The shot heard round the world!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
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Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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Where I stayed
Boston Minuteman Park

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Monday, August 20, 2012

We had a relatively short 135 mile drive today prior to arriving in Littleton, Massachusetts. We set up and headed out to visit this National Park, conveniently located less than 20 miles away from the campground. 

April 19, 1775 British troops left Boston and headed towards Lexington and Concord.  They were hoping to arrest 'rabble rousers' Samuel Adams and John Hancock.  After arresting these two they hoped to continue on to Concord to confiscate a stash of arms that they believed the rebels had hidden here.  The British plan required secrecy....which didn't happen.  Paul Revere and William Dawes left Boston and were able to warn Adams and Hancock.  Paul Revere was captured shortly after wards but Dawes and other riders continued on to Concord to warn the citizens of the  impending British arrival.  The arms were removed and successfully hidden.

As the British troops marched out of Boston and into Lexington they came across a group of 77 militiamen.  Knowing they were outnumbered Capt. John Parker only hoped to make a display  of patriot resolve and ordered his men not to fire. The militiamen were ordered to disperse by British Major John Pitcairn.  As they were doing so a shot was fired, it is not clear from which side, and the British troops began firing, despite orders to stop, on the fleeing colonials.  When the smoke cleared eight colonials lay dead.  As the British troops continued down the road to Concord, news of the shooting spread to neighboring communities, and militiamen flocked to the British line of march between Boston and Concord.

On arriving in Concord the British began searching house to house for the arms.  A group of British troops had been left to guard the bridge leading into town.  When the gathered colonial troops saw smoke arising from the direction of Concord they assumed that their houses were being put to the torch and decided to head into town to try to save them.   A confrontation occurred at the bridge and a shot was fired, no one knows by which side.  Unlike in Lexington the colonials fired back.  Two British troops were killed, along with two colonial troops.  The British, outnumbered four to one, retreated to the middle of town.  With all the British troops back together the retreat to Boston began. 

From this point on, the British ranks had to run a gauntlet of colonial fire.  Already there seemed to be a musket behind every tree, and fresh militiamen were pouring in from surrounding towns.  Exhausted and near panic, the British troops staggered into Lexington at about 2:30 pm and were met by 1,000 reinforcements under Lord Percy.   After a brief rest they continued on towards Boston. 

In total the British would suffer 73 deaths, 174 wounded and 26 missing. Colonial losses would be 49 dead, 40 wounded and 5 missing.  And, so with the 'shot heard round the world', the British came to realize that the colonials were indeed prepared to fight for their rights! 

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