MBHL-06N Four British Marine Grenadiers Marching, Battle of Bunker Hill



The 1st and 2nd Marines were to play an important part in the assault on the southern defences of the Breed’s Hill redoubt.
It was during one of the assaults by the 47th Regiment and the 1st Marines, that the American commander Prescott ordered his men to hold their fire until the British were within 30 yards. This action supposedly gave rise to the order, “Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes”!
The volley forced the Marines and regulars back out of range to regroup.
Adjutant, Lieutenant Waller, managed to reform two companies, and with the 47th Regiment on their left, the two battalions finally swarmed over the defences and into the redoubt, probably being the first troops to enter.

This third attack was made at the point of the bayonet and successfully carried the redoubt. However the final volleys of fire from the colonists cost the life of Major Pitcairn. The defenders had run out of ammunition, redusing the battle to close combat. The advantage turned to the British as their troops were equipped with bayonets on their muskets, while most of the colonists were not.
Colonel Prescott, one of the last men to leave the redoubt, parried bayonet thrusts with his normally ceremonial saber.