Tag Archives: Shipwreck

Israel Putnam: His Near-Death Experience


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Israel Putnam (1718~1790)

My class is studying what it was like in Pomfret, CT in 1774, and my own topic is about a major Revolutionary War hero, Israel Putnam. Also known as Old Put, he had his home in Pomfret at the time, having moved there in 1740.  He participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill and became second in command to General George Washington.  However, before the Battle of Bunker Hill, Putnam was involved in another famous battle, the Battle of Havana, held during the Seven Years’ War. British forces besieged and captured the city of Havana, which at the time was an important Spanish naval base in the Caribbean, and dealt a serious blow to the Spanish navy. Israel Putnam had gone through a lot of hardships during his life, such as the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s War, and experiencing shipwreck. Overall, the shipwreck was the most challenging one to him compared to the others. This is how he described the weather right before the shipwreck. “The weather was so tempestuous and the surf, which

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Cannonballs on top of the Shipwreck

ran mountain-high, dashed with such violence against the ship that the most experienced seaman expected it would soon part asunder.”  The entire force of 107 members of Putnam’s company was shipwrecked off Cuba, and only 20, including Putnam, made it back to Connecticut alive. My next step is to find about the role of Israel Putnam in the Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the most famous battles he participated in.


Book Source: McCain, Diana Ross. It Happened in Connecticut. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot, 2008. Print.
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