Lechmere Point, Massachusetts

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Lechmere Point, Massachusetts

LECHMERE POINT, MASSACHUSETTS. 9 November 1775. Lechmere Point (later East Cambridge) extended into Boston Harbor about three-quarters of a mile from the American lines at Prospect Hill; at high tide, it was surrounded by water. On 9 November 1775, nine companies of British light infantry and one hundred grenadiers landed at the point during a very high tide to seize cattle needed for the Boston garrison. Thinking that this incursion might be more than a foraging raid, Colonel William Thompson counterattacked with his Pennsylvania riflemen, and Colonel Benjamin Woodbridge supported Thompson with part of his Massachusetts regiment and part of Colonel John Paterson's Massachusetts regiment. Despite two feet of icy water covering the causeway to what was now in effect an island, the riflemen advanced resolutely, but the British withdrew with ten cattle before the Americans could close with them. Although Washington commended the action in his general orders of 10 November, he later concluded (30 November) that reports of it had been colored; his troops had merely driven off some foragers, and this by musket fire from the safe range of four hundred yards. Only two Americans were wounded.

SEE ALSO Boston Siege.


Abbot, W. W., et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series. Vol. 2, September-December 1775. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1987.

Clark, William Bell, ed. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. Vol. 2, American Theater: September 3, 1775–October 31, 1775; European Theater: August 11, 1775–October 31, 1775; American Theater: November 1, 1775–December 7, 1775. Washington, D.C.: Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, 1966.

                       revised by Harold E. Selesky