Summary

A colonel during the American Revolution best known for commanding troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Conflict Period:
Revolutionary War 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 2
Birth:
20 Feb 1726 3
Groton, Massachusetts 4
Death:
13 Oct 1795 4
Pepperell, Massachusetts 4
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
William Prescott 1
Birth:
20 Feb 1726 3
Groton, Massachusetts 3
Death:
13 Oct 1795 3
Pepperell, Massachusetts 3
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Birth:
Mother: Abigail Oliver Prescott 3
Father: Benjamin Prescott 3
Marriage:
Abigail Hale 3
13 Apr 1758 3
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Revolutionary War 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 2
Regiment:
Seventh Regiment 1
State:
Continental Troops 1

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Stories

Battle of Bunker Hill

Charlestown, Massachusetts

William Prescott is probably best known for leading American troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Despite the battle’s name, the fight actually occurred on nearby Breed’s Hill. The night before the battle, Colonel Prescott’s 1,200 troops constructed defenses on the hill. When the British attacked the next day, the Americans repulsed them twice before running out of ammunition and retreating. Although the British won the battle, it was with an extremely high casualty rate (especially among officers). During the Battle of Bunker Hill, Prescott is often said to have declared "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes," though others are credited with originating the saying. 

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