March 5, 1776


It is in the morning of March 5th that the British realize the Americans have taken Dorchester Heights and placed weapons on the top.   Not realizing that they still have no gunpowder, a British Council of War decides it is time to evacuate Boston in the very near future.

A committee of the New York Provincial Congress instructs Major William Malcolm to dismantle the Sandy Hook lighthouse, telling him to “use your best discretion to render the light house entirely useless.”   It is generally understood that New York is in the greatest danger of being invaded next by the British.

General Washington communicates orders through Robert Hanson to General Artemas Ward ar Roxbury and Colonel Loammi Baldwin at Chelsea to insure that the surrounding areas of Boston be protected form imminent attack.   “As the Enemy were going on Shipboard today & the cause for It not known,” Harrison wrote to Ward on this day, “It is highly necessary that their motions shou’d be attended to with the utmost care & circumspection, lest they shou’d Surprize or take us unprovided at any point, His Excellency therefore desires that you will immediately send Orders to Braintree, Hingham & that way, that a good lookout be kept there, and If any discoveries respecting ’em can be made, that Instant notice thereof be brought to Head Quarters—tho his Excellency does not much suspect their going to or Landing at these places, yet he conceives that the utmost vigilance & care are necessary to be used, as their embarkation certainly is to answer some purpose. As no Signals in the night can be fixed on, but what will be precarious & Incertain, his Excellency requests that you will keep Two Expresses with Horses in constant readiness to communicate to him any motions of the Enemy or Occurrences which you may deem the least material & Important, the same will be done here. His Excellency desires that you will very early in the morning send over to Dorchester and get a Report from thence of their proceedings, how they go on and of any discoveries they may have made of the Enemy and that you Transmit It [to] him as expeditiously as you can.”

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