Category: Battle of Bunker Hill

Categories: Conflicts, American Revolution | This Day In History June 17

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Battle of Bunker Hill

Date: June 17, 1775
Location: Charlestown, Massachusetts (mostly on and around Breed's Hill)
When: during Siege of Boston early in the Revolution.
Victor: British pyrrhic victory
Loser: United Colonies
Territorial changes: British capture Charlestown peninsula


The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill, which was peripherally involved in the battle and was the original objective of both colonial and British troops, and is occasionally referred to as the "Battle of Breed's Hill."

13 Jun 1775: Leaders of the colonial forces attacking Boston learne British generals plan to send troops from the city to occupy the unoccupied hills surrounding the city. In response, 1,200 colonial troops under William Prescott's command occupy Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill. They construct an earthen redoubt on Breed's Hill, and build lightly fortified lines across most of Charlestown Peninsula.

14 Jun 1775: British alerted of rebels position. They mount an attack. After two assaults on colonial lines are repulsed with heavy British casualties, the British capture the positions on the third assault, after defenders in the redoubt run out of ammunition. Colonial forces retreat to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, taking significant losses at Bunker Hill.

British win with heavy losses: 800+ wounded and 226 killed, including a large number of officers.

The battle is seen as an example of a Pyrrhic victory, due to modest, immediate gain (capture of Bunker Hill) that did not significantly change the state of the siege. At the same time, cost (loss of nearly a third of deployed forces) was high. Colonial forces retreated and regrouped in good order with fewer casualties. Furthermore, the battle demonstrated that relatively inexperienced colonial forces were willing and able to stand up to regular army troops in a pitched battle. (1)

United Colonies

New Hampshire
Rhode Island

Commanders and leaders:

Israel Putnam - "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes"
William Prescott
Joseph Warren † (Warren declined command and fought as an individual)
John Stark
Strength: about 2,400
Casualties and losses: 115 killed, 305 wounded, 30 captured (20 POWs died), Total: 450

Great Britain

Commanders and leaders:

  • British Army:
William Howe
Sir Robert Pigot
James Abercrombie +
John Pitcairn †
Henry Clinton
  • Royal Navy:
Samuel Graves
Strength: 3,000+
Casualties and losses: 226 killed (including 19 officers), 828 soldiers wounded (including 62 officers), Total: 1,054


People or pages in Battle of Bunker Hill

There are 44 profiles on this category page.


  • Francis Akeley abt 1731 Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA - 19 Jun 1775


  • John Bailey abt 30 Oct 1730 Hanover, Plymouth, Massachusetts USA - abt 27 Oct 1810
  • Samuel Bailey Jr 14 Nov 1728 Bradford, Essex, Massachusetts Bay Colony - 17 Jun 1775
  • Ebenezer Bancroft 1 Apr 1738 Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America - 22 Sep 1827
  • Edmund Bancroft 23 Nov 1726 Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony - 15 Oct 1806
  • Ebenezer Bean Sr 5 Sep 1755 Epping, New Hampshire - 3 Mar 1846
  • Joel Boies Sr. 7 Jun 1753 Blandford, Hampden, Massachusetts - 28 Mar 1809



  • Elijah Elmer 3 Oct 1753 Hinsdale, New Hampshire Colony - 28 Dec 1833




  • Joseph Hood 2 Feb 1746 Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts - 21 Oct 1795




  • Joseph Livermore 11 Jul 1740 Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay
  • Joseph Lowell 8 May 1720 Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts - 20 Oct 1778
  • Stephen Lowell 10 Feb 1729 Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts - aft 1795
  • Timothy Lowell 21 Feb 1754 West Nottingham, Rockingham, New Hampshire - 8 Nov 1834



  • Robert Parker 20 Jan 1719 Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA - 30 Sep 1775
  • William Perley 11 Feb 1735 East Boxford, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 29 Mar 1812

P cont.


  • Jeremiah Roberts 17 Nov 1753 Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire, USA - 21 Sep 1846


  • Thomas Sawyer 6 Feb 1739 Bolton, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA - 12 Mar 1796
  • William Shearer abt 1756 Palmer, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA - 6 Nov 1826
  • Edward Spalding 17 Oct 1736 Hudson, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, British Colonial America - 17 Jun 1775
  • Abner Stocking Sr. 1 Apr 1730 Middle Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut - 14 Jan 1816
  • Jesse Story Jr. before 15 Aug 1756 Ipswich, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay - 17 Jun 1775



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