Battle of Bunker Hill

This, the first major battle of the American Revolution, took place on June 17, 1775. Despite the name, the battle primarily took place on an adjacent hill known as Breed’s Hill.

The colonials learned that the British were planning to send troops to occupy the hills surrounding the city of Boston. In response, 1,200 colonial troops under command of William Prescott built an earthen redoubt on Breed’s Hill. When the British discovered this, they mounted an attack against them. After two grueling assaults, and with a shortage of ammunition, the colonials were eventually driven from the hill.

The battle was a pyrrhic victory for the British. They gained very little ground and suffered heavy losses, including a large number of their officers. The colonials suffered losses as well (including the important Dr. Joseph Warren), but the battle is widely considered to be a great rallying point for the colonials. It demonstrated that relatively inexperienced colonial forces were willing and able to stand toe to toe with British regulars.