Thirty-eight towns and fourteen counties are named after Joseph Warren, but he’s generally unknown to all but the most dedicated Revolutionary War buffs. A Boston doctor and Freemason (back before being a Mason meant being a pro-democracy, pro-rationalist philosopher and activist instead of being a holographic lizard person controlling the world’s banks), Joseph Warren performed the autopsy on Christopher Seider, the first American killed by British troops in the Boston Massacre, and when Seider’s funeral sparked the Boston Massacre, Warren was again part of the local committee that reported on the atrocity.
When the fundamental rights of free citizens really hit the fan, Warren put together militia units and led troops from the cannon’s mouth. Appointed a Major General by the Continental Congress, he volunteered to fight in the Battle of Bunker Hill as a common soldier, as he felt the two generals already there had more combat experience than he.
Famously declaring “These fellows say we won’t fight! By Heaven, I hope I shall die up to my knees in blood!” he held off three charges on Breed Hill until a British officer put a musket ball through his brain. The Redcoats stripped and bayoneted the corpse before shoving it into a hole, but they could do nothing to stop the legend of his brave stand from spreading throughout the Colonies.