Tomorrow, June 17th, marks the 242 Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker (Breeds) Hill. I copied this from an email I received from Campaign 1776.
Battle of Bunker Hill:
This year marks the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the end of any hope of reconciliation between England and her colonies. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, New Englanders from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and what would later become the state of Vermont streamed into the vicinity of Boston. While not yet a full-fledged army, this armed mob was raring for a fight and determined to drive the Redcoats out of their city. On the evening of June 15-16, the Patriots moved forward to Breed’s Hill, a more prominent location closer to Boston, where they prepared a fortified position that all but invited a British response.
It was at this pivotal battle that one of the commanders of the improvised garrison, William Prescott, allegedly told his men “do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” Two assaults on the colonial positions were repulsed with significant British casualties; the third and final attack finally broke through after the Patriots ran out of ammunition. The Colonists were forced to retreat to Cambridge, leaving the British in control of Charlestown but still besieged in Boston.
While the battle was a tactical victory for the British, it proved to be a sobering experience, involving more than twice the casualties than the Americans had incurred, including many officers. The battle demonstrated that inexperienced Continental militia could stand up to British troops in battle, a feat that wasn’t thought possible. Though defeated, the Patriots were not demoralized, and those that chose to remain kept the British bottled up in Boston and became the nucleus of the Continental Army. The evolution of the army would fall upon the shoulders of a Virginian, George Washington, who was commissioned by the Continental Congress to take command of the Patriots outside Boston and mold them into a cohesive fighting force. Washington assumed command in Cambridge, Massachusetts within two weeks of the Battle of Bunker Hill. For a quick summary of the battle go to. https://www.civilwar.org/learn/videos/bunker-hill?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email_update&utm_campaign=61617
If you like to read I would recommend the book “Bunker Hill” by Nathaniel Philbrick. It’s quite involved but gives you great background to the events that led up to the battle and the war.