238 years ago ...
On April 19th 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride and our forefathers faced off against their government's army to try and restore they rights that have been taken away. Capt. John Parker and 80 men of the Lexington Militia stood up against 200 light infantry on Lexington green. Those redcoats were backed by 600 more infantry in the main British column.
Firing without orders, the redcoats opened up on the militia and then followed with up with a bayonet charge. When the smoke cleared 17 militia lay dead or wounded with only one slightly wounded redcoat. The British commander ordered three cheers and a victory musket volley in celebration as the marched out of town toward Concord to confiscate arms they knew to be stored there.
Once in Concord the regulars searched the town, confiscated the few supplies that hadn't been removed or hidden and set them on fire in the town square. The 400+ militia who had gathered outside of town saw the smoke and marched down to the north bridge thinking the redcoats were burning the town. They were stopped by 3 companies of light infantry (about 90 men & officers) at the north bridge who opened up on them. Capt. Isaac Davis of the Acton minutemen was killed along with Abner Hosmer. This time the militia opened up on the redcoats killing half of their officers and drove them from the bridge.
When the British commander saw his troops running from the bridge he knew he was in trouble. He had 18 miles to march back to Boston in a country side now literally up in arms. A mile east of Concord is column was attacked both at the front and rear by militia responding to the road. The fighting was non stop and in the town of Menotomy it was hand to hand and house to house. Thousands of colonists joined the fight and attacked the British all the way back to Boston.
Those colonists walked out that morning not with revolution on their minds but with restoration of their rights as free Englishmen. Rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta and their colonial charters and courts. They simply stood up to let the crown know that they were not going to take the infringement on their rights lightly. They weren't looking for civil war but simply to preserve their civil rights. It would be another 14 months before they would declare their independence.
We tend to remember the birth of our country on July 4, but don't forget the sacrifices and choices the people in the colonies had to make on April 19th. They walked out with no assurance that they would live to see the sunset. Their choices that day included the hot lead of a British musket ball, the cold steel of the bayonet or the hangman's noose. They sacrificed their lives, their livelihood and their families. And yet, they stood as one for a concept of liberty, for self determination and for civil rights.
Remember April 19th and the republic they inspired.
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Last edited by mac66; 04-24-2013 at 16:38..