".... the whites of their eyes"

Bunker Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 1775

Along the battle line on Breed's Hill and extending to the Mystic River (destined to go into history books as "The Battle of Bunker Hill"), the colonial militiamen coolly held their fire as seven crack regiments of the British Army, the best infantry in the world, advanced towards them.  Up from the Charlestown landings came the red-coated enemy, anticipating an easy victory.  An officer sternly admonished the militiamen, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"  With magnificent discipline and courage, they waited . . . fired . . . and thus began the War for Independence.  The America militia proved to the world that civilian volunteers could be molded into trained fighting men, thus forging the high tradition of the National Guard in our armed forces.