April 19, 1775 Lexington and Concord

This Day in History

April 19

Spring 1775.

Tensions are on the rise in the American Colonies. Events like the Boston Tea Party, a few years before, and the even more recent gathering of the Continental Congress, had been slowly widening the gap between Colonial and British, all the while closing the gap on war.

April 18, 1775

Under the command of Lt. Col., Francis Smith 700 British Regulars move towards a weapons cache which so-called American insurgents are hiding in Concord. Along with this, the British were on the hunt for two men known to be hiding in Lexington: John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

The British move out in the evening but are discovered by Colonial intelligence. Paul Revere and William Dawes embark on their famous journey to warn the militia of what is to come, Revere taking a shorter route by water while Dawes rides around the Boston Neck.

Their mission is a success, the militia is warned. The stage has been set for the start of the revolution.

April 19

5 am, roughly 50 men under the command of Captain John Parker amass on the Lexington green. The British, also in Lexington by this point, advance and Parker orders his men to retreat. Then a shot is fired, by whom is still unknown. The British follow this with a volley. Parker’s men make a brave stand but eventually losing about ten of their own and are forced to retreat.

The British continue onward to Concord. They are stopped short when some 200 of their men sent to capture a bridge meet a force of roughly 400 Colonials advancing upon them. These colonials, seeing smoke in Lexington, assumed the British are torching the town, and to quote Captain Isaac Davis who was a part of the Militia advance, “I haven’t a man afraid to go”.

The 200 British soldiers retreat to the opposite shore evidently intimidated by the opposition before them. Still the British open fire and kill several of the colonials including Isaac Davis. The Colonials reply with a volley of their own in what is now known as “the shot heard round the world”. The British retreat back towards Boston.

Parker and his men rejoin the fight firing one possibly two volleys from behind cover into the retreating British before disappearing. This would be the story of many attacks on the British during the long march back to Boston. For twelve miles the British fall back under heavy colonial fire, much of it coming from behind rocks and trees, the British forces making much easier targets then their foes. The colonial’s take about 100 causalities and drive the British back, while the British take a total of about 300 causalities and even after receiving reinforcements continue their retreat until they arrive in Boston.

In the end the Colonials are evidently victorious.

The first battle of the Revolutionary war is over and to the surprise of many the American’s have come out on top. The actions of bravery from men like Parker and Davis sets off the chain of events which will eventually lead to the forming of a new nation which will change the world, America.

Author – Gabriel Smith gabrielsmithpro@gmail.com Warriors and Rodeo Volunteer

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