The morning of
April 19, 1775 saw soldiers of the British Army arriving at the
Massachusetts town of Lexington. Their mission was to seize and
destroy militia weapons and ammunition, but the local militia, known
as Minutemen, stood on Lexington Green, awaiting their arrival.
During the stand off, a someone fired a shot, which led the British
troops to fire at the colonial militia. The Minutemen dispersed, and
the British headed toward nearby Concord.
At the Concord North
Bridge, a small group of militia battled a force of British soldiers.
At this point, the British commander decided to retreat back toward
Lexington, as it became evident that more and more Minutemen were
arriving from all of the local villages and farms.
During this retreat, the
British kept to the road, while the American farmers fired at them
from behind trees, walls and any obstacle they could find. When the
British force returned to Lexington, they were met by a relief
column. The combined British units then headed for Boston. The
Minutemen continued to harass them the whole way.
By the end of the day,
British casualties numbered 273, while the colonials suffered only
94, 18 of whom fell during the initial clash at Lexington. The
American Revolutionary War had begun.
On the night of April
18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott made the
famous midnight ride from Boston to Concord to warn the Patriot
militia known as the Minutemen of the British Army's
move on Salem, Mass.--On
Feb. 25, 1775, British forces march on Salem with orders to seize
19 cannon collected by the colonial militia. The Minutemen gather
and a stand off began. Eventually, the British returned to Boston
without completing their mission. This victory encouraged the
colonials that they could stand up to the British.