BATTLES OF LEXINGTON AND CONCORD
The first battles of the American Revolutionary War were fought at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Tensions had come to a head between the colonies (especially those of Massachusetts) and the British homeland. It was on April 18th, the day before the battles began that Paul Revere became famous for. Hundreds of British troops were headed toward Concord to seize an arms cache, and Paul Revere, after hearing the news, rode ahead to sound the alarm and have American militiamen begin to mobilize to cut off the Redcoats.
Because this was the first of the fighting of the famous conflict, it is important to know why the fight started in the first place. In 1764, The British enacted several taxation policies to earn some extra revenue in America. Such acts included the famous Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Townshend Acts, and after much debate, the policy of “taxation without representation” became a major point of contention, leading Massachusetts to outright and public rebellion against the British. After plenty of contention between the sides, the British decided to march on the Concord to try and settle the rebellion once and for all. Revere and his colleague William Dawes first rode to Lexington to inform Samuel Adams and John Hancock that they should flee as the British were indeed coming.
700 British troops arrived in Lexington at Dawn on April 19 where they found 77 militiamen from the colonies waiting for them. Although no one knows how the fighting began, shots began to fire and when the dust settled, there were 17 casualties for the American side, and only one injury to a British soldier. After this small battle, the Redcoats decided to pursue on to Concord in search of arms. The troops burned anything they did not need while they looked. After searching Concord for hours to no avail, the British army was intent on returning to Boston, but were met by 2,000 militiamen who came at a moment's notice to fight against the motherland.
Fighting began in Concord with more action taking place than that of Lexington. Militiamen fired from areas of seclusion at the British: behind trees, stone walls, houses, sheds, and any other places they had a clear shot while remaining hidden. The retreat from the British happened very quickly. Soldiers dropped their weapons, clothing, food and equipment in order to get away faster. Reinforcements came to the Redcoats in Lexington, but that did not impede the colonists from pursuing through Lexington, Menotomy and Cambridge.
Even though efficiency was not on the colonists side (after 18 miles of firing, they only managed to injure or kill about 250 Redcoats) The battle showed that they could hang with the almighty British, and they did this all while only having 90 casualties of their own. A year later, there would be a full blown war taking place between the two sides, and the Battles of Concord and Lexington provided the colonists with the confidence to persevere throughout the duration of the War.