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Patriots Dug-in at Breed’s Hill

Patriots Dug-in at Breeds Hill

During the evening of June 16 (1775), General Clinton (one of the British commanders) was hearing strange sounds coming from the Charlestown peninsula.  It was the rebels, with their spades and picks, fortifying the top of Breed’s Hill. 

Clinton expressed his suspicions to Major-General Howe (who basically ignored them).  He next talked with General Gage (who also dismissed Clinton’s worries). 

Exasperated, Clinton wrote:

I have given in a proposal in writing.  If we were of active disposition, we should be landed tomorrow at daybreak.  As it is, I fear it must be postponed until two.  [Two o’clock, the following day, was the next high tide.] (Quoted by Michael Pearson in his book, Those Damned Rebels: The American Revolution As Seen Through British Eyes, at page 87.)

No orders for a dawn attack were given before the commanding generals went to bed.

By morning’s light, the Royal Navy’s commanders could see what the Patriots (Colonel Prescott and his men) were building overnight: a partially constructed redoubt (a very strong defensive position made of stones and dirt) six feet wide and fifty yards long. 

That redoubt would allow the rebels to shoot downwards from a safer position.  Anyone trying to climb up the steep slopes of the 75-foot-high hill would be a potential target - as long as the rebels did not run out of ammunition.

The rebels ultimately did run out of ammunition (during the third phase of the battle). We know this famous battle as Bunker Hill (not Breed's Hill).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 11, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Dec 11, 2016


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the U.S. National Archives.

 

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"Patriots Dug-in at Breed’s Hill" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 11, 2016. Oct 23, 2017.
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