The Battle of Bunker Hill
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The Battle of Bunker Hill
Boom, Bang, Crack! The sounds of muskets being fired, its ammunition ricocheting off
rocks and splintering trees are heard all around. The pungent smell of gun powder
stings the nose, and its taste makes the mouth dry and sticky. The battle is still young,
but blood soaked uniforms and dead or dying men can already be seen, causing the
fear of death to enter many of the soldiers' minds. It is remembered that freedom is
what the fight is for, so we must continue to gain independence. The battle has been
going on for a short time now, although vision is already obscured from all the smoke
and dust in the air. It is becoming increasingly difficult to breathe, with all of these air
borne substances entering my lungs. People are still being struck by musket balls for
the cries of agony rise above the many guns' explosions. This is how the battle to be
known as Bunker Hill began.
On June 17, 1775 the Battle of Bunker Hill took place. It is one of the most important
colonial victories in the U.S. War for Independence. Fought during the Siege of
Boston, it lent considerable encouragement to the revolutionary cause. This battle
made both sides realize that this was not going to be a matter decided on by one quick
and decisive battle.
The battle of Bunker Hill was not just an event that happened overnight. The battle was
the result of struggle and hostility between Great Britain and the colonies for many
years. Many of the oppressive feelings came as a result of British laws and restrictions
placed on them. It would not be true to say that the battle was the beginning of the fight
for independence. It is necessary to see that this was not a rash decision that occurred
because of one dispute, but rather the seeds sown to precipitate this battle were
planted a long time ago and had just burst forth.
Perhaps two of the most notable injustices, as perceived by the colonists, were the
Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts. The Stamp Act was passed by the British
Parliament to raise money for repaying its war debt from the French and Indian War.
The Act levied a tax on printed matter of all kinds including newspapers,
advertisements, playing cards, and legal documents. The British government was
expecting protest as result of the tax but the level of outcry they received. The colonists
were so angry because they had no voice in Parliament which passed the law, thus
came the famous cry, "No taxation without representation!" The colonists would
protest these laws with the Boston Tea Party. The British responded to this open act of
rebellion by imposing the Intolerable Acts, four laws designed to punish Boston and the
rest of Massachusetts while strengthening British control over all the colonies.
These were not the only incidents that caused unrest to exist between the two
countries. There had been friction between British soldiers and colonists for some time
because of the Quartering Act, a law which required townspeople to house soldiers.
This unrest and tension resulted in the Boston Massacre, an event that resulted in
colonists death and both sides being more untrusting of each other. These feelings of
discontent and the growing fear of an uprising would lead the British to proceed to
Lexington and Concord and destroy colonial military supplies. This left the colonists
with the feeling of hatred and total malice towards the British. Because of these
incidents neither side trusted the other, and had concerns that the opposition would
launch an attack upon them.
When the British planned to occupy Dorchester Heights on the Boston Peninsula, the
colonists became alarmed at the build up of British troops off of the coast. The
colonists decided that action had to be taken so as to stop the threatening British
movement in this territory to protect themselves from an attack. It was because of this
last situation as well as the bad blood that had accumulated over the years, which
would lead the colonies into a confrontation with the British.
The Battle of Bunker Hill started when the colonists learned about the British plan to
occupy Dorchester Heights. The colonists were understandably shaken by this news.
They thought of this as the last straw, and they had to protect their land and freedom.
A crude "army" was made to defend the hill. The army was not a national one, for no
nation existed. Instead, the army was made up of men from Cambridge, New England,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New
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Charlestown, Boston, Battle of Bunker Hill, Breeds Hill, Siege of Boston, Thomas Gage, Battles of Lexington and Concord, Intolerable Acts, Stamp Act, American Revolution, William Prescott, William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, Quartering Acts
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