MA -- Charlestown -- Bunker Hill / Bunker Hill Monument:
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Description of Pictures: I had always thought we had decent reasons to quit the British empire. Something to do with taxation and tea parties and spontaneous reactions to unprovoked British oppression. After being in Boston, my understanding of why the American Revolution shifted considerably. Britain was trying to pay debts that resulted from their war with the French.
The French-Indian War was the American continent front of the Seven Years War [1756-63] which was being fought between France and England during that time. On the American continent, Britain and France were both trying to secure economic interests in the land west of the Appalachians. The French were based in Canada and wanted the area--containing both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers--as a good supply line for their hunters and trappers. The English wanted the land for their own purposes. Things were tense and each side worked with Indian allies to terrorize the settlers in the area.
One of the events that helped trigger the conflict was an action by Major George Washington--operating as a British loyalist with the Virginia militia--in 1754. Near present-day Jumonville Pennsylvania, Washington's men with their Indian allies launched a surprise attack on a French encampment. There's controversy about what the French were doing--getting ready to negotiate with English settlements in the area or trying to wipe them out militarily--but the French commander and nine others were killed. The brother of the French commander came back with 600 French troops and 100 Indian allies looking for vengeance. Washington set up a quick fort, called Fort Necessity, near the area and tried to hold out but had to surrender. The French were rather generous in accepting the surrender--the American troops were allowed to withdraw with honors--but the document in French included a statement where Washington accepted that he had "assassinated" the other commander. It was the only surrender in Washington's military career.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
BUNKER_010830_02.JPG: William Prescott was the Colonial commander at the battle of Breeds (Bunker) Hill.
BUNKER_010830_11.JPG: This is the main Breeds (Bunker) Hill monument. You can walk upstairs for a beautiful view of the city.
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Wikipedia Description: Battle of Bunker Hill
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill, which was peripherally involved in the battle and was the original objective of both colonial and British troops, and is occasionally referred to as the "Battle of Breed's Hill."
On June 13, 1775, the leaders of the colonial forces besieging Boston learned that the British generals were planning to send troops out from the city to occupy the unoccupied hills surrounding the city. In response to this intelligence, 1,200 colonial troops under the command of William Prescott stealthily occupied Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill, constructed an earthen redoubt on Breed's Hill, and built lightly fortified lines across most of the Charlestown Peninsula.
When the British were alerted to the presence of the new position the next day, they mounted an attack against them. After two assaults on the colonial lines were repulsed with significant British casualties, the British finally captured the positions on the third assault, after the defenders in the redoubt ran out of ammunition. The colonial forces retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, suffering their most significant losses on Bunker Hill.
While the result was a victory for the British, they suffered a large amount of losses: over 800 wounded and 226 killed, including a notably large number of officers. The battle is seen as an example of a Pyrrhic victory, as while their immediate objective (the capture of Bunker Hill) was achieved, the loss of nearly a third of their forces did not significantly alter the state of siege. Meanwhile, colonial forces were able to retreat and regroup in good order having suffered few casualties. Furthermore, the battle demonstrated that relatively inexperienced colonial forces were willing and able to stand up to ...More...
Bigger photos? To save space on the server and because the modern camera images are so large, photos larger than 640x480 have not been loaded on this page. If you need the bigger sizes of selected photos, email me and I can email them back to you or I can re-load this page temporarily with the bigger versions restored.
2001 photos: Image quality isn't going to be very good because these are scans of prints. In 2001, I was using a Pentax ME Super SLR camera. This was way before I went digital so the images you see on this site were manually scanned from the original prints, some 4x6 and some 5x7. This was the year of 9/11 and many of the places that had been commonplace to visit beforehand suddenly became a pain in the neck or not available at all. I took a two-week trip right before 9/11 in New England and then took a one-week trip afterward to North Carolina.