Battle of Lexington and Concord - Video

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The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolution. They were fought on April 19, 1775. The British were concerned over a potential rebellion by the colonist militia. The colonists had secretly learned of the British plan to capture and destroy weapon stores at Concord. But, the colonists didn't know many details. The colonists moved the stock of weapons from Concord to neighboring towns to prevent British capture. The colonists already had set up an early warning system set up to alert them of British troop movement. On the evening of April 18, 1775, about 700 British troops left Boston by boat bound for Cambridge and then the road to Lexington and Concord. A warning signal in the old Church steeple warned Paul Revere that the troops were on their way. In the now famous "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," he road his horse from Boston to Lexington in order to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the British Army had begun their march from Boston to Lexington. In response, they began to assemble the militia.

At sunrise on April 19, 1775, the British troops entered Lexington. Seventy seven Lexington militiamen came out from Buckman Tavern and stood in ranks on the village common. The militia were significantly outnumbered. The British troops were ordered to hold fire. A British officer rode forward waving his sword. He called for the militia to disperse, and ordered them to lay down their arms. Someone from behind a hedge fired a shot. The British soldiers started firing, and then charged forward with bayonets. Eight militiamen were killed and ten wounded. The rest wisely ran for their lives. Only one British soldier was wounded.

The British troops were ordered to reassemble, and marched on toward Concord. The Concord militia heard reports of the Lexington shots. They marched down the road toward Lexington to meet the British. The militia were still outnumbered, with about 700 British troops and only 250 militia. Upon seeing the British troops, the militia turned around and headed back to Concord, crossed the North Bridge, and assembled on a hill north of town. From the hill, they watched as the British troops searched the town for weapon stores. The militia saw that only 90 British troops were guarding the bridge. by this time about 400 militia had assembled. They decided to march back towards town and lined up behind the bridge. The outnumbered British troops had retreated back over the bridge. A British soldier fired what may have been a warning shot. Both sides then began firing. Four of the eight British officers and sergeants were wounded, at least three privates were killed and nine were wounded. Additional British troops came in support and both sides faced each other in a tense standoff. After 10 minutes the troops returned to searching the town. Later in the afternoon, the troops started their march back to Boston.

By this time over 1,000 colonials had gathered along points of the route back to Boston, and the number was still growing. Several skirmishes broke out. Thirty soldiers and four colonial militia were killed. Reinforcements arrived from Boston with about 1,000 troops and artillery. The fight continued as the troops retreated to Boston. In total, the colonists lost 25 men killed and 9 wounded, and the British lost 40 killed and 80 wounded. Eventually over 15,000 colonial militia converged on Boston, surrounding the city on three sides and beginning the Siege of Boston. Check out these videos to learn more about the Battle of Lexington and Concord.







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