The Battle of Bunker Hill
was fought on June 17, 1775, during the Siege of Boston
in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War
. The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill, which was peripherally involved in the battle, and was the original objective of both the colonial and British troops, though the vast majority of combat took place on Breed's Hill.
On June 13, 1775, the leaders of the colonial forces besieging Boston learned that the British were planning to send troops out from the city to fortify the unoccupied hills surrounding the city, giving them control of Boston Harbour. In response, 1,200 colonial troops under the command of William Prescott stealthily occupied Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill. The colonists constructed a strong redoubt on Breed's Hill, as well as smaller fortified lines across the Charlestown Peninsula.
When the British were alerted to the presence of colonial forces on the Peninsula, they mounted an attack against them. After two assaults on the colonial positions were repulsed with significant British casualties, the third and final attack carried the redoubt after the defenders ran out of ammunition. The colonists retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, leaving the British in control of the Peninsula.
While the result was a victory for the British, the massive losses they encumbered discouraged them from any further sorties against the siege lines; 226 men were killed with over 800 wounded, including a large number of officers. The battle at the time was considered to be a colonial defeat; however, the losses suffered by the British troops gave encouragement to the colonies, demonstrating that inexperienced militiamen were able to stand up to regular army troops in a pitched battle.