About two months after the events narrated in the last chapter the battle of Bunker Hill took place, June 19, 1775. It was conducted by General Bunker upon the American side, while one General Hill led the British.
On this memorable occasion the Americans managed to destroy a thousand or so of the enemy, and might have done better had their supply of bullets held out. These becoming exhausted the noble fellows fell back upon the brass buttons of their uniforms, which they fired at the British as long as there was a button left among them.
The brave Bunker, when his stock of buttons gave out, bethought him of his false teeth. He removed them from his mouth, and with fire in his eye and a horse-pistol in his right hand, (holding on his buttonless uniform with his left,) he turned upon the enemy a galling fire of “store” teeth, and every one of them took effect, making sixteen of the red-coats bite the dust.
In his official report of the battle which he sent to Congress the heroic man avers: that, if there had been a dentist handy to extract ’em, he would have sacrificed every dashed natural tooth in his head for the cause of Liberty.
As a reward for his heroic conduct, Congress had him measured for a new set of elegant silver-mounted molars, which it promised to present to him some day with an appropriate inscription. And yet they say Republics are ungrateful!
For further information regarding this great battle, see illustration. There was a monument erected upon the spot to commemorate the battle, and should you ever go to Boston you will probably be asked, “Have you tried our baked beans, and have you seen Bunker Hill monument?”