The mythology surrounding Lexington and Concord often obscure the history… of the events of April 19, 1775. General Thomas Gage tried to put the day’s events into perspective for his anxious superiors across the Atlantic. Gage knew too well that this was not going to be a suppression of “farmers with pitchforks.”
every hill, fence, and house
“…a continual skirmish for the space of 15 miles, receiving fire from every hill, fence, house, barn, etc.. the whole country was assembled in arms with surprising expedition, and several thousand are now assembled about this town threatening to attack…and we are very busy making preparations to oppose them.” Gage to Earl of Dartmouth, April 1775
The weather could not have been more beautiful in Lexington, Virginia, on Saturday morning as hundreds of Confederate devotees gathered for the annual Lee-Jackson Day commemoration. The day itself—still observed as a legal holiday in parts of Virginia—falls on January 20, the day between Robert E. Lee’s and Stonewall Jackson’s birthdays (January 19 and 21, […]
Rarely can one day be singled out as…world changing. April 19, 1775 is one of those days. The history of the world since that day has been a steady advance toward human liberty. What happened that day? Eyewitness accounts exist to explain it to us:
Minute Men really did answer the call
“I, Sylvanus Wood, of Woburn, in the county of Middlesex, and commonwealth of Massachusetts, aged seventy-four years, do testify and say that on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775… I heard the Lexington bell ring, and fearing there was difficulty there, I immediately arose, took my gun and, with Robert Douglass, went in haste to Lexington, which was about three miles distant… The British troops approached us rapidly in platoons, with a general officer on horseback at their head. The officer came up to within about two rods of the centre of the company, where I stood, the first platoon being about three rods distant. They there halted. The officer then swung his sword, and said, ‘Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men. Fire!’ Some guns were fired by the British at us from the first platoon, but no person was killed or hurt, being probably charged only with powder.”
Those who claim that the American Revolution… was not radical, completely ignore the effects it had on the world. Radical is a subjective term often misused when describing historical events. The British fired the first shot… a shot that changed the world.