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American Veterans

The American Revolution

"The Battle of Bunker Hill

June 17, 1775

After the Battles of Lexington and Concord, two armies faced one another in Boston, the Army of New England, and the British Army. The New England Militia had surrounded Boston and the British army occupied it. Neither side had occupied Dorshester Heights or Bunker Hill which had clear strategic importance. In early June General Gage ordered the occupation of the Heights beginning June 16th. Word of Gages plans reached the Colonist and they decided to act first. On the evening of June 16th Colonel William Prescott on orders of General Artemas Ward led two massachusetts regiments and his own artillery company plus a large work detail headed out of Cambridge and occupied Bunker Hill. There they decided to dig in and fortify Breed Hill. Through the night the American troops worked to created a fortified position. With first light the British ships at anchor in the harbor noticed the American forces on the hills and began firing. General Gage ordered an attack on the American forces. The attack was led by General Howe with a force of 2200 men. They embarked on twenty eight large barges, a formidable force of redcoats. They landed unopposed on Moultons point. Howe had a complicated plan for a two pronged attack. The plan complexity and disregard for the capabilities of the Americans were its undoing. The 23rd Regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, headed for the redoubt. The Americans who had limited gunpowder held their fire until the British were within fifty feet, then they opened fire on the thick column of British soldiers before them. A British officer described it: "Our Light Infantry were served up in companies, and were devoured by musket fire." The British attack broke. Meanwhile the attack above on the railed fence by the Grenadiers ran into similar trouble. Once again the Americans held their fire until the British were close by. Two attacks of the Grenadiers were successfully turned back. However, the Americans were soon running out of ammunition. On the third attack the British succeeded in overrunning the redoubt. Most of the Americans succeeded in withdrawing. Thirty were caught in the redoubt and killed by the British. The Americans were forced to withdraw, Bunker Hill was in British hands, but 226 British soldiers died taking the Hill and 828 were wounded. The Americans lost 140 killed and 271 wounded.

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December 31, 1775 - The Battle of Quebec

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