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How to Set Up a Fortress


Teddy contemplates the significance of the battle
Ever been in a snowball fight?

My favorite part is building a fort. Then I can throw snow bombs on my brothers and hide when they fire back. Even though they are my family and I love them, when it comes to building snow forts, I show no mercy.

The first thing I look for when choosing a place to build my fort is higher ground. Throwing down instead of up is much easier. Also, I try to find some sort of log or rock and pile my snow fort on top of it. That makes my fort stronger and less likely to crumble under enemy/brother fire.

Believe it or not, this isn't so different from the way American rebels set up the first fort during the Revolutionary War.

Imagine being a British general in Boston 1775 and waking up one morning to look at the banks of the Charles River. As you look across the water your eyes stop when you see a fort that did not exist when you went to sleep the night before.

The Americans had been very secretive about setting it up. At midnight on June 16, 1775, nine hundred men snuck through the streets of Charlestown, right across the river from Boston, and met on a high hill. Using shovels and pick-axes they created a fort on top of a hill facing the British forces. They transported the cannons and equipment in wagons, and they covered the wheels of their wagons with straw to be more quiet. They worked day and night with little water and only the food they had brought with them. They built the fort on a high rise called Breed's Hill. It was within striking distance of the British troops across the river.

By daybreak, when the British had finally noticed the fort and begun firing canons at it, the American rebels were safely inside.

A huge battle went on for the rest of the day. But because the Americans were on top of the hill, there was little the British could do. By the end of the day the British gave up.


Please email me at: teddy@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Stephanie - War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Huh!