Dorchester Heights

Dorchester Heights

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Dorchester Heights

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Dorchester Heights is the central area of South Boston. It is the highest area in the neighborhood and commands a view of both Boston Harbor and downtown.

In the American Revolution

Dorchester Heights was and is remembered in American history for an action in the American Revolutionary War known as the Fortification of Dorchester Heights. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, Revolutionary sentiment within New England reached a new high, and thousands of militiamen from the Northern colonies converged on Boston, pushing the British back within the city limits. In June 1775 British soldiers under General Howe attacked and seized Bunker Hill, but in the process sustained many losses. Following this encounter, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia gave George Washington the title of commander-in-chief and sent him to oversee the efforts outside of Boston.

The stalemate in Boston lasted for months, only breaking when Colonel Henry Knox returned from Fort Ticonderoga in New York, having led a team of sleds loaded with tens of thousands of pounds of artillery (cannon) in winter from the fort across hundreds of miles to Boston. This added artillery gave Washington and his military council the firepower they needed to make a drastic move. Over the night of March 4, 1776, as 800 American soldiers stood guard along the river of Dorchester shores, 1200 American soldiers took Dorchester Heights uninhibited. They began working through the night to build structures suitable...
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