• The Battle of Bunker Hill

    Tensions had been escalating for weeks and the British warship Lively had been sitting in the Boston Harbor. The American militiamen had a surprise for the redcoats.

    Fun Facts

    • As the sun rose on June 17, 1775, sailors on the British warship Lively were surprised. A fort stood on a hill across the Charles River. The fort had not been there the day before.
    • American militiamen had quietly worked through the night assembling the fort. They hid behind it while cannons from the ship blasted at them.
    • The redcoats crossed the river by boat and lined up in battle formation under Bunker Hill.
    • The British didn’t know it, but the Americans had very little ammunition. Some of the soldiers had stopped on their way to melt old pipes into bullets.
    • The American commander Colonel William Prescott, knowing how little ammunition they had, told the patriots to wait to shoot until they could “see the whites of their eyes.”
    • The redcoats approached the hill. No shots. They came closer. All at once, there was a barrage of gunfire. The redcoats retreated.
    • Their officers beat them with swords and forced them to go back up the hill where the Americans once again fired on them.
    • Finally, the Americans ran out of ammunition. The British charged over the walls of the fort and the patriots retreated.
    • Both sides sustained heavy losses, but the British lost almost half their men that day. Almost 1,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded.


    1. Militiamen: soldiers
    2. Patriots: the colonial soldiers were sometimes called patriots
    3. Redcoat: a British soldier, named for his uniform

    Questions and Answers

    Question: Were all the soldiers young?

    Answer: No, men of all ages fought in the Revolutionary War. American patriot, Dr. Joseph Warren, was killed during the Battle of Bunker Hill. His body was recovered a year later when the British left Boston.

    Paul Revere identified it because of the two false teeth he had wired into the doctor’s mouth. John Pitcairn, a British major, died at Bunker Hill in his son’s arms.

    Learn More

    Watch a short video about the Battle of Bunker Hill.


Cite This Page

You may cut-and-paste the below MLA and APA citation examples:

MLA Style Citation

Declan, Tobin. " The Battle of Bunker Hill Facts ." American History for Kids, Jul 2024. Web. 12 Jul 2024. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/battle-bunker-hill/ >.

APA Style Citation

Tobin, Declan. (2024). The Battle of Bunker Hill Facts. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/battle-bunker-hill/

Cite this Page