Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: APRIL 19, 1775: PATRIOTS OPEN FIRE ON BRITISH TROOPS!



The Battle of Lexington

“Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they want a war let it begin here.” —Captain John Parker, commander of the militiamen at Lexington, Massachusetts, on sighting British troops.

On this day in 1775, American militiamen at Lexington and Concord confronted 700 British Red Coats — firing the opening volley for American Liberty. The British governor had ordered his troops to seize weapons in Concord. It is no small irony that the first shots of the Revolution were fired in response to a gun confiscation order.

Please join us in honoring their sacrifice, and that of generations of Patriots since, including those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who continue to shoulder the burden of Liberty. Read a full account of the battle in Mark Alexander’s Patriots' Day column.

Please also consider supporting our Patriots' Day Campaign. Your support fuels our vital mission to arm grassroots Patriots with the right perspective on the most important issues of the day. Our mission and operations are funded entirely by the voluntary financial support of Patriots like you!

PATRIOT'S DAY MESSAGE TO THE AMERICAN TRAITOR CLASS

MESSAGE TO THE DEMOCRATS, PROGRESSIVES, LEFTISTS, ISLAMISTS AND ALL OTHER TRAITORS TO THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC:

"YOU ARE MARCHING INTO THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION. WE PATRIOTS HAVE MILLIONS OF LATE MODEL WEAPONS AND WE WILL STAND OUR GROUND!"


Joanne Rathe/Globe staffMinutemen fired their weapons Monday morning as part of the reenactment of the 1775 Battle of Lexington.
Joanne Rathe/Globe staffMinutemen fired their weapons Monday morning as part of the reenactment of the 1775 Battle of Lexington.

History comes on horseback in Lexington

LEXINGTON — History came on horseback here early Monday morning, with the breathless cries of a rider warning: “The Regulars are just down the road! They’re massing for battle.”
Decked in lobster-red, marching up what’s now Massachusetts Avenue and onto the Common, the British soldiers did come, finding a ragtag band of local militiamen standing their ground, unwilling to disperse.

The story of what happened next — the shot of unknown provenance, the lopsided battle, the American Revolution — has been told and retold for 241 years. But it was fresh to some of the thousands of spectators and performers at the Lexington reenactment, which helped kick off this year’s Patriots Day festivities in Massachusetts.

Bruce Leader, a longtime member of the Lexington Minute Men, portrayed the mounted scout Thaddeus Bowman for the first time this year, trotting his horse, Lacey, toward Buckman Tavern in the early morning light to warn Captain John Parker that the British troops were very close.
Parker, portrayed by Lexington dentist Barry Cunha, then mustered his men, dressed in a colorful assortment of garb.

Later, with the British facing them, he worked to calm his anxious crew of locals.

“Steady men!” Cunha shouted, channeling the words said to have been uttered by Parker in April 1775. “Do not fire unless fired upon!”

The tension built in the cold morning air. Then, a shot rang out and a short and decidedly lopsided musket battle left smoke hanging over the Common — and eight Massachusetts men dead on its ground. With the rat-a-tat of drums, the troops of King George III marched off to Concord.

It might seem an ignominious beginning to a war that formed the United States of America, but historians and reenactors say that the first battle and the ones followed on that April day were actually glorious examples of Colonists standing up to the indignities foisted upon them by the Crown.

Leader, a 53-year-old Lexington resident and manager of a shopping center who portrayed the mounted scout, grew up in the town and remembers attending the reenactment as a child.
He has always felt a connection to Lexington’s history.

For him, the early-morning recreation of the battle, which he has been involved with as a man since 2003, transforms the Lexington Common to something much bigger than the actual grassy space.

“It’s a small little green space, really. But that morning, it just seems enormous, mist coming off the Green,” he said. “There’s just something about the dark, the light from lanterns, and maybe a little bit from some houses and moonlight. And you get the sun eventually coming up. It transports you to a different time and a different place.”

And Leader lauded the men he and his fellow minutemen portray, who slowed down the red-coated Regulars: “They’re putting everything on the line to do this. It’s incredibly brave.”

One spectator was only modestly impressed by his first visit to the reenactment.

Soren Wangsgard, 7, who stood with his father and grandfather at the Common, declared the spectacle “fine,” but he said, “If it wasn’t so early in the morning, it would be better! And I also wish it wasn’t super-cold today because my toes are going to fall off.”

His father, Logan Wangsgard, something of a history buff, gave the event a better review.
The 35-year-old Cambridge resident said he had learned that there were a lot more British Regulars than he had realized.
And Soren’s grandfather, Brian Wangsgard, chimed in that the musket fire was really loud.

The British met greater resistance in Concord and retreated to Boston under duress. That day set the Colonies and Crown inevitably toward a confrontation that would lead to the Declaration of Independence in July of the next year, 1776, historians say.

“Once the constitutional and political conflict becomes militarized . . . it changes the chemistry of the conversation,” Joseph J. Ellis, a professor emeritus of history at Mount Holyoke College and specialist on the Revolutionary era.

“Lexington and Concord represent the beginning of the American Revolution in a way there’s no turning back,” Ellis said.

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