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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

June 17th, 1775 - The Battle of Bunker Hill

Conflict: American Revolution

Combatants: Americans vs. British

Location: Massachusetts (USA)

Outcome: Pyrrhic British victory

While besieging the city of Boston, American Militia General Artemis Ward dispatched Colonel William Prescott with 1,200 men to occupy the heights, namely Bunker (aka Bunker's) Hill, overlooking the harbor. Prescott and his troops mistakenly occupied and fortified the smaller Breed's Hill in the darkness. The next morning following a naval bombardment, British General William Howe attacked the Americans with 2,200 troops. After two assaults were bloodily repulsed, the British fixed bayonets and successfully stormed the American entrenchment; the militia having run out of ammunition. The Americans were forced to withdraw taking some 400 casualties. But the American militia had inflicted twice as many casualties on the British, the most powerful army in the world at that time, including killing more than two hundred officers.

The Battle of Bunker's Hill June 17 1775 by John Trumbull

Points of Interest:

  • Joseph Warren, a brilliant young physician and revolutionary, was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

  • The famous command "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" is attributed, probably apocryphally, to either William Prescott or Israel Putnam during this battle.

Colonel William Prescott (left) and General Daniel Morgan (Cropped) by John Trumbull

General Sir William Howe by Henry Bryan Hall

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