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the Lexington and Concord Milita

A look at the battle of Lexington and Concord… mentions Paul Revere

A site for Kids, with links to tons of Am Rev. stuff



Yo Dad! Muzzle That Redcoat!

The beginning of an upset

It is five am on a crisp April morning, and you stare out the window at your dad. He is waiting with his fellow farmers on the village green for the enemy army to come into town. It has been three hours since Mr. Paul Revere rode into town, yelling and hollering, waking everyone up to announce "The British are coming! The British are coming!" rev.gif

Mr. Revere was arrested by a patrol just outside of town, but they just dropped him back in town a few hours later. Your dad went out to meet with Mr. Revere when he returned, and he found out the news that almost one thousand British soldiers from Boston were headed to Concord to find weapons, and that they would be marching through Lexington, your hometown, on the way.

Good looking minuteman!
Since your dad joined the militia, he made a promise to always be ready to grab a gun and fight at a minute's notice. He is one of thousands of "minutemen" in New England. Even though the British government considers it illegal to form a separate army, your dad joined because he did not want his tax dollars going all the way back to England. He says that the parliament, in England, is run by rich aristocrats, and since they do not represent his interests as a farmer in America, he refuses to pay them taxes. "Redcoats!" Your mother exclaims pointing toward the far end of the town.

A solid line of British soldiers, five men across, is emerging from the wooded lane and marching with synchronized legwork. At first you can only see one block of soldiers, five across and twelve deep, but they are soon followed by another block. And another. And another. And another. They keep on coming until you lose track of how many blocks of soldiers have entered. By that time they are passing right by your house and on toward the green field where your dad is waiting.

All the able bodied men are on the field standing in parade formation. There are only 77 rebel militiamen, a minuscule amount compared to the over seven hundred redcoats who are slowly surrounding them. You wonder why your dad did not just flee when he saw all the British soldiers filing into town. Now all he can do is just stand there with his musket raised and hope no one shoots.

The redcoats have formed a firing line in front of your dad, and you can see them biting packets of gunpowder and pouring them into their muzzles. A field officer thrusts his saber into the air and barks an order. Like a huge caterpillar rolling its legs, dozens of muskets rise and take aim at your dad and his compatriots. "They can't shoot them," your mother says, "they must not. They cannot!"

BANG! The "shot heard round the world" echoes out into the still morning. It is the first musket ball exchanged between the King's soldiers and the newly formed rebel militia. You are not sure which side fired, but it is quickly followed by the second, third, and the one hundredth, as the entire green explodes with musket fire. You hear screams of agony, and you pray that your dad is not hurt. Two clouds of white smoke cover the spots where the two groups had been standing.

Suddenly, a stream of red erupts from one of the clouds, as a hundred British soldiers run towards the other cloud with their bayonets thrust forward. You can see perhaps fifty rebels running away from them, some limping, others reloading their muskets on the run. Could one of those running men be your father?

The British run right past the rebels dying on the ground and catch up with some of the injured, beating them to the ground with the butt of their guns. Most of the rebels make it safely to a thick forest nearby.

When all the smoke clears, the British have started to regroup into neat square boxes again. You can see only one redcoat who was slightly injured in the exchange. Your mother, seeing that things have calmed down, yells for you to keep watch of the house, and heads out to the green to look for your father. Already there are some women weeping over the bodies of their fallen fathers or husbands.

The British do not seem to care too much about the weeping women. While some redcoats look over with eyes of sadness, they are mostly too busy getting back into their squares. They march out of town just as they came in, like red ants in formation.
these guys were used that day
It looks as though your dad escaped, as your mom cannot seem to find him on the field. You know it is against the rules, but you decide to leave the house and look for you father in the woods. You remember a secret spot your dad used to bring you to practice shooting. It is in a gully near the edge of a stream. You stealthily run with to the spot. After searching around a bit, you decide to yell out for him. "Dad!" You shout.

A rustling in the bushes, and out comes papa. "Hush son!" Your dad says severely, "The recoats'll hear you!" "But dad," you say, "they have gone on to the next town."

Those nasty Brits!
About twenty other men appear out of the brush. You wonder how you could have walked right by them. "That's good news," says your dad, "they'll be in for a surprise in Concord, those Concord minutemen have been preparing for them, and we'll make sure they stay surprised when they return to Lexington."

After returning into town you learn that eight men were killed this morning and nine more wounded. They are being treated in the main meeting house. The church bells are ringing. This is to inform minuteman all throughout the land to get prepared for battle.

There is some commotion going on, and you see three redcoats walking into town under the armed guard of about a dozen rebels. "Stragglers," you dad says, "they missed the fight."

Soon about one hundred armed men have gathered in Lexington. The British will be coming through town on their way home to Boston. The plan is to ambush them on the first hill. All the men start to head towards the hill and you ask if you can help. "I don't want my child getting killed today," your mom says. "You can't be fighting, but you can be a messenger," your dad says ignoring your mother. "Go out down the road, but stay in the woods, you hear? As soon as you see the redcoats, any sign of them, you run as fast as the wind'll carry you back here and let us know."

How exciting! You always knew you could be in the militia somehow. You want to show your dad you can do it right so you head out on down the road, sticking to the forest to make sure that you do not run into any British soldiers.

After what seems like an appropriately long enough walk, you settle down behind a pile of stones and wait out the return of the British.

After hours of waiting, you hear rushed scampering through the forest heading your way. Your heart starts to pump as you prepare to face the enemy. But instead of a redcoat, a young boy, about your age, appears out of breath. "Where have you come running from?" You ask. "From Concord," the boy replies. "The British are headed back, and they are rather in a hurry. We have been shooting at them for miles."

The boy goes on to explain how the redcoats had another altercation on a bridge in Concord. Some Concord men had been trying to break apart the bridge, and after they ignored orders by the British to cease, they were fired upon. Suddenly, from all the mountainsides surrounding Concord, shots rang out and musket balls rained down on the redcoats.

the bridge they tried to chop up nowadays
It turned out that hundreds, maybe thousands of minutemen from miles around had headed towards Concord when they heard the warning. Concord had a major store of ammunitions and arms, so everyone knew the British were headed there to confiscate those items. Because of the early warning, the men of Concord had worked most of the previous day and night to hide all the arms.

The British did not find many items to confiscate, but they did find themselves in a very tough situation. Surrounded by hidden snipers, they had to make it twenty miles back to Boston with only 36 rounds apiece. They had been retreating for about an hour, and they were being shot like turkeys. As they walked in formation, a small cluster of minutemen would appear from behind the woods and fire into the thick line of redcoats. Men would be struck and fall to the ground, and a segment of the line would be sent into the forest to get the minutemen. But it would be too late; the minutemen had already run up the road and were waiting for a new ambush. So the cycle would repeat itself. The was constant fire from behind the trees and stone walls where the minutemen had protection.

can you see in minutemen hiding here?
After hearing this information, you bid farewell to the boy and run back toward Lexington sticking to the side of the road this time. You find your father on the hill where you left him, and tell him the British are headed back and under heavy attack. Your dad spreads the news and everyone makes sure their muskets are loaded correctly and finds good spots to snipe at the British.

After what seems like days of waiting, the British appear on the road, and boy do they look like a mess. The last time you saw them they were in even squares, walking together in tight formation. Now, all the soldiers are jogging at a quick pace. Some are hanging on to the stirrups of horses, too injured to walk and too scared to stay behind. They come upon the hill, and after the front of the line has just past you by, everyone opens fire. Immediately, you see splatters of blood appear on the men not fifty yards in front of you, and many fall to the ground. Those still standing almost dejectedly charge up the hill, at which point you feel a hand under your armpit.

It is your dad lifting you up and coaxing you to run with him into the deep forest. You run for longer than you could ever run if there were not bloodthirsty redcoats chasing after you. Once you reach a safe spot, your dad sits down and you sit right next to him. "Things are going to be a little rough from here on out," your dad says.

He is telling the truth. You have just witnessed the start to the American Revolution.


Please email me at: teddy@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Daphne - What They Did Was Treason!
Teddy - Did a snowball fight start the American Revolution?
Kevin - And justice for all … of the rich and powerful
Making a Difference - Sometimes the wrong side of the law is the right place to be