Don’t Shoot Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes!

Phil Jensen


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Battle of Bunker HillAmerican Minute from William J. Federer

Rick Kriebel 2016


“Don’t Shoot Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes!” was the order given JUNE 17, 1775, by Colonel William Prescott to troops on Breed’s Hill, adjacent Bunker Hill, guarding the north entrance to Boston Harbor.

They were aiming at 2,300 British soldiers, under General Howe, marching at them with bayonets fixed.

Twice the Americans repelled them until they ran out of gunpowder.

Woodrow Wilcox


The British then burned the nearby town of Charlestown.

This first action of the Continental Army saw over 1,000 British killed, and nearly 500 Americans.

This same day, 300 miles away in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress drafted George Washington’s commission as commander-in-chief, for which he refused a salary.

Washington wrote to his wife, Martha:

“Dearest…It has been determined in Congress, that the whole army raised for the defense of the American Cause shall be put under my care, and that it is necessary for me to proceed immediately to Boston to take…command…

I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preserved, and been bountiful to me.”

Washington ended:



“I…got Colonel Pendleton to Draft a Will…the Provision made for you, in case of my death, will, I hope, be agreeable.”

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William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousands on the internet.
William J. Federer
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