• synonyms

Bunker Hill, Battle of

The first great battle of the Revolutionary War; it was fought near Boston in June 1775. The British drove the Americans from their fort at Breed's Hill to Bunker Hill, but only after the Americans had run out of gunpowder. Before retreating, the Americans killed many British troops.

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The Battle of Bunker Hill was an encouragement to the colonies; it proved that American forces, with sufficient supplies, could inflict heavy losses on the British.


An American officer, William Prescott, is said to have ordered during the battle, “Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.