“I cannot pretend to describe the Horror of the Scene within the Redoubt when we enter’d it,” British Marine Lt. John Waller wrote to a friend on June 21, 1775, four days after the British Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, “’twas streaming with Blood & strew’d with dead & dying Men the Soldiers stabbing some and dashing out the Brains of others was a sight too dreadful for me to dwell any longer on.” All said and done, the bloody exchange claimed 226 British and 450 Patriot lives, with still over 1,000 more wounded, captured, or missing from both belligerents.
This unspeakable carnage, which proved too distressing for even a seasoned British Marine to recount, surely imprinted itself in the hearts and minds of all who witnessed it—but not all witnesses to the battle’s shocking scenes were soldiers. One was a young woman named Faith Trumbull Huntington. She too would find the bloody Battle of Bunker Hill, and the anxieties and unknowns of her world at war, heavy burdens to bear.
Born in 1743 to Jonathan and Faith Trumbull in Lebanon, daughter Faith came of age in a prominent and respected Connecticut family, which also included younger brother John Trumbull, born in 1756, who was destined to become one of the era’s most important artists. On May 1, 1766 Faith married Jedidiah Huntington, and the couple welcomed a son, Jabez, in September 1767. At the onset of the war, the Trumbulls and the Huntingtons quickly mobilized and made known their patriot loyalties. Faith’s father, at that time the Royal Governor of Connecticut, refused to deliver manpower to support the British army’s advances against the colonists in Boston, and became a patriot hero whom George Washington held in high esteem. Jedidiah advanced to colonel in the Connecticut militia, and soon saw action at the Siege of Boston. Faith’s father, husband, and brothers dedicated themselves to the patriot cause. Her sister Mary was married to a member of the Sons of Liberty and future signer of the Declaration of Independence.Continue reading “A Casualty Not Counted: Faith Trumbull Huntington and the Battle of Bunker Hill”