Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bunker Hill Day

Boston History Lesson Time!

June 17th, 1775, was when the famous Battle of Bunker Hill took place right here in Boston (specifically on Breed's Hill in Charlestown, Mass) during the American Revolutionary War!

On June 13, the leaders of the besieging colonial forces learned that the British generals in Boston were planning to occupy the unoccupied hills around Boston. In response to this intelligence, 1,200 colonial troops under the command of William Prescott stealthily occupied Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill, constructed an earthen redoubt on Breed's Hill, and built lightly fortified lines across most of the Charlestown Peninsula.

When the British were alerted to the presence of the new position the next day, they mounted an attack against them. After two assaults on the Colonial lines were repulsed with significant British casualties, the British finally captured the positions on the third assault, after the defenders in the redoubt ran out of ammunition. The Colonial forces retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, suffering their most significant losses on Bunker Hill.

While the result was a victory for the British, they suffered their greatest losses of the entire war: over 800 wounded and 226 killed, including a notably large number of officers. Their immediate objective (the capture of Bunker Hill) was achieved, but did not significantly alter the state of siege. It did, however, demonstrate that relatively inexperienced Colonial forces were willing and able to stand up to well-trained troops in a pitched battle.

Source: Wikipedia

June 17th is a legal holiday in Boston and surrounding Suffolk County, Massachusetts, so many modern day Bostonians celebrate this day by enjoying a vacation day from work. It is a good time for them to bring in out-of-towners and show off their beautiful city (especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it is today) and give a history lesson about this important event.

For more information about the Battle of Bunker Hill, click HERE

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