Artist’s Impression of the American defences on Breed’s Hill Opposite Boston in 1775.
The American militia had occupied the Charlestown peninsular opposite Boston when the British had withdrawn to Boston. The improvised defences on Breeds Hill, in front of Bunker’s Hill, are often depicted as fully formed redoubts complete with breastworks and cannon. However they were no where near as sophisticated. They had been quickly thrown up the night before the British attack (Battle of Bunker Hill). As this depiction shows they were simple earthen piles to give the rebel militia some cover. General Israel Puttnam had his men dig the basis of a square fortification (redoubt) approximately 130 feet wide with ditches and earthen walls. The walls were almost 6 feet high. They proved effective as the Americans were only forced to retreat, over Bunker’s Hill, after their ammunition ran out.