A Map and description of The Battle of Bunker Hill.

A School Project by Aaron D. and Justin S. -

This battle was one of the earliest in the American Revolution. The battle's name is a misnomer because the major part of the engagement was actually fought on Breed's Hill nearby. The place for this battle was in Charlestown, Massachusetts across the Charles River from Boston.

The British commanders for this engagement were General Thomas Gage and General Sir William Howe. These two generals were highly skilled in leading legions of British troops in battle. The Americans commanders were Colonel William Prescott, General Israel Putnam and Joseph Warren. These generals were fairly skilled in combat.

Here is the account of Bunker Hill. On June 16, 1775 ( at night ) more than 1,000 patriots (rebel fighters), under the command of General Prescott, marched to Breed's Hill over the Charlestown neck and fortified it with trenches, bales of cotton and hay by the morning of June 17. After they were done with this, General Israel Putnam took some men and began to fortify Bunker Hill.

Meanwhile in the town of Boston, the British Commander, General Gage just happened to see the Americans occupying the two hills...he ordered the British ships to start bombarding the Americans positions until the British troops could arrive. Soon after the order the British started moving troops to the east of Breed's hill from Boston.

Col. Prescott's men would be the first attacked. This was the first charge with British army on the east side of the hill with the secondary doing a straight attack. General Howe's men lead the attack with 5,000 troops up the hill. But they were not alone, they were covered by cannon from British ships in the river. While this was going on, some of the British ships loaded their cannons with incendiary shells and annihilated Charlestown, where a fraction of American troops were sniping at British soldiers on the battlefield. The first attack failed. The British retreated.

They went up the hill again but with the main group attacking forward and the secondary going east...of course this attempt also failed. The British were thoroughly enraged and took off their heavy packs before charging the third time. The Americans were running low on ammunition and gunpowder, so they had to retreat through Charlestown neck. And the British got the hills. 

The losses were astounding for the British with more than 1,000 men lost, wounded or prisoners. The Americans only lost about 400 or less. By the military tradition of the time, the British won because at the end of the battle they had posession of the field. The casualties however, tell a different story. This attack was immortalized forever in American history. First, because it was the first serious defeat for the British and secondly due to a famous quote attributed to one of the American commanders. To preserve the American's gunpowder, he ordered the patriots, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"