Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Shot Heard Around the World: April 19, 1775

Remember, that as wayward children of King George, we (as British subjects), were commanded by our government to surrender our guns and powder.

The actual British order to seize and destroy the American's guns and supplies, for that day, reads as follows:

"Having received Intelligence, that a Quantity of Ammunition, Provision, Artillery, Tents and small Arms, have been collected at Concord, for the Avowed Purpose of raising and supporting a Rebellion against His Majesty, you will March with the Corps of Grenadiers and Light Infantry, put under your Command, with utmost expedition and Secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy all Artillery, Ammunition, Provisions, Tents, Small Arms, and all Military Stores whatever ..." (Per Order of General Gage to Lt. Colonel F. Smith, of the Kings Troops. The Minute Men The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution, by John R. Galvin, at page 100).

At Concord, house to house searches were conducted by the British to carry out the above order. Remember, the possession of powder, cannon, and other supplies of war might have meant arrest for revolutionary activities. The supplies of arms were substantial:

"Within the town, scattered through the cellars and attics and outbuildings of at least twenty-five houses, the provincials had concealed ten tons of musket balls and cartridges, thirty-five half barrels of powder, 350 tents, fourteen medicine chests, eighty barrels of beef, eight and a half tons of salt fish, seventeen and a half tons of rye, 318 barrels of flour, 100 barrels of salt, ... hundreds of axes, canteens, reams of cartridge paper ... and ... a substantial number of cannon and gun carriages of varying sizes... ." (emphasis added). The Minute Men the First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution, by John R. Galvin, at page 140).

On April 19, 1775, the Americans were prepared to, and did, fight for their liberty and freedom. What would you have done?


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