Abstract: In the 1690s, the Massachusetts General Court decreed that freehold land tenure in twenty-one designated frontier or garrison towns required not "deserting" them in the many wars against the Natives. Austere military cultures arose. Consequently, nearly all New Englanders who fought effectively at the iconic Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) came from families long established in garrison towns. Using records of the 1775 battle, intergenerational trauma theory, and local and military records from Groton, the article argues that garrison house town people developed traumatized bodies and cultures that created war bands capable of facing and enduring the horror of battle. Though separate enterprises, Massachusetts' century-long settler colonialist war against the Native occupants of New England and their allies (1650-1763) and the War of American Independence (1775-1783) was a single enveloping military and social history.
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