Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The “shot heard round the world”

      First Revolutionary Battle at Lexington and Concord

In April 1775, when British troops are sent to confiscate colonial weapons, they run into an untrained and angry militia. This ragtag army defeats 700 British soldiers and the surprise victory bolsters their confidence for the war ahead.

On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops set off from Boston toward Concord, Massachusetts, in order to seize weapons and ammunition stockpiled there by American colonists. 

Early the next morning, the British reached Lexington, where approximately 70 minutemen had gathered on the village green. Someone suddenly fired a shot—it’s uncertain which side...

and a melee ensued. 

 When the brief clash ended, eight Americans lay dead and at least an equal amount were injured, while one redcoat was wounded. The British continued on to nearby Concord, where that same day they encountered armed resistance from a group of patriots at the town’s North Bridge.

 Gunfire was exchanged, leaving two colonists and three redcoats dead. Afterward, the British retreated back to Boston, skirmishing with colonial militiamen along the way and suffering a number of casualties; the Revolutionary War had begun. The incident at the North Bridge later was memorialized by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his ..

1837 poem “Concord Hymn,” whose opening stanza is:

 “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.”

Emerson penned “Concord Hymn” for the dedication of a battle monument at the site of the North Bridge. At the dedication ceremony on July 4, 1837, a group of townspeople sang the poem’s 16 lines to the tune of a traditional hymn called “Old Hundredth.” 

Emerson, a Boston native born in 1803, spent portions of his childhood in Concord (where his grandfather, a minister, had witnessed the 1775 battle at the North Bridge from his nearby home) and moved there permanently in 1834. 

He went on to become one of the country’s leading intellectuals and lived in Concord until his death in 1882.


     Interesting Facts On April 19th of 1775 

approximately seven hundred redcoats arrived at Lexington where they were met by around seventy seven armed colonists on the town green. What exactly happened, that led to shots being fired, is unclear. 

Greatly outnumbered the colonist were about to disperse when a shot was fired. 

Who fired the first shot is not known. This resulted in several volleys being fired leaving 8 colonists dead and several wounded; only one British soldier was wounded.

After this relatively small skirmish the colonist retreated and the British headed out for Concord unaware that most of the arms they were looking for had already been moved to a safer place by the colonist.

Upon reaching Concord the Redcoats searched the town finding very few arms. They burned what few arms they did find.

The colonist (militiamen), who at this point numbered about five hundred, exchanged fire with the British at Concords North Bridge eventually forcing the British to retreat.

The British march back to Boston which covered approximately 18 miles (29 kilometers) turned into a retreat as more-and-more militiamen (perhaps as many as 3,500) joined the conflict.

 Shooting at the British soldiers from behind trees and rocks and whatever cover they could find they inflicted significant damage on the troops.The British troops, with the help of reinforcements, eventually made it back to the safety of Boston.

The day after the battles thousands of militiamen surrounded Boston and the American Revolution had begun.

A Side note.: I Was there, in April 1975 Reinacting this Historic Battle..
For that moment...I Stepped back in Time.. I Will never forget..

"Rhode Island Militia" (RIM 1774 Kentish Guard")
This is the Kentish Guard (RIM)I Was a Younger Man then, ..1970's.
I Served on Fire Squad / We were an "elite State militia".

 I'm the 3rd Back Row.. Served 10 Years..

The Guards were also present at the formation of the Continental Army during the Siege of Boston in 1775, where General Washington noticed how exceedingly well the Kentish Guards were trained, equipped, and disciplined.

Thirty-five members of the Guards were subsequently to serve as officers in the Continental Army, foremost among them Major General Nathanael Greene, the "Savior of the South" who, by the end of the war, was second only to Washington.

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