possible, any problems. I feared that the officer and soldiers might be
the insults of the rioters. I told the troops to go out without loading their weapons and
I never gave orders to load them.
The mob still increased, striking their clubs together, and calling out, “Come on you
rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare.” At this time I was
between the soldiers and the mob, trying to
them to leave peacefully.
Someone asked me if I was going to order the men to fire. I answered no, saying
that I was in front of the guns, and would be shot if they fired. While I was speaking,
one of the soldiers was hit with a stick, stepped a little to one side, and instantly
fired. When I turned to ask him why he fired without orders, I was struck with a club
on my arm.
The soldiers were attacked by a great number of heavy clubs and snowballs were
thrown at them. All our lives were in danger. At the same time, someone from
behind called out, “
Damn your bloods
— why don't you fire?” Instantly three or four
of the soldiers fired and then three more fired in the same confusion. The mob then
ran away, except three unhappy men who instantly died. When I asked the soldiers
why they fired without orders, they said they heard the word fire and thought it came
from me. This might be the case as many of the mob called out fire, but I told the
men that I gave no such order. My words were, don't fire, stop your firing.
: The Case of Capt. Preston of the 29
April 28, 1770
: to make someone angry
: to convince someone to do something
damn your bloods
: an insult in the 18