drawn up and herd prayers; and about dusk marched for Bunkers Hill under command of our own Col Prescott. Just before we turned out of the rode to go up Bunkers-Hill, Charlestown, we was halted; and about sixty men was taken out of our battalion to go into Charlestown, I being one of them. Capt Nutten headed us down to the town house; we sot our centres by the waterside; the most of us got in the town house but had orders not to shut our eyes. Our men marched to Bunker-Hill and begun their intrenchment and carried it on with the utmost vigor all night. Early in the morning I joined them.
Saturday June `7. The enemy appeared to be much alarmed on Saturday morning when they discovered our operations and immediately began a heavy cannonading from a battery on Corps-Hill, Boston, and from the ships in the harbor. We with little loss continued to carry on our works till I o'clock when we discovered a large body of the enemy crossing Charles-River from Boston. They landed on a point of land about a mile eastward of our intrenchment and immediately disposed their army for an attack, previous to which they set fire to the town of Charlestown. It is supposed that the enemy intended to attack us under the cover of the smoke from the burning houses, the wind favoring them in such a design; while on the other side their army was extending northward towards Mistick-River with an apparent design of surrounding our men in the works, and of cutting off any assistance intended for our relief. They ware however in some measure counteracted in this design, and drew their army into closer order.
As the enemy approached, our men was not only exposed to the attack of a very numerous musketry, but to the heavy fire of the battery on CorpsHill, 4 or 5 men of war, several armed boats or floating batteries in Mistick River, and a number of field pieces. Notwithstanding we within the intrenchment, and at a breast work without, sustained the enemy's attacks with great bravery and resolution, killed and wounded great numbers, and repulsed them several times; and after bearing, for about ~ hours, as sever and heavy a fire as perhaps ever was known, and many having fired away all their ammunition, and having no reinforcement, although there was a great body of men nine by, we ware over powered by numbers and obliged to leave the intrenchment, retreating about sunset to a small distance over Charlestown Neck.
N.B. I did not leave the intrenchment until the enemy got in. I then retreated ten or fifteen rods; then I recieved a wound in my rite arm, the bawl "owing through a little below my elbow breaking the little shel bone. Another bawl struck my back, taking a piece of skin about as big as a penny. But I got to Cambridge that night. The town of Charlestown supposed to contain about 3oo dwelling-houses, a great number of which ware large and elegant, besides 1 50 or 200 other buildings, are almost all laid in ashes by the barbarity and wanton cruelty of that infernal villain Thomas Gage.
Oh, the goodness of God in preserving my life although they fell on my right hand and on my left! O, may this act of deliverance of shine, Oh God, lead me never to distrust the[e]; but may I ever trust in the[e] and put confidence in no arm of flesh! I was in great pane the first night with my wound.