Skip to comments.Patriots' Day: Battles of Lexington and Concord -1775- "The Shot Heard 'Round The World"
Posted on 04/19/2011 7:06:58 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
Minute Man Monument at Lexington Green
"By The Rude Bridge That Arched The Flood,
Their Flag to April's Breeze Unfurled,
Here Once The Embattled Farmers Stood,
And Fired The Shot Heard Round The World."
Department of Military Science - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
On the 15 of April 1775, when General Thomas Gage, British Military Governor of Massachusetts, was ordered to destroy the rebel's military stores at Concord. To accomplish this he assembled the "Flanking units", including Light Infantry and Grenadiers, from his Boston Garrison. In charge he put Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn. He also composed a relief column under the command of Lord Hugh Percy to leave 6 hours after the main column. In an attempt at secrecy he did not tell his officers his plan until the last minute. The problem with his security measures were that Boston had become a glass fishbowl. All rebel eyes were watching to see the British' next action, and when the garrison committed to an action, the Americans knew their every move.
At midnight on the 19th of April the British column, consisting of 650-900 troops left Boston, crossed the Charles River, followed closely by the alarm rider Paul Revere. As the British marched towards Concord, the entire countryside had been alerted to their presence, and rebel militia was deployed to meet them.
Until this time there was no armed resistance to the British that had resulted in loss of British life. Several Months earlier, Gage had attempted to destroy miliary arms at Salem and met with resistance but no shots were fired, and the British retreated without completing their objective. Lexington Militia Captain John Parker had heard of the events at Salem, and collected his men on Lexington Green to face the British column.
At dawn Smith's advanced parties under the command of Major Pitcairn, arrived at Lexington Green to see a group of armed Militia in formation across the Green. Pitcairn ordered the militia, led by John Parker, to be surrounded and disarmed. In response Parker ordered his men to disperse. Then a shot rang out. No one really knows who fired first, but the British, hearing the shot, fired upon the small group of militia, killing 8, and wounding 10 more. The militia then retreated into the woods to avoid the Briti sh fire.
So started the first battle in the American Revolutionary War.
The British column then advanced to Concord, and in spreading out to destroy some cannons believed to be at Provincial Colonel Barrett's farm encountered a group of armed militia at Concord North Bridge. This time when shots rang out the Americans were more prepared, and fired back in "The Shot Heard Round The World.", and so began the American Revolution. The short battle at the bridge was a rout, and the British abandoned the bridge, retreating to Concord center. Knowing that he was in a dangerous situation, Smith decided to return to Boston as soon as possible. In his retreat the real battle began.
Militia and Minutemen from all surrounding towns had marched toward Concord, and when the retreating column ran into this army they were outflanked, out gunned and scared. The Americans did not fight as the British did. Instead of forming an offensive line the provincials used small squad and company tactics to flank the column and inflicted heavy damage. Because the American's never formed a firing line the inexperienced British had little to shoot at. This style of flanking and shooting from behind trees, walls etc. destroyed the British morale, and they broke ranks while retreating towards Lexington.
Had it not been for the relief brigade of Lord Percy the British retreat would have been a disaster. Waiting at Lexington, Percy used his two cannon to disperse the provincials and collected Smiths troops back into regiments. He then led the retreat back to Boston. Under Percy's command the retreating column maintained control, even under heavy fire, and the retreat to Boston was a success. The British suffered badly, nearly 20 percent casualties, but more importantly, this action led to the siege of Bos ton and the start of the Revolutionary War.
Days later the men of Massachusetts used the engagement as propaganda to turn the public opinion to their cause. At the time of the battle only one third of the population believed in breaking from Britain.
|DATE||AMERICAN ACTIONS||BRITISH ACTIONS|
|14 APRIL 1775||Mass. Provincial Congress continues to illegally meet in Concord Mass with John Hancock and Sam Adams.||General Gage receives orders to take decisive action against colonials. It was recommended he arrest Mass. Provincial Congress. Gage decides to seize the military supplies at Concord.|
|15 APRIL 1775||Mass. Provincial Congress adjourns.||Eight Regiments of Grenadiers and Light Infantry are relieved from normal duties to learn "New Drill Formations." Naval vessels were loaded with longboats for troop transport.|
|16 APRIL 1775||Dr. Joseph Warren sends Paul Revere to Concord to warn Hancock and Adams of unusual British activities. Paul Revere arranges the signal of "One If By Land, Two if By Sea" with Charlestown residents to signal the route British were taking.||Gage keeps his objective secret from commanding officers in an attempt at security.|
|18 APRIL 1775||At ten that evening observing British maneuvers Dr. Joseph Warren sends for William Dawes and Paul Revere to take the message to Concord.||Smith is put in charge of "Flanking Units" and is given his orders to leave at midnight by sea to destroy military stores at Concord. Percy is put in charge of relief units to be deployed at 0600.|
‘The militia then retreated into the woods to avoid the British fire.’
Actually, they retreated to surrounding homes; there was no woods on or near Lexington Green.
Bump & bookmark. Thanks for posting!
Thank you. Many distant cousins fought that day, some did not come home. I have mixed emotions about the name Patriot Day being applied nationally to 9-11. Is it part of moving our Founding to the backwaters of American History? I hope not. However, on balance, the crew and passengers of Flight 93 were truly the Minutemen of their day and time so I will take comfort in that aspect. God Bless the Flight 93 pax for their courage and Remember all who served some 236 years ago today.
B U M P
Amen to that.
I’ve often said that when they found out what was going on, they activated the militia. They gathered intelligence, conferred, looked around to see what weaponry was available, and all that they had was a drink cart and bowls of boiling water. So, they said, “Let’s roll,” and did what they could with what they had.
I am unendingly FASCINATED by the incredible courage shown on Lexington Green that morning.
Imagine it ... Word had arrived during the night that the British Army was headed to Concord, and they would have to pass through your town.
But instead of running away, or sitting by the window to watch the Regulars pass through, these farmers and shopkeepers and old men grabbed their muskets and gathered on the town common. The most powerful army in the world was approaching, yet this band of civilians went out to stop them.
Suicide! Everybody on Lexington Green that morning MUST have known it was sheer suicide to challenge the king’s Regulars! Yet still they went and stood there in the dark, waiting.
Citizens DARING their own army to fire on them! An OPEN ACT OF REBELLION in defiance of the king! Where did they find the courage to even set foot on that grass?
Today, we are once again insulted by our government and we’re again being taxed into poverty by people who do not represent our interests and don’t care think.
Yet would any of us today have the nerve to face certain suicide to restore their freedom? Would you be able to stand there on Lexington Green, awaiting the dawn, listening for the sound of British boots approaching?
I’m not sure we still have that iron in our spines.
Great post. Great questions.
“...but ancient Sparta did a poor job of passing those ideas onto their posterity. Today’s spartans are a bunch of lazy socialists ...”
I hear ya Devil Dog...however, you have three groups of people:
1. You have a group of contemptible swine who work tirelessly, 24-7-365, for decades, behind the scenes to undermine, subvert, and otherwise overthrow established systems to bring about some utopian society,
2. You have those who are charged with PREVENTING that situation and who do nothing to stop it.
3. You have ordinary folk who are for all intents and purposes oblivious to the wolves outside the door (deliberately dumbed down and MADE so).
This is nothing new.
You are correct - Leonidas would SPIT on them, and on any and all who let their country be TAKEN from them - from without or from within.
It’s what WE decide to do or not to do at the end of the day. It’s always the choice between the comfortable slavery and chains of dependence, or the Hard Road of liberty.
Captain Parker and his men took the Hard Road.
We’ll see what the country’s made of one of these days. It’s coming whether we want it or not.
I think I’ll make that my tagline for awhile.
Anytime, good brother.
Hale, you are a Patriot.
Many, many more of us than they could ever imagine...
Thank you brother...
so much so that I weep for what was, and how it’s being erased...
As Molly’s husband once said... “Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst Of Evils.”
“...Death Is Not The Worst Of Evils.
You got that right...not by a longshot. It’s much, much worse to watch your history, culture, language, heritage, and values degraded, ridiculed, trampled, ERASED, by scum that can’t see how blessed they are to live in a country that tolerates their stench.
It’s an easy thing to push against people who are, by nature and upbringing, not inclined to push back all that much, because they believe that everybody’s voice should be heard.
What these libtard buttcracks need to understand is that people are running out of patience and tolerance for their antics, and sooner or later, as history has proven over and over again - the good people of this country ARE going to push back, and push back hard.
And it won’t be pretty.