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Bunker Hill Museum

Charlestown, Mass.

On June 17, 1775, vicious fighting broke out on Breed’s Hill in Charlestown, Mass. The Battle of Bunker Hill was one of the most significant events of the Revolutionary War. From a hastily constructed earthen redoubt, colonists held off two British attacks before they were overwhelmed and forced to retreat. Though the British won the battle, nearly half of their troops were injured or killed.

The Bunker Hill Museum, across from the Bunker Hill Monument on Boston’s Freedom Trail, opened in June 2007. The museum’s lower floor highlights the history of Charlestown and the design, construction and dedication of the monument itself. The upper floor commemorates the battle and its participants, including then newly appointed Maj. Gen. Joseph Warren and celebrated black soldiers like Salem Poor and Jude Hall.

Large panels showcase maps, descriptions and depictions of the battle, while a cyclorama of the third British assault, reproduced from a 19th century painting, circles the room overhead. Among the artifacts on exhibit are swords, cannonballs, muskets and a British drum recovered from the site. Other highlights include a detailed diorama of the battle, complete with voice-over narration, sound effects and flashing lights, and accounts of the fighting excerpted from letters and journals.


Originally published in the April 2008 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here