(1735–1775) is generally identified as the first soldier to fall at the Battle of Bunker Hill
in the American Revolutionary War
Though for some reason often described as a "farm boy", Pollard was 40 years old when he fell at Breed's Hill
, reportedly beheaded by a cannon ball fired from the British ship the Somerset in Boston Harbor. Accounts of the circumstances of his death differ. A popular book Now We Are Enemies: The Story of Bunker Hill
by Thomas Fleming (1960) relates an often told story that he was killed as he led other soldiers to water.
However, an account from 1897, Abram English Brown's Beside Old Hearth-stones
, gives a different version:<blockquote>It was about noon, and they were taking their lunch brought over from camp on the previous evening. An occasional cannon-ball had been fired over from the war-vessels of the enemy during the morning hours, but they had been easily dodged by the busy workmen. Asa Pollard had seen such missiles before, and made light of the poorly directed shot. But about midday this brave son of Billerica, when seated on the embankment, was struck by a cannon-ball, which severed his head from his body.</blockquote>