Cooped up in Boston, British General Thomas Gage decided to strike at militiamen who had dug in on Breed's Hill, north of the city and near Bunker Hill. On the steamy summer morning of June 17, 1775, GAge sent out nearly 2,400 British troops. The British, sweating in wool uniforms and heavy packs, began marching up to Breed's Hill in their customary broad lines.
On July 8, 1775, the congress sent the king the so-called Olive Branch Petition, Urging a return to "the former harmony" between Britain and the colonies. In which was flatly rejected by King George.
By early summer of 1776, events pushed the wavering Continental Congress toward a decision. North Carolina had declared itself independent, and a majority of Virginians told their delegates that they favored Independence. At last, the congress urged each colony to form its own government. July 4, 1776 they adopted the Declaration of Independence.