Major General Israel Putnam

Hero of the American Revolution

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About the Book

 A colorful figure of 18th-century America, Israel Putnam (1718–1790) played a key role in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In 1758 he barely escaped from being burned alive by Mohawk warriors. He later commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba. It was he who reportedly gave the command “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Detailing Putnam’s close relationships with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and John and Abigail Adams, this first full-length biography of Putnam in more than a century re-examines the life of a revolutionary whose seniority in the Continental Army was second only to that of George Washington.

About the Author(s)

Robert Ernest Hubbard is a retired professor from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut and an adjunct faculty member in the college’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. He has long been webmaster of websites on General Israel Putnam and on entertainer Phil Silvers. He lives in Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Ernest Hubbard
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6453-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2783-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments v

Preface 1

Introduction 3

One: The New England Farmer 7

The Bamboo Cane • Salem Witch Trials and the Putnam Family

• Growing Up in Massachusetts • The Connecticut Farm

• The Wolf

Two: French and Indian War 19

War Breaks Out • The Durkee Incident • Putnam Saves Robert Rogers’ Life • Boat Attack on Lake George • Mission to Take a French Prisoner • Rescue of Captain Little • The Massacre at

Fort William Henry • South Bay • Saving the Magazine • Failed British Attack on Fort Ticonderoga • The Three Choices • “Rogers always sent, but Putnam led his men to action” • A Prisoner • Jemima Howe, the Captive

Three: Between the Wars 45

Expedition to the West Indies • Pontiac’s War • Death of Hannah • Marriage to Deborah • Putnam’s Appearance and Temperament • Tavern Owner • Preparation for War • 1773 Mississippi

Expedition

Four: Bloodiest Battle of the Revolution 69

Events Leading to the Battle • The Battle of Bunker Hill

• Organization of an Army • Siege of Boston

Five: Battles in New York 113

British Arrival at New York • Battle of Long Island • Retreat

from Long Island • Battle of Kip’s Bay • Battle of Harlem Heights

• Battle of White Plains

Six: War in the North 132

Protection of Philadelphia • Battle of Princeton • Disease and Punishment • Hudson Highlands • Deborah Putnam Taken Ill

• Deborah Putnam’s Passing • The Recruiter • Cousin Rufus

Putnam • Winter Encampment at Redding • The Horseneck Escape

Seven: Putnam’s Last Years 171

The Last Command • After the War • Putnam’s Death

Eight: The Legacy 186

People in Putnam’s World • Putnam Remembered • Conclusion

Chapter Notes 205

Bibliography 235

Index 243

Book Reviews & Awards

“Hubbard reintroduces US readers to one of the first heroes of the American Revolution…. This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended”—Choice; “the first full-length biography of Putnam in more than a century…impressively well written, organized, and presented”—The Midwest Book Review.