Bunker hill Essay

This essay has a total of 2043 words and 7 pages.

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 Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Also,
this hastily combined force of men had no assigned commander in chief, but did what their
revered Generals instructed them to carry out. On June 15, 1775 the American colonists
heard news that the British planned to control the Charlestown peninsula between the
Charles and Mystic Rivers. Bunker's and Breed's Hill on this peninsula overlooked both
Boston and its harbor, thus making the hills critical vantage points. In order to beat the
British to the high ground, General Prescott took 1,200 of his often times undisciplined,
disobedient, and sometimes intoxicated soldiers to dig into and fortify Bunker Hill with
the cover of night on June 16. When dawn broke, the British were stunned to see Breed's
Hill fortified overnight with a 160-by-30-foot earthen structure. The British General,
Gage, dispatched 2,300 troops under the command of Major General Howe to take control of
the hill (Encyclopedia Britannica 1990). So it came to be that General Prescott did not
actually fortify Bunker's Hill, but Breed's Hill instead. How did this happen? One
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