Friday, April 19

We Were There at the Battle of Lexington and Concord

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For nearly ten years, the British government had been imposing new taxes and laws on the colonists, without any consent or representation, and the colonists were SO OVER IT...

After considering the best course of action, British troops in Boston marched in the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness, to the town of Concord.  Their one mission was to seize the local militia's guns and powder.  (This would prevent the local townspeople from defending themselves.)


Some Patriots, however, had an inkling of what was to come, and were paying much closer attention than the British thought.  They devised a communication plan - 'one if by land, two if by sea, and I on the opposite shore will be' - to get the word out about which method the British chose -- to march by land or cross the harbor by boat.

"The British are coming!" would have been an absurd statement...as all colonists were considered to be British in 1775.  More likely, the midnight riders woke the townspeople with "The Regulars are coming!"  Also, Paul Revere wasn't the only rider that night.  Several riders, including women, took to the roads to awaken and alert the local militia of what was coming.

April 19th, at dawn, a militia unit gathered on the green in Lexington, prepared to face down the British regiment marching their way.  Men and boys of every age took up arms, and they stood face to face, staring each other down.  At some point, a shot was fired.  No one knew which side the shot came from, but everyone reacted.

Fifteen minutes after that first shot was fired, eighteen colonists were dead or wounded.  The British soldiers continued their march toward Concord, where they destroyed the supplies that had not been hidden.  On their march back to Boston, they met with several militia groups who fought back...and the American Revolution began.

Read
Make / Do
Watch
Define / Identify
  • Shot heard round the world
  • Continental Congress
  • Trenton
  • Yorktown
  • Bunker hill
  • Saratoga
  • Lexington
  • Concord
Think
  • Who do you think fired the first shot?  Why?
  • Read the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.  Why do you think that this man, of the many who rode that night, was chosen to be immortalized?    
Check out all of our We Were There unit studies!

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