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Yo Dad! Put a Cap in That Redcoat!

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It is 5AM 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!"

The beginning of an upset
Caption
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.

"Redcoats!" Your mother yells, pointing toward the far end of the town.

A solid line of British soldiers, five men across, is coming. 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 there are. By that time they are passing right by your house and on toward the green field where your dad is waiting.

Good looking minuteman!
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All the men are on the field. There are only 77 men on your father's side. There are over seven hundred redcoats. You wonder why your dad did not just run away when he saw all the British soldiers coming 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 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 sword 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.

Map
"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 hundred British soldiers run towards the rebels with their bayonets pointed forward. You can see fifty rebels running away from them, some limping, others reloading their muskets while running. 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.

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 run to the spot. After searching around a bit, you decide to yell out for him.

this is where the battle took place in Concord
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"Dad!" You shout. A rustling in the bushes, and out comes your papa.

"Hush son!" Your dad says severely, "The redcoats'll hear you!"

"But dad," you say, "they have gone on to the next town."

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."

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.

"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.

Teddy

Please email me at: teddy@ustrek.org

 

Links to Other Dispatches

Daphne - What They Did Was Treason!
Kevin - And justice for all of the rich and powerful