we form.d & about 12 Peices of Artillery being brought on the hill with us: the Enimy at the same time advancing very Rappedly finding we had form.d, they form.d in our front on a Ridge & brought up their Artillery within about 60 Rods [330 yards] of our front. When the briske[s]t Cannonade Commenced on both sides that I Ever heard. Both Armies ware on Clear Ground & if any thing Can be Call.d Musical where there is so much Danger, I think that was the finest musick, I Ever heared.
the agreeableness of the musick was very
often Lessen’d by the balls Coming too near –
Our men being very much beat out with Fateague & heat which was very intence, we order.d them to sit Down & Rest them Selves
Grenadier Lt. William Hale, 45
Regiment, described the bombardment from the British side. After attacking Continental troops at the hedge-row,
With some difficulty we were brought under the hill we had gained, and the most terrible cannonade L[or]d. W[illiam]. Erskine [British quartermaster general, veteran of Fontenoy
and the Seven Years’ War]
says he ever heard ensued and lasted for above two hours, at the distance of 600 yards; on our side two medium twelves [12 pounder cannon], as many howitzers and 6 six-pounders which were answered by fourteen pieces, long twelves and french nines; our shells [i.e., howitzers] and twelves, which were admirably conducted by a Capt. Williams, did most horrible execution among their line drawn up on the hill.
Hale gave further details in a 14 July letter,
I escaped unhurt in the very hot action of the 28
last month, allowed to be the severest that has happened, [in the hedge-
row fight] the Rebel’s Cannon playing Grape and Case
upon us at the distance of 40 yards and the small arms within little more than half that space; followed by a most incessant and terrible cannonade of near three hours continuance; you may judge from the circumstances of our battalion guns, 6 pounders, firing 160 rounds, and then desisting only lest ammunition should be wanting for Case shot; of the roar kept up by our twelves [12 pounder cannon] and howitzers, answered by
near twenty pieces from their side on a hill 600 paces from ours …
It must be noted that Lieutenant Hale’s claims as to the size and number of American guns (“long twelves and French nines” and “near twenty pieces”) are exaggerated.