Before 1775, British government tried to impose many taxes on the American colonies.
The Americans thought that the British Parliament, sitting in London, had no right to impose taxes on them. Britain, on the other hand, kept trying to impose taxes and believed that it had a right to rule over the American colonies.
Both sides were angry at each other and in 1775, war was declared between both sides. This was called the American Revolutionary War or the War of Independence.
At the start of the war, many battles were fought around Boston. This was because a large number of British soldiers were staying at Boston at the time and it was an important city with a busy trade port.
The Battle of Bunker Hill took place between the British and American forces near Boston.
At a little distance from Boston were situated two hills called Bunker and Breeds. These were important hills because whoever controlled these hills could fire from a height and this would give them a great advantage.
So the British decided to take over the hills. Americans learned of this and they took control of the hills before the British arrived. Once at the hills, Americans built a 6-foot temporary wall for defense and started preparing for an attack from the British.
The battle took place on June 17, 1775. It took place on the hill called Breeds Hill but most of the soldiers thought they were fighting on the Bunker Hill, so it was named the Battle of Bunker Hill.
So at the beginning of the battle, this was the position of both sides: American forces had the control of the hill and were at the height. British forces wanted to fight the Americans and take control of the hill.
General William Howe was the leader of the British army while the American army was led by Colonel William Prescott.
The American army was small and did not have enough ammunition. But when the British attacked, they fought valiantly and drove the British back.
The British attacked again and were driven back once again. Finally, they attacked a third time. By this time, the ammunition of the American soldiers was nearly gone, so they had to retreat and British were able to gain control of the hill.
British forces won the battle. But it was a very costly battle for them. More than 200 British soldiers died in the battle while around a thousand were wounded.
On the other hand, the American forces suffered very few casualties and when they had run out of ammunition and wrecked a lot of damage on British army, they simply retreated.
Although the British won this battle, there losses were so great that they couldn’t immediately fight another battle and had to wait for reinforcements.
This took a long time and during this time, American forces were able to increase the number of their soldiers and become better organized.