Home > Review, Travel > Scenes from Bunker Hill

Scenes from Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill, fought on June 17, 1775, galvanized the colonial anti-British movement in Massachusetts and emboldened the revolutionaries.  Although technically the British won the battle because the American defenders ran out of ammunition, British losses were so great as to significantly diminish their fighting capability.  The Americans recognized this and were emboldened to stand up to the British army in subsequent battles.  Col. William Prescott’s command to the colonial defenders, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” still rings in our ears to this day.

The Bunker Hill Monument was built on the site of the fighting to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Construction started in 1827; the monument was completed in 1843.

The Bunker Hill Monument in Boston and the Washington Monument in Washington DC look like architectural twins.  Work on the Washington Monument began five years after the Bunker Hill Monument was completed.  The original design of the Washington Monument was considerably different from the final product, but construction activity was virtually non-existent until 1876 when Lt. Col. Thomas Casey, charged with completing the project, heavily altered the original design to its current configuration resembling the Bunker Hill Monument.  Some comparative facts follow:

Bunker Hill Monument Washington Monument
Construction period 1827 – 1843 1848 – 1885
Height 221 ft 555 ft
Base 31 ft square ~ 55 ft square
Top 15 ft square ~ 35 ft square
Material Granite Marble
Steps to the top 294 897

Additional links and references:

Battles of the Revolutionary War: http://www.theamericanrevolution.org/battles.aspx

Bunker Hill Monument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunker_Hill_Monument
http://www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail/bunkerhill.asp
http://www.facts-about.org.uk/random-facts-about-bunker-hill-monument.htm

Washington Monument: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc72.htm
http://www.washingtondc-go.com/attractions/washington-monument-facts.html

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