The Battle of Lexington and Concord
The battle of Lexington and Concord was the first battle of the American Revolutionary War, marking the ‘shot heard around the world.’ Pursuing several years of mounting tensions and the livelihood of Boston troops, the military governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, began moving to secure the colony’s military supplies to keep them from the patriot militias. His proceedings received official consent on April 14, 1775, when orders arrived from the secretary of State the Earl of Dartmouth, commanding him to disarm the rebellious militias and to arrest key colonial leaders. Believing the militia to be hoarding supplies at Concord, Gage made plans for part of his force to march and occupy the town. Gage gave secret instructions to 700 regulars under the command of Lieutenant Colonels Francis Smith to confiscate the ammunition. They would also be looking for rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Gage was relying on the secrecy of his instructions to carry out the plan without any hindrance, but a well organized intelligence system, which supposedly involved Gages own wife, kept the militia abreast of the developments. The militia in Concord had started to relocate the gathered ammunition to a more secure location even before the British troops had set off. Paul Revere, a local silversmith and patriot, arranged for the militia in Charlestown to know, through the now famous ‘one if by land, two if by sea’ code (referring to the number of lanterns to be lit in a church steeple in the respective case), whether the British were coming by sea or by land. He and William Dawes rode through the night to Concord, alerting colonists in every town they passed through. Dodging British patrols along the way, they safely made it to Lexington, where Samuel Adams and John Hancock were staying. Despite Gages efforts to deep the raid secret, the colonists had long been aware of the British coming. In Lexington, Captain John Parker...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document