"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" was a command given to the Americans to save their ammunition. The shots were fired on June 17, 1775 by about 2,400 British and 1,500 Americans. The British commanders were Lieutenant General Thomas Gage, General Artemas War, General William Howe, and Henry Clinton. The American leaders consisted of Peter Salem, Colonel William Prescott, Colonel Joh n Starks, and General George Washington. The British attacked at three different times, regrouping and refilling their ammunition at the intervals by Bunker Hill. The British attacked with both guns and cannons while the Americans only fought with guns. The Americans attacked here and there, and only retreated when they were out of gunpowder.
The redcoats suffered 1,054 casualties, while the Americans lost 450 men. Bunker Hill was the first major battle that the British won over the Americans, but it was a narrow victory. Although the British won by driving the Americans out of Breed's Hill, it was a pyrrhic victory. The battle was actually in the American's favor because they proved that although ill-equipped and inexperienced, they could fight the skilled British bravely. This encouraged the colonists and fired up their souls to fight.