Lexington & Concord
In 1775 the man commanding the British forces in Boston was General Thomas Gage. By this time the colonists were forming militias. To keep them in line Gage devised a plan to bring his troops across the Charles River & march them to Concord & sieze a cache of ammunition stored there by the Lexington Militia. He intended to do this at night & be back to Boston before the colonists could organize any resistance. Gage was a member of the Christ Church, also called the Old North Church & most of the congregation was loyal to the crown. The sexton, Robert Newman, was not. The Sons of Liberty had heard of Gage's plan so they arranged to have Newman display one lantern if Gage was to come by land & two if by sea across the Charles River once he & his men were on their way. On the night of April 18th, 1775 Newman lit two lanterns in the steeple sending Paul Revere & William Dawes on their famous ride. The signal also alerted the patriots of Charlseton to be on the move in the event that Revere was captured. Revere had three missions on his ride: First he was to alert the colonists that the British were on the move, second he was to warn the Lexington Militia to protect their ammunition & third he was to warn two patriots staying at the Hancock-Clark house, Sam Adams & John Hancock that the British were on their way to arrest them for treason. The British led by Major John Pitcairn made it as far as Lexington Green & were met by the Lexington Militia led by Cpt. John Parker. Pitcairn ordered the militia to disarm. When they refused, a shot rang out. No one knows who fired it, but that shot would be immortalized as "The Shot Heard Round the World." The British opened fire killing 8 & wounding 10. The militia retreated & the British moved on to Concord. Upon arriving at the Old North Bridge, Pitcairn was met by the colonists & this time they were ready. Soon the British were outnumbered & outflanked . Their only choice was to flee to Boston. Militia from surrounding colonies joined in the rout & thus began the siege of Boston. The American Revolution had officially begun!
Buckman Tavern. The Lexington Militia met here before facing the British.
Hancock-Clark House. Sam Adams & John Hancock were here when Paul Revere warned them of the British intent to arrest them.
Old North Church Steeple - At 191 ft high, it's a perfect signal tower.
Monument at Lexington Green
Old North Bridge
Monument at Concord
Click image to enlarge
"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
Captain John Parker