Bunker Hill

William Showalter, Guest Writer

My name is John Baker. I am a farm boy from the country lands of Massachusetts. Life is really rough right now at home. My parents are fighting and making life miserable for me. I am going to get away! Just a few months more and I will be 18. I’m planning to run. Then we’ll see who feels bad!

. . .

It is now May 26, 1775. I am 18 today, and I am going to leave my home. My goal is to reach Charleston, Massachusetts in a couple days, navigating these country roads. I am all packed up with food, water, and all my other belongings. Mom and Dad are still asleep; I will go before they wake up. If they know what I am doing they will not be very happy. But this is for the best!

. . .

Hours have passed, and I have been walking the whole time. My feet hurt, and I am hungry. The sun is starting to set as well. I will have to stop and make camp for the night. I brought some tea, a loaf of bread, and some raw beans. The food tastes so good after a long day of walking. After eating I find a tree and lie under it and fall asleep.

When morning comes I started walking early in hopes of making it to Charleston. What I am going to do? That is still to be decided. I just need to find my purpose in life. Late at night, I make it to Charleston. I am so relieved.

What am I going to do now that I am here in this town with so many opportunities? I keep asking myself that that question night. I think about the many different trades that I could try to become good at, but nothing really sticks out to me. The next day, as I was walking through the town, I notice that there are multiple people with muskets. It looks like they are in uniform as well. After asking people in town, I find out that these soldiers were preparing for a British attack. I know instantly that is what my purpose in life is. I have to ask how I can fight, and save lives. One of the soldiers told me to go see colonel William Prescott. He is the leader of the American forces here in Charleston. He told me that I could fight, he got me a rifle and a uniform and sent me to their camp. I have never shot a rifle before, the other soldiers were taking target practice. So I decided to try to load my rifle and take a shot. I had to get someone to show me how to load a musket ball and the gunpowder, then I was ready to shoot. My first shot ever was 10 feet off its target. This is going to be harder than I thought.

. . .

June 17, 1775. We march up to Bunker Hill to meet the British forces who want to take over the peninsula. Colonel William Prescott is leading us in this battle. Finally, we could see the red coats. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose. Musket fire everywhere, cannons booming, bullets whizzing past. I fired my first shot…it hit, right in the chest of a British soldier. I have never taken someone’s life before! It didn’t feel good, but I have to protect my fellow Americans. I pressed on knowing what has to be done.

The British just keep coming and coming, we are losing men quickly. But I keep on firing into the swarm of red coats. I am going to make one last stand for my country, I said to myself. Grabbing a sword, I started running towards them taking down one after the other. I hear a crack of a musket right next to me and a sudden pain in my leg. I have been shot! I am laying there bleeding out watching all the redcoats killing my friends. We have lost! As Iyed there dying I found peace knowing that I tried, and actually did something in life. And that is all that matters to me.