Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As the steamy morning of June 17, 1775 proceeded, British troops under General William Howe were trying to take out Americans defending strong breastworks thrown up along the front of Breed’s Hill in the Charlestown Heights across the harbor from Boston. Howe’s troops were trying to do something difficult under any circumstances: attack across open ground up-hill into the face of an entrenched enemy. Wave after wave of Britain’s finest were cut down until finally, the Americans exhausted their ammunition. When the firing stopped, the British troops spilled over the top of the Patriot breastworks, bayonets flashing. Cleaning up the remaining Americans there cost the British precious time. Meanwhile, Patriots led by Colonel William Prescott retreated from Breed’s Hill in relatively organized fashion under covering fire from their compatriots on the beach. Soon all were falling back at a run to Bunker Hill. They crossed over Bunker Hill and retreated back across the Charlestown Neck. By dusk the British controlled all of the Charleston peninsula up to the Neck.