Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Cousin at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Mattson, McCrillis Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
The middle of August and the temperatures are still in the mid 90s here in Utah Valley.  I'm anxious for Autumn and cooler weather.  I think most Americans are ready to see the back side of the summer of 2012.  

Today in our digital family reunion we discover a 1st cousin 7 times removed who fought and died in the battle of Bunker Hill at the start of the Revolutionary War.  

I begin with the Relationship Chart:  

William McCrillis (1749 - 1775)
is your 1st cousin 7x removed
Father of William
Father of Willaim
Son of John
Son of Daniel
Son of Robert
Son of John K.
Daughter of Joseph
Daughter of Isabel Deanora
Daughter of Vesta Althea

Violet married Walter Mattson
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

Cousin William McCrillis served in Capt. Simon Marston’s Company.  Capt. Marston was under Colonel Joshua Wingate.  William enlisted on Apr. 23, 1775 and served 2 months 17 days.  Killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill. 

The Battle of Bunker Hill

The sun was shining from a cloudless sky a little past noon on June 17, 1775 when a British force of 1500 men landed on Charlestown Heights in Massachusetts. Their objective: a surprise attack to nullify the threat posed by "rebel" batteries on the peninsula.  However, the night before   for nearly twelve hours   the Americans had worked non-stop building their main fortification on Breed's Hill which lay at the foot of Bunker Hill to the north.

At daybreak on the 17th gazing through the morning fog, British General Howe was astonished to see a six-foot high earthwork   a mushroom fortress   that seemingly appeared overnight. "The rebels," he exclaimed, "have done more work in one night than my whole army would have done in one month." British cannons immediately opened fire from the ships offshore but the patriots continued work on the intrenchments without harm.
By mid-afternoon General Howe ordered his troops to advance and open fire. As the British moved forward, the Americans remained as silent as the tomb. "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes," was the order passed along the lines. When that moment came, the word "FIRE!" was shouted, and whole enemy platoons were mowed down and shattered, retreating to the foot of the hill.

Howe rallied his forces and repeated the attack with the same crushing results. Not to be discouraged, Howe rallied his men a third time, ordering them to use only their bayonets. After a desperate hand-to-hand struggle, the Americans were driven out.
In that final assault American General Joseph Warren and British Major John Pitcairn were killed. While the exact number of casualties varies among historians, the Americans were estimated at 441 killed and wounded... with the British casualties at 1,150 killed and wounded.

In all of the twenty battles of the Revolution, Bunker Hill exacted a heavy toll on British officers. In this one battle alone one-eighth of the British officers in the entire War were killed and one-sixth were wounded on that day.

Following the earlier skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, the battle of Bunker Hill was significant in that it overruled any real hope of conciliation. The outcome of the battle rallied the colonies and moved a lethargic Congress to take action. Bunker Hill showed the Americans that the British were not invincible. It showed the British Government that the "rebels" were a serious opponent, that "the mightiest army in all of Europe" had a real fight on its hands.

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