Painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill by E. Percy Moran.

Battle of Bunker Hill Quick Facts

June 16, 1775

Facts About Battle of Bunker Hill


Following the battles at Lexington and Concord, the British soldiers returned to Boston and were trapped in Boston by militia from Massachusetts and surrounding colonies.

When word of the bloody encounters at Lexington and Concord reached England, the British government dispatched additional troops to reinforce the garrison at Boston. Those troops arrived in May 1775.

On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, voted to organize the militia laying siege to Boston into the Continental Army.

On June 16, American soldiers were sent onto the Charlestown Peninsula, north of Boston, to occupy Bunker Hill, but for reasons that are not entirely clear, they constructed their fortifications on neighboring Breed’s Hill.

Rather than laying siege to the American forces on the peninsula by sealing off the neck, the British command opted for a frontal assault on Breed’s Hill on June 17, 1775.

Following two failed assaults that resulted in heavy losses, the British overran the American fortification on a third attempt after reinforcements arrived and the Americans ran low on ammunition.

After overrunning the fortifications on Breed’s Hill, the British inflicted heavy damages on the Americans as they fled the Charlestown Peninsula.

The fighting on the Charlestown Peninsula resulted in 1,054 British casualties and 441 American casualties, most of them during the retreat.

The battle is known as the Battle of Bunker Hill, despite the fact that the focus of the action was on the American fortifications on Breed’s Hill.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first significantly large battle of the Revolutionary War.

The Battle of Bunker Hill had little military impact on the war, as the result still left the British troops in Boston encircled by growing American forces.

The Battle of Bunker Hill lasted about two hours.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was witnessed by thousands of civilians from neighboring hills, rooftops and balconies in Boston.

Although the British were victorious at Bunker Hill, the battle was a moral victory for Americans throughout the colonies, who now had real evidence that they could engage and inflict heavy casualties on the greatest military force in the world.


Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Bunker Hill Quick Facts
  • Coverage June 16, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords battle of bunker hill
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date January 18, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update November 6, 2020