Here in New England, we are the birthplace of nearly all of the revolutionary war’s most influential and infamous figures. People like Israel Putnam, for example, who I will discuss some details about in a future article, specifically the wolf cave. So it was on a cold, blustery Sunday morning that we made the journey up to Arlington, which is a town just outside of Boston proper, to visit the grave of Samuel Whittemore. If you’re looking for the spot, directions can be excessively confusing. It’s actually located Here .
If you enter from that main entrance, you can walk toward the wall of tombs and to the right, you should eventually find it. The cemetery is full of typical 17th and early 18th century stones, but that’s not what we are here to see. We are here to pay our respects to this guy :
Who was involved in this at the age of 78, when most people were dying much younger.. (courtesy Wikipedia) :
Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols, killed a second grenadier and mortally wounded a third. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment had reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked.He was subsequently shot in the face, bayoneted numerous times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found by colonial forces trying to load his musket to resume the fight. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore recovered and lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 96.
So yeah, I had to pay my respects in person. As always, right click to open the full size picture. Credit is due to http://www.badassoftheweek.com/ where I originally learned about this story.