What Happened At The Battle of Bunker Hill?

So, what did happen at the battle of Bunker Hill?

Answer In Short:

1. Patriots Made Significant Casualties In The British Army.

2. British Learned That They Would Have To Fight A Long, Bloody, And Costly War Against American Militias.

3. Reinforcement From The American Side And That’s Why British Army Had To Retreat From Boston.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord kicked off the Revolutionary War of America’s independence.

The battle of Bunker Hill was a major armed confrontation between Americans and English Red Coats, which happened after around two months of this incident.

The date was 17th June, the year 1775.

Even though the clash is popular as Bunker Hill’s battle but most of the clashes took place at Breeds hill, located nearby.

So, the question is what were the most significant things that happened at the battle?

We found the 3 most significant points here.

Here they are below:

What Happened At The Battle of Bunker Hill
What Happened At The Battle of Bunker Hill

1. Patriots Made Significant Casualties In The British Army

In the battle of Bunker Hill, the Patriots’ side was quite weaker and inexperienced compared to the well-equipped and experienced British Army.

According to various sources of US history, less than 2400 American militias participated in this event against more than 3000 British Red Coats.

Secondly, patriots were not well experienced and trained as the British military was. On the other hand, they had a limited supply of armament.

That is why they needed to do all the things very carefully. Even, American commander William Prescott ordered his militias not to attack the British until they see the white of their eyes.

But the amazing fact is, even after all these drawbacks, militias succeeded in making a large number of casualties in the British army.

Mostly they succeeded in doing this via swoop warfare techniques.

Using these tactics, the militias succeeded in making two times more casualties to the English troops.

In total, they did able to make 1054 casualties on the British side, where 226 army men got killed and 828 got badly injured. 

But on the other side, only 145 patriots lost lives and 305 got injured.

Though the Americans had to face defeat at the end of this battle; but this incident boosted up their morale so much for the upcoming major confrontations.

Casualties From Both Sides:

  • American Side: Participated (less than 2400), Killed (115), Wounded (305), Captured (30). Overall casualties 450 militias.
  • British Side:  Participated (more than 3000), Killed (226, including officers and soldiers), Wounded (828). Overall casualties 1054 soldiers.
What Happened At The Battle of Bunker Hill
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2. British Learned That They Would Have To Fight A Long, Bloody, And Costly War Against American Militias

Somehow, the British troops managed to achieve victory in the important positions at the end of the conflicts.

But from the casualties at Breeds Hill and Bunker Hill, they understood very well that the fighting with the militias would run long and be tough along with costly.

The English troops’ had to do so much hardship to get victory in that battle, which made them recognized with the strength and morale of the patriots.


3. Reinforcement From The American Side

Till the end of the battle, though, British troops succeeded in taking control over important positions of the Bunker Hill, Breeds’ Hill, and Charlestown Peninsula; but it didn’t last too long.

Because after three weeks, George Washington arrived there and he immediately started reinforcement of Continental militias.

Seeing this, British Red Coats’ fear raised and they decided to leave the area immediately.

They feared that George Washington and the continental army would attack their military base soon.

Hence, General William Howe ordered his English troops to leave the sensitive Boston.


The Meaning of “Don’t Fire Until You See The Whites of Their Eyes”

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” is a famous phrase used during the Battle of Bunker Hill.

It is still controversy about who first used this phrase.

Some claim that it was first used by American commander William Prescott.

Using this phrase, he tried to mean his militias that don’t shot on the English soldiers until they are enough close that the shot never misses.

He had to say it because during the battle of Bunker Hill American side had limited resources for fighting against English soldiers; including gunpowder, bullets, guns, etc.

So, it became very important for them to use all the resources properly.


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