Battle of Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill, battle of

battle of Bunker Hill, in the American Revolution, June 17, 1775. Detachments of colonial militia under Artemas Ward, Nathanael Greene, John Stark, and Israel Putnam laid siege to Boston shortly after the battles of Lexington and Concord. However, Thomas Gage, British commander in the city, made no attempt to break the siege until he was reinforced (in May) by troops led by William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne. The Continental forces learned of the British plan to take the heights of Dorchester and Charlestown, and William Prescott was sent to occupy Bunker Hill outside Charlestown. Prescott instead chose the neighboring Breed's Hill to the southeast, but the engagement that ensued has become known as the battle of Bunker Hill. Howe was ordered to attack the American position, and after two slaughterous failures a third charge dislodged the Americans, who had run out of powder. The British victory failed to break the siege, and the gallant American defense heightened colonial morale and resistance.

See T. J. Fleming, Now We Are Enemies (1960); R. M. Ketchum, The Battle for Bunker Hill (1962); N. Philbrick, Bunker Hill (2013).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

FREE! The Life of Artemas Ward: The First Commander-In-Chief of the American Revolution
Charles Martyn.
A. Ward, 1921
The Boston Campaign: April 1775-March 1776
Victor Brooks.
Combined Publishing, 1999
The Struggle for American Independence
Sydney George Fisher.
Books for Libraries Press, vol.1, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXVIII "Bunker Hill", and Chap. XXIX "Incidents and Results of Bunker Hill"
Washington: Commander in Chief
Thomas G. Frothingham.
Houghton Mifflin, 1930
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "The Battle of Bunker Hill"
FREE! The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster: With An Essay on Daniel Webster as a Master of English Style
Edwin P. Whipple; Daniel Webster.
Little, Brown, 1879
Librarian’s tip: "The Bunker Hill Monument" begins on p. 123
FREE! Studies Military and Diplomatic, 1775-1865
Charles Francis Adams.
Macmillan Company, 1911
Librarian’s tip: Chap. I "The Battle of Bunker Hill"
FREE! The True History of the American Revolution
Sydney George Fisher.
J.B. Lippincott, 1902
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XV "Bunker Hill"
How America Fought Its Wars: Military Strategy from the American Revolution to the Civil War
Victor Brooks; Robert Hohwald.
Combined Publishing, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Bunker Hill Dilemma"
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