IntroductionOn April 19th of 1775 on the town green at Lexington Massachusetts the tensions that had been building up between the American colonist and the British Empire finally exploded into warfare; the American Revolutionary War had begun. The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first American Revolutionary War battles. On this page you will find a list of interesting facts about these two battles. Some of this information will be known by every kid who ever read an American history book and hopefully some of the facts such as what happened the day before the battle will be more interesting.
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The Day Before the Battles of Lexington and Concord
- On April 18th (1775) a leading patriot in Boston named Joseph Warren learned that the next day the British planned to send several hundred British soldiers to Lexington to arrest the rebel leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams and to Concord Massachusetts with the goal of seizing arms stored at that town.
- The evening before the battle Joseph Warren sent two couriers, Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn the colonist that the British were coming.
- Upon reaching Lexington the two couriers warned Samuel Adams and John Hancock the British were coming to arrest them, after which they set out for Concord Massachusetts to warn the colonist the British were coming to seize arms stored at the town.
- On the way to Concord Revere and Dawes were joined by a third rider Samuel Prescott.
- On the way to Concord Paul Revere was captured by British soldiers and Dawes fell off his horse and had to walk back to Lexington; Samuel Prescott was the only one to reach Concord and warn the civilians of the British advance.
Battles of Lexington and Concord Interesting Facts
- On April 19th of 1775 approximately seven hundred redcoats arrived at Lexington where they were met by around seventy seven armed colonists on the town green.
- What exactly happened, that led to shots being fired, is unclear. Greatly outnumbered the colonist were about to disperse when a shot was fired. Who fired the first shot is not known. This resulted in several volleys being fired leaving 8 colonists dead and several wounded; only one British soldier was wounded.
- After this relatively small skirmish the colonist retreated and the British headed out for Concord unaware that most of the arms they were looking for had already been moved to a safer place by the colonist.
- Upon reaching Concord the Redcoats searched the town finding very few arms. They burned what few arms they did find.
- The colonist (militiamen), who at this point numbered about five hundred, exchanged fire with the British at Concords North Bridge eventually forcing the British to retreat.
- The British march back to Boston which covered approximately 18 miles (29 kilometers) turned into a retreat as more-and-more militiamen (perhaps as many as 3,500) joined the conflict. Shooting at the British soldiers from behind trees and rocks and whatever cover they could find they inflicted significant damage on the troops.
- The British troops, with the help of reinforcements, eventually made it back to the safety of Boston.
- The day after the battles thousands of militiamen surrounded Boston and the American Revolution had begun.