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18th century penned copy: Revolutionary War General S. H. Parsons - BUNKER HILL BATTLE LETTER

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Now fully operational from the beautiful Pacific North West, we encourage all to keep a close eye as we unpack posted offerings and continue what will be an ongoing effort of unpacking the collection while taking stock with an eye toward thinning out our accumulation of treasures. After years of seeking out and acquiring all manner of quality antique Americana from simple but seldom surviving items of special interest to historically important treasures, Janet and I look forward to offering the fruits of our years of seeking out such to new and appreciative homes.


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Click to view larger image of  18th century penned copy: Revolutionary War General S. H. Parsons - BUNKER HILL BATTLE LETTER (Image1)
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 18th century penned copy: Revolutionary War General S. H. Parsons - BUNKER HILL BATTLE LETTER (Image1)
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Item Number: 60145
 

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Offered here is a c. 1852 penned copy of Revolutionary War General and Battle of Bunker Hill participant Samuel Holden Parsons. Well-worn with good age to include some old tape fold reinforcement, (Visible in our illustrations and easily conserved) the old letter remains solid and clearly legible. The content will be best described here by inclusion of portions of Gen. Parsons eye witness account:

the Regulars have made a very dear Purchase; tis confidently reported they lost one Genl. officer supposed to be Gen. How; Majr. Pitcairn & Majr. Sheriff are among their Dead, with whole they have lost about 30 officers and not less than 300 privates, besides wounded. Many imprudencies may be corrected by us by this dear bought victory of theirs. Each side are making the best preparations in their Power for another Battle which is soon expected. Lt. Bingham of Lyme [Conn.] who was supposed to be killed is well & returned to camp safe. Robert Hallam is wounded, he discharged 28 cartridges without retreating one foot, 8 of which was after he was wounded. Thos. Grosvenor is wounded, the ball went twice thro his hand & wounded him in the breast afterwards, John Saunders of Lyme wounded. Capt. ?____ had 10 wounded, two dangerously; none killed; Capt. Chester 4 killed & 5 wounded, in the whole from Connect, about 25 kild and as many wounded. The whole loss on our side not less ascertained but I think it will not fall short of 130 kild & wounded.
We are raising Batteries and should be soon able to do their work if they had Powder sufficient which at present I fear. Many suppose the number of their Troops exceed our expectation which must be the case if their number of tents are not for a deception which I suspect it to be. They fought bravely. Were twice repelled by our men & rallied again & forced our intrenchments sword in hand. We have had nothing few scattering short here since Sunday. I am pretty well over the fatigue of Saturday night which I spent on the soft side of a rock on my arms amidst a flood of bombs & cannons balls but thanks to God but two men were kild & about the same number wounded.

One of Capt. Chester’s men kild two regulars and wrenched a gun out of the hand of another & shot him dead & bro’t off the gun. What my fate will be God only knows. I hope He will give me fortitude.

All good fodder for additional research. we did take the time to do a limited search on the original author Samuel Holden Parsons and found his letters had been published in a volume titled, LIFE & LETTERS of SAMUEL HOLDEN PARSONS / Major General in the Continental Army & Chief Judge if the North Western Territory 1737- 1789 . This record of the original is noted as being penned with the permission of S. H. Parsons, who was likely a son or grandson as the originating Gen. S. H. Parsons the 4th who had long since passed by the date of this circa 1852 copy. This penned record of Gen. Parsons original written on June 21, 1775 just four days after the Bunker Hill battle, is clearly an example of an early attempt to preserve the writings. In our quick search for basics on Gen. Parsons we found that he had studied law in Lyme, Connecticut where he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in 1759. He was admitted to the General Assembly in 1762. Relocating to New London Conn. where he became a Revolutionary activist to the point that he wrote Samuel Adams suggesting that it was time to form a congress in the colonies and that it was time to discuss colonial independence. Appointed Major in the 14th Conn. Militia in 1770 and commissioned a colonel in the 6th Connecticut Regiment in 1775. In June of that year he was ordered to lead his regiment to Boston where he participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill. By the time the British surrendered in Yorktown in July 1782 then Major General Parson had been in continuous service for more than seven years. A neat piece of Americana!
Buy with confidence! We are pleased to offer a no questions asked three day inspection with return as purchased on direct sales! Just send us a courtesy e-mail to let us know your item will be returned per these provisions and your purchase price will be refunded accordingly. Thanks for visiting Gunsight Antiques!


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