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Battle of Lexington and Concord
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British left Boston secretly
On the night of April 18, 1775, 700 British troop left Boston secretly. Their mission is to destroy the to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts Militia at Concord.
But their plans were discovered, and many, including Paul Revere and several others quickly left town in horses to warn the Militia.
- Boston, Massachusetts
- 18 April 1775
Clash at Lexington
To get to Concord, the British had to pass through Lexington. They arrived at Lexington early in the morning and encountered about 70 armed Minutemen standing at Lexington Green. The British Major ordered the Minutemen to disperse, just as the Minutemen was about to disperse, a shot rung out, no one remembered where the shot came from, the British then open fire and wounded some Minutemen as they tried to fled. The British allegedly bayonet and shot some of the wounded as they were trying to crawl away, killing eight of them. Only one British soldier was wounded slightly in the leg. The British then continue their march to Concord.
The commander of Minutemen at Lexington, Captain John Parker supposedly said, "If they meant to have a war then let it begin here". He got his wish, the American Revolution begun on the spot where he stood, and a stone marker now marks the spot and his statue now stand at Lexington Green (see photo).
- Lexington, Massachusetts
- 19 April, 1775
Clash at North Bridge in Concord
By 7:30 a.m., the British force entered Concord intent on destroying weapons. Some military equipments were found and British started a bonfire to burn the arms. The nearby militia had grown to a force of more than 400 men. From their vantage point they saw smoke from the bonfire billowing from the town and assumed that their homes had been torched.
The militia left their hilltop retreat and moved back toward town. On the way, they confronted a contingent of British forces at the North Bridge over the Concord River. Several shots rang out from uncertain sources. No one fell and some of the militiamen assumed that the redcoats were simply trying to intimidate them and that they had no intention of opening fire. That illusion was quickly shattered when a crackling volley was loosed from the British side. Two Americans were killed and the militia promptly returned fire and killed two British by the bridge. The British ranks broke and the soldiers hurried back to Concord.
- Concord, Massachusetts
- 19 April, 1775
Famous Concord authors
Concord Massachusetts was also home to some famous American Authors, such as Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau. Later on, Nathianel Hawthorne also moved to Concord and he brought the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott.
The photos from this story show the home of Louisa May Alcott, Emerson's childhood home and the Henry David Thoreau's cabin by the Walden Pond.
- Concord, Massachusetts
- 1 january 1784
British retreat from Concord
After the British were repelled at North Bridge, they decided to leave Concord and march back to Boston. The American militiamen initially stood silently and watched the departure, but later the local men began to take positions behind trees and fences and pour fire into the departing army. The church bells continued their tolling and increasing numbers of farmers and workmen left their tasks to join the rout.
The British were outraged by the American tactics, believing that real soldiers would confront their enemies in the open. Instead, the colonists would open fire from hidden positions as the army passed, then sprint ahead to another protected spot and repeat the process. The tired and angry British soldiers broke into houses along the path of retreat; any man remotely suspected of being one of the snipers was shot and his house burned.
British prospects improved somewhat in Lexington where they finally linked up with the relief forces. Two cannon had been brought from Boston and were used with some effect on the march back. Nevertheless, sniper attacks dogged the British to the city outskirts. At the end of the day, American militiamen began to encircle Boston and started the siege of Boston. And the American Revolution has begun.
The British listed their casualties for the Concord and the retreat to Boston as over 70 killed and around 150 wounded.
- Lexington, Massachusett.