Israel Putnam (1718–1790), U.S. general. command at Battle of Bunker Hill (actually Breed's Hill, Mass.), June 17, 1775. Quoted in The History of the Siege of Boston, ch. 5, R. Frothingham (1873).
In the first major engagement of the War of Independence, the militiamen defending Boston waited until the attackers were within 15-20 paces before loosing a volley, following which the fallen bodies lay "as thick as sheep in a fold." The command is also attributed to William Prescott (1726-1795) at Bunker Hill, Prince Charles of Prussia (18th century) at Jagerndorf, and Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786) at Prague.