Did the Continental Army seize airports during the Revolutionary War?

Yes.  Yes they did.

One of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution was fought on the Field of Logan (as it used to be called) in July 1775 between Massachusetts militia and two British army regiments: The Royal Regiment of Foot, Light  or ROFL Regiment; and the Western Tottenham Regiment of Foot, or WTF Regiment.  They were supported by a battery of artillery known as the Twickenham and Sussex Artillery, or the TSA.

Much of what we know about the battle comes from eyewitnesses who recorded their observations in diaries and letters, as well as the official reports submitted to His Majesty’s government and to the Continental Congress.  One diarist, a young militiaman from Winthrop named Obadiah Whattaburger (the namesake of the modern restaurant), kept a particularly poignant account of the battle and the events both before it and after it.

July 1st, 1775  The forced march from Winthrop to the Field of Logan has been difficult, but we finally made it after two solid days of marching in the pouring rain.  There have been a great many potholes along the way and we had to Paye a Tolle.  Of course, we did not have a lot of rations issued beforehand and the commissary has been struggling to feed our company.  We heard rumors of a supply of ketchup packets in Ye Olde Terminal A, but we don’t wish to get out hopes too high just yet, especially since Ye Olde Terminal A is still in the hands of the redcoats.

We don’t know much about Obadiah, except that he was a fisherman and a farmer in Winthrop.  Archaeological digs on the site of his farm have not revealed much to modern historians as of yet, because his descendants tossed “all that old crap” in the garbage.

July 2nd, 1775 After establishing our camp next to that of one of the Cambridge companies, we helped the quartermaster unload supplies from the wagon driven by a fellow by the name of Ubah Driver.  That fellow complained incessantly about the taxes and regulation put on him by the Royal Governor and stated that he was currently forced to live in his parents’ cellar with his wife and nine children.  Truly, these times are tough on us all.

July 3rd, 1775 The commissary sergeant issued us scanty rations today, consisting of a small bag of peanuts and three small pretzel sticks.  Then we got what they called a “Safety Briefing” involving the use of parlor furniture as flotation devices.  I have no idea what the Hell that was about at all.

July 4th, 1775 we attempted to make a bayonet charge on Ye Olde Luggage Clayme but were foiled by our lack of bayonets and our inability to distinguish one trunk from another.  We fell back in great disorder and our officers were much put out.  It is said our brave Captain Pence called out for his mother on at least two occasions during the battle, but we did not know the reason.  He is an odd fellowe.

July 5th, 1775 the Redcoats finally realized that the rest of their Garrison had withdrawn from Boston Towne 4 months ago, and so they all piled into their Man-o-War marked with ye colors of British Airways and fled to Canada.  We would celebrate but there are so few of us left.  My best friend Ezekiel Coffin was struck by a cannonball that had come skipping across the ground towards us.  He held out his foot, as if to stop the rolling balle, and exclaimed “Verily, Obadiah, hold ye my canteen, and now watche this!” and the 6 pounder ball took off his entire right leg.  He expired soon afterward, probably of shame.  Our surgeon is treating me for multiple bayonet wounds in the legs by applying leeches to my face.  Modern medicine is truley a wonder.

Obadiah Whattaburger did not survive the campaign, and died of hospital gangrene in excruciating pain several weeks later thanks to 18th century medical intervention.  But his name lives on in the food courts of many airports around the country.*

~Geoff

*Research for this project was supported by Donald Trump’s Historical Commission for Young Adults, commonly known as the History CYA.  All historical facts are verified regardless of documentation as long as we have to cover for you-know-who.

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