Skip to comments.Patriot's Day Reenactments Concord TODAY
Posted on 04/18/2003 11:35:23 PM PDT by CaptIsaacDavis
LINK ONLY TO CALENDAR
For those in the New England area, please see the link for events commemorating the start of the glorious American revolution, as well as all of the national republican revolutions that we inspired the world over.
One tidbit to note in the schedule - Concord and Lexington still have their reenactments on separate days (Concord today, and Lexington on Monday), rather than coordinated, because of a nearly 200 year dispute over whether the revolution started in Concord or Lexington. Ralph Waldo Emersons phrase "The Shot Heard Round the World" referred to the fight at the Bridge (Concord). Emersons grandfather fought at the Old North Bridge. Lexington, of course, suffered many casualties that fateful day, and deserves its recognition as the place where the war of national liberation started (even if it was more of a savage massacre than a "fight"). It was not until Concord that the first documented SHOTS in resistance by the minutemen were fired. Indeed, the commander of the militia on the town green in Lexington later attested to the fact that the murderous Brits fired first (and last) in volley after the unknown shot rang out, after which the militia were ORDERED by the head of the militia to fall back quickly without shooting many later joined the fight when the Brits sought to retreat after destroying arms in Concord and then meeting determined resistance at the bridge. The best movie ever made of this day had a starring role for Tommy Lee Jones as a member of the Lexington militia. There are a host of other famous actors from the 1980s in the made-for-TV movie from 1987 called "April Morning" (Hallmark Home Entertainment, but they dont sell the title anymore, youll have to buy a dusty one off eBay). The movie suggests that the first shot was fired by a rebel agitator, but there is no proof for it (indeed, I've read that several vets writing their recollections in the 1820s-1830s hinted that the shot sounded like it came from the direction of the main British column deploying in the rear). The best modern military history book on the events that April is actually produced by a British publisher, Osprey (be careful with some of the pro-Brit spin, but the maps and detail are excellent).
Concord and Lexington arent the only towns with something to offer in commemoration. Sudbury, Bedford, and Acton contributed the bulk of militia along Battle Road. The main resistance on the North Bridge (the first company in line) was actually provided by the men of Capt Isaac Daviss Acton Minutemen Company. Davis was a key militia organizer throughout the region and the first man killed at the Bridge (some of his effects from that day can be found on display in the Acton Town Library, located right across from a very large monument to his valor in the town center). On the day of the Concord celebrations, the Acton Minutemen usually walk the "Captain Isaac Davis Trail" (the road the Acton patriots took), which was mapped out many decades ago by some scouts from TROOP 1 of the Boy Scouts (Troop 1 is in Acton, not Concord or Lexington, and named after Capt. Isaac Davis, for a reason). Dozens of boy scout troops come each year for a Scout rally on the weekend of the reenactments held on land along Route 2 in Acton, by the way.
See you there!