On 17 June, British batteries stormed the American positions on Bunker Hill in the Boston neighbourhood of Charlestown. It was their intention to defeat the American forces and gain control of Boston Harbour. At noon 2,200 Redcoats (British soldiers) landed on the coast near Moultons Hill. By afternoon they had advanced on the colonists’ positions, using heavy muskets. The colonists fired from their hilltop position behind dirt fortifications. The British retreated to the bottom of the hill and advanced again. Once again, they were driven back. However, the colonists ran out of ammunition and were defeated on the third assault by British artillery, no doubt aided by the reinforcements who had landed to the east of Charlestown. Charlestown was set on fire as the British began their occupation, while the Americans fell back to Bunker Hill and to the mainland. This was considered a British victory, although they lost twice as many men as the Americans.
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