The History Channel, Smithsonian Magazine, the Independence Hall Association and the Massachusetts Historical Society all have information regarding the Battle of Bunker Hill. Although technically a defeat at the hands of the British, American forces killed or wounded more than half of the enemy's forces.Continue Reading
More than 1,000 militiamen marched from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Breed's Hill in Boston on June 16, 1775. The troops bypassed Bunker Hill in the darkness of night, and fortified Breed's Hill instead. Breed's Hill was much closer to the main city where British troops were located. The elevated position was just above the city and across the water.
Major General William Howe and Brigadier General Robert Pigot landed 2,200 troops on Charlestown Peninsula to try to retake the hill on the afternoon of June 17, 1775. Before the British advanced on the makeshift fortifications, they burned Charlestown to add to the excessive heat of the day. Colonel William Prescott's men repelled the British infantry for two waves before the militia ran out of ammunition. Hand-to-hand combat ensued.
The final tally was 1,054 British soldiers killed or wounded, while more than 400 Americans were casualties. The two-hour battle ended with an American retreat, but the cost of several British officers was high. Due to lower numbers after the battle, the British decided against taking more territory surrounding Boston and commanders rethought their strategies. George Washington arrived in the area two weeks later to take command of the Continental Army.Learn more about US History