Battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775

April 19 is the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. The American Revolution didn’t start at the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Nor did it start even at the Boston Massacre in 1770. The colonists were incensed over the taxation levels from the Stamp Act, Townshend Act, and Sugar Act, and still tried to be civil. But Massachusetts was already considered in “open rebellion” to the crown. When the Governor of Massachusetts sent a contingent of “redcoats” to capture a cache of weapons gathered by the colonists in that area…the whole scenario was about to change the world forever.

Taking the arms of the people was the last straw. They would be defenseless against Indians, animals, marauders, murderers, thieves, pirates, rapists, and especially British redcoats. They weren’t about to let that happen.

When Joseph Warren learned that a column of British troops planned to march the night of April 18, he appointed Paul Revere, and William Dawes to warn the residents of Lexington and Concord on a midnight ride. They did so as quietly as possible, and no, Paul Revere didn’t shout “The Redcoats are coming!” Because many of the residents of Massachusetts at the time still believed they were British, and there were scattered members of the Redcoats among them.

Paul Revere was eventually captured by a British patrol. Dawes was thrown by his horse and walked to Lexington on foot. A third rider, Samuel Prescott, made it to Concord to warn the residents there.

When dawn broke on April 19,1775, seven hundred British entered Lexington, only to be confronted by 77 militiamen known as “Minutemen” in the town “green.”  But after the British commander shouted for the colonists to drop their arms, shots rang out.  Eight colonists were killed, and 9 wounded, while only one British troop was injured.

The British marched on toward Concord, fully expecting to find that cache of weapons. The vast majority of the weapons had been relocated, but the Redcoats decided to burn what few arms they could find. Hundreds of militiamen in the high ground around the town thought the British were about to burn the town as well, and descended to the North Bridge. It was there they engaged the Redcoats  who were guarding the bridge in what has come to be known as the “shot heard round the world.”

The North Bridge, site of the “shot heard round the world.”

By the time the British decided to return to Boston after searching Concord for 4 hours, Militiamen had begun to follow them. Then the gunfire erupted with the militia firing at the Redcoats (who marched in a straight column in their bright red uniforms). At one point, the British began dumping clothing and weapons so they could move faster. According to History.com, up to 3,500 militiamen engaged the British column constantly over 18 miles. The casualties – 250 British, 90 Minutemen.

A ragtag local militia was able to stand up to the “most powerful army in the world” and make a stance. And by the summer, the American Revolution was in full swing.

This is why the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution. It is not “outdated.” It is not “unnecessary.” It is the reason we have all the other freedoms enumerated in the Constitution. Sometimes you have to fight. Samuel Adams once said that we are “guardians” of our own liberties. Will we destroy them now based upon temporary emotions? Or will we guard them for the long haul, based on a true knowledge of history, rather than the twisted versions now being proffered? Your choice, America.