Late in May, General Gage received by sea about 2,000 reinforcements and a trio of generals who would play a vital role in the war: William Howe, John Burgoyne, and Henry Clinton. They formulated a plan to break out of the city, which was finalized on June 12.
Reports of these plans made their way to the commanders of the be- sieging forces, who decided that add- itional defensive steps were necessary.
On the night of June 16–17, 1775, a detachment of the colonial army stealthily marched onto the Charlestown peninsula, which the British had aband- oned in April, and fortified Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. On June 17, British forces under General Howe attacked and seized the Charlestown peninsula in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
This battle was technically a British victory, but losses (about 1/3 the attacking forces killed or wounded, including a significant fraction of the entire British officer corps in all of North America) were so heavy that the attack was not followed up.
The siege was not broken, and General Gage was recalled to England in September and replaced by General Howe as the British commander-in-chief.
1. Brooks, Victor (1999).
The Boston Campaign. Combined Publishing.
2. French, Allen (1911).
The Siege of Boston.
McMillan. OCLC 3927532.
3. Frothingham, Jr, Richard (1851).
History of the Siege of Boston and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord,
and Bunker Hill. Little, Brown.
4. S.F (1979). “Gage, Thomas”.
In Halpenny, Francess G. Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
IV (1771–1800) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
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