April 19, 1775, and the ‘shot heard round the world’

Battle of Lexington and Concord

Capt. John Parker wrote a couple of days later:

“I, John Parker, of lawful age, and commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the nineteenth instant, in the morning, about one of the clock, being informed that there were a number of Regular Officers riding up and down the road, stopping and insulting people as they passed the road, and also was informed that a number of regular troops were on their march from Boston, in order to take the Province stores at Concord, ordered our militia to meet on the Common in said Lexington, to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, not meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult us, and upon their sudden approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire. Immediately Said Troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party without receiving any provocation therefore from us. …………………John Parker”

It was Parker who told the assembled militia on Lexington Green:

“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

British Maj. John Pitcairn filed this report:

“When I arrived at the end of the Village, I observed drawn up upon the green near two hundred of the rebels. When I came within about one hundred yards of them, they began to file off towards some stone walls on our right flank – – The Light Infantry observing this, ran after them – – I instantly called to the soldiers not to fire, but surround and disarm them and after several repetitions of these positive orders to the men, not to fire, etc. – – some of the rebels who had jumped over the wall, fired four or five shots at the soldiers, which wounded a man of the Tenth, and my horse was wounded in two places, from some quarter or other and at the same time several shots were fired from a Meeting House on our left — upon this without any order or regularity, the Light Infantry began a scattered fire, and continued in that situation for some little time, contrary to the repeated orders both of me and other officers that were present.”

From the Salem Gazette on April 25, 1775:

At Lexington, six miles below Concord, a company of Militia, of about one hundred men, mustered near the Meeting-house; the Troops came in sight of them just before sunrise; and running within a few rods of them, the Commanding Officer accosted the Militia in words to this effect: ” Disperse, you rebels — damn you, throw down your arms and disperse;” upon which the Troops huzzaed, and immediately one or two officers discharged their pistols, which were instantaneously followed by the firing of four or five of the soldiers, and then there seemed to be a general discharge from the whole body: eight of our men were killed, and nine wounded.”

From the Linzee family archives:

“On their way, some of the Officers captivated and otherwise infamously abused several of the inhabitants, and when the body arrived at Lexington meeting-house, which was veiy early in the morning of the ever memorable nineteenth of April, they in a most barbarous and infamous manner fired upon a small number of the inhabitants and cruelly murdered eight men.

“The fire was returned by some of the survivors, but their number was too inconsiderable to annoy the regular troops, who proceeded on their errand and upon coming up to Concord began to destroy by fire and water the stores & magazines, until a party of them again fired upon and killed two more of the inhabitants. The native bravery of our countrymen could now no longer be restrained; a small party, consisting of about two or three hundred men, attacked them with such spirit and resolution as compelled them to retreat.”

A British statement form Whitehall on June 10, 1775:

Lieutenant-Colonel Smith finding, after he had advanced some miles on his march, that the country had been alarmed by the firing of guns and ringing of bells, despatched six Companies of Light-Infantry, in order to secure two bridges on different roads beyond Concord, who, upon their arrival at Lexington, found a body of the country people under arms, on a green close to the road; and upon the King’s Troops marching up to them, in order to inquire the reason of their being so assembled, they went off in great confusion, and several guns were fired upon the King’s Troops from behind a stone wall, and also from the meeting-house and other houses, by which one man was wounded, and Major Pitcairn’s horse shot in two places. In consequence of this attack by the rebels, the troops returned the fire and killed several of them.”

The British set out to confiscate colonial armament. The armed colonials turned out to stand in their way.

When armed camps face each other, all it takes is one shot fired in anger or by accident. It was a shot heard round the world, and it may not matter who fired it or why. It ignited a conflagration.

15 comments on “April 19, 1775, and the ‘shot heard round the world’

  1. Mike Clifford says:

    The fight has already started. All that is needed is for the first fool to shoot.
    I am an old boomer and have never seen so many people so upset with the government.
    Toss in a crisis with the currency and things will likely get ugly fast.

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    A similar thing could happen at Bunkerville but this is a different time, the enforcers/occupiers are public servants, not the Kings English army, and the citizens are voters, not subjects. There are cameras of every variety so the first shot fired and the first casualty will be recorded for posterity, something the Obama administration can ill-afford. But on the other hand, heavy handed Harry Reid is here to do what, avoid armed conflict? Or is he here to show the masses the futility of resistance by promoting armed conflict? Whatever it is, it’s not selfless, he’s Obama’s man on the scene, okay, behind the scene, as he sure isn’t going face to face with the demonstrators. Once this issue fades, and it will fade one way or another, he will take credit as the great negotiator.

  3. Steve says:

    Harry’s only adding fuel to the fire.

  4. Vernon Clayson says:

    Steve, “only adding fuel to the fire” doesn’t begin to cover all the possibilities inherent in his actions and words. It’s more than likely he got his marching orders from the White House and we can’t even guess what that crowd wants out of this. Whatever it is, it’s about more than a few hundred cattle and collection on a past due bill, which is still in contention.

  5. Steve says:

    Possibilities are one thing…actions and public words are another.

    but, yeah, all things greed lead to a Reid.

  6. Winston Smith says:

    Let’s see, back in 1992 a crazy guy in Idaho sawed off the barrel of a shotgun past the “legal limit”, then didn’t show up to court, so our vaunted law enforcement heroes showed up and killed his son and wife and dog. The crazy guy eventually won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the government.

    In 1993, some crazy religious leader in Texas, who could have been picked and questioned anytime while in town by law enforcement, was instead attacked by a few LEOs at his “compound”, eventually bringing death to himself and about 80 of his followers.

    These two catalyzing events lead to the beginning of the semi-organized “militia movement” in the U.S., which was immediately marginalized and demonized by the mainstream media. These militia members generally decided that they would not allow the federal government to perpetrate future similar actions on American citizens without an appropriate response. Despite various attempts to make these militia groups go away, by inserting undercover feds to act as agents provocateur, most group members just quietly disbanded and went their separate ways.

    When Bundy decided to ignore the feds this time, some of those old militia members realized it was time again to oppose unAmerican federal actions and make sure another Waco or Ruby Ridge was not repeated. Of course, the Big Government apologists will attempt to get the public on the government’s side, and justify whatever is eventually done to Bundy, but most mainstream Americans have had a belly-full of the federal government’s lies and manipulations, whether from the Republicans or Democrats. They’re tired of paying for stupid, unconstitutional wars, the ever-increasing welfare state, the growing police state, and the expansion of government controls over our daily lives.

    Yes, there will always be those weasels that will support anything that tyrannical government does, because they are the philosophical descendents of those oh-so-loyal English soldiers that marched to confiscate the colonists’ weapons 239 years ago. They would never question the authority of their divinely-anointed King George III, just the same as the Bush/Obama sycophants today who worship at the altar of the false left/right paradigm.

  7. Joe says:

    Let’s hope that the non-thinking feds will not try to save face with their trigger fingers. For what it is worth call me a Bundy sympathizer.

  8. Athos says:

    Thanks for the history lesson, Tom.

    The good guys won that one, didn’t we?

    If I recall my study of the American revolution, we had some Divine helpThe White House revealed Obama’s income tax return on Monday which show the president’s income fell twenty-one percent last year, the third year in a row he’s made less money than the year before. You can’t make it up. Even Obama is doing lousy under Obama. from the Christian’s God. Now THAT is a comforting thought!

  9. Athos says:

    Wow. I pasted some old stuff in the middle of my last comment.

    How did that happen?

    It was a miracle that we won our freedom from the British. But miracles seem to happen to those that serve the Christan God, don’t they?

  10. Rincon says:

    Not in today’s Mideast Athos. The Christians are getting pretty beaten up. Someone better be praying for them because they really need some help.

    I wonder if the Muslims think it’s Allah’s will that they got the lion’s share of the world’s oil.

  11. Steve says:

    Yea, but WE got the lions share of Natural Gas!

  12. Rincon says:

    Almost, Steve. We’re #5. Russia has 5 times the proven reserves. Put together, Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have 7 times our reserves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_natural_gas_proven_reserves

    Still, with all the gas we have, one would think we would have been smart enough to use it in our cars instead of paying Arab sheiks for oil.

  13. […] to confiscate the colonists’ powder, shot and cannon stored in Concord, he sent hundreds of heavily armed Redcoats. They were confronted on April 19, 1775, by armed British citizens — call them domestic […]

  14. […] in Austin also occurred mere days after the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 — the shot heard round the […]

  15. […] in Austin also occurred mere days after the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 — the shot heard round the […]

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