In addition to being one of the most known, most badass quotes ever, "Don't fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes" has its roots in the American Revolutionary War. Many know the quote, but not the story.
On June 17, 1775 a British force led by General William Howe marched against Breed's Hill, a fortified American position below Bunker Hill. As the Redcoats advanced toward the Patriot line, American General William Prescott told his soldiers, "Don't one of you fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes!" The order worked; the American soldiers fired when the British soldiers were 40 yards out, and forced them to retreat. This happened a second time, when Howe reformed his line and advanced again. The third time Howe advanced, he forced the outnumbered Americans to retreat, but not before losing 1000 of his men to Patriot musket fire.
The Americans lost the Battle of Bunker Hill, but our morale had been boosted by the stand. We realized we could fight the superior numbers of the British with heart, bravery, and strategy.
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