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Charlestown in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Charlestown Training Field/Winthrop Square

A Landscape of War & Commemoration

 
 
Charlestown Training Field/Winthrop Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2012
1. Charlestown Training Field/Winthrop Square Marker
Inscription.  Training fields were a familiar sight in early New England in an era of constant alert.

American colonist formed militias for protection and trained in open fields also known as commons. Charlestown Training Field dates from the 1640s after the town's 1629 settlement.It played a part in the American Revolution when Colonial troops marched on Charlestown to prevent the advance of British soldiers and hastily built earthworks on Breed's Hill, just upslope of the Training Field. On June 17th, 1775, in what became known as the Battle of Bunker Hill, British troops attacked the Breed's Hill fortifications, some troops likely approaching through the Training Field.

After the Revolution, the Training Field continued to serve as a mustering ground; a gunhouse was built there in 1832. Military used ceased in the mid-19th century, and became an urban park and a memorial to American servicemen.

The two bronze tablets in front of you, erected in 1889, bear the names of the Colonial soldiers who fell in the battle.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument behind you commemorates the nearly 3,000 Charlestown men
Charlestown image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2012
2. Charlestown
who fought for the Union in the Civil War (1891-65).

The Battle of Bunker Hill
The map shows where the British likely marched through the Training Field before they encountered fierce resistance to the north on Breed's Hill. Numerous British and Colonial soldiers were buried after the battle, some possibly in the Training Field, but their bodies were later reclaimed and moved elsewhere.

Plan of the town of Boston with the attack on Bunkers Hill in the peninsula of Charlestown, the 17th of June 1775 by T. Robson 1778. Boston Public Library

The Fallen Tablets (1889)
The payroll records of autumn 1775 - discovered in the late 19th century - revealed the names of 140 Colonial soldiers who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The records list the soldiers' names and claims for clothing expenses, many made by their widows and heirs.

A Memorial of the American Patriots who fell at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston City Council, 1889, 2nd ed. Boston Public Library, Charlestown Branch

Bunker Hill Day
A reviewing stand on the Training Field marks the end of the Bunker Hill Day parade, held every June since the Bunker Hill Monument was dedicated in 1843.

1875 Independence Day Parade marching down Winthrop Street, Cutler Collection, Boston Public
Charlestown Founded A.D. 1628 Established A City A.D. 1847 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2012
3. Charlestown Founded A.D. 1628 Established A City A.D. 1847
A trust ot be Transmitted to Prosterity
Library, Charlestown Branch


The Civil War Remembered
Martin Milmore (1844-81), sculptor and Irish immigrant, designed the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and used granite quarried in Hallowell, Maine. The monument, dedicated in 1872, is among the first examples of Civil War commemorative statuary and served as a blueprint for many subsequent war memorials. The female figure represents America crowning a soldier and sailor with laurel wreaths. Of the 3,000 Charlestown men honored here, three received the Medal of Honor.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, circa 1872. Boston Public Library
 
Erected by Boston Parks & Recreation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraPatriots & PatriotismWar, US CivilWar, US Revolutionary.
 
Location. 42° 22.308′ N, 71° 3.711′ W. Marker is in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in Suffolk County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of City Square and Main Street. Located in City Square Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Charlestown MA 02129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Great House (here, next to this marker); Court of the Assistants (within shouting distance of this marker); City Square:
Charlestown Park image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 13, 2012
4. Charlestown Park
(within shouting distance of this marker); Vietnam/Korean Conflict Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old North Church (about 400 feet away); Deacon Larkin House (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Charlestown Training Field/Winthrop Square (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charlestown.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Charlestown Training Field
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 23, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 40 times this year. Last updated on March 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 3, 2017, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 15, 2020