There is needless controversy about the Battle of Bunker Hill, first major battle of the American War of Independence, and the man who commanded American forces that day, General Israel Putnam.  The seeds of the controversy were sown when leading citizens of Massachusetts, to cover up the disgraceful behavior of many of their colony's soldiers that day, elevated Colonel William Prescott to hero status he never earned.  In 1818, fuel was added to the fire when Henry Dearborn, running for governor of Massachusetts, published a defamatory pamphlet about Putnam.  By the time of the battle's centennial in 1875, Colonel Prescott had been promoted by Massachusetts intellectuals to commander of all American forces that day.

Originally published in 1876, this enjoyable book reads more like a mystery novel than a serious work of historical scholarship.  Mr. Tarbox will leave you with not a shred of doubt that General Israel Putnam commanded American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and that Dearborn's despicable mudslinging pamphlet was wrong.

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