The Americans had marched on the evening of the 16th with orders to make themselves masters of Bunker's Hill. By some mistake, they had planted themselves on Breed's Hill, and instantly began to throw up a formidable redoubt and entrenchments, and to place their guns in battery. Gage then ordered a detachment of troops, under the command of General Howe and Brigadier Pigott, to drive the Americans, at all costs, from that position. It was noon before Howe crossed the river and landed on the Charlestown peninsula; but then Howe perceived the strength of the Americans to be greater than had been supposed, and, halting, he sent for reinforcements. They advanced up the hill, formed in two lines, the right headed by General Howe, the left by Brigadier Pigott. The left was immediately severely galled by the riflemen posted in the houses and on the roofs of Charlestown, and Howe instantly halted and ordered the left wing to advance and set fire to the town. This was soon executed, and the wooden buildings of Charlestown were speedily in a blaze, and the whole place burnt to the ground. The Americans reserved their fire till the English were nearly at the entrenchments, when they opened with such a deadly discharge of cannon and musketry as astonished and perplexed the British. Most of the men and the staff standing around General Howe were killed, and he stood for a moment almost alone. Some of the newer troops never stopped till they reached the bottom of the hill. The officers, however, speedily rallied the broken lines, and led them a second time against the murderous batteries. A second time they gave way. But General Clinton, seeing the unequal strife, without waiting for orders, and attended by a number of resolute officers, hastened across the water in boats, and, rallying the fugitives, led them a third time up the hill. By this time the fire of the Americans began to slacken, for their powder was failing, and the English, wearied as they were, rushed up the hill, and carried the entrenchments at the point of the bayonet. Had Gage had a proper reserve ready to rush upon the flying rout on the Neck, few of them would have remained to join their fellows. The battle was called the Battle of Bunker's Hill, though really fought on the lower, or Breed's Hill.