Battle of Lexington and Concord
|Battle of Lexington and Concord|
|Occurred||April 19, 1775|
The Battle of Lexington and Concord, which took place on April 19th, 1775, was the first battle of the American Revolutionary War.
Warned by Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott that a British garrison from Boston had been sent to capture arms and ammunition gathered by the colonists at Condord, John Parker and his company of 70 men assembled on Lexington Common as the British approached. To that time, no blood had been spilt. No one knows who fired the first shot of the war, but it was answered by British volleys leaving 8 of the colonists dead and 10 wounded. The colonists fled. What had been a simmering dispute, had erupted in the first combat and deaths.
The British, 700 strong under General Thomas Gates, continued on to Concord where they found that most of the supplies had been moved. They still destroyed what was left.
The British troops then began their return to Boston having accomplished little, but, news of what happened at Lexington having reached the countryside, they were harassed by miliamen most of the way in a series of small arms fire. British losses in the combined Lexington and Concord campaign were 73 killed, 174 wounded, and 26 missing. The colonists suffered 93 men killed, wounded, or missing.
The taking of lives enraged the colonists. What had been a war of words and disobedience became one of blood. Thousands of men answered the call to arms and 15,000 men besieged the British troops in Boston. The Revolutionary War had begun.
- The Encylopedia of Military History, Dupuy & Dupuy, 1979, Pages 708-709.