Battle of Bunker Hill — Death of General Joseph Warren

June 17, 1775

John Trumbull painted this scene depicting the moment after Joseph Warren was struck and mortally wounded by a musket ball during the Battle of Bunker Hill.

John Trumbull was an artist and soldier from Connecticut. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and was stationed in Roxbury, Massachusetts during the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775). This painting depicts the death of General Joseph Warren, along with many of the most important people involved in the battle.

Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775, Death of General Warren, Painting, Trumbull, Large

Trumbull is known to have made several different versions of this painting. This version is part of the collection at the Yale University Art Gallery. Each version is essentially the same, but all feature Joseph Warren lying on the ground, held in the arms of an unidentified American soldier.

Death of John Pitcairn at Bunker Hill

The painting also includes details regarding the death of Major John Pitcairn, a British officer killed during the battle. Pitcairn is most famous for leading British troops into Lexington on the morning of April 19, 1775, which led to the Battle of Lexington.

John Pitcairn, British Officer, Detail from Trumbull Painting
This detail depicts Pitcairn falling into the arms of his son William.

Peter Salem at Bunker Hill

A black man appears in Trumbull’s painting. According to the Yale University Art Gallery, he is the “unidentified servant of Lieutenant Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Connecticut Regiment, or possibly Peter Salem.” The Library of Congress identifies him as “Peter Salem.”

John Pitcairn, Peter Salem, Slave, Detail from Trumbull Painting
This detail from Trumbull’s painting shows the man who is believed to have shot Pitcairn.