This battle happened on the 17th June in the year so was very early on in this history changing conflict. Many may not know of The Battle of Bunker Hill, but may know of the larger conflict this battle took part.
The patriotic obelisk atop the hill also confuses visitors.
Which makes the battle a natural topic for Nathaniel Philbrick, an author drawn to iconic and misunderstood episodes in American history. In his new book, Bunker Hill, he revisits the beginnings of the American Revolution, a subject freighted with more myth, pride and politics than any other in our national narrative.
Gazing out from the Bunker Hill Monument—not at charging redcoats but at skyscrapers and clotted traffic—he adds: The Back Bay was still a bay and the South End was likewise underwater; hills were later leveled to fill in almost 1, acres.
Boston was virtually an island, reachable by land only via a narrow neck. That began to change once blood was shed, which is why the Bunker Hill battle is pivotal.
But it remained unclear whether the ill-equipped rebels were willing or able to engage the British Army in pitched battle. Leaders on both sides also thought the conflict might yet be settled without full-scale war.
Over a thousand colonials marched east from Cambridge with orders to fortify Bunker Hill, a foot rise on the Charlestown peninsula jutting into Boston Harbor.
The reasons for this maneuver are murky. But their threatening position, on high ground just across the water from Boston, forced the British to try to dislodge the Americans before they were reinforced or fully entrenched.
On the morning of June 17, as the rebels frantically threw up breastworks of earth, fence posts and stone, the British bombarded the hill. By contrast, the British, who at midday began disembarking from boats near the American position, were among the best-trained troops in Europe.
And they were led by seasoned commanders, one of whom marched confidently at the head of his men accompanied by a servant carrying a bottle of wine. Another observer was British Gen. However, the seemingly open pasture proved to be an obstacle course.
The high, unmown hay obscured rocks, holes and other hazards. Fences and stone walls also slowed the British. The Americans, meanwhile, were ordered to hold their fire until the attackers closed to 50 yards or less.
In some spots, the British lines became jumbled, making them even easier targets. The Americans added to the chaos by aiming at officers, distinguished by their fine uniforms. The attackers, repulsed at every point, were forced to withdraw.
The disciplined British quickly re-formed their ranks and advanced again, with much the same result. One British officer was moved to quote Falstaff: And the British, having failed twice, devised a new plan. They repositioned their artillery and raked the rebel defenses with grapeshot.
And when the infantrymen marched forward, a third time, they came in well-spaced columns rather than a broad line. His men resorted to throwing rocks, then swung their muskets at the bayonet-wielding British pouring over the rampart.
In just two hours of fighting, 1, British soldiers—almost half of all those engaged—had been killed or wounded, including many officers. American losses totaled over The colonists retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, leaving the British in control of Charlestown but still besieged in Boston.
The battle was a tactical victory for the British, but it proved to be a sobering experience, involving more than twice the casualties than the . Let's learn about the history of this battle of the American Revolution, and why it's still important today.
Lesson Summary. The Battle of Bunker Hill, a battle in the American Revolution. American Revolution for Kids: Battle of Bunker Hill. The Battle of Bunker Hill is arguably the most important battle fought between the British and the newly formed American militia not because it was a victory in fact, but because it gave the American people a rallying cry as they marched onward through the bloody war for American Independence.
The Battle of Bunker Hill is arguably the most important battle fought between the British and the newly formed American militia not because it was a victory in fact, but because it gave the American people a rallying cry as they marched onward through the bloody war for American Independence.
Battle of Bunker Hill: Yankees Prepare to Fight on Breed’s Hill On June 16, , having learned that the British were planning to send troops from Boston to occupy the hills surrounding the city, some 1, colonial militiamen under Colonel William Prescott () built earthen fortifications on top of Breed’s Hill, overlooking Boston and .