Bunker Hill

Thomas J. Fleming

pg. 20 Thomas Gage, 9 years commander-in-chief of His Majestyís force in the New World, recruiting and commanding the first colonial regiment in the British Army -- The Royal Americans Minute Men - ready to act in a minuteís notice.

pg. 106 Dr. Joseph Warren hoped for mediation and was Pres. of Mass. Provincial Congress after Lexington and killed later at Bunker Hill. One day Putnamís old comrade, Major John Small began joshing him about American fighting ability. Israel Putman of Conn. was an outspoken Indian fighter.

pg. 184 Abercromby (killed) was slated to re-inforce Gage. He was like Major John Small a good friend of Putnam, Col. Stark and many other Americans. He had put on buckskins and thrown away his parade ground uniform to march with colonial irregulars against the French and Indians.

pg. 261 On the eastern side of Bunker Hill Pigot sent the 38th and 43rd Regiments under Major Small against the east side of the fort and Breastwork. They closed first, firing volleys as they came. Their ties were only half what Howeís men were suffering. From North Church tower Thos. Gage watched thru fieldglasses. Howe led the British advance fearlessly.
Putnamsí old friend, John Small, Pigotís Brigade Major, led the 43rd and 38th up the eastern side of the hill. A bullet tore into Smallís arm. He shifted his sword to the other and roared his hesitating troops into action again.

Around Wm. Howe, alone at the rail fence, grenadiers lay sprawled in death, their elaborate bearskins gleaming blackly in the tall hay. The Genís beautiful white breeches were covered with ugly blotches of blood. The British had fallen back.

pg. 269 At this moment a breath of wind parted the haze before the Amer. lines and Putnam saw, now 20 yards away, a lone British officer shouting futile orders at his retreating troops. "Thereís an officer", one of the Mass. men behind the breastwork shouted, "Letís get him", another howled. Putnam peered in the dissolving haze and suddenly unleashed a bellow of horror. It was his friend John Small. In the same moment the major seemed to recognize his friend John Small. In the same moment the major seemed to recognize his old comrade and saw the levelled muskets. To run or duck was beneath the dignity of a British officer. "I prepared myself for death", was how Small described it later. But as trigger fingers tightened, Putnam sprang forward and knocked up the American guns with his sword. "For Godís sake, spare that man", he shouted, "I love him as a brother!". Small bowed his thanks to his friend and followed his men down the hill.

The British swore they would not go forward. Ignoring them, Howe assembled Pigot, Small and his other senior officers for a council of war. across Boston Harbor, on Coppís Hill Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne and Henry Clinton watched with disbelief the collapse of the British attack.

pg. 293 (Later) Howe, struggling to help Rawdon, was struck by a ball in the foot. Major Small rushed to his assistance and supporting himself on Smallís shoulder, the Gen. limped after his men. Small, himself, had a ball in his arm but insisted on serving as the Generalís crutch.

pg. 298. Later on Dr. Warren died an American hero of Bunker Hill.

pg. 346 Notes: Some details of Bunker Hill suffer from confusion in which battle was fought. The version here is the result of much pondering and sifting of the sometimes conflicting evidence. There was debate about certain incidents. The anecdote of Major Small (protecting Dr. Warren) was denied by many Americans. Small, on his part, told of trying to save Dr. Warrenís life at the climax of the fight. (This gesture is portrayed in Trumbullís painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill.)

Here I applied a simple test. Smallís rescue by Putnam was supported by Daniel Putnam, who testified that the Major sent Putnam a gift the following day with an effusive note of thanks. Smallís attempt to rescue Dr. Warren has no support, except Small, himself. I have left it out. Wherever a contested incident was unconfirmed by a contemporary, other than telling of the story, I have omitted it.Ē (Thos. J. Fleming, author.)

CORRESPONDENCE OF GEN. GAGE by E. C. Carter, New York, Dec. 1764.

pg. 47
To Lord Halifax "I trust this letter to the care of Major Small, an officer on half pay who is returning to England. This Gentleman, having served the campaign under Col. Bouquet. I take the liberty to refer your Lordship to him for any particulars, which you would choose to be informed on."

John Small

John Small (1726-1796) Major-General, born at Strath Ardle, a wide river valley in the district of Atholl in County Perthshire of central Scotland. After serving in the Scottish brigade in the Dutch service he obtained a commission as ensign (commissioned officer who served as standard bearer) in the 42nd Highlanders on 29 August 1747 and was appointed lieutenant in 1756, on the eve of the departure of the regiment to America to serve under John Campbell, Fourth earl of Loudoun. (q.v.) He took part in the unsuccessful attack on Ticonderoga under Major General James Abercrombie,; accompanied Sir Jeffry Amhurst in his expedition against Canada in the following year and in 1760 proceeded to Montreal.

Two years later he sailed with his regiment against Martinique and was made Captain. On 14 June 1775 he received a commission as Major to raise a body of Highlanders in Novia Scotia to act against the colonists.

He took part in the Battle of Bunkerís Hill and shortly after was appointed to command the 2nd Battallion of the 84th royal Engineers, with part of which he joined Sir Henry Clinton at New York in 1779. He was appointed Lt. Colonel in 1780 and received his commission as Colonel on 18 Nov. 1790.

In 1793 he was nominated Lt. Governor of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel. He became a Major General on 3rd October, 1794.

He died at Guernsey on 17 Mar 1796. He is a prominent figure in Trumbulls painting of Bunkerís Hill, deflecting the bayonet from the prostrate and dying Gen. Joseph Warren, his one time friend.


Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press) Vol. XIII, p. 382. Historical records of 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment of Foot, passim; Apletonís Cyclopedia T.W.U of Amer. Big. V. 552: Notes & Queries Ďth ser. IV 98- E.I.C..
"He is a prominant figure in Trumbull's picture of Bunker Hill".

Other References: See "Secret Hist. of American Rev." by Carl Van Doren, p. 391 also "American Loyalists"
Old United Empire Loyalists List - Settlement of Upper Canada by United Empire Loyalists 1784-1854
Copy of U. S. lists of Loyalists who emigrated to Ontario during the Revolution.

Information above submitted by:
Kay Redman, Dorothy Wogh, John Hastings