A Battle of Gains and Losses

Map of Bunker Hill

In the aftermath of the battle of Lexington and Conchord (which took place on April 19th), 6,000 British soldiers were stationed in Boston and besieged it. The British does not have their navy at hand, so they could not have control over the waters on the harbor. The British realized that the land across the water contained a large number of hills, which could be used to their advantage when fighting. These hills lay on the Charlestown Peninsula. British recieved reinforcements quickly arrived with three British Generals including: William Howe, Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne.

It took several days for the British to plan an attack, but finally planned the date for June 18th.The news came to us quickly, when a man visiting Boston had overheard the commander's plans of attack and strategy. He reported this to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, which was notified immediately. Two nights ago, on June 16th, Colonel William Prescott led troops of around 1,200 men to Charlestown to set up positions for battle equipment and to plan their attack strategically. The troops decided that Breed's Hill was a ideal place to set up their redoubt. This was noticed by General Clinton, and he warned his troops that the attack up the hill would be set at sunrise. Some of the British Generals were worried about climbing the hills for the battle, however General Howe assured that the hill would be easy to climb, and the task would be simple. It took up to six hours for the British to organize and inspect their men. After the leaders decided on who would do what, the troops settled down for awhile. Colonel William Prescott noticed that the British were preparing to attack. He called in his reinforcements: Joseph Warren and Seth Pomeroy . Both of these reinforcements held a high position. After rounding up British troops, the British were ready to march around 2 in the afternoon. As the British began marching, Howe realized that the Colonial troops were assembled on the hill, and were ready for battle. Colonial troops began to shoot snipers at the British, and General Howe ordered cannons to be fired, and the town of Charlestown began to burn. The Colonial army didn't expect the British to advance up the hill after seeing all the preperations they had made, but were nervous when the British continued. The Colonial General Warren was shot and killed during the battle. The British did win, but Colonials proved to be ready to fight. British also suffered a great loss in troops.

Map showing plan of attack.

Great Britain
Killed: 226
Killed: 115 including
General Warren.
Wounded: 828
Wounded: 305

Size of Troops: The British army had around 2,400 troops, while the Colonials had about 1,500 troops.

Uniform: The British troops wore their usual red tailcoats, and were armed with muskets , bayonets and fired cannons.

The Colonials were armed with some muskets, but mostly whatever they could get their hands on.

"Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes" - William Prescott.

Prescott gave this order to his troops saying, get close enough to the enemy then fire.

Discussion Questions:

1. In your opinion, who gained the most from the battle?

2. Do you think the hill was a smart place to set up for the battle?

3. If you could be a part of either army, would you choose the British, and win the battle as well as burn down Charelstown? Or would you rather be in the Colonial army, and prove to the British that you had strength, and kill most of their troops?