On Friday March 2 a Boston ropemaker named William Green, busy with his fellows braiding fibers on an outdoor "ropewalk" or ropemaking machine, called to Patrick Walker, a soldier of the Twenty-ninth who was passing by and asked if he wanted work. "Yes" Walker replied. "Then go and clean my shithouse" was Green's response. The soldier answered in similar terms, and when Green threatened him, he departed, swearing to return with some of his regimental mates. Return he did with no less than forty soldiers, led by a big Negro drummer.
...That night, a ropemaker lodging with Benjamin Burdick complained to his landlord that several soldiers were "dogging" him (with catcalls from the street). When Burdick asked a soldier lurking in the street outside what he was doing, the soldier replied "I'm pumping shit." "March off," Burdick ordere. The soldier damned him and Burdick beat him with a stick until he fled.